Punjab Current Affairs

Indian Railways ink MoU with Haryana and Punjab to plant trees alongside Railway Track

The Union Ministry of Railways and Forest Department of Haryana & Punjab have inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for plantation of trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary.

The MoU paves way for planting around 5 lakh trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary prior to Monsoon Season.

Key facts

  • This agreement paves way improvements with regard to afforestation on railway land.
  • With this Indian Railways can contribute substantially towards the Green India Mission.
  • Forest department of respective states will provide expertise in afforestation as well as in maintenance and disposal of trees.
  • The afforestation will help in protecting railway land from illegal encroachment.
  • Tree plantation will be done without declaring such land as protected forest, thus it will be no hindrance to railway works and developmental projects.

Union Ministry of Railways has asked all Zonal railways to execute similar agreement between their zones and concerned State Forest departments as early as possible.


Punjab Assembly passes Agriculture Indebtedness Bill, 2016

Punjab Legislative Assembly has passed Punjab Settlement of Agriculture Indebtedness Bill, 2016.

The Bill seeks to provide relief to agriculturists, labourers and others dependent on agriculture by providing them fair settlement of their debt related disputes. It also deals with expeditious determination and settlement of non-institutional agricultural debt.

Key features of bill

  • It establishes district-level agricultural debt settlement forums and a state-level agricultural debt settlement tribunal to help farmers reconcile and settle their non-institutional debts.
  • Government will prescribe a maximum rate of interest which can be charged by the creditors on non-institutional loans provided by them.
  • Jurisdiction of civil courts has been barred and all pending disputes in the civil courts will be transferred to these forums from the date the Act is notified.
  • Each creditor will issue an authenticated passbook to the debtor and the proceedings before the forum and the tribunal will be judicial proceedings.
  • The forum will decide the dispute within three months. Both the forum and tribunal will have a three-year term.
  • Any debtor or creditor of agricultural loan can file a petition before the district-level forum for settlement of their debt.
  • If they are aggrieved with the order of the forum, then they can file an appeal before the state-level tribunal. The forum can settle agricultural loans up to 15 lakh rupees.


Punjab Government notifies swine flu under Epidemic Disease Act

Punjab Government has notified swine flu (H1N1) under the Epidemic Disease Act to prevent the spread of disease in the state.

In the regard, Health and Family Welfare Department of state has issued notification based on recommendations of state advisory committee headed by Dr. D Behera.

Key highlights of notification

  • All government and private hospitals in state will have to inform the Health Department about a case of ILI (Influenza like Illness) having chronic diseases.
  • Such medical cases should be treated as early as possible and proper guidelines of the government should be followed.
  • All hospitals within state will have to keep suspected as well as confirmed cases (patients) of swine flu in isolation in order to contain the spread of the disease.
  • It will be mandatory for all hospitals to inform the Health department in case a suspected or confirmed case of swine flu is reported.
  • For all the patients infected by swine flu, treatment will be provided free of cost as recommended by the Government.


Dr. D Behera advisory committee had observed that swine flu (H1N1) patients in state who have suffered from other chronic diseases had a high mortality rate as compared to patients who did not have chronic diseases. It also had mentioned that patients who were treated by private doctors were referred to higher centres only after they became critical, which had increased the death rate.

Swine flu (swine influenza):

  • It is a respiratory disease caused by viruses (influenza viruses) that infect the respiratory tract of pigs.
  • H1N1 (Hemagglutinin Type 1 and Neuraminidase Type 1) is the subtype of influenza A virus that was the most common cause of human influenza (flu).
  • Its common symptoms are nasal secretions, a barking cough, decreased appetite and listless behaviour.