State Lauds The Success of Punjab Police Against Gurdaspur Terror Attacks

gurdaspurIf the operation against the terrorists who attacked Gurdaspur on July 27, 2015 was successful, it was only due to efforts of the Punjab Police and SWAT team. The bravery displayed by the members of Punjab Police and SWAT team highly limited the damage that could have otherwise happened. The state lauded their efforts and said that victory against the terrorists was a ‘major gain for peace and communal harmony.’

It all began on the early morning of July 27, 2015, when a group of terrorists hijacked a Maruti Car in Dinanagar. Later it came into light that they opened fire at people at a bus stand and rushed into Police Station. Five live bombs were discovered on Amritsar-Pathankot railway track which were later diffused by army. Punjab Police was successful in killing all the three terrorists after an 11-hours operation but unfortunately 4 policemen including SP (D) Baljit Singh and 3 civilians also lost their lives in it.

Chief Minister S. Prakash Singh Badal praised the patriotic bravery displayed by SP Baljit Singh and other members police team who lost their lives in service of the country. Describing the operation as ‘a victory for the nation’, Mr. Badal hailed the sacrifice of the 4 members of the police team and declared that next kin of Punjab Police killed in the operation will be given a financial assistance of Rs. 10 Lac and a government job each. CM also thanked the people of Dinanagar for their cooperation and offered a government job and Rs. 05 lakh each to kin of civilians killed in the attack.

Mr. Badal held a special meeting with the Ministers at his residence where he made the major announcements. He condemned the attack calling it a ‘colossal tragedy.’ Two minute silence was also observed in the memory of departed souls.  The brave Punjab Roadways driver Shri Nanak Chand was greatly appreciated by the state and it was declared that he would be honored for State Award for bravery on the Independence Day function. Also, his name would be recommended for the Gallantry Award for civilians to be given by the Government of India.

Success of the operation against the Gurdaspur Terror attacks could not have been possible without patriotic fervor of Punjab Police and people of the state. It is not yet clear that who was behind the attack but intelligence suspects that the terrorists left for India from Pakistan on July 25, 2015.

Punjab Mourns The Demise Of Dr. Kalam

Once he had said, “I will not be presumptuous enough to say that my life can be a role model for anybody; but some poor child living in an obscure place in an underprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way my destiny has been shaped. It could perhaps help such children liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory backwardness and hopelessness?” Born on October 15, 1931, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam lived up to every single word that he said and even more than that. In another endeavor to motivate and inspire the youth, he was in IIM Shillong on July 27, 2015, from where he never returned.

Sudden demise of the ‘Missile Man of India’ has left the nation immensely saddened. Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam suffered cardiac arrest while delivering speech at IIM Shillong following which he was taken to Bethany Hospital where he breathed his last. Inspiration for millions, a Youth Icon in his 70s and a great individual, Dr. Kalam was beloved of India and people across the world. From being born in a family with meager income to becoming first citizen of India, he journey was marked by odd jobs, endless love for education and hard work. He was a scientist, an administrator, an orator, a writer and much more.

Punjab Government expresses heartfelt tribute to the Hon’ble 11th President of India and mourns his sudden demise as the country has lost a real ‘Bharat Ratna’.  Dr. Kalam was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India. He was honored with King Charles II Medal by the Royal Society, U.K. in 2007. He was bestowed with honorary doctorates from 40 universities from across the globe. United Nations honored Dr. Kalam by declaring October 15 as World Students’ Day on his 79th birthday. At the age of 72 in 2003 and 75 in 2006, he was nominated for MTV Youth Icon of the Year award. Because of his great contribution to the development of missiles in the country, he was fondly called ‘The Missile Man of India’. And the list would never end.

Dr. Kalam visited Punjab on 400th anniversary of installation of Guru Granth Sahib. He paid obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib on the day and addressed the gathering where he congratulated the people on the auspicious occasion and gave a message of love and communal harmony. He was honored by SGPC with a sword on the day. Where the whole nation is mourning the demise of the former President, Punjab CM Mr. Badal also sent a condolence message in which he described Dr. Kalam as “a towering and multifaceted personality, an eminent academician, a noted scientist and above all a fine human being”.

dr abdul kalam

Vital Reforms by Punjab Health Department

Healthcare in Punjab is now getting more attention than ever as the Punjab Health Department is all set to bring some vital changes in the way it works. The aim is to provide affordable health care services in every corner of the state. The health institutions will be revamped with improved equipment and facilities with methodological suggestions from the medical experts of PGI Chandigarh.

