AMRITSAR: Reiterating agency dedication of state authorities to safeguard the pursuits of the state, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Tuesday vehemently raised the problems of the state through the thirty first assembly of the Northern Zonal Council (NZC) assembly chaired by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
At the very outset the Chief Minister welcomed the Union Home Minister and the Chief Ministers of the opposite states on behalf of the Government and the individuals of Punjab. Profusely thanking the Ministry of Home Affairs for selecting this sacred land to arrange the thirty first assembly of the Northern Zonal Council, he mentioned that this can be a sacred metropolis, which is deeply revered by every person, within the annals of historical past, the place multiple lakh devotees from all around the world pay homage each day to hunt peace and solace. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that the town was a commerce hub up to now and with the concerted efforts of the state authorities it will likely be very quickly our gateway to the markets of Central Asia and past.
The Chief Minister mentioned that the hardworking and courageous Punjabis had carefully witnessed quite a few pages of historical past unfolding on this sacred land of 5 rivers. He mentioned that moreover being the nation’s meals bowl, Punjab additionally has a distinction of being the sword arm of the nation and its individuals are well-known all around the world for his or her braveness, resilience and spirit of enterprise. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that NZC is a wonderful platform to boost the extent of interstate cooperation for our financial improvement as it’s in our curiosity to take a seat collectively and discover the very best potentialities of socio-economic improvement within the area, which is in any other case geographically deprived, being landlocked and with hostile borders.
Batting for want of a real federal construction within the nation, the Chief Minister mentioned that the necessity of extra monetary arid political energy to the states has been felt throughout the whole spectrum of political opinion. He mentioned that there’s a huge consensus, reducing throughout celebration strains, that the state governments have to be given a lot better operational freedom in selecting and financing their developmental priorities. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that federalism stays one of many primary pillars of our Constitution however sadly, there was a pattern in direction of centralization of authority through the previous 75 years. “Everybody knows that the state governments are in a much better position to understand, address and solve the problems of their people, at the cutting edge” he added.
Strongly opposing the demand of Rajasthan for member in Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), the Chief Minister mentioned that BBMB is a physique constituted underneath the provisions of the Punjab Reorganization Act 1966, which primarily offers with the successor States of Punjab and Haryana. He mentioned that the state of Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh or another State for that matter just isn’t involved in any respect underneath provisions of the above mentioned Act. Bhagwant Singh Mann due to this fact, strongly opposed the proposal of getting a 3rd member within the BBMB from the State of Rajasthan or Himachal Pradesh.
Flagging the problem of Shanan Power House, the Chief Minister lamented that the problem that has been unnecessarily raised by Himachal Pradesh relating to switch of Shanan Power House in Jogindernagar on the bottom that the 99 12 months lease of land given by the Raja of Mandi in 1925 is expiring in 2024. He mentioned that it’s unhappy that this challenge has been raised however that this venture was given to Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) underneath the provisions of Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 which is the Act of Parliament that created the successor states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that the identical Act entrusted the possession and management of downstream Bassi Power House (Uhl Hydel Project Stage 2) to Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board.
The Chief Minister mentioned that the place has been scrupulously maintained as unalterable by the Government of India for over half a century. He additional mentioned that PSEB undertook enlargement of the venture at its personal price from 1975 to 1982 enhancing its capability from 48 MW to 110 MW. Bhagwant Singh Mann expressed hope that the Government of India will uphold the mentioned and proper authorized place as another stand taken with respect to the possession of Shanan Power House can be extremely vires of the Act and likewise represent nice injustice to Punjab and its individuals.
The Chief Minister additionally opposed the transfer to fill posts of Members of Irrigation and Power in BBMB on direct foundation by open recruitment. He mentioned that the Ministry of Power has on February 23, 2022 notified BBMB (Amendment) Rules by which the posts of Members of Irrigation and Power will probably be crammed on direct foundation by open recruitment. Bhagwant Singh Mann vehemently opposed this because it alters the standard association whereby the Member Power was all the time drawn from Punjab and Member Irrigation from Haryana.
