Punjab to have special force on pattern of NSG

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Chandigarh, Dec 21 (UNI) The central government has agreed to the Punjab governments proposal for setting up a contingent of the Special Security Guards (SSGs) on the pattern of the National Security Guards(NSGs).

The Centre has agreed to lend full financial assistance to Punjab for setting up this special force.

An assurance to this effect was given by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during a meeting at New Delhi today.

Mr Patil also agreed to bear full financial liability on capital investment in starting a network of training centres in Punjab for the private security personnel to cater to the growing needs of the public and corporate sectors. This scheme would also be a major employment generator providing jobs to the youth.

The Chief Minister also urged Mr Patil to immediately release the grant of Rs 20 crore for the Private Security Agency Training Institute at Jehankhelan in Hoshiarpur district.

The Chief Minister also demanded a special one time grant of Rs 150 crore for construction of two new model jails at Kapurthala and Faridkot.

Mr Badal urged Mr Patil to treat Punjab at par with certain other 'affected' states for 100 per cent central grant under the Modernisation of Police Force scheme. He demanded to enhance the grant under this scheme from the current allocation of Rs 24 crore to Rs 64 crore.

The Chief Minister also asked the Home Minister for revamping and modernisation of the state intelligence network by giving adequate special one time grant besides allocation of more central funds to Punjab for security.

Raising some specific border areas related issues with Mr Patil, the Chief Minister demanded an immediate upward revision of the payment for compensation on regular basis from Rs 5000 to Rs 7500 per acre per annum, to those farmers whose cultivable and fertile land measuring 18,500 acres was situated across the border fence, to which they had restricted access.

He sought the Home Minister's personal intervention for upgradation of rural link roads in the border districts at an estimated cost of Rs 200. Besides, Rs 312 crore for upgradation and strengthening of rural electrical infrastructure in 18 border blocks under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) was also sought.

Mr Badal also suggested certain measures for the benefit of farmers cultivating their land between the border fence and the zero line. These steps include--- increasing the timings of stay on their fields from 1000 hours to 1600 hours, deployment of ladies staff for frisking, issuance of permanent identity cards to the farmers and shifting of border fence at certain viable places.

UNI

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