Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2020


KARTARPUR SAHIB CORRIDOR
DGP Gupta’s Statement Reeks Of Bias Against The Sikh Community
23.02.20 - AMANDEEP SANDHU
DGP Gupta’s Statement Reeks Of Bias Against The Sikh Community




The statement comes just when the UN Secretary-General called Kartarpur ‘a corridor of hope’.

It is very unfortunate and damaging that the Panjab DGP Dinkar Gupta has issued a statement carried by The Indian Express, Chandigarh, February 22 and printed as such in broadsheet.

In the evening, the story was updated, headline was changed,to say a much tamer: 'Kartarpur Corridor a security challenge.'

When I saw this headline last morning, I did not easily believe it. These days one has to be very careful with news so I averred the statement could be media mischief. After all I reasoned, unlike fast and furious world of social media, a person holding such a responsible position could not casually demonize the Sikhs once again.

I checked the news. The head of Panjab Police has indeed made this statement and gone on to justify it. For those uninitiated, there is a context here. 

We are familiar with the famous hug between Indian politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and Pakistan General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the swearing in of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in August 2018. We are familiar with how the Indian media howled ‘conspiracy, terrorism’ when Pakistan mooted the 4 kilometre corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Indian territory to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan territory. The chief minister of Panjab, Captain Amarinder Singh had also joined the naysayer chorus. 

Kartarpur Sahib is Guru Nanak's final karam bhoomi where he practised natural farming for 17 years and his final resting place. The opening of the corridor has huge spiritual and emotional resonance for the Sikhs, the Nanakpanthis, and anyone who believes in the life and teachings of Guru Nanak. Last year in November, in the 550th year of Guru Nanak, the naysayers were finally silenced and the India and Pakistan inaugurated the corridor. 

Until January 31st, in three months, the total number of pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib stand at 44,951 people.One of the chief reasons is that the governments mandate that only passport holders can travel. Per latest data only about 6% of Indian citizens have a passport. There is also a rule that one can only apply through the Internet. There is a waiting and vetting period of 15 days. The application comes to the local police station and intelligence agencies have to approve.
That is why, unlike how pilgrims in Panjab travel to local important Gurdwaras – from villages in tractor trollies, packed in chotta hathi (a small truck), and on personal vehicles - the numbers of who can apply for the Kartarpur Sahib visit is really small. That is why both India and Pakistan governments are currently mulling that the condition mandating a passport be waived.Gupta's deeply problematic statement nullifies this proposal.

The statement comes at a time when five days back the UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated in a tweet: ‘I was honoured to visit Pakistan’s newly opened Kartarpur Corridor - a corridor of hope, connecting two key Sikh pilgrimage sites. This is a welcome symbol of interfaith harmony.’

We need to note here that Captain Amarinder appointed the 1987 batch IPS officer Gupta by superseding five senior officers. Those officers are right now in the court against Gupta. Just a few weeks back the Punjab and Haryana high court stayed the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order that quashed the appointment of Dinkar Gupta as the Panjab police chief. The hearings in that case are on and it is at this time Gupta has chosen to raise the bogey of security and vilification of the Sikh community.

Gupta harks back to the times – 1980s and 1990s - when the Indian state viewed all Sikhs as traitors and terrorists. In the context of the Hindutva agenda of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra, considering that the original vilification of Sikhs was a Congress agenda, Gupta deals a severe blow to the perception of Sikhs. By doing so, he is joining the voice of Delhi-based Hindutva naysayers of the corridor.
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This is a very reductive and a very shameful statement by a man tasked to maintain law and order in Panjab. It is damaging not only for the Sikh community and the believers in Guru Nanak but also to the prospects of peace in South Asia which is where the Kartarpur Corridor holds up a shining beacon. 

Last evening, there was a rushed clarification from the Information and Public Relations Department of the government of Panjab. Yet, even there the emphasis is on vigilance and the familiar attribution to media of misquoting DGP Gupta. 

