Chandigarh, October 10:Underlining the need for collaborative efforts to fight the menace, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought the continued support and assistance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in fighting the drug problem, which he described as a strategic conspiracy unleashed from across the international border.

Rivulets in Punjab were being used to smuggle drugs as part of a strategic agenda that went beyond commercial reasons, said the Chief Minister, while delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of a 3-day Regional Workshop on ‘Combating Illicit Trafficking of Afghan Opiates: Developing a Comprehensive Approach’, organized here by UNODC and steered by UNODC Regional Office South Asia (ROSA) Sergey Kapinos.

Expressing the confidence that his government would succeed in destroying the drugs business, Captain Amarinder Singh called for team work to battle the menace, and said UNODC could play a pivotal role in this. He said UNODC could help the state by identifying the big sharks who had a stake in the drug business. While the STF and other agencies had been successfully in catching mid-level peddlers, the big suppliers need to be apprehended too, he said, adding that “we owe this to our future generations.”

The Chief Minister referred to the initiative taken by him to write to the chief ministers of the neighbouring states, which had led to the Haryana CM convening a meeting that had decided to set up a joint control room in Panchkula. Such collective efforts would help in destroying the drug racket, he asserted.

Terming the drug problem as a very critical issue, that had been going for a long time in Punjab, the Chief Minister said the state had seen a shift from traditional use of marijuana (and to some extent opium) to synthetic stuff, which was posing a major threat. The seizure of a consignment that had come from Mandavi in Gujarat into Punjab clearly suggested that the aim of the drug smugglers was to starve the Indian Army of precious manpower, thus weakening the country’s defence apparatus, said the Chief Minister. Referring to Facebook posts of young girls sniffing drugs, he expressed concern at the dangerous trend and said his government was going all out to deal with the problem.

The STF set up to tackle the menace had shown remarkable results, he said that since 01.04.2017, 18216 cases have been registered under the NDPS Act, 21489 persons have been arrested, 461 Kgs of Heroin. In short strong efforts have been made to break the supply chain of drugs. Additionally, 14 Kgs of Smack, 134 Kgs of Charas, 1040 Kgs of Opium, 63421 Kgs of Poppy Husk, 676 Kgs of Bhang, 9 Kgs of Ice, 3369 Kgs of Ganja, 225 Kgs of Intoxicant Powder, 8950421 Pills/Capsules and 76114 Injections have been recovered.

Large sums of money were involved in the business, as was evident from these seizures, said Captain Amarinder Singh, pointing out that even a BSF constable had been caught for complicity.

Earlier, Kapinos said while UNODC had been working in several countries around India for crime prevention and in combating illicit drug trafficking and organized crime, this was the first such workshop in the region. Citing figures from `Aghanistan Opium Survey 2017’, he said the area under opium poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan reached a record high in 2017. The area under cultivation went up to 328,000 hectares from an estimated 201,000 hectares in 2016. Each year, thousands of tons of opium are produced in Afghanistan and then converted into heroin to reach end-consumer markets around the globe, as per the report.

Prominent amongst others present on the occasion included Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Financial Advisor to CM V.K. Garg, Additional Chief Secretary Home N. S. Kalsi, DGP Suresh Arora, STF Chief Mohammad Mustafa, Special Principal Secretary to CM Harpreet Singh Sidhu, ADGP Community Policing Ishwar Singh, IG STF R.K. Jaiswal and IG STF Pramod Ban.


Chief Minister to honour medal winners of Asian Games & CWG with State Award & cash prizes on 11th October : Rana Sodhi

23 male & female players to be honoured with prize money of Rs. 15.55 crore

Punjab players bagged 2 Gold, 3 Silver & 3 Bronze medals in CWG

Asiad saw Punjab players winning 3 Gold, 2 Silver & 2 Bronze medals

Chandigarh, October 10:"The Punjab Government would honour the players from State bagging medals in the Common Wealth Games held at Gold Coast and Asian Games held at Jakarta in Indonesia this year on 11th October in Chandigarh with State Award as well as the cash prizes. The Chief Minister, Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh would honour 23 medal winning male and female players with the prize money amounting to Rs. 15.55 crore." This was disclosed here today in a press communique by the Sports Minister, Punjab, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi. The players from Punjab bagged 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze medals in the CWG and 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medals in Asian Games.

