P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Badal govt biased, says Virk’s counsel 
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
After seven adjournments, the counsel for former DGP S.S. Virk argued for four hours in the DGP suspension case at the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) here today. The former DGP’s advocate, Rajiv Atmaram, in the intense argument stressed the Punjab government was biased against his client.

The counsel for Virk also placed on record the reply of the Badal government wherein it had admitted that it did not inquire into the allegations against Virk. He said some officials told Badal that Virk was corrupt following which action was taken against him. “The reply of the Chief Minister shows that action against my client was taken without the application of mind,” averred the Virk’s counsel.

Establishing the bias of the government, Atmaram pointed out, “In the FIR registered against Virk in March his name is not clearly mentioned. Further, the authorities concerned had appointed an inquiry officer before Virk filed a reply to defend himself against the charges levelled against him. Virk was served the charge-sheet in July though a case was registered in March.”

In an attempt to defend the Punjab government, the public prosecutor said, “The charge-sheet was served to the former DGP in April.” While the counsel for Virk maintained that his client had received it in July.

Atmaram said sarcastically that if the worthy counsel for the state felt that the charge-sheet was served in July then he would accept it.

Atmaram claimed that he wanted to establish that Punjab state was biased against his client.

Thereafter, the public prosecutor, Rita Kohli, said all allegations at present being levelled against the state were similar to the ones the advocate had argued in the high court.

To this, advocate Atmaram stated he was repeating the facts again to prove the bias of the state against his client.

The counsel for the applicant also placed on record an extract from the Vidhan Sabha in Punjabi and English as well. The extract mentioned that Virk was inclined toward the Congress and he should be shifted.

In his application filed before the Tribunal, Virk had also challenged a memorandum “whereby the articles of charges were served upon him”.

He had also challenged the failure of the Union of India to decide statutory administrative appeals filed by him on April 18 and May 25. Virk was in the Maharashtra Sadan, New Delhi, when he was arrested without the prior permission of the Maharashtra government, even the Delhi government.


Power Tariff
Clear subsidy arrears before rollback, panel to govt
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Though the BJP, a coalition partner in the Punjab government, is insisting for the rollback of power tariff that was hiked a few months ago by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission, there appears to be no possibility of it.

The commission has made it clear to the state government that no rollback of tariff is possible till the clearance of all pending dues of subsidy that are to be paid to the PSEB in lieu of supplying free power to the farm sector and certain poor sections.

Sources said the government would have to pay Rs 1,361 crore to clear the pending dues of the subsidy to the PSEB if it wanted the hiked tariff rates to be rolled back. The pending dues of subsidy to be paid to the PSEB include Rs 1,069 crore for supplying free power to the farm sector and poor sections and Rs 292 crore for rolling back hiked tariff rates.

However, as the government has no surplus money and it is borrowing heavily from banks to run the show, there is little possibility of it clearing the subsidy dues. Hence, there will be no rollback.

Already, the commission has passed an order directing the PSEB to start charging the bills from power consumers, who are given free supply, from March 1 if by that date the government did not clear the pending dues of the subsidy. Even if the PSEB started charging from March 1, the government will have to pay subsidy dues to the PSEB. Otherwise, the commission will include the subsidy amount in the tariff to be hiked for the fiscal year of 2008-09 and direct the PSEB to recover the subsidy dues from consumers who got the free power.

Sources said the state government was keen to file an application to the appellate tribunal in Delhi against the order passed by the state regulatory commission to the state government to clear the dues but it has become difficult for it to find the ground on which appeal is to be filed.

Sources said in the court of the appellate tribunal, the state government will have no plea to make to oppose the decision of the commission and to ask for relief against its decision from the tribunal. The commission’s order is very logical. Either pay subsidy to the PSEB or make it to charge the bills from consumers who were getting free supply.

The appellate tribunal cannot ask the PSEB to supply free power to farmers and other sections of society without charging the subsidy bill from the state government. In fact, there is a possibility of the appellate tribunal passing more strong order against the non-clearance of subsidy dues by the state government.

