Wednesday, February 14, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

P U N J A B    S T O R I E S




Paswan, Kanshi turn eyes on Punjab
From Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR, Feb 13 —  With their eyes on the forthcoming Assembly elections, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Kanshi Ram and Lok Jana Shakti Party leader and Union Minister for Communications Ram Vilas Paswan have started making their presence felt in the state. Their aim is to increase their base in the state, particularly among the Dalits who constitute about one-third of the total electorate.

Mr Kanshi Ram is trying to boost the morale of his workers who have felt disillusioned due to his long absence from Punjab on account of his engagements in other states. He has held as many as 29 rallies in different parts of the Doaba region of Punjab. Having taken off on February 11 from Balachaur in Hoshiarpur, the rallies of “Bauji”, as Mr Kanshi Ram is called by his supporters, will conclude at Hoshiarpur on February 26, where he is likely to issue important directions to the Dalits and Backward Classes.

Mr Paswan, though not as frequent a visitor as Mr Kanshi Ram, has already undertaken two whirlwind tours of the state to test political waters. During the visits he addressed a couple of rallies, mostly in areas dominated by Dalits and migrant labourers. He announced the state body of his party last week with Mr Amar Singh Mehmi as President and made it clear that his party would be fighting all electoral battles in the state in future.

Mr Paswan has been emphasising that he will give representation to all poor, irrespective of their caste.

Mr Kanshi Ram has formed his state unit by appointing former MP Mohan Singh Phallianwala as President. To give representation to different sections of Dalits and Backward Classes, Mr Kanshi Ram has accommodated five vice-presidents belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes — Mr Harbhajan Singh Sharihn (Kumhar), Mr Sukhbir Singh Shalimar (Mehra), Mr M.P. Singh Goraya (Ramgarhia), Mr Harbhajan Singh Lakha (Dalit), Mr Jagdip Singh Gogi (Nai) and Mr D.P. Khosla (Balmiki) — to ward off the impression that he is the “Messiah” of Dalits alone.

“I am not going to take rest till the formation of a BSP government in Punjab after the next Assembly elections” declares “Bauji” during his rallies.

“When we can form government in Uttar Pradesh with 24 per cent Dalit votes, then what is the difficulty in doing so here, he asks. The Dalits constitute 35-40 per cent of the total electorate in Doaba.

Mr Paswan has directed Mr Mehmi to hold district-level meetings of workers and is planning a “rath yatra” in Punjab next month. During the meetings, his workers will make the people understand the “difference between the politics of Mr Kanshi Ram and Mr Paswan”.

Mr Paswan, according to Mr Mehmi, will hold a state-level rally at Ludhiana next month. Insiders, however, say the effort will be to win over those who have disassociated themselves from the BSP and to use his “Bihari” charisma to woo migrant labourers in rural areas and in big cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Amritsar, Patiala and Chandigarh.


Cong seeks support of BSP in Majitha
From Our Correspondent

FARIDKOT, Feb 13 — The district Congress committee (DCC) has appealed to the Lok Bhalai Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and other parties to support the Congress candidate in the ensuing Majitha Assembly byelection in the interests of the state.

In a press statement issued here yesterday, Mr S.K. Gupta and Mr Satish Bagi, president and press secretary, respectively of the DCC, alleged that senior SAD leaders, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, were exploiting the sentiments of segment voters to meet their political ends. The two Congress leaders alleged that the statements made by Akali leaders would cause communal tension.

Mr Gupta and Mr Bagi also criticised the ruling party for misusing official machinery on a large scale and distributing government funds to win the election.

Both Congress leaders sought the personal intervention of the Chief Election Commissioner to debar the entry of the Chief Minister and his coterie in the election field.

The district Congress leaders thanked the CPI and the CPM for extending support to the Congress candidate in the byelection.


CPI not to back any candidate for RS seat
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The Punjab unit of the CPI, an MLA of which had proposed the name of an independent candidate, Mr Manjit Singh Khaira, for Rajya Sabha seat from Punjab yesterday, today said its MLAs would not vote for any candidate. Mr Khaira and Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal are candidates for the Rajya Sabha seat from Punjab.

Dr Joginder Dayal, Secretary of the Punjab unit of the CPI, said both MLAs of the CPI, including Mr Ajaib Singh Raunta, who had proposed the name of Mr Khaira, would abstain from the Punjab Assembly at the time of voting on February 22. Dr Dayal said that Mr Raunta had assured him that he would abide by the decision of the party.

Dr Dayal said the CPI would not support any candidate backed by communal parties. He said that in the view of CPI, the Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the Sarab Hind Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and the Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann were communal parties as they were particular community based parties.

Though Mr Khaira is contesting for the Rajya Sabha seat as an independent candidate but he is backed by certain MLAs owing allegiance to Mr Gurcaran Singh Tohra and Mr Mann.

Meanwhile, the nomination papers of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, the ruling SAD-BJP candidate and the rebel Akali MLAs backed Mr Khaira have been found in order during scrutiny of papers today. The candidates can withdraw their nominations by February 15.


Poll arrangements in motion
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Feb 13 — The district administration has claimed that all arrangements have been set in motion for a “free and fair” election in the Majitha Vidhan Sabha constituency scheduled for Ferbruary 19, with Mrs Gurpreet Kaur Sapra, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Amritsar-I, as Returning Officer.

Mr Narinderjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer, Amritsar, said as many as 1,23,829 voters would exercise franchise on February 19, including 67194 males and 55838 females. There were as many as 797 “service” votes. He said a total of 122 villages fell in this constituency, including 87 in Amritsar-I subdivision and 35 in the Baba Bakala Subdivision. As many as 137 polling stations had been set up out of which 124 were in rural areas and 13 fell in urban areas.

He said a total of 548 staff personnel had been put on election duty, including 16 supervisors. As per the instructions of the Election Commission, 50 per cent of the staff had been taken from Central Government departments and the remaining from state government offices.

To make the election process smooth, rehearsals had started and would be carried up to February 18. Election material, except electronic voting machines (EVMs), would be delivered to the poll staff on February 18 from Government Girls Senior Secondary School, The Mall, Amritsar.

