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November, 2008




The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal directed all his cabinet colleagues to remain available to general public for three days every week in Chandigarh for on-the-spot redressal of grievances.

Disclosing this here today Media Advisor to the Chief Minister Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the ministers would remain in Chandigarh on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Mr. Badal gave these directions to his cabinet colleagues during a meeting of the council of ministers, and asked them to strictly adhere to this schedule for the convenience of the general public.



Seeks CM's Personal Intervention with PM, Prafull Patel and Kamal Nath


The Punjab Council of Ministers today urged the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Union Civil Aviation Minister, Mr.Prafull Patel and Union Commerce Minister, Mr.Kamal Nath to take immediate steps to ensure that ongoing international as well as domestic flights to Raja Sansi Airport, Amritsar were not discontinued and expansion work of Amritsar Airport be completed at the earliest.

Disclosing this here today Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the resolution was moved by the Information & Public Relations Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia which was unanimously adopted by the Council of Ministers in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal. The resolution urged the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to immediately lower the landing charges and make it lower than Delhi Airport so that Delhi Airport could be decongested besides helping the NRI population of Punjab.

It may be recalled that Mr. Majithia had earlier led a deputation of MLAs and Members of Parliament from Majha to impress upon Mr. Badal to personally take up this issue immediately with the GoI.

The resolution requested the Union Government that it should take all the steps to restore the international character of Raja Sanasi Airport Amritsar as stoppage of international flights at Amritsar would hit lakhs of religious pilgrims coming to Sri Darbar Sahib and Mata Vaishno Devi at Jammu.

The council of Minister through this resolution also urged the Union government as stoppage of international flights to Amritsar would adversely affect the trade, industry and overall economy of Amritsar causing lot of distress in economic scenario of Punjab economy.

The resolution also urged Mr. Kamal Nath, Union Commerce Minister to direct his Ministry to issue requisite notifications so that duty drawback claims for cargo booked from Raja Sansi Airport were cleared within 7 days as being done in Delhi Airport. It said that presently duty drawback claims from Amritsar Airport were cleared in 3-4 months and businessmen were not opting this airport as they don't want to block their money for a longer period.

The resolution said that basic purpose of starting international flights from Amritsar was to decongest Delhi Airport as 29% international air traffic at Delhi was from Punjab.

The resolution further highlighted that presently Union Civil Aviation Ministry was charging Rs.1.54 lac landing charges per flight in Amritsar from Singapore Airlines as compared to Rs.75,000 as charges by Delhi Airport. Similarly Jet Airways was shelling Rs.94,000 as compared to Rs.69,000 paid by them in Delhi. The resolution also pointed out that nearly double the landing charges in Amritsar are making flights from this airport unviable for the airlines.

The council of Ministers through this resolution also wanted to bring to the notice of Union Civil Aviation Ministry Rs.140 crores expansion work of Raja Sansi Airport was to be completed by 31st October, 2008 but till date not even 40% work had been completed causing inconvenience to passengers coming to airport. This was also resulted in drop of traffic in Amrtisar Airport. The Council requested the Ministry to get the work of airport completed at an early date.

The council of Minister through this resolution wanted to bring to the notice to Union Civil Aviation Ministry that arrangement of Raja Sansi Airport were very poor as all trolleys were broken and coolie Mafia was ruling the roost, added Mr. Bains.

Cabinet Approves Setting Up of 1200 MW Power Thermal Plant at Rajpura
Establishment of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police University Okayed


In a major initiative to make Punjab power surplus state, the Punjab Cabinet today gave its approval in principle for setting up a 1200 MW Power Thermal Plant at Rajpura. Work on the prestigious project is likely to be inaugurated on December 8.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the state council of ministers here this evening. The meeting was chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal.

Giving details of the decision taken at today's meeting, Chief Minister's Media Advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the Coal based Thermal Power Project would be now set up at Rajpura over an area 1078.16 acres on Built Own Operate (BOO) basis It may be recalled that the construction work on Talwandi Sabo Power Project and Goindwal Sahib Thermal Plant with an installed capacity of 1980 MW and 540 MW respectively was in full swing and both these projects would be operational by December 2011.