Sources said the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, would be made aware of all the facts and final decision will be taken by him. However, in case the state government failed to clear the subsidy dues and the PSEB implemented the order of the commission with regard to the charging of power bills, it will be politically very embarrassing for the state government.


Diesel scam in Roadways depot
3 held for embezzling fuel worth lakhs
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, February 20
A diesel scam involving the embezzlement of lakhs of rupees has been unearthed in the Punjab Roadways Depot here. The works manager of the depot got a case of embezzlement registered against four employees of the department at the Model Town police station last evening.

According to general manager of the depot M.R. Farooqi, diesel filling station in charge Prem Sagar, Amarjit Singh, Pawan Kumar and Paramjit Singh, all station attendants at the station, made entries of two diesel tankers each of 12,000 litres capacity on January 7 and one on January 9 in the station register. The suspects overwrote the entries and later tried to tear the pages from the register.

Though entries for receipt of diesel from 17 tankers had been made in the register during January 2008, actually diesel from only 14 tankers had been filled in the station reservoir. Thus, the suspects allegedly embezzled 36,000 litres of diesel worth Rs 10.46 lakh, Farooqi said.

The role of assistant security officer and assistant mechanical engineer of the yard was also under suspicion.

The department has suspended Paramjit Singh in this connection, said Farooqi.

Minister for transport Master Mohan Lal, along with deputy commissioner N. K. Wadhawan, SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill, director, transport department, Mandip Singh, last evening raided the depot. After perusing the station record, he got the case registered against the suspects under Sections 409, 420, 465, 466, 467, 468, 471, 201 and 120 B of the IPC.

Prem Sagar, Amarjit Singh and Pawan Kumar have been arrested while Paramjit Singh has absconded.

According to sources, certain local leaders of the ruling party were pressurising the investigating authorities to hush up the case.


Come March, pay Rs 3 more for milk
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Milk will get costlier in Punjab by Rs 3 per litre next month onwards. Troubled by “steep” rise in the cost of cattle feed, dairy farmers across the state today decided to effect the hike from March 1.

With the hike coming into effect next month, full-cream milk, which is available for Rs 22 per kg, will cost Rs 25 per kg.

“We are unable to bear the burden of high increase in rates of cattle feed due to which we have decided to increase milk prices. Even rates of cattle head have risen due to which we are paying higher taxes like mandi tax,” said president of the Punjab Dairy Farmers Association Jaswinder Dhillon.

Only last year, the prices were jacked up in April last year.

Dairy farmers said despite several appeals to the government to control the rates and provide them subsidies in line with states like Maharashtra, nothing concrete had been done.

They said the price of mustard cake had increased from Rs 650 per quintal to Rs 1,100 per quintal, that of green fodder from Rs 22 to Rs 54 per 40 kg, wheat cake from Rs 900 to Rs 1,200 and porridge from Rs 750 to Rs 1,200 per quintal within a year. Even rates of cattle head have recorded almost 80 per cent jump.

Warning a further increase in milk prices, the farmers said the Rs 3 increase too was insufficient to cover up for their input costs.

“To compensate for the rise in costs, an increase of at least Rs 5 per kg is required, but for the moment we have decided to hike rates by only Rs 3. Another increase may take place soon if the government does not come to the rescue of dairy farmers,” said Dhillon.


Declare unauthorised load, get regularisation
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 20
Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) chairman Y. S. Ratra said here today that the board had decided to reintroduce voluntary disclosure scheme for domestic and non-residential consumers.

Under the scheme, which would remain in force till March 31, consumers could declare unauthorised load and get it regularised, he said.

The consumers should compute loads based on computation table available in all distribution divisions of the board. There would be no checking of connected load and no penalty would be imposed for unauthorised extension till March 31.

Consumers could intimate computed load for regularisation on the reverse of the bill and it would be regularised without verification.

However, for new connections no extension would be allowed for six months.


War of words on between Cong, BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The Congress and the BJP have started a war of words even as the state is slowing moving towards the removal of subsides in the power sector. Congress leader Sukhpal Khaira has claimed that the Punjab government deliberately did not contest its case properly before the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC). A few days ago, the PSERC had said that the government had to either pay up the subsidy or charge full rate.

