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Decks were cleared today for the execution of prestigious International Airport at Mohali with signing of a Joint Venture Agreement for the formation of JV Company known as ‘Chandigarh International Airport Pvt. Ltd.’ for undertaking the project amongst the Airports Authority of India (AAI) Government of India, Government of Punjab through Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) and Government of Haryana through Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) at Ministry of Civil Aviation Headquarters, New Delhi.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Punjab government said that Chairman AAI Mr. VP Agrawal, Chief Administrator GMADA Mr.VP Singh and Chief Administrator HUDA Mr. TC Gupta signed the JV Agreement on behalf of Government of India, Punjab and Haryana governments.

It may be recalled that this prestigious project to be developed over an area of over 300 acres of land at village Jheourheri in SAS Nagar Mohali is an outcome of the strenuous efforts of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed amongst the above mentioned three parties on January 4, 2009 for the development of International Airport, Mohali with 51% of equity share of Government of India and 24.5% each of Punjab and Haryana governments.

A non official resolution was passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha regarding the naming of this airport as Shaheed-E-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh International Airport, which has been forwarded to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India. The Chief Minister has also personally taken up this matter with the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Union Minister of Civil Aviation Mr. Praful Patel separately and their response was still awaited, the spokesman added.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Secretary Civil Aviation, GoI Mr. MM Nambiar, Joint Secretary Civil Aviation, GoI Mr. Alok Sinha, Secretary Civil Aviation Punjab Mr.Viswajit Khanna, Secretary Housing & Urban Development Punjab Mr.Arun Goel, CA GMADA Mr. VP Singh, Advisor Civil Aviation Punjab Capt. Abhay Chandra, Financial Commissioner & Principal Secretary Town & Country Planning Haryana Mr. DS Dhesi, CA HUDA Mr. TC Gupta, Advisor Civil Aviation Haryana Mr. AM Sharan, Chief Controller Finance HUDA Mr. FC Kansal and Member Finance AAI Mr. SC Chhatwal.



On the assurance of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal to clear the backlog of vacant posts reserved for blind persons in all the Departments/Boards/Corporations and Universities in the state within three months, the Punjab Branch of National Federation of the Blind (NFB) today decided to withdraw their 16 months old strike in the state with immediate effect.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Mr. Badal with the deputation led by its president of NFB Mr. Santosh Kumar Rungta here at Chief Minister's residence this evening.
Responding to the demands of the Punjab Branch of NFB, Mr. Badal directed the State Chief Secretary to constitute a committee to monitor and update the list of identified jobs for the persons with disability in accordance with section-32 of the Disability Act and to adopt the list of identified jobs notified by the GoI. He also asked him to review the various posts reserved for blind persons in all the departments and convene a meeting of the registrars of all the universities to fill up these vacancies there.

The Chief Minister also agreed to the proposal put forth by Mr. Rungta that the 1% backlog for the blind would be made against the total cadre strength of department/establishment in the light of the decision of High Court of Delhi rendered in Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filled by NFB. Mr. Badal also asked the Chief Administrator GAMADA to find a suitable site to NFB to open training cum production centre where the uneducated blind persons would be given training in different vocations to be gainfully employed with an objective to earn their livelihood and to make them stand on their feet.
Taking up other issues for the welfare of blind persons, General Secretary of the Punjab Branch of NFB Mr. Rajesh Mohan urged the Chief Minister to enhance the conveyance allowance for the state government blind employees from Rs. 250 to Rs. 450 per month as recommended by Fifth Punjab Pay Commission.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rungtha thanked the Chief Minister for taking timely and positively decision with regard to implementation of recruitment of persons of visual impairment. He termed this decision as a revolutionary step for the protection of the rights of blind persons. This decision would make Punjab the first state in India to employ all the employable persons in three months, he added.

The meeting was attended by Social Welfare Minister Ch. Swarna Ram, Chief Secretary Mr. S.C Agarwal, Principal Secretary Social Welfare Mandeep Singh, Principal Secretary Transport Mr. D.S. Jaspal, and Secretary Education G.S. Sandhu.

The deputation consisted of other members ; Ram Murty, Secretary Sham Sunder, Sports Secretary Gurpreet Singh, General Secretary Haryana NFB Jage Ram and convener of the NFB Anmol Gupta.


