CHANDIGARH, FEBRUARY 17:The Punjab Government will honour 9th standard student Amandeep Kaur for showing exemplary courage by saving four children in the Longowal school van tragedy.

This was announced on Monday by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who said Amandeep would be conferred the bravery award on Independence Day and the state government will sponsor her education.

The girl, accompanied by her father Satnam Singh and Congress leader Daman Thind Bajwa, met the Chief Minister at his official residence this evening. She shared with Captain Amarinder details of the incident and her own role in rescuing the four kids from the burning van.

The Chief Minister also consoled Kuldeep Singh Bajwa, a member of the family that lost their kids in the tragedy.



Chandigarh, February 17:Taking cognizance of Longowal school van fire tragedy, the State Transport Department on the directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday checked 4504 vehicles, of which 1649 were challaned besides impounding 253 vehicles for not complying with the requisite parameters of motor vehicle Act.

Disclosing this here today an official spokesperson said that this drive would continue further to ensure that all such vehicles must adhere to the stipulated norms for the security and safety of the school children.

It may be recalled that after the tragic incident of fire in a school bus near Longowal on Saturday, which claimed lives of four children, Captain Amarinder Singh had ordered Transport Department to launch a major crackdown on school vehicles.




CHANDIGARH, FEBRUARY 17:Even as he warned private players against messing with Punjab’s finances, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said his government would renegotiate the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) which the erstwhile Akali government had signed to defraud the state and its people.

Given the shortfall in production by the state-owned power plants at Lehra Mohabbat and Ropar, the Chief Minister said his government would work around the existing arrangements with the private players to make the power rates more affordable while ensuring that the peak demand of 13,000 Mega Watts is effectively met.

Addressing the newly elected Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) office bearers over tea, the Chief Minister said the state's financial position was on its way to consolidation as a result of his government’s efforts of the last three years and any attempt to scuttle the momentum would not be tolerated.

Exhorting the young PYC members and office bearers to play a proactive role in safeguarding the nation’s cherished ideals of secularism and pluralism, Captain Amarinder described the positivity and energy exhibited by the youth against the nefarious divisive designs of the BJP was reassuring.

Listing out his government's various pathbreaking achievements in agriculture, education and other key sectors, Captain Amarinder asked the youth wing to support the various initiatives in a mission mode to ensure that their benefits percolate down to the masses, and to thwart the Opposition’s negative propaganda against the government.

The Chief Minister underlined the importance of skill-based and quality education to equip the youngsters to meet the current challenges on the national and global stage. Pointing to his government’s drive to create more smart schools, he pointed out that 5500 such schools had already been made operational and the target was to scale it up to 13000 within this year.

On the industrial front, the Chief Minister said that over Rs. 60,000 Crores of investment had already taken off the ground, and more investment would come in this year.

Captain Amarinder hoped the exuberance shown by the young leaders would further enhance penetration of the state government's various pathbreaking pro-people policies at the grassroots. He also assured them of his proactive support at all levels for any work in the interest of the state and its youth.

PYC president Brinder Singh Dhillon thanked the Chief Minister for ensuring political space for youngsters, especially from middle class families, in the state politics. He assured the Chief Minister of all out efforts for vigorously spreading the state government’s programmes and policies.

Prominent amongst others present at the event were MP Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari, MP Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla, MP Ferozepur Parminder Singh Pinky, MLA Balachour Darshan Lal, Political Secretary to CM Capt Sandeep Sandhu and OSD/CM Jagdeep Singh Sidhu. Secretary AICC-cum-incharge Indian Youth Congress (IYC) Krishna Allavaru accompanied the PYC team.




CHANDIGARH, FEBRUARY 17: To ensure the holistic development of Kandi and Border areas of the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday approved projects and schemes worth Rs 125 crore for the year 2019-20. The Chief Minister also okayed the guidelines and criteria for the execution of these development projects and schemes.

Of the total approved sum, Rs 100 crore has been earmarked for the overall development of the border region and Rs. 25 crore for the Kandi areas. These funds are in addition to the ongoing schemes and programmes, an official spokesperson disclosed after the maiden meeting of Border and Kandi Area Development Board, presided over by the Chief Minister.

Captain Amarinder Singh also gave the nod to spend 75 percent of allocated funds on priority sectors viz health, education, water supply & sanitation, and the remaining 25 percent on other sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture and allied, rural development & panchayats and local government.

On the issue of realignment of Kandi canal raised by Member Parliament from Sri Anandpur Sahib, Manish Tewari, the Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to constitute a committee comprising MP Sri Anandpur Sahib, MLA Balachaur, engineers from Water Resources Department, besides eminent experts from the field of canal design and management, to suggest ways & means to rectify the technical flaws in the construction of canal in order to harness its optimum irrigation potential.

