Asserting that Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) would never become a reality, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today avowed to make every sacrifice to protect the river waters of the state.Addressing a massive gathering during a state level function on the dedication of Temple cum Panorama complex at Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal (Ram Tirath) here today, the Chief Minister categorically stated that Punjab didn’t have a single drop of spare water for anyone. Emphasizing that water was basic ingredient of life and any such move to share the river waters of the state would be disastrous as it would turn Punjab into desert, he said that every Punjabi was ready to make any sacrifice for this cause. “Not only me but every Punjabi was duty bound to oppose this move and all of us should take pledge on this sacred place to protect the river waters of the state at any cost” added Mr. Badal.The Chief Minister further said that the state government on its part has already de-notified the land acquired for this canal and returned to the original owners and their lineal descendents. However, he said that now every Punjabi was duty-bound to secure the rights of river waters.
The Chief Minister said that the state of art historical monument cum Temple with inbuilt Museum and Panorama at Sri Valmiki Tirath Sthal (Ram Tirath) was a humble tribute by the state government to Bhagwan Valmiki ji, who had preached the message of equality and universal brotherhood on this sacred land. He said that this unique project, which has come up at a cost of Rs 200 crore, would be instrumental in perpetuating the rich legacy of Bhagwan Valmiki Ji besides showcasing the teachings, life and philosophy of this great Spiritual ambassador. He said that the world class design of this temple cum museum has been conceived and prepared by the architects of Guru Nanak Dev University while keeping in mind the religious sanctity of this historic place.
Recalling the superb contribution of Bhagwan Valmiki Ji in the cultural assimilation of society, the Chief Minister said that Bhagwan Valmiki Ji Maharaj was the “Pitaamah” of Sanskrit language and first poet or the Adi Kavi of the world who by his immortal and masterpiece composition the “Ramayana” propagated the message of victory of good over evil. He also said that great epic has from centuries shown the way of life to the people and has been a lighthouse of the ethical and moral living for the people which were far more relevant in the present materialistic society. He urged the people to follow the path and high ideals shown by Bhagwan Valmiki Ji so as to carve out an egalitarian society.
Reiterating that it was bounden duty of the state government to preserve our rich cultural heritage for the future generations till eternity, the Chief Minister said that those nations who tend to forget their cultural past and heritage were bound to be vanished with the passage of time. He said that it was often said that Punjabis were known for creating history but they could not preserve it. Mr. Badal said that it goes to credit of SAD-BJP alliance government that for the first time in history of state concerted efforts have been made to conserve the glorious cultural heritage of the state.The Chief Minister said that it goes to the credit of SAD-BJP government, which undertook momentous task to preserve the glorious cultural legacy of Punjab through state-of-the-art memorials and monuments viz. Virasat-E-Khalsa, Chotta and Wada Ghallughara, Baba Banda Singh War Memorial, State War Heroes Memorial & Museum and Jang-E-Azadi Memorial. Apart from these, Baba Jeevan Singh (Bhai Jaita Ji) at Sri Anandpur Sahib, Guru Ravidass Ji Memorial at Khuralgarh and Baba Moti Ram Mehra at Fatehgarh Sahib would soon be dedicated to the mankind.
Strenuous efforts of the state government in this regard, were aimed at perpetuating the glorious and rich legacy of our great culture especially amongst the younger generations so as to enable them to connect with their roots.Earlier in his address, the Deputy Chief Minister, S. Sukhbir Singh Badal termed the occasion as the one holding special significance in the annals of history of the state. He said that the project has come up at a cost of Rs. 200 crore and would fulfill the spiritual needs of the devotees from all sections of society.Calling the Chief Minister, S. Parkash Singh Badal a true visionary and the one truly devoted to the principles of secularism, the Deputy Chief Minister said under the leadership of the Chief Minister, the religious days of all the religions are observed with full devotion. He also divulged that under the able guidance of the Chief Minister the memorials belonging to all the religions and sects have been constructed the prime examples being the Guru Ravidass ji memorial at Khuralgarh in Hoshiarpur, Virasat-E-Khalsa, Vadda and Chhota Ghallugara memorials, Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur yaadgaar and the Plaza around Sri Darbar Sahib.
Disclosing more, the Deputy Chief Minister further said that the ‘Mukh Mantri Tirath Yatra Scheme’ has fulfilled the spiritual longings of the people who want to visit their religious places and pay their respects.Coming to the developmental schemes of the SAD-BJP government, the Deputy Chief Minister said that free power worth 200 units to SC/BC families, shagan scheme, health insurance to the farmers and traders, surplus power, 4-6 laned roads, sewerage facilities, 2 lakh jobs and skill centers with permission granted by Union government for 1000 more such centers has changed the face of Punjab and put it firmly on the world developmental map.S. Badal also informed that those families in the state who have still not got gas connections can get these by filling forms in the offices of the DC and SDM offices of their respective districts. He said that more than 7 lakh people would get these connections in 10 days. He also said that under the SC scholarship Rs. 400 crore are being given for the welfare of SC students. Making a major announcement, he said that in next 5 years jobs to 10 lakh youth would be provided.Exhorting the people to follow the ideals of Guru Sahiban and Bhagwan Valmiki Ji, the Deputy Chief Minister said that this would lead to the creation of an equitable and just society.
In his address Union Minister of state and state BJP Chief Mr. Vijay Sampla said that the weaker and underprivileged sections of society were overwhelmed and indebted to the Chief Minister for taking such steps to perpetuate the glorious legacy of Bhagwan Valmiki Ji Maharaj and Sri Guru Ravidass ji Maharaj. He said that by constructing this magnificent temple, the Chief Minister has won the hearts of millions of people in the state. Mr. Sampla assured the Chief Minister that the SC brethren would pay back the alliance by extending fulsome support to it in the ensuing assembly polls.On the occasion Cabinet Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike conducted the proceedings of the stage.Prominent amongst other present on the occasion included Cabinet Ministers Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Mr. Sohan Singh Thandal, Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra, Jathedar Ajit Singh Kohar,, Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema and Mr. Anil Joshi, Speaker of Punjab Assembly Dr Charanjeet Singh Atwal, MLAs Bibi Jagir Kaur, Mr. KD Bhandari, Mr. Des Raj Duggha, Prof. Virsa Singh Valtoha and Mr. Joginder Singh Jindu, former speaker of state assembly Mr. Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Chairman Punjab SC Commission Mr. Rajesh Bagha, Chairman Dalit Vikas Board Mr. Vijay Danav, Chairman Safai Karamchari Bhalai Board Mr. Rajkumar Atikaye, Chairman Punjab Gau Sewa Commission Mr. Keemti Lal Bhagat, President BJP SC Morcha Mr. Dushyant Gautam, Akali leaders Mr. Paramjit Singh Pamma, Mr. Lachman Dravid, Mr. Om Parkash Gabbar, Mr. Subash Sondhi, General Secretary of SGPC Mr. Amarjit Singh Chawla, Head of Sant Samaj Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa and Chief of Aadhi Dharam Samaj Mr Darshan Rattan Raavan.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by his Principal Secretary Mr. SK Sandhu and Special Principal Secretary Mr. KJS Cheema.