In a bid to make people aware of the health facilities being provided by it, the Punjab health department has recently launched a campaign under which it is taking a number of steps to make the latest information about its activities and facilities available to the general public. The move is a part of a major reform in the health department where the department is taking measures to upgrade and improve the services under its umbrella.

The department has considered regular updating of the health website as one of the crucial steps. It has asked all the civil surgeons to make sure that they update the daily activities on the website. This is to ensure that the vital information is accessible to the people without any hassle. Further, they are also advised to make sure that Signages of the hospitals are big and clear enough so that the patients are able to locate them easily. Also, emphasis is on ample coverage of health related issues and events to help the people gain crucial knowledge about them.

In addition, the department has suggested distribution of precise wall writings and pamphlets to the public. To ensure that the health messages displayed on the monitors are understandable by a layman, the hospitals are instructed to regularly monitor LED TVs installed in hospitals. Reports of all activities are required to be sent to state headquarters for review and further uploading on social media. Proposals of involvement of schools in spreading awareness regarding health problems like dengue, malaria, water borne diseases and hygiene are also under consideration.

Another major step that is to be taken is introduction of Patient Feedback Forms at all government hospitals in the State for getting valuable suggestions from the patients. The move will further help in making improvements in services and also instil confidence in patients who visit public health institutions.

Punjab Solar Power Summit – A Milestone in the History of Punjab

The Punjab Solar Summit-2015 can be said to be a beginning of yet another era. Success of the summit held at Chandigarh on July 23, 2015 has proved to be a milestone in history of Punjab as it was first ever such initiative in the state. It aimed to bring prospective entrepreneurs, investors and other stake holders on one platform. The New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia is the man behind making Punjab a solar state, which he says was his dream since he had occupied the office. The Solar Power Summit-2015 proved to be a major endeavor in converting his dream into a revolution.

Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal presided over the summit where he congratulated Bikram Singh Majithia and his entire team for phenomenal success in the field of solar energy. He, further, called farmers in the state to establish mini solar plants in their lands and assured that the government was open to subsidize the installation cost of the plants for agricultural usage using the funds that are given to PSPCL for providing free electricity.

Under the guidance of Mr. Majithia, Punjab has achieved exceptional energy capacity addition increasing it from 9MW in 2012 to 541MW in 2015. Punjab is the only state in the nation to add 117MW of solar energy capacity in one year. At the summit, he announced that the state has taken new initiatives to expand the solar power projects. He also said that his ministry will allow establishment of mega projects of 50MW each. This has only been possible due exceptionally great policies implemented in the state. The solar power project received major support from PSPCL with its 25 year power purchase agreement.

Go Solar move in Punjab is riding on high success after the summit as more investors than ever are now showing interest in it. Keeping in view the installation costs of the projects, the entrepreneurs bidding for the project will be eligible for subsidy of Rs. 3.5 crore per MW. Mr. Majithia thanked companies that helped in realization of the dream and also extended his gratitude to the NRI investors from their immense response and crucial investment. 47 investors were honored on the day who also lauded Punjab Government for their amazing facilitation and support.

The state of Punjab is now targeting establishment of 2000MW of solar generation capacity. Over 6000 acres of land has already been registered with PEDA for the purpose. The solar power is expected to reduce the burden on the thermal plants and lessen the free power subsidy quotient in the long run. Punjab is rapidly progressing in the field and is attracting the investors. This has also proved to be boon for the farmers in the state who are called by the government to become entrepreneurs and can sell extra energy to PSPCL as good rates. An overwhelming response over installation of their own mini solar plants is being received from the farmers.

