P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Panel approves 35 mega projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
A meeting of the Empowered Committee chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today approved 35 mega projects worth Rs 6,255.15 crore, a spokesman of the Punjab Government said. This included 22 industrial, nine Agro-based projects and four housing and township projects with an employment potential for about 55,000 persons.

The projects approved included 11 multiplexes-cum-hotel and three hotels projects in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Mohali districts entailing an investment of Rs 1,600 crore.

Interestingly, the Public Relations Department of the Punjab Government claimed that the Empowered Committee, at a meeting today, had cleared mega projects worth Rs 6,255.15 crore. However, a total of the break down of investment mentioned in the press note works out to Rs 8,455.01 crore and not Rs 6,255. 15 crore. 

The committee also discussed two super mega projects of Film City and an industrial park and observed that these would be brought before the Council of Ministers for consideration.

The committee also approved four manufacturing projects to be set up in Ludhiana, Bathinda and Jalandhar district with an investment of Rs 551.70 crore. The committee also approved six projects of the industrial park in Nawanshahr and Mohali districts with an investment of Rs 2,756.15 crore.

The spokesman further said the committee also approved nine projects in the agriculture sector at a total investment of Rs 697 crore. Apart from this, the committee also approved five housing projects at a total investment of Rs 2,600.25 crore.


Badal warns officials not to squander public money
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 5
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today warned the bureaucracy in Punjab against becoming a party to "the loot of the state exchequer".

In a first statement of its kind against officialdom, Mr Badal, reacting to a news report in The Tribune on benefits to political families, said every officer would be held responsible for squandering public money meant for development.

"The Chief Minister is dishing out huge doles to his favourites in what is clearly a last-minute loot of the treasury" , said Mr Badal.

Mr Badal said if the SAD was voted to power, all such decisions would be reviewed and the money recovered. "Officials found guilty of colluding with the CM in these acts would also be answerable. Also decisions of the Project Approval Board would be probed.

Mr Badal said a meeting of the PAB had been specially convened to give effect to these acts of "generosity of the Chief Minister". This was being done despite the serious objections raised by the Accountant-General, said the SAD chief. 


I’ve never used harsh words against PM: Gill
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 5
Former Chief Election Commissioner and Rajya Sabha member Manohar Singh Gill today clarified that he had never used harsh words against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while demanding Rs 1,000 crore for expansion of Rajasansi International Airport.

Talking to The Tribune today, Dr Gill expressed surprise over the demand of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee for action against him for allegedly criticising the Prime Minister. He said the exact words he used were “I urge Prime Minister to prevail upon Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel for granting Rs 1,000 crore for Rajasansi Airport which is in bad shape.”

The words like “PM biased against Punjab” were never used by me, he clarified. Dr Gill said he had known Dr Manmohan Singh for the past more than four decades when he (Prime Minister) taught in Panjab University. “Hence, I could not even think of using harsh language against a person whom he has always held in high esteem.”

The airport is key to economic development of Punjab as Heathrow to the UK. “It was my moral duty as Member of Parliament to raise the issue of govt apathy towards the airport while dozen other airports of the country had been receiving liberal funds to streamline infrastructure.” He said he also raised the issue on the floor of the Rajya Sabha.

I have read that a Russian flight was flagged off from Amritsar and more flights might start shortly. Under such circumstances there was a dire need to treat Rajasansi Airport on a par with other international airports of the country. He said he had also taken up the matter with the Prime Minister personally earlier.


Contests mark wildlife week
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, October 5
As part of the ongoing wildlife protection week, the Punjab Forest Department organised various competitions here today.

In the painting competition, Sarita stood first and Sonu second. Priya bagged the third prize.

Gurpreet and Sonam, stood first and second, respectively, in the essay writing contest. Sumit was placed third.

In the quiz competition, Gaurav and Himanshu were declared first and second respectively. The Forest Range Officer, Mr Jasbir Singh Chauhan, gave away prizes.


Rs 1.26 cr for renovation of royal graveyard
Our Correspondent

Nabha, October 5
The town has been sanctioned Rs 1.26 crore for renovation and restoration of Shahi Samadhan (royal graveyards). This was stated by Mr Randip Singh, MLA, Nabha here. He said that the foundation stone of the work would be laid by Mrs Ambika Soni in November. He told the Railway Ministry had okayed a Railway overbridge on the Sangrur road at the crossing level near urban estate.