I believe, Gupta’s taking back the statement or regretting making the statement won't serve any purpose.Gupta’s bias remains and shows how the Sikh aspirations remain an expendable quantity in the national discourse and are abused in the fight for the DGP’s chair in Panjab.

Amandeep Sandhu is the author of Panjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines
 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

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_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






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DINKAR GUPTA'S STATEMENT ON KARTARPUR SAHIB CORRIDOR
‘Punjab DGP must be removed & arrested forthwith for his hate speech made against Sikh community’
22.02.20 - Bir Devinder Singh*
‘Punjab DGP must be removed & arrested forthwith for his hate speech made against Sikh community’



The hypothesis set forth by Dinkar Gupta DGP, Punjab through assumed arguments while speaking at The Indian Express Idea Exchange in Panchkula yesterday, is an atrocious assault on the dignity of the Sikh community as a whole.  

It is thoroughly outrageous that the fake and imaginary antecedents of uncertain propositions were used by him with a definite design to construct a narrative to vilify the minority Sikh Community. 

In a way he tried to build strong arguments as a ‘pilot design’ to eventually shut the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, as being enunciated by 'Doval's Secret Doctrine' who rabidly opposes the very idea of Kartarpur Corridor. 

The earlier outburst of the Chief Minister, Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh against the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, also manifested the same design. Now it’s the turn of his DGP Dinkar Gupta, who made a maleficent attempt to brand the entire minority Sikh community as potential terrorists, all through his assumptive hate speech to buttress anti-Sikh premise. The narrative fits in the pattern of anti-minority sentiments being fueled by a specified group of phenomena, which is ruling the country.  
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The anti Sikh mindset of the internal security apparatus and personally of the DGP can clearly be measured from his categorical statement in Idea exchange pondering, at Panchkula. It’s rather condescending when he inexcusably discloses himself that he was part of the recent hyperbola creepy deliberations against the very idea of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor in Delhi.  

The Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has earlier sent a copy of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to Sukhbir Singh Badal, but now his own DGP is following the footsteps of Hitler by fuelling hatred against the Sikh minority. I am afraid that the CM may have borrowed the Hitler’s Mein Kampf from Dinkar Gupta’s often consulted personal chronicles. 

Unfortunately the hate speech has come from a DGP who has been appointed in contravention of the set procedures of the law and also in brazen violation of the rule book. The ‘Hate Speech’ delivered by Mr. Dinkar Gupta DGP, Punjab from the  public platform amounts to spread hatred and disaffection against the Sikh community and also against the  Religious Sikh Shrine Sri Kartarpur Sahib,  which happens to be,  one of the most  worshiped sacred shrine of the Sikh faith. 
 
Therefore Dinkar Gupta’s invective ridden hate speech must be immediately treated in accordance with law and he must be removed as DGP, followed by suspension forthwith and a criminal case be registered against him under Section 153(A) of the Indian Penal Code for delivering the hate speech against the Sikh community by painting and suspecting the dignity of each and every Sikh pilgrims who visits Kartarpur Sahib Shrine, as potential terrorist.  
As this conspiracy to shut Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is now out, with the hate filled utterances by Punjab DGP, The Congress Party should also explain to the people of Punjab in general and the Sikh Community in particular, that how do they justify the ‘Hate Statement’ targeting a minority Sikh community by the DGP  of a Congress ruled sensitive  Border State?
 
 

(*The author is a former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, and a politician celebrated for his grasp on legislative affairs.)

 

 


 
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Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

Amarinder govt’s nefarious plan to steal Shamlat Lands will spell death knell of Punjab

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






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BEHBAL KALAN & BARGARI CASES
SC rejects CBI plea: Amarinder informs Assembly & assures through probe by state
20.02.20 - Team PT
SC rejects CBI plea: Amarinder informs Assembly & assures through probe by state



Disclosing that the Supreme Court had vindicated the state government’s stand by rejecting the CBI plea seeking permission to probe the cases, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday assured the Assembly that the SIT investigation into the Behbal Kalan and Bargari cases would be taken to its logical conclusion.