In another significant decision, the Cabinet also gave a green signal for establishing the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police University at Ladhowal near Ludhiana for instruction, research and other academic activities in police related subjects. Apart from this, the university would also impart training of police education programmes both to police personnel and non police persons. The state government would make a provision of recurring expenditure of Rs.5 crore per annum to the university besides mobilization of capital expenditure of Rs.50 crore from other sources like Punjab Infrastructure Development Board.

The Cabinet also gave nod to a new policy for opening new Private Veterinary Colleges to run degree course in Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry in the state. Accordingly, a screening committee comprising Directors of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries & Dairy Development and Registrar Punjab Veterinary Council had been constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary Animal Husbandry to interview the prospective applicants, inspect the sites to assess the financial status, interest & capability of the applicants and send its recommendations to the state government. The applicant would be required to obtain a 'No Objection Certificate' from the Punjab State Veterinary Council to get affiliation from the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) and would submit the site plan of the college buildings and other infrastructure along with time frame for implementation.

The Cabinet also approved the acquisition of land measuring 120 acre 3 kanal 16 marla in village Attari and Roranwala for setting up Integrated Check Post at Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar district.

The Cabinet also gave its approval for allotment of 3 acres land to the Agriculture department for construction of a market yard to be developed by Punjab Mandi Board, 2 acres land to Punjab State Electricity Board for construction of power grid station and 1 acre to the Rural Development & Panchayats department for construction of a community centre out of the land measuring 7.18 acres of canal colony at village Alamwala in Tehsil Malout of Muktsar district.

The Cabinet also approved the Punjab Works of Licensees Rules 2008 prepared by the department of power on the basis of the rules framed by the Government of India in consultation with Punjab State Electricity Board, Punjab State Electricity Regularity Commission, Chief Electrical Inspector, department of Personnel and the Local Government department.

The Cabinet also gave its approval for amending the Punjab Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1961 in order to enhance the period of super session of Market Committees for a period of two years from the date of initial super session i.e. 18.5.2007 on which the ordinance was promulgated to now enable the state government to reconstitute the superseded market committees by 17.5.2009.



Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today felicitated the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on its 69th anniversary being observed on 7th November, 2008.

In a message, Mr. Badal recalled the outstanding services of the CRPF towards the country for maintaining the national integration since its inception and setting high standards of professional commitment for discharging their arduous nature of duties be it for internal security in Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern and naxal affected states besides striving hard to help the administration in maintenance of law and order, free and fair conduct of elections, tacking communal situations, disaster and natural calamities.

The Chief Minister hoped that the Force would continue its endeavour to perpetuate its glorious legacy of service, loyalty and dedication and act as a source of inspiration for the new recruits to perform their duties with utmost devotion, sincerity and honesty thereby keeping the lofty motto of the force 'Service & Loyalty' ever high.


Rs.300 Crore Grant for Municipal Committees and Nagar Panchayats


Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today congratulated Senator Barack Obama on becoming the 44th President of United States of America, saying his spectacular victory would inspire the Indian community, especially the Punjabis who railed strongly behind him and hoped it would foster better and closer ties with India.

Addressing the media persons during a weekly interaction, Mr. Badal hoped that a new chapter of US Indian relationship would be scripted with Obama's election as President of the USA and the rights of the immigrants belonging to different faiths, religions and races would be protected in the hands of the great visionary Barack Obama.

Referring to the re-organization of the blocks and tehsils in the state, Mr. Badal further stated that all the 141 blocks, 77 tehsils and 76 sub-tehsils would be revamped to ensure all around and balanced growth in the new model of rural development. Mr. Badal announced that the state government had taken in principal decision to develop Attari in the border district of Amritsar as a new block. He also announced that the funds to the tune of Rs.300 crore approximately would be given to the 128 municipal committees and nagar panchayats with in 15 days to undertake various development schemes in order to upgrade existing infrastructure of street lighting, tubewells and roads. He said that 26 municipalities under category-I would be provided Rs.3 crore each, likewise 41 and 27 category-II & III municipalities would be given Rs.2 crore and Rs.1 crore each respectively, besides Rs.1 crore each to 34 nagar panchayats for the execution of development activities. Mr. Badal also revealed that 5 corporation cities had already been given grant of Rs.550 crore for the integrated urban development of Amritsar (Rs.165 crore), Jalandhar (Rs.101 crore), Ludhiana (Rs.100 crore), Patiala (Rs.80 crore) and Bathinda (Rs.99 crore).