Khaira said the PSERC order would be very hard for the farmers and the under-privileged families of the Scheduled Castes. The SAD-BJP had failed to pay up the subsidy to the tune of Rs 1844 crore for continuing the power subsidy. The Punjab government failed to file a reply in this regard during the last hearing before the PSERC on February 5. Agriculture is subsidiSed the world over, said Khaira.

Meanwhile, former Punjab minister and senior BJP leader Balramji Dass Tandon said Punjab Congress leaders had become active in condemning the present SAD-BJP Government while they themselves never spoke when the previous regime stopped free power. While issuing the manifesto for the elections of 2002, the Congress party had given a solemn pledge to the agricultural sector that Congress party would continue providing free power to farmers, as had been done by the SAD-BJP government during 1997-2002.

Tandon said all these Congress leaders, in spite of the solemn pledge, stopped free power to the agricultural sector for four years, and all these leaders, including leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, did not raise her voice against such decision of the government at that time.

It was the SAD-BJP government which had initially given a commitment to help the poor farmers and it would continue to provide money to the PSEB.


Cong to thank UPA chief, PM ahead of Akali rally
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Punjab politics again has entered a competitive phase as a run- up to parliamentary elections. As the SAD-BJP alliance prepares for its Delhi “Insaf rally” on February 26, the Congress has announced to reach Delhi in large numbers to “thank the UPA government for promising a package for Punjab’s debt- ridden farmers”. The SAD-BJP alliance is holding the rally to force the UPA to announce such a package, besides conceding other demands of the state.

Politics in Punjab which now will see a rise in momentum will have New Delhi as the launching ground for this thrust. The SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress are out to outdo each other in projecting themselves as “kartas” of Punjab farmers and the down-trodden.

The Congress move clearly is an attempt to rob the SAD-BJP rally of impact as the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the farmers and Congress leaders visiting Delhi a day before the SAD-BJP rally. It is likely the two will make some significant announcements with regards to Punjab and thus taking out the wind of the SAD-BJP tirade against the Centre.

While, the SAD-BJP has mobilised all resources to ensure large participation in its rally, the Congress has criticised the ruling alliance for using the district transport officers to “forcibly mobilise trucks and buses to ferry their supporters to Delhi”. To make it a show of strength, the Congress has issued a whip to its MPs, MLAs and other party workers to reach Delhi on February 25.

As Delhi becomes the battle ground, people in Punjab are happy the action is taking place away from the state, saving them from unnecessary harassment resulting from the “bandobast” for the rallies.

While, the SAD-BJP is claiming its rally to be one of the biggest initiatives of regional assertion for rights on the Centre, the Congress is trying to negate this by saying the Centre has been very magnanimous towards the state and it in turn wants to “go and thank” the union leadership.

The Congress has announced to observe March 1 as a “Black Day” to mark what it calls the “mis-rule” of the SAD-BJP alliance. This however is, an allegation the SAD-BJP alliance scoffs at and says the Congress is “yet once again involved in playing negative politics instead of performing the role of a responsible opposition”


Sukhbir mobilises cadres
Tribune News Service

Patiala/Sangrur, February 20
Shiromani Akali Dal president and MP Sukhbir Singh Badal today demanded from the Central government a loan waiver for farmers in view of the bad state of farm economy in Punjab.

Sukhbir, who visited the city to mobilise Akali workers for the Insaf Rally planned by the Akali Dal in New Delhi on February 26, said the rally would seek to move union government into action on the pending demands of the state.

He said the Akalis would seek to build pressure on the Union government to grant Punjab a special package of Rs 25,000 crore for the agriculture sector. Besides, they would also demand a Rs 5,000-crore package for power and irrigation sectors.

The irrigation channels needed repair. If the depletion of groundwater table was not immediately checked, Punjab lands would become barren within the next about two decades, he added.

He demanded that the Central government should announce a grant of Rs 50,000 crore to Punjab for the establishment of five thermal plants in the state as the power scenario in the state was grim.

Blaming the previous regime for the power crisis, he said not a single unit of power was added in the total generation in the state during the five-year rule of the Congress.

Sukhbir said the government had asked the Union government to give the same tax benefits to Punjab as had been allowed to Himachal Pradesh. This would help check exodus of industrial from Punjab.

