With a view to wooing voters, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday announced free education, health care and housing facilities for migrant labourers, while addressing a gathering at a function organised by Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Parishad to celebrate Vishwakarma Day.
The chief minister said that by sheer dint of hard work, the migrant labourers had played a vanguard role in putting the state on a high growth trajectory. He averred that the migrant labourers had proved their mettle in every field, adding that it was the bounden duty of the state government to ensure the well-being of these people, who were contributing to the economic development of the state by staying away from their families.
"The state government would leave no stone unturned to ensure the welfare of these people and thrust would be laid on delivering the basic civic amenities to them," he said. The chief minister announced that the state government would soon open schools and primary health care centres and dispensaries in the migrant-dominated areas to impart quality education and health care facilities to them.
"The state government would bear the entire expenditure of these educational and health care centres to ensure that the families of the migrants do not face any problem," he said. Badal said he had directed the deputy commissioners across the state to conduct special surveys for identifying the places to construct schools and dispensaries.
The chief minister also announced housing facility for the migrants on easy instalments. "The migrants would not have to pay the cost of land for these houses and the construction charges would be collected from them through easy instalments," he maintained. Badal said the state government would ensure that one third of the houses constructed under housing schemes were reserved specially for the migrants to make sure that these people 'feel at home' in Punjab.
Badal said special camps would be organised across the state by the district administrations to make ration cards, Aadhaar cards and voters' identity cards of all eligible migrants. He said that the eligible beneficiaries would also be entitled to the facility of subsidised 'atta-dal' under the flagship 'atta-dal' scheme of the state government. The CM said he would personally monitor the development of all these schemes to ensure that the migrants benefited from it.
Lashing out at the Congress, Badal said, "The pro-rich policies of the Congress have broken the backbone of the common man." He charged the Congress with doing nothing for the poor and shedding crocodile tears on the issues pertaining to the masses. "The Congress has always be-fooled the poor by showing them 'green pastures' through its lucrative announcements, but in the end all these policies were lost somewhere in the midst of red tape," he said.
The chief minister impressed upon the workers and craftsmen to make a pledge on the Vishwakarma Day that they would make concerted efforts for strengthening the infrastructure of the state as it would help in putting the state on the trajectory of high growth.
The chief minister was accompanied by chief parliamentary secretary Inderbir Singh Bularia, SGPC members Jathedar Rajinder Singh Mehta and Jathedar Bawa Singh Ghumanpura, senior deputy mayor Avtar Singh, District Akali Jatha president Upkar Singh Sandhu, Uttar Pradesh Kalyan Parishad chairman Ram Charan Yadav and special principal secretary Gurkirat Kirpal Singh.