The Chief Minister pointed out that apart from this the Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) had sanctioned a loan of Rs.500 crore for water supply, sewerage and sewerage treatment plants in the rural segment of the state. The state government had already sanctioned funds worth Rs.850 crore for water supply, sewerage, sewerage treatment plants and other schemes like slum development. Giving the details of area wise allocated funds, Mr. Badal informed that Amritsar (Rs.211 crore), Ludhiana (Rs.308 crore), Jalandhar (Rs.140 crore), Bathinda (Rs.26 crore), Malout (Rs.23 crore), Majitha (Rs.1.21 crore), Pathankot (Rs.48 crore), Zirakpur (Rs.42 crore), Muktsar (Rs.29 crore) and Sunam (Rs.14 crore).

Referring to the allocation of the Rural Development Fund, the Chief Minister disclosed that Rs.4 crore each would be disbursed in each assembly constituency thereby totaling to Rs.334 crore. He also mentioned that 9100 kms of link roads had been repaired at a cost of Rs.876 crore and 1700 km of new roads with 20 km each in every assembly constituency worth Rs.300 crore had been laid down during 2008.

Conceding the long pending demand of the state government, the World Bank had allowed relaxing its norms for contribution from the households for Rs.1280 crore WB aided water supply scheme in rural areas. He said that now contribution would be Rs.750 and Rs.375 per household for general category and scheduled caste population more than 40% all over the state instead of earlier contribution of Rs.1500 and Rs.750 per household. Likewise, it had now been reduced to Rs.400 and Rs.200 per household in case of general and SC population for the problem areas like Kandi, bet, border and water logged from the earlier contribution of Rs.800 and Rs.400 per household. He said that as many as 612 villages had been covered under the WB water supply scheme upto September 2008.

Referring to the cancellation of international flights from Amritsar airport, the Chief Minister said that he would personally call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Union Civil Aviation Minister Parful Patel to apprise them about the impending crisis that had badly hit the trade and commerce activity in the region and impress upon them for its early solution.

Clarifying the position on the payment of 7% DA installment to the employees, Mr. Badal said that it would be released soon as the funds were not any bottleneck in the way of payment of DA to the employees.

Showing satisfaction over the paddy procurement scenario in Punjab, Mr. Badal said that as compared to last year procurement target of 126.72 lac MT procurement till 5th November had touched a level of 124.33 lac MT. He hoped this year expected procurement of paddy was around 140-145 lac MT. He said that so far 98.3% procurement had been undertaken by the state agencies and merely 1.7% by the Food Corporation of India against its target of 10%. He said payment to the tune of Rs.9200 crore had been made to the farmers till date and bonus was being directly credited in the farmers accounts.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by his media advisor Mr. Harcharan Bains and Director Information & Public Relations Tejveer Singh.


Chandigarh, November 6

On constant persuasion and prolonged negotiation by Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation department, the World Bank today agreed to slash beneficiary contribution by 50% in World Bank Aided Punjab Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Project costing Rs. 1280.30 crore benefitting 671349 rural household including 1,18,827 SC habitations to the tune of Rs. 154 crore.

Disclosing this here today Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Water Supply and Sanitation Minister said that he has received a communication from Country Director, World Bank, conveying these amendments in the beneficiary contribution. the State Government's proposal for modification in the Cost Sharing Rules. He said that in the modified cost sharing rules Upper ceiling of house hold share of capital cost has been reduced from existing Rs. 1500/- per house hold to Rs. 800/- per house hold for general category and from Rs. 750/- per house hold to Rs. 400/- per house hold in the difficult area villages i.e. notified villages along International Border, Kandi area, Bet area and water logged area. Giving a major benefit to Schedule Caste Community, it has been decided that SC population will contribute only 50% of the prescribed amounts.

