'The Punjab Government is fully prepared to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. Although Corona's wrath has wreaked havoc all over the world and in different parts of India, but it is our good fortune and good governance of the Punjab Government that has enabled us to contain the Corona outbreak to a great extent. Although the corona cases decreased, according to health experts, it may pick up again in December or January. That is why our health institutions are instructed not to be negligent in matters of identification, testing and treatment of corona, but to make the health arrangements more vigilant in this matter so that if there is an increase in cases of corona in future we should be prepared enough to deal with it effectively.' It was said by Ms. Vini Mahajan, Chief Secretary Punjab, while interacting with the media at District Administrative Complex, Rupnagar today.The Chief Secretary was here on one-day visit to Rupnagar division. She also visited Sri Keshgarh Sahib in the morning to pay her obeisance. She presided over the meeting to review the progress of the various schemes of the Punjab Government being run in the districts Rupnagar, SAS Nagar and SBS Nagar at the district administrative complex, Rupnagar. Mrs. Ravneet Kaur, Additional Chief Secretary, Forest & Wildlife Preservation, Mrs. Jaspreet Talwar, Principal Secretary, Water Supply & Sanitation, Mr. Raj Kamal Choudhary, Commissioner, Rupnagar Division, Mrs. Sonali Giri, Deputy Commissioner, Rupnagar, Mr. Girish Dayalan, Deputy Commissioner, SAS Nagar, Mrs. Shena Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner, SBS Nagar and Dr. Akhil Choudhary, SSP Rupnagar was also present in the meeting.During the meeting the Chief Secretary Ms. Vini Mahajan was apprised about the present status of the coronavirus in the Districts Rupnagar, SAS Nagar and SBS Nagar.
Chief Secretary also directed the DCs to make arrangements for 24 hours testing of corona in the district hospitals. She also took stock of the current situation of burning of straw after harvest of paddy crop in these districts. The Chief Secretary expressed her satisfaction over the declining trend of stubble burning but directed the Deputy Commissioners not to use any leniency in the matter and take stern action against the violators. The Chief Secretary reviewed the other major schemes of the Punjab Government including the status of DAPO Programme, OOAT Clinics and Rehabilitation Centers of the Health Department besides the functioning and status of De-addiction Centers. Apart from this the Chief Secretary also reviewed the current figures of excise and tax collection, stamp duty, VAT and GST collection in the districts.Replying to a query during an informal meeting with the media after the review meeting, the Chief Secretary said that the festive season was coming with which our religious and cultural sentiments were connected. She said that although the disease of Corona has not been completely eradicated yet but realizing the importance of these festivals, the Punjab government has given full support to the people. But at the same time, some restrictions have been imposed keeping in view the larger social concerns, such as banning people from overcrowding in one place and instructing them to wear masks when going to public places and to maintain social distance.On the question of stubble burning, she said that the trend of residue burning this year was very low due to the initiatives taken by the state government. She said that various Panchayats were pledging not to burn straw by passing resolutions at their level, while various farmers were saying through social media that burning of straw polluted the environment and reduced the fertility of the land. She said that there was a lot of awareness among the people and of course every department of the government was working diligently to create awareness among the people on this issue.