Chandigarh, September 18

A delegation of the Punjab State Employees Union under the leadership of Hari Singh Tohra today met Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa PWD ( B&R) Minister Punjab and apprised him of their long pending demands in various sections of PWD (B&R), department.

Mr. Dhindsa assured them that their grievances would be sympathetically considered and redressed at the earliest. The Minister also assured them that the jobs on compassionate grounds to the kin of the deceased would be given on priority basis to class III and Class IV in the department. Regarding the regularization in the service for the employees on work charge and daily wages, the Minister said that 35 work charge employees would be regularized with immediate effect.

While remaining cases would be taken up shortly. Cleaners of the department would be promoted as drivers on the basis of their seniorities. All the posts of junior engineers lying vacant, would be filled on the basis of the departmental test. Class III clerks, work mechanic, workmunshi, motormate, inspector would be named as supervisors. The Minister also directed Principal Secretary Mr. Kulbir Singh and Chief Engineer Mr. G.S.Sahi, to immediately take up and solve the long pending cases of the employees of the department in a stipulated time frame. Special attention should be paid to the cases of the retired officers/employees of the department, said Mr. Dhindsa.


Chandigath, September 18

A special campaign has been launched in Punjab for ensuring effective implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and to make the implementing agencies accountable in this regard. This was stated by the Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Punjab S. Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, here today.

S. Brahmpura said 5.24 lakh job cards have already been issued to the families in rural areas under NREGA in the state. The Central government had made a provisional allotment of Rs 172 crore to Punjab for the current financial year, of which the first instalment of Rs 85.20 crore had been received so far. Sixty per cent of the amount would be spent on the wages of the workers and the remaining 40 per cent on material, he said.

He accepted that a majority of the officials concerned and members of PRIs, who were implementing NREGA at the village level, were not fully aware of the scheme. They were being educated about the scheme by organizing special camps, seminars and workshops including films, powerpoint presentations etc. at District, Subdivision and Block level so that they could effectively implement it to produce the desired results, he said.

"The main purpose of the training was to share the best practices in NREGA, identify issues and to devise strategies to improve its proper implementation. In this regard, training and capacity building was needed for all stakeholders, most importantly, for the rural labourers, small/marginal farmers, women and other weaker sections in order to prepare and equip them to derive full benefits of NREGA" said S. Brahmpura.

The Rural Development Minister added that under the NREGA, the Panchayats were required to prepare perspective plans that involve extensive mapping of village resources and identifying their uses and improvement. Every year, the Panchayats were supposed to make an annual plan also to identify works that could be taken up for local resource improvement, he said.

He added that this programme was primarily aimed at employment generation and infrastructure development. NREGA has resulted in increased wage employment, enhanced wage earnings, improved equity with significant benefits flowing to SC/ST and women, he said.



The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) – the nodal agency for the development of infrastructure in Punjab has blacklisted the Mumbai based M/s Akruti City Limited from participating in tenders of the State Government projects to be floated by PIDB for a period of 5 years, on account of the malpractices adopted by them while participating in the bidding processes in respect of the development of Bus Terminals at Mohali and Bathinda on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the Managing Director of PIDB Dr.Sukhbir Singh Sandhu after due consideration of the submissions of the company and hearing them personally, issued a well reasoned and detailed order whereby he observed that it would not be in the interest of the public to allow the M/s Akruti City Limited to participate in the tenders to be floated by PIDB. The act and conduct of M/s Akruti City Limited of first submitting their bids and subsequently withdrawing the same had caused considerable loss to the State and set back to the developmental actions of PIDB as the whole process of providing state-of-the-art bus terminals-cum-commercial complexes at Mohali and Bathinda were set back by more than eight months and the public remained deprived of availing the services of these public utility projects.

Managing Director PIDB also observed that the company had not expressed any remorse for its conduct and was even unable to justify its actions due to any financial constraints or any other unwarranted circumstances that might have prevented M/s Akruti City Limited from honoring their obligations, added Mr. Sandhu.


Chandigarh 18, September 2009:

A blood donation camp was organized at Doaba Institute of Engineering and Technology (DIET), Kharar in Collaboration with Government Multi-Specialty Hospital Sector–16 Chandigarh. Principal of the local Guru Nanak Public School Ms. Gurnam Kaur was the Chief Guest. The camp was inaugurated by Mrs. Inderpal Bains wife of Media Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Harcharan Bains.

