Chandigarh, October 14: Describing the progressive farmers, who have refrained from burning paddy stubble, as pioneers of change, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday called upon them to join the state government in launching a massive campaign to persuade the entire farming community to give up this dangerous practice in the interest of environmental protection for the future generations.

Addressing a group of these farmers, Captain Amarinder Singh said these agents of change had done yeoman’s service to humanity by helping create a pollution-free environment. He said their experiences and expertise must be replicated by one and all to save the fertility of soil on the one hand and prevent environmental pollution on the other.

Emphasising the need to make judicious use of ground water, which was swiftly depleting, the Chief Minister said that it was the duty of the farming community to save water for future generations as otherwise the state would soon become a desert and the entire agriculture economy would be devastated. He stressed that diversification of agriculture, coupled with techniques like drip irrigation, was the only answer to the problem of water depletion.

Lauding the professionals and agricultural technocrats who were taking up Agriculture as a full-time profession, the Chief Minister said that their contribution, especially in putting the latest technological advancements in the field of agriculture into practice, would further motivate the farmers to adopt new techniques to enhance the crop productivity “, both quantitatively as well as qualitatively. The Chief Minister also complemented the efforts of the Agriculture Department in motivating the farmers to shun stubble burning by creating awareness amongst them. This, he said, had resulted in reducing the incidents of stubble burning by 10 percent last year and a similar trend was expected during the current year too.

Sharing his experience, Surjit Singh, a farmer from village Sadhugarh in Fatehgarh Sahib, said that he was the first to shun the malpractice of crop residue burning in the open fields at a time when modern equipment and farm machinery was not even in vogue. He underscored the need to educate farmers on a mega scale so as to make them aware about the harmful effects of stubble burning, which not only reduces the fertility of soil but also creates pollution, thereby harming human life.

Gurbachan Singh, a farmer from Burj Deva Singh in Tarn Taran district, highlighted the conservation of air, water and soil, which had been propagated by the first Sikh Guru Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and asked the farming fraternity to follow Guru Ji’s message.

Several others farmers including Hardeep Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Baljinder Singh, Didar Singh, Jagseer Singh, Gurbinder Singh, Malkit Singh, Jagdish Singh, Master Jarnail Singh, Bir Davinde Singh, Dr. Harminder Singh Sidhu, Tota Singh and Jagdeep Singh also shared their valuable inputs, and suggested practical ways and means to tackle the menace permanently. Majority of the farmers urged the Government to reward those farmers who refrained from stubble burning and punish others who recklessly continue to indulge in this malpractice.

Prominent amongst others present in the meeting were Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Additional Chief Secretary Development Viswajeet Khanna, Principal Secretary Science, Technology and Environment Rakesh Verma, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Secretary Agriculture Kahan Singh Pannu, Director Information and Public Relations Anindita Mitra, Chairman Punjab Pollution Control Board Satwinder Singh Marwaha and Director Agriculture Sutantar Kumar Airi.



Health Minister directs SMOs to seek demand of medicines in advance

Chandigarh, October 14:To ensure the adequate supply of medicines in the Government Hospitals, the Punjab Government has decided to make the supply of all medicines to District hospitals, Sub Divisional Hospitals, Community Health Centres and Block Primary Health Centres directly from regional drug warehouse. It was disclosed today by the Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu in press communiqué.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that earlier, district hospitals had distributed the stock of medicines to all categories of government hospitals of health department after getting it from the regional drug warehouses. He said that this mechanism did not fulfil the overall requirement of all hospitals. He said that with a view to ensure the continuous delivery of medicines, now all hospitals would directly get the medicines from the concerned regional drug warehouses at Kharar (Mohali), Bathinda and Verka (Amritsar).

The Health Minister added that Senior Medical Officers have been assigned the responsibility to maintain the stock of medicines which would be provided free of cost in their respective hospitals. He also directed the SMOs to ensure the place the demand for medicines through online mode in advance.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu further said that civil surgeons have also been instructed to personally visit the government hospitals to check that whether the medicines are being provided to the patients free of cost or not so that needy patients needn’t have to spend money from their pocket for the medicines. He said that Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government is committed to provide the quality health services and to achieve this aim, the stock of all listed medicines are available in the government hospitals. He also said that if any patient would not get the medicine from the government hospital then he/she could lodge the complaint at the official helpline number 104.

The Minister further said that he also asked the regional drug warehouses to maintain the minimum stock of medicines for 3 months. He said that in case, rate contract is going to end with the company then order level would be fixed so as to maintain the stock of necessary medicines in the warehouses.


PMC bank not linked in any manner with Punjab State Cooperative Bank & District Central Cooperative Banks operating in State : Dr. S. K. Batish

Cooperative Banks of Punjab in sound financial condition, Says MD, Punjab State Cooperative Bank Ltd.

Chandigarh, October 14:The Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC), in the news for fraudulently extending loans to housing development and infrastructure ltd. (HDIL), imperiling deposits of numerous customers, is an urban cooperative bank working in the State of Maharashtra which has no relation with the Punjab State Cooperative Bank and District Central Cooperative Banks working in the State of Punjab.