Blaming the previous Congress Government for showing undue haste to sign the loan agreement with World bank without critically examining the implications of various conditions, Mr. Majithia said that stringent/unpractical provisions proved, counter productive to welfare of Rural people. He said that it's strange that Congress party that all ways pays lip sympathy for ameliorating the lot of scheduled caste household, did not insisted on provision for concession in payment to scheduled caste households. He said that our government renegotiated and made them agree to provide 50% concession to SC households.

Expressing happiness that earnest efforts of the government have now yield positive result, Mr. Majithia said that now World Bank has further slashed beneficiaries contribution to 50%. He said that the amendment in the cost sharing rules will not only expedite the pace of implementation of the project but will also provide financial relief to the community due to lowering of upper limit of house hold share of capital cost.

Mr. majithia said that during last one year the project has covered 612 villages with potable water supply against 135 villages during the corresponding period in last years registering the progress of 260%. He said that this year's department had kept target to cover 2301 villages and he hoped that with the reduction of beneficiaries contribution, the implementation of the project would get further impetus.

It may be added that World Bank Aided Punjab Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Project was formally launched on 25.05.07 after its approval by Board of Directors World Bank on 14.12.06 and Punjab Government's agreement with World Bank & Government of India on 26.02.07. The Project was aimed to provide water supply to all the not covered (NC) and partially covered (PC) villages in the State and to bring them to fully covered (FC) status. He said that Project envisages to construct new water supply schemes in 3161 villages and 1024 other habitations settled outside the Lal Dora of the main village. Besides, the project also had a provision to improve the service delivery of existing water supply schemes in 1618 villages, provide 300 water treatment plants in quality affected villages, rejuvenation & cleaning of 1000 village ponds and construction of small bore sewerage system on pilot basis in 100 villages.



A high-level delegation from the Government of Punjab is in Bangalore to participate in the three-day ICT flagship event '', being held at the Palace Grounds from today. Mr. Manoranjan Kalia, the Minister for Industries and Commerce, Pun jab was the guest of honour at the inaugural session. He shared the dias with Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. Yeddyurappa and M r. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Mr. Kalia is leading the delegation comprising Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Dr S.S. Channy; Punjab Infotech Chairman, Mr. H S Grewal and Managing Director, Punjab Infotech, Mr. RakeshVerma.

In his inaugural address, Mr. Kalia paid tributes to the achievements of the State of Karnataka in the IT sector, stating that it has become a role model to be emulated by other states. He said that Punjab had led the Green Revolution when the country needed food security and that it would rise to the occasion again to contribute to the IT sector's growth in the country. In his speech, the Minister shared details on various initiatives being taken by the Government of Punjab to create a conducive business ecosystem for investors. He mentioned that the State is pursuing a holistic strategy which encompasses interventions related to infrastructure, human resources, policy and investor relations. He highlighted unique initiatives such as the 380 acre Knowledge City at Mohali, the new IIT at Ropar and the Industrial Facilitation Act. He also invited industry to visit the two proposed project sites - the 100 acre site at Kapurthala for ITeS projects and the 280 acre site at Ropar for high end software development projects.

To further its dialogue with IT majors, the delegation travelled to the Infosys campus in the afternoon and engaged in one-to-one discussions with Mr HR Binod, Senior Vice-President and head of Infosys India Business Unit; and Mr. Chandraketu Jha, Head, Infosys's Commercial Unit. Both of them are also on the Infosys's Board of Directors.

Later in the evening, the delegation participated in the CEO Conclave at the Palace Grounds. Punjab was the sponsor of the networking dinner event.


CHANDIGARH, November 6, 2008

The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational irrigation Programme for the Rabi Season through Canal water from 5 November to 12 November, 2008. The channels of Sirhind Canal System would run on priority basis from Abohar Branch, Patiala feeder, Sidhwan Branch, Bhatinda Branch and Bist Doab Canal respectively.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the irrigation department said that direct distributaries of Ghaggar link and its off taking channels i.e. Ghaggar Branch and Patiala Minor in Group 'B' being in the Ist preference will run to their indent. Balance water supplies available will be utilised in direct distributaries of Bhakra main line of Group 'A'.