According to In-charge of blood bank Dr. Saroj Aggarwal 102 units of blood were collected in the camp.
Speaking on the occasion Director of the Doaba Institute of Engineering and Technology Mr. Manjit Singh appealed to the voluntary, social and non government organizations to come forward in support of such philanthropic causes. He said that the Doaba Group of Educational Institutions was already actively involved in such noble ventures to promote various social causes and uplift of un-privileged sections of the society.

Appreciating the role of city based NGO – Sahayta Charitable Society for launching a vigorous campaign to provide free treatment and care to the poor patients inflicted with cancer, Mr. Manjit Singh also urged such similar NGOs to play a pro-active role to redeem the suffering humanity.



The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today extended his warm greetings to the people of the state on the eve of auspicious occasion of ‘Agrasen Jayanti’.

In a message, Mr. Badal called upon the people to draw inspiration from the teachings of Maharaja Agrasen who spread the message of peace, communal harmony, compassion and brotherhood. The Chief Minister further said, “A real tribute to Maharaja Agrasen would be to follow his teachings, still relevant in the present materialistic society.”
He appealed to the people to commemorate this sacred day in unison rising above the parochial considerations of caste, colour, creed and religion.


progress of ongoing development works to be timely supervised
online without visiting the actual sites

Rupnagar September 18: To ensure effective and centralised supervision of various development works, district administration today launched India's first ever District Scheme Monitoring System (DSMS) in the Rupnagar district.
While launching the DSMS, Rupnagar Deputy Commissioner Mr. Priyank Bharti said that the system would work as "eyes & ears" for the district administration to regularly monitor the progress of development works/schemes which were being executed by various agencies in the district.

"In order to evaluate the progress of each work on monthly basis, the entire works would be computerized and monthly details like work location (block and village), work name, estimated cost of work, work starting date, tentative work completion date, the progress details expenditures, percentage of work completed and photographs showing actual progress of works would be stored in the system" he said.

Giving details Mr Bharti added that the schemes which would be monitored through the DSMS include central as well as state sponsored schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), Rojgar Yojna (RY), Indira Awas Yojna (IAY), NREGA, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA), Atta-Dal scheme, Old age pensions scheme, NABARD plans, Rural and Urban development schemes etc.

He informed that the district administration has got developed the unique software for the DSMS from National Informatics Centre (NIC) Punjab. Adding further he said that it took seven months to develop this software.
Deputy Commissioner said that district Rupnagar had been taken as pilot site for implementation of the DSMS and after its successful implementation in Rupnagar, this scheme would be launched in other districts also. This DSMS data would be put on official website of Rupnagar within the next three months, he assured.

Deputy Commissioner personally gave the presentation to heads of various departments to make them aware about the finer points of the DSMS and explained the various steps to upload the required data and photographs into the software installed at his office. This system would be helpful in timely monitoring of progress of ongoing projects/schemes in remote areas by the district administration without visiting the actual sites of development works, he said.

Among other Mr Manashvi Kumar Additional Deputy Commissioner (Dev.), Mrs. Anandita Mishra, Mr. APS Sandhu and Lakhmir Singh (all SDMs), Ms. Rupanjali Assistant Commissioner (UT), Mr. Kiranbir Singh Maan Assistant Commissioner and DTO, Mr. Sanjiv Garg DDPO, Mrs. Hravinder Kaur Brar AETC and other district officers were also present on the occasion.



The Punjab Government has decided to extend the last date of general transfers to September 30 from the earlier date of August 31, 2009.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Chief Minister’s Office said that a decision to this effect was taken by the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal. He has directed the state Chief Secretary to issue necessary instructions in this regard.



The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today directed the Chairman Punjab State Electricity Board to immediately provide a hot line to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar presently being run from the local Polytechnic College as a make shift arrangement to ensure congenial academic atmosphere.

An assurance to this effect was given to the Director Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar Prof. MK Surappa who called on him at Chief Minister’s residence this morning.

Taking up the functional problems with the Chief Minister, Prof. Surappa urged Mr. Badal to immediately hand over the possession of remaining 100 acres of land out of 500 acres to the institute so that work for the construction of compound wall could be taken up on priority. He also raised the issue of early completion of the four laning of Ropar-Kurali Road and the flyover so that students and faculty members could have hassle free access to the existing IIT complex at polytechnic college. He also impressed upon the Chief Minister to direct the PWD (B&R) department for the construction of roads around the upcoming IIT campus to enable movement of trucks and heavy machinery involved in the construction activity.
Expressing gratitude to the Chief Minister of state government’s fulsome support and cooperation, Director IIT assured Mr.Badal that it was his endeavour and passion to make IIT Ropar as one of the best IITs in the country. He informed Mr. Badal 60 to 70 percent students admitted in IIT Ropar were from Punjab.