The EVMs would be checked in the presence of representatives of the Election Commission, all central observers and representatives of the contestants on February 16 and 17.

However, the final sealing of the EVMs would take place prior to the start of voting on the morning of February 19 at 7 a.m. at all respective polling stations in the presence of polling agents of all contesting candidates and officials after a “mock poll”.

Five candidates are in the election fray. They are Mr Rajmohinder Singh Majitha (SAD), Mr Sawinder Singh Majitha (INC), Mrs Kartar Kaur Sandhu (Ind), Col J.S. Bal (Ind) and Mr Raghbir Singh (Ind).


Massive rally in Majitha today
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Feb 13 — A massive rally and flag march will be held on February 14 in the Grain Market, Majitha. A meeting was held under the presidentship of Mr Vijay Mishra, vice-president, CITU, Punjab, in which he said the Mulazam Sangarsh Committee, DYFI, SFI, GTU, Punjab, and PSSF, Punjab, will also participate in this rally.

Mr Mishra said most of the powerloom factories, 90 per cent finishing and 50 per cent general industries stood closed due to the indifferent attitude of the state government and policies of globalisation, privatisation and liberalisation of the centre.

He alleged that the SAD-BJP combine was implementing these policies due to which a large number of factory workers of Majitha assembly constituency, who used to go to Batala and Amritsar for work were hardships.


DYFI, SFI to hold rally today
From Our Correspondent

NAWANSHAHR, Feb 13 — Mr Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon and Mr Rakesh Nayyar, president and vice-president, respectively, of the state unit of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) said today during a joint press meeting that activists of the DYFI and the Students Federation of India (SFI),under the aegis of the National Platform of Mass Organisations, would organise a state-level rally at Majitha tomorrow to “expose” the SAD-BJP coalition government’s anti-youth” policies.

They condemned the policy of privatisation of the government.

They alleged that the government had not only imposed a ban on recruitment but also imposed a 10 per cent cut in government jobs.

To mobilise people belonging to different sections of society, the National Platform of Mass Organisations would hold a rally in Delhi on February 19, they said.


Punjab to slash area under paddy
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — Facing rough weather on the paddy and wheat procurement fronts for the past some years, the Punjab Government has decided to make drastic changes to break free from the paddy-wheat pattern.

As a first step, Punjab has decided to cut over 2 lakh hectares under the paddy crop during the coming kharif season. A decision in this connection was taken at a three-day workshop held at PAU, Ludhiana. Senior scientists, including the Director (Research) of PAU, and officials of the state Agriculture Department, including its Director and the Chief Agriculture Officers of all districts, met there to finalise packages and practices for the kharif crops.

Within the next three years, the area under the paddy crop will be reduced to 20 lakh hectares from 26.11 lakh hectares last year. This year it will be brought down to 24 lakh hectares, said Mr Mewa Singh Sonar, Director, Agriculture, Punjab. The area spared from the paddy crop would be diverted to other crops, especially cotton, maize and sugarcane.

With the slashing of the area under paddy, the overall production of paddy was expected to come down by 10 lakh tonnes. And in the next three years the production would be cut by 30 lakh tonnes. And if the problem on the procurement front persisted, this could be further reduced, said a senior agricultural scientist. The Punjab Government was in hot water for about two months during the last paddy procurement season. Ultimately, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, came to its rescue by announcing a paddy package.

Mr Sonar said that the strategy on the paddy front was two-pronged. One was to reduce the area and the second to improve the quality of rice. The emphasis was on making the farmer market conscious as in the rice-surplus state (Punjab) marketing was a major factor, he added. It had been decided to delete certain varieties of paddy which had proved unviable from the list of recommendations prepared by PAU after getting feedback from the state Agriculture Department. Already, three varieties — PR 103, Jaya and IR 108 — had been dropped from the list. Farmers would be told not to transplant these varieties, Mr Sonar said. These varieties had become obsolete, according to him.

The area under basmati would be enhanced to 2 lakh hectares from 1.25 lakh hectares last year. The transplantation of this variety would be promoted along the Shivalik foothills in the Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Ropar areas and certain pockets of Gurdaspur. The Union Government would be requested to fix the minimum support price for basmati three times higher than those of the grade “A” varieties, Mr Sonar said.

After the monitoring of the paddy crop during the past five years, the department had come to the conclusion that the best time for transplanting paddy was between June 1 and 15. The average yield of rice from varieties transplanted during this period was the maximum — 3,712 kg from one hectare. Dr Sonar said that farmers should stick to this period. About 46.5 per cent of the farmers brought areas under paddy during this period last year.

Experts and scientists of PAU had unanimously urged the department to increase the area under cotton to 6 lakh hectares this year from 4.74 lakh hectares in the previous year. The yield of cotton, which had faced the wrath of the American bollworm for the past many years, improved a bit during the last season. Already, over 8 lakh bales of cotton had arrived in the market and the figure was expected to touch 10 lakh bales by the end of the season. Besides, farmers would retain about 1.50 lakh bales for domestic use. The focus would be on increasing the area under American cotton and enhancing the average yield of cotton to 520 kg per hectare.

Likewise, the area under maize and sugarcane would be increased to 2 lakh hectares and 1.70 lakh hectares. Last year the area under maize was 1.64 lakh hectares and sugarcane 1.20 lakh hectares. The target was to bring 2 lakh hectares under the sugarcane crop every year to provide enough raw material to 22 sugar mills, many of which remained under-utilised, Mr Sonar said.

There was also a proposal to reduce the production cost of sugar to make its price viable for export purposes. Sources said that Pakistan had sought the delivery of sugar from India at the Wagah border at $ 260 per quintal, but it was unviable. Two more tissue culture laboratories — Faridkot and Dasuya — would be set up shortly to provide disease-free seed of sugarcane to farmers.


Conference on Guru Granth Sahib from Feb 25
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Feb 13 — An international conference on the “World’s First Inter-Faith Scripture” would be held at Guru Nanak Dev University in collaboration with the Academy of Guru Granth Studies, Dallas, USA, from February 25 to 28.

Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, said here yesterday the keynote address would be presented by Bhai Harbans Lal of the Academy of Guru Granth Studies, USA. A large number of dignitaries from Punjab and scholars would participate.

Dr Soch said at the four-day conference, a galaxy of international and national scholars shall join in the discussions on various aspects of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Scholars would explore the significance of the ten Gurus’ teachings for the well-being of humankind in the new millennium.

Distinguished scholars and world leaders would make presentations and head panel discussions.

The Vice-Chancellor said the proceedings of the conference would be published by the university which planned to bring out an international journal on Guru Granth Sahib Studies.

The first such volume would be released at the conference.


Minister’s letter to CM unheeded
by P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, FEB 13 — How long is a period of one month in political language? The correct answer, perhaps, is “infinite”.

The Punjab Minister of Higher Education, Master Mohan Lal, gave an assurance to the seven office-bearers of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) on December 29 that their demand on the pension-cum-gratuity scheme for the teaching and non-teaching staff of 140 government-aided colleges would be implemented within “one month”.

On that assurance, the PCCTU suspended its agitation and postponed the proposed “education bandh” of January 18 and also the state-level march in the Gidderbaha Assembly constituency of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, on that day.

But it is now well past the promised “one month” and the demand remains at “paperstage” with the file shuttling between the offices of the Director, Public Instruction (Colleges), and the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Mr G. P. S. Sahi.

In fact, Master Mohan Lal did not let the matter rest at the assurance level. He wrote a demi-official letter to the Chief Minister on January 12 informing him of the two meetings he had held with PCCTU office-bearers (including the one on December 29) on the “advice” of the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, where it was reiterated that the “government is bound to pay pension-cum-gratuity” to the government-aided colleges within one month. Morever, all legalities had been completed and even an Act was in place. The pension and gratuity was to be paid from April 26,1999, he mentioned in his letter.

The Minister also said in his letter that the Chief Minister should “make “a good gesture and ask the teachers to see you”. The Minister wrote a similar letter to Mr Sahi on January 18 reminding him of the commitment made by him to the PCCTU.

But little did Master Mohan Lal know that such commitments carried little or no weight in the system in operation in Punjab. Not only has the Minister cut a sorry figure but there also are stirrings within the PCCTU, which apparently is again poised for an agitation now that the annual examinations are round the corner.

On the other hand, the DPI’s office was quick to do its homework despite certain constraints and want of full data on the number of beneficiaries (retirees) in the colleges and the management share with interest for the period April, 1999, to April, 2001. Nevertheless, the office cobbled together tentative figures from its records showing that a corpus of Rs 100 crore was lying with the managements of 140-odd colleges. It is also mentioned that the corpus was sufficient to last at least seven years. The detailed information was sent to Mr Sahi on February 1.

The DPI has recommended that the scheme should be implemented from March 30, 1999, the date on which Mr Badal had moved the Security of Service Bill of Affiliated Colleges Employees (Amendment Bill no. 4, including the payment of pension-cum-gratuity in lieu of contributory provident fund). The Bill was passed by the Vidhan Sabha unanimously.

Earlier to this Act, an Executive Order was passed by the Governor on April 2, 1998, for the implementation of the scheme. The Finance department and the office of the Accountant-General, as per the DPI’s letter to Mr Sahi, have already given the go-ahead for the implementation of the scheme.

When Mr Sahi was contacted, he denied having received any information, but was quick to add: “I will call the DPI tomorrow at 11 a.m. and discuss the full details of the pension-cum-gratuity scheme to be implemented.”

Meanwhile, the PCCTU has convened a meeting of the office-bearers in Chandigarh on February 15 to review the progress at the government level on the commitment made by the Minister. A section of the PCCTU leaders favours the revival of the agitation and is opposed to giving any more time to the government.

According to the PCCTU general-secretary, Mr Charanjit Chawla, the corpus, including the provident fund on University Grants Commission arrears from January 1, 1996, to December 31, 1998, available with the managements of 140 colleges is Rs 128 crore.


High Court
Notice to Punjab on plea to shift Pinky
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — On a petition for shifting Inspector Gurmeet Singh Pinky, lodged in Ludhiana Central Jail in a murder case, to some other prison outside the district, Mr Justice V.M. Jain of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the state of Punjab for February 19.

Claiming Pinky to have been provided with A class facilities including a television set, a mobile phone, a well-furnished room and four servants, petitioner Swaran Singh, also lodged in the same jail in a kidnapping case, had earlier alleged that his life was danger as he had been thrashed by the Inspector and jail officials on February 4.

Going into the background, the petitioner had stated that he was an accomplice of the Inspector and had committed at least 25 dacoities along with Pinky and others in Punjab and Haryana before differences arose between them over sharing of the loot. Due to the differences Pinky got him arrested in the kidnapping case.

The petitioner had also stated that his wife and 11-year-old son were picked up by the Inspector and tortured in his presence after he started disclosing the facts. His wife and child were still in the Inspector’s custody, he had alleged.

Seeking protection and directions for shifting Pinky, Swaran Singh had also sought directions against releasing him from judicial custody without the court’s permission.


Ceasefire to prove costly: Kanshi
From Our Correspondent

PHAGWARA, Feb 13 — In his first ever comment on the national scenario, the Bahujan Samaj Party president, Mr Kanshi Ram, yesterday said the BSP will not pull down the Vajpayee government but rather wanted it to complete its full term so that the government got discredited completely and the Prime Minister had nothing to tell people except that he had remained busy keeping together the 25-party coalition.

Talking to newspersons at the dera of Sant Baba Phoola Singh at nearby Chaheru, 8 km from here, the BSP chief quipped some policies of the Vajpayee government, including the unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, would prove very costly for Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee and he would have to be answerable to the people of the country.

On the Punjab front, Mr Kanshi Ram said the BSP would remain neutral for the Majitha bypoll of February 19. “We are keeping equidistance and are neither supporting nor opposing anybody,” he continued. However, the party would contest all 117 Assembly seats in the next general election and would form the government, he asserted. “However, we won’t have truck with anybody,” he continued.

