Thursday, September 19, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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Panchayat secretaries ‘can be reinstated’
Chandigarh, September 18
There is good news for about 450 panchayat secretaries in Punjab whose services were terminated by the previous Akali Dal-BJP government on October 12, 2001, as the legal hurdles have been cleared by the office of the Advocate-General, Punjab.

Tough week awaits Amarinder
Chandigarh, September 18
A tough week awaits Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who returns here tomorrow from Patiala where he has been resting after angioplasty.
The procurement of paddy is a major issue.

Gurdwara Bill may clip SGPC’s wings
Amritsar, September 18
The whimsical approach of any ruling party or the SGPC to appoint jathedars may come to end if the proposed Sikh Gurdwara Bill, 2002, becomes an Act.

Badal to take Punjab’s cause with Centre
Chandigarh, September 18
SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, came down heavily on the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today for sleeping over a letter from the Union Government regarding its refusal to pay various taxes and levies on the procurement of foodgrains for the Central pool from Punjab.

Fatehgarh Sahib

A farmer takes a nap
A farmer takes a nap near his heap of paddy at Amritsar's biggest grain market Bhagtan Wala, even as government's procurement agencies have yet to enter the market. — Photo Rajiv Sharma

Hailstorm, rain increase farmers’ misery
Bathinda, September 18
Hailstorm and downpour in certain areas in the region this evening threw life out of gear for city dwellers damaged standing paddy crop and increased moisture of paddy in mandis delaying its procurement for a few days.

Funds crunch hits social security plans
Chandigarh, September 18
Paucity of funds has cast a dark shadow on social security schemes of the Department of Social Security, Women and Child Development in Punjab. It encompasses such schemes, as old-age pension and financial assistance to widows and destitute women, dependent children and disabled persons.

Three undertrials escape from court
Patiala, September 18
Three undertrials escaped from the district courts complex here today after removing bricks from the room in which they had been housed. Sources said the room was crammed with undertrials, with as many as 61 undertrials being put in it even though it had a capacity for 40.


‘Primary education lacking in Punjab’
Fatehgarh Sahib, September 18
Though the campaign launched by the government against corruption has yielded results at the higher level, results at lower level are not encouraging and people are yet to benefit from it.

New population policy on anvil
Ropar, September 18
The Punjab Government will soon prepare a population policy on the pattern followed by Haryana. Talking to mediapersons at the local Canal Rest House today, Mr Ramesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab said the formulation of a population policy was the need of the hour.

20 enteritis cases in Jalandhar areas
Jalandhar, September 18
As many as 20 residents of the local Phagwari mohalla and the Garha locality were hospitalised last night due to gastroenteritis allegedly caused due to the consumption of contaminated water as the local municipal corporation had failed to check underground mixing of sludge with drinking water.

Each state to have model ESI hospital
Phagwara, September 18
Mr R.K. Tripathi, a member of the Employees State Insurance Corporation and head of the high-powered Central team of the General Purpose Sub-Committee of the ESI Corporation, New Delhi, yesterday disclosed that soon a model ESI hospital would be set up in every state.

Qila Mubarak being given facelift
Keeping in view the dilapidated condition of Qila Mubarak here, the Maharawal Khewaji Trust, an institution constituted by a former ruler, Maharaja Harinder Singh, has taken up an ambitious plan to revive its grandeur to make it a focal point of life.

Probe paddy scam by IPS officer
Chandigarh, September 18
Taking a serious view of allegations on paddy embezzlement by a Budhlada-based rice mill, Mr Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today ruled that the “matter requires investigation by an IPS officer, to be nominated by Mansa’s Senior Superintendent of Police”.

Stand united, young Bar members urged
Chandigarh, September 18
In less than 24 hours before the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association was to hold its general house meeting, members today requested young lawyers to stand united in their fight against alleged corruption in the judicial system.

Lawyers abstain from work
Jalandhar, September 18
As many as 800 lawyers of the District Bar Association today observed a protest against the failure of the government to consider the objections raised by the Bar Council of India in the CPC (Amendment) Act.

Anticipatory bail plea by Kang
Ropar, September 18
Kiranbir Singh Kang, a senior Youth Akali leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal, today filed anticipatory bail application in the court of District and Sessions Judge, Ropar, in connection with Siau murder case in which the bodies of two minor Dalit children were found floating in a pond of Siau village near Kharar on June 22, 2001.

