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Complete major infra projects on war footing: CS to HoDs


Chandigarh, May 31 (Ozi Indian Bureau)



Punjab Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, on Monday, directed the concerned department heads to complete the major public-oriented infrastructure projects in the state on a war footing within the stipulated time frame.



Ms. Mahahan was chairing a meeting of the Public Investment Management Committee to review the implementation and completion of major infrastructure projects in the state with the concerned administrative secretaries of the various departments.



The Chief Secretary said the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has initiated a number of pro-people projects in the state and it was the responsibility of the officers of all the departments concerned to ensure timely completion of the projects under their respective departments.



Ms Mahajan sought detailed information about projects such as commissioning of Halwara airport, a 100-bed hospital at Fazilka and Tertiary Cancer Care Centre Fazilka, New Medical College at SAS Nagar, Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab Open University, Construction of Government Colleges at various cities, State Cancer Center in Amritsar, construction of new jail at Goindwal Sahib, Mega Milk Processing Plant at Bassi Pathana, Plywood Park Hoshiarpur and Major projects of department of Industries and Commerce including Industrial Focal Points.



She said all the projects of public importance should be completed on priority basis so that the people of Punjab could avail the facilities.



In order to strengthen the focal points in different cities, the Chief Secretary directed the Industries department to ensure the creation of requisite infrastructure and complete all the projects in a time-bound manner.



The Chief Secretary also directed the Finance Department to ensure the timely release of the funds for the completion of various projects as per the requirements of the implementing agencies.



The meeting was attended by the senior officials from the departments of Civil Aviation, Industries and Commerce, Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education and Research, Jails, Higher Education and Horticulture.


Expedite recruitment process to fill vacant posts: CS

Chandigarh, May 31 (Ozi Indian Bureau)



Complying with the orders of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to fill up the vacancies in all the departments at the earliest and provide employment to the youth of the state under the his government’s flagship “Ghar Ghar Rozgar Mission”, the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, on Monday, directed the heads of all the departments to expedite the recruitment process to fill up the vacant posts in their respective departments.



This will not only further enhance the efficiency of official work and further improve the public delivery services, but the unemployed youth will also get government jobs, said the Chief Secretary, while chairing a high-level meeting on the state-level employment plan here.



She disclosed that as many as 38,552 posts were to be filled in just 5 departments, including 16,681 in the School Education department alone, 10,387 in the Home, 3,623 in the Power, 5,834 in the Health and Family Welfare and 2027 posts in the Cooperation department at different levels.



Ms Mahajan said though Punjab Government has undertaken large scale recruitments in various departments during the last two years, several vacancies were yet to be filled.



The Chief Secretary was informed that most of the departments have already fulfilled the basic prerequisites for the recruitment and soon thousands of eligible youth of the state would get employment in the government sector.



She said a large number of recruitments would be made in various departments including School Education, Technical Education, Water Resources, Home, Power, Cooperation, Health, Higher Education, Revenue and Rural Development.



Besides, the recruitment process in the departments of Housing, Public Works, Transport, Animal Husbandry, Labour, Local Government, Agriculture, Forestry, Prisons, Medical Education, Planning, Sports and Youth Services, Social Security, Printing and Stationery, Elections, Defence Services, Tourism, Civil Aviation and Information and Public Relations was also underway.



The Chief Secretary also issued special instructions to the Finance department to immediately approve all the posts, which were awaiting nod after making amendments in the rules or any other issues, as per the rules, if needed.



Meanwhile, the recruitment process to fill the posts in various departments was to be undertaken by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), Punjab Subordinate Service Selection Board (PSSSB) or by the departments, as the case may be.



Senior officials of all the departments attended the meeting.


Another close associate of Drug smuggler Jaipal Bhullar held in Ludhiana


Chandigarh/Ludhiana, May 31(OZi Indian Bureau):



Punjab Police has arrested another close aide of the prime accused drug smuggler and rogue criminal Jaipal Bhullar, wanted for the sensational killing of CIA Assistant Sub Inspectors (ASIs), Bhagwan Singh and Dalwinderjit Singh, who were gunned down in cold blood in Jagraon Grain Market on May 15.



The arrested has been identified as Lucky Rajput @ Lucky, a resident of New Pratap Nagar in Ludhiana, who had actively assisted the killers of two ASIs in fleeing from the State. The police have also recovered a .32 bore country-made Pistol, alongwith 3 live cartridges, two Pulsar motorcycles and one Fiat Punto Car from his possession.



The development came just two days after the Punjab Police arrested two of the main accused, identified as Darshan Singh, and Baljinder Singh @Babbi, of Jagraon shootout from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.



A Spokesperson of Punjab Police Department, while giving details, said that in an intelligence led operation, CP Ludhiana Rakesh Agrawal deputed a police team which arrested Lucky from Khanpur Canal Bridge.



Lucky, who has a criminal past and was convicted in murder case in 2008; he is also wanted by Dehlon Police in a car snatching case of November 2020. Lucky has disclosed that he, along with Jaipal Bhullar, Darshan Singh, and Baljinder Singh @Babbi had snatched an i10 car (PB10EU-0110) at gunpoint from Malerkotla road (under Dehlon Police Station in Ludhiana) in November 2020.



The spokesperson said that while lodged at Central Jail Ludhiana, Lucky had come in contact with Darshan and Babbi, who later introduced him to gangster turned drug smuggler, Jaipal Bhullar. Whenever Jaipal used to pass through Ludhiana, Lucky and Darshan would escort his vehicle in their Fiat Punto car to give advance information about Police Nakas enroute, which has been recovered, he added.



He said that Lucky was also wanted in the kidnapping case of Mohali resident Pritpal Singh alias Bobby. Lucky had kidnapped Pritpal Singh on December 12, 2020, thrashed him and demanded a ransom of Rs 1.5 crore. However, after his condition deteriorated, Lucky, and his criminal associates including Jaipal, Bubbi, Darshan, Jaspreet Singh @ Jassi, had left the with his car after snatching Rs. 86000.



In another case, Lucky, Darshan and Gagandeep Singh alias Nona, Jaspreet alias Jassi had threatened prime witnesses in the Banur Bank Cash Van Robbery case, including Sukhwant Singh of village Batta in Kharar, Shamsher Singh of village Zara in Shahabad, Haryana and Jatinder Singh of village Khanpura Gandua, against testifying against Jaipal and his associates in court.


Punjab Government sets up Mobile Covid Care Unit in partnership with Treebo Hotels- Balbir Sidhu

Chandigarh/SAS Nagar, May 31 (Ozi Indian Bureau):



The State Government has set up a Mobile Covid Care Unit (MCCU) in partnership with Treebo Hotels to serve the remote villages of the district, informed Balbir Singh Sidhu Health Mnister Punjab while flagging it off from District Administrative Complex of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar on Monday.



The idea of setting up this MCCU under Mission Fateh -2.0 for Corona Mukat Punjab is to serve the rural communities in these difficult times, who have limited access to healthcare. The MCCU will be equipped with 20 beds, 10 oxygen concentrators, on-site medical and nursing staff and medical supplies. S.A.S. Nagar District Administration will be the first to run the Mobile Covid Care Unit. After the success of pilot MCCU, a few more would be pressed into operation, informed HM.



