Punjab needs to provide toilets to more than 12 lakh households across the state, with Gurdaspur district being the worst hit, having 1.82 lakh houses without this sanitation facility.
Rural development and panchayat minister Sikandar Singh Maluka stated this in a written reply during question hour.
To a question posed by Congress MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, the minister clarified that no household had been provided a toilet by the state’s rural development and panchayat department from January 26, 2014, onwards.
Besides Gurdaspur, the other main districts lacking this basic facility include Hoshiarpur (1.22 lakh households), Ferozepur (1.06 lakh), Amritsar (98,570), Tarn Taran (82,343), Sangrur (72,234), Patiala (70,039), Jalandhar (69,972), Muktsar (64,065), Ludhiana (52,331), Mansa (46,460) and Nawanshahr (35,528).
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD’s) Faridkot MLA Deep Malhotra asked two questions, but both got replies in the negative.
Replying to his first query, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal said the state government had not considered any proposal for a sports stadium/complex in Sadiq, which falls in Faridkot assembly segment.
Malhotra’s question regarding state funds for the annual Baba Farid festival also met the same fate, with cultural affairs minister Sohan Singh Thandal saying that the state had no information regarding the festival being declared a heritage festival by the Centre. The minister added that the state had also not received any communiqué from the Centre for declaring Faridkot a heritage town.
On upcoming investment, industries minister Madan Mohan Mittal said 17 of the total 128 MoUs (memoranda of understanding) signed with entrepreneurs had materialised and would fetch an investment of about Rs 45,174 crore. These MoUs had been signed during the Progressive Punjab Investors’ Summit held in December 2013.
On the cancer issue, health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani failed to provide the list of patients who had got money under the CM’s Cancer Rahat Kosh (fund for cancer treatment) scheme this year, on a query posed by Mofar.
Replying to a related question, the minister said the state had registered 5,877 cancer patients under the scheme from April to October 2014.
The maximum of 737 such patients were identified in Amritsar district. Other districts with high incidence include Ludhiana (674), Bathinda (436), Jalandhar (415), Gurdaspur (406), Patiala (375) and Tarn Taran (311).
Lost in the din
Many opposition MLAs didn’t get the opportunity of pursuing their questions on crucial issues ranging from law and order to unspent funds.
“Mofar Sahib, your question…” was all that the speaker managed to ask Congress MLA Ajit Inder Singh Mofar amid the pandemonium during question hour in the day’s second sitting.
Other Congress members whose questions went without any discussion or supplementary question included Randeep Singh Nabha, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Aruna Chaudhary and Charanjit Kaur Bajwa.