Disclosing this here today, the MD, The Punjab State Cooperative Bank Ltd. Dr. S. K. Batish said that the Punjab State Cooperative Bank Ltd., Chandigarh and District Central Cooperative Banks are serving the people of Punjab with its network of more than 800 branches and are in sound financial health. Some District Central Cooperative Banks are more than a century old. These banks are catering to the socio economic needs of more than 9 lakh farmers of the State. He also divulged that around 39 lakh depositors and 16 lakh borrowers are getting banking services from these banks.

Reassuring the customers of the Cooperative Banks of Punjab, Dr. Batish said that the Punjab State Cooperative Bank and the District Central Cooperative Banks are having a total business of Rs. 34000 Crore. Agricultural loans worth Rs. 9200 Crore have been provided to the farmers of the State. The District Central Cooperative Banks are among the biggest agriculture lenders of the State. It is reiterated that the Punjab State Cooperative Bank and all the District Central Cooperative Banks in the State of Punjab adhere to the norms fixed by the regulatrors i.e. RBI and NABARD viz-a-viz CRAR, CRR and SLR etc.

Dr. Batish exhorted the depositors and borrowers of the Cooperative Banks of Punjab to transact with the bank in a fearless manner on consistent basis.



CHANDIGARH, OCTOBER 14:Chief justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court Mr. Justice Ravi Shanker Jha, today administered oath of office to Mr. Justice Pullgoru Venkata Sanjay Kumar as new judge of Punjab & Haryana high court. Swearing-in-Ceremony was organized in the High Court Auditorium.

Among those present during the oath taking ceremony included all judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, Registrar, Officers of the registry, senior advocates and office-bearers of High Court Bar Association.




Chandigarh/ New Delhi, October 14 :PWD Minister Punjab Mr. Vijay Inder Singla has said that the state is fully geared up to implement the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program on all the State Highway Toll Plazas as per the guidelines unveiled by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in order to remove bottlenecks and to ensure seamless movement and collection of user fee as per the notified rates, using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

Mr. Singla, who was here to participate in Conference on One Nation One Tag- FASTag held at Dr. Ambedkar International Center, New Delhi, in which Union minister of Road Transport and Highways Mr. Nitin Gadkari was the chief guest, said that the overall objective of the project would be to implement Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) solution based on RFID technology that would result in smooth passing of vehicles through the toll plazas.

These technical advancements would cut the waiting time at toll plazas as the system would ensure smooth passing of vehicles. The initiative is focused to provide ease to the common people. The concerned authorities and officials were already on job to install necessary equipments and technologies for proper implementation of this new system``, added Mr. Singla.

National Electronic Toll Collection, the flagship initiative of Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has been implemented on Pan India Basis. During the Conference today Mr. Gadkari has set a timeline of 1st December 2019 for all the toll payments via FASTag only on National highwaysToll Plazas.

Mr. Singla revealed that to further enhance the coverage of the NETC Program and offer seamless services to the people across the country, the scheme guidelines for inclusion of toll plazas was unveiled by the Union Ministry of Road Transport on January 7, 2019 and the states were asked to implement NETC on all the state toll plazas. Mr. Singla said that Punjab will join this movement of seamlessly integrating the solution to support One Nation- One Tag-FASTag.

Union Minister of state for Road Transport and Highways Gen. V.K.Singh also addressed the conference.



CHANDIGARH, October 14:The Election Commission today banned exit polls between October 19th and October 21st ,2019 in regard with bypoll in Punjab.

Disclosing this here today Dr. S Karuna Raju said that under provisions of section 126 A of the Representations of the Peoples Act, 1951 "Exit polls cannot be conducted and publicized by means of print and electronic media or dissemination in any other manner starting from October19th (Saturday) at 6:30 PM to October 21, 2019 at 6.30 PM."

He said that under section 126 A of R.P. Act 1951 and sub section (2) of the said section the period between 7:00 AM and 6:30 PM on 21-10-2019 as the period during which conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing by means of print or electronic media or dissemination in any other manner shall be prohibited.

Clarifying further, he said that under section 126(1)(b) of R.P. Act 1951, display of any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey in any electronic media is prohibited during the period 48 hours, including the hour fixed for conclusion of bypoll.


ECI Specifies 11 alternative documents for identification proof

Chandigarh, October 14: People will be able to cast their vote with 11 alternative identity proofs besides Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) during the by polls in Punjab on October 21,2019.

Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Dr. S Karuna Raju said those not having the elector’s photo identity card (EPIC, also called voter ID card) can exercise their franchise using alternative documents including Aadhaar card, passport, driving license or service ID cards (with photograph) issued by central or state governments or public sector undertakings.

The election commission has also allowed Bank or Post office passbooks with photographs, PAN card, MGNREGA job card, Health insurance smart card, Pension documents and official identity card issued to MPs/MLAs/MLCs total 11 documents to be used as identity proof.


Punjab Govt Declares Local Holiday in Amritsar District on Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Ramdas ji

Chandigarh, October 14:Punjab Government today declared local holiday in Amritsar district on October 15, 2019 on the auspicious occasion of Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Ramdas Ji.

Disclosing this here, an official spokesperson of the Punjab Government said that all the offices of Punjab Government, Boards, Corporations and Educational Institutions in the Amritsar district would remain closed on the auspicious occasion.

A notification has been issued by the Personnel Department, Punjab in this regard.