Chandigarh, Sanjay Pahwa: Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today declared that the year 2011 would be observed as the Year of Transformation for Punjab in which the state would enter the decisive phase of the era of new age-development.
Addressing media persons on the New Year Day, Mr. Badal said that not only would the path breaking initiatives undertaken by the state government be taken to their successful climax but new steps would be taken in several other areas which would completely change the way Punjabis look at themselves. “The years of tough trials and challenges for the people of Punjab are fast coming to an end and we have laid the foundations of a future in which Punjabis would view themselves and their state with pride and joy,” said the Chief Minister.
Expanding on the work done by the SAD-BJP government during the past four years, the Chief Minister said, “We have turned a new leaf in revenue generation, employment generation, infrastructure development, power, international air connectivity, education, health care, rural and urban development and water-supply, sanitation and sewerage. We have made major advances on rejuvenating the dilapidated can irrigation system, thus reducing the pressure on receding water table.
“We have declared a war on poverty through innovative schemes targeted at enhancing employability of our youth through skill training centers. Similarly, we are beginning to win the war against water and environment pollution, and containing the menace of deadly disease like cancer in the Malwa belt.” said Mr. Badal.
The Chief Minister described the year 2010 as a turning point in the history of the state as projects of unprecedented magnitude like the Bathinda Oil Refinery reached the final stages of completion and were all set to move the wheels of growth in the state.
Mr. Badal described “the past four years as one of the most satisfying periods” of his political career in terms of service to the state. We look back with great satisfaction at the active cooperation and involvement of Punjabis living in country and abroad. We have been able to create excellent environment for good governance, responsive administration and efficient service delivery system.”
Giving details, Mr. Badal said that the Rs. 20, 000 crore Guru Gobind Singh Refinery at Bathinda , which would go into steam ahead of schedule in June this year, would completely alter the industrial scenario in the state. He said the refinery would lead to direct and indirect employment to over 25,000 Punjabis, becoming one of the largest employment generators.
The Chief Minister said that the power sector in the state, which had remained neglected during successive Congress regimes, has remained one of the major focus areas f his government. “We have taken concrete verifiable steps on the ground to ensure that the power generation in the state
moves up drastically from the existing 6200 MWs to over 15000 MWs, (details attached) making the state not only self sufficient but power surplus. “This is necessary to move the engines of growth in the state and we are pumping in Rs 50,000 crore in this endeavour., said the Chief Minister, adding that the thermal plants at Talwandi Sabo, Rajpura, Goindwal Sahib, and Gidderbaha were all at different stages of completion.
Likewise, another MoU had also been signed with Indiabulls Group for 1350 MW Thermal Project in Mansa district, besides 1000 MW Gas based Power Plant near Ropar planned. As many as 76000 new Tubewell connections had been released to farmers. An amount of Rs. 7000 crore was being spent on up-gradation of transmission and distribution system in next two years.
Apart from this 1000 MW of Power from renewable energy would be harnessed. Punjab was all set to reduce peak demand by 500 MW by installing 1.92 crore CFLs in 48 lac households under Bachat Lamp Yojna. 500 MW additional powers would be saved by initiating steps on Demand side management projects. All Deras/ Dhanies have been provided with 24 hours on Urban Pattern Supply (UPS).
The Chief Minsiter listed education as one of the primary areas for taking the state into the next generation. In this sector, the state had made strides which no one ever thought possible. “Apart from three universities, including a central , a world class and a the world Sikh Univerisities, we also brough the prestigious Indian School of Business at Mohali and IIT at Ropar. In addition, two private universities are also being set up in the state. “This pace of progress in higher education is unprecedented in the history of the state,” he said.
Mr Badal said that the government was spending nearly Rs 200 crore to set up as many as 17 degree colleges and 7 hi- tech govt. polytechnic colleges in the state. In addition, 21 Adarash l schools were being established across the state at a cost of Rs.64 crore. Rs.141 crore had been spent on up gradation of infrastructure in 351 Government Senior Secondary and High Schools in every constituency of the State. 224 New Primary Schools opened, 834 primary schools upgraded to middle schools and 70 Middle to High Schools. Punjab Languages Act & Punjab, Punjabi and Learning of other Languages Act-2008 and Punjab Official Language (Amendment) Act 2008 enacted for the promotion of Punjabi language.
As many as 45000 teachers in all cadres had been recruited to ensure the smooth functioning of the schools.
Unprecedented development in the state had scripted a new chapter in the history of state’s overall economic growth and prosperity with concerted efforts and renewed commitment. Seeking people’s whole hearted support and cooperation in endeavour to emerge Punjab as a front runner state in the country, Mr. Badal reiterated his firm commitment to cherish the aspirations of the people as well as to honour the poll promises made with them at all costs.