The rally would be the biggest ever rally in New Delhi and would awaken the Central government out of its slumber on the Punjab demands.

Meanwhile, during his visit to Sangrur, Sukhbir said senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Rajnath Singh would also participate in the rally. After the rally is over, a delegation of the SAD and the BJP would meet Prime Minister in connection with the demands.

He said the organisational wings and the youth wing of the SAD would be formed next month.


Following UNAIDS study, govt declares war on injecting drug use
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Within months of a UNAIDS study showing high HIV prevalence (13.80 per cent) among injecting drug users (IDUs) in Punjab, the state government today admitted to having destroyed prescription drugs worth Rs 1.60 crore across the state over the past year. This is the largest ever seizure of prescription drugs in the state.

Health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla today said more seizures would happen in the near future to block supply chains of injecting pharmaceutical preparations like buprenorphine, pentazocine and sedatives, including diazepam and promethazine, which Punjab’s population is getting increasingly addicted to. In a bid to discourage drug use in her department, Chawla said anyone found under the influence of drugs while on duty would be immediately suspended.

Punjab, along with Haryana and Chandigarh, is now being seen as worse than the northeast in terms of IDU-HIV linkages. The study puts the number of IDUs in Punjab between 2,600 and 18,148 and recommends immediate implementation of harm reduction and oral substitution strategies, including shifting injecting drug users to agonist (oral) medicines.

The recommendations come from Dr Atul Ambekar of AIIMS, who has been working under Government of India programme for drug abuse treatment for about over a decade now.

In Chandigarh, along with Alankar Malviya of UNAIDS and Rajesh Kumar of Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses which conducted the study for Punjab, Dr Ambekar today sensitised deputy commissioners and civil surgeons from across the state on the IDU-HIV issue.

He said the strategy had to first accept the fact that drug use in some form would always exist. “Our focus must be on improving injecting practices and making them safer. If you can’t stop drug use, you should try substitution. If that fails, provide sterile and clean injections to users and tell them to minimize sharers,” he said.

The expert also warned the state to move fast unless it wanted an epidemic situation. “In Manipur and Nagaland, HIV epidemic among IDUs became the most explosive. So much so that general populations remained infected long after the situation had stabilised among IDUs. Oral substitution is the key. It is also important for the success of antiretroviral treatment,” he said. Punjab currently has 2802 persons on ART.

The danger, however, is being posed by the fact that integrated counseling and testing centres in the state have yet detected only 8436 persons living with HIV whereas the estimated population of infected people is 18,556.

“The gap is worrisome. So is the fact that voluntary blood donation in the state is only 20.9 per cent of the total donation. Obviously a lot of our blood is coming from the grey market where sources of donation can be unhealthy and diseased,” said health secretary T.R. Sarangal, directing deputy commissioners to enhance voluntary blood donation in their areas.

As regards HIV prevalence - IDUs are the highest at risk in Punjab, with HIV positivity among them being 13.80 per cent. The ther two high risk groups of men having sex with men and female sex workers have reported HIV prevalence of 4.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively, clearly indicating the HIV risk to IDUs and from IDUs to the uninfected populations.


WHO Fellowship for Medicos
Date of application extended
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 20
Dr Roshan Sunkaria, secretary health-cum-managing director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, said here yesterday that the last date for applying to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Fellowship programme had been extended to February 29, 2008. The WHO had announced more than 500 fellowships for health professionals under the WHO’s fellowship programme for the biennium 2008-09.

These fellowships for doctors, nurses, radiologists, laboratory technicians and para-medical staff are provided in the WHO’s collaborating centres for different courses in health-related specialities in the country as well as foreign countries such as Australia and Thailand etc.

Dr Sunkaria added that details of the programme could be obtained from the website www.mohfw.nic.in. He said employees of the government health sector could apply through their respective civil surgeons. Earlier, the closing date for the programme was February 10. 


Nod to Sikh school in Southall
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 20
The secretary of state at the Government Office for London and mayor of London Ken Livingstone have given the green light for a Sikh primary school in Southall.

