Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Sunday embarked on a five-day visit to Israel. Singh had postponed the visit in the wake of the Amritsar train accident in which 59 people were killed and 57 injured on Friday. Earlier, he was to leave for Israel in the evening of October 19.
The decision to visit Israel was taken after the administration felt completely satisfied with the relief and rehabilitation measures being carried out for the victims of the Amritsar train tragedy, an official spokesman said here.
While the chief minister was in Amritsar on Saturday, he was busy taking stock of the situation with his ministerial colleagues and senior officers on Sunday. He issued instructions to officials and the ministerial crisis management group to take all the relief measures required for the victims.
The chief minister had earlier decided to postpone the visit indefinitely following the Amritsar tragedy. He was, however, advised to go ahead as he was supposed to sign three important memoranda of understanding in Israel on agriculture, preservation of water resources and dairy development.
All these proposals hold a lot of significance for Punjab, particularly in terms of agricultural diversification and saving the depleting water resources in the state, the spokesman said. The chief minister is also scheduled to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on October 23.
Also, he has separate meetings scheduled with Israeli Minister for Agriculture Uri Ariel and Minister for Energy and Water Resources Dr Yuval Steinitz.
The spokesman said the chief minister will be in regular touch with the crisis management group, senior government functionaries and the Amritsar district administration.
The chief minister has asked the Amritsar Deputy Commissioner and the Police Commissioner to ensure that “emergency relief” is provided to each and every needy family.
A special team has been constituted for this purpose and it has been asked to visit every affected family to enquire about their urgent needs and help will be provided instantly.