The Chief Minister additional mentioned that the brand new eligibility standards makes no engineer from Punjab eligible to use for the Member Power place. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that the unique place (pre-2022) could also be restored as Punjab is the most important contributor to BBMB which itself has been created underneath the provisions of Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966. He additionally urged the Union Home Minister to direct the Ministry of Power to nominate a full time Chairman in BBMB because the organisation is operating with advert hoc duties within the absence of full time Chairman and Members.
On the demand of Rajasthan to take care of full stage of Pong and Bhakra Dam, the Chief Minister mentioned that technically when each these dams have been designed, the unique peak of the Bhakra dam was 1685 ft. and that of Pong Dam was 1400 ft. He mentioned that through the 12 months 1988, Punjab confronted extreme floods after which a call was taken by the Government of India and the CWC that FRL stage of each the dams i.e. Bhakra and Pong are lowered by 5ft and 10 ft. respectively. Bhagwant Singh Mann identified that no flood waters of the rivers specifically Sutlej or Beas stream to Haryana or Rajasthan or to another State resulting from which Punjab needed to face all of the injury attributable to the floods within the 12 months 1988, within the 12 months 2019, additionally through the intervening interval and most lately a month again too. He mentioned that underneath the circumstances when the federal government of Punjab doesn’t get any particular help through the instances of disaster from Rajasthan, it’s unjustifiable that the complete reservoir stage of the dams is elevated.
The Chief Minister additionally opposed the instructions issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Power vide their letter dated May 15, 2023 to the Chairman, BBMB waiving the situations of looking for No Objection Certificate for drawing water by the State of Himachal Pradesh for Water Supply and Irrigation schemes. He mentioned that the instructions issued to BBMB by Government of India, are usually not acceptable to the state of Punjab and wishes reconsideration by Government of India as in wake of water agreements, no water is required to be allotted to the state of Himachal Pradesh out of the River Sutlej and Beas. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that furthermore the work of BBMB is just for administration, upkeep and operation of the dam and reservoirs including that it’s not licensed underneath the Punjab Reorganization Act to offer any water out of the rivers to any State aside from the accomplice States. Himachal Pradesh just isn’t a accomplice state additionally.
Forcefully pleading for upward revision of flood reduction norms, the Chief Minister mentioned that Punjab has already borne the brunt because of the heavy downpour within the hilly areas early this 12 months. He mentioned that resulting from extreme rainfall in hilly areas 16 districts of the state have been flooded leading to heavy lack of life and property of individuals however sadly these states which search share in waters of Punjab weren’t even able to take water throughout these instances. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that the heavy floods in huge expanses of agricultural fields and different areas had paralysed regular life however the compensation provided to individuals is just too meagre. Requesting for a leisure within the norms for monetary help to the flood-affected individuals, the Chief Minister mentioned that there isn’t any shortfall within the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and solely a change within the norms for compensating the injury is required in order that lack of the individuals could be absolutely compensated.
The Chief Minister reiterated that the state has no spare water to share with another state so as an alternative of Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the venture must be now conceived as Yamuna Satluj Link (YSL). He mentioned that Satluj river has already dried up and there’s no query of sharing even a single drop of water from it. Rather, Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that water from Ganga and Yamuna must be equipped to Punjab by Satluj river.
The Chief Minister mentioned that SYL canal is a extremely ’emotive challenge’ for Punjab and development of this canal will result in severe regulation and order points and it’ll grow to be a nationwide drawback, with Haryana and Rajasthan additionally struggling the impression. He mentioned that Punjab has no surplus water to share with Haryana and reassessment of availability of water is required as per worldwide norms including that establishing a brand new Tribunal as per new Terms of reference and altered circumstances together with Yamuna waters is the one answer of the water Dispute. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that Punjab’s 76.5% blocks (117 out of 153) are over exploited the place the stage of floor water extraction is greater than 100%, whereas in Haryana solely 61.5% (88 out of 143) are over exploited.