The spokesman further said that the Punjab channels off taking from Harika and Ferozepur Head Works & Branches i.e. Abohar Branch off taking from Sirhind Feeder and its distributaries of group "B" would run on first preference to their indent. Balance water supplies available would be utilised in direct distributaries of Sirhind Feeder in Group "A".

The spokesman also said that the channels off taking from upper Bari Doab Canal i.e. Lahore Branch with its distributaries being in first Preference would run to their indent. Balance Surplus water available would be utilised in Main Branch Lower, Kasur Branch Lower, Sabraon Branch and with its distributaries respectively.

Photo Electoral rolls in Punjab to be revised:CEO

Chandigarh November 6, 2008

Ms.Kusumjit Sidhu, Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab here today informed that the Photo Electoral Rolls for all the Vidhan Sabha constituencies as per the newly delimited assembly constituencies are being revised in accordance with the guidelines and the programme issued by the Election Commission of India.

Those citizens who have attained the age of 18 years as on 1st Jan 2009 and are eligible to be voters, may approach the Electoral Registration Officer or Officers authorized by him and fill the Form No 6 to get their name registered as Voters. In case of correction in the existing roll, the voter may fill and submit the Form No 8 and in lieu of any objection, Form No 7 may be submitted with the Electoral Registration Officer.

She further stated that as per the programme issued by Election Commission of India the draft publication of Electoral Roll has already been made on 10th November 2008 and any claims/ objections can be lodged from 10th of November till 25th of November 2008. She further informed that in case of new voters, along with main Form No 6, an additional Form No 001- A, which would carry a Passport size photograph of the applicant, needs to be deposited so that a Photo Voter Card could be issued to the eligible voter.

Ms Sidhu appealed to the general public and all the political parties to cooperate, whole heartedly and coordinate with the Electoral Registration Officers in accordance with the programme issued by Election Commission of India, so as to ensure that the name of any eligible voter is not left out of the electoral rolls. She informed that for any further clarification the Deputy Commissioner cum District Election Officer/ Electoral Registration Officer/ Election Tehsildar and the Booth Level Officer of the concerned district can be approached.


Chandigarh, November 6, 2008

Six government agencies and millers procured over 124,33,568 tonnes of paddy on Wednesday .

An official spokesman today said that PUNGRAIN procured 34,31,103 tonnes of paddy (29.9%) whereas MARKFED procured 26,42,438 tonnes of paddy (23.0%). PUNSUP procured 25,82,173 tonnes of paddy (22.5%) whereas Punjab State Warehousing Corporation procured 14,33,983 tonnes of paddy (12.5%) besides 12,00,682 tonnes of paddy (10.5%) procured by Punjab Agro. The Central Government Agency FCI procured only 1,98,108 tonnes of paddy (1.7%). The Millers procured 9,45,083 tonnes of paddy (7.6 %) by Wednesday.

The mandis in Amritsar Division recorded 25,89,456 tonnes of paddy with Jalandhar recording maximum paddy by Wednesday to the tune of 7,05,570 tonnes. The mandis of Ferozepur division maintained their lead by recording 45,21,771 tonnes of paddy with maximum of 11,97,580 tonnes of paddy being recorded by Ferozepur district. Meanwhile procurement in the mandis Patiala division recorded 53,22,341 procurement of paddy with Ludhiana district recording maximum paddy to the tune of 15,32,283 tonnes.

The spokesman said that lifting of procured paddy from the mandis has started showing positive results with PUNGRAIN (98.7%), MARKFED (96.2%), PUNSUP (98.8%), PSWC (98.6%), PUNJAB AGRO (98.3%) and FCI (99.8%) showing substantial improvement.

Six government agencies have paid over Rs. 9235.68 crores for paddy procured by agencies current Kharif Marketing Season. The spokesman said that farmers of the State are being made payment of paddy procured by the government agencies within 48 hours of lifting of paddy from the procurement centres.

