Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Tuesday said that promotion of sports culture can be the most effective tool in the state government’s crusade against drugs.
Addressing the gathering during a function to distribute Rs 33.83 crore to 168 medal winner players in Asian and National games held at the Municipal Bhawan, the Chief Minister said that with the promotion of sports the unbounded energy of the youth is being utilised for excelling in sports. He said that the youth who are involved in sports have no time even to look at drugs because they are using their all might to excel in their respective fields. Bhagwant Singh Mann envisioned that this will go a long way in eliminating the curse of drugs from the state and making the youth an equal partner in social economic development of the state.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is judiciously spending every single penny for the progress of the state and welfare of its people. He said that the state government has checked the pilferage of the public money effectively and now this money is being spent for the welfare of the common man. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the sole aim of the state government is to ensure the progress and prosperity of the state.
Congratulating all the players for their rare feat in the field of sports, the Chief Minister said that this is a historic day as all the players have converged here for this function. He said that it is a dream come true for him as the functions for celebrating happiness are being now held in state. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that every week such functions are now being held across the state and he is fortunate to head the state at this time.
The Chief Minister said that the players had worked hard to achieve these goals and bag medals both in the national and international arena. He said that the players had proven that given a chance they can achieve any goal with their sheer hard work and determination. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that Punjabis are born entrepreneurs and leaders due to which they have proved their mettle across the globe.
Slamming the opposition for their frivolous statements, the Chief Minister said that everyone wants to save Punjab but one is telling who has ruined the state. He said that they have taken charge of office only 20 months back but these people and families have ruled the state for a long time. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that these people have mercilessly plundered the common man and the state but now they are trying to mislead the people through such statements.
The Chief Minister said that these leaders always boast that they are from the quotas of their so-called leaders of ‘high command’ but it is a fact that he has been elected as the head of the state from the quota of Punjabis. He said that his every action is aimed at the well being of the people and development of the state and no compromise will ever be made for this. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that his actions are guided by the great freedom fighters like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha and others, who always inspire him to work tirelessly and selflessly for the people of state.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has taken path breaking initiatives for the welfare of common man adding that to check the fatality rate due to road accidents in the state on one hand and to streamline the movement of traffic on the roads of the state on the other, the state government has launched Sadak Surakhya Force. He said that the first of its kind specialized force will act as a pivotal to save several precious lives that are lost in road accidents daily in Punjab. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this force will be entrusted with the task of checking rash driving, streamlining vehicular movement on roads and others to check the road accidents adding that it will reduce the burden on cops deployed in Police stations.
The Chief Minister said that in the first phase a force of 1300 cops will be recruited for this specialized force. He said that initially 144 vehicles equipped with ultra modern gadgets will be deployed after every 30 kilometres to man the roads. Bhagwant Singh Mann further said that the vehicles will also have a complete medical kit for providing emergency treatment to any person in need adding that it will save more than 2500 precious lives of people annually.
The Chief Minister said that the state has created history by purchasing Goindwal power plant owned by a private company GVK Power at a cost of Rs 1080 crore. He said that for the first time this reverse trend has started that the government has purchased any private power plant whereas in the past the state governments used to sell their assets to the favorite individuals at ‘throw away’ prices. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this is a step forward towards providing cheap power to the residents of the state.
The Chief Minister said that as the head of the state his every action is aimed at ensuring the progress of the state and prosperity of its people. He said that unfortunately his predecessors were never bothered about the state but they were more concerned about their vested political interests. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that in dearth of any tangible issue against him, the rejected leaders of the state are baselessly criticizing him daily without any halt.
The Chief Minister said that now complete transformation is being witnessed in hospitals, schools and new medical colleges are coming up for the well being of the common man. He said that these decisions are being taken only by those who are aware about the problems of the people at grass root levels. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the traditional political parties have ruined the state and now they are shamelessly making huge talks of morality.
The Chief Minister said that the hard work and resilience of the Punjabis is unmatched owing to which they excel in every sphere. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this spirit of Punjabis can be duly used for taking the state ahead adding that the state government is fully committed to it. He said that no stone is being left unturned for this noble cause and the day is not far away when Punjab will emerge as a frontrunner state in every sphere.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is making concerted efforts to promote sporting culture in the state by giving world class facilities to the people. He said that financial assistance is being given to players to prepare for the competitions besides providing them world class grounds and other infrastructure. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this will help the players to carve a niche for themselves in both the national and international events.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has already decided to recruit 1800 Constables and 300 Sub Inspectors every year in Punjab Police for the coming four years to overcome the scarcity of cops. He said that as for these 2100 posts every year around 2.50 lakh candidates apply for these posts so all the aspirants will get involved in academics as well as in improving their physique for clearing the tests. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that this is helping in channelizing their unbounded energy in a positive direction and help them in weaning away from the menace of drugs.
The Chief Minister said that it is a matter of immense pride and satisfaction that today a cash prize worth Rs 29.25 crore is being handed over to the 32 medal winner players in Asian games from the state. He said that Rs 1 crore has been given to players who had bagged gold medal, Rs 75 lakh to silver medal winners and Rs 50 lakh to players who had won bronze medal. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that prior to this 58 players were given Rs 8 lakh each for the preparations of the Asian games.
The Chief Minister said that for the first time in the post-independence period India had crossed the magic figure of 100 medals in the Asian games by winning 28 gold, 38 silver and 41 bronze medals. He said that Punjabis made a huge contribution in these 107 medals by winning 20 medals during the Asian games. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that 32 players from Punjab bagged eight gold medals, six silver medals and six bronze medals thereby breaking the 72 years old record of Punjab’s performance in these games.
The Chief Minister said that the players from Punjab had bagged seven gold medals each in Asian games held at New Delhi and Jakarta in 1951 and 1962 respectively. However, he said that breaking this record the players from the state had won eight gold medals during the recently concluded Asian games thereby creating a history. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that not only this the maximum tally of medals by players from Punjab was 15 in New Delhi Asian games held in 1951 but now after more than 70 years this record has been broken as Punjabi players had won 20 medals.
The Chief Minister said that in today’s function 136 players who had won medals in National games held at Goa are also being felicitated with cash prize of Rs 4.58 crore. In this way, he said that a total 168 players are being given cash prizes worth Rs 33.83 crore adding that earlier the state government had given funds worth Rs 32.16 crore to the players in various events. Likewise, Bhagwant Singh Mann said that Rs 8.69 crore had been already transferred in bank accounts of the medal winner players of the second season of the Khedan Watan Punjab Dian.
The Chief Minister said that after assuming charge of office the state government has so far given Rs 74.68 crore to the players adding that the state government is leaving no stone unturned for the welfare of the players in the state. He envisioned that in the coming times the players from the state will bag more medals adding that this will lead to an era of unprecedented progress and prosperity in the state. Bhagwant Singh Mann said that the Punjab government is making concerted efforts for harnessing the immense potential of state youth in the field of sports.