The Chief Minister mentioned that river Yamuna like rivers Ravi and Beas additionally flowed by the erstwhile state of Punjab earlier than re-organization however whereas apportioning the river waters, between Punjab and Haryana, Yamuna waters weren’t thought of, whereas, Ravi and Beas waters have been duly taken under consideration for the apportionment. He mentioned that the state has been requesting for its affiliation in negotiations for allocation of Yamuna waters, however our request has not been thought of on the bottom that no geographical space of Punjab falls in Yamuna basin. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that Haryana just isn’t the basin state of the rivers Ravi and Beas, however Punjab is pressured to share waters of those rivers with Haryana including that if Haryana will get Ravi-Beas waters being a successor State of Punjab, on the identical analogy, Yamuna waters also needs to be shared with Punjab being a successor State.
Firmly pleading for utilization of the discharge of river Ujh and Ravi going waste to Pakistan, the Chief Minister mentioned that the state had proposed lengthy again to cease this water by establishing a barrage throughout River Ravi simply downstream to the confluence level of River Ujh with River Ravi at Makaura Pattan which is inside 4 km from Indo-Pak border. He mentioned that it was additionally proposed to make use of this water and divert discharge to Kalanour and Ramdas distributary system of UBDC CANAL system to make these system perennials from non-perennial. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that this venture must be cleared and its execution must be allowed on quick observe.
Opposing the levy of water cess by the state of Himachal Pradesh on hydro energy initiatives, the Chief Minister cited the part 7 of the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 supplies that no State Government shall impose further charge or payment on different State or the inhabitants thereof, if the idea of the levy is barely as a result of works for conservation, regulation or utilization of water of the Inter-State River has been constructed inside the limits of the State. Thus, he mentioned that Himachal Pradesh can’t impose Cess merely as a result of Bhakra and Beas Projects Powerhouse are positioned inside the limits of its territory.
On the problem of diversion of chakki river water by Himachal Pradesh, the Chief Minister mentioned that the hill state is considering to assemble a canal to divert about 127 cusecs of water from the Chakki River within the state. He mentioned that the Water Supply and Sanitation Department, Punjab has put in seven schemes to uplift Chakki River water to produce water for consuming function to far located villages in hilly areas of Punjab. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that there’s very much less discharge in Chakki in summer season season and if the water is diverted then it can tremendously have an effect on the water provide schemes put in for 35 villages resulting from much less water within the river leading to much less replenishment of groundwater.
On the problem of launch of grants to Panjab University, the Chief Minister mentioned that University has a deep join with the individuals of Punjab as after partition it moved from Lahore to Hoshiarpur in Punjab after which to Chandigarh, our capital. He mentioned that after Reorganisation Act in 1966 Panjab University turned an Inter-State Body Corporate with 4 stakeholders i.e. Centre, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh including that bills of the University have been to be equally shared by the three accomplice States (20:20:20) together with the Centre (40%). Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that the states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, unilaterally, withdrew their faculties from Panjab University in 1973 and 1975 respectively and arrange their very own Universities and stopped funding Panjab University altogether.
The Chief Minister mentioned that it is just Punjab which supported and nurtured this University for the final 50 years however now at this stage they don’t perceive why Haryana needs to affiliate its faculties with Panjab University, when they’re already affiliated for the final 50 years with Kurukshetra University a A+ NAAC accredited college. He questioned what has modified for Haryana to now search this affiliation having ignored Panjab University for the final 50 years. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that so far as funding of Panjab University is worried, Punjab has all the time financially supported the college and is dedicated to offering in future additionally, the required funds to Panjab University as per a mutually consultative course of.
The Chief Minister mentioned that dedication to supply Grant-in-aid to Panjab University, as per the revised method finalised by the Government of India in 2017, has been absolutely honoured by the Government of Punjab and towards the due share of Rs. 188.31 crore, the federal government has launched Rs. 261.96 crore until 2022-23, to cowl not solely the deficit grant but in addition further grant for the constituent faculties of Panjab University. He mentioned that for 2023-24 the state Government has sanctioned Rs. 47.06 crore within the price range however has additional enhanced the Grant-in-aid to Rs. 94.13 crore to care for the enhancement in salaries on account of implementation of UGC scales by the University. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that the Government has additionally sanctioned Rs. 48.92 crore to Panjab University for establishing two new hostels, one for boys and the opposite for lady college students.
