Siswan to be developed as world class tourist destination- Chief Minister Punjab

• Siswan to be developed as world class tourist destination- Chief Minister Punjab

• Development of visitor amenities, nature trails, jungle safari, underway
• Conservation issues being addressed
• Releases promotional and informational material to promote Siswan as a prime and preferred Eco Tourism destination
• Launches logo of Siswan Community Reserve

Mohali/Chandigarh, February 22:To promote Siswan as a prime and preferred Eco Tourism destination, CM of Punjab Capt. Amarinder Singh on Monday released various promotional and informational materials including brochures, pamphlets and movie teasers in his office at the Secretariat, Chandigarh. A logo of Siswan Community Reserve was also launched.

The Chief Minister said that Siswan is to be developed as world class tourist destination. Keeping in mind the immense tourism potential of the area, various initiatives have been taken up in the area. Primarily, the visitor amenities like Nature Interpretation Center, Thematic Gates and signage, food court, washroom facilities, nature trails, jungle safari would be provided. The conservation issues like introduction of spotted deer, wild hares and other species which once thrived in the area but have reduced in numbers through the years, are also being addressed.

The CM said that the development of tourist friendly infrastructure and amenities coupled with promotional activities will lead to increase in footfall which will subsequently benefit the local community by way of additional job creation and various income generating activities.

He also appreciated the successful organisation of the Punjab Bird Festival which has received widespread acclaim from various parts of the country also and released the proceedings of the festival called Retrospect.
Pertinently, situated on the foothills of the Shiwaliks, Siswan has dense forests, pristine water and rich biodiversity making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. The area has a rich history, with fossil records indicating the presence of the Soanian civilisation. The area also falls in the old trade route connecting India with the middle Asian countries and Eastern Europe.
Senior officials of the Govt, including Smt. Ravneet Kaur IAS ACS Forest, Sh. Jitendra Sharma IFS PCCF (HoFF), Sh. R.K. Mishra, Chief Wildlife Warden, Sh. Basanta Raj Kumar, IFS, CCF (Wildlife) and Dr. Monika Yadav, IFS DFO (Wildlife) Ropar were present at the function.

==============================PUNJAB CM VIRTUALLY LAUNCHES RS 1087 CRORES DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS UNDER SMART CITY AND AMRUT SCHEMES

· URGES CENTER TO INCLUDE SRI ANANDPUR SAHIB IN SMART CITY SCHEME

Chandigarh, February 22: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday virtually laid foundation stones and inaugurated a slew of projects worth Rs.1087 crores for holistic development of urban areas under the Smart City and AMRUT schemes and urged the union government to include the holy city of Anandpur Sahib under the Smart City scheme, as a tribute to Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji on his 400th Prakash Purab.

Thanking the people of the state for their overwhelming support to the Congress party in the recently concluded Civic elections, Captain Amarinder said the mandate is a vindication of the pro-people policies of his government. Pointing out that while the Congress had won 1410 of the 2206 wards (64%), the chief minister said all the opposition parties had been decimated because of their anti-people and vicious negative agendas. He lambasted the earlier Akali-BJP regime for ignoring the development of urban areas and expressed confidence that the launch of these projects will drive sustainable progress in these regions.

The chief minister said that he was particularly delighted today to lay the foundation stone of the Rs. 721 crore Surface Water Supply Scheme for Amritsar city, his erstwhile Parliamentary constituency. He said this scheme would ensure access to clean drinking water to the residents of the holy city, instead of the contaminated and fast depleting ground water.

The chief minister said under the first phase of Urban Infrastructure Improvement Program (UIIP), 2065 projects have been started, with majority being completed, at a cost of Rs.300 crores. He said another 4227 projects have been approved under the second phase and work on 1300 of them has already started.

Giving details of the progress of Smart City projects in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Sultanpur Lodhi under his government, Captain Amarinder said that of the total allocation of Rs.3000 crores, works worth Rs.1246 crores had been started or completed so far. He said while tenders for works worth Rs.918 crores had already been issued, the process of issuing tenders for works worth Rs.802 crores were already underway. The chief minister said in contrast to this SAD-BJP regime (2007-17) had merely spent Rs 35 crores during their decade long rule under this scheme.