Mr. Badal assured him that he would soon convene a special meeting of the concerned officers to resolve all these issues relating to upgradation of infrastructure and personally meet Union Railways Minister Ms.Mamata Banerjee to seek her intervention for the expansion and modernization of local railway station as it had now only one platform which caused a lot of harassment to the commuters in general and especially the students and faculty members who had to often visit Delhi and other parts of the country.

The Director was accompanied by Registrar Mr. A Palanivel and Dean Academic & Research Mr.BK Dhindaw. Advisor to Chief Minister Dr.Daljit Singh Cheema and Chairman Improvement Trust Ropar Dr.RS Parmar also attended the meeting.


Chandigarh, September 17

Launching the austerity measures in the State the Punjab Government today decided to lower the vehicle category entitlement for Officers including Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries, Financial Commissioners, Administrative Secretaries and Heads of Departments keeping in view the financial position of the State.

Motor Vehicle Board that met under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Mr. S.C. Agrawal, here today, decided to lower the vehicle category entitlement for officers of every level. An official spokesman giving the details of decision taken in the Board said that Chief Secretary, who was earlier entitled for Toyota Camary vehicle would now be given Toyota Corolla vehicle. Principal Secretaries/Financial Commissioners in the rank of Chief Secretary were earlier entitled for Toyota Corolla vehicle. Other officers including Principal Secretaries/Financial Commissioners not in the rank of Chief Secretary besides Administrative Secretaries were entitled for Honda City or Maruti SX4 vehicles. According to the decision taken in the Board today, all officers including Principal Secretaries, Financial Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries would now be entitled for Honda City or Maruti SX-4.

The spokesman added that the Heads of the Departments who were earlier entitled for Ambassador Car would now be given choice to choose between Ambassador or Swift DeZire (diesel) or Tata Indigo (diesel). The spokesman clarified that the Petrol, Oil and Lubricant (POL) expenses on Ambassador were high because of petrol engine besides low mileage of 9 Km. per liter. He said that Swift DeZire (diesel) or Tata Indigo (diesel) besides having diesel engine would give over 15 Km mileage per liter.

Prominent amongst other who attended the meeting included Mr. D.S. Guru, Principal Secretary to CM, Mr. D.S.Jaspal, Principal Secretary Transport, Mr. A.R.Talwar, Principal Secretary Home, Mr. Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary Finance, Mr. M.S.Sandhu, Secretary Printing & Stationary, Mr.Anirudh Tiwari, Secretary Expenditure and Mr. R.Venkatratnam, State Transport Commissioner.


Chandigarh, September 17

A delegation of Aarhtia Association Punjab (Regd.) led by its President Mr. Ravinder Singh Cheema today called on Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal regarding their demands.

Mr. Badal gave them a patient hearing and assured them that the state government was committed to further strengthen the age old ties of Aarhtias and farmers as both were playing a significant role in the development of state. He said that he would direct Secretary, Food and Civil Supply and Secretary, Punjab Mandi Board for doing needful for the Aarhtias fraternity after looking into the issues raised by the Aarhtia Association.

Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa, PWD (B&R) Minister Punjab was also present on the occasion.

Rs.25 crore for the up gradation of the infrastructure
of existing focal point in Punjab-Kalia


Punjab Government has planned to incur Rs.25 crore for the up gradation of the infrastructure of existing focal point in Punjab in this financial year. While disclosing this here today Mr. Manoranjan Kalia, Industry, Commerce and Local Government Minister, Punjab said that Punjab Government was committed the development of Industrial Infrastructure which remained neglected by the previous congress government.

Industry Minister said that Punjab Government now strenuous efforts were being made for the maintenance and up gradation of the infrastructure. He said that Punjab Government had already started the process of up gradation of infrastructure facilities at different focal points at Jalandhar with a total cost of Rs.12.35 crore as under so that all the four focal points in Jalandhar shall be fully renovated/upgraded.