The spread of the pandemic into the smaller cities and villages from the Tier I and metro cities underscores the need of a mobile unit to address Covid-19 patients in the interiors, said Sidhu .He said that this mobile unit is quick to set up and can dispense medical attention to the remotest places where the medical infrastructure might not be adequate to handle the current magnitude of the situation.



In the meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan informed that the district administration of SAS Nagar has arranged medical and nursing staff along with medical supplies and consumables while Treebo has come forward in setting up the mobile base camp with oxygen concentrators. This camp will offer free service including medication to the rural residents.



Commenting on this initiative, Puneet Puri, Vice President-Business Development, at Treebo Hotels said “Treebo would like to thank the District Administration of S.A.S. Nagar for their support in setting up this initiative. With COVID spreading to the hinterland it is crucial that quality care and services are provided to those who need it the most. The Mobile Covid Care Unit aims to ensure that free good quality care reaches the most vulnerable sections of the society. As a responsible corporate citizen of India, we consider it our duty to stand with our fellow citizens in these difficult times”.



Earlier, Treebo set up Covid Care Centres in the National Capital Region (NCR), and has now come up with Mobile Covid Care Unit to tackle the mobile nature of the spread of infection.



Pertinently, Treebo Hotels is one the largest hotel chains in the country. It operates a network of 500+ hotels across 100+ cities . Treebo was founded in 2015 by Sidharth Gupta, Kadam Jeet Jain and Rahul Chaudhary.


Punjab Launches drive to eradicate tobacco use to protect children & youth on World No Tobacco Day


Chandigarh, May 31 (Ozi Indian Bureau):



Punjab Government has launched a drive to eradicate tobacco use to save children and youth on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day.



Giving details here today, Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that a special week long campaign has been launched in all the districts w.e.f 31st May to 6th June 2021. He said that during this campaign, all the govt. health facilities will be declared as Tobacco Free and No Tobacco Pledge will be taken at all health facilities. A state level Anti Tobacco radio campaign and audio announcement at Bus stands have also been launched to spread awareness among people.



Mr. Sidhu said that World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on 31st May. This year theme of World No Tobacco Day 2021 campaign is "Commit to Quit"



Mr. Sidhu said “Tobacco use is a major threat to public health globally. Smokeless tobacco users first of all are prone to deadly diseases and early death, secondly users have a tendency to spit in public places, and therefore it increases health risks especially by spreading infectious and contagious diseases like COVID 19.



On the occasion, he urged all the citizens of the Punjab not to use or spit tobacco in public places as it is prohibited under section 268, 269 & 278 of Indian Penal code, 1860.



Mr. Sidhu said that the health department of Punjab has taken up tobacco control as a flagship program. All the 22 districts in the state have been declared as Tobacco Smoke Free. Total 739 villages have been declared themselves Tobacco Free. During year 2020-2021 - 8,177 Challans have been issued against the violators under Cigarette and other Tobacco products Act, 2003 (COTPA, 2003). Tobacco Cessation centers have been established in all the districts. Free counseling services and cessation medicines like Tab Bupropion, Nicotine gums and patches are being provided in these centers. Total 10,832 Tobacco users have received services at these centers in year 2020-21.



He said that Punjab is a pioneer state to focus on youth by timely ban on E cigarettes, hookah bars and by declaring Colleges/Universities as Tobacco Free. State is also working on Tobacco vendors licensing to curb this menace of Tobacco as this will go a long way in deterring young children & youth from initiation.


PUNJAB CM URGES BKU (EKTA UGRAHAN) NOT TO GO FORWARD WITH DHARNA, TERMS IT POTENTIAL COVID SUPER-SPREADER

Chandigarh, May 23 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Categorically rejecting the allegation of the state government’s failure to effectively tackle the Covid pandemic, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday urged the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) not to go ahead with their proposed dharna, which he said could turn into a super-spreader of the contagion.

The Chief Minister said his government had fought hard to prevent Punjab going the way of some other states, such as Delhi, Maharashtra and even Uttar Pradesh (where bodies floating in the Ganga river had exposed the total pandemic mismanagement by the BJP-ruled state.) Any event, such as the proposed 3-day dharna of the BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) in Patiala, had the potential to negate the gains made by his government in tackling Covid in the state, he said.

Captain Amarinder urged the farmers’ group not to act irresponsibly and jeopardise the lives of their own people with such reckless behaviour amid the pandemic, especially when there is a complete ban in the state on all gatherings and any violation of the ban would be highly detrimental to the interests of Punjab and its people. Such a dharna would draw people mainly from the villages, which were in any case going through a crisis during the second wave of the pandemic, he pointed out.

The group’s action was also completely unwarranted considering the total support the state government had extended all these months to the agitating farmers on the issue of the Centre’s black Farm Laws, said Captain Amarinder. His government was the first to pass amendment laws in the state Assembly to contravene the Farm Laws, he pointed out. “It is time for the farmers now to reciprocate by supporting the state government in the fight against the pandemic,” he said, adding that just as the farmers’ interests were inexorably linked with that of Punjab, so was Punjab’s interest dependent on the farmers’ support to his government in the battle against Covid.

Pointing out that even during the peak of the second Covid surge in Punjab, things had not gone out of control here as they had in several other states, the Chief Minister said the state had been one of the best performing so far as the management of the pandemic was concerned. There were no widespread shortages of Oxygen in hospitals despite shortfall in supply, as the state government had ensured judicious management of the critical commodity, he noted, adding that even availability medications, beds etc had been continuously ramped up to keep pace with the spiralling cases. This, he pointed out, was in sharp contrast to states like Delhi, Maharashtra and UP, among others.

The only serious problem being faced by Punjab was the shortage of vaccines, which was not due to any mismanagement of the state government but that of the Centre, said Captain Amarinder, rejecting all charges of his government failing to tackle the pandemic effectively.

He pointed out that as a result of the concerted efforts of the government, the medical fraternity, the police, the civil administration and the village panchayats (who had been conducting Thikri Pehras), Punjab had successfully brought the number of cases to 5421, with 201 deaths, on May 22, from a high of nearly 10000 just about two weeks ago. But given the gravity of the situation, there was no scope for any laxity in Covid appropriate behaviour, and rallies or dharnas of any kind were totally unacceptable when the lives of the people were at stake, the Chief Minister asserted.


Punjab school education minister Vijay Inder Singla stands firm on safety and security of students and teachers

Chandigarh, May 23 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Punjab School Education Minister Mr. Vijay Inder Singla, on Sunday, said that the union government should ensure safety of students before taking decisions on examinations of class XII. While presenting his views during a virtual meeting with Union ministers, Mr. Singla said that during difficult times, safety and security of students and teachers must be on the priority of the government and every possible step should be taken in this regard.

The virtual meeting was organized to discuss the proposals for the conduct of exams for class XII and entrance examinations for professional courses which was attended by education ministers of all states and Union Minister including Parkash Javedkar, Rajnath Singh, Samriti Irani and HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. Secretary school education Krishan Kumar and Chairman Punjab School Education Board Yograj also attended the meeting.

Mr. Vijay Inder Singla said that taking serious note of the situation, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab government has already taken the decision to promote the students of Board class V, VIII and X. He added that the results of class 8 th and 10 have already been declared and results of class V will be declared tomorrow on the basis of internal assessment only. He said that apart from these steps, their government will leave no stone unturned to ensure safety and security of students while conducting exams as and when GOI decides .

