Jalandhar, January 26: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today slammed anti-Punjab forces for deliberately dubbing Punjab and Punjabis as drug addicts just to gain political mileage. He said Punjab is not a den of drugs and the state was fighting nation’s war against drugs, which would be taken to its logical end soon.
After hoisting tricolour here in Guru Gobind Singh Stadium to mark 66th Republic Day, Badal said some forces were out to play politics on the issue of drugs by resorting to false propaganda for their selfish political interests. He said this was harming the hard-earned image of brave Punjab and Punjabis. The real facts reflect the sincerity and seriousness of Punjab government. He said we all should proud to be Punjabis and also gave clarion call to parents, social, religious organisations and common masses to join hands with Punjab government which has waged war against drugs. He said with the active participation of Punjabis this war would become a social movement.
Congratulating the people of Punjab as the state has become a power surplus, Badal said the dream envisioned by SAD-BJP government in 2007 has been converted into reality. He said Punjab is also going to become the first state in the country having 4G- connectivity in urban as well as rural areas of Punjab. He said by December this 4G connectivity would become operational at a cost of Rs. 3000 crore.
Badal informed that all the major cities would be connected with 4/6 lane road network in coming two years. He said Center has approved road projects worth Rs. 18000 crore, which has been announced recently by Union Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari during his visit to Punjab. He said all these projects would witness physical work in full swing in coming months. He said Punjab was also taking giant leap in air connectivity since the SAS Nagar international airport is all set to become fully operational by June with international flights.
Exhorting parents to encourage their wards to take up sports, Badal, who is also Sports Minister, said the government has fixed a target for maximum participation of Punjabi sports persons in Indian squad for Rio Olympic in 2016. He said Punjab Institute of Sports has been setup at SAS Nagar to realise the dream of Punjab government, where budding sports stars would be provided world class training, infrastructure, diet and other facilities.
Reiterating resolve of state to revamp irrigation system especially Rajbahas’ to facilitate farmers, Badal said Punjab has submitted a detailed plan to Union government in this regard. He said Punjab has sought a ‘Special Package’ for this purpose and assured that irrigation channels of Punjab would witness massive transformation in next two years.
Announcing that all offices at district level and headquarters would be computerised and interlinked with fiber network, Badal said within next 6 months these operations would be completed. He said Punjab was being launched Sewa Kendra project under which 3500 kendras would be opened in rural and urban areas out of which 2104 have already been sanctioned by Punjab cabinet. He said each ward in urban area would have Sewa Kendra while in villages there would be a Sewa Kendra after three villages to provide 249-citizen centric services under one roof.
Lauding the role of Punjabis in various movement of Nation, Badal said Punjabis have maximum contribution in all struggles including independence. He said we are enjoying the fruits of liberty due to peerless contribution of Punjabis in all movements.
Badal also honoured two freedom fighters namely Jawahar Lal and Dev Brat Sharma. The Deputy CM also distributed sewing machines and tricycles to needy women and physically challenged. He took a salute from various contingents including BSF, PAP, Punjab Police, Home Guards, NCC led by Parade commander DSP Gurpreet Singh.
Badal also announced Rs. 2 lakh grant for Deaf and Dumb School of Red Cross Society. He also announced holiday in Jalandhar Schools on January 27. He also honoured 22 personalities for their distinguished services in various fields.
Prominent amongst those attended the function Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Manoranjan Kalia, both former Ministers, MLA Pargat Singh, R.S. Attri, District and Sessions Judge, Mayor Sunil Jyoti and senior civil and police officers.