Mr Kanshi Ram took strong exception to the deletion of the column of “ad-dharmi” in the proforma of the ongoing Census. He said the Brahamanwadi-Manuwadi forces were behind this.

Mr Kanshi Ram declared a Doaba-level rally would be held at Roshan grounds at Hoshiarpur on February 28 to find out the answer to the conspiratorial deletion.


Bhunder: CM fulfilled people’s aspirations
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The SAD General Secretary and Member, Rajya Sabha, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, said yesterday under the dynamic leadership of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the SAD-BJP government in the last four years, has led Punjab towards self-sufficient and self-reliance in all fields and has fulfilled the aspirations of Punjabis.

In a statement issued on a completion of four years of the SAD-BJP combine in office Mr Bhunder said Punjab today was a ‘model’ of peace, amity, prosperity, social justice, and efficient governance.

Mr Bhunder also listed the major achievements of the government and apportioned full credit to Mr Badal. The achievements included waiving off Rs 8,500 crore loan, Rs 16,000 crore Sri Guru Gobind Singh Oil Refinery at Bathinda, Guru Ram Dass International Airport Amritsar, Science City, Institute of renewable Energy and Chandigarh-Ludhiana Road link among others.

He said the Congress government had only fooled the people through hollow slogans like “garibi hatao” and ruled the state for long through their ‘divide and rule policy’ without doing anything concrete for improving the economy of the state.


Dasehra savings for quake-hit
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — People from far and near are landing in the Tribune office with their contributions for the Gujarat quake victims. One such delegation of Dasehra Committee, Abohar, came all the way to deliver a draft of Rs 1.23 lakh to the Editor of The Tribune for onward transmission to the Gujarat Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

The president of the committee, Mr Brahm Parkash Bhusari, said the amount collected included Rs 51,ooo of the savings of the Dasehra committee for last year; contributions of 31 working committee members and one day’s salary of the teachers of RSD Girls High School, Abohar; S.D Girls High School, Abohar.

The secretary of the committee, Mr Raj Sardosh, said by avoiding wastage of money on too much of pomp and show during last year's Dashehra celebrations, the committee was able to save a sum of Rs 51,000. “We want to put it to better public use by donating the same to the poor and needy people.

Few suggestions came with regard to providing woolen clothes to poor and needy students, but since various other social organisations were already doing this, we decided against it.”

Mr Sandosh further said that at that time, little did we know that the amount was meant for another good cause.

Today, the same money is being sent for the rehabilitation of all those, whose very existence had shattered following the devastation caused by the earthquake on January 26.

A decision to this effect was taken by the committee on January 27 and members of the delegation travelled a distance of nearly 310 km to deliver the draft so that the money sent by them is used to provide quick relief to the affected people.

The other members of the delegation were vice president, Mr Surinder Baghla; Secretary, Mr Ved Rastogi, and joint treasurer, Mr Thukral.

The members of the said committee have collectively appealed to the Dasehra committee in other states to donate their surplus collections for this noble cause.

Urea project: team visits Sangrur
Tribune News Service

SANGRUR, Feb 13 — A four-member high-level team headed by Mr Yogesh Goyal, General Manager, PSIDC, visited the town and other parts of the district yesterday as apart of its two-day visit for selecting a site for setting up of the Rs 1,500-crore ammonia urea fertiliser project in Sangrur.

Mr G.K. Singh, ADC, Sangrur, said here today that the district administration had proposed 12 sites for the setting up of the project.

The team had shortlisted four sites with respect to the requirement that the site should be close to the Bathinda-Kandla pipeline. Besides, there should be enough availability of water, and the railway line and the main road should be near the proposed project.

Mr G.K. Singh said the team had concentrated on the sites around Chhajli village, near Mehlan chowk, Bharur-Uppali road and near Longowal, all areas located in the Sunam belt.

The ADC added that out of these four sites, two sites would be shortlisted.

It is expected that after the site selection the construction work on the project will start after six months.


Oil refinery: route for pipeline finalised
Tribune News Service

PHULOKHARI (Bathinda), FEB 13 — The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) authorities have identified land for crude receipt terminal (CRT) for Guru Gobind Singh Oil Refinery being set up here and have also finalised the route of 1011-km long pipeline from Mundra (Gujarat) to CRT.

The HPCL authorities, which have been permitted to execute the nine million metric tonnes per annum grassroot refinery project along with associated facilities, have also floated tenders for site grading, roads and tank foundation worth Rs 26 crore.

On the other hand, the PWD authorities have started acquiring land required for the construction of a new road from the refinery site to the Bathinda-Dabwali national highway.

Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, said land acquisition for road would be completed by February 15 and tender for the construction of the road had already been received for allotment of the work to the contractors.

He added that there were two major components of oil refinery project. One component was refinery complex here while the second component was crude unloading facility at Mundra. He added that the construction of the road from the refinery site to the Bathinda-Dabwali national highway would be completed by the end of June 2001.

Official sources said the implementation of the mega oil refinery project, the foundation stone of which was laid by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on November 13, 1998 had been delayed.

The sources added that the project which was to be commissioned after four years of the laying of the foundation stone had been delayed by about three years. Mr Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, had said the project was likely to be completed by 2005.

He had also stated in Parliament that the project was being implemented without any budgetary support from the government. He added that HPCL had been allowed to induct a joint venture partner into the project, if so required, subsequently.

The boundary wall encircling about 2000 acres of land acquired for the setting up the mega project had been completed, the sources said, adding a small administrative complex had also come up.

The Deputy Commissioner said a company Guru Gobind Singh Refineries Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of HPCL, had been formed and registered on December 13, 2000. He added that Government of India had already accorded approval to HPCL to go it alone for implementation of the Guru Gobind Singh Refinery Project on October 13, 2000.


Healthcare: land at concessional rates
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has decided to provide world class healthcare facilities in the state with the participation of the private sector in 13 different specialities. The land will be provided to the applicants at concenssional rates.