He said his government had already allocated Rs 2785 crores under the AMRUT scheme for 16 towns and work on projects worth Rs 2740 crores was underway. Taking a dig at the Akali-BJP combine, the Chief Minister said, “they totally ignored this scheme and spent merely Rs 18 crores in 10 years of their rule”. He said the scheme aims at providing 100% Water Supply & Sewerage and so far 1072 Km of Water Supply and 698 Km of Sewerage pipelines had been laid, besides the release of 69,304 Household Water Supply and 43,611 Household Sewerage connections.

The projects that were inaugurated by the Chief Minister for Barnala included augmentation & rehabilitation of sewerage network and sewage treatment plant for 100% coverage, 74 Km Sewerage Line with 5740 Household Sewerage Connections and 20 MLD Sewerage Treatment Plant at a cost of Rs. 105.63 crores. The holy city of Amritsar saw the inauguration of various development projects of Rs.20.50 crore including upgradation of Fire Fighting Services, Solid Waste Management Facilities and Development of Parks & Open Spaces. At Khanna, a 29 MLD capacity STP at a cost of Rs. 25.16 crores were also inaugurated.

Besides the Rs.721.85 crores for 24X7 Surface Water Supply Scheme at Amritsar, the Chief Minister virtually laid the foundation stones for development projects worth Rs.129.33 crores in Sultanpur Lodhi, the epicentre of the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. These included Widening & Strengthening of road from Dudwindi to Sultanpur Lodhi, Channelisation of Holi Bein and creation of Open Spaces, 4-Laning of Kapurthala Road via Fattudhinga, Building of Integrated Command & Control Centre, Strengthening of Fire Services, Development of Three Parks namely Mori Mohalla Park, Central Park & Jwala Park.

Similarly, the foundation stone of various works such as 15 MLD STP at Basti Peer Dad, Improvement of Jalandhar Railway Station, Upgradation of power Line distribution system of Raunak Bazaar, Waste Processing plant at Gadaipur with 5-year O&M included and a new road in Urban Estate Phase II and digitization of the existing Guru Nanak Dev Library were laid in Jalandhar (Rs. 41 crores). For Ludhiana, foundation stones for the Establishment of Ludhiana Municipal Control Centre, An Integrated command and surveillance centre for the city and the beautification of the Mini Rose Garden, were also laid. The total cost of these projects is Rs. 40 crores and tenders have already been invited for them.

Local Government Minister Brahm Mohindra said that Captain Amarinder had taken personal interest in ensuring proper hygiene and sanitation in the urban areas during the difficult phase of Covid-19 pandemic. He also congratulated the Chief Minister for spectacular victory in MC elections, which was nothing short of a clear mandate in the favour of pro-urban development initiatives of present government.

The event, which was webcast at 900 locations across the state, was attended by PPCC President, Sunil Jakhar, cabinet ministers, including Sunder Sham Arora, Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLAs, Mayors, councillors, IYC President, Brinder Singh Dhillon, Chief Secretary, Vini Mahajan, and other senior officials of the Punjab government.

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CAPT AMARINDER TO LEAD CONGRESS IN 2022 PUNJAB POLLS, SAYS JAKHAR

Chandigarh, February 22: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, Sunil Jakhar, on Monday said that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh would lead the party in the 2022 assembly polls, as the people of the state had reposed their faith in his leadership with their landslide verdict in Congress’ favour in the recent civic polls.

While participating in the event for the launch of various developmental projects worth Rs 1087 crores by the Chief Minister, under the Smart City and AMRUT schemes, Jakhar said, “the Congress party’s sweeping victory in the civic polls has not only revalidated Captain Amarinder’s leadership in the state but was an endorsement of the faith of Punjabis in his future leadership also”. He said the state Congress had already launched mission “#Captainfor2022”, and the next elections would be fought under his leadership.

Lauding the chief minister, Jakhar said Captain Amarinder had led the state in very difficult times and the people were well aware of his massive contribution. “Punjab is perhaps facing its worst ever crisis – Covid, farmers’ unrest due to the black farm laws, coupled with an unfriendly union government – and only Captain Amarinder Singh had the vision and leadership qualities to the steer the state out of it”, he said.