The cabinet minister also suggested to the union ministers that if they wish to conduct examinations of class XII, the exams of only 3 elective subjects should be taken. He said that if the education boards would conduct examinations for elective subjects, it would be easy to maintain social distancing and other mandatory protocol in view of the pandemic. “Though, under the Misson Shat Parishat, Teachers and Students have worked hard but due to the alarming Covid situation, they will not be able to deliver their best.


Baseline test of “National Talent Search Examination” on 31st May

Chandigarh, May 23 (Ozi Indian Bureau)

The Punjab School Education Department has decided to conduct the Baseline Test on May 31 to prepare the students for the National Talent Research Examination (NTSE). Punjab Education Minister, Mr. Vijay Inder Singla has directed the education department to make the students fully prepared for this test so that the maximum  students of government schools could be selected for this scholarship.

Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the school education department said that this online preparation test will be for the students studying in class X only. The duration of the test will be of 45 minutes. The test will be conducted in conjunction with the student ID. This test is being conducted  by the NCERT at the national level. The purpose of this is to explore the talents of the students and to provide scholarships to the students for higher education.


RM releases directory and compendium of Registration Instructions compiled by Punjab Revenue Officers Association

Chandigarh, May 23 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

The Revenue Minister Punjab, Mr. GS Kangar released directory and compendium of Registration Instructions compiled by Punjab Revenue Officers Association, at his camp office in Chandigarh.

Appreciating the efforts of members of Punjab Revenue Officers Association, the Minister said that compiling all relevant Registration Instructions since 1950 till date is commendable. He said that scores of changes have come up with time in the property registration process; many new instructions have been issued and many have become redundant over time. So, compiling entire set of relevant instructions is great job. It will not only be handy for the present Revenue Officers but will also be of immense value to those who are being inducted fresh into the department.

Preparing the alphabetically organized Directory of contact numbers and details of all Revenue Officers of the rank of naib thesildar, tehsildar and District Revenue Office(DRO) who are serving as well as all those who have served the department since 1979 when the post of DRO was created is also a herculean job. This directory will be a valuable database, said he.

In the meanwhile, Mr. Gurdev Singh Dham, President Punjab Revenue Officers Association informed that a group of revenue officers are also working on compiling Revenue Laws and the Tehsildar/Naib Tehsildar Rules & Regulations and will soon release the books on both the subjects.

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Photo Caption: T Revenue Minister Punjab, Mr. GS Kangar releasing directory and compendium of Registration Instructions compiled by Punjab Revenue Officers Association.


PUNJAB CM URGES BKU (EKTA UGRAHAN) NOT TO GO FORWARD WITH DHARNA, TERMS IT POTENTIAL COVID SUPER-SPREADER

Chandigarh, May 23 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Categorically rejecting the allegation of the state government’s failure to effectively tackle the Covid pandemic, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday urged the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) not to go ahead with their proposed dharna, which he said could turn into a super-spreader of the contagion.

The Chief Minister said his government had fought hard to prevent Punjab going the way of some other states, such as Delhi, Maharashtra and even Uttar Pradesh (where bodies floating in the Ganga river had exposed the total pandemic mismanagement by the BJP-ruled state.) Any event, such as the proposed 3-day dharna of the BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) in Patiala, had the potential to negate the gains made by his government in tackling Covid in the state, he said.

Captain Amarinder urged the farmers’ group not to act irresponsibly and jeopardise the lives of their own people with such reckless behaviour amid the pandemic, especially when there is a complete ban in the state on all gatherings and any violation of the ban would be highly detrimental to the interests of Punjab and its people. Such a dharna would draw people mainly from the villages, which were in any case going through a crisis during the second wave of the pandemic, he pointed out.

The group’s action was also completely unwarranted considering the total support the state government had extended all these months to the agitating farmers on the issue of the Centre’s black Farm Laws, said Captain Amarinder. His government was the first to pass amendment laws in the state Assembly to contravene the Farm Laws, he pointed out. “It is time for the farmers now to reciprocate by supporting the state government in the fight against the pandemic,” he said, adding that just as the farmers’ interests were inexorably linked with that of Punjab, so was Punjab’s interest dependent on the farmers’ support to his government in the battle against Covid.

Pointing out that even during the peak of the second Covid surge in Punjab, things had not gone out of control here as they had in several other states, the Chief Minister said the state had been one of the best performing so far as the management of the pandemic was concerned. There were no widespread shortages of Oxygen in hospitals despite shortfall in supply, as the state government had ensured judicious management of the critical commodity, he noted, adding that even availability medications, beds etc had been continuously ramped up to keep pace with the spiralling cases. This, he pointed out, was in sharp contrast to states like Delhi, Maharashtra and UP, among others.

The only serious problem being faced by Punjab was the shortage of vaccines, which was not due to any mismanagement of the state government but that of the Centre, said Captain Amarinder, rejecting all charges of his government failing to tackle the pandemic effectively.

He pointed out that as a result of the concerted efforts of the government, the medical fraternity, the police, the civil administration and the village panchayats (who had been conducting Thikri Pehras), Punjab had successfully brought the number of cases to 5421, with 201 deaths, on May 22, from a high of nearly 10000 just about two weeks ago. But given the gravity of the situation, there was no scope for any laxity in Covid appropriate behaviour, and rallies or dharnas of any kind were totally unacceptable when the lives of the people were at stake, the Chief Minister asserted.


VACCINE MANUFACTURER ‘MODERNA’ DECLINES PUNJAB’S REQUEST FOR SENDING VACCINATION DIRECTLY: VIKAS GARG

Chandigarh, May 23 (OZi Indian Bureau):

One of a Covid vaccine manufacturer ‘Moderna’ has refused to send direct vaccination to Punjab government as according to their policy, they only deal with Government of India and not with any state government or private parties.

Disclosing this here today, State Nodal Officer for vaccination and Senior IAS Officer Mr Vikas Garg said that all vaccine manufacturers were approached for direct purchase of various Covid vaccines, including Sputnik V, Pfizer, Modern, and Johnson & Johnson, as per the directions of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to explore possibilities of floating a global tender for the procurement of vaccines from all possible sources to ensure early inoculation in the state.

Divulging further, the Nodal Officer Mr Garg said that reply was received from Moderna only in which the company refused to deal with State Government.

It may be recalled that the state government was forced to stop vaccination for Phase I & Phase 2 categories in the last three days because of non-availability. All efforts would be made for procurement of vaccines to meet the acute shortage in the state, which had received fewer than 44 lakh vaccine doses so far from the Government of India.

As per GoI allocation for Phase III (18-44 age group), the state government has been been able to buy only 4.2lakh vaccine doses, including 66,000 received yesterday. A total of 3.65 Lakh have already been used, leavingonly 64000 for use as of now, said Vikas Garg.


PUNJAB POLICE NAB 2 ACTIVISTS OF KHALISTAN TIGER FORCE INVOLVED IN MURDER OF A DERA PREMI AS REVENGE OVER SACRILEGE CASES


Chandigarh, May 23 (Ozi Indian Bureau)



Punjab Police has arrested two activists of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), allegedly involved in several heinous crimes in the past less than one year, including the murder of a Dera Premi and firing on a priest. The two were acting on the directions of KTF’s Canada based chief, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whose name incidentally figured in the list of Khalistani operatives that was handed over by Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, to Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, during the latter’s visit to India in 2018.