Punjab emerges as the Hub of the new Green Power Revolution

sangrur solarInauguration of 10.50 MW Solar Power Plant in district Sangrur by Punjab New & Renewable Energy Minister Sardar Bikram Singh Majithia has made Punjab the first state in the nation to operationalize 117 MW solar power plants just within four months. With this, the state has now emerged as a dream destination for solar investors. This has only been possible due to the  investor friendly policies of the Government of Punjab.

The recent project has been set up on 45 acres of land using Rs. 84 crore. Besides this, a 100 MW project is expected to be set up in Mansa by March 2016 and capacity of 54 MW is to be added to the existing capacity of 34 MW at Fazilka. The major solar power developers including Lanco, Solairedirect and Acme are behind these projects. The state targets to achieve 1000MW solar power generation by March 2017.

As a matter of fact, within last three years record 208 MW capacity has been added to the existing solar power capacityusing huge investment of Rs. 1600 crore. It is apparent that Punjab is rapidly progressing in solar power generation becoming a torchbearer for the nation in this field. Country’s first satellite controlled Single Axis Tracking East West Tilt Technology based solar power plant came up at village Lalpur in Hoshiarpur district in May 2015. What made this plant special was the technology which worked by following sun’s path resulting in generation of eight percent more units of electricity than the traditional solar power plants.

One advantage of these projects is that farmers are now getting remunerative lease rates even for the lands that are infertile. Other than the existing projects in the state, it is highly expected that there will soon be more announcements for bigger solar projects. The government is emphasizing largely on environment friendly power generation technology. This will not only tackle the challenges of increasing global warming but also contribute in making the planet a better place to live. It will not be wrong say that the project will serve as a boon to existing as well as future generations.

Punjab Awarded for Safe Deliveries and Decline in IMR

A report by UNICEF reveals that Punjab is among the only six states of India that are likely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 that aims to reduce Under-Five Mortality (U5MR) by two thirds between 1990 and 2015. The infant mortality is considered as one of the three indicators used to check accomplishments towards MDG 4. It can be defined as death of a child less than one year of age and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is number of deaths of children under one year of age per 1000 live births. Some of the main causes that contribute to infant mortality are pneumonia, pre-term birth complications, diarrhea, malaria, measles, malnutrition, etc.

With improved infrastructure and healthcare Punjab has been, increasingly, able to save mothers and the new-borns. The state has recently bagged two awards each for decline in IMR and safe deliveries. The same has become possible through robust healthcare facilities provided by the government across the state. During the National Summit on Good and Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Systems in India held at Shimla from 2nd July 2015 to 4th July 2015, the state was awarded for making safe deliveries a reality and witnessing steep decline in the Infant Mortality Rate.

Figures suggest that Punjab has recorded IMR of 26 against the national average of 40 and Maternal Mortality Rate of 155 against the national average of 178. The state was also lauded for bringing down the Neo-natal mortality rate from 28 in 2008 to 16 in 2013. In addition, DHLS data confirmed that institutional deliveries in Punjab have increased from 63.3% in 2007-08 to 82.7% in 2012-13.  Institutional deliveries particularly in government hospitals have witnessed fivefold increase from 44,000 in 2008 to 2 lakh in 2013 making number higher than that in the private sector.

Center praised the government led by Chief Minister S. Parkash Singh Badal for achieving a status that is still a dream in other states of the country. It may be said that Punjab has emerged as a leader in the field and the healthcare in the state is expected to surge more rapidly in the coming years.

New Dawn Of Renewable Energy In Punjab

Renewable energy initiatives in Punjab have finally started making a powerful impact in the state’s development. Not only are they using clean energy for the benefit of the masses, but are also paving a new era of eco-friendly development.

Majithia mansa solarIn recent years, Punjab Government has pioneered initiatives to promote solar power generation on a large scale. With a noble and unique aim of making Punjab a clean and green power state, New and Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia recently inaugurated two solar power projects of 2.10 MW and 1 MW at Mirpur Kalan village of the District Mansa. This district will serve as the torch bearer in the mission of ensuring energy to every household of rural Punjab and set an example for others to follow.

The 2.10 MW project has been set up by M/S Alianz Eco Power Private Limited at the cost of Rs. 15.50 crore and the 1 MW Power Project has been set up by M/S Nextgen Power Private Limited at the cost of Rs. 8.00 crore.

