Samana, April 12:
Continuing the exercise of closing toll plazas across Punjab, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann closed the ninth toll plaza on Wednesday and said that this toll plaza had been closed in the public interest and that more such toll plazas would be closed in the days to come.
After getting the toll plaza on the Samana-Patran road closed, the Chief Minister said that these toll plazas were actually open loot shops for common people. He said that these toll dealers blindly looted the people by ignoring all the conditions of their agreements. Bhagwant Mann said that it is surprising that instead of taking action against these toll plaza companies in the public interest, the previous governments turned a blind eye to these irregularities.
The Chief Minister said that though the people elected the governments to protect their interests, the power-hungry politicians acted as shields to such defaulters for their selfish interests. He said that the previous governments ignored the arbitrariness of these toll plazas and allowed them to make money illegally without caring for the common people. Bhagwant Mann said that despite the agreement on even one of the closed toll plazas, arrangements for ambulances and recovery vans were not made.
The Chief Minister said that the agreement for these toll plazas was signed on September 1, 2005, during the time of the Captain government, and this toll was imposed for sixteen and a half years. He said that due to several lapses, the company was fined Rs 1.48 crore, and due to lapses, the toll could have been closed on June 24, 2013. Bhagwant Mann said that this never happened and this toll could have been closed on October 16, 2018 due to the non-repair of this road, but no action was initiated.
The Chief Minister said that after assuming office, when our government issued notices to toll plazas for violations, the company went to court. He said that the court rejected the application, and the government decided to close it in the public interest. Bhagwant Mann said that due to the closure of this toll plaza, Rs 3.80 lakh would be saved daily for the common people.
The Chief Minister said that on the pretext of the farmer’s movement and the COVID pandemic, the company had demanded an extension of toll timings, but the government cancelled it. He said that this work should have been done earlier, but earlier Chief Ministers did not care about protecting the interests of the people but worked day and night to fulfil the interests of the company. Bhagwant Mann made it clear that each and every penny looted from the people would be recovered at any cost and that an FIR would be lodged against this company. Will also be registered.
The Chief Minister said that the people of the state had elected him to form the government a year ago by pressing the button on the electronic voting machines (EVMs). Bhagwant Mann said that now, within a year, he will be dedicating new projects to the people of the state by pressing four to five buttons daily. He said that the day was not far when Punjab would become the number one state in the country with the untiring efforts of the state government.
Reiterating the firm commitment of the government to punish the culprits of sacrilege incidents in Punjab, the Chief Minister said that for the first time, the state government has taken a step in this direction. He said that justice is not far away in these cases, as a challan has already been presented in court to ensure the strictest punishment for the culprits. Bhagwant Mann said that justice could have been done in the cases of sacrilege earlier as well, but the previous governments did not pay attention to them.
The Chief Minister said that conventional political parties were hostile to him because they could not digest the fact that a common man’s son was running the state in such an impressive manner. He said that the previous governments used to work for their own benefits without caring for the interests of the people. Bhagwant Mann said that now the son of a school teacher is protecting the interests of the people and the state.
Information and Public Relations Minister and Local Samana MLA Chetan Singh Jodamajra, Public Works and Energy Minister Harbhajan Singh ETO, MLAs Ajitpal Singh Kohli, Guralal Ghanaur, and Kulwant Singh, the Chief Minister’s media director Baltej Pannu, Ranjodh Singh Hadana, I.G. Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, DC Sakshi Sahni, S.S.P. Varun Sharma, and local residents were also present.