The Chief Minister assured the Board members that paucity of funds would not be allowed to hamper the pace of development in these difficult areas, where people were grappling with several hardships, especially scarcity of potable water, less irrigation facilities and poor road connectivity etc. He pointed out that the very objective of setting up the Board was to identify the problems in these areas and address them on priority.

Captain Amarinder said the allocation would be enhanced further to ensure basic facilities of health, education, water supply and sanitation etc for the people in these areas, in order to improve the quality of their life.

Responding to the issues raised by members of the Board, the Chief Minister consented to get a third party audit done from an independent agency of repute to ascertain the quality of the development projects. He also directed Rural Development & Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa to put in place an effective mechanism for quality evaluation of development projects in these areas through such agency with proven track of fair expertise, experience and technical knowledge in handling assessment of such projects.

Conceding another demand of the Board members, Captain Amarinder asked the Planning Department to examine the feasibility of fixed tenure of the concerned MPs and MLAs as members of the Board instead of the prevalent practice of rotation, to ensure all-round development of these region in an efficacious and result oriented manner.

Prominent amongst those who attended the meeting were Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Razia Sultana, MP Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujla, MLA Darshan Lal Mangupur, MLA Pathankot Amit Vij, MLA Ajnala Harpartap Singh Ajnala, MLA Ferozepur City Parminder Singh Pinky, Eminent Economist Dr Sucha Singh Gill and Anish Kumar Sudan’s from Jalalabad (all Board members).

Apart from these, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, ACS Development Viswajeet khanna, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tewari and Special Secretary Planning Daljeet Singh Mangat were also present.


Purchase & Dispensing of Buprenorphin/Naloxone made as per SOP, Civil Surgeons apprise Health Minister

Minister instructs Civil Surgeons to ensure the adequate availability of medicines in Govt. Hospitals

Approval limit of Civil Surgeons will increase to Rs 1.50 lac to clear the Medical bills

Assures, Shortage of Medical Officers would be fulfilled in Government Hospitals

Chandigarh, February 17:The purchase and dispensing of Buprenorphin/Naloxone has been made as per fully in accordance with the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), the Civil Surgeons have apprise the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu during the State level review meeting of Health Department. The meeting was held at newly opened State Institute for Health and Family Welfare in Kisan Vikas Chamber, Mohali.

While presiding over the meeting, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu directed the Civil Surgeons to take stern action, if any private de-addiction centre has over charged the consultancy fees from the patients. He also said that Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government is committed to provide the quality treatment services to patients suffering from addiction and with the concrete efforts of the Health department higher number of patients are coming to the OOAT Clinics and de-addiction centres across the state. He also asked the Civil Surgeons to pay special attention on drop out patients.

Taking up the another issue in the meeting, Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that any doctor who is found to prescribe such medicines that are available through in-house pharmacy/ Jan Aushadi, from outside private pharmacies or is referring patients eligible under Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana to private hospitals, instead of availability of the treatment in the Govt hospital will face the music. He said that patients visiting Govt hospitals for any planned/ non emergency treatment is to be referred to higher Government where such services are available. He said that if the treatment is not available in government hospital, the beneficiary is to be referred to any empanelled private hospital.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that it is matter of serious concern even after regular supply of medicines, patients were helpless to buy their medicines from outside. The Minister further instructed the Civil Surgeons to ensure the adequate availability of medicines in their respective districts and fix the accountability of Senior Medical Officers.

Mr Manvesh Singh Sidhu apprised the meeting, bar coding would soon be displayed on the strips of medicines so as to reduce the physical work in Jan Aushdhi Kerndra. Mr.Balbir Sidhu said that stock of medicines has to be maintained at least for three months and Civil Surgeons should personally conduct the surprise checking of Hospitals to ensure the availability of medicines. He said that Senior Medical Officers to submit the daily reports of stock of available medicines to district hospitals.

While reviewing the sanction posts of MOs and para medical staff, the Minister directed the Secretary Health Mr. Manvesh Singh Sidhu to restructuring and rationalizes the all cadres of MOs and para-medical staff so that functioning of District Hospital and Sub Divisional Hospitals can improve. He assured the meeting that shortage of Medical Officers would soon be fulfilled in Government Hospitals.

Taking up the long pending issue of reimbursement, the cabinet Minister said that it has been observed that govt employees have faced harassment to get the approval of medical bills. Considering the issue on priority, soon the approval limit of Civil Surgeons will increase to Rs 1.50 lac, after that medical bill below the amount will be dealt at district level which will give relief to the government employees.