Lambasting the union government for its stepmotherly treatment to Punjab, Jakhar said the centre had resorted to all kinds of measures, including economic blockade, to punish the state for supporting the farmers’ agitation. He said the federal structure of the country was under extreme threat under the BJP led national government. He also questioned the recent decision of the union government to refuse permission to a jatha to go to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan and accused the centre of being biased against the state.

While complimenting the chief minister for launching projects aimed at development of urban areas, Jakhar said there had been a growing though incorrect perception that this government was only working for the rural areas. He said though Punjab is an agrarian economy, the massive development works that have started in the urban areas would dispel this perception.

Jakhar also urged the chief minister to ensure that the Congress manifesto for 2022 should promise making Amritsar – the ‘Guru ki Nagri’ - an iconic city. “Amritsar should be made as one of the best cities in the World on the lines of the Vatican”, he said.

Punjab Youth Congress President, Barinder Singh Dhillon, termed the inauguration of these projects as a grand start after the victory in the MC elections. He said that the landslide victory reflects the enormous faith the people of Punjab have in the leadership of the Chief Minister. He said only Captain Amarinder Singh can take the state forward and maintain social and communal harmony. "You will have to contest the 2022 Vidhan Sabha election as Punjab needs your stewardship", said Barinder Singh Dhillon.

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ONE WEEK SPECIAL CAMPAIGN FOR GENERATING E-CARDS UNDER SARBAT SEHAT BIMA YOJNA

Secondary & tertiary care treatments are being provided for 1579 treatment packages in 828 empanelled hospitals

5.71 lacs cashless treatments worth Rs. 650 crores delivered to entitled beneficiaries

Chandigarh, February 22:For issuing e-cards to all the beneficiaries in mission mode under Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojna (SSBY) in all the districts of Punjab, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu on Monday launched one week drive from 22nd February to 28th February.

Giving further details in press release, Mr. Sidhu informed that the objective to issue e-cards to all the beneficiaries within a set timeline can only be met if we explore all possible modes/means and leverage all platforms for exponentially increasing the pace of e-card generation activities. He said that to ensure fast track e-card generation, extensive E-card generation camps will be held at village and block-level under the supervision of Civil Surgeons and Senior Medical Officers.

Underscoring the present status of SSBY, the Health Minister said that this scheme has been providing the secondary and tertiary care treatment for 1579 treatment packages in 828 empanelled hospitals (Public: 208, Private: 587 and GoI: 33). Till date, 49,26,863 e-cards, touching 23 lacs families, have got generated under the scheme and in order to intensify the e-card generation drive, an exercise is being conducted in coordination with District Administration in the mission mode.

In respect of utilization, 5,71,924 cashless treatments worth Rs. 650 crores have been provided to the entitled beneficiaries of the Scheme, he said.

Mr. Sidhu also appealed to eligible beneficiaries to reach their nearest Common Service Centre (CSC) or Sewa Kendars or Market Committees with the required identification documents and get their cards generated to avail the cashless treatment upto 5 lacs at empaneled hospitals.

Providing relief to the beneficiaries who don't have any Family Document, he said that then family declaration form signed and stamped by Sarpanch/Municipal Councillor can be submitted at CSCs, Sewa Kendars or Market Committees. He said that form for the same is available on the official website at www.sha.punjab.gov.in.

He stated that this scheme has been providing Cashless Health Insurance cover of Rs. 5 lacs per family per year to 39.57 lakh families of Punjab. The beneficiary families include families of smart ration card holders, SECC families, J-form holder farmers, registred construction workers, small traders and accredited and yellow card holder journalists.

To see the list of the above centres and to check your eligibility anyone can visit the official website www.sha.punjab.gov.in.

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PUNJAB STARTS UNIQUE FOREIGN STUDY AND PLACEMENT CELL

· Registrations open for aspirants from 21 to 25 February

· Counselling to be held from 1 to 31 March, 2021

Chandigarh, February 22: The Punjab Government under Punjab Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Mission (PGRKAM) has started a Foreign Study and Placement Cell (FS&PC) for free counselling of the youth interested in Foreign Study and Foreign Placement. The Punjab Employment Generation Minister Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi disclosing this here today said that this project is the brainchild of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for the benefit of candidates who wish to study and work abroad.