With the arrest of Lovepreet Singh @ Ravi and Ram Singh @ Sonu, late on Saturday night from the rear side of Senior Secondary School near railway crossing Mehna, District Moga, the police also foiled a plan to kill another Dera Premi, who they were targeting to take revenge in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege cases. Three 0.32 bore pistols with 38 live cartridges and one 0.315 bore pistol with 10 live cartridges, along with two magazines, were seized from the suspects.



Besides, Nijjar, three of their other KTF’s co-conspirators/masterminds, identified as Arshdip, Ramandip and Charanjit @ Rinku Bihla, are hiding out in Surrey (B.C) Canada, while one, Kamaljeet Sharma @ Kamal, is still absconding, DGP Dinkar Gupta disclosed on Sunday. He said while Arshdeep Singh @Arsh s/o Charanjit Singh r/o village Dalla (Moga) and Ramandeep Singh @ Raman Judge s/o Sukhjinder Singh r/o Ferozepur went to Canada legally in 2019 and 2017 respectively, Charanjit Singh @ Rinku Bihla s/o Gurjit Singh r/o village Bihla, Distt. Barnala, had gone there illegally in around 2013-14.



According to initial investigations, which were led by SSP Moga, Harmanbir Singh Gill, Gupta said Lovepreet @ Ravi and Kamaljeet Sharma @ Kamal were known to Arshdeep, as they all belonged to the same village, since childhood. Ram Singh @ Sonu R/O Ghal Khurd, who was a student at ITI Moga. were known to Kamal since college days. All were given money by Arshdeep, who sent it through Western Union money transfers.



On November 20 last year, Sonu and Kamal had killed Manohar Lal, a Dera Premi, at Bhagta Bhaika in Distt. Bathinda. Sonu fired 3-4 shots with Pistols in both hands, and Kamal also fired, said the DGP.



Sonu and Kamal were also involved in firing at a priest, Kamaldeep Sharma, in village Bhar Singh Pura in Phillaur (Jalandhar Rural) on January 31 this year. The priest, who was shot at thrice, was seriously injured along with a girl in the attack, allegedly carried out by the suspects on the directions of Nijjar. In September 2020, Nijjar was designated a terrorist by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, and the NIA had also attached his properties in Bhar Singh Pura village under Section 51A of UAPA.



Kamal and Ravi were involved, along with Arshdeep (who had come to India at that time), in the murder of their associate, Sukha Lamme, on June 27, 2020. They injected poison into Sukha at an abandoned house at Village Dala and then, after burning his face, threw the body in Daudhar canal at Pul Madhoke. Earlier, on June 25, Ravi, Kamal and Sukha had fired at Maan’s residence at Village Lamma Jatt Pura, Distt. Ludhiana (Rural).



A few days later, on July 14, 2020, Ravi and Kamal killed the Tejinder @ Pinka, owner Super Shine Clothes, to terrorise the people of Moga city for exploit them subsequently for ransom. Ravi fired at Pinka and Kamal stood outside the shop, investigations have revealed. In the latest incident, on February 9 this year, Ravi and Sonu also attempted to kill owner of Sharma Sweets, Moga.



The DGP said investigations were in progress to unravel further links of the accused and trace other previous crimes in which they might have been involved. A hunt has been launched to arrest the absconding accused, Kamal. He said while a Red Corner Notice was issued against Nijjer, who has also been put on the “No Fly List” by the Canadian authorities, sometime back, international warrants will be obtained, and Red Corner Notices will be issued against the other radicals based in Canada. Gupta said the government would also seek their deportation to India to face prosecution and criminal trial.


DGP Punjab led Punjab Police in paying rich tributes to Martyr ASI Bhagwan Singh on his Bhog Ceremony


Chandigarh/Jagraon, May 23 (Ozi Indian Bureau):



Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Dinkar Gupta led the entire Punjab Police force in fondly remembering the supreme sacrifice made by Police Martyr Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Bhagwan Singh on his Bhog Ceremony held at Dashmesh Gurdwara in his native village Kothe Ath Chak in Jagraon on Sunday.


ASI Bhagwan Singh, who joined the Police force as Constable in 1990 and was currently posted in Crime Investigation Unit (CIA) Wing of Ludhiana Rural Police had lost his life while chasing and confronting with criminals in Jagraon on May 15, 2021. He is survived by his wife and 15-year-old son.


DGP Dinkar Gupta, who attended the ceremony via video conferencing due to COVID-19 restrictions, led the senior officers, including CP/SSPs in paying rich tributes to ASI Bhagwan Singh who gave up his life fighting criminal and drug smugglers. “All of us, who are the family of 82000 strong Police force of Punjab, will always be proud of the supreme sacrifice of the ASI for the safety and security of the citizens of the border state of Punjab and won’t let his sacrifice go in vain,” he said.


The DGP said that ASI Bhagwan had spent his entire service fighting against the drugs and gangsters, and in Jagraon as well, he fought bravely with the gangsters.


“We can’t bring him back but he will stay alive in our hearts always,” said DGP Dinkar Gupta, while assuring the Punjab Government and Punjab Police would always stand solidly with the family of the martyr.


He assured that the family of ASI Bhagwan Singh would be paid a sum of Rs 1 crore as relief by the HDFC Bank, besides other benefits, including a Police job will be given to his son as soon as he comes of age.



Meanwhile, following the gathering restrictions due to fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, only a limited number of people were requested to attend the Bhog Ceremony, however, Ludhiana Rural Police made the entire event live on their Facebook pages for all the Police officials and people to pay tributes to the martyr.


Never said that the reason for the spread of corona in the villages of Punjab is the ongoing peasant agitation on the Delhi border: Tripat Bajwa

Chandigarh, May 22 (Ozi Indian Bureau): Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa today clarified here that he had never said that the outbreak of corona in the villages of Punjab was due to repeal of three anti-farmer laws. It is on the rise due to farmers returning from the above dharnas. The Panchayat Minister said in his press statement that he was very clear that the Corona epidemic had not only re-emerged in Punjab but had spread across the country. The disease has spread in the last two months even in states far from Delhi. The Panchayat Minister said that there were other reasons for the rise in the Corona epidemic in the country, one of the main reasons being that despite experts predicting a second wave of Corona, the Center The government has not made adequate arrangements. Mr. Bajwa said, “I am a staunch supporter of the peasant struggle and I also realize that the peasant movement cannot be left in the middle. I have never said that corona is on the rise in the villages of Punjab due to the peasant struggle. The Panchayat Minister said that he had only advised that for the safety of themselves and their families, the farmers returning from the dharna should be tested when they come to the villages for their own good. "I am deeply saddened that a section of the media has created a sensation by misrepresenting the matter," he said.