Mr. Kalia further said that work on industrial focal point old & expansion, leather complex roads, Industrial Focal point old & expansion of sewerage system and industrial focal point old and expansion, leather complex, sports & surgical goods complex for providing water & installation of tubewells.

He further said that State government had been submitted the proposal for development of 22 clusters for micro, small and medium industry to Government of India for approval out which 13 had already been approved.


Chandigarh September 17

The Punjab government would set up 108 Adarsh Schools under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode to impart free and quality education to the brilliant and economically poor rural students in all the districts and has received two dozen proposals from different 11 private partners for the allotment of Adarsh School sites.

Disclosing this here today Dr Upinderjit Kaur Education Minister Punjab Said that Punjab Education Development Board (PEDB) has openly invited applications from interested private partners to set up Adarsh Schools in the State. In this response, 11 private partners has applied for allotment of Adarsh School sites and PEDB has finalized and approved 15 sites to five private partners to setup these modern and fully equipped educational institutions in the state, she said.
The minister said that these Adarsh schools would impart study from pre-nursery to 10+2 classes and to be equipped with the necessary infrastructure where no fee and funds etc. whatsoever, would be charged from the rural students. The department has already been running 9 Adarsh schools in the state. The Punjab government’s emphasis was to impart quality school education for the poor meritorious and brilliant students to enable them to provide equal opportunities of education at par with their counterparts in urban areas, she said.

Giving details she further added that Bharti Enterprises Ltd. has been allotted six sites at Chogawan and Fattubilla in Amritsar distt, Jhorran, Sherpur Kalan and Rauni in Ludhiana and Jhaneri in Sangrur distt. Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. would open four schools at Khilchian, Luharka Kalan and Bandala in Amritsar distt and Johlan Kalan in SAS Nagar distt. whereas Chief Khalsa Diwan Amritsar would open three schools at Ucha in Kapurthala, Dhandra ( Ludhiana ) and Naushehra Pannuan (Tarn Taran). Besides this, Career Launcher India Ltd. would open a school at Agampur and Educomp New Delhi at Kalewal in Rupnagar distt, Upinderjit Kaur said.

"In addition the Punjab School Education Board SAS Nagar was allotted a site at village Raniwala in District Muktsar as per terms and conditions of the PEDB. Other applications under PPP mode were being processed for further necessary action", said the minister.

Adding further she said that the PEDB would provide 10-15 acre land on 99 years lease basis which would be renewable thereafter with mutual consent of both the parties. She further added that the operational cost of an Adarsh School upto about 1000 students would be shared on 70:30 basis normative between the Board and private partner.

She said that the capital cost towards construction of school buildings would be from Rs. 4.00 to 5.00 crore approximately and it would be shared on 50:50 basis by the PEDB and the private partner. The minister apprised that the monthly receipt of the education cess received by the PEDB was approximately Rs.2.5 crores per month collected on sale of liquor. The PEDB is having Rs.32.80 crores as Fixed Deposits, she said.

Rs.22.76 crore for the development of various tourism destinations in the state-Garbria


Various Development Projects with the cost of Rs.22.76 crore have been sanctioned to promote the tourism in Punjab as historical, religious, cultural and heritage destinations. Mr. Heera Singh Gabria Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Punjab while disclosing this here today said that Rs.785 lac had been sanctioned for integrated development of freedom trail. Nabha Town, Malerkotla Town, Kuka Memorial, Alival, Jaito Town, Jagraon, Ferozeshah, Mishriwal, Murki, Sabraho and Ferozepur city has been included in these circuits where the work of installing signage board was going on. The work has been allotted for Nabha, Malerkotla and Jaito.

Giving more details, the minister informed that Rs.800 lac had been sanctioned for the integrated development of pilgrim circuits. Kiratpur, Fatehgarh, Sirhind, Muktsar, Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal, Khadoor Sahib, Baba Bakala, Sri Hargobindpur, Dera Baba Nanak, Batala, Amritsar and for environmental upgradation of Dargah masania (Gurdaspur) and Bhandari Temple and Church complex Batala have also been included in these circuits where the work of installing signage board was going on. Rs.75 lac have been released by PWD ( B & R) Department for Sirhind and Fatehgarh Cities to promote the tourism destinations.

\ He further said that Rs.361 and Rs. 331 lac had been sanctioned for integrated development of Kapurthala and Roop Nagar cities respectively as tourist destination. Ninety percent work on these destinations have been completed and remaining work would be completed by March, 2010, he added.



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