Mr. Channi said that the department will provide free of cost counselling service to the Youth aspirants who wish to study and work abroad. The registration links for foreign counselling are functional from 21-25 February, 2021. The interested candidates can get themselves registered for Foreign Study Counselling and Foreign Placement Counselling on the District Bureau of Employment and Enterprise Links or contact with the district bureau offices. The first round of counselling is going to be held from 1 to 31 March, 2021.

Mr. Rahul Tewari Secretary Employment Generation briefing about the unique initiative of the Punjab government said that this cell would prove beneficial for Punjabi youth to get study and work visa according to their interests and qualification. He further clarified that all the cost related to the fee, travel and stay etc. will be borne by the candidates themselves.

For further information, the candidates can log on pbemployment.punjab.gov.in / www.pgrkam.com.

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Punjab Government provides financial assistance to 19082 daughters by providing Rs. 39crore: Sadhu Singh Dharamsot

New PostMatric Scholarship Scheme implemented for SC students

CHANDIGARH, FEBRUARY 22:The Punjab Government has provided Rs. 21,000 to the daughtersof the economically weaker section of the state on the occasion of their marriageas Shagun. Rs. 39 crore has been released to 19082 daughters of the state as financialassistance under the Ashirwad Scheme.

Punjab Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities MinisterMr. Sadhu Singh Dharmsot said that as many as 10873 girls belonging toScheduled Castes had been given the benefit to the tune of Rs. 22 crore underAshirwad Scheme during the year 2020,, while Rs. 17 crore was handed over to8209 girls of Backward Classes and economically weaker sections at the time oftheir marriages.

The Minister pointed out that the Punjab Government has notifiedits new Dr. B.R. Ambedkar SC Post Matric Scholarship Scheme on October 27,2020, which had been applicable from the academic session 2020-21. The benefitof this scheme would be given to those students of Scheduled Castes, who passedmatriculation from Punjab State and Chandigarh. Under this scheme the incomelimit (both of mother-father) had been enhanced from Rs. 2.50 lakh to Rs. 4lakh. The benefit under the scheme had also been extended to Central and Statelevel institutes of higher education of Punjab and Chandigarh.

The Minister said that the State Government has runthree welfare schemes to grant benefits to minority students. These schemesare pre-matric scholarship scheme, post-matric scholarship scheme andmerit-cum-means based scholarship, said the Minister adding that during 2020benefit to the tune of Rs. 76.14 crore were extended to 4,68,622 underpre-matric scholarship scheme, while under post matric scholarship scheme 56664students got benefit of Rs. 30.18 crore, whereas under merit-cum-means basedscholarship scheme as many as 2404 students received scholarships worth Rs.6.45 crore through DBT mode.

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Review meeting on e-EPIC with EROs

Chandigarh, February 22:The office of Chief Electoral officer, Punjab today held a review meeting on e-EPIC (electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card) programme with all Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) through a Google meet. The review meeting was held to energize the field officials with an aim to further activate the downloading of e-EPICs, which is an alternative feature for youth and new voters.

A landmark initiative, the e-EPIC was formally launched by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on January 25, 2021, marking the occasion of National Voters’ Day. It can be downloaded on a mobile or in a self-printable form on the computer. A voter can thus store the card on her/his mobile, upload it on digi locker or print it and self-laminate it. e-EPIC is an alternate and faster mode of obtaining Electoral Photo Identity Card in a digital format and thus, it can be good way to motivate youth to register as voters.

Ms. Madhvi Kataria, IAS, Additional CEO, Punjab apprised all the EROs about the required measures for expediting the process of downloading the e-EPICs. She also urged the EROs to focus especially on Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs) in educational institutions and campus ambassadors in colleges and universities. EROs were also apprised that their monthly performance in prescribed format shall be reviewed to select the best ERO of the month and the top three EROs in the year shall be honoured during the National Voters’ Day (NVD)-2022.

In the review meeting, it was also discussed that e-EPIC kiosks shall be set-up at ERO level for the facilitation of general public and canopies shall be supplied from the head office for outreach activities. Kiosks are already being set-up at district level in Punjab.

