Chandigarh: In a bid to boost ease of doing business in Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday issued directives empowering all the Deputy Commissioners to independently clear investment projects up to Rs 10 crore.
He was chairing a high-level meeting with the Deputy Commissioners to review programmes and projects, and draw out a roadmap to plug gaps in execution to make the systems more people-friendly and more secure.
Issues ranging from prison safety to drugs, water management, education and the 550th celebrations of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev were discussed at the meeting, a government spokesperson told IANS.
The Chief Minister expressed satisfaction at the investments facilitated so far in the state, with Rs 50,000 crore worth of projects already cleared.
He announced the government’s decision to give incentives to villages that turn drug-free and work concertedly towards providing treatment and rehabilitation to the addicts.
Expressing concern over the acquittal rates in drugs cases, he called for tightening of the prosecution procedures to ensure that drug smugglers do not procure bail easily.
He directed the district police to strictly enforce the law to control drug peddling and smuggling, pointing out that the Special Task Force alone could not handle the gigantic task.
On the prison security front, Singh said his government was contemplating getting security battalions from southern states, on the lines of Delhi’s Tihar Jail, to create a language barrier between the security personnel and the prisoners and their families.
This, he stressed, would prevent the security personnel from getting close to the prisoners.
The Chief Minister directed the Deputy Commissioners to undertake personal inspections on a regular basis, and ensure the welfare of the inmates.
Underlining the importance of prisoner welfare, he said jails were not slaughter houses where inmates could be kept and forgotten. “It was important to find ways to keep them busy, including physical training,” he said.
Expressing concern over the critical water situation in the state, the Chief Minister asked the Deputy Commissioners to go all out to check water wastage and create awareness about it among the people.
He directed them to prepare water conservation and rainwater harvesting plans for their districts, with inter-departmental coordination to ensure execution.
He asked them to regularly monitor cleaning of village ponds to store rainwater and also to take steps to promote less-water intensive crops and cropping techniques.
Taking stock of the arrangements underway for the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Chief Minister asked the Deputy Commissioners to check the progress of the development works to ensure high level of quality, with community participation in the improvement and cleanliness of the villages linked with the life of the first Sikh Guru.