In a major legal victory for the state government, the Supreme Court had on Thursday morning allowed the state to carry on its investigations into the sacrilege cases and the subsequent police firing in these cases, which were handed over to the CBI by the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime. In view of the CBI’s failure to complete the probe in the cases, the Captain Amarinder government had announced in the House earlier that the cases would be taken back from the central agency and would be investigated by the state government.

During the hearing in the apex court, a division bench of Justice Rohington Nariman and Ravindra Bhatt dismissed the CBI case, rejecting the arguments of their advocate Aman Lekhi on the ground that instead of the 90 days given to the agency to file the SLP, it had taken 257 days to make its submission. The judge also rejected Lekhi’s argument that the CBI team had a problem on the legal issue as it would form precedent, and not on the investigation being transferred. 

The judge then ordered dismissal of the SLP on the ground of delay, while keeping the question of law open. Incidentally, the question of law, whether section 21 of General Clauses Act applies to Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, was earlier left open in the cases of Kazi Lendum Dorji and R. Chadrashekhar as well, Atul Nanda said, giving details of the proceedings in the apex court.

Given this, the act of reverting the investigation to the State Police from CBI has now attained finality and no further fetter remains on the SIT to investigate the same, said Nanda.
As per the judgements in Dorji and Chandrashekhar, once investigation is transferred to CBI it cannot be withdrawn. Those cases were decided on their own facts, but the question of whether the state legislature has the power to take back an investigation from CBI, in terms of general clauses act, was left open.

The prosecution’s case was that the three FIRs in the sacrilege cases were initially registered by the Punjab Police but the investigation was later handed over by the State of Punjab to CBI, which re-registered the cases as RC No. 13(S)/2015/SC-III/ND dated 13.11.2015, RC No.14(S)/2015/SC-III/ND dated 13.11.2015 and RC No.15(S)/2015lSC-III/ND dated 13.11.2015 respectively. It was submitted that since the CBI had filed a joint Closure Report in the above said three cases, the State of Punjab requires the certified copy of joint report along with the copies of documents attached thereto for its official use.

It was further submitted by the prosecution that only the investigation was transferred and CBI had been informing the stage of investigation to the State of Punjab from time to time. Further, the prosecution argued that later on, a resolution was passed by the Punjab Legislative Assembly vide which the investigation was taken back from the CBI and accordingly, on 06.09.2018, a notification was issued by the State of Punjab, withdrawing the consent to the CBI to investigate the case. The said resolution and the notification were challenged in the High Court, which, vide judgment reported as 2019(2) RCR Criminal, Page 165, upheld the notification. The CBI did not file any SLP and thus, after the withdrawal of the consent, the State had full right to investigate the cases, it was argued for the state.

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

 


 





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POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS
Collapse of the Power Sector in Punjab: SAD (Taksali) demands commission of inquiry headed by a sitting High Court judge
19.02.20 - Team PT
Collapse of the Power Sector in Punjab: SAD (Taksali) demands commission of inquiry headed by a sitting High Court judge



Punjab government should appoint a commission of inquiry headed by the sitting Judge of the high court or the retired Judge of the Supreme Court to probe all the murky deals of the Power Sector in Punjab since 1997, demanded Bir Devinder Singh, former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha and Senior Vice President, SAD (Taksali).  

In a statement issued today, he blamed that the insatiable, corrupt and incompetent tangle consisting of politicians, bureaucrats and top engineers of the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd. (PSPCL) is responsible for the bankruptcy and collapse of the Power Sector in Punjab. The top bureaucratic hierarchy of both the governments led by Parkash Singh Badal and Capt. Amarinder Singh cannot escape their responsibility for the collapse of the power sector. 

He further stated that Sukhbir Singh Badal as Deputy Chief Minister was the main handler as agent provocateur and clandestinely negotiates to strike almost all the deals of the power sector to purchase thermal power from the private companies at highly exorbitant rates. The role of the members of the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) should also be put under scanner to know if they have also compromised the interests of the state at any stage.

Why the PSPCL has lost the case in the Supreme Court while winning before all the appellate authorities prior to the appeal in apex court, asked Bir Devinder Singh.

