Chandigarh, June 11:Expressing anguish over the tragic death of 2-year-old Fatehveer, who failed to survive his 108-hour ordeal in a borewell in Bhagwanpura Village of Sunam, District Sangrur, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered closure of all open borewells across the state.

The Chief Minister has sought reports from DCs on all such existing open borewells, with a direction to take immediate corrective action to prevent the recurrence of such catastrophic incidents.

Taking serious note of the incident, the Chief Minister, who had been personally monitoring the rescue operations of Fatehveer, has asked the Disaster Management Group headed by the Chief Secretary to finalise a set of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) to check and prevent such incidents. The Group, which had been constituted to tackle natural calamities, has also been asked to study the inadequacies, if any, in the relief operations, and give recommendations to ensure better and quicker operations in the future in case of any such or similar manmade disaster.

Other members of the Group include (Principal Secretary Finance (PSF), FCRDP Financial Commissioner Rural Development and Panchayat (FCRDP) and Financial Commissioner Development (FCD).

“Very sad to hear about the tragic death of young Fatehveer. I pray that Waheguru grants his family the strength to bear this huge loss. Have sought reports from all DCs regarding any open bore well so that such terrible accidents can be prevented in the future,” the Chief Minister earlier tweeted, soon after receiving information of young Fatehveer’s death.

He further wrote: “Have directed all DCs to ensure that no such open borewell exists in any of the districts & have asked them to submit a report within 24 hours. You can call on our helpline number 0172-2740397 if you have information about any such open borewells in your area.”

His prayers were with the child and his family, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the district administration had mobilised and initiated rescue operations within minutes of receiving information of the child falling into the 125-feet deep borewell at 4.15 pm on 6th June. NDRF joined in and Army authorities at Patiala, Sangrur and at Chandimandir Command were also immediately informed.

As per reports received so far by the Chief Minister, though NDRF personnel were able to tie a knot around both the child’s wrists in less than 10 hours of arrival, the narrow diameter of the pipe caused the kid to get stuck, forcing them to give up this method, according to an official spokesperson. Meanwhile, the JCB and other machines that were rushed to the spot dug a pit to reduce the depth from which the operations were being carried out.

All possible technical support was also provided by the district administration but it took 46 hours to dig a parallel pit and lay pipes against its wall to prevent it from caving in. But problems with the angle at which the pipe was going in further obstructed the operation, necessitating some horizontal digging also.

According to the NDRF officials, who were in constant touch with Army authorities all through the operation, no physical harm was caused to the child during the extraction process, which had to be conducted manually as use of machinery could have potentially harmed the child, especially because of the water requirement of such equipment.



* Improve Mother Child healthcare to reduce MMR and IMR in the state

* Officers doing good work be rewarded and careless officers be brought to books

Chandigarh, May 11:It must be ensured that all kind of free medicines being provided by the Health Department are adequately available in all the Government Hospitals and people of the state don’t have to run from pillar to post to get these basic medicines and they don’t have to pay from their pocket to purchase these medicines from private drug stores

.No laxity in providing the basic quality medicines and treatment would be tolerated. This is my prime agenda that citizen of the state get quality healthcare services in the Government Hospitals of the State. It was said by Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu, Health and Family Welfare Minister while chairing the maiden meeting with HODs of all the wings of Health Department.

The Minister said ,”Monsoon season is going to set up soon , so I also request you all to brace up your sleeves and be ready to provide all the dedicated services to the citizen of the state to avoid the outbreak of any potential epidemic. Health Department is one of the very sensitives and crucial departments and the duties of the doctors are not only to provide the health services to the citizen but also to sensitize the masses to adopt healthy life style. I expect that medical and paramedical staff of the health department would do their duty with sincerity to wipe out the tears from the eyes of the patients suffering from various diseases. “

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu,today after assuming charge of the office held a marathon meeting with all the wings of the department at the office of Director Health and Family Welfare sector 34 Chandigarh. Mr Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary of the Department welcomed the Minister and gave a brief introduction of the various programmes of the department.

While reviewing the Mother and Child Healthcare programme, The Minister exhorted the Director Family Welfare to ensure that institutional deliveries are increased in the government hospitals and the high risk pregnant women are getting the best healthcare services to further reduce the Mother Mortality Ratio ( MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate ( IMR).

While discussing the working of ESI hospitals , the Minister expressed satisfaction that the Punjab Government has filled all the vacant posts of Doctors and other paramedic staff earmarked for Punjab for the ESI hospitals and Dispensaries. Mr. Sidhu asked the officers to streamline the functioning of these ESI hospitals to provide health services to the registered labourers and other construction workers . Mr. Sidhu asked the ACS to convene a meeting of the ESI hospitals and Dispensaries to review the progress on the directions issued in this meeting.

Institutional deliveries, Immunization programme, child and women healthcare, Mental Health and De addiction programme,TB control programme, AIDS control programme and functioning of Health and Wellness centres were also discussed in the meeting. The minister also instructed the officers of the department to ensure that different employees are wearing proper uniform while working in the Hospitals.