The Punjab Food Supply had setup 1622 procurement centres throughout the state to ensure smooth procurement of paddy.

Reduce the rate of Petrol, Diesel or face people's wrath-Tikshan Sud

Chandigarh, November 6, 2008

Senior BJP Leader and Punjab's Medical Education Minister Mr. Tikshan Sud today warned Union Government to immediately reduce the rate of petrol, diesel and LPG inline with 60% drop in International crude price or remain prepared to face people's wrath in ensuing Vidhan Sabha Elections in six states and Lok Sabha elections falling next year.

In a statement issued here today Mr. Sud said that UPA Government was acting as profit making private company that was bent to suck the blood of already inflation hit Indian public. He said that it was surprising that Indian Oil Company was proudly claiming that the company has started making profit of Rs. 4.16 paisa per liter on petrol with crude price dropping from $ 147 to $ 63 in International Market.

Mr. Sud said that Mr. Chidabram and Mr. Murli Deora were acting not as a minister but as Company Secretaries of Oil Companies who are more worried about balance sheet of oil companies rather than problems being faced by ordinary public due to ever rising prices.

Issuing a warning to the government Mr. Sud said that time has come that UPA Government should have a transparent formula to fix petrol prices so that oil companies should not fleece the public.


Chandigarh November , 2008

The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal deeply mourned the sad demise of eminent Bollywood film Director and Producer Mr. B.R. Chopra who died in Mumbai after a prolonged illness

In a condolence message, the Chief Minister described Mr. B.R. Chopra as a great legendry film personality who directed many super hit films and produced a classic TV serial Mahabhart which was highly acclaimed by the people not of India but across the globe also

Mr. Badal said that in the death of Mr. B.R. Chopra the Punjab had lost its son of the soul who established new benchmark in the film industry by making highly thematic movies. Mr. Badal shared his heartfelt sympathies with the members of the bereaved family and prayed to the Almighty to give strength and courage to them to bear this irreparable loss and grant peace to the departed soul.

Meanwhile Member Parliament and President Shiromani Akali Dal Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal also expressed profound grief and sorrow over the death of Mr. B.R. Chopra.

Information & Public Relations Minister Mr.Bikram Singh Majithia also shared his condoled the passing away of Mr. B.R. Chopra and shared his heartfelt condolences with the members of the bereaved family and said, "Mr. Chopra was a towering personality who gave a new dimension to the film industry through his sheer intellect and acumen". Local Government Minister Mr. Manoranjan Kalia also offered his condolences over the passing away of Mr. B.R. Chopra who was an icon of the modern film industry.


Chandigarh November 5; Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal, Finance Minister Punjab has expressed shock over the demise of director and producer of Bollywood movies and television serials ,Mr. B.R.Chopra who died today in Mumbai. Paying tributes to Mr. Chopra, he said that he was one of the highly successful men of film industry who was instrumental in developing the careers of many artists. A Legendary Filmmaker B.R. Chopra was a trendsetter and known for making good, clean family oriented movies. A winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Chopra would be always remembered for his contribution in the field of films. His passing away has left a void not only in Mumbai film Industry but all over the world especially in Punjab , said Mr. Badal


Chandigarh November 5

All the district health officers have been asked to remain alert while tackling dengue cases all over the state. Stating this here today, Prof. Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, Health and Family Welfare Minister Punjab said that the Health department was all equipped to handle the emergency cases. Expressing concern over the reported causalities due to dengue fever in the state, the minister said that it was unfortunate and urged the people with suspected symptoms to rush the nearest hospitals at the earliest .She sought the help of a few departments concerned for setting up of district wise task force to handle this disease largely affecting people of the state. She has issued guidelines for the health officers of the state in general and Malwa belt in particular from where the dengue cases have been detected recently.