Rana Sodhi also said that the Punjab Cabinet has recently approved a new Sports policy in order to restore the glory of Punjab in the sporting arena as well as inculcating sports culture amongst the youth of the State. He further said that as per the new sports policy, the players from Punjab winning medals in the CWG and the Asian Games would now get the threefold increased prize money. Divulging more, the players bagging Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in CWG would get Rs. 75 lakh, Rs. 50 lakh and Rs. 40 lakh respectively whereas those winning the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in Asian Games would get Rs. 1 crore, Rs. 75 lakh and Rs. 50 lakh respectively. The minister further said that target envisaged is 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in which the positive results of the new sports policy would be reflected.

Giving details of the players to be honoured at the felicitation function, Rana Sodhi said that the honours list of CWG includes Shooter Heena Sidhu (1 Gold and 1 Silver in CWG and 1 Bronze in Asiad), Gold medal winning Badminton player Pranav Chopra, Silver winner Shooter Anjum Moudgill, Silver winning Weightlifter Pardeep Singh, Bronze medal winners Athlete Navjeet Kaur Dhillon and Weightlifter Vikas Thakur. The honours board of Asian Games players include Gold medal winning athletes Tejinder Pal Singh Toor and Arpinder Singh and Gold winning Rowers Swaran Singh Virk and Sukhmeet Singh, Silver medal winners Randeep Kaur Khaira in Kabaddi, Gurjeet Kaur and Reena Khokhar in Hockey whereas the Bronze medal winners include Bhagwan Singh in Rowing and 9 players of the Men's field hockey team namely Manpreet Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Varun Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Simranjit Singh, Krishan Pathak and Dilpreet Singh.


Punjab Rocks at 'Poshan Maah Awards-2018'

Wins award in 4 categories at 'Poshan Maah Award ceremony' held in New Delhi

  • Social Security Minister Aruna Chaudhary congratulates 'Team Punjab' on stupendous success

Chandigarh, October 10:The Social Security, Women and Child Development Minister, Punjab, Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary has congratulated 'Team Punjab' for the stupendous success in bagging awards in 4 categories at the POSHAN MAAH awards ceremony held in New Delhi today. The minister said that the awards are a proof of the exemplary contribution made by the Punjab Government in tackling the issue of malnutrition with considerable success.

Detailing more information, the Director, Social Security, Women and Child Development Department, Punjab, Mrs. Kavita Singh, who was also present during the awards ceremony, said that to recognize the efforts being put in at all levels made by Punjab State, Ms. Apneet Riyait, Deputy Commissioner, Mansa was conferred District Level Leadership Award, Ms. Ravinder Pal Kaur, Child Development Project Officer, Sudhar, District Ludhiana was conferred Block Level Leadership Award, Ms. Dalbir Kaur, Supervisor, District Faridkot was conferred Field functionary Award (Individual Excellence Award) and Ms. Bharpur Kaur, Anganwadi Worker, District Ferozepur was conferred Field functionary Award (Individual Excellence Award) award. The Director further said that the awards were presented by Dr. Rajeev Kumar, Vice-Chairperson, NITI Aayog.

Mrs. Kavita Singh credited the Social Security, Women and Child Development Minister Mrs. Aruna Chaudhary for this crowning glory for Punjab and said that the leadership provided by the minister and the guidance of the Principal Secretary, Social Security and Women & Child Development Department, Punjab, Mrs. Raji P. Srivastava led to Punjab achieving this milestone.

Giving further details, the Director said that Poshan Abhiyan is being implemented by the Punjab Government in order to address the issue of Malnutrition. The Abhiyaan targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and reduce low birth weight by 2 percent, 2percent, 3 percent and 2 percent per annum respectively. The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by 2022. The Seven districts of Punjab Namely Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Mansa, Faridkot ,Tarantaran ,Moga and Sri Muktsar Sahib are covered under Poshan Abhiyaan. To achieve these targets, the abhiyaan aims to inculcate the habit of “Eat Right Eat Safe”. The month of September was celebrated as the Rashtriya Poshan Maah in the entire State. In this context a one-day State Level Orientation Workshop was also organised at Punjab State Health System Corporation Phase 7 Mohali.

