The Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa today urged people of Punjab especially the office bearers of Panchayati Raj institutions to come forward to save ecosystem and work for conservation of water along with the development of villages. He warned that if Punjabis still do not use water judiciously then Punjab would have to face a serious water crisis in very near future.Addressing a simple but impressive function organized by the Punjab unit of ‘Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Management’ at Punjab Congress Bhawan to celebrate 'Panchayat Divas' here today, the Panchayat Minister said that out of 148 blocks of Punjab, in 122 blocks ground water has gone very deep and due to this installation of new tubewells has been banned in these blocks.He said that the farmers of Punjab would have to give priority to other crops rather than paddy as 5000 to 6000 liters of water is used for producing one kg of paddy. Mr. Bajwa said that about 14 lakh tubewells are being were being used for agriculture purposes and the state government is working on to provide direct subsidy to the farmers so that water could be used judiciously.Speaking on the occasion about the preparations for panchayat elections in the state which are due in few months, Mr. Bajwa said that the work for delimitation of wards and reservation for these elections would be completed by the end of this month.
He said that these elections would be held in two phases, in first phase Zila Parishad and in the second phase Panchayat elections would be conducted.The Panchayat Minister said that panchayat elections would be held in a transparent, fair and free manner and would be held on time. He said that it’s for first time that women have been given 50 percent reservation in panchayat elections and they should start preparations for these elections.Commenting on the present crisis in the country Mr. Bajwa said that Congress is the only party which can keep the country united at this time because the divide & rule policy of 'Bhai Bharatiya Janata Party' has divided the country on communal lines. He further said that the party leaders should aware the people to the bottom about the anti-people and anti-national policies of the BJP.Prominent amongst others present on the occasion included Mr. Sukhwant Singh Brar, President of Punjab unit of Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat State Organization, Mr. Jagdeep Singh Sandhu, Co-convener of the Punjab unit of the organization, Mr. Deepak Vaid, Mr. Kewal Pathania and large number of Panches and Sarpanches were also present.