A meeting of the screening committee was held here today to assess the cases of those who had applied for various sites in Punjab. A spokesman of PUDA said to eliminate the non-serious players, it had been envisaged that a minimum investment of Rs 15 crore per acre would be required in the project. Broad criteria for selection had been finalised.

The terms of payment had also been eased. Only 25 per cent of the land price would have to be paid before the giving of possession. The remaining amount would be recoverable in three equal instalments, due after a period of three years’ moratorium, and it would attract a concessional rate of interest of 9 per annum on a reducing-balance basis. During the three-year moratorium, the interest would neither accrue nor be payable.

It had also been provided that the allottee would give treatment free of cost to 10 per cent of the yellow card holders and up to 5 per cent of the indoor patients. The spokesman said the recommendations of the committee were subject to the final approval of the Finance and Accounts Committee chaired by the Urban and Housing Minister, Dr Upinderjit Kaur.

Rates at which land is being offered:

SAS Nagar (Sector 63) Rs 1,768 per sq yd

Other sectors Rs 1,758 per sq yd 

Patiala Rs 1,477 per sq yd

Ludhiana Rs 2,143 per sq yd Jalandhar Rs 1,737 per sq yd

Phagwara Rs 1,456 per sq yd

Bathinda Rs 1,404 per sq yd


Mobile health scheme launched
From Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

SANGRUR, Feb 13 — After “Aastha” (aid and ambulance service for traffic on highways), a mobile health scheme for villagers of this district called “Sanjeevani” has been launched.

This project is a joint venture of the Sangrur District Red Cross Society and the Health Department. The project is being launched to fully utilise the health facilities provided by the state government in rural areas.

Under the “Sanjeevani” project trained government doctors will provide primary healthcare to the villagers at their doorstep. The doctors will also educate villagers on the upkeep of health to raise the standard of community health.

This project will also help in solving the problem of quacks in the rural areas. Besides, the doctors will have a close rapport with the villagers which will help the health authorities in implementing the health schemes in letter and spirit.

Talking to TNS, Mr Anirudh Tiwari, DC, who is also president of the District Red Cross Society, said doctors would visit chosen villages once a week with medicines provided by the Red Cross Society. Ambulances would also be made available for the visits of the doctors. The number of villages to be visited by a doctor would be determined keeping in view the distance between the villages and the size of the village.

Mr Tiwari said days would be fixed for every village for the visits of the doctors. The cooperation of each panchayat would be sought to ensure the success of “Sanjeevani”.

Two medical blocks — Tapa and Bhawanigarh — of this district have been chosen for the pilot project. Three ambulances, one for Tapa and two for the Bhawanigarh medical blocks, would be arranged by the Deputy Commissioner while the District Red Cross Society would provide Rs 10,000 per month for the Tapa block and Rs 20,000 per month for Bhawanigarh for purchase of medicines and fuel for the ambulances.

High-level meetings comprising the ADC(D), the civil surgeon, SDMs, doctors and sarpanches for discussing methods to create awareness among the villagers on “Sanjeevani” would be held on a regular basis.

The Tapa medical block had been divided into four medical focal points — Mod Nabha, Ghunas, Pakhoke and Bhadaur — for providing medical services to 27 villages. Doctors would visit the villages of the Pakhoke medical focal point on Monday, Mod Nabha on Tuesday, Bhadaur on Wednesday and Thursday and Ghunas on Friday and Saturday.

In the 54 villages of the Bhawanigarh medical block, “Sanjeevani” would provide medical facilities on a weekly basis. For the purpose, the medical block had been divided into 12 focal points. The villages of Bharo and Batriana focal points would be visited by doctors on Monday, villages of the Kalajhar and Nagra focal points on Tuesday, Nidampur and Phaguwala on Wednesday, Majhi and Jalan on Thursday, Balial and Gehlan on Friday and Kapial and Kakra on Saturday.

Mr Tiwari said “Sanjeevani” would be implemented in other medical blocks of the district soon after examining the success of the project.


Health services deteriorate
From K K Goyal

MANSA: Health services in this district may be affected in the near future if maintenance funds are not provided soon. At present, there is no budget for electricity bills and miscellaneous services. Generators have become useless for want of diesel. Last year, over Rs 1 lakh was spent on repair of generators. Patients at hospitals suffer during power shutdowns. Shopkeepers are hesitant to deliver goods to the department, as many bills are yet to be cleared.

According to reliable sources, charges collected from patients are often misused. These funds are meant for poor patients. According to an hospital official, over the last two years there was large amount of misuse of these funds. Medicine is purchased for the rich and those, who are close to the district administration.

Social bodies have installed water coolers in hospitals and provided medicines to the patients during medical camps, campaigns, etc. Generally, the officer in charge of hospital asks the social service organisations to sponsor a scheme or to collect funds to complete ongoing ones.

Recently the NGOs were called by the district administration to sponsor 1378 tuberculosis patients as the administration had no money to treat them, the Deputy Commissioner and Additional Deputy Commissioner told NGOs.

Basic medicines have been out of stock for the past two years. There is a shortage of x-ray films, laboratory chemicals and family planning devices. Often the patients are asked to purchase x-ray film from the market. Even file covers for indoor admissions and OPD slips are out of stock. Apart from the poor drinking water arrangements, lack of sanitation and power have frustrated the patients and staff.

Attention is needed for cleanliness in all hospitals and health centres in the district. Heaps of garbage can often be seen lying in the hospital backyard . The old building of Civil Hospital, built in 1949, has been demolished to construct a new one at a cost of Rs 1.90 crore. It is learnt that the both gates would be closed according to the blue print as a new gate in middle of both gates would be built.

Budhlada and Sardulgarh community health centres cry for upgradation to subdivisional level hospital. A coronary care unit and psychiatry department are urgently required at 100-bedded Civil Hospital.

When contacted, Dr Niranjan Singh Suman, Civil Surgeon, denied the allegations.