Sukhjinder Randhawa dares Akalis to volunteer themselves for probing their misdeeds before accusing him

CHANDIGARH MAY 22 (Ozi Indian Bureau): Asserting that he was ready to face any probe related to his former Private Secretary (Secretariat staff) Bachittar Singh, Cooperation and Jails Minister, Punjab Mr. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa today said that before raising finger on him the Akalis should come forward and volunteer themselves for probing their misdeeds during decade long rule.
In a statement issued here today, the Minister said that in dearth of any issues against him the Akalis were indulging in cheap tantrums and misleading the people on pretext of a former Private Secretary provided to him by the government. He said that though Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema had himself remained Minister but before issuing this misleading statement he forgot that Bachittar Singh, who comes from Ministerial staff, was attached with him as a capacity of Minister and was not his personal staff. Mr. Randhawa said that as a fact of matter he had got Bachittar transferred from his staff on 3rd March this year.
The Minister said that it was shameful that without checking the facts Akalis have started theatricals by blowing out this matter out of proportion knowing it well that it was a totally frivolous issue. Mr. Randhawa categorically said that he had himself called up the Director, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab and assured them of full support and cooperation in the matter. “In my entire political career spanning over three decades I have been a votary of transparent, responsive and accountable public life and I cherish these ethos more than any post. So I am ready for any probe into this matter as it has nothing to do with me” he added.
Training his guns against the Akali leadership, the Minister dared them to come clean on their decade long misrule from 2007-2017. He asked them to volunteer for probe into their sins during the decade long rule when corruption, nepotism, high handedness and tweaking of rules was on its pinnacle. Mr. Randhawa said that the entire Punjab knows how the Akalis have openly looted the state exchequer and it was shameful on their part that instead of peeping into their conscience they have unleashed a malicious propaganda against them.


Make Mission Fateh 2.0 success, free villages of Covid: CS

CHANDIGARH, MAY 22 (Ozi Indian Bureau)

Giving a clarion call to make successful Mission Fateh 2.0 under Corona Mukt Pind Abhiyaan launched by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh recently, the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, on Saturday asked the Health and all other departments concerned besides the district administrations to pull out all the stops to free the state’s villages of Covid by ramping up the testing, tracing, treatment, vaccination drives, and reaching out to each and every household in the rural areas.

She ordered the officials to immediately provide oxygen concentrators at select rural government hospitals and asked the district administrations to take stern action against the private hospitals found fleecing Covid patients.

She also directed the Health department to immediately share the protocol prepared by the experts for black fungus treatment with all the government and private hospitals in the state.

Ms Mahajan was chairing a high-level meeting of the administrative secretaries, Deputy Commissioners, Commissioners of Police, SSPs and health officials to review the current Covid situation in the state.

Taking serious note of the complaints received against some private hospitals charging exorbitantly from Covid patients, the Chief Secretary ordered to take stringent action against such hospitals who were taking undue advantage of Covid patients and overcharging them.

Adopting a zero tolerance towards unethical practices, she directed the authorities concerned to debar the erring hospitals, if needed, and file FIRs against them as no one should be allowed to exploit the Covid patients during this pandemic.

She also asked to provide oxygen concentrators at select community health centres in rural areas and towns for the success of the Mission Fateh 2.0.

On the reports of Covid patients falling prey to the black fungus (mucormycosis) in the state, the health and medical education adviser to the state government, Dr KK Talwar, said this disease was not new but in recent days, the number of patients suffering from this disease has increased significantly, which was a matter of concern. He informed that the Punjab government has already notified black fungus as an epidemic disease and issued a complete protocol/ chart for the treatment of this disease with the advice of top specialist doctors in the country. He explained that the main cause of this problem was early and excessive use of steroids in immune suppressed patients.

Emphasising on providing immediate treatment to Covid patients suffering from black fungus, the Chief Secretary asked the Principal Secretary Health, Hussan Lal, to immediately share this protocol with all the government and private hospitals in the state. She asked him to notify the panel of hospitals treating this disease and issue a list of hospitals in this regard.

The Chief Secretary also asked Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research DK Tiwari to ensure proper treatment of black fungus in medical colleges across the state.

Referring to the reports that some states were not revealing the exact statistics of Covid mortalities, the Chief Secretary said the death figures of Covid patients in Punjab were being registered in the hospitals with most accuracy and uploaded on the central portal with utmost sincerity and such figures were not being fudged in any district, at least in Punjab, and directed all concerned to ensure this going forward also.

On the testing, tracing and monitoring of Covid positive pregnant women and their families, the Chief Secretary was informed that in rural areas, asha workers, anganwari workers and community health officers at health and wellness centres have been asked to personally contact such patients and in urban areas, concerned civil surgeons and SMOs would ensure proper follow up of such Covid symptomatic women and their family members. Besides, the state Health department was already providing telemedicine facilities for treatment of such patients.

Ms Mahajan announced opening a tele-consultation clinic in Chandigarh from May 25 where five doctors from different faculties would provide online medical advice to the pregnant women about Covid treatment.

To ensure rigorous implementation of Mission Fateh 2.0 in the state, the Chief Secretary asked the DCs and health officers to initiate house-to-house screening for symptomatic and testing of all family members besides isolation and treatment of positive patients as per the protocol. She also asked them to set up Covid care centres (L-1) at local level in the villages and towns in collaboration with the NGOs, CSOs and volunteers etc.

Sharing details, Principal Secretary Health, Hussan Lal, informed that of the total 4,95,689 samples collected during this week, only 45,246 have been found positive for Covid, bringing down the state’s positivity rate to 9.1 per cent.

According to the official data, 1,413 deaths were reported during this week from May 15 to May 21 at the case fatality rate (CFR) of 3.1 per cent.

Hussan said there was no shortage of beds for patients in Level-2 and 3 government and private hospitals in the state.

He further informed that the Union Government was expected to send the allocated quota of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines for vaccination of preferential age groups in the month of June. He asked all the health officials to upload the vaccination data on the Cowin and Cova mobile app with immediate effect and also ordered to keep the wastage of vaccines at less than one per cent.

Giving details of the proper enforcement of the Covid guidelines in the state, Punjab Director General of Police (DGP), Mr Dinkar Gupta, disclosed that 25 lakh people have been challaned for non-wearing of masks and Rs 12 crore fine has been imposed on 1.3 lakh violators in the state since March. He said 4,300 FIRs have been filed against the lockdown violators and almost 5,000 people have been arrested so far. Moreover, ‘thikri pehras’ were also being organised at night in around 60 per cent of the villages in the state to curb the further spread of Covid in the rural areas of the state.

Underlining the need to ramp up the ongoing vaccination programme to contain the further spread of Covid, the Chief Secretary expressed satisfaction over the declining number of deaths and falling number of daily Covid cases in the state. She asked all the deputy commissioners and health officers to bring down the positivity rate from ten per cent to 5 per cent by ensuring strict enforcement of the protocols issued by the state government for the prevention of Covid.

Principal Secretary Local Government, Ajoy Kumar Sinha, informed the meeting that the WhatsApp Chatbot launched by the Chief Minister was running successfully and so far more than 3,900 people have been benefitted in various ways after they registered their grievances on it.

Incharge Oxygen Control Room, Rahul Tewari, informed that there was no shortage of medical oxygen in the state at present. He asked all the deputy commissioners and health officers to procure written information from the hospitals in the districts regarding the required supply of medical oxygen within the next 4 days so that the procurement arrangements could be assessed and made as per the future requirement.


School education minister Vijay Inder Singla announces summer vacations in all schools from May 24

Chandigarh, May 22 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Punjab School Education Minister Mr. Vijay Inder Singla, on Saturday, said that all schools including government, semi-government and private schools across the state will remain closed for summer vacations from May 24 to June 23.

