made in the latest Punjab budget. Addressing a huge gathering at the local grain market, he said the budget focussed on equitable development.
"We have brought health insurance scheme for 15.4-lakh poor families and quality education programme to get their daughters into professional courses," said Sukhbir. "People covered by the atta-dal scheme can avail themselves of treatment up to Rs. 30,000 in any private hospital without paying anything. The Bhai Ghanaiya Insurance Scheme that includes medical cover of up to Rs.1.5 lakh has been extended to each citizen of the state, who pays a token premium of Rs. 100 a month."
The state government will give away Rs. 30,000 each as scholarship every year to the government school students scoring 80% or more in matriculation examinations. It will cover their cost of the next two years of senior secondary education, the deputy CM has added. Scholarship has been announced for girls in government schools, who opt for professional courses such as nursing.
1,000 schools to be built
The state government has decided to build 1,000 model schools in villages. Any panchayat that donates 5 acres for school will get the help of a private developer for construction and operating. All students of the village will get free-of-cost education and the panchayat will get annual income.
Rapid police response
A rapid rural police response system was in the works and the cost of bringing it to the floor would be Rs. 35 crore. The system is to make police assistance available even in the remotest villages in less than 20 minutes of a distance call. The state government will cover Amritsar and Ludhiana first under the Safe City project that is worth Rs. 135 crore.
The objective is to combat crime with hi-tech surveillance, mapping of crime zone, deployment of sensors, and scanning by automatic license-plate readers. By March 31, 2014, the government will build another 147 Saanjh Kendras (centres for police-related services) for Rs. 14 crore.
Under a Rs. 9,000-crore plan, the government hopes to lay world-class civic infrastructure in the urban centres of the state in another three years. It will build model housing colonies in each city. "The CM has approved Rs. 1,700 crore for the repair and renovation of the village link roads over the next four months," said Sukhbir. "Using another Rs. 13,000 crore, we'll connect every city and town with four- and six-lane highways in just three years," he added.
A modern hospital in Mansa district will come up in a few months. Projects worth Rs. 70 crore were on in Budhlada alone, where Sukhbir also laid the foundation stones of an Adarsh School and a health centre for Boha.
Balwinder Singh Bhunder, member of the Rajya Sabha; former chief parliamentary secretary Jagdeep Singh Nakai, legislators Prem Mittal and Chittan Singh Samao; Akali leaders Harbant Singh, Mangat Rai Bansal, and Gursewak Singh Jawaharke; member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committtee (SGPC), Gurpreet Singh Jhabbar, and Sukhwinder Singh Biroke were present.