Punjab Government establishes Special MGNREGA cell

Punjab Government has established a special MGNREGA cell to coordinate effective implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the state.

It has been established by Punjab Rural Development and Panchayat Department at Chandigarh with an outlay of 233 crore rupees.

This cell will monitor implementation of Union Government’s flagship 100 days employment guarantee scheme of MGNREGA.

It will also monitor the wage rate under MGNREGA which has been fixed by Union Government on the basis of consumer Price Index- Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL) which is implemented on 1st April every year and will be applicable for whole financial year.

It should be noted that all the districts of Punjab are being covered under MGNREGA with effect from 1st April, 2008.

The recent wage rate has been revised from 202 rupees to 210 rupees with effect from 1st April 2015. The wages will be directly transferred by state government in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries from 15th September 2015.


Punjab Government wins award for achievement in rooftop solar power output

Punjab Government has won first award in the category of highest capacity addition in grid connected solar rooftop power in the country during the financial year 2014-15.

It is one of 5 awards won by Punjab New and Renewable Energy Department (PNRED) for outstanding performance in the various fields of Renewable Energy and Power Generation.

The other four areas in which Punjab won awards includes

  • Highest capacity addition of off-grid waste to energy plants.
  • Deployment of highest cumulative numbers of Solar Water Pumps.
  • Achieving highest cumulative grid connected solar rooftop power capacity.
  • Achieving highest capacity addition in grid connected solar power in the country.

These awards were conferred to the Punjab state by Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal at a function held in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Union Territory of Chandigarh bagged the second spot in the highest capacity addition in grid connected solar rooftop power in the country category.


15 Gharials to be released in Beas belt in Punjab to boost tourism

Punjab government has announced to release 15 Gharials in the Beas belt, near Harike Patan in order boost tourism.

The Gharials species will be released as part of state government’s plan to make Beas belt, a natural habitat of the fish-eating crocodile species.

The release of Gharials has been planned in February-March 2015 near Karmowal village (near Harike Patan water bodies) by the Experts from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWFN).

Karmowal village has ample water bodies with sand banks making it suitable site for developing as habitat for the species. Gharials will be released depending upon the success of the initial phase of making natural habitat and after the release they will be kept under close watch.

About Gharial

  • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is also known as the gavial.  It is last surviving species of the family Gavialidae.
  • It is a fish-eating crocodile and belongs to one of the three crocodilian species found in the Indian Sub-Continent.
  • In historic times it was present in Indus River system, including Beas and Sutlej rivers, indicating healthy river system.
  • Protection Status: It is listed in Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is also listed as Critically Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species.