And to add to the buzz and excitement regarding these projects, Moserbaer has leased 150 acres of land for setting up a 34 MW Solar Power Project.

The humble beginning of solar power initiatives started three years ago, which has now become a movement covering the entire state. At present, Punjab’s solar power generation is touching 215 MW from mere 9 MW with an investment of more than Rs. 1,500 crore.

It is an outstanding achievement for the state to boost the harnessing of this renewable energy source on a large level. In fact, 23 ground mounted solar projects of 229 MW capacity (Rs. 1600 crore) and 4 solar rooftop projects of 65 MW (Rs. 300 crore) are under implementation in the state.

Mr. Majthia also congratulated Mansa for emerging as Number One District of Punjab in pioneering solar power generation. Currently, the district has four successful solar power projects with joint power generation capacity of 61 MW.

The state’s attempts in harnessing solar power have been recognised by the Government of India as well. In February 2015, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi awarded the State of Punjab as ‘best performing state in developing efficient Renewable Energy during REINVEST-2015 held in New Delhi.

Recently, Renewable Energy Promotion Association (REPA) also awarded Punjab as the best Bio-Energy State of India with highest installed capacity of rural agro waste based biomass energy conversion projects. To note, the state has excelled with 62.5 MW capacities in biomass power generation.

With all such achievements, the state government is certainly taking the concept of green and clean living to every household. In fact, Punjab has pioneered another concept of encouraging people to produce their own energy by installing rooftop projects. To ensure the same, the state has also implemented the Net Metering Policy 2014.

The government has also joined hands with IDBI Bank to launch a new scheme, ‘Surya Shakti’ for financing independent rooftop projects.

This is a dawn of a great era in Punjab. Under the able leadership of Chief Minister Mr. Prakash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, small districts like Bathinda and Mansa which were considered backward few years back, have witnessed investment coming their way. This is a sign of a shining and developing state. Government of Punjab has shown tremendous commitment and initiation in sustainable development. This project is yet another feather in Punjab’s  cap and an appreciable milestone in its journey towards a cleaner and greener Punjab.

Punjab Villages All Set to Undergo Facelift

Development of villages of Punjab is something that people of the state look up to as more than 60 percent of the population resides in rural areas. Time to time the government has come up with various rural development schemes to uplift living standards in villages and provide them with adequate facilities as required by them. The 14th Finance Commission is expected to completely change the face of rural Punjab with new schemes and greater investment than before.

In a move to develop the rural Punjab, the State Government shall soon receive a sum of Rs. 4091 crore from the Government of India in the 14th Finance Commission. This amounts to over 140% increase in the total money sanctioned for the purpose in 13th Finance Commission. The money allotted for rural development in 13th Finance Commission was Rs. 1700 crore. Also, for the current fiscal, additional Rs. 700 crore is soon expected to be disbursed to the state.

On his visit to Singhpura village in Ropar district, the Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Mr. Nihal Chand was acquainted with the current development projects in the state by the Chief Minister Mr. Prakash Singh Badal. Calling the state a ‘torch bearer’ for rural development in the country, Mr. Chand lauded Mr. Badal for the efforts made by his government and ensured that NDA shall extend full support and cooperation to them for such endeavors in future.

Mr. Badal also explained to him state’s plan to tackle the issue of cleaning the village ponds across Punjab using a new proven technology. As a matter of fact, dirty ponds pose a major threat to health of the residents. He said that the government was well aware about the issue and was keen to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Mr. Badal also asked the Union Minister for relaxation in NREGA norms so that Panchayats and other public representatives could contribute to the funds in the development works as the funds currently allocated for the purpose were insufficient.

If the move is approved by the Center and norms are relaxed, the State will easily overcome the scarcity of funds that the NREGA scheme in Punjab currently faces. The Union Minister has assured that a team will be constituted which will look into the various schemes in the state and resolve the pertaining issues, if any.

With coming of the next Finance Commission, the State is expected to undergo major reforms and it will not be wrong to say that rural Punjab will see an upliftment that will totally transform its’ face. Punjab, at present, is one of the rapidly developing states of the nation and in the coming years it is expected to rise as a model of rural development that other states will want to follow.

