Monthly Archives: MARCH 2017


Nearly 500 Arrested in Punjab's Crackdown on Drugs: Amarinder Singh
31.03.17 - TEAM PT
Nearly 500 Arrested in Punjab's Crackdown on Drugs: Amarinder Singh



Nearly 500 arrests have been made in the crackdown on drugs by the new government in Punjab in the past fortnight, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said in New Delhi on Friday.
 
With 240 tip-offs received in just two days since the Punjab Police reactivated and advertised its 181 helpline for drugs, the number of arrests in drugs cases has gone up to nearly 500.

Talking to media persons here, Amarinder Singh said the anti-drugs campaign kick started by his government was yielding results and would get a further boost with the STF Chief Harpreet Sidhu taking charge on Friday.

Hailing the successful reactivation of the 24X7 helpline, which had become defunct during the Badal rule, Captain Amarinder said he had directed the police and intelligence departments involved in the crackdown on drugs to reach out to the people even more aggressively in the coming days to take their support in realizing his government’s goal of wiping out the drugs menace from the state in four weeks. The government has assured that the identity of anyone reporting any drugs related crime on the helpline would be protected, which has led instilled confidence among the members of the public, who are coming out with information without fear.

The tip-offs received so far were being verified and stern action would be initiated in cases where the information is verified, he added. The majority of the tip-offs received related to information about sale points and people involved in drugs trade. The Chief Minister reiterated that no drugs user would be harassed by the police or other agencies involved in the drugs crackdown.

To a question on the issue of VIP security, the Chief Minister reiterated his commitment to pruning such security, asserting that police was meant for policing and was not intended to be used as a status symbol by political leaders.

Providing an update on the drugs campaign, an official spokesperson from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) later disclosed that till from March 16 to March 29, 497 drugs traders and peddlers had been booked, with 449 cases registered under the NDPS Act.

Giving break-up of the drugs seizures made during this period, the spokesperson said 4.034 kgs of heroin and 0.605 kgs of smack were recovered from those arrested. Other seizures included 2.22 kgs of charas, 24.46 kgs of opium, 715.31 kgs of poppy husk, bhang 1.879 kgs of bhang. The police have also recovered 12.519 kgs of intoxicant powder, 1576 injections, 111893 pills/capsules, 72.78 kgs of ganja and 133 syrup bottles.
 
The government has assured that the identity of anyone reporting any drugs related crime on the helpline would be protected, which has instilled confidence among the members of the public, who are coming out with information without fear, the Chief Minister said.
 
Amarinder Singh, in the run up to the Punjab Assembly elections, had vowed to end the drugs menace in Punjab within four weeks of coming to power.




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Inquiry ordered for the gross irregularities figured in CAG report by SAD: Brahm Mohindra
31.03.17 - TEAM PT
Inquiry ordered for the gross irregularities figured in CAG report by SAD: Brahm Mohindra



Brahm Mohindra, Health and family welfare Minister Punjab today marked a time bound inquiry into the irregularities in the working of De-addiction centers and the rehabilitation centers in Punjab which has recently figured in the CAG report. Husan Lal, Secretary Health, would head the inquiry and the report would be submitted in one week. Mohindra said that the matter is very serious, as huge amount of public money have been spent on these centers while the deliverance was nil. The findings of the report will be taken very seriously and proper legal and criminal action would be initiated against those whose name figures in the report.
 
Taking head on the previous SAD-BJP Government, Mohindra said that the centres were running without proper licensing from the Government, which went unchecked during the previous regime. There is huge nexus of anti social elements and the persons running these illegal centres. This needs to be thoroughly probed so that the people of Punjab come to know about the miss Governance of the previous regime. The report clearly shows the seriousness of the previous regime towards the most key sector "Health”. The SAD- BJP played with the health of the state as well as of the people.
 
He said that in the CAG report tabled in the Punjab assembly, the Test check records in the selected districts showed that against 1,75,108 drug addiction patients registered in OPD, only 11,186 patients were taken to IPD, which ranged between 01 and 19 percent in the eight MDDCs/DDCs during 2013 and 16 while the percentage of unutilized bed capacity in these centres ranged between 17 and 60 percent during the same period.
 
The Health Minister said that there were 35 drug de-addiction centers and rehabilitation centers, which were running without proper license from the Government while another five were not functional at all and as per the rule 7 of the "Punjab substance use disorder of treatment and counseling and rehabilitation centres rules 2011”, no centre shall be allowed to operate without obtaining license from the Director health and family welfare and director Social security and women child development. Also five de-addiction and rehab centres, which were set up in 2014 and 2015 at cost of Rs 6.93 crores, were not functional due to non availability of the psychiatrists, medical officers and other staff. While the drug addicts were deprived of the benefits of these centres.




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Navjot Sidhu launches campaign ‘Peoples goverment at their Doorsteps’
30.03.17 - team pt
Navjot Sidhu launches campaign ‘Peoples goverment at their Doorsteps’



Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu today launched a special campaign ‘Peoples Government at their doorsteps’ aimed at connecting people at their doorsteps to understand their problems and make a permanent solution for the same.

Sidhu launched this campaign saying that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has categorically set a mission for all of us to provide hassle free and corruption free atmosphere to the people. He made a surprise visit to the nearby town Nayan Graon along with the senior officials of the department and district administration. He also visited the proposed site for the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and found proposed site not suitable for the plant being situated near the residential area. He directed the officials to send a proposal of new site for the plant in convenience with the local residents.

