CAPT AMARINDER REITERATES DEMAND FOR WITHDRAWAL OF PAK’S PROPOSED `JIZYA’ ON KARTARPUR VISITORS

CONFIDENT THAT CORRIDOR WORK ON INDIAN SIDE WILL BE COMPLETED BY OCT 30, BUT STRESSES NEED TO REMAIN ON GUARD

Dera Baba Nanak, September 19:Comparing it with `Jizya’ (Jazia), a tax imposed in earlier times on non-Muslims in Muslim countries, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday reiterated his demand for immediate withdrawal by Pakistan of the proposed facilitation charges on visitors to the historic Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib.

Pointing out that Emperor Akbar had abolished the controversial and regressive tax during his rule, the Chief Minister said the proposed Pakistani service/facilitation charge of $20 a visitor was against the basic spirit of Sikh ideology of allowing 'Khulle Darshan Deedar' of the Gurudwara Sahibs which remained in Pakistan after partition.

In informal media interactions at Dera Baba Nanak, where he reviewed the progress of the Kartarpur Corridor construction work, the Chief Minister pointed out that he already sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to pressurise Pakistan into withdrawing its proposed service charge. Captain Amarinder had suggested that the Minister of External Affairs take up the matter in the bilateral meetings subject for early resolution.

The Chief Minister expressed the confidence that the work on Kartarpur Corridor on the Indian side would be completed by 30th October, though he expressed concerns about the pace of progress on the Pakistani side. In response to a question on the security threat along the Corridor, he underlined the need to remain on constant guard.

Asked about the differences with the SGPC on the celebration of the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, the Chief Minister said talks were progressing cordially and his cabinet colleague Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa had met them on Wednesday to resolve all issues amicably. The Chief Minister once again urged one and all to rise above petty politics to celebrate the historic event in unison.

Captain Amarinder also reiterated his plea to the people to uphold the tenets of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji to conserve water and air.

Describing his visit to Dera Baba Nanak as a special occasion, the Chief Minister recalled that he had served in the Army in the border area during 1965 Indo-Pak War. It was a matter of great pride and honour that the valiant Indian soldiers were defending the nation's borders from external as well as internal aggression, but the frequent sacrifices they had to make was painful and disturbing.

Asked to comment on Navjot Singh Sidhu’s absence from the review meeting, the Chief Minister pointed out that it was a Cabinet review and Sidhu was no longer a minister in his cabinet.

With regard to the case against LIP leader Simarjit Bains, Captain Amarinder refused to comment since the matter was sub-judice.

On the issue of the enhanced fines under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, the Chief Minister said since the central government had left the final decision to the states, the concerned Punjab minister was looking into the matter.

To a question on the achievements of his government, particularly with reference to the problem of unemployment, he pointed out that 9 lakh youth had been provided jobs/self-employment opportunities in four Job Melas so far, with the fifth ready to offer another two lakh jobs. Besides, he had recently ordered filling up of 19000 vacancies in government jobs on priority, he added.

In response to another question, Captain Amarinder said Rs 2.50 Crores had already been allocated for the upgradation of the Government Hospital at Dera Baba Nanak.

Responding to a query about the issues concerning journalists, he noted that his government had already extended the health insurance cover to all accredited and yellow card holding journalists.

Earlier, the Chief Minister chaired a meeting of his Council of Ministers. He also paid his respects at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib, Dera Baba Nanak, during his visit.

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JOINED BY CABINET COLLEAGUES, CAPT AMARINDER REVIEWS KARTARPUR CORRIDOR CONSTRUCTION WORK AT DERA BABA NANAK

  • Sanctions Rs 75.23 cr for roads, Rs 3.70 cr for heritage & food streets at historic town for 550th Prakash Purb
  • Directs various departments to ensure timely completion of all works, decides to hold next cabinet meet at Batala

Dera Baba Nanak, September 19

With less than two months to go for the historic 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday took stock of the ongoing construction work for the Kartarpur Corridor, while sanctioning Rs 75.23 crores for widening and strengthening of the major roads leading to this iconic town.