The Chief Minister mentioned that whereas the state of Punjab has met its dedication, the Central Government is but to approve their share of the improved Grant-in-aid of Rs.51.89 crore to Panjab University on account of adoption of UGC scales. He urged the Home Minister to have this extra grant launched on the earliest within the bigger pursuits of the scholars. Bhagwant Singh Mann reiterated the stand of the Punjab Government that there must be no change within the standing of Panjab University including that Panjab University is our University and we are going to proceed to help and fund it in future additionally.
Advocating the establishing of a regional centre of National Security Guards (NSG) in Pathankot on the earliest, the Chief Minister mentioned that Punjab being a border state is all the time liable to the phobia assaults from throughout the border that put the safety, unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation in peril. He mentioned that with a view to fight this problem NSG hub have to be arrange within the Pathankot district as introduced by the Union authorities. Bhagwant Singh Mann impressed upon the Union Home Minister that this matter should not be delayed as it’s the want of the hour to safeguard the borders of the nation.
Requesting for the event of know-how to counter the specter of drones, the Chief Minister mentioned that Centre of Excellence for Drones in Punjab must be arrange within the state as being a border state, drones pose a mammoth problem for Punjab Police, as mirrored within the year-on-year improve within the drone sighting and recoveries. He mentioned that drones are primarily being utilized by hostile entities for espionage, cross border smuggling of weapons/medicine and drone-led terror assaults. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that current capability is hardly enough on varied elements of drone know-how.
Flagging one other vital challenge relating to the smuggling of weapons from inside the nation, the Chief Minister mentioned that they’re posing nice menace to regulation and order within the state. He mentioned that it’s unlucky that the variety of weapons smuggled from inside the nation (particularly from states like Madhya Pradesh) is rather more than that smuggled from throughout the border. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that this must be checked with a heavy hand in order that the safety of the nation just isn’t jeopardised.
The Chief Minister additionally underscored the necessity for revision of clause of paid army for Punjab as being a border state, the state is preventing the nation’s conflict to fight terrorism and medicines however sadly each time the state wants central para army forces to take care of regulation and order on behalf of the nation we’re requested to pay a hefty payment for it. He mentioned that that is unlucky because the state whose most sons are martyred whereas serving the nation within the Armed forces has to pay this charges. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that this clause of ‘para military forces on rent’ must be abolished so far as Punjab is worried including that the centre have to be magnanimous in allocation as firms as now solely the deployment of pressure is just too insufficient towards the demand.
On the problem of the lately fastened Minimum Export Price (MEP) on Basmati, the Chief Minister mentioned that this has been fastened at $1200 per ton which has adversely hit the home value of the crop. He mentioned that this determination will do appreciable and irreparable injury to the financial scenario of the farmers in addition to the merchants because the arduous working and resilient farmers of the state are already at a crossroads because of the ever escalating price of the farm inputs and low MSP. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that the state produces most basmati within the nation and this determination of the Centre may even give main setback to initiatives being taken by the state authorities to advertise diversification.
Seeking the sort intervention of the Union Home Minister for launch of the Rural Development Fund (RDF), the Chief Minister bemoaned that it has been stalled for a very long time. He mentioned that the Punjab authorities has already eliminated all of the ambiguities accomplished by the earlier governments however sadly the centre has not launched the funds but. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that he had personally referred to as on the Union Rural Development Minister who had assured him that these funds will probably be launched quickly but it surely by no means occurred and the Union authorities has not but launched the RDF of the state value greater than Rs 5637.4 crore.