Campaign To Motivate People For Organ Donation

organ donation punjabDid you know that there has been a rising case of loss of life due to absence of eligible organ donors in our country? Vital organs which could have been life saving go waste due to ignorance and lack of awareness about the very concept of organ donation. In order to counter such life losses and to motivate people to strive for organ donation, Government of Punjab has launched one of its kind campaign. 

From now on, registering for a driving licence will be much easier if you pledge to donate your vital body organs irrespective of your religious belief. This novel initiative was earlier taken by Government of Tamil Nadu and was successfully implemented in their state. 

The Government of Punjab has launched a state-wide campaign in order to motivate people and the driving license holder particularly to pledge donation of their eyes and other body parts. This move will benefit lakhs of visually impaired people of the country and also other patients who are in dire need of organ transplantation but cannot find a suitable donor due to lack of organ donation awareness.

Ms. Vini Mahajan,  Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab informed  that lakhs of people in our country suffer from corneal blindness every year and voluntary eye donation would enable these visually impaired people to get vision if enough corneas are available for transplantation. She also pointed out that the biggest concern which the state is facing is the absence of proper awareness about organ/eye donation among the common masses. According to her, this can be tackled to a good extent by asking the applicants of driving licenses to pledge their eyesight at the time of filing application.

The present model is a replica of Government of Tamil Nadu’s Transport Department. Every aspirant for a driver’s license gets a form for eye donation along with the form of application of driving license. The Government of Tamil Nadu has a system of mentioning the donor status of the applicant on form and the driving license, and based on this in case of accidental/natural death; his/her eyes or organ can be donated to the needy patient. Ms. Mahajan said a circular had been issued to all districts in this regard. Transport Minister Mr. Ajit Singh Kohar has also issued the required guidelines to all district level transport officers.

The transport officers are supposed to initiate the process of getting a proforma for pledging organs/eye donation filled from applicants driving licenses. The online proforma is also available at www.pbhealth.gov.in. Any person wishing to be a donor will get a hard copy of donor card by post. The same kind of proforma will also be given to the applicant of driving license at the time of application. The name and location of the nearest eye bank available can be easily found out by calling on a toll free Number 104.

With these steps, Government of Punjab aims to launch a mass movement for creating awareness for organ/eye donation. This will go a long way in saving precious lives and giving new hopes to those who have suffered major health losses.

Punjab Strengthens Its Healthcare Amenities

India is facing a serious challenge in matching the supply of healthcare resources with the growing demand on account of population growth, improving socio-economic drivers and increasing diseases due to people’s lifestyle.

healthcare punjabUniversal health treatment is a term that is catching up fast in our country and Punjab has already taken a step forward in this initiative. Government of Punjab is taking all necessary steps to ensure it is able to provide basic amenities to its citizens in the best possible way. The aim of the entire exercise is to ensure that every individual has equal access to all health services.

Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous improvement in the quality of healthcare services in Punjab. To provide quality healthcare, education and modern medical facilities, the Punjab government has decided to set up multi-specialty hospitals, medical colleges and medical research institutes across the state.  This is illustrated by the recent significant increase in the number of government hospitals in the state.

Punjab Government has granted consent for setting up of Multi Super Specialty Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in Amritsar over an area of 6 hectares. The hospital would be constructed along the Amritsar – Pathankot highway opposite to Verka Milk Plant. The hospital would be a big boon for citizens of Punjab as they would be able to avail world class health facilities in their respective region.

Another initiative in the same field is establishment of an AIIMS institution in Bathinda. This institute would be a boon for the entire Malwa region as it would be able to deal with cases of cancer, hepatitis and type two diabetes. Till now scores of cancer patients have to trudge to Bikaner to get affordable cancer treatment. Various other super specialities associated with an AIIMS like institute would be a benefit for the entire Malwa region.

The need of the hour is to cure diseases and problems of the people within a minimum time period using modern technology.  With such initiatives, Government of Punjab aims to ensure quality healthcare facilities to the general masses by providing them with top-notch hospitals and services. This would not only enhance the medical facilities in the region but would also increase the life expectancy and quality living of the people in the state of Punjab.