In an e-mail to The Tribune, Sharnbir Singh Sangha, a project coordinator, Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall Norwood Hall (Southall ), said the mayor’s decision would the pave way for starting the restoration of the hall, apart from developing the school and restoring the 7-and-a-half acre site overlooking Norwood Green for the benefit of the community.

There will be a multi-purpose hall for 1,000. As part of the planning requirement, the sabha will also be required to improve on the listed building, and the grounds.

Gurdwara president Himmat Singh Sohi said: “We are delighted that the Khalsa School has been given unanimous support across all political and religious groupings.” The school will have 20 per cent of its 470 places available for children from a non-Sikh background. It will follow the national curriculum.


Pension cases of dam staff returned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The Retired Workmen and Other Employees Welfare Association of the Ranjit Sagar Dam Project has expressed concern over the returning of pension cases of employees without sanction by the government authorities.

Tirath Singh, president of the association, said the office of the deputy accountant general, Punjab, was returning the pension cases of the project employees with the directions to the authorities to re-fix the basis of pay of the employees by deducting special increments given to them from time to time. Hundreds of employees were facing problems because of this.


Panel to study pension for aided school employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Education minister Upinderjit Kaur today met a deputation of the Punjab State Aided Schools Teachers and Other Employees Union led by Gurcharan Singh Chahal.

The minister has set up a committee to decide the issue of restoration of pension of aided school employees. Secretary education will head the committee. Manohar Lal Chopra and Chahal have been included as union representatives on the committee. It will submit the report by May 31.

Restoration of pension is one of the major demands of the union. The other demands include permission to fill vacant posts, interim relief for the employees who are already getting pension etc.


Ferozepur Central Jail
HR panel seeks report on medical facilities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Taking note of an article that appeared in a Punjabi daily, on medical facilities in the Ferozepur Central Jail, the Punjab Human Rights Commission has asked civil surgeon, Ferozepur, to file a reply seeking details of the same.

It was reported that an inmate Jagir Singh (85), had died due to non- availability of adequate medical facilities in the jail. It was reported that the strength of the inmates in the jail was more than 1,100 and there was only one pharmacist to look after them.

The commission took cognisance of the matter and called for a report of DHS & FW Punjab and the Civil Surgeon regarding the medical facilities being provided to the inmates in the jail by the next date. The case was adjourned till April 23.


Playwright Fariyadi dead
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 20
Renowned, poet, lyricist, playwright and opera writer Jagdish Fariyadi died at his house here this morning. He was 81. He was also one of the founder members of the state unit of IPTA (Indian Peoples Theatre).

Jagdish Fariyadi
Jagdish Fariyadi

The man, who was loved by millions because of his writings, gave a new perspective to love and life through his famous operas like “Heer Ranjha”, “Mirza Sahiba”, “Sassi Punnu”, “Kaal”, “Bhukhi Janta”, “Ghuggi De Khambaan Heth”.

The craze for his operas was such that even the legendary Punjabi folk singer, Surinder Kaur, acted in “Heer Ranjha”. “She performed the role of Heer and my father (Fariyadi) played Kaido,” Tony Batish, son of Jagdish Fariyadi and actor, told The Tribune.

Fariyadi was born at Mehma Sarja village on October 20, 1926. He spent most of his life in the city where he worked in the municipal committee office for many years.

Amardeep Gill, one of his family friends, said: “He was a man with high self-esteem and never compromised on small things.”

Fariyadi, along with Joginder Baharla and Tegh Singh Chann, played a pivotal role during early days of IPTA.

Though a major part of his writings is still unpublished, Punjabi Akademi, Delhi, had published one of his books.

Fariyadi is survived by five sons and a daughter. His wife, Asha Rani, passed away a few years ago. He was cremated at Ram Bagh in Dana Mandi in the afternoon.


CM’s media adviser bereaved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Gurdev Singh Bains (59), a brother of Harcharan Bains, media adviser to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, died due to cardiac arrest at the PGI here last night.

Badal described the sudden demise of Gurdev Singh as an “unbearable personal loss”.

Badal got in touch with Harcharan and his family to offer solace to his media adviser who himself has been suffering from viral fever for the past few weeks.

