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Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) : Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday listed out various steps being taken by his government to improve the cleanliness of Abohar, which has been recently ranked the third dirtiest city in the country.

As part of the all-round efforts to improve the conditions, 10 new Community Toilet Blocks are being constructed, along with 7 new Solid Waste Management sites, called Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), said the Chief Minister during #AskCaptain session.

The Chief Minister said a Project for Sanitation and Cleanliness, called ‘Chokho Abohar’, has been approved by the State Government. Funds have been sent, and tenders have been invited, he added.

Further, 70 Rickshaws, and 25 Auto-Rickshaws or Small Tippers are being procured for House-to-House collection of Garbage. Compost Pits are being set-up for converting Garbage into Compost, said Captain Amarinder. Since overflow of sewerage was a major reason for dirty streets, the contractor in charge had been withdrawn and the Corporation has taken over the operations, he added.

Besides, said the Chief Minister, four Grab Bucket Machines are being procured, while one Jetting Machine has already being procured and work through Super Suction has been ordered.

On a complaint of heavy waterlogging in canals of 20 villages of Sri Muktsar Sahib, which had caused major wheat crop losses last year, the Chief Minister said during monsoon, rain water from adjoining high areas was accumulating in these low-lying pockets, thus harming standing crops. To give relief to these low lying pockets, the sub surface drainage schemes/shallow tube wells/lift schemes have been installed to lower the Sub Soil Water level responsible for water logging problem.

In the current season, Sri Muktsar Sahib district has received heavy rain (in some areas 150 mm/day) which has aggravated the problem of water logging. Water has been drained from village abadies & efforts are being made to drain out the accumulated water from low lying pockets by making additional pumping arrangement, said Captain Amarinder.

However, as a permanent measure to eradicate water logging problem from  this area,  the project of Re-lining of Twin Canals namely Rajasthan Feeder/Sirhind Feeder has been sanctioned by GOI. The lining of 17 km length of Sirhind Feeder has been completed and remaining works shall be taken up in coming two years, he added.

The Chief Minister told a Fazilka resident that the state government has already undertaken special girdawari to compensate farmers in Fazilka, Ferozepur & Bathinda for loss of crops due to heavy rains and compensation will be given accordingly.

To another question on drinking water issue in Talwandi Sabo, Captain Amarinder said the Chief Engineer will be asked to visit and examine the problem and take steps to rectify it.

On a question from a Hoshiarpur citizen on crop insurance, the Chief Minister said Punjab had not joined the Pardhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, launched in 2016 by Government of India, as the terms and conditions were not suitable for compensating the Punjab farmers. Like many other States i.e. Gujarat, West Bangal, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, we are also preparing our own scheme, he said, adding that at present the farmers are being compensated @ Rs. 12000 per acre against Rs. 5400 being provided by Government of India under Disaster Response Fund.

To a Rajpura resident’s question on the state’s plan on stubble management this time, the Chief Minister said Happy Seeders had been given to farmers, who could approach agriculture department officers for advice.

Captain Amarinder told a Ludhiana resident that the serious problem of the road opposite Durgi police station will be repaired soon and the premix will be laid as soon as the rainy season is over and M.C hot mix plant is functional.

A Gidderbaha resident said his father was blind for the past 25 years but was not getting the benefit of the Antodaya Anna Yojana of the Centre. Captain Amarinder said he will direct officials to the Department of Food to contact him and complete the formalities for enrolment in the scheme in the next 7 days.

On a question regarding recruitment to various government pots, the Chief Minister said a proposal for initiating recruitment against 50000 government posts will be presented shortly to the Cabinet, while another 50000 posts will be filled next year.

Responding to the plea of drivers of small transport companies whose vehicles were not operating under the kilometer scheme due to the lockdown impact, the Chief Minister assured them that they will be paid salaries on DC rates.

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