21. PUNJAB Situated in the north-western corner of the country, Punjab is bound on the west by Pakistan, on the north by Jammu and Kashmir, on the north-east by Himachal Pradesh, and on the south by Haryana and Rajasthan.It has a total area of 50,362 sq km and a total population of 24,358,999 Capital city of the state is Chandigarh and the principal languages of the state is Punjabi .
History and Geography
Ancient Punjab formed the north western frontier of the Indian subcontinent. It saw the rise and fall of the Mauryans, Bactrians, Greeks, Sakas, Kushans and Guptas. Medieval Punjab witnessed the supremacy of the Muslims. Ghaznavi was followed by the Ghoris, the slaves, the Khiljis, the Tughlaqs, the Lodhis and the Mughals. Fifteenth and sixteenth centuries marked a period of watershed in the history of Punjab. The teachings of Guru Nanak gave the Bhakti movement received a great impetus. Sikhism began as a socio-religious movement, directed towards fighting evils in religion and society. It was Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru, who transformed the Sikhs into the Khalsa or a militia group Maharaja Ranjit Singhgave punjab its most strongest and independent ruler.After his death, the entire edifice collapsed due to internal intrigues and British machinations. After two abortive Anglo-Sikh wars, Punjab was finally annexed to the British Empire in 1849. The fight against the British rule had begun long before Mahatma Gandhi's arrival on the scene. First, it was the Namdhari sect, which believed in self-discipline and self-rule. Later, it was Lala Lajpat Rai who played a leading role in the Freedom Movement. Punjab was in the vanguard of India's freedom struggle on all fronts in India and abroad. Punjab's hardships did not end with Independence, as it had to face the misery of Partition with large-scale bloodshed and migration. Besides their rehabilitation, there was the task of reorganisation of the State. Eight princely states of East Punjab were grouped together to form a single state called PEPSU-Patiala and the East Punjab States Union-with Patiala as its capital. PEPSU state was merged with Punjab in 1956. Later in 1966, Haryana was carved out of Punjab and Punjab got its present form.
Punjab State with only 1.5 per cent geographical area of country produces 22 per cent of Wheat 12 per cent of Rice and 12 per cent of Cotton of the total production in the country. The cropping intensity of Punjab State is more than 186 per cent and it has been pooling 40-50 per cent of rice and 50-70 per cent of wheat for the last two decades. In Punjab per hectare consumption of fertilizer is 177 kg as compared to 90 kg at national level. Also Punjab State has been awarded National Productivity Award for agriculture extension services for consecutively ten years from 1991-92 to 1998-99 and 2001 to 2003-04.
There are 2.04 lakh small-scale units in the State producing bicycle parts, sewing machines, hand tools, machine tools, auto parts, electrical items, sports goods, surgical instruments, leather goods, hosiery, knitwear, nuts and bolts, textiles, sugar, vegetable oil, etc., giving employment to about 9.35 lakh persons. In large/medium sector there are 600 large/medium scale units. Mohali in the vicinity of Chandigarh has emerged as an attractive destination for IT and IT enabled industries. Under the Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS), Government of India has sanctioned two projects namely Knitwear Cluster and Bicycle Parts Cluster at Ludhiana for implementation in Punjab with the primary objective of the scheme is to enhance International Competitiveness of the domestic industry by providing quality infrastructure through public/private participation in clusters/locations which have greater potential to become globally competitive.
Punjab being an agrarian state, gives very high priority to agricultural Development. Even Government of Punjab is taking up a number of projects for the diversification of crop. Due to better irrigation management, additional areas have been brought under cotton crop in various cotton growing districts of Punjab. The state has vast network of canal infrastructure having a length of 14,500 km of main and branch canals distributaries and minors. Ranjit Sagar Dam is a multipurpose river valley project which has been constructed 8 km upstream of Madhopur Head Works. It comprises of 160 metre high earth core-cum gravel shell dam on river Ravi with a gross potential to the tune of 3.48 lakh hectares of land. Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Project Phase II with credit assistance from World Bank has been completed. Rehabilitation of 1,260 km length of Channels and 53 km new Channels have also been completed with state funds. About 60 per cent of the total irrigated land is served private/ government tubewells and remaining 40 per cent is irrigated through canals.
The construction of Bhakra Nangal Complex including Bhakra Dam, Bhakra Main line, Nangal Hydel Channel, Ganguwal and Kotla Power House, Harike Barrage, Sirhind Feeder, remodelling of Madhopur Headwork into Barrage, etc., and Beas Dam at Pong have been some of the major Irrigation and Hydroelectric Projects which have played a significant role in considerable enhancing the irrigation and power potential of the State. . Annual generation from these project shall be 2,100 MU's out of which 4.6 per cent of energy generated shall be supplied free of cost to Himachal Pradesh and 20 per cent energy generated shall be supplied to J&K at genuine cost.The completion of this dam water of all three rivers allocated to Punjab under Indus Water Treaty will be harnessed. Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has implemented a special programme of 2HP Solar Photovoltaic. So far 1,700 of such solar water pumps sets have been installed in the state share FY 2000-01. Another 700 of solar pumps sets are under execution. PEDA has also taken up the execution of eight Mini Hydel Projects with a total capacity 9.8 MW on canal falls as technology demonstration projects. Another 44 Micro Hydel Projects with a total capacity of 36 MW have been allocated to private sector on BOO basis. PEDA has also commissioned 200 kwp Solar Photovoltaic Grid Interactive Power Plant at village Khatkar Kalan, Distt. Nawanshahar was dedicated to the nation on 23 March 2003 PEDA has also been sanctioned 1 MW Biomethanation cattle dung based demonstration power project at Haebowal Dairy Complex (Ludhiana).The work of Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Renewable Energy on Jalandhar-Kapurthala Road is also under execution.
Tourism, International and domestic, offers the best prospects of helping the State both in the short term and on a long term basis earn substantial amount of revenue for meeting necessary requirements of the State. The State Government has announced new Tourism Policy to develop tourism as the major industry of Punjab by providing leadership and organisational and strategic direction, to improve the quality of the tourism product, to develop places of tourist interest, to provide necessary facilities for all categories of tourist and pilgrims. places. The State has a large number of places of tourist interest some of which include Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir, Jallianwala bagh in Amritsar, Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib and Khalsa Heritage Complex at Anandpur Sahib, Bhakra Dam, Qila Androon and Moti Bagh Palace at Patiala, Wetland at Harike Pattan Sanghol for archeological importance and Chattbir Zoo, Mugh. Complex at Aam Khas Bagh and Rauza Sharif of Sheikh Ahmed at Graves of Afghan Rules, Sodal Temple at Jalandhar commemorative Maharishi Balmiki Heritage. The Punjab Tourism Development Corporation is running 17 complexes, including 3 Hotel at Amritsar, 6 Filling stations and 4 Holiday Homes. In addition, 2 Complexes and one Banquet Hall at Pathankot have been given on lease/license to the private parties. Shops at Floating Restaurant, Sirhind, Tourist Complex, Ropar; Tourist Complex Madhopur and Tourist Complex, Moga have been licensed out to the private parties to run the gift shops.