The Chief Minister apprised that the Government of Punjab had efficiently carried out the Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN and now with concerted efforts of the state authorities, flights have been awarded from Adampur to Nanded, Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi, Goa and Hindan. Similarly, underneath Regional Connectivity Scheme 2023 flights have been awarded from Delhi to Bathinda Airport, Delhi to Ludhiana Airport. He mentioned that although the problem has been resolved for Adampur, Sahnewal and Bathinda Airport, that is nonetheless pending for Pathankot Airport including he requested the GOI to cowl Pathankot Airport underneath Regional Connectivity Scheme-UDAN-2023 on the earliest. Similarly, Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that flights from Adampur to Varanasi and Amritsar to Nanded additionally have to be began underneath the scheme acknowledging the non secular sentiments of the residents of those areas.
Presenting a robust case for handing over Chandigarh to the state of Punjab, the Chief Minister mentioned that the Capital metropolis of Punjab was formally shifted from Shimla to Chandigarh on September 21, 1953 and the identical was inaugurated by India’s first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad Ji on October 7, 1953. However, he mentioned that on the time of bifurcation of the State in 1966, the town of Chandigarh was made Union Territory underneath provisions of Section 4 of the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 with impact from November 1, 1966. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that the identical standing has been persevering with as such until date which is a grave injustice with the individuals of the state.
The Chief Minister mentioned that the town of Chandigarh was shaped as a brand new Capital of Punjab over the land acquired within the State of Punjab. But, he bemoaned that the matter of restoration of its standing as capital of the State of Punjab remains to be pending, which has bruised the psyche of each Punjabi. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that though the problem has remained underneath deliberations at varied boards, regardless of our references at varied ranges, this lengthy pending demand of the State of Punjab stays unredressed.
Demanding a agency technique to test the unholy nexus present between the journey brokers engaged in exporting manpower and people facilitating vacationer visas, the Chief Minister mentioned that gullible youth, swayed by the attraction of settling down in developed international locations, typically fall prey to them. He mentioned that these journey brokers attract the children with the promise of an assured abroad job, however find yourself offering them solely with a vacationer visa and confiscate their passports upon arrival, leaving them on the mercy of the brokers. Therefore Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that there’s a robust have to mandate the registration of journey brokers, engaged in manpower export, with the State Government through which their shopper resides.
The Chief Minister mentioned that for the reason that state authorities is already registering journey brokers who deal solely with vacationer visas, the Government can be in a greater place to collectively monitor the actions of those journey brokers. He additional mentioned that the Indian Emigration Act supplies that any particular person desirous of taking over unskilled employment overseas must be registered with the Protector of Emigrants and the work contract must be submitted including that if this provision is strictly enforced then it can deter regular visa processing journey brokers from participating in work visas. In addition, Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that for the reason that District Administration is healthier outfitted to watch the actions of journey brokers, the powers of the Protector of Emigrants also needs to be conferred upon the District Magistrate or the District SP.
Raising the problem of pending cost of grain procurement in direction of the Union authorities, the Chief Minister mentioned that farmers of Punjab, reeling underneath the burden of indebtedness, are at the moment essentially the most uncared for individuals within the eyes of the Central Government. He mentioned that that is clearly evident from the step brotherly remedy meted out to Rural Punjab for its honest efforts in feeding the Nation and guaranteeing National Food Security. Bhagwant Singh Mann bemoaned that over time Punjab has depleted its water desk and spoilt the standard of its land, by the usage of fertilizers and pesticides, to diligently produce meals grains in massive portions a lot past its personal necessities, with a view to be sure that nobody within the nation goes hungry.
But sadly, the Chief Minister lamented that the Union Government is intentionally not reimbursing Punjab for the full expenditure incurred on the acquisition of meals grains for FCI. He mentioned that with each passing 12 months, the state losses are rising and at the moment are operating into 1000’s of crores of rupees yearly. Bhagwant Singh Mann mentioned that certainly it’s a farce that the Union Government is offering backed free meals grains to its residents quite the Punjab Government is bearing a good portion of the price of these meals grains.
Requesting all that present positive stability as per the structure must be maintained by all means, the Chief Minister mentioned that already accepted points to take care of stability amongst the state shouldn’t be unnecessarily disturbed. He expressed hope that every one the problems pertaining to the state and its individuals will probably be resolved amicably. Bhagwant Singh Mann reiterated the agency dedication of the state authorities to safeguard the pursuits of the state and its individuals.