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Punjab cabinet deliberates on making sand available at affordable rates, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

Punjab cabinet deliberates on making sand available at affordable ratesCHANDIGARH: The Punjab cabinet, led by newly sworn-in Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, held discussions on Monday on making sand available at affordable rates, giving 100 more free electricity units to the SC, BC and BPL categories and providing free water supply in rural areas.

The first cabinet meeting chaired by Channi was held here in the evening. Deputy chief ministers Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and OP Soni, along with senior officials, were present at the meeting that went on for around three hours.

Earlier in the day, Channi, Randhawa and Soni were administered the oath by the governor.

Channi is the first Dalit chief minister of Punjab.

The cabinet discussed various “pro-poor” initiatives to be implemented in a time-bound manner.

It was decided that these initiatives will be launched on October 2 to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, according to an official statement.

The cabinet decided that free mining of sand by landowners will be allowed to abolish the contract system.

Under the new system, any land owner can mine sand from his land to ensure its availability to consumers at affordable rates, it further said.

Earlier in the day, Channi promised action against the sand-mining mafia in the state.

The cabinet also deliberated on increasing the number of free electricity units from 200 to 300 for the domestic consumers belonging to the scheduled caste, backward classes and below-poverty line (BPL) categories.

The additional chief secretary in the power department was asked to bring a proposal at the next cabinet meeting to give relief to the poor and needy.

The cabinet deliberated on waiving the pending electricity bills of the tubewells working under the Rural Water Supply (RWS) schemes and also on providing free water supply in rural areas.

It discussed giving relief in the domestic water and sewerage tariff to the consumers in urban areas.

The local government department was asked to bring a proposal in this regard at the next meeting.

The cabinet emphasised on laying a special focus on the core sectors of education and health to provide affordable, quality healthcare and education facilities to the people of the state.

It directed the housing and urban development department to immediately start the construction of 32,000 Economically Weaker Section (EWS) houses on priority.

These houses will be made available to the eligible beneficiaries on affordable installments, it said.

The cabinet simplified the process of allotment of five-marla plots and empowered the panchayat samitis to decide the cases.

A special campaign will be launched by the rural development and panchayats department to identify and finalise the allotment of plots to the eligible beneficiaries within two months.

Likewise, the cabinet asked the department to make a policy to purchase land for cremation and burial grounds.

It was decided that the Punjab Scheduled Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation (PSCFC) will formulate a policy for allotment of land to the occupants at affordable rates.

The cabinet decided that a comprehensive policy regarding a proper implementation of the Right to Education Act and providing monetary help to the eligible educational institutes will be prepared and put up at the next meeting.

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