The Chief Minister also approved Rs 3.70 Crores for the construction of a Heritage Street and Food Street for the mega event, while issuing a series of directives to various departments for ensuring timely completion of all development works for the celebration.

Accompanied by his cabinet colleagues, the Chief Minister inspected the Kartarpur Corridor construction works at the Indo-Pak border here, including the Integrated Check Post (ICP) construction project, where he interacted with the construction workers. He was apprised about the upcoming passenger terminal at ICP, which would have total capacity of 5000 -10000 and would be fully equipped with ultra-modern facilities.

Captain Amarinder took the opportunity for a `darshan’ of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, located across the border, with the help of binoculars.

It was decided to hold the next Cabinet meeting at Batala, with the Chief Minister accepting a suggestion from Tript Bajwa to direct the Chief Secretary to also conduct a special meeting at Batala.

Chairing the 3rd meeting of Dera Baba Nanak Development Authority (DBNDA), constituted to ensure holistic development of historic town associated with the first Sikh Guru, the Chief Minister directed all top officials to ensure timely completion of the various projects related to the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations.

Captain Amarinder disclosed that he had written to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari seeking the declaration of the Sultanpur Lodhi Beas Batala and Dera Baba Nanak road (which is to be named as Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji Marg) as a National Highway.

Reviewing various Power related projects initiated in the historic city, the Chief Minister directed the Chairman PowerCom to ensure underground cable wiring of electricity polls being erected at the passage leading to Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.

The Chief Minister also asked the Health Minister to finalise and put in place an elaborate healthcare plan, encompassing all emergency elements, for facilitation of millions of devotees expected to visit the city during the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of the first Sikh Guru.

Captain Amarinder directed the DGP to expedite the process of setting up a DSP office and police station building at Dera Baba Nanak, land for which had been provided by Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. IG Border Range SPS Parmar apprised the Chief Minister about the detailed security plans for the main event. He informed the meeting that foolproof arrangements would be ensured without any inconvenience to the devotees.

In another directive, the Chief Minister asked the Principal Secretary Civil Aviation to take up the issue of special chartered flights from London and other European countries to Amritsar for facilitation of the devotees settled abroad. He also asked the concerned officials to take up with the Indian Railways the issue of increase in frequency of special trains to the city during the historic occasion.

Reviewing the status of the work connected with the requisite basic amenities, logistics and infrastructure works in the adjoining 12 villages, Captain Amarinder Singh directed officials to ensure timely arrangements to facilitate the millions of devotees expected to converge at the historic city for the historic event.

During the meeting, the CPSCM said though works to the tune of Rs 450 Crores had been initiated at Sultanpur Lodhi, Batala and Gurdaspur, it was necessary to keep in place a contingency plan to ensure that the devotees experience no problems during their visit. The official programme for the main event should also be released soon, he suggested.

Meanwhile, according to an official spokesperson, of the Rs 75.23 crore approved by the Chief Minister for road widening/strengthening around Dera Baba Nanak, Rs 64.60 Crores has been earmarked for the 35 KM long Amritsar Sohian Fatehgarh Churian Dera Baba Nanak road, technical vetting of which had already been initiated. While Rs. 4.33 Crores would be spent on Ramdas Dera Baba Nanak Road, Rs. 3.49 Crores have been set aside for upgradation of 2.10 KM stretch of Batala Dera Baba Nanak, and another Rs 1.73 Crores for the Fatehgarh Churian Dera Baba Nanak road.

The Chief Minister has also approved an additional Rs. 1.18 Crores for the extension of the park at Dera Baba Nanak, which which Rs. 127.31 Crores had been earlier proposed. He further sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs 18.21 Lakhs for the installation of heritage poles with LED lights at the park being constructed in the historic town.

Meanwhile, Captain Amarinder Singh also paid obeisance here at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib.