He added previously the local municipal council got Rs 1.1 crore for laying sewerage, and strengthening of internal roads of the town and improving water supply, Tenders for these works have already been floated and all works would be accomplished by November 15. He said that the council recently finished many works worth Rs 62 lakh in various wards of the town. Among these Rs 25 lakh on paving of lanes in wards number 1,2,3,4,11,13,15 and 16; Rs 25 lakh for wards 6,12 and 13; Rs 4 lakh for flooring of wards 9 and 16; Rs 6 lakh on the repairing of Government Ayurvedic Dispensary and Rs 1.5 lakh for changing of roofs of Government Model School.


‘Gurdwara Act can’t be amended’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 5
Majority of Sikhs in Haryana were not in favour of a separate gurdwara committee and the statements of Mr H.S. Chatha, Haryana’s Agriculture Minister, in this regard were misleading and politically motivated.

Mr Avtar Singh, president, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) said here today that statements given to the media by Mr Chatha mention different figures of affidavits received by him. He said as per census of 2001 population of Sikhs in the Haryana was around 11,70,662 and if we take the present population of the community it would be double. So the 3.5 lakh affidavits received by Mr Chatha was not even half of the total population, which clearly says that the most of the community members in the state were not in favour of a separate committee for gurdwaras in Haryana, he added.

The SGPC chief said that as per Section 3 of the Master Tara Singh-Nehru accord no amendment could be made in the Gurdwaras Act till the general house of the SGPC passed any resolution to this effect with two-third majority. 


Bhagat Singh’s statue defaced
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 5
miscreants last night defaced the statue of Saheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh at the D C Road crossing near District Jail, here by painting black colour on it. Today, when people reported the matter to the police, it got the stains wiped off.

Mr R. N. Dhoke, SSP, Hoshiarpur, said preliminary investigation indicated that an over enthusiastic youth might have hugged the statue. However, a case had been registered under Section 295 of the IPC.


Two devotees killed, one injured
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, October 5
Two devotees were killed and another was injured seriously in an accident near Mianwind village near Chabal 20 km from here today when their motor cycle were hit by a truck .

The devotees had come to pay their obeisance at Baba Budha Sahib Gurdwara on the two-day annual mela which started from today. The Sarai Amanat Khan police have registered a case under Sections 279, 304 A of the IPC against the driver of the truck who fled from the site.

According to the information the deceased has been identified as Jagtar Singh (30) of Rain Gulaban Wala and Amandeep Singh of Kotha Pacci (Rajasthan). Injured Guraditta Singh of Butter Sarih (Muktsar) was admitted to Baba Budha Sahib Charitable Hospital. The deceased and the injured were coming on motor cycle when it was hit by truck (H.R. 39-9885). Both deceased are related.


Mata Chakreshwari Devi fair begins
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 5
The three-day annual Mata Chakreshwari Devi fair began here today at Mata Chakreshwari Devi Jain temple, a shrine of Jains. Thousands of Jain pilgrims from all over the country and abroad come here every year to pay obeisance on full moon of Kartika.

This is believed to be the only temple of Jains in the country where the idol of Mata Chakreshwari Devi is situated. According to legend, once Rajasthan faced a grave drought and people started starving there. A large number of devotees of Mata Chakreshwari Devi moved towards Punjab on their bullock carts. An idol of the Mata was placed on one of the carts.

The group, on its way, stopped near Sirhind for rest. Most of the devotees were Khandelwal Jains. As they began their journey after a brief rest, the cart containing the idol of Mata Chakreshwari Devi did not move despite their best efforts. After some time they heard a voice from above to let the idol lie there, as it was the “fittest place” for the Mata. The devotees subsequently built a temple at that spot. Now a beautiful temple, Amrit Kund, and another complex for the stay of devotees has been constructed.

A free dispensary service has been provided for the residents of the area.

Not only Jains, but people of other faiths also visit the temple to pay obeisance.

The Sikhs also hold the place in great reverence, as “Diwan Todar Mall”, who was also a devotee of Mata Chakreshwari Devi, purshased land by offering gold coins to cover the land selected for the cremation of two younger Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh, who were bricked alive at Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara and now Jyoti Swarup Gurdwara is situated there. This year more than 25,000 people are expected to take part in the fair.

Meanwhile, the district administration has made elaborate security arrangements. 


Reader to JMIC suspended
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 5
High Court Judge Justice AK Mittal today made surprise checks at Bathinda, Talwandi Sabo and Rampura Phul courts and found many of judicial officials not in dress and not holding courts in time. He also placed reader to Bathinda JMIC NK Gaur under suspension reportedly for giving dates to litigants in the absence of the presiding officer.