Bathinda in need of overbridges
By Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

BATHINDA: “Band paiya darwaza, jiwen phatak Kot Kapure da”. These lines from a Punjabi song were written by a lyricist at the level crossing on the Muktsar road in Kot Kapura town which used to remain closed to traffic most of the time, causing inconvenience to the public. Now an overbridge has been constructed there and traffic is smooth, much to the relief of residents.

A similar problem exists in Bathinda city, which is known as the heartland of the Malwa region. Several level crossings dot the city which, due to frequent closure to road traffic, create difficulties for all concerned.

In this city, which has earned a name in the country for its cotton market and also has Asia’s largest cantonment, there is hardly any main road which does not have a level crossing.

Except the Goniana and Barnala roads, all other major roads originating from here, including the Mansa, Dabwali, Malout and Badal roads, have level crossings.

With the increase in the train services at Bathinda junction, the level crossings on these roads remain closed for a considerable time. As the city is developing fast and the number of vehicles has risen manifold,long lines of vehicles can often be seen on both sides whenever the gates at a level crossing are closed on any section.

The level crossings which cause the most inconvenience to the public are on the Mansa and Dabwali roads. Most of the industrial units have come up on these roads. Besides, four oil companies have set up their oil dumps on the Mansa road near Jassipauwali village. This has led to heavier traffic on these roads.

Residents say the city is suffering due to the fact that ruling alliance politicians have ignored its development.

Sources say the authorities concerned have so far failed to make any proposal for the construction of overbridges at level crossings. One of the reasons why the traffic situation has worsened is that the “ring road” project has not yet been implemented. Besides, almost all important roads are yet to be four-laned.

Residents say due to the absence of overbridges at the busy level crossings and inadequate width of the main roads, accidents have become common in and around the city.

Sources say even though parts of National Highway (NH) numbers 15 and 64 fall in this district, the authorities have no plan to construct overbridges on these roads.

They say the National Highway authorities have made plans to widen a part of NH number 64 from the local Civil Hospital to the ITI chowk. The “Y” junction of the Malout and Bajakhana roads in the city is also to be given a facelift. All parts of NH numbers 15 and 64 falling in the city are to be recarpeted.


Malfunctioning of phones hit police working
From Our Correspondent

BATHINDA, FEB 13 — When everybody is going for mobile phones the district police is facing a unique problem of not being able to make calls from the telephones provided at the police stations.

This is not the result of some probationary orders but due to the non-payment of telephone bills by the police authorities. As per the information available with The Tribune, the telephones of all police stations in the city have been rendered useless due to the non-payment of dues.

The police stations included were that of city Kotwali, Thana Cantonment, Vardman Chowki, Thana Thermal, Civil Lines and that of Thana Sadar.

Sources in the Telecom Department revealed that in case of government departments the “one-way” facility continued if they defaulted in the payment of bills. The facility ensures that you can only receive calls.

Though the exact amount due towards the police authorities is not known as the telecom rules do not permit to disclose the bill amount to any body other than the subscriber, but a rough estimate say that the amount is in thousands.

The sources stated that some of these telephones had been in this state for more than one month and that their functioning was being hampered.

An officer of the Police Department said the personnel had to go out to public call offices to make calls. The “one-way facility” was a blessing in disguise for the cash-starved department like ours, he added.

The sources added that the police was trying hard to work normally and the wireless system was being put to maximum use so that the work did not suffer. A senior police officer said the higher authorities had been apprised of the situation.


Reinstate patwaris, says union
From Our Correspondent

NAWANSHAHR, Feb 13 — Mr Gurnek Singh, senior vice-president of the Revenue Patwar Union, Punjab, said in a press statement here yesterday that patwaris would hold a rally at Majitha on February 16 in protest against their “victimisation” by the Badal government.

He alleged that 32 patwaris had been dismissed and criminal cases registered against 213 of them when they had observed a strike in support of their demands.

Mr Gurnek Singh said that during the Nawanshahr byelection last year, Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and Revenue Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan promised to withdraw the criminal cases and reinstate the dismissed patwaris.


Be honest tax payer, says IT chief
From Our Correspondent

BATHINDA, Feb 13 — Mr J.S. Ahluwalia, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax (north-west zone), said the people should pay taxes honestly and that the money collected as taxes was the building block of the country. He was speaking at a meeting of traders of the region here today.

Mr Ahluwalia said the global changes in the information technology and business practices had affected the way the people work and understand environment. He appealed to the trader community that they should pay taxes honestly. The department would make the use of the Internet and the information technology to help taxpayers save time and avoid delays, he added.

Mr B.M. Singh, Commissioner Income Tax, Patiala zone, also addressed the gathering.


SHSAD threatens dharna over chowk
From Our Correspondent

BARNALA, Feb 13 — The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) has threatened to stage a dharna and block traffic on the Handiaya Kanchian crossroad — where Mansa, Bathinda, Barnala and Sangrur bypass roads converge — if a chowk was not constructed there within one month.

Gurinderpal Singh Dhanaula, General Secretary, SHSAD, said here yesterday that a couple of months ago the local administration had decided to instal traffic lights at Handiaya Kanchian to curb accidents but nothing concrete was done in this regard.

He added that the SHSAD would resort to agitation if the administration failed to take a decision on this issue.


Stone of traffic cell laid
From Our Correspondent

BATHINDA, Feb 13 — Mr Gurdas Singh Badal, former MP, today laid the foundation stone of a highway integrated traffic enforcement cell at Jassi Baghwali village. The cell will be established by the district police for providing immediate help to victims of highway accidents.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gurdas Badal said the traffic centre would be very helpful to people who met with road accidents. He said a campaign should be launched by the police for educating the public about traffic rules so that the number of accidents could be reduced.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, said the police had made a plan to establish five such centres at various sites on the outskirts of the city. He said work on four centres has already started while the fifth one would soon be built near Kotshamir village. He said the centres would be provided an ambulance, a first-aid box, an oxygen cylinder, telephone and wireless sets. He said police personnel would be present at the centres round the clock.

Mr Jaspreet Singh Sidhu, DSP (Rural), said training in first aid would be given to the staff. He said arrangements would be made for the removal of vehicles involved in accidents.