The Minister also said that the Health Department was also making announcements through the public address system in various localities of the city to sensitize residents on preventive measures that they needed to adopt. Adding further she said that medicines, diagnostic kits and blood platelets were made available at the hospital and the hospital authorities were fully prepared to deal with any eventuality. Fogging had already been done in various localities of the districts affected with dengue to check the breeding of mosquitoes. She said, the government was also making people aware about precautions against dengue through newspapers, cable TV and public announcements. A formal advertisement campaign informing people about the disease's symptoms and urging them to clean up their water coolers, avoid any water-logging and use mosquito nets have also been launched at various places. The MCs have also been asked to maintain cleanliness in the cities and a meeting of doctors working under the Zila Parishad was also being held to review the situation. She said all government hospitals had been put on alert and the department staff had been asked to keep a close eye on any suspected dengue case.


Chandigarh, November 5

Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Information & Public Relations Minister today called upon State PR professionals to focus on educative Public Relations besides strengthening feedback process.

Presiding over the meeting of Public Relations Officers posted in the field and at the headquarter, Mr. Majithia said that the Public Relations Department should become an effective channel of communication between government and the masses. It was imperative for PR department to strengthen its extension network in the rural areas to take the message of government to the people living across the state.

Emphasising on the need of educating the masses besides communicating the achievements of the government, Mr. Majithia said that PR department was the eye and ear of the government. He said that PR department would have to play proactive role in educating the farmers regarding new varieties of crops, post-harvest technologies and health related issues.

Calling upon the PR professionals to improve liaison with press, Mr. Majithia said that it was the duty of the department to provide timely and objective information to media. To facilitate their liaison with press, the entertainment allowance of all the officers has been doubled and all DPRO offices have been put on net with broadband connection and also mobile phones with CUG facility has been provided to every PRO/APRO. The Minister also decided that proper Media Centre would be created in all major districts for the convenience of local media persons.

Accepting the fact, that PR department was performing a challenging job of communicating the policies of government to the masses despite extremely depleted strength of manpower, Mr. Majithia said that recruitments in the department would be done after 1998 with personal interests of Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister Punjab who has approved recruitment of PRO's, APRO's and supporting staff.

Stressing the need for making optimum utilization of electronic media including All India Radio and FM channels Mr. Majithia said that department should make small communicative jingles keeping in view the greater reach of this media. He said that the department was planning to use all multi-media including Internet Website and overseas Radio and Channels to communicate the message to Punjabis living anywhere in the world.

Speaking on this occasion Mr. D.S. Jaspal, Principal Secretary, Information & Public Relations department said that the department has chalked out a comprehensive training programme for employees of PR department in modern PR technology.

Mr. Tejveer Singh, Director, Public Relations explained above the steps being taken by the department to strengthen field network of the department.



Mr. Tikshan Sud, Forest Minister Punjab announced to that the Punjab Forest Department would host 17th National Forest Games to be held in the Tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula from 3rd to 7th Dec 2008.

On this occasion Forest Minister released the attractive and colorful Mascot for the games named "Ena" which was Sanskrit word for "Black Buck", the State animal of Punjab. He further informed that the Baaz (Falcon) in the Games Logo was the national bird of Punjab state which was associated with Guru Gobind Singh ji who had it perched on his hand. The Baaz was symbolic of sports and was used by Guru ji for hunting, defending the innocent and fighting evil forces.

Briefing the media, the Forest Minister informed that more than 2000 participants and organizers from the Forest Departments and Forestry Institutions from all over India would be participating in these prestigious National Forest Games. He said that 2.5 Crores would be spent on organizing these prestigious games and Rs. 65 lac have been contributed by Punjab Government. The remaining funds would be provided by Union Government and would be raised by public private mode by involving all strata of public these games.

He emphasized the need of such sports meets not only for ensuring physical fitness which was especially relevant for all cadres of the Forest Departments but also in promoting a spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood in the services. The Minister informed that the Games were likely to be inaugurated by the Hon'ble CM Punjab in the Panjab University campus in the presence of many eminent personalities including Central and State Ministers and other distinguished persons from different walks of life. The Minister said that Punjab Forest Department was trying to rope in local sports stars like flying Sikh Milkha Singh, prominent Golf player Jeev Milkha Singh, Kapil Dev and Abhinav Bindra for popularizing these games.

He thanked the VC of the University for extending whole hearted cooperation to the Department for holding this meet in the lush green and open campus which was ideally suited for this purpose.