Key programmes such as Health and Wellness Centres, Mother and Child Healthcare, Cancer Control Programme were also discussed in the meeting.

Chairman PHSC, Mr. Amardeep Singh Cheems, Secretary Health, Mr. Kumar Rahul, Director D.H.S, Dr. Avneet Kaur, Director Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Rita Bhardwaj, Director NHM, Dr. Parvinder Singh, Director Aurved Dr. Rakesh Sharma, Director ESI, Dr. Rakesh Gupta , Prinicpal State Institute for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Gurminder Singh Mehmi, Director PHSC, Dr. Rupinder Kaur, Deputy Directors and all Civil Surgeons were present in the meeting.


VB nabs CDPO, Peon & a private person impersonating as police official

Chandigarh, February 17: Punjab Vigilance Bureau, today nabbed Child Development Project officer (CDPO) and his peon posted at block Jhuneer, Mansa district red handed while accepting bribe of Rs. 25,000. In another bribery case a private person impersonating Reader to DSP Ludhiana was also arrested taking bribed amount Rs 20,000.

Disclosing this here, an official spokesperson of the Vigilance Bureau said CDPO Kiran Rani and Peon Balwinder Singh were arrested on the complaint of Mohinder Kaur working as a Anganwari helper at Jhuneer. The complainant has approached the VB and alleged that the accused CDPO was demanding Rs 30,000 to helping her in joining as Anganwari worker after promotion and the deal was struck at Rs. 25,000.

After verifying his information, the VB team laid a trap and the accused CDPO and peon were arrested on the spot while taking bribe of Rs.25,000 from the complainant in the presence of two official witnesses.

In another case VB team from Jalandhar today nabbed a private person Amandeep who was taking bribe Rs 20,000 from a travel agent impersonating as Reader to DSP Ludhiana.

The spokesperson further added that complaint Jaswant Singh village Gopipur, Kapurthala district has informed the VB about the threats being given by accused Amandeep who was demanding bribe Rs one lakh from him but the deal was struck at Rs 30,000. He had already handed over Rs 10,000 as a bribe to accused at Ludhiana.

The accused Armandeep along with two more persons Bhupinder Bhinda and Vickey, who were impersonating as Assistant Sub Inspectors and a Mohalla head, called the complainant at Ludhiana and got signed an agreement with a lady Kulwinder Kaur from Alamgir who had given him Rs one lakh for getting Canadian visa. All the accused persons were impersonating as police officials and demanding money as bribe for facilitating this compromise.

After verifying his information, the VB team laid a trap at Rama Mandi Jalandhar and the main accused Armandeep was arrested on the spot while taking bribe of Rs. 20,000 from the complainant in the presence of two official witnesses. His two other accomplices managed to escape as they were waiting at far distance.

The spokesperson informed that two dif cases under Prevention of Corruption Act have been registered against all the above accused at VB police station Bathinda and Jalandhar. Further investigations in both the cases were under progress.



CHANDIGARH/MOGA, February 17:Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve on Monday, visited country’s largest Silos (steel storehouse) having a total capacity of 2 Lakhs metric tonnes (MTs) situated in Dagru village here. The Silos owned by the Adani Agri Logistics Limited is with an agreement with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to store, purchase and distribute the wheat stock.

Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve accompanied by General Manager FCI Arshdeep Singh Thind reviewed and hailed the advanced technology of the project, which needs negligible labour in the process from picking, sampling, checking food quality, storing and distribution of the wheat grains in bulk quantity.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC Development) Subhash Chander, Divisional Manager FCI Vivek Poddar and Vice President Adani Group Silos Puneet Mehndiratta were also present.

Puneet Mehndiratta, while giving brief about the project to the minister said that farmers can directly sell their crop here in just two-three hours which includes the process of picking crop from a trolley, sampling them, checking for quality to store them. He said that after purchasing the crop the payment as per the minimum support price (MSP) given to the farmer within 72 hours.

He said the major beneficiary of this project is the farmer who doesn't need to spend on handling and cleaning of the crop beside this process saves a lot of time as compare to the conventional system of selling crop in the grain market.

He said that this project is also proving beneficial for the government as it saves the huge expenditure being spent on gunny bags besides saving transportation cost as the stored grains are being transported in specially designed ‘top loading and bottom discharge wagons’ of the train in the different states of the country. Mehndiratta said that in this whole process the biggest benefit is of the consumers, who get the food full of nutrition.

On the occasion, Terminal Manager Silos Amandeep Singh Soni, AGM Quality Check Mukesh Meena among other officials were present.