Capt Amarinder Singh launches a slew of welfare schemes; dedicates month of January to girl child

These included enabling slum dwellers to own a home; roll-out of a Rs 75.64 crore Smart Metering project, and an ‘e-Daakhil’ portal for e-filing of consumer complaints

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh

Bipin Bhardwaj

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday launched a slew of welfare projects in the state, including distribution of free sanitary pads for high school and college girl students in the state.

Even as Amarinder Singh kick-started the process of the realization of the dream of owning a home for thousands of slum dwellers, he further powered the state’s digital leap with the roll-out of a Rs 75.64 crore Smart Metering project and an ‘e-Daakhil’ portal for e-filing of consumer complaints.

Youth and the girl child have been earmarked as the beneficiaries of two other schemes launched virtually by the Chief Minister, who dedicated the month of January to the girl child as ‘Dheeiyan Di Lohri’ and also paved the way for distribution of 2500 sports kits to promote health awareness and sports culture among youngsters.

‘Dheeyian Di Lohril’

Launching ‘Dheeiyan Di Lohri’, the Chief Minister, in a symbolic gesture, blessed five girl children, along with their mothers, with a shagun of Rs. 5100 and baby kits for each.

Under the special scheme, a series of events will be held every day across districts, beginning with Mohali district, through the month to mark the occasion of Lohri, which will see congratulatory letters penned and signed by the Chief Minister being handed over to the parents of more than 1.5 lakh girls celebrating their first Lohri this year.

Acceding to the request of Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, the Chief Minister also announced free sanitary pads to all girl students of high schools and colleges besides those residing in rural areas, especially slums across the state.

Capt Amarinder Singh launches a slew of welfare schemes; dedicates month of January to girl child

Social Security, Women and Child Development minister Aruna Chaudhary said that the concluding event of the ‘Dheeiyan Di Lohri’ month would be marked by grand celebrations during a state level function at Ferozepur where the parents and grandparents of new born girls would be honoured.

Basera for slum dwellers

With the launch of the BASERA programme, 2816 slum dwellers in 10 slums of Patiala, Bathinda, Fazilka and Moga districts will get proprietary rights in the first phase. Those living in three slums of Moga will be granted their rights by shifting them to a separate land in Municipal Corporation at Moga.

On this historic occasion, the Chief Minister handed over ‘Sanads’, thereby conferring proprietary rights to six beneficiaries in a symbolic step.

Terming this initiative as a milestone step towards inclusive urban development and planning of the state government, Capt. Amarinder Singh said he had been nurturing this dream for the past 52 years of his political career. He asked the Local Government department to ensure basic civic amenities including potable drinking water, street lighting and roads to the slum dwellers for a comfortable life.

Smart power meters

Launching the Rs. 75.64 crore three-phase Smart Metering project, the Chief Minister said the consumer-friendly scheme will help reduce human error in manual reading through automatic uploading of data. From January 2021 to December 2021, a total of 96,000 meters will be installed across the state by PSPCL under the project, which will also help to curb the malpractice of reading concealment/theft of electricity and improve the reading/billing efficiency and quality, he said.

E-Daakhil for consumers

The Chief Minister said that the new e-Daakhil portal would help consumers safeguard their rights. It will provide them with an effective mechanism to protect them from exploitation at the hands of traders, and will facilitate them in approaching consumer courts with ease, he said while launching the portal. Created to enable e-filling of consumer complaints in accordance with the new Consumer Protection Act 2019, which envisages filling of consumer dispute electronically to Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the portal will facilitate online filling of complaints by citizens/advocates.

Capt Amarinder Singh launches a slew of welfare schemes; dedicates month of January to girl child

Cricket kits for youth

The CM also launched the scheme for distribution of 2500 sports/cricket kits through community participation especially of the Ludhiana industry. He said that would help promote health awareness and sports culture. It would motivate youth to take up sports in a big way, thus enabling the state to regain its lost glory in the arena of sports both at national and international levels, he said.

He also distributed sports kits to five representatives of various sports clubs.

Capt Amarinder Singh launches a slew of welfare schemes; dedicates month of January to girl child

Meanwhile, Sunil Jakhar has said that despite the Centre’s apathetic attitude, the Punjab Government led by Capt. Amarinder Singh has relentlessly implemented several pro-poor and citizen centric schemes. He congratulated the Chief Minister for bestowing proprietary rights upon the slum dwellers as a New Year gift on the birthday of his father Maharaja Yadavindra Singh.

Earlier, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal asked his Cabinet colleagues to come up with schemes and plans of their respective departments for seeking additional budgetary allocation in the forthcoming annual budget for the year 2021-22, which is already under preparation.

He assured them that paucity of funds would not be a constraint in any way, as even though the Centre has withheld state’s share of RDF worth Rs.1200 crore and GST Rs.8000 crore, the ongoing development projects and welfare schemes are still being implemented seamlessly.

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