Mr. B C Bala Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Punjab briefed the media that as many as 121 events would be held in various sports and games disciplines including Athletics, Cricket, Volleyball, Hockey, Football, Basketball, Weight and Power lifting, Badminton, Tennis, Table Tennis, Carom, Golf, Billiards, Snooker, Bridge, Rifle Shooting, Swimming, Kabbadi etc. PCCF appreciated the efforts being put in by the UT Sports Department in deputing the referees, umpires etc for conducting all the Events as per international standards. He further informed that the Opening Ceremony would be a spectacular affair with Cultural and Dance Programs, performances by Military motorcyclists, Tableaus, Fireworks and other displays. The Games would be widely publicized and would attract a large audience of youth and public at large. Besides the Opening and Closing ceremonies, cultural programs, quiz competitions, exhibitions etc would be daily features for attracting the public and generating continuous media attention.

Mr.. H S Gujral, Games Director and Addl Principal Chief Conservator of Forests briefed the media regarding the detailed preparations being made for conducting these prestigious Games in a befitting manner. He informed that all arrangements relating to accommodation, transport, catering, venues, publications, fixtures, schedules etc for this mega event had been practically finalized by the various Departmental committees set up for this purpose. In order to ensure proper coordination between the host State of Punjab and the 41 participating States / Forestry institutions, meetings with the Nodal officers of the contingents were being held regularly and the last such meeting was held on 3rd November in which all important issues were discussed and decided.

The Games Director also informed that in order to organize the Games in a professional manner a leading Event Management firm had been engaged to conduct the Opening and Closing ceremonies, liaison with all contingents and provide other support to the Department for the smooth conduct of the Games.

In response to a query, the Games Director informed that there would be extensive Print and TV coverage for the meet in leading newspapers and the electronic media. In order to reduce the burden on the State exchequer, a Public – People – Participation (PPP) mode was being adopted by the Organizing Committee for raising part of the Games Budget. The Organizing Committee would provide wide publicity to the sponsors through Advertisements in the media and in the Games Souvenir / other Games related publications, hoardings and attractive stalls in the various venues, and excellent coverage in the Press and TV.



Chandigarh, November 5, 2008

Six government agencies and millers procured over 122,71,399 tonnes of paddy on Tuesday .

An official spokesman today said that PUNGRAIN procured 33,80,459 tonnes of paddy (29.8%) whereas MARKFED procured 26,12,780 tonnes of paddy (23.0%). PUNSUP procured 25,51,212 tonnes of paddy (22.5%) whereas Punjab State Warehousing Corporation procured 14,15,967 tonnes of paddy (12.5%) besides 11,88,002 tonnes of paddy (10.5%) procured by Punjab Agro. The Central Government Agency FCI procured only 1,95,409 tonnes of paddy (1.7%). The Millers procured 9,27,570 tonnes of paddy (7.6 %) by Tuesday.

The mandis in Amritsar Division recorded 23,79,685 tonnes of paddy with Jalandhar recording maximum paddy by Tuesday to the tune of 6,44,079 tonnes. The mandis of Ferozepur division maintained their lead by recording 40,83,505 tonnes of paddy with maximum of 11,63,545 tonnes of paddy being recorded by Ferozepur district. Meanwhile procurement in the mandis Patiala division recorded 41,09,501 procurement of paddy with Patiala district recording maximum paddy to the tune of 10,04,697 tonnes.

The spokesman said that lifting of procured paddy from the mandis has started showing positive results with PUNGRAIN (96.9%), MARKFED (91.8%), PUNSUP (95.3%), PSWC (96.6%), PUNJAB AGRO (94.9%) and FCI (98.2%) showing substantial improvement.

Six government agencies have paid over Rs. 7349.81 crores for paddy procured by agencies current Kharif Marketing Season. The spokesman said that farmers of the State are being made payment of paddy procured by the government agencies within 48 hours of lifting of paddy from the procurement centres.

The Punjab Food Supply had setup 1622 procurement centres throughout the state to ensure smooth procurement of paddy.




Daily Punjab press release