PUDA’s new scheme for allotting plots
Tribune News Service

SANGRUR Feb 13 — Mr Ranjit Singh Balian, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, said yesterday that the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) had finalised an attractive package to allot plots to private institutions for setting up of high-level basic health infrastructure in the state.

Mr Balian stated this while distributing cheques for Rs 5100 each under the “shagun scheme” to Dalit families of the Sangrur subdivision.

The minister further said under the package land would be provided at cheap rates. He said the cost of land in SAS Nagar had been fixed at Rs 1,700 per sq yard, while it would be Rs 2,060 per sq yard in Ludhiana, Rs 1,670 per yard in Jalandhar, Rs 1,400 per yard in Phagwara and Rs 1,350 per yard in Bathinda.

Mr Balian also said only 25 per cent of the total amount would have to be deposited initially while the remaining amount could be deposited in three years.


Decision on use of MC vehicles revoked
By Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Feb 13 — The Punjab Government has revoked the three-month-old ban on the use of official vehicles by municipal corporation officials in the state.

The Director of Local Government, Punjab, Mr J.B. Goyal, while talking to The Tribune on the telephone, confirmed that the earlier order on the use of vehicles by corporation officials had been withdrawn and directions to this effect had been issued to all MCs.

The state government had issued instructions in October last year that except for the Mayor and the Commissioner of the MC, no other officer would use official vehicle during working hours and all MC vehicles were to be consigned to a common pool, from where the officers could requisition a vehicle for specific purposes. The MC officers, denied the use of official vehicles, were to be reimbursed a fixed monthly sum for using private vehicles.

Insiders pointed out that the so-called ‘new policy’ on the use of official vehicle, formulated as an ‘austerity measure’, had created more problems than it had solved. The decision should not have been enforced unilaterally, without taking the civic officials and elected representatives (councillors) of the respective MCs. The immediate fallout of the new decision on the use of vehicles was that the officers heavily curtailed their movement in the field, causing resentment among the public.

The major objective behind the decision, that is, saving avoidable expenditure, was also not served. The drivers in the MCs, being regular employees, had to be retained and paid salary and other allowances, but they had not much work to do since a large number of MC vehicles remained out of use. The civic bodies also had to shell out a substantial amount as fixed allowance to the officers for use of private vehicles during office hours.

Apart from mounting complaints from the general public that senior MC officers had become almost ‘unavailable’ even in cases of major problems, relating to basic civic amenities, even the councillors opposed the government decision, saying it was interference in the working of the civic bodies, which had elected representatives. Such a decision should have been left to the MC general house, they had added. Going a step further, the councillors, who never let an opportunity to flog the MC officers go by, unanimously resolved in a general house meeting in December last that the official vehicles be restored back to the officials.

The councillors, cutting across party lines, as well as the MC officers of all ranks, hailed the government decision. “While moving about in private vehicles during working hours, many a times, we were not recognised and accorded due official status, which created embarrassing situations and served as a deterrent against frequent field visits”, many officers told The Tribune.


7 held for smuggling poppy husk
From Our Correspondent

BATHINDA, FEB 13 — The district police has arrested 7 persons allegdly involved in the smuggling of narcotics and recovered 1 kg of opium and 80 kg of poppy husk.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, in a press release said today that the police had registered six cases under the NDPS Act. He said in a major breakthrough they had unearthed a centre of narcotics smugglers being run at Birla Mill Colony. He said the building in which it was being run belonged to Asha Rani.

He said the police had found poppy husk packets of different weights. He added that about 40 packets weighing 250 gm each and about the same number of 500 gm weight packets has been found. Three packets of 1 kg each containing poppy husk and opium were also recovered.

Mr Jain said the centre was used as the retail outlet by the culprits. A case had been registered against Surinder Singh the owner of the house, Asha Rani and her kin Rajinder Singh, a resident of Valla in Amritsar district, under Sections 15, 61, 85 at kotwali police station.

Satpal Singh of Jodhpur Pakhar village had been arrested while carrying 10 kg of poppy husk and a case had been registered against him at Talwandi Sabo police station under the NDPS Act.

Jora Singh of the same village had also been booked under the same Act for allegedly possessing 10 kg of poppy husk.

Satpal Singh a resident of Ghuman Kalan village had been booked for allegedly possessing 10 kg of poppy husk and a case had been registered against him at Rampura police station.

Another alleged smuggler had been nabbed by the police for carrying 12 kg of poppy husk and a case registered against him at Raman police station. He had been identified as Dara Singh a resident of Patti Tikha village.

The police had arrested Karma Singh a resident of Mandi Kalan and Ranjit Singh of Bhuchu Mandi for allegedly carrying 5 kg of poppy husk at a naka put up at the Badal crossing. The motor cycles on which the culprits were moving also did not have valid documents. The police had registered cases against them under the Sections 15, 61, 85 of NDPS Act and Section 207 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The police had also nabbed Varinder Singh and his brother Kuljinder Singh residents of Harbans Nagar of the city who were running a medical store at the local I.T.I. chowk and were involved in supplying banned drugs to people. They did not have licence to sell medicines. A large number of banned medicines had been recovered from their shop. A case had been registered at Kotwali police station under the Sections 420, 120 B of the IPC, and Section 15 of the Medical Council Act, 1958.


Three arrested for murder
Tribune News Service

SANGRUR, FEB 13 — With the arrest of three persons, the local police claims to have solved a murder case involving Surjit Singh, a resident of Gadhu Khurad in Mansa, who was missing since January 22 and whose body was fished out of canal at Doomwali village in Bathinda a few days ago.

Partap Singh, Suba Singh and Shamsher Singh were arrested in this connection. A car was impounded and a revolver seized from them.

In a press note issued here today, the police said that during the interrogation, Partap Singh and Shamsher Singh said that they took Surjit Singh to Ludhiana on January 22 on the pretext of bringing medicines from there. Suba Singh, a PSEB employee, accompanied them, they said. They then strangled Surjit to death and threw his body in the canal.

The post-mortem of the body was conducted on February 10 in Bathinda.

