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October, 2008


Government committed top priority to provide potable water

Chandigarh October 22

Out of total urban population of the state, 86% was having access to water supply and 59% of urban population was having access to sewerage system.

Disclosing this here today Mr. Baldev Raj Chawla Chairman Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board said that state government was committed and has given top priority to provide potable water and its safe disposal for the 100% population of urban areas.

Mr. Chawla said that Water Supply and Sewerage system was being provided in Amritsar and Ludhiana with the financial aid of government of India under JNNURM. The project of sewerage scheme Ludhiana costing Rs. 241.39 crore for rehabilitation of sewerage system in the walled city of Amritsar has been approved and first instalment and funds have been released. The work of water supply in outer colonies of Amritsar at an estimated cost of Rs. 19.02 crore under JNNURM was under progress against which 28 tubewells, 182 KM of water lines and 20 no. OHSR are to be constructed. For providing sewerage scheme coasting Rs. 550 crore in Amritsar the state government has signed the agreement for financial assistance with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). A sum of Rs. 10 crore for providing water supply to the remaining population of Amritsar and a sum of Rs. 50.78 crore for providing water supply to the remaining population of Ludhiana shall be got funded under JNNURM.

He said water supply for the towns of Majitha, Sunam and Bathinda and sewerage projects for Malout, Zirakpur, Jalandhar, Mukatsar, Pathankot and Sunam have been approved for Rs. 283.25 crore.

To achieve the target of providing water supply and sewerage system to 100% population of all urban local Bodies. The department of Local Government Punjab has also decided to arrange funds of Rs. 500 crore from HUDCO.


Chandigarh, October 22, 2008

: Six government agencies and millers procured over 73,77,980 tonnes of paddy on Tuesday .

An official spokesman today said that PUNGRAIN procured 18,88,350 tonnes of paddy (27.9%) whereas MARKFED procured 15,68,969 tonnes of paddy (23.2%). PUNSUP procured 15,35,711 tonnes of paddy (22.7%) whereas Punjab State Warehousing Corporation procured 8,83,077 tonnes of paddy (13.1%) besides 7,87,425 tonnes of paddy (11.6%) procured by Punjab Agro. The Central Government Agency FCI procured only 1,00,492 tonnes of paddy (1.5 %). The Millers procured 6,13,956 tonnes of paddy (8.3 %) by Tuesday.

The mandis in Amritsar Division recorded 19,87,497 tonnes of paddy with Jalandhar recording maximum paddy by Tuesday to the tune of 5,13,688 tonnes. The mandis of Ferozepur division maintained their lead by recording 32,38,753 tonnes of paddy with maximum of 10,88,037 tonnes of paddy being recorded by Ferozepur district. Meanwhile procurement in the mandis of Patiala division recorded 21,51,730 procurement of paddy with Patiala district recording maximum paddy to the tune of 6,64,611 tonnes.

The spokesman said that lifting of procured paddy from the mandis has started showing positive results with PUNGRAIN (100.9%), MARKFED (91.7%), PUNSUP (95.8%), PSWC (95.2%), PUNJAB AGRO (96.4%) and FCI (111.4%) showing substantial improvement.

Six government agencies have paid over Rs. 4595.59 crores for paddy procured by agencies during first 21 days of current Kharif Marketing Season. A credit cash limit of Rs.12623.62 crore sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of India for the procurement of paddy for the ensuing kharif season by all the state agencies had been received by the state Finance Department.

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.



Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal here today launched a Mobile Information Service for the farmers in the state to provide access to vital information relating to 17 crops/commodities including varieties in 60 Mandis across the state.

Addressing a gathering of farmers here at Hotel Shivalik view, Mr. Badal said that it was opportune time of synergize the strategies of information technology and marketing of agricultural produce to enable the farming community immensely benefited from the volatile market trends. Appreciating the initiative taken by Punjab Mandi Board by signing a MoU with Reuters Market Light RMT Mr. Badal said that it would prove to be a milestone in modernizing the Agri-marketing network of the state.

He also lauded the successful launch of this unique agri-service in Maharashtra that had almost covered nearly 50,000 farmers. Mr. Badal hoped that the farmers of Punjab would certainly get remunerative prices of their produce by making opteim use of this innovative service in terms of timely information regarding the weather, rates of their produce in different Mandis and other information regarding the use of pesticides and diseases through the SMS service of this company.

Earlier, on behalf of the Punjab Government, the Secretary Mandi Board Mr. Dipinder Singh and Managing Director of RML Amit Mehra had signed a memorandum of understanding according to which the Punjab Mandi Board would provide all information in puts regarding crops and their rates in different Mandis to RML and RML would further share this information with its subscribers through mobile phone SMS service. Regarding the weather information even at Tehsil level RML was hiring the services of US based weather forecast companies to collect information regarding weather.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Chairman Punjab Mandi Board Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Agriculture Sher Singh Ghubaiya and Financial Commissioner Development RS Sandhu.



The Punjab Cabinet in its meeting held here under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today adopted a unanimous condolence resolution to express heart felt sympathies with the members of the bereaved families of late Commissioner NRI Affairs and Secretary Science & Technology Mr. AS Chhatwal and late ADC Tarn Taran Mr. Kirpal Singh who left for their heavenly abode and prayed to the Almighty to give strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss and grant peace to the departed souls.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Punjab Government said that the Cabinet described both these officers as an asset to the state government who by their sense of commitment, sincerity and dedication tirelessly worked for the development of the state and welfare of its people. The Cabinet desired that the condolence resolution adopted to this effect should be conveyed to the members of the bereaved families. A 2-minute silence was also observed by the Cabinet to pay tributes to the departed souls.