Rs 7.04 cr for rural water schemes
Chandigarh, September 18
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has finally released Rs 7.04 crore to make the collapsed rural water supply schemes functional in the Malwa belt. There are about 200 such schemes.

Rs 66.33 lakh cheque for development
Jalandhar, September 18
The Local Bodies Minister, Choudhary Jagjit Singh, today handed over a cheque of Rs 66.33 lakh to the city mayor for initiating development works. Various new development projects in the corporations would be initiated and funds provided to the MCs accordingly, Choudhary told reporters here.

Soldier attains martyrdom in J&K
Bathinda, September 18
After the sacrifice of PAP commando hailing from the city, reports of an Army jawan from the district, attaining martyrdom fighting militants in Jammu and Kashmir, was received today.

Committed to cause of theatre
Patiala, September 18
Fresh out of Punjabi University’s Theatre and Television Department, a group of around 20 students is all set to make a difference in the theatre scenario here, and prove that training in theatre is not just a platform for acting on the silver screen as perceived by many.

Play highlights social evils
Faridkot, September 18
The play, “Khulla Darbar,” written by Kuldip Singh and directed by Gurcharan Singh, was staged during the National Punjabi Drama Festival on the fourth day of the celebrations of 17th Aagman Purb of Sufi saint Baba Sheikh Farid organised at Amar Ashram here.

Poll plea dismissed
SAS Nagar, September 18
The Election Tribunal, Ropar, has rejected and dismissed a poll petition preferred by a defeated candidate, Mrs Manmeet Kaur, from Municipal Ward 7. Giving this information at a press conference here today, the Municipal Councillor for the ward, Mrs Manmohan Kaur, said the petition was dismissed by the ADC, Ropar (Election Tribunal), Mr Vikas Garg, yesterday.

Probe into pensions begins in Faridkot
Faridkot, September 18
The Deputy Commissioner of Faridkot, Mr A. Venu Prasad, said at a press conference here today that the district administration had begun a probe into all old age pension cases sanctioned on and after April 1, 2000. This work would be completed latest by October 15.

‘Give possession of plots to farmhands’
Lambi (Muktsar), September 18
Mr Lachaman Singh Sewa Wala, state general secretary, Punjab Khet Majdoor Union, has alleged that the officials concerned were not giving the possession of plots allotted to farmhands.


Area under wheat to be decreased
Moga, September 18
To encourage Punjab farmers to follow diversification of crops the area under wheat from the next season will be decreased from the present 34.20 lakh hectares to 32.50 lakh hectares and its production will also go down from 155 lakh metric tonnes to 146 lakh metric tonnes, Joint Director, Agriculture, Punjab, Dinesh Chander Jain said today.

Chandumajra for paddy MSP hike
New Delhi, September 18
Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra has called for an increase of minimum support price of paddy to Rs 750 per quintal from the existing Rs 560 per quintal.


Wife of ‘smuggler’ cries foul
Mansa, September 18
Mr S. S. Srivastva, SSP, here last evening, presented Ranjit Kumar before the media. The police had seized poppy husk, “sulfa” and smack from his possession on September 16. He admitted to have smuggled “sulfa” and smack from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.


Varsity to review building projects
Patiala, September 18
Schemes of the former Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, may be put on hold for sometime with the university authorities forming a committee to review the building priority of various construction projects started during the tenure of Dr Ahluwalia.

DIET students stage dharna
Phagwara, September 18
A large number of DIET and ETT students from Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar districts today took out a procession from Sapror village on the GT Road to Phagwara.

Teachers oppose education policy
Hoshiarpur, September 18
Members of the Government Primary Teachers Association, Punjab, at a meeting here today rejected the government’s new education policy. Mr Gian Chand Nayar, spokesperson for the association, in a press note said the education policy would affect 50,000 primary teachers in the state.


Traders remind govt of poll promises
Bathinda, September 18
Resentment prevails among traders here against the state Congress government’s alleged failure to fulfil poll promises like the abolition of octroi, steps to check harassment of traders at sales tax barriers and putting an end to the “inspector raj”


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