Navjot Kaur wants Amritsar declared dry district

Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Health) Navjot Kaur Sidhu on Thursday demanded that Amritsar should be declared as a dry district to curb alcohol abuse in the state.

"Amritsar should be declared as a dry district, as the government is not being able to curb alcohol abuse. Revenue should not be the sole criteria for a government," she said.

"Gujarat is a totally dry state and is among the fastest growing states in the country. Why can't Punjab do the same? Let's make a beginning from Amritsar,'' Sidhu said, adding that she will meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in this regard.

Maintaining that MLAs should be accountable for the work they do in their constituencies, Sidhu said: "The chief minister should get a monthly report card. He should also hold monthly meetings, which must include Opposition MLAs as well. There is no coordination between any departments."

Asked whether her husband and Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu will fight the next Assembly elections, Sidhu said: "It depends. As many as 14 projects, which he had conceptualised, are pending with the Centre. Yesterday only, he had written to the BJP national president in this regard. If your projects are not on ground, how can you fight elections?"

HC asks Centre to clarify norms on mining certificates

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday asked the Centre to clarify details related to the issuance of environment clearance certificates to those involved in mining activities.

A division bench headed by Justice Rajive Bhalla ordered this while hearing a bunch of petitions pertaining to illegal mining in Punjab. Senior Standing Counsel of the Centre, Onkar Singh Batalvi, apprised the bench that earlier, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests used to issue environment clearance certificates only to contractors or licensees.

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