During his visit Sidhu gave patient hearing to the local residents and Municipal Councilors besides directing the officials of the Nagar Panchayat to solve all the problems raised by people in a time bound phase.  He directed the Executive Officer (EO) to make plan of all development works which are to be carried out in Nayan Graon in the coming year so that that all development works could be started in time.

Sidhu reiterated Congress party’s pre poll promise to provide quality services and corruption free system to the people. ‘Corruption and harassment of the people in the hands of Public Servants will not be tolerated at any level’, added Sidhu.

Local Bodies Minister asked the officials to ensure transparency by displaying every detail of ongoing development works on the flex boards.

Navjot Singh Sidhu said that he would visit towns and cities across the state under this campaign and he will try to solve problems of the people with the participation of local residents.




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Japanese Envoy, Mitsubishi MD meet CM Amarinder; Show interest in Investing in Punjab
30.03.17 - TEAM PT
Japanese Envoy, Mitsubishi MD meet CM Amarinder; Show interest in Investing in Punjab



Japan has evinced interest in investing in Punjab and partnering the state across key segments of growth and development, with a high-level delegation of the Japanese envoy and Mitsubishi Managing Director meeting Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here on Thursday to discuss a range of possible areas of investment and collaboration.

The meeting between Captain Amarinder and Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Japan, along with Kazunori Konishi, Managing Director Mitsubishi Heavy Industries India Private Limited, was described by both sides as preliminary but paved the way for more intensive discussions going forward.

Discussions at the meeting, which came within days of the Capt Amarinder government taking over the state’s reins, covered a wide range of subjects, which the two sides agreed to deliberate further to work out a collaborative mechanism.

An official spokesperson said after the meeting that Mitsubishi made a presentation to the Chief Minister listing several important areas for possible investment. These included Power, Smart Cities, (Automated Guideway Transit), Industrial Parks and Captive Power Plants, besides strengthening of some existing projects.

The Chief Minister showed interest in the AGT – a public transportation system based on Transit Oriented Development (TOD) – as a cheaper alternative to Metro Rail to offer an affordable and easy commuting option to people in the congested cities of Punjab, such as Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar.

Captain also discussed development of roads and highways as a key step towards improvement of Punjab’s infrastructure. He also showed interest in Japanese investment in the development of economic corridors in the state.

Another important area that came up for discussion during the meeting was improvement in agriculture and horticulture, with the CM noting that despite small land holdings, Japanese farmers were able to deliver high yields.
 
Punjab’s farmers could learn from the Japanese and use new methods to adopt a similar approach, he said, adding that the paddy and wheat cycle was no longer viable for the farming community and needed to be replaced with something more lucrative, such as horticulture.

The two sides decided to explore possible cooperation in agriculture and the Chief Minister invited Japanese experts to visit the state, particularly the Punjab Agriculture University, to examine the feasibility of agricultural cooperation. An exchange programme for agricultural scientists could be worked out, he added.

Recalling the cold chain capabilities development programme initiated by his government during his previous chief ministerial tenure, Captain Amarinder suggested reviving the cold chain to drive agricultural exports from Punjab to Japan and other countries.

The grave problem of stubble burning in Punjab was also discussed, with the Japanese team offering solutions, based on their own experience of destroying stubble in a safe and eco-friendly way, to the state government. The Chief Minister was interested in the technology, which allows decomposition of stubble into fertilizer.

Mitsubishi also offered its unique technology for production of power from garbage, which the CM said could be explored as a viable option for the elimination of garbage, especially in urban areas.

Captain Amarinder said he was committed to the modernization of Punjab, in which Japan could join in as an important partner.




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No change in red beacon policy: CM Amarinder
28.03.17 - TEAM PT
No change in red beacon policy: CM Amarinder



Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has denied any change in his government’s policy on the use of red beacon lights on vehicles, categorically ruling out dilution of the same.
 
The clarification came after an extract from the Congress poll manifesto, exempting the chief minister and his council of ministers, started doing the rounds of the social media as a Transport Department notification on the use of red beacons on Tuesday. An official spokesperson said the Transport Department had erroneously put out a part of the poll manifesto, which the social media had picked up and published as an official notification.
 
The Transport Department later withdrew the purported order, even as the Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to have the correct notification sent to him for immediate approval and issuance, according to the spokesperson.
 
There has been no order yet on the issue of red beacons, said the spokesperson, adding that a notification was expected to be issued soon following the Chief Minister’s directives on the same.
 
The manifesto of the Punjab Congress had exempted the Chief Minister and his council of ministers from the proposed ban on red beacons but the entire cabinet, led by Captain Amarinder, had voluntarily decided to give up these beacons during the maiden meeting of the cabinet, which had ratified the poll promise as a policy decision, said the spokesperson. He pointed out that the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues had themselves got the red beacons removed from their vehicles within hours of the cabinet decision.
 
Asserting that there was no question of any change in this stand, the spokesperson said the Captain Amarinder government was fully committed to shedding VIP culture, of which red beacon has for long been the most visible symbol. In fact, he pointed out, Captain Amarinder had been personally appealing to all political leaders, party MLAs and others to cooperate in the move to give up the VIP culture in the larger interest of the state and its democratic polity.




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