The Cabinet also approved in principle to establish the Indian School of Business (ISB) at SAS Nagar Mohali and granted clearance for leasing out 70 acres of land in knowledge city sector 81, Mohali to ISB and four founder supporter institutions viz. Bharti Institute of Public Policy & Administration, Hero Institute of manufacturing Science, Max India Institute of Healthcare management and Punj Lloyd Institute of Physical Infrastructure Management for a period of 99 years at Rs.1 per acre per annum for establishing the second campus of ISB Mohali along with above mentioned four institutions.

The Cabinet also reviewed the arrangements for the procurement of paddy during Kharif season 2008-09 and expressed satisfaction over the smooth lifting of paddy so far. As many as 1622 purchase centers had been notified by the Punjab Mandi Board for the procurement. A credit cash limit of Rs.12623.62 crore sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of India for the procurement of paddy for the ensuing kharif season by all the state agencies had been received by the state Finance Department.

The cabinet also approved to grant exemption from VAT to the tune of Rs. 2.87 crore on purchase of material being used for construction of Kuka Martyrs Memorial at Malerkotla.

The Cabinet also approved to transfer of 1.25 acre of land belonging of the department of Animal Husbandry in Tripari Patiala to the Pepsu Township Development Board, Rajpura for the construction of marriage palace in the public interest at the collector of Rs.4050 per sq. yard and the total price of the land involved was approximately Rs.2,45,02,500/-.

The Cabinet also gave nod to the conversion of the existing 'The Punjab Preservation of Sub-Soil Water Ordinance, 2008, into the 'Punjab Preservation of Sub-Soil Water Act, 2008 with the carrying out relevant amendments.

The Cabinet also gave approval for amending the Punjab Package Deal Properties (Disposal) Rules, 1976 and Section 3(11) and Sector 20(4) of the Punjab Agricultural produce Markets Act, 1961 for issuing an ordinance for conversion into an Act.

The Cabinet also approved the sale of the site No.3 and 6 measuring 3.40 acres and 1.87 acres of Dr. Vidya Sagar Mental Hospital at Amritsar under OUVGL Scheme for the Hotel site through Private Public Partnership mode on Revenue sharing Scheme basis instead of Open auction system.


Chandigarh, October 21, 2008

Punjab Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal has urged the officers of the Finance Department Punjab not to accept any presents and gifts from the public or from their subordinates during the ongoing Diwali days..

This was communicated to the officers right from top to bottom through an office order issued here today. Mr. Badal reiterated his government's strong resolve to give transparent and corruption free governance to the people of Punjab.

Seeking the cooperation of all in this regard, he also said that strict compliance in this regard was required and strict administrative action against erring officials/officers would be initiated as per rules.



CHANDIGARH, October 21, 2008

The Irrigation Department, Punjab has announced the Rotational irrigation Programme for the Rabi Season through Canal water from 20 October to 27 October, 2008. The channels of Sirhind Canal System would run on priority basis from Patiala feeder, Abohar Branch, Bhatinda Branch, Bist Doab Canal and Sidhwan Branch 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. Sabraon Branch with its distributaries being in first Preference would run to their indent. Balance Surplus water available would be utilised in Kasur Branch Lower, Main Branch Lower, Lahore Branch and with its distributaries respectively.



Chandigarh, October 21, 2008

Thousands bid a tearful adieu as Punjab IAS officer AS Chhatwal's body was today cremated at Sector 25 Crematorium at Chandigarh. The cremation was attended by a large number of political and administrative functionaries of Punjab and Haryana.

Wreaths were laid on behalf of Punjab Governor Gen. SF Rodrigues (Retd.) and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Among the prominent who laid wreaths were Information & Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Health Minister Smt. Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh, President of Punjab State IAS Officers Association Tejinder Kaur, Principal Secretary to CM DS Guru and Advisor to CM DS Cheema.

In a condolence message, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal expressed deep shock at the unfortunate death of AS Chhatwal. Describing the deceased as "an honest, bright and effective officer", he stated that in his death Punjab had lost one of its best civil servants. He joined others in conveying his heartfelt condolence to the deceased's family and prayed to the Almighty to grant liberation to his departed soul.

Information & Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who also holds the portfolio of Science & Technology, remembered AS Chhatwal as "an outstanding and honest officer whom I had specially chosen to head the Science and Technology Department". SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal and MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa also expressed their deep sorrow at the death of Mr. Chhatwal and described it as a "personal loss".

Punjab Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh described Chhatwal as "an amiable person and an outstanding officer". His tragic demise is a loss to the entire Punjab Government as well as the fraternity of civil service, Singh added.

The Punjab State IAS Officers Association held an emergency condolence meeting this afternoon to mourn the death of AS Chhatwal. Expressing "profound sorrow and shock" in a resolution passed in the meeting, Association President Tejinder Kaur described Chhatwal as "an outstanding officer, warm and spirited person and, above all, a dear friend to all. His passing away is an irreparable loss to the Cadre as well as to the State".




Daily Punjab press release