Elaborating more, Mrs. Kavita Singh said that to make POSHAN ABHIYAAN a Jan Andolan, frontline workers, community groups, Staff at Block and District level, State departments are undertaking exemplary efforts. Though POSHAN ABHIYAAN is being implemented in seven districts but the POSHAN MAAH activities were carried in all the 22 districts of Punjab State. The activities like Nutritional rallies, Suposhan Godh Bharayi, Vazan Tyohar (growth monitoring), awareness about breastfeeding, food fortification and micrnutrients, diarrhoea, Hygiene, water and sanitaion, anaemia, etc. were carried out with the close convergence of the Health, Rural and Panchayati Raj, Water and Sanitation, Sports and Youth Affairs departments at Anganwadi Centres at Village, Block, District and State level. During POSHAN MAAH in Vazan Tyohar (Growth Monitoring) all children enrolled in the Anganwadi Centres were weighed. As per Jan Andolan Poshan Dash Board, about 5 lakh people were involved in the various activities of POSHAN like Nutrition, Health, Water and Sanitation, Hygiene, etc.

Other important dignitaries who were present in the Award ceremony were Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Member NITI Aayog, Mr. Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary Ministry of Women and Child Development, Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development.



CHANDIGARH/JALANDHR, OCTOBER 10:In a joint operation, the Punjab Police and Special Operations Group (SoG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday arrested three students to bust a terror module of Kashmiri terror outfit, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), in Jalandhar.

The students were nabbed from the hostel of CT Institute of Engineering Management and Technology, located in Shahpur on the outskirts of Jalandhar, DGP Suresh Arora said in a statement issued here.

The joint team, which conducted a raid at the hostel early this morning, also recovered two weapons, including an Assault Rifle, as well as explosives from the hostel room of B. Tech (Civil) Student of second semester, Zahid Gulzar s/o Gulzar Ahmad Rather r/o Rajpora, PS Awantipora, Srinagar (J&K). Zahid was detained along with Mohd. Idriss Shah @ Nadeem r/o Pulwama J&K, and Yusuf Rafiq Bhatt, r/o Noorpura, Pulwama J&K.

The DGP said the arrests followed the development and corroboration of various leads/inputs about the presence and activities of certain militant organizations/individuals operating in J&K and Punjab.

A case (FIR no. 166 dated 10.10.18, u/s 121, 121-A, 120-B IPC and 25/54/59 Arms Act, 3/4/5 Explosive Act, 10/13/17/18/ 18-B/20/38/39/40 Unlawful Prevention Act) has been registered in PS Sadar Jalandhar in this regard.

Further investigations are in progress and the Punjab Police is working closely with J&K Police to unravel the entire conspiracy and network built by these outfits/individuals in Punjab and J&K, said the DGP.

The DGP said the busting of the terror module belonging to AGH, and the recovery of weapons in Jalandhar, was indicative of efforts by Pakistan’s ISI to expand the arc of militancy on India’s western border.

It may be mentioned that Gazi Ahmad Malik, r/o Shopian, J&K, was recently picked-up by Punjab Police from Banur, Patiala, (where he was studying in Aryans Group Polytechnic College). It was learnt that Gazi was closely related to Adil Bashir Sheikh, a J&K Police SPO who had fled with 7 Rifles from the residence of PDP MLA house in Srinagar and was suspected to have joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, a militant group. He was later handed over to the J&K Police for further investigations.


In future if any illegal colony develops action would be taken against the officers & colonizer: Tript Bajwa

Housing & Urban Development Minister holds meeting with colonizers & senior officials

Chandigarh, October 10: The officials of the housing & urban development department to regularly monitor their respective areas to stop the development of any irregular colony. The Housing & Urban Development Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa made this clear to all the colonizers and officials during a high level meeting here today. He directed the senior officers to regularly monitor the ground situation through their field staff to completely put an end to the menace of illegal colonies in the state. Mr. Bajwa said that action would not only be initiated against the officers but also the colonizers who would try to develop an unauthorized colony.

The Minister said that Punjab Government is committed for the planned development under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in the state. He said that one time settlement opportunity is provided to the unauthorized colonizers under the new policy but no one should expect such relief in future.