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PUNJAB VIGILANCE BUREAU CHIEF B.K. UPPAL TAKES COVID VACCINE JAB

Chandigarh, February 22:aking forward state government's vaccine drive, Chief Director-cum-DGP Vigilance Bureau Mr. B.K. Uppal took the Covid vaccine jab earlier today at S.A.S. Nagar.

Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson of the Vigilance Bureau said that other senior officers of VB including all officials posted at VB headquarters and field have also volunteered to be inoculated with the Covid vaccine.

Meanwhile, Mr Uppal have urged officials remaining in different VB ranges to take the Covid vaccine shot as soon as possible to protect themselves from corona virus.
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PROMPT POLICE ACTION CAN PROVE TO BE CRUCIAL FOR PRELIM INQUIRY IN CASE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: ADGP GURPREET DEO

State level training workshop concluded with commitment to further strengthen relief activities for women aggrieved by violence

Chandigarh, February 22: Sensitizing police personnel on how to considerately respond to cases of violence against women and provide support and protection to the women, Ms. Gurpreet Deo, ADGP, Community Affairs Division and Public Grievances said that prompt police action in the cases of violence against women can prove to be imperative to easily crack such cases. She was speaking on the topic 'Response of law enforcement agencies in case of women aggrieved by violence' during the second phase of the state level virtual training workshop organized by the Punjab Social Security, Women and Child Development Department on ‘Sakhi One Stop Centre'.

Ms. Deo said that although state police has been swiftly acting to provide relief to the victims of violence against women, but many such cases were not reported due to lack of awareness among women about their rights. Stressing upon the need to sensitize women about their fundamental rights, the ADGP categorically said that ‘Sakhi One Stop Centre' (OSCs) are being integrated with Toll free women helpline number-181 so that women affected by violence could be referred to OSCs. Apart from this, Ms. Deo stated that a dedicated women helpdesk in every police station is the need of the hour.

On the topic of 'Role of Police in Sensitively Handling Cases of Physical and Emotional Violence against Women: Learnings from Best Practices in India', former Director General of Police, Government of Haryana, Dr. K.P. Singh said that the emotional support of the police personnel gives women who are aggrieved by violence, hope for justice, and infuses them with will-power to fight against any form of injustice including violence. He said that for prevailing the sense of safety among the affected women, aspects to deploy women police personnel should also be considered.

To enable trainees to appropriately respond to the medical needs of women affected by violence, Dr. K.P.S. Kushwaha, Senior Faculty, Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, Ministry of Home Affairs said that evidence collection should be focused on scientific methods so that the culprit could be brought within the ambit of law and justice. He discussed the best practices for paramedical staff during medico-legal examination of the survivor in sexual assault cases.

Dr. Manmeet Kaur, Professor of Health Promotion in the PGIMER, School of Public Health and Professorial Fellow, The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia also spoke on the theme 'Recognizing and addressing violence against women within health care system', which is an often neglected yet very important aspect of violence against women and focuses on spaces outside the household where women can be traumatized. Dr. Reetinder Kohli, Former Chairwoman, Indian Women Network (IWN), Chandigarh gave tips to help the trainees understand the essential elements and practices of psychological counselling of women affected by violence, during the session 'How to establish a rapport with women aggrieved by violence'. Dr. Nayanika Singh, Assistant Professor, Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration (MGSIPA), Chandigarh said that the utmost duty of the OSCs staff is to make efforts to normalize the traumatized women. She spoke on regulating women emotionally who have been victimized by physical and emotional violence, which can prove to be a turning point to solve the case at the earliest.

Giving concluding remarks, Mrs. Raji P. Shrivastava, Principal Secretary, Social Security, Women and Child Development said that the state government has set up ‘Sakhi One Stop Centres’ (OSCs) in all the 22 districts to provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence. These OSCs have been successfully running with dedicated staff and providing required support to the women in need.

Director-cum-Special Secretary Mr. Vipul Ujjwal said that OSCs are being run by the department to facilitate access to an integrated range of services including medical, legal and psychological support for victims. During these sessions, question and answer rounds were also held and the queries raised by the trainees were resolved by the experts of international repute. Ms. Priyanka Choudhary, Governance Fellow, DGR&PG, who has been involved in conceptualizing and organizing the workshop, has also presented a vote of thanks.