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Decks cleared for expansion of Punjab Ministry
Chandigarh, January 16
After a mammoth rally at Bathinda demonstrating unity in the ruling party, decks have been cleared finally for the much-awaited expansion of the Punjab Council of Ministers as well as restructuring of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and its frontal cells.

Sonia inaugurates water treatment plant
Bathinda, January 16
The All-India Congress Committee President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, inaugurated a water treatment plant and laid the foundation stone of a Rs 14.50 crore sewerage system in the city yesterday evening.

The AICC chief, Ms Sonia Gandhi, inaugurates a water treatment plant at Bathinda on Thursday. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and other Congress leaders are also seen in the picture The AICC chief, Ms Sonia Gandhi, inaugurates a water treatment plant at Bathinda on Thursday. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and other Congress leaders are also seen in the picture. — Tribune photo by Kulbir Beera

Fatehgarh Sahib



Takht representative takes up turban issue with France
Amritsar, January 16
Dr Jasdev Singh Rai, secretary on International Affairs, Akali Takht, today took up the issue of turban with French authorities by holding meetings with French Ambassador for Human Rights officials of the Foreign Ministry as well as the Ministry of Interior Cultural Division. Talking to The Tribune on the phone, Dr Rai claimed that the talks were “very positive”.

Hold elections to Khalsa Diwan, Vedanti urged
Amritsar, January 16
Sri Singh Sabha today alleged that the controversy of the Chief Khalsa Diwan (CKD) had been complicated following the formation of a five-member committee by the Sikh clergy to resolve the matter.

Militants blew up Goraya track, says report
Phagwara, January 16

The blast that had ripped apart a portion of the railway track near Goraya on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar section of the Northern Railway on the night of January 5 was engineered by anti-national elements.

Plea against Badal, son dismissed
Amritsar, January 16
A petition filed against Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Punjab Chief Minister and president, Shiromani Akali Dal and eight others including Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC president, Jathedar Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti was “dismissed” by the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission chaired by Mr Manmohan Singh and members Mr Ajwant Singh Mann and Mr Amrik Singh Randhawa here today.

Mansa councillor alleges ‘revenge’ by police
Chandigarh, January 16
A councillor from Mansa has attracted six cases, including those of kidnapping and murder, for allegedly sitting on a six-day dharna to demand the development of a street in his area against the wishes of the then Chairman of the municipal body.

Khanna announces Rs 1,000 cr projects
Pathankot, January 16
With an eye on Lok Sabha elections, member of state for External Affairs, Vinod Khanna announced Rs 1,000 crore sops for the Gurdaspur constituency.

24 lakh kids die annually
Lack of awareness among mothers
Jalandhar, January 16
The killer combination of malnutrition, diarrhoea and pneumonia and lack of awareness among mothers, is claiming the lives of about 24 lakh children, aged below five years, in India every year, which accounts for more than 20 per cent of child mortality in the world.


Punjab BJP meeting tomorrow
Chandigarh, January 16
Punjab BJP President, Avinash Rai Khanna, has called a meeting of the party leaders in charge of the Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies on January 18 to assess the latest political situation in the state in view of the general election.

Akali allegations false, says Cong leader
Bathinda, January 16
Dr Gurbax Singh, President Punjab Qaumi Ekta today said the Akalis, led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, were trying to disturb the hard-won peace in the state.


Indo-Canadian youths visit Fatehgarh Sahib
Fatehgarh Sahib, January 16
A group of 16 Indo Canadians led by Andrew Harington was given a warm reception by the district administration and the people of the area here today. The group visited Fatehgarh Sahib and its surrounding areas under the international group exchange programme arranged by the Indian Red Cross Society Punjab in collaboration with the Society for Promotion of Youths.

Life no bed of roses in this village
Ghaniya-ke-bet (Gurdaspur)
Now it is easier to visit Pakistan after the restoration of rail, road and air links than undertaking a voyage to this remote village across the Ravi, which is still under Army control. Outsiders are not allowed to visit the village unless they get permission from Army Headquarters.

Probe undertrials' death: PHRO
Jalandhar, January 16
Criticising the Central jail authorities here allegedly for not providing medicare to undertrial prisoners and convicts, the Punjab Human Rights Organisation today urged Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to order a probe into the recent death of two undertrial here allegedly for want of treatment and inhuman attitude of jail staff towards them.

Patiala Diary
Complex yet not transferred to MC
Beant Singh Shopping Complex here built nearly 10 years ago by the Improvement Trust is crying for maintenance as no permanent safai karamcharis and staff have been recruited for the purpose. Although the buildings constructed by the Trust are usually transferred to the municipal corporation within three years of their completion, the complex has not been transferred so far.

  • MC has computerised complaint centre

  • Essay writing contest

Foundation stone of drain laid
Patiala, January 16
Mrs Preneet Kaur, MP, laid the foundation stone of a drain being constructed at a cost of Rs 2.34 crore at Sadharnpur village near Shatrana, in Patiala district here today. She was accompanied by Punjab Finance Minister, Lal Singh and state Irrigation Minister Gurchet Singh Bhullar.

Water treatment plant cleared for Kharar
Kharar, January 16
The proposal of setting up a water treatment plant for taking 3 mgd of water from pipeline being laid by PUDA for Mohali was cleared by the general House of the Municipal Council at its meeting held here today. The estimated cost of the project is about Rs 4.5 crore.