Gurudev, a footballer and loyalist of the Badals, had worked with Bains during the Assembly elections.


4 of family die in accident
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 20
Four members of a family were killed on the spot while two others seriously injured when the car in which the family was travelling collided with a private bus near Jathuwal village, 8 km from here, this morning. The driver of the bus fled from the accident site.

The deceased were identified as Mahinder Singh, Mahinder Kaur, Gurmej Singh and Harjinder Kaur. Gurmit Kaur and the five-year-old child Gaman were seriously injured in the mishap and rushed to hospital.

Mahinder Singh, a resident of Batala, was going to participate in a function at Tarn Taran along with his family in his car.


CM greets people
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today felicitated people of the state on the 631st Parkash Utsav of Guru Ravidas.

In a message, Badal said Guru Ravidas preached love, compassion, tolerance, universal brotherhood and oneness of mankind through his life and philosophy. He said Guru Ravidas made concerted efforts for bringing social equality, thereby eradicating the evil of casteism from society.

The Chief Minister appealed to people to celebrate the occasion collectively rising above the parochial considerations of caste, creed, colour and religion.


Red beacons to 20 SGPC members: Punjab Govt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
The Punjab government has so far issued permission for red beacons to 20 SGPC members, while security has been provided to 10 on the basis of threat perception.

Appearing before a Punjab and Haryana High Court Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, Punjab’s additional advocate-general Amol Rattan Singh added permission stickers had not been provided to the SGPC members after the high court stayed the operation of the transport department notification.

Taking the reply on record, the Bench fixed March 26 as the next date of hearing and directed the filing of additional affidavit specifying how and when the stickers allowing were issued.

Fake currency case

The Punjab government is to file an appeal against the acquittal of Ferozepore district’s former police chief G.S. Pherurai by Ambala-based fast track court in the fake currency case.

This was stated before the Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia by additional advocate-general Amol Rattan Singh during the resumed hearing on a PIL seeking CBI inquiry into the matter.

Poohla case

The investigation report by Amritsar’s SSP has concluded that former police ‘cat’ Ajit Singh Poohla and another are found guilty of murder and other offences under Section 302 and 436 of the IPC, along with the Arms Act.

The report has been submitted after probing his alleged involvement in a case involving the killing of seven of a family.

A Special Investigating Team was constituted following the orders of high court after a petition was filed by Ranjit Singh of Batala.

Taking on record the affidavit, the court has adjourned the hearing of the matter for April 9 and has directed that the challan should be filed within a week. 


Faux Pas
Pupils taught from new book, tested from old
Surinder Bhardwaj

Bassi Pathana, February 20
Strange are the ways of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), they introduced a new Punjabi book for Class-V students and taught from it, but the paper was set from the old book.

The carefree and casual attitude of the PSEB came to light, when a serious lapse was detected in the Punjabi paper of the board examination held today. The Punjabi paper consisting of 45 marks out of 100 was set from the book prescribed for the last year.

The students were puzzled and shocked and did not know what to do. The examination centre superintendents were also confused when the students lodged a complaint with them.

It seems the paper setter was unaware of the fact that the book had been changed. The parents of the examinees strongly criticised the incident and demanded action against the guilty. They also demanded grace marks.

District education officer (elementary) said the lapse had come to his notice and he had brought it to the notice of the chairman of the board. He said the chairman had assured that either grace marks would be awarded or the paper would be conducted again.


Condemned jeep awaits auction
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 20
A discarded jeep of the Drainage Department lying at the district administrative complex here for the past several years has been attracting the attention of many as it has been adversely marring the beauty of this multi-crore complex. The jeep has now turned into junk. Besides this, several parts of this jeep have been stolen. The window panes on both sides of the front seat and a headlight are also not there. The engine is also in a very bad shape.

Sources told this reporter that the jeep had been declared condemned by the authorities concerned some years ago. Tenders had also been invited for its auction twice or thrice but none came forward to buy it even at the reserve price. Now, a district-level condemnation board will fix the sale price of the vehicle. The department has initiated the proceedings by sending the case to the condemnation board for the auction.

This means that the auction will take another couple of months even if the board starts proceedings in this direction soon. 


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