CM UNFURLS NATIONAL FLAG AT STATE LEVEL 66th INDEPENDENCE DAY
PATIALA AUGUST 15:(Bharatsandesh news):Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the Centre to strengthen the states by giving more powers in conformity with its true federal character for realizing the dreams of our great martyrs and freedom fighters who laid down their lives to make our country free from the shackles of British imperialism.
While addressing a massive gathering on the occasion of 66th Independence Day State level Function held here at YPS stadium after unfurling the National Flag, Mr. Badal said that this was a day of introspection for all of us to see if we have fulfilled the dreams of our great freedom fighters but unfortunately, the country still faced with massive poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, inequality and many other social evils even after 65 years of Independence. “We have a long way to travel for fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of those who sacrificed their lives for the country”, said Mr. Badal.
The Chief Minister asked the Center to give a serious thought for setting up of a genuinely federal structure in the country as the present trend towards the unitary system was against the basic spirit of democracy. He said that the tendency of the Center to usurp the powers and authority of the states already ensured by the Constitution was detrimental to the interests of the states. Mr. Badal said the real tribute to our martyrs and heroes on this solemn day would be to cherish the aspirations of our people by ensuring them a quality life through providing basic civic amenities like safe drinking water, electricity and sewage system etc., which could only be feasible if the Center granted more financial and political powers to the states to realize the dreams of our freedom fighters.
Paying rich tributes to the several known and unknown martyrs and heroes, the Chief Minister lauded the unprecedented and unique contribution of Punjabis in India’s Independence struggle. He said that the supreme sacrifices made by our brave martyrs like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Udham Singh and Kartar Singh Sarabha would ever continue to inspire our future generations. He said that though the Punjabis constituted only 2% of the country’s population but their immense contribution in the freedom struggle could never be ignored because more than 75% of freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives, or faced imprisonment were Punjabis. He said that it was a matter of pride and honour that all the prominent movements associated with Independence struggle like Kuka Lehar, Ghadar Lehar, Babbar Akali Movement and Gurdwara Sudhar Lehar were sphereheaded from Punjab.
To pay a befitting tribute to our heroes and martyrs for their glorious sacrifices in the freedom struggle, the Punjab government has decided to set up a world class Memorial, to be known as ‘Jang-e-Azaadi Yadgar’ at Kartarpur in Jalandhar district.
On the occasion, Mr. Badal thanked the people of Punjab for giving him an opportunity to serve them as Chief Minister for the fifth term and second consecutive term of SAD-BJP regime in the state.
Outlining the major achievements and development initiatives of the government, Mr. Badal said that Punjab has been ranked No.3 from the earlier 14th position in India on Education Development Index as per report of National University Educational Planning and Administration. Likewise, Punjab has also been rated as excellent in the healthcare infrastructure by the GoI. On the agriculture front, Mr. Badal said that Punjab has produced record 278.67 lakh MT of food grains. He also appreciated the Punjabi farmers for the record production of 179 lakh MT against the target of 153 lac MT of Wheat during Rabi season 2012. He said that the prestigious Guru Gobind Singh Refinery at Bathinda at a cost of Rs.19000 crore has been commissioned and also demanded a special package for Punjab industry from Center on the pattern of neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and J&K. He said that Punjab would soon free from the pollution of river waters as the state government has already taken a massive program at a cost of Rs.2354 crore to prevent the discharge of industrial effluents and municipal sewage into the river Satluj, Beas and Ghaggar by installing effluents treatment plants and sewage treatment plants in the 44 towns on these rivers.
Mr. Badal also mentioned that to make Punjab clean, green and pollution free, the state government has launched a vigorous drive to plant 40 crore saplings in coming eight years in the state. As a part of this “Greening Punjab Mission” 5 crore saplings were being planted this year alone.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab was the first state in the country to launch Atta-Dal Scheme for 15.2 lac families and has provided Atta-Dal to the beneficiaries across the state at a cost of Rs.1332 crore during the last five years. The government has also enhanced the amount of Shagun Scheme from Rs.5100 to Rs.15000 given as a financial grant to Scheduled Castes/Christian girls at the time of their daughter’s marriage. The state government has provided free education to girls from class 1 to 12th and free cycles to the girl students of class 11th and 12th under Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme.
Mr. Badal said that the ongoing development works relating to sewerage would be completed in the historic city of Patiala at the earliest. He said that the state government had already released Rs.74 crore out of Rs.103 crore earmarked for this project.
The Chief Minster unfurled the National Flag and took a salute from an impressive parade led by the parade commander ACP Mr. Swapan Sharma comprising contingents of PAP, Punjab Police, NCC (Boys and Girls), Police Brass Band, Saint John Ambulance Brigade, Scouts and Girl Guides.
On the occasion, Mr. Badal presented State Level Awards comprising of a Momento, Citation, Shawl and cash award to 34 prominent personalities for their outstanding contribution in different fields namely Rajender Kumar Verma, Simarjit Singh, Baljinder Singh, Jasvir Singh and Bhupinder Singh Sandhu for exemplary bravery shown by them on different occasions. Likewise, Balwinder Singh Bhinder, Parkash Chand Kumar, Bhan Singh Jassi, Dr. Sukhwinder Dass and Dr.Rashmi Vij for superb services rendered by them in the field of social service. As many as 17 persons were honoured with the state awards for the excellent services rendered by them in their respective learned professions namely Sukhpal Singh, Dr. Harminder Singh Sekhon, Major Manmohan Singh Verka, Pritpal Singh, Pardeep Gandhi, Naib Subedar Parmjit Singh, Rajwant Kaur, Kamal Singh, Sant Ram, Abninder Singh Grewal, Hardeb Kaur Kang, Davinder Singh, Jaswinder Singh Dhaliwal, Dr.Gaggandip Singh, Dr. Manisha Gupta, Hardip Singh and Kimmti Lal besides four expert professionals namely Kulbhushan Rai, Sanjeev Thapar, Malkiat Singh and Narotam Dass Sharma for remarkable contribution in the field of education. Three persons viz. Iqbal Gharu, Harwinder Singh Khalsa and Dr. Mohammad Jamil were also honoured for their outstanding services in the field of literature.
The Chief Minister also presented sewing machines to the needy and Tricycles to the physically challenged persons and honoured freedom fighters. A grand gala cultural show was presented by the tiny tots and students of the different schools, colleges and university. Impressive motor cycle show besides tent pegging and Gatka were the star attraction of the show. Apart from this, 14 tableaux highlighted the ongoing progress and developmental activities of various departments of the State government.
Mr. Badal announced a grant of Rs.5 lakh for the participants of cultural events and also declared a holiday on August in all the educational institutes of Patiala district.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion DGP Punjab Mr. Sumedh Singh Saini, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, besides Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Prof. Kirpal Singh Badungar, Mr. Surjint Singh Kohli, Mr. Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur, MLA Ghanur Harpreet Kaur Mukhmailpur, MLA Sutrana Vaninder Kaur Lumba, former MP Rajya Sabha Amarjit Kaur, former CPS Raj Khurana, Zila Parishad Chairman Mohinder Singh Lalwa, Mayor Ajit Singh Kohil and Vice Chancellor Punjabi University Patiala Dr. Jaspal Singh and District & Session Judge Raj Sekhar Attri, Divisional Commissioner Ajit Singh Pannu, Deputy Commissioner GK Singh, IG Patiala Zone Parmamjit Singh Gill, DIG LK Yadav, SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill besides the senior leaders and party works of SAD-BJP and members of SGPC.
CM UNFURLS NATIONAL FLAG AT STATE LEVEL 66th INDEPENDENCE DAY