PPCC President Sunil Jakhar, Cabinet Ministers Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Sunder Sham Arora, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Vijay Inder Singla, Aruna Chaudhary, OP Soni, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, MP Amritsar Gurjit Singh Aujala, MLAs Barindermit Singh Pahra and Fatehjang Singh Bajwa, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avatar Singh, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Additional Chief Secretaries Satish Chandra, Vini Mahajan, Kalpna Mittal Barua and Ravneet Kaur, Principal Secretaries Vikas Pratap, Husan Lal, K Siva Prasad and KAP Sinha, DGP Dinkar Gupta, Divisional Commissioner Jalandhar B Purushartha, Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujwal, SSP Gurdaspur Swarndeep Singh, SSP Batala Opinderjit Singh Ghumman, Project Director NHAI YPS Jordan, Member Landport Authority of India Akhil Saxena were present on the occasion.

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First report on “Identification and Rectification of Punjab Road Accident Black Spots”, released under Tandrust Punjab Mission

  • 391 Road Accident Black Spots identified in 12 Districts of the State
  • Immediate Remedial Measures to be taken up

Chandigarh, September 19:The first report on “Identification and Rectification of Punjab Road Accident Black Spots” was released under Tandrust Punjab Mission on Thursday by KS Pannu, Director Tandrust Punjab Mission.

Pannu informed that on the directions of Chief Minister Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, the report on Punjab Road Accident Black Spots has been prepared under Tandrust Punjab Mission jointly by the Punjab Vision Zero Accident team and the Traffic Wing of Punjab Police.

In the first part of the Report, 391 Road Accident Black Spots have been identified in 12 Districts of the State, informed Pannu. Out of these, 256 ie 65% black spots fall on National Highways in the State, 66 spots that amount to 17% of the total identified black spots, are on PWD Roads, 42 ie 11% are on Urban Roads and 27 which amounts to 7% of the total identified black spots are on Rural roads, said he.

Mission Director further informed that the 391 identified Road Accident Black Spots have been points of incidence of 2898 road accidents in the last three years(2016 to 2018) leading to 1910 fatalities coupled with grave injuries to 1401 and injuries to 488 people.

Detailing the black spots district wise, Pannu said that district SAS Nagar (Mohali) has the highest number of Road Accident Black Spots which are to the tune of 92, followed by Ludhiana which has 91 such spots falling in the jurisdiction of Ludhiana Police Commissionerate. Besides, 6 black spots have been identified in jurisdiction of Amritsar Police (Rural), 23 falling in areas under Amritsar Police Commissonerate, 9 in Batala,12 in Gurdaspur,8 in Tarn Taran, 21 in areas under Jalandhar Police Commissionerate, 9 in Moga, 55 in Patiala, 30 in Roopnagar, 21 in SBS Nagar, 8 in Bathinda and 6 in Sangrur.

He informed that according to the directions of Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry, that road is termed as Accident Black Spot if on any 500 meters stretch of that road more than 5 accidents occur in the last three consecutive years, causing death/fatal injuries or a spot where in the last three consecutive years 10 people have lost lives in road accidents.

Divulging into further course of action, Mission Director informed that the details of Road Accident Black Spots would be conveyed to all the concerned departments of the State Government for rectification measures and the details of those falling on National Highways would be taken up with the National Highways Authority with the request for urgent corrective measures on account of 550th Parkash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji.

Pertinently, the report has been prepared under concerted efforts of Mr. Navdeep Asija, Traffic Advisor Punjab and Mr. Arbab Ahmad, Project Manager, Punjab Vision Zero Accident, in a period of four months.

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To ease plaint lodging process, Punjab Women Commission Chairperson issues personal mobile number as helpline

Complaint can be lodged at 88659-00064

Chandigarh, September 19:- To speed up the grievance redressal system by easing the process of lodging complaints, the Punjab State Women Commission Chairperaon Ms. Manisha Gulati has issued her personal mobile number as a helpline.

Giving this information, an official spokesperson of the commission said that it has came into the notice of the chairperson that women are facing difficulties in filing the complaints and lodging of written complaints are time consuming. Keeping this in mind, she has decided to issue her personal mobile number 88659-00064 as helpline number. The spokesperson further said that now onwards, women can register their complaints directly with the Chairperson.