The cabinet minister said that due to Covid-19 pandemic, the educational institutions were already closed for students and now for a period of one month, schools will remain closed for teachers and other staff.

The minister said that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Congress government has continuously been taking precautionary measures for the safety of people in the pandemic. He said that apart from taking necessary steps to ensure safety, their government has also worked hard to uplift the standard of education in schools which is visible from increase in admissions and improvement in results.

Mr. Vijay Inder Singla said since the closure of schools from last year due to COVID, teachers of the education department have been teaching students with the help of various online modes including mobile applications and TV channels. He added that this year, the teachers have also been helping the students in every possible way to complete the remaining syllabus.

The cabinet minister also appealed to the teachers to stay connected with the students during vacations and aware students and parents as well regarding the safety protocol to be followed to avert the contamination of coronavirus.


Medical College Malerkotla district gets state govt approval

CHANDIGARH, MAY 21 (Ozi Indian Bureau)

Acting swiftly on Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh's announcement, a state-level committee approved the proposal to set up a new medical college in Malerkotla at the cost of Rs 368.92 crore, at its meeting, chaired by the Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, here this morning. Member Parliament from Patiala, Ms Preneet Kaur, also participated in the meeting.

The committee has been constituted under the Prime Minister’s 15 Point Programme for the Economic, Social and Educational Development of Minorities.

MP Preneet Kaur said a medical college was needed to provide better healthcare and medical education facilities to the people of Malerkotla and its adjoining areas.

She said the establishment of this medical institute would also help to create more employment opportunities in the medical field besides providing medical educational opportunities to the youth which would help in overcoming the shortage of doctors in Punjab.

Sharing details, the Chief Secretary said the medical college would be set up over 24.44 acres of land in Malerkotla Block-2 and would be connected to the local sub-divisional civil hospital. She said the land for this project has been provided on lease by the Punjab Waqf Board.

The Chief Secretary said 100 students are proposed to be admitted to the medical college in the first year. It has been estimated to spend Rs 43.66 crore per annum for the operation of the college. In addition, the local civil hospital would be upgraded to 500 beds, she announced.

The Chief Secretary issued instructions to make financial arrangements for this project in the revised budget.

Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Research, DK Tiwari, said all the conditions for opening a new medical college have been fulfilled as per the instructions issued by the National Medical Commission.

Principal Secretary, Social Justice and Minorities, Raji P Shrivastava, informed that a proposal to open a new agriculture college under Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, in Kalanaur block of Gurdaspur district under the Central scheme has also been sent to the Union Government.

Additional Chief Secretary Rural Development and Panchayats Seema Jain, Principal Secretary Finance KAP Sinha, Director Social Justice and Minorities Malwinder Singh Jaggi and Sangrur Deputy Commissioner Ramvir also attended the meeting.


MARKFED PROVED EQUAL TO TASK OF ENSURING OXYGEN SUPPLIES FROM BOKARO AND HAZIRA: RANDHAWA

Chandigarh, May 21 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

The Markfed has proved equal to the task of adequate ensuring oxygen supplies to Punjab through ‘Oxygen Express’ from Bokaro and Hazira in the wake of spurt in Covid-19 cases and shortage of oxygen.

Disclosing this here today, Cooperation and Jails Minister S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that the State Government had assigned the task of ferrying oxygen to Markfed which proved its capabilities by organising arrangements of Oxygen in short period of 2 days. “Liasioning and coordination with Railway/CONCOR across different divisions i.e. Northern/Western/Eastern was a challenge besides completion of all statuary compliances and taking services of handlers on board in a short period but Markfed rose to the occasion like a true warrior”, said S. Randhawa.

Pointing out further, the Cooperation Minister said that during such pandemic unavoidable circumstances, supply of Oxygen emerged as main component to save the lives of thousands of people suffering from Covid-19. Unfortunately, Punjab does not have even a single major Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) manufacturing plant in Punjab compelling the State to lift the allocation from Bokaro/Hazira, which are at distance of 1500 km, through cryogenic tankers which makes handling of LMO even tougher, revealed the Minister adding four more containers are being added to augment the supply of Oxygen in the state.

Meanwhile, Markfed deputed two teams of officials to Bokaro and Hazira for coordination and arrangements for supply and distribution of LMO. Besides, a team of Markfed officers at Head office under the guidance of Managing Director Markfed Varun Roojam, is working day and night to make this task a success.

It may be recalled that the State Government directed Markfed on May 13, 2021 for arrangement and supply of oxygen through railways. By making all out efforts, Markfed team ensured that 1st Oxygen express was rolled out Ex-Dappar for Bokaro on May 14, 2021 midnight and the same was received back at Phillaur on May 17, 2021 after filling Oxygen from Bokaro. Besides, the 2nd Oxygen express was received at Bathinda Cantt. from Hazira on May 19, 2021 while the 3rd Oxygen express was received at Phillaur from Bokaro on May 20, 2021.

Likewise, the 4th Oxygen express has left Bathinda Cantt. for filling at Hazira on 20.05.2021 and shall be back at Bathinda on May 22, 2021.


Government school students in Punjab to get free uniforms at home: School education minister Vijay Inder Singla

Chandigarh, May 21 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Punjab School Education Minister Mr. Vijay Inder Singla said that as many as 13,48,632 government school students will be receiving free uniforms at their homes for the academic session i.e. 2021-22 as grants of Rs. 80.92 crore have been released by the education department. The cabinet minister said after sanctioning the required grant, detailed directions have also been issued to all district education officers for the proper arrangements of the uniforms and have also been asked to precisely follow the safety protocol while distributing uniforms to students. He added that the funds will be credited to the School Management Committees (SMCs) for the purchase of uniforms.

Mr. Vijay Inder Singla said, “Captain Amarinder Singh led state government has continuously been taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the students amid Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from providing the uniform at doorsteps, no students will be called in the schools for measurements. Instead, the staff would obtain the size from parents and provide free uniforms as per desired sizes.”

He added that the SMCs have also been asked to provide two masks to each student for their personal safety in view of the pandemic.

The education minister, on Friday, approved the budget of Rs. 80.92 crore to provide free uniforms to students from class I to VIII in government schools. While divulging further details, the cabinet minister informed that all girls studying in these classes and SC/ST/BPL category boys will be given free uniforms at the cost of Rs. 600 per uniform. He added that out of total 13,48,632 students, 7,65,024 are girl students while 5,08,436 are SC category boys and 75,172 are boys from BPL category.

Mr Singla said that the parameters for the purchase of quality uniform have already been fixed and there would be no interference of officials of the education department and neither would they issue any direction, verbal or written, to any SMC for the purchase of uniforms from any particular vendor or place.

"If any official found interfering with the purchase process, strict disciplinary action will be taken against the official found guilty,” he added.

The cabinet minister said that the boys will be given shirts, trousers, turban (patka) or caps, sweaters, socks and shoes and girl students will be given shirts-pants or salwar-kameez; sweaters, shoes and socks. He added that shirt-pants are optional for girl students of primary classes while salwar-kameej will be mandatory as the part of free uniform for girls of upper-primary classes.