During the meeting the Minister asked the real estate developers to give a written representation for the planned and quality development in the state. The Minister also gave lengthy hearing to the demands of colonizers from across the state during the meeting such as amendment in building rules, rationalization of licensing fee, moratorium for defaulters, quick disposal of cases & approvals etc. He said that the suggestions would be placed in the meeting with the Chief Minister for discussion. He assured that all the genuine suggestions which are in the welfare of people of the state would be implemented.

The Minister also asked the colonizers to hand over the possession of the plots and flats to the allottees who have paid the complete amount of the dwelling unit. He also warned the colonizers of strict action if the fail to do so, he said that Punjab Government would not tolerate any unnecessary harassment of the general Public at the hands colonizers.

Prominent amongst others present in the meeting included Ms Gurneet Tej Chief Administrator PUDA/GMADA, Mr. Akash Goyal, Additional Chief Administrator (F & A), Mr. Rajesh Dhiman Additional Chief Administrator, GMADA, Mr. Gurpreet Singh Chief Town Planner Punjab and members of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India.


Education Minister Gives Cash Award of Rs.15.50 Lakh to 18 Meritorious Students

Announces 50% Enhancement in Award Money

Chandigarh, October 10 :Carrying forward the one of its kind initiative of Punjab School Education Board(PSEB), the Education Minister Punjab, Mr. O.P Soni presented cash awards of Rs.15.50 lakh to 18 meritorious students of the State who excelled in academic and sports stream in the 2018 PSEB exams. In an impressive Award Ceremony held at the residence of the Minister in Chandigarh, the students were also given commendation certificates.

Inspiring the students to continue hard work, the Minister said that they have proved their mettle but should continue with sustained efforts to scale greater heights in life.

Sharing his vision for the State Education, Mr Soni said that quality education is the need of the hour. He said that the department has academically sound work force and efforts are afoot to upgrade the infrastructure as well. He called upon the teachers and the principals to work diligently for the improvement in educational standards.

The Education Minister announced Rs.2 lakh for the Principal of the school whose meritorious students bagged 5 out of the18 cash awards presented in the ceremony.

The students of 10+2 who received cash price of Rs.1 lakh each include Jasnoor Kaur(commerce),Pooja Joshi(Humanities),Vivek Rajput(Science),Sandeep Kaur(Vocational),Rahul Singh( Commerce-Sports Stream),Prachi Gaur(Humanities- Sports Stream),Pushwinder Kaur(Humanities- Sports Stream),Damanpreet Kaur(Humanities- Sports Stream) and Sanyog Kumar(Science- Sports Stream). The Class X topper Gurpreet Singh got cash award of Rs.1 lac, the second place holder Jasmeen Kaur got Rs. 75,000 and the three students bracketed at third position namely Puneet Kaur, Gurleen Kaur and Kirandeep Kaur got cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each. Among the class X sports merit candidates Shriya and Harmanjot Singh got Rs.1 lac each for being on first position, Dolly got Rs. 75000 and Amanpreet Kaur got Rs. 50,000 for being on second and third position respectively.

Besides the parents of the meritorious students, Mr. Manohar Kant Kaloia,Chairman PBEB, Mr. Baldev Sachdeva, Vice-chairman, Mr. Krishan Kumar, Secretary Education, DGSE Mr. Parshant Goel, DPI (secondary) Sukhjitpal and DPI(elementary) Inderjit Singh and OSD TO Education Minister Mr. DS Saroya were present on the occasion.


State Government is Committed to Build Investor Friendly Ecosystem- Kangar

Promises to Redress the Concerns of Builder Association Zirakpur

Chandigarh/ Mohali, October 10:Promising to redress the genuine concerns of the Builder Association, Zirakpur, Mr GS Kangar, Power Minister Punjab said that the state Government is committed to create an investor friendly ecosystem. He said that power department is already extending an array of facilities to various sectors and would support all the initiatives that will boost the State economy.

He lent a patient hearing to the concerns of the representatives of the Builder Association who met him at the PSPCL Guest House, Mohali. The association appreciated governments initiatives in real estate sector, however while pitching their concerns, they informed that a power grid at Zirakpur is the need of the hour. They pressed upon an early installation of the same. They also requested for favourable changes in the load calculation and the bank guarantee percentage for Townships and Commercial Buildings in Punjab.

The Minister promised to re-look into the policy for feasible solution to all the genuine demands of the association.