Addressing mediapersons, a spokesperson of the judge said that the Justice Mittal visited Rampura Phul courts at 9.30 am and found that a number of judicial officials were not dressed as per norms and not present in the court during working hours. He then headed for courts in Talwandi Sabo where everything was alright. He carried out the surprise check in Bathinda courts at 1.30 pm and discovered that except for two three officials none of them was in the court after lunch time.

He said complaints were also received from litigants against a few officials. Regarding identity of the officials, he said it would be pre-mature to name them and defeat the purpose of the inquiry. 


Three cops suspended

Moga, October 5
Three police constables were suspended for allegedly harassing a driver on the Moga-Firozepore road.

Bhupinder Singh, Jaswant Singh and Gurnam Singh were detained last night near Darapur village for allegedly harassing the driver of a vehicle carrying animals to Faridkot. — PTI


Woman, 2 sons end life
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 5
Ms Harmeet Kaur, a resident of Sohal village near Dhariwal ended her life of her two minor children yesterday late in the evening. Sources said here yesterday evening allegedly after an altercation with her husband Balbir Singh, Harmeet Kaur left the house with her two sons Shubam four-year-old and Naveet six-year-old.

She reached UBD canal near Dhariwal and first threw both her sons into the canal and later jumped herself into it. A passerby jumped into the canal to save the victim. They pulled Harmeet and one of her son Shubam out of the canal. The other son of Harmeet could not be found.

Harmeet and Shubam also later died in the Civil Hospital Gurdaspur. Body of her other son could not be located till the filing of this report.

The police on the complaint of brother of deceased Harmeet Kaur has booked her husband and mother in law.


16 held for clash

Moga, October 5
The police arrested 16 persons-15 of Mahant Jarnail Dass group and one of Mahant Tarsem Dass in a case registered against both the parties when both groups clashed at Kapure village on Tuesday and fire was exchanged and three persons were injured in the clash.

The clash took place over the ownership of 16 acres of land belonging to dera (farm house) at the village.

Mahant Jarnail Dass had occupied the dera whereas the other group led by Mahant Tarsem Dass claimed ownership of dera land following the winning of a court case.

Last evening when the police arrested Mahant Jarnail Dass more than 200 followers of the mahant staged dharna in front of the police station. — PTI


Two arrested for selling stolen car
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 5
Two residents of Sriganganagar were arrested when they were trying to sell a stolen car, official sources said.

According to information the police on a tip-off last night intercepted Indica car (HR 16 E 0234) and nabbed Kashmir Singh son of Bhagwant Singh of Ladhuwala village (Lalgarh) and Ratandeep Singh son of Sukhdarshan Singh of Mateeli Rathan in the Sriganganagar region. Kashmir Singh was an employee at a motor company at Sriganganagar, his relative Ratandeep Singh was employed at a medicine shop there.


5 held for heist at petrol station
Our Correspondent

Batala, October 5
Five persons of Lohchakk village were arrested for looting Rs 4130 from a petrol station in Quadian.

This was disclosed to the reporters today by the SHO of the Qadian police station. 


Nursing students call off strike
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 5
Students of the Government Nursing College here today called off their six-day old strike after the college management accepted their demands of adequate security in the hostels.

Dr J.S. Dalal, Principal of the College, said he had accepted the demands of the students of adequate security in the hostel. He said besides Gypsy of the Police Control Room would patrol in the hostel complex at night.

Students of the college had been on strike, boycotting the classes and raising slogans against the principal since September 30 demanding adequate security and replacement of broken doors and windows. Girls were feeling insecure as some anti-social elements were coming to the hostel area late in the night. They were also demanding suspension of the Principal Mrs Raj Rani for failing to provide security in hostels.

Students had also alleged that they had urged Mrs Raj Rani to provide four security men around two blocks of the hostels but she had provided only two security personnel and one of them could not even move properly. They said that there was not proper lighting and the windows of the rooms were broken. Dr Dalal said that he had to intervene as the situation was going out of control as students were demanding the suspension of the principal, college. He said that he had ordered a junior engineer of the college to carry out necessary repairs of broken windows and doors of the nursing hostels. 


12 more mobile towers installed
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 5
Almost all rural and urban areas in the district are now covered for mobile signals with the commissioning of 12 more towers.

The total strength of towers in the district has increased to 67 and the BSNL has decided to instal 20 more towers to cover increase density of 2 G and 3G network, said the General Manager, BSNL, Ropar, Mr R.P Singhal, while addressing a press conference here today.


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