Revenue Officials to be permitted to hire vehicles as per their entitlement-Kangar

Chandigarh, May 21 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

The Revenue Officers would be permitted to hire vehicles for official use as per their entitlement assured Revenue Minister GS Kangar, in a meeting with representatives of Punjab Revenue Officers Association at Punjab Civil Secretariat here today.

The office bearers of the Association brought home the fact that only 10% of the Tehsildars /Naib Tehsiladars offices have the official vehicles while the rest are performing duty in their own vehicles. Field duty is a part and parcel of their job so official vehicles are mandatory, they asserted. The Minister reciprocated affirmatively to their demand.

“The Revenue Officers of the State are performing their regular duties as well as the additional COVID19 duties under extremely challenging circumstances. Their genuine demands must be met,” said the Minister while directing FCR to moot the proposal for hiring vehicles.

The members also raised the need of security personnel to be deputed with Executive Magistrates on duty. “Many a time we come across unruly elements while performing sensitive/non sensitive/routine duty. Waiting for police to turn up on the spot is not always practically possible,” said they.

The idea of a security guard with each official is not practical; however, it would be taken up with the DGP Punjab to deploy one policeman in each Tehsil/sub tehsil who would accompany the Tehsildar/Naib Tehsildar in field, as the need be said Revenue Minister.

Gurdev Singh Dham, President Punjab Revenue Officers Association asserted that the decisions taken by revenue officials , quasi-judicial in nature must not be subject to Police /vigilance inquiry ; the Revenue Department being the Appellate Authority may review the cases and take necessary action if the need be. The Minister lent a sympathetic ear to the grievance and assured that Revenue Department is all in support of its officials and will back every decision taken in right earnest.

The association also sought sticking to old rules of department whereby after promotion the officer concerned had to pass departmental exam with a minimum 50% score which has been recently increased to 66% as in case of IAS Officers. They also asked for the exam pattern to be changed to Objective type(MCQ) in place of lengthy Subjective question/answers. Their demand was considered as genuine and the Minister asked the department to look into the possibility of Revision in Departmental Promotional Exam pattern and pass percentage.

In the meanwhile, Ms. Vini Mahajan Chief Secretary Punjab who also joined the meeting along with Ravneet Kaur FCR and Manvesh Sidhu Secretary Revenue, attended the meeting to resolve the impending issues of the Revenue Officers so that they may withdraw their ongoing partial strike and resume the Executive Magisterial duties and Court Work at the earliest supported their genuine demands.

She reiterated the need to strengthen the Revenue department with recruitment of Legal Literates to assist the Revenue Officials in court work and also informed that as soon as COVID scenario improves the process of recruitment of Patwaris would be put on fast track. She also suggested need for better equipment /internet connectivity/cloud space for improving the performance of NGDRS system. Refurbishment of record rooms was also suggested. The Chief Secretary directed FCR to put up a case for dedicated fund for each tehsil for meeting the emergent expenses without burdening the revenue officers with hospitality or any other expenses. To build the morale of officers, the Chief Secretary suggested adequate commendation / appreciation of revenue officers doing praiseworthy work.


AMID COVID 3RD WAVE CONCERNS FOR KIDS, PUNJAB CM ORDERS MISSION MODE PREPAREDNESS, TRAINING OF DOCTORS BY JUNE END


Chandigarh, May 20 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Amid projections and concerns of a possible third wave of Covid and its impact on children, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered the Health Department to go into mission mode with preparation, which will include specialised training of all doctors in the Health Department by the end of June, while directing house-to-house surveillance to control the current spread of the disease in the rural areas.

Reviewing the Covid situation in the state during a virtual meeting, the Chief Minister directed the state expert group head Dr KK Talwar to look into all aspects of medical education, and to get training modules prepared for the Health Department. He underlined the need to ensure that all Medical Officers in the state are trained to deal with Covid, especially in children.

Expressing concern over the spread of Covid in rural areas, the Chief Minister directed that teams of Health and other departments immediately start house-to-house surveillance in every village. The teams should be equipped to give basic medicines without delay, and RAT testing of symptomatic persons must be got done at the earliest, he said. He also directed that some CHCs in each district be prepared as L2 facilities, with oxygen concentrators and doctors with proper treatment protocols.

Stressing the importance of involving Sarpanches in this exercise, the Chief Minister ordered their prioritisation, along with that of Panches, as well as Block Samiti and Zila Parishad Chairmen and members, in vaccination. The Police Department must also provide support, especially through their Village Police Officers, he added.

The Chief Minister directed the concerned officials to take strict action against private hospitals overcharging Covid patients and said they should also be made to refund the payments received. He asked DCs to coordinate with the Health Department to track all such complaints. The private hospitals should be asked to display the official rate prominently, and the same should be widely publicized, he stressed.

Captain Amarinder expressed satisfaction at the measures taken by the Control Room for Oxygen, in support with district administration, to manage the situation and prevent any mishap due to oxygen shortage. He lauded the officers stationed at Bokaro, Hazira etc. in ensuring this, while directing the Health Department to continuously pursue with the Centre the issue of Oxygen shortfall, which stands at 700 MT, as well as tankers. He expressed gratitude to HMEL for assisting the state with 4 oxygen tankers, which are expected to arrive within the next few days. Markfed has starting working with the Railways to run Oxygen trains, and 4 such trips have already been made both from Hazira and from Bokaro, he said, congratulating all the civil and police department officers for their excellent work.

Taking note of the fact that some hospitalised patients need oxygen support for a few days after discharge, the Chief Minister asked the Health Department to allow their 5 litre per minute concentrators to be used for this purpose on temporary loan basis. He also asked the department to set up bank of Oxygen concentrators for this purpose, besides establishing Post Covid Care wards in civil hospitals.

While the cases and positivity in the state had shown a decline over the past one week, there was no scope for laxity, the Chief Minister stressed, directing the police to strictly enforce all restrictions, taking the cooperation of urban and local body leaders also in this effort.

DGP Dinkar Gupta said the enforcement drive was being strictly carried out, which had made people also more cautious now. Since March 19, a total of 25 lakh violations had been registered, with 1.31 lakhs challans and Rs 12 crores collected in fine, while 2600 violators had been taken to open jails for detention, he said. Thikri pheras were being held in 60% of the villages to control the entry and exit of people, he said, assuring the meeting of improved coverage in the new few days.

Health Minister Balbir Sidhu suggested establishment of Rapid Response Teams and involvement of RMP doctors in monitoring in the rural areas to check the spread of the cases.

Medical Education Secretary DK Tiwari that the positivity rate during May 2-8 week stood at 18.5% but had since declined. The bed situation was currently comfortable, and Oxygen supplies in Amritsar had been increased from 6 KL to 11 KL, he disclosed. On testing, he said that in the last one week, 2.13 lakh RTPCR tests had been conducted, with average testing time of a little over 7 hours per test. Sharing details of the various regular health staff recruitments done, he said 108 Senior Residents had bene issued appointment letters, while 86 Nurses, 8 Lab Technicians, 9 Radiographers, 2 Perfusionists, 2 Optometrists, and 1 Audiologist would be appointed within a week, and more vacancies had been advertised. Outsourced staff had also been deployed in various hospitals/centres/labs, he said, adding that the Army was currently helping in running 84 beds in Patiala, and will also be managing the makeshift hospitals in Mohali and Bathinda.