Mr. Amit Kumar MD, NHM , Dr. Jaspal Kaur, Director Health Services, Dr. Avneet Kaur, Director Family Welfare, Dr. Rita Bhardwaj, Director NHM, Dr. Jagpal Singh Bassi, Director ESI, Dr. Meena Hardeep , Director PHSC and all the Deputy Directors of the Health Department including Mr. Harkesh Chand Sharma, Machhli Kalan, Political Secretary of the Health Minister was present in the meeting.




Chandigarh, June 11:Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday condoled the death of Tarsem Lal, the husband of Kamla Sharma, senior journalist of Chardikala.

Tarsem Lal (68) breathed his last at the PGI this morning after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son.

In his condolence message, the Chief Minister extended his heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family, relatives and friends of the deceased and prayed to the Almighty to give them the courage to bear this grief.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral also mourned the sad demise and extended his sympathies to Kamla Sharma and her family.



  • Israeli experts team on field visit of Punjab; Holds interactive session with technical experts of the different departments of the state

CHANDIGARH, JUNE 11: To tackle the acute problem of steep decline in groundwater table, Punjab Government has entered into an agreement with National Water Company of Israel, M/s Mekorot, for formulation of Water Conservation and Management Master Plan (WCMMP) for conservation and management of water resources of the State.

Notably, Israel is the only nation in the world which recycles more than 80% of its waste water. As per the agreement, the recommendations of the M/s Mekorot shall be submitted in 18 months. The final report of the master plan is expected in October 2020.

As a part of this project, a three-member team of experts from Israel is on field visit of Punjab from June 11 to 14, 2019 to know about the present situation and the challenges being faced by the State in dealing with the water sector.

An interactive session with the technical experts of the different departments of the state involving Water Resources, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Water Supply and Sanitation, PSPCL, Soil and Water Conservation presided by Mr. Arunjit Singh Miglani, IAS, Mission Director, Directorate of Groundwater Management was held today at Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh.

The experts from Indian Meteorological Department and Central Ground Water Board also participated in the session. Mission Director Mr Miglani emphasized on the grave problem of deteriorating condition of water resources and lack of timely and effective action could prove to be disastrous for the agrarian state. He said that Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is very committed in solving the current water problem of the state.

Dr. Diego Berger, International Special Projects Coordinator from Israel gave a presentation on the Water Resources Management System in Israel. He demonstrated that Israel enacted the Water measurement law in 1955 which empowered the state to measure each and every drop of water supplied to public for every sector. Later in 1959, Israel water law was enacted that empowered the state to establish a price mechanism.

During the session Mr. Jagmohan Singh Mann, Chief Engineer, Canals and Mr. Sanjiv Gupta Chief Engineer, Drainage and Mining briefed the Israeli team about the existing irrigation and flood management infrastructure in the state and the challenges being faced by them thereof. Mr. Anoop Nagar, Regional Director, CGWB and Mr. Harminder Singh Arora, Chief Engineer, Water Resources apprised the Israeli experts about the depleting ground water resources in the state.

The Project Manager, Mr Niv Pintow appreciated the cooperation being extended by the various departments of the State in sharing the data and challenges in managing the water sector. The Israeli team alongwith the officers of Water Resources Department, Punjab will visit various sites in the next three days in the state to get an overview of the existing water resources and infrastructure in the state and also covering the major problematic areas in Punjab.


Vigilance nabs ASI for taking bribe Rs. 8,000

Chandigarh, June 11: Punjab Vigilance Bureau, today nabbed an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) posted at City Police Station, Ferozepur red handed while accepting bribe of Rs 8,000.

Disclosing this here an official spokesperson of the Vigilance Bureau said ASI Major Singh was nabbed red handed on the complaint of Naseeb Singh of village Saddu Shah Wala, Ferozepur district. The complainant has approached the VB and alleged that the accused ASI was demanding Rs 10,000 to help in a police case and submit challan against the second party. He informed that the deal was struck at Rs. 8000/-.

After verifying his information, the vigilance team laid a trap and the accused ASI was arrested on the spot while taking bribe of Rs. 8,000 from the complainant in the presence of two official witnesses.

He informed that a case under Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the accused VB police station Ferozepur and further investigation was under progress.


Milkfed increases milk procurement rates for farmers to tune of Rs. 20 per kilo fat

Aim is ensuring relief for milk producers owing to increased costs: Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa

Chandigarh, June 11:The Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation Limited (Milkfed) today increased the milk procurement rates for the farmers to the tune of Rs. 20 per kilo fat w.e.f. 11-6-2019. Disclosing this in a meeting here today, the Cooperation Minister, Punjab, S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that the main motive behind the step is to provide relief to the milk producers owing to the multiplying costs of animal feed and fodder. The minister further divulged that due to these very reasons, Verka increased rates from Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 on the 21st of April, 2019 and Rs. 20 per kilo fat on the 21st of May, 2019.

On the occasion, MD, Milkfed Mr. Kamaldeep Singh Sangha apprised the minister that Verka always believes in ensuring reasonable and adequate prices for the top quality milk for the milk producers. This increases affinity of the milk producing farmers with the institution of Milkfed besides furthering the sentiment of responsibility with regard to producing top quality milk for it's consumers thus leading to their robust health which is perfectly in sync with the Mission Tandarust Punjab.