Chandigarh, Mar 30: In a move aimed at developing villages in the state with the support of universities, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today sanctioned Rs 10 crore for integrated development of the rural areas.
Interacting with the Vice-Chancellors of the universities and deputy commissioners from across the state, during a review meeting of Integrated Village Development Programme here, he said the fund should be utilised judiciously to ensure infrastructural, and social and economic development of over 200 villages covered under the scheme.
He said proposals regarding the key areas of investment under the scheme would be given and executed by the varsities.
The CM said the state government aims to make universities a partner in Punjabs rural growth through the programme.
As per the scheme, universities adopt and nurture five villages with the support of the state government. Badal said the major thrust of the scheme is on improving services under core sectors like health, education, agriculture and allied farming, water supply and sanitation, sports and skill development, and employment.
He asked the DCs to coordinate with the universities and undertake joint inspection of villages to prepare a master plan for development.
He asked the DCs to submit detailed reports in this regard within a fortnight. He asked the Rural Development department to set up a separate cell for dealing exclusively with this programme.
Badal exhorted the universities to play a proactive role in imparting skill development training to youths and women and asked them to make people aware of various social welfare initiatives taken by the government.
Badal also asked them to make farmers aware of ways for making agriculture more remunerative by reducing their input costs.
The Chief Minister was satisfied with the preliminary report of varsities on the work done by them under the scheme and said the beginning was very good and desired target would be achieved soon.