On January 31, Baljit Singh, brother of the deceased, had lodged an FIR at the local police station against Partap Singh and Shamsher Singh, owners of a local medical hall, suspecting that his brother had been kidnapped by them.


Three arrested in burglary case
From Our Correspondent

TARN TARAN, Feb 13 — The Sadar police has arrested three persons allegedly involved in a burglary case at Khhabbe Dogran village three days ago.

Mr Jagdish Kumar Mittal, SSP, told mediapersons here yesterday that the accused had been identified as Balwinder Singh, a constable of Kajikot village, Nirmal Singh Nimma, a terminated constable of Muradpur village, and Onkarjit Singh, resident of the town. Another accused in the case, Sardool Singh of Khhabbe Dogran village, was still at large.

The SSP said the accused broke into the house of Mr Balkar Singh and decamped with jewellery and Rs 4,000 in cash.

A sten gun and two toy-pistols were recovered from their possession. A case under Sections 392 and 120B of the IPC has been registered.


One killed in mishap
From Our Correspondent

DHURI, Feb 13 — One person was killed, when his scooter rammed into a Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) bus on the Malerkotla road near truck union here late last evening.

The deceased, Darshan Singh of Roorki Kalan village under Malerkotla subdivision, had retired from the Army on February 5, this year. The body was handed over to his family today after a postmortem at the local Civil Hospital.

The bus has been impounded and a case registered under Sections 279/337/427/304A of the IPC against bus driver Kamaljeet Singh.


6000 computers for schools
From Our Correspondent

KAPURTHALA, Feb 13 — The Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today said the law would take its own course in the filing of two cases by the CBI against Brig V.P. Singh and the private companies involved in the fodder scam of several crores.

The Governor, who visited the town to see the historical buildings of this princely town, refused to comment on any question relating to the fodder scam in the Army by saying that the matter was sub judice.

Talking to mediapersons at Theh Kanjala village where he had gone to address the unemployed youth getting vocational training in different courses, General Jacob said unemployment was a major problem in Punjab. He stressed the need for computer education and knowledge of Internet. He disclosed that 6000 computers were being installed in schools in Punjab to provide computer education.

The Governor further disclosed that of the 24 boys who were getting football coaching at the football academy, Chandigarh, 17 belonged to Punjab. He asked the Kanjala village panchayat to make basketball and volleyball grounds in the senior secondary school of the village during his inspection of the school.

When the school Principal put forward a demand for the construction of four rooms for the students he again asked the village Sarpanch, Mr Surinder Mohan, to get four rooms constructed. It was a moment of pleasure for Havaldar Iqbal Singh who had served as driver of General Jacob from 1952 to 1960 when he met the Governor at Theh Kanjala at the latter’s invitation. Iqbal Singh, who hails from Bilpur village, near Nadala here, told mediapersons he was driver of General Jacob when he was a Major.

Earlier, addressing the unemployed youth, the Governor said soldiers from Punjab were the best in the world. The Governor also visited the local Sainik School and announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the school.


University migrations draw flak
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Feb 13 — The Forum for Educational Action of Reform (FEAR) yesterday expressed serious concern over the ways and means by which Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia allowed migrations in the prestigious professional courses for MBA and MCA from its Talwandi Sabo centre to the main department in the university by creating “additional seats” and charging Rs 1 lakh as transfer fee per case.

Forum President Amarjit Singh Dhillon disclosed that the Vice-Chancellor had allowed the migrations of two students — Amit Mongla and Jasbir Singh in MBA and Rajneesh Kumar in MCA despite reservations shown by the Head of the Department of Management Studies. He said all reservations were done by the Vice-Chancellor by creating additional seats and charging Rs 1 lakh in each case.

Mr Dhillon said the migrations had set a bad precedent as different entrance tests were held for admission into the Talwandi Sabo and University campus MBA and MCA courses and that the merit lists of both institutions were separate.

The Forum President said if a student got a seat in the main department of the university under the NRI sponsored category he would have to make a payment of Rs 4 lakh. He said it was unfortunate that an equivalent benefit had been granted to some students for only Rs 1 lakh and that too by creating additional seats in the respective departments.

Career Advancement Scheme given green signal?
Tribune News Service

PATIALA, Feb 13 — The Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, cleared the way for the University Management to resume selection process for the promotion of teachers under the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) of the University Grants Commission (UGC) by giving his approval here today.

A tentative schedule of the Selection Committee meetings, starting from the fourth week of February, has been drawn up by the management, with the target of completing the process well before the end of the current academic session.

The United Teachers Front (UTF) of the Punjabi University, accused the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) leadership of trying to destabilise academic work and blackmailing the University authorities through unfair means.

The UTF was apparently reacting to a decision of the PUTA leadership to stage a dharna in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office on February 15 for acceptance of their demands, including selection under the CAS to stop the Student Appraisal Scheme under which students have to assess their teachers as well as redressal of the victimisation meted out to Dr K.C. Singhal, who was removed from the headship of the School of Business Management and a case registered against him.

Dr Boparai, in an emergency meeting of the UTF to discuss the developments in the University said, the PUTA leadership should indulge in constructive academic work. He said components of the UTF, including the Sikh Intelligentia Forum and Liberal Teachers Council met the Vice-Chancellor and urged him to implement the CAS scheme immediately.

He said the Vice-Chancellor had assured that he would process the CAS scheme promptly. He said the UTF had also requested the faculty not to, be misled by the ‘destructive action of PUTA and its allies.

Meanwhile, PUTA Secretary, Balwinder Singh, when contacted said he had not received any missive from the UTF and that there was no division in the PUTA on the issues taken up with the University administration. He said assurances on implementation of the CAS did not mean anything and that if the Vice-Chancellor was serious about the matter, he should implement it immediately.

The PUTA Secretary said in case the demands of the organisation were not met by the University. PUTA would organise a rally on February 23, which would be attend3ed by representatives of the Punjab Federation of University Teachers Associations (PFUTA) and All India Federation of University Teachers Association (AIFUTA). He said the latter had already endorsed the agitation announced by PFUTA in this regard.

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