Punjab Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu on Sunday gave a clarion call to youth to come forward and encourage the eligible people in receiving Covid-19 vaccine at the earliest to curb the anticipated third wave of the deadly disease.The Minister, who hoisted the national flag during a district-level function to commemorate 75th Independence Day at Guru Nanak Stadium here today, said that state under the decisive leadership of the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has emerged as victorious in the first and second waves of Covid-19.He said that when other states were refusing the treatment to the Covid-19 patients but doors of Punjab remained open for outside Covid patients as we considered India is one country and all its people and resources are common.He said that for third wave, the state government has already in mission mode to strengthening the health infrastructure by setting up ICUs, oxygen plants, new medical colleges, recruiting new doctors, paramedics and others to ensure quality medical services to the people.Speaking on the auspicious occasion, the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister lauded the civil, police administration, MLAs, Municipal Councillors, industrialists, NGOs, social and religious organizations for their collective untiring efforts and sheer commitment in making Ludhiana number one by vaccinating around 17 lakh eligible beneficiaries and asked the youth to take a pledge for helping every eligible in receiving the Covid-19 vaccine to deal the possible third wave.
Ashu also disclosed that from 2017-2018 to 2021-22, Punjab successfully procured 1259.80 lakh MT wheat and paddy besides, it has made payments worth Rs 2,54,898 crore to the farmers. He added the 1.51 crore beneficiaries are receiving subsided ration under the Smart Ration Card scheme and the his department has launched the one nation one ration card scheme.The Cabinet Minister further told that Ludhiana has recorded path-breaking development in all spheres of life during the last four years of the state government.He said that special emphasis has been laid on urban infrastructure development and added work of Rs 650-crore Buddha Nullah rejuvenation project, Halwara international airport, three bus stands, Dhanansu cycle valley, surface drinking water supply project, Pakhowal ROB and RUB, up-gradation of Mother and Child Hospital from 100 to 200 beds, is underway on war-footing.Recalling the role of Punjabis in India's national freedom struggle, Bharat Bhushan Ashu said that Punjabis have always led from the front against the tyranny, oppression and injustice unleashed by the invaders from time to time. He said that the lives and message of the great Sikh Gurus would ever act as a lighthouse to motivate the people against the tyrannical and oppressive forces.The Minister also paid homage to great national leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Sukhdev, Shaheed Udham Singh, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha, Madan Lal Dhingra and others who sacrificed their lives at the altar of freedom of their motherland.
Meanwhile, Chief Guest took a salute during an impressive march past by seven contingents of Punjab Police (women and men), Home Guards, Airwing, NCC (boys and girls) led by the parade Commander Assistant Commissioner of Police Randhir Singh.Ashu also honoured around 36 prominent officers, doctors, NGOs, and persons from various walks of life for their remarkable contribution towards society and the Covid-19 war. He also distributed sewing machines and wheelchairs among needy people.Prominent among present on the occasion included MLAs Sanjay Talwar and Kuldeep Singh Vaid, Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu, Senior Deputy Mayor Sham Sunder Malhotra, Deputy Mayor Sarabjit Kaur, Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma, Commissioner of Police Rakesh Agrawal, MC Commissioner Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal, District and Sessions Judge Munish Singhal, Punjab Medium Industrial Development Board Chairman Amarjit Singh Tikka, Punjab Youth Development Board Chairman Sukhwinder Singh Bindra, Punjab Backward Classes Land Development and Finance Corporation (BACKFINCO) Vice Chairman Mohammad Gulab, PLIDB Senior Vice Chairman Ramesh Joshi, Ludhiana Improvement Trust chairman Raman Balasubramaniam, MC Councillors Mamta Ashu, Sunny Bhalla, ex MLA Prem Mittal, Additional Deputy Commissioners Sandeep Kumar, Amit Kumar Panchal, Rahul Chaba, Assistant Commissioner Dr Harjinder Singh and Parleen Kaur Kaleka, senior Youth Congress leader Rajiv Raja, stage secretary Karamjit Singh Grewal, and others.