Rehabilitate migrants: ministers
Jalandhar, January 16
A group of J&K ministers today emphasised the need to ensure proper rehabilitation of migrants, irrespective of caste and community, and stated that a comprehensive plan for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits had been sent to the Union Government last year and response for the same was still awaited.

MP distributes Rs 65 lakh among panchayats, MCs
 A ‘Janata Darbar’ was organised by the Congress MP from Phillaur parliamentary constituency, Ms Santosh Chaudhary, here at ITI ground on Wednesday, to distribute grants and hear grievances of people with an eye on Lok Sabha elections.

PSEB’s unbundling likely to be deferred
Chandigarh, January 16
The process of the PSEB’s unbundling, that has led to agitation by its employees, is likely to be deferred for some months, at least till the Lok Sabha elections are over. According to sources, the party is reviewing the move that was cleared by a Cabinet subcommittee.

Man alleges thrashing by uniformed men
Phagwara, January 16
Pankaj Kumar of Jagat Ram Soondh Colony here today alleged that he was beaten and looted by some securitymen in uniform when he was travelling on the Jansewa Express from Gorakhpur to Phagwara on January 14.

Daler Mehndi’s aide surrenders
Patiala, January 16
Delhi-based property dealer Bul Bul Mehta — one of main accused in the human trafficking case, today surrendered in a court here even as the police has initiated proceedings to get him declared a proclaimed offender.


High Court
Notice to Punjab in cops’ case
Chandigarh, January 16
Taking up a petition filed by five police officers challenging “permanent absorption” of para-military personnel in the Punjab police, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab and other respondents for February 19.

  • Notice of motion

  • Plea dismissed

4 accused of attacking cops acquitted
Bathinda, January 16
Mr D.S. Malwai, Additional Sessions Judge, Bathinda, has acquitted four residents of Bir Talab village of the district who had been accused of attacking a police party when it raided the house of one of the accused in 1999. Mr Malwai while delivering the judgement on January 14 held that it appeared that the police had some ulterior motive to involve the suspects.


Focus to be on agriculture, social sector
Jan 20 Punjab Planning Board meeting
Chandigarh, January 16
At the January 20 meeting of the Punjab State Planning Board focus will be on agriculture and the social sector. Vice-Chairman, Dr S S Johl of the board said future stress would be on biotechnological research in crops other than wheat and rice. This would adjust the agricultural production pattern for increased productivity and growth and also rectify the fast-receding underground water table.

Farmers, call 1551 for free advice
Chandigarh, January 16
Advice on crops for farmers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir will be given on phone from January 21. Farmers in these states can dial a local number free of any charge to seek expert advice on issues related to farming. The Union Ministry of Agriculture has set up a nationwide ‘‘ Kisan helpline’’ which will also have a centre in Chandigarh.


Coal shortage problem to end soon: Bhalla
Bathinda, January 16
Mr Raman Bhalla Administrative member, PSEB, said today that high-level talks with Central Government agencies were going on with regard to coal shortage being faced by the thermal plants in the state.


2 held for murder
Amritsar, January 16
The district police has arrested two persons who allegedly murdered Suresh Kumar, a resident of Gurdaspur and forcibly took away his car here on Wednesday evening. The police had initially arrested the suspects for stealing the vehicle and added the section of murder after interrogation.

Cop held on graft charge
Jalandhar, January 16
A police personnel of the local Central Jail was caught red-handed today while accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 allegedly on behalf of a doctor of the jail hospital for referring an undertrial to the Civil Hospital.

JE held on bribery charge
Sangrur, January 16
The local Vigilance authorities today arrested Rajinder Kumar, a Junior Engineer (JE) with the PSEB, Dhanaula-II circle, for allegedly accepting bribe of Rs 8,000 from Mr Balwinder Singh of Kotduna village for releasing a tubewell connection.


Chandigarh, January 16
The Punjab Technical University landed some students who had registered themselves for its online correspondence courses way back in September 2002 in major trouble yesterday. Many students, who left their homes to take the first ever examination held to the e-courses initiated one and a half years back, lost most of their examination time hunting for the examination centre, which was nowhere to be found because the address mentioned on the admit cards issued by PTU was wrong.

Samrat Sagar, a student of PTU online correspondence course, shows the admit card issued by the university with the wrong address of the SAS Nagar centre for examinations held on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph
Samrat Sagar, a student of PTU online correspondence course, shows the admit card issued by the university with the wrong address of the SAS Nagar centre for examinations held on Thursday

Dr Rajan takes over as chief of AICTE programme
Jalandhar, January 16
Mr Y.S. Rajan, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University has taken over as chairman of the National Initiative on Engineering Experimentation, a programme launched by All-India Council of Technical Education.

Johar’s assurance to PCCTU on pension
Bathinda, January 16
Punjab Higher Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar has assured the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union that the state government would shortly take the necessary steps for making arrangements for the payment of pension and gratuity to the staff members of private colleges.

Inter-school science quiz
Patiala, January 16
The local DAV School, Blossoms Public School and Aurobindo International School bagged the first, second and third position, respectively, in an inter-school science quiz contest held at DAV Public School here today.

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