Health Secretary Hussan Lal said the cumulative positivity on 19th May stood at 6.2%, withMohali and Malwa regions continuing to show high numbers.

Dr KK Talwar, who heads the state’s Covid Expert Group, said to ensure that the cases continue to decline, the current restrictions should be followed for the next 2-3 weeks. He disclosed that while the genome sequencing of the March samples had shown 96% UK variant, only one double mutant case was found in the April samples. Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said results of the samples sent for genome sampling in April and May were still pending.


PUNJAB CM LAUNCHES COVID CARE WHATSAPP CHATBOT FOR SELF-CARE DURING HOME ISOLATION

Chandigarh, May 20 (Ozi Indian Bureau)

As part of Mission Fateh, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday launched a Punjab Covid Care WhatsApp chatbot for self-care during home isolation, information on bed availability and vaccine centres etc.

Patients in home isolation can put their vitals into the app, and these will be monitored by experts who will advise them on the course of treatment. The app is available in 3 languages – English, Punjabi and Hindi.

Chairing a high-level virtual meeting on the Covid situation, the Chief Minister also reviewed the progress of the recently launched Bhojan Helpline, under which more than 3000 food packets were delivered by Punjab Police at the doorstep of the Covid affected families in just a week. These included 2721 cooked and 280 uncooked food packets.

Lauding the Punjab Police for its role in the initiative, the Chief Minister reiterated his commitment to ensuring that nobody in the state goes to sleep hungry in these testing times, and urged all affected citizens to dial 112 or 181 for free meals.

DGP Dinkar Gupta said Covid canteens were established by the police department in less than 24 hours, with more than 120 cooked/uncooked food packets delivered on the very first day of the launch of the scheme. From May 14 to May 20, 2021, a total of 385 calls were received on Bhojan Helpline numbers with requests for food, he added.

Citing instances, he said the Pathankot Police had received a call from a woman living in the slums, who said they had no money to buy rations, and the police team instantly provided ration for 25 members living in that area.

In Hoshiarpur, following a request from a family of daily wage workers in the Tanda area, DSP Gurpreet Singh personally visited the affected family to deliver breakfast with fruits, milk and bread. The local Sarpanch also got to know about their condition and he then volunteered to take care of the family.

A 40-years-old woman from Amritsar, whose husband, son and daughter have tested COVID-19 positive, had been also extended help by the police, who were also inquiring about the well-being of the affected families and any other urgent needs they may have, during the delivery.

The maximum calls had so far been received from Amritsar City, Ludhiana City Patiala Bathinda, said the DGP.


PUNJAB CM ANNOUNCES RS 1500/MONTH FOR CHILDREN ORPHANED, FAMILIES LOSING BREADWINNER DUE TO COVID

Chandigarh, May 20 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Beginning July 1, 2021, the Punjab government will provide Rs 1500 per month as social security pension, along with free education up to graduation, for all those children orphaned in the Covid pandemic, as well as families that have lost their breadwinning member.

Terming it the state’s duty to become the foster parents of the children who have lost both their parents in the unprecedented pandemic, the Chief Minister said his government will ensure free education in government institutions, for such children as well as children belonging to families that have lost their breadwinner to Covid.

Affected persons would also be eligible for grant of Rs. 51000 under Ashirwaad Scheme w.e.f. 1st July, and would be entitled to free ration under the State Smart Ration Card Scheme and coverage under the Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana. The State Government would also assist the affected family members to find a suitable job under Ghar Ghar Rozgaar te Karobaar Mission, said the Chief Minister, chairing a high-level Covid review meeting.

The relief measures will be provided to orphans until they attain the age of 21 years. In the case of families whose breadwinner has died, these would be provided for an initial period of three years, after which their situation will be re-assessed, and where the vulnerability continues to exist, the period may be appropriately increased.

The Chief Minister also announced the constitution of a Monitoring Committee, headed by the Minister for Social Security & Women and Child Development, to review progress and relief measures for every single case. The Committee shall meet at least once a month, he said.

The Department of Social Security & Women and Child Development would be the Nodal Department for implementation of the relief measures for the Covid affected persons. The committee would also maintain a record of all such affected persons and apprise them about the welfare measures being offered to them. Besides, the committee would also coordinate with the concerned departments until the desired relief has been made available.


COVID CONTROL ROOMS : REAL TIME BED AVAILABILITY AND PROCUREMENT of O2 BEING MONITORED 24*7 TO ENSURE PEOPLE DONT FACE ANY DIFFICULTY

CHANDIGARH, MAY 20 (Ozi Indian Bureau):

Given the rising numbers of Corona cases, the Government of Punjab constituted a special control room on 26th April, 2021, consisting of senior IAS officers, to meet the challenges of oxygen supply. Similarity on 10th May the Govt created Another control room to look after real time availability of beds and attached issues .

Qua the 02 control room , The State had to meet primarily two challenges. On one side, there is no production of liquid medical oxygen within the State and the other, being a north-western state, Punjab is heavily dependent upon far off states for the oxygen supplies.

To manage seamless supply of medical oxygen, the control room immediately started working dividing the work into five verticals for better management.

First vertical collates oxygen demand from all 277 hospitals of the state through District administrations. The nodal officer of every hospital reports it's Oxygen requirement which is collected at State level on daily basis. All the hospitals have been told to raise their SOS twelve hours in advance to the district administration so that timely action can be taken by the State.

Second Wing manages oxygen from outside the state. When the present control room started its functioning, the team took charge of the 19 tankers available in the state for ferrying oxygen. This team tracks all the Liquid Medical Oxygen movement on road, rail and air. The consistent efforts of this team helped in increasing the number of available tankers from 19 to 32, including 4 tankers from the GoI. This team also started working upon the run of oxygen express and monitored OTDS.

Third Wing manages oxygen from within the State by optimising the working of Air Separation Units. The team also looks after the refilling units so that the LMO is filled in cylinders without lapse. This team ensures that the limited number of oxygen cylinders that are available remains in continuous circulation between the hospitals, ASUs, and refilling units.

Fourth team matches the oxygen supply with demand. This team matches the Medical Oxygen available and coming into the State with the demand generated by the health care facilities. The micro-management done by the team maintains the timely utilization of limited resources available with the state.

Fifth vertical of the control room is Data Centre and Best Practices wing. This wing studies and monitors the covid situation within the state and the country. The team analyzes the best practices, which are being followed in the country and across the globe, to fit as per the suitability of the state.

With these continuous efforts, the state has been able to ensure regular oxygen supply to all the hospitals. Punjab has also helped neighboring states in the time of distress. The state has been able to reduce the turnaround time in procuring oxygen from far eastern states of the country. The Punjab Government also managed to create an adequate reserve of oxygen to cater to any emergency.

The SECOND Control room that looks after bed management has created an inventory of all beds available in the state. Now this bed availability is available real-time and can be viewed at www.statecontrolroom.punjab.gov.in

A chat bot has also been created and every interested COVID patient can chat on WhatsApp and get replies regarding his queries from the chatbot . Apart from this outbound calls are being made to Covid patients . These two control rooms are working in tandem with each other to ensure that people of Punjab face no problems .

Apart from all the efforts made by Government machinery and the control room officers the Govt of punjab was also thankful to people of Punjab as they are following the Covid guidelines in all sincerity.