Capt. Amarinder Singh has committed on record that he will table the White Paper in Punjab Legislative Assembly on the nitty-gritty of all the PPA (Power Purchase Agreements) signed by the PSPCL  after the approval of the State Government.

"I wonder, how Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda could feigns ignorance and abdicate responsibility for the State, losing the legal battle in the case of coal washing charges in the Supreme Court and thus imposing the liability of Rs 2,800 Crore on the Cash-strapped power corporation? The judgment was passed by the Supreme Court bench of Justice Rohington Fali Nariman and Justice Syrya Kant on August 7, taking up a contempt petition filed by L&T (Larsen & Toubro) against the Punjab Government and PSPCL. Can the Punjab Advocate General Mr. Atul Nanda just explain to the millions of innocent consumers of Punjab, that if there is a contempt petition against the State in the apex court? What is the expected statutory role and obligation of the top heavy AG office in all probabilities? Then how could he escape responsibility for the collateral financial penalties to the State and its people as result of the colossal failure of the AG, for not arguing the case in the court of Law intelligently and efficiently?” said Bir Devinder Singh.

Unfortunately the decision of the Supreme Court will essentially lead to higher power generation cost that will resultantly cause an exorbitantly higher power tariff which will approximately amount to Rs. 2,800 Crore having cascading effect on the poor consumers of the State.

He further stated that it’s atrocious that the power consumers of Punjab are being made to pay the heavy price for the adulterated inefficiency and deliberate skullduggery of the IAS officers who failed to vet the PPA, properly with medical precision. Why did the Punjab bureaucrats and the then PSPCL management remained ostensibly silent on the pre-bid scrutiny of the PPA and why did they not thoroughly examined all the questions raised by the company with  correlation to its ultimate collateral impact on the consumers of Punjab for times to come? 

Bir Devinder Singh also solicited the support of all Punjab MLAs baring SAD led by Sukhbir Singh Badal  to press for the demand for the appointment of enquiry commission so that public may know how Sukhbir Singh Badal has bartered away the interests of Punjab in pursuance of his own vested business interests.

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

 


 





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Punjab CM asks DCs to prioritise core sectors for ensuring quality of life of citizens
14.02.20 - Team PT
Punjab CM asks DCs to prioritise core sectors for ensuring quality of life of citizens



CHANDIGARH, FEBRUARY 14: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday asked the Deputy Commissioners to prioritize the core sectors of education, health, power and water for ensuring quality of life of citizens across the state.

Chairing a meeting of all Deputy Commissioners here at Punjab Bhawan, Captain Amarinder Singh directed them to go for extensive monitoring of various development and welfare schemes related to these focus sectors to ensure strict implementation of such programmes.

The CM also asked the DCs to tighten their belts to push development and welfare projects to fulfil the aspirations of the people in line with the Government’s development agenda for the state. The Chief Minister made it clear that respect for elected representatives is a must in democracy, and asked them to be courteous in their dealings and give due respect to the legislators to ensure overall development.

To ensure smooth delivery of citizen centric services, the Chief Minister asked the Deputy Commissioners to personally keep close tabs on the functioning of the Sewa Kendras in order to curtail the pendency of applications for seeking various citizen services.

ACS Governance Reforms Vini Mahajan informed the meeting that 515 sewa kendras were functioning in the state, with a pendency of 42261 against 2,60,4975 applications received from all the districts. She also pointed out Sewa Kendras projects under the current service delivery model were self sustainable and there was no burden on the Finance Department.
The Chief Minister also asked the DCs to instruct the revenue officials to ensure prompt disposal of revenue matters such as transfer of property, partition, mutation cases etc. He directed them to convene monthly meetings of Grievance Redressal Committee and send comprehensive reports within the stipulated time frame.

Taking serious note of electricity theft in the border areas, especially in Tarn Taran district (71.29 percent), the Chief Minister said that this led to huge losses to the state exchequer, and must be checked with a heavy hand. He asked the Deputy Commissioner Tarn Taran to work out a strategy with the police and PSPCL to stamp out this menace.

On the issue of drugs, the Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the results so far, and the resultant perceptible decrease in the number of drug users and huge seizure of drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as the arrest of several drug peddlers and smugglers.

However, Captain Amarinder further asked the DCs not to be complacent in this regard and work in tandem with the STF, district police and health department to achieve better results to eliminate the scourge of drugs, as well as to rehabilitate the drug addicts.

Reviewing the progress of his Government’s flagship Ghar Ghar Rozgar programme, the Chief Minister asked the DCs to tie up with leading employers, industrialists, business groups and job providers for sourcing of vacancies with a package of Rs. 3 lakh per annum and above.

Meanwhile, the meeting was informed that under the Punjab Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Mission, the government has planned high end job fairs during March 2020 at Amritsar, Phagwara, Bathinda, Mohali and SBS Nagar. Graduates from different fields like engineering, management, medicine, hospitality, tourism, agriculture, animal husbandry, banking, arts and science etc can participate in these job fairs, which aim to facilitate employment to over 2000 youth with high end jobs.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister categorically said that adulteration in food and dairy products would not be tolerated at any cost and directed the DCs to launch a major crackdown in sync with Tandarust Punjab mission against such unscrupulous traders and dealers.

While reviewing the progress of social security and welfare schemes, the Chief Minister asked the DCs to intensify their efforts for recruitment of staff in Sakhi - One Stop Centres, besides identifying suitable land for establishment of Sakhi centres and Child Care Institutions. He also asked the DCs to expeditiously fill up the vacancies in District Child Protection Units to ensure safety and security of children. He also gave the DCs the target of issuing 100 percent Unique Disability Identity Cards, by June 30, 2020, to all the divyangs who had paper certificates.

Captain Amarinder Singh also instructed the DCs to identify adequate panchayat lands to provide 5 marla plots to the landless and homeless poor families on priority. He also asked the Principal Secretary to include certain development works like upgradation of infrastructure in schools and street lights in rural areas under the smart village campaign.

The Chief Minister further asked the DCs to regularly monitor the progress of solid waste management for door to door collection of segregated waste, wet waste processing facilities and bulk waste generators compliance, up to March 31, 2020. Captain Amarinder Singh asked the DCs to monitor the progress to ensure all the basic civic amenities of potable water, sewerage, street lighting and roads in the urban areas on top priority.

The Chief Minister asked the DC Amritsar and Tarn Taran to chalk out an action plan in sync with army authorities for the up-gradation of narrow metallic bridges in the border areas, which was a major cause of mishaps. He said he had already taken up this issue personally with the Chief of the Western Command.

Expressing grave concern over the growing menace of stray cattle and dogs, which had become a major nuisance and had claimed several precious lives in the past several years, Captain Amarinder Singh asked the DCs to suggest ways and means to tackle the problem of stray cattle in a holistic manner.

The Chief Minister also reviewed the flood preparedness with the DCs and asked the Chief Secretary to place sufficient funds on the disposal of Deputy Commissioners to execute various flood protection works, especially at vulnerable sites, well in advance of the onset of the monsoon season. He also asked the DCs to complete the disbursement of compensation to flood victims on account of last year’s massive floods and get all requisite formalities done from the revenue officials.

During the meeting, presentations were made by the departments of Rural Development & Panchayats, Local Government, Social Security, Women and Child Development and Governance Reforms.

Earlier, the Water Resources Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria had a detailed meeting with the Deputy Commissioners to monitor the progress of flood protection works and desilting of drains during 2020-21. He also discussed the first priority works related to flood protection, desilting/cleaning of drains to the tune of Rs. 343.75 crore in all the 22 districts as per the requirements raised by the Deputy Commissioners.

Prominent amongst others present at the meeting were Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Special Chief Secretary Revenue KBS Sidhu, Additional Chief Secretary Local Government Sanjay Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary Development Viswajeet Khanna, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Principal Secretary Rural Development and Panchayats Seema Jain, Principal Secretary Water Resources A Venu Prasad, ADGP Provisioning Arpit Shukla, Secretary Employment Generation and Training Rahul Tewari.

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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