|P U N J A B||
Thursday, August 13, 1998
Bank gets fake notes, "hushes up" matter
JALANDHAR, Aug 12 The main branch of the Bank of India at Civil Lines here today received counterfeit currency notes tucked in wads of genuine currency from a major depositor but allegedly hushed up the matter.
SGPC on Internet
|Candlelight vigil on border
Youth Cong men burn CM's effigy
Agricultural staff boycott meeting
Seminar held on human rights
Repair bus stand: MLA
|Battle equipment show held
Gallantry award winners
SC students' plea for concession
Union leader meets CM
Stand on US Nagar unchanged: SAD
NEW DELHI, Aug 12 Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, MP, Shiromani Akali Dal today reiterated that his party stood committed to the exclusion of Udham Singh Nagar district from the proposed Uttaranchal State.
At a meeting with mediapersons here, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, who is also the General Secretary of the SAD, said the Bharatiya Janata Party should accommodate the views of his party if it expects continuation of support to the coalition government at the Centre.
Denying reports in a section of media that the SAD had softened its stand vis-a-vis the issue and on its threat of withdrawal of support, he said, the Political Affairs Committee of the party had already adopted a resolution on the matter at its meeting at Chandigarh on August 6.
He said the party will stick to the resolution adopted by the Committee.
Mr Chandumajra also denied there were differences between the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and senior SAD leader, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.
In addition to the demand on Udham Singh Nagar, he said, the Vajpayee government should resolve the long-pending demands of Punjab which include transfer of Chandigarh and Punjab-speaking areas to Punjab and handing over the control of river headworks to the state.
He also rejected the Eradi Tribunal award on distribution of river waters stating that Punjab did not have surplus water to give to other States.
SAD to oppose tax on farm
TALWANDI SABO, Aug 12 The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) General Secretary, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, said here today that his party would oppose the application of different provisions of the Finance Act, 1998, on the farmers.
Talking to mediapersons, he said agriculture income was exempted from income tax and if the Central Government tried to bring it under the provisions of income tax indirectly, SAD would oppose such a move from the proper platform.
He said agriculture profession had already become a non-profitable venture and if any of the farm-related activities was brought under the provision of income tax, it would prove fatal for the farmers.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who is also the Finance Minister of Punjab, said SAD would raise all pending demands with the Central Government before the winter session of the Parliament. He said the party had already made its position clear on the Udham Singh Nagar issue.
When asked why SAD had backtracked from its poll promise of instituting a judicial probe for unmasking forces behind the decade-long militancy in the state, he said people of the state had come to know that terrorism was the product of the Congress and the people had punished the Congress in the Assembly, Lok Sabha and the municipal council elections for that.
To another question, he said the Punjab Government did not recognise the people's commission as it had been constituted without the consent of the state government.
He said grants were released to each district through the Planning Commission last week and the development works would start soon. He said the delay in the releasing of grants was due to absence of the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
The Finance Minister said Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had assured SAD regarding formulating a comprehensive national agriculture police soon. He said the party had suggested to the Prime Minister to make the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the Central Government profit-oriented.
Bank gets fake notes, "hushes up" matter
JALANDHAR, Aug 12 (UNI) The main branch of the Bank of India at Civil Lines here today received counterfeit currency notes tucked in wads of genuine currency from a major depositor but allegedly hushed the matter instead of reporting it to the police.
Reliable banking sources said hundreds of fake currency notes of the denomination of Rs 100 were found in a deposit of Rs 3.50 lakh made by an automobile dealer.
But Mr J.S. Sethi, who was
officiating in place of Chief Manager S.S. Mahajan,
denied having received the fake currency when contacted.
The sources said if past practice was any indication, the counterfeit currency was most likely to be destroyed at the clients cost.
The sources said an accountant of the dealer, who came to the bank to make the deposit, apparently knew about the counterfeit currency. The accountant told the bank officials that a certain gurdwara had made the payment at the dealers showroom.
The sources said the same
bank had received counterfeit currency notes in the past.
These were few in number and always destroyed at the cost
of the account-holder to safeguard the reputation of the
depositor and the bank.
SGPC on Internet
CHANDIGARH, Aug 12 Keeping pace with the time, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) has come on the Internet. The SGPC website is effective from today.
At a simple function, the SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, MP, switched the button to launch the website.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gurcharan Singh said with SGPC website people, specially Punjabis, around the world could now have access to the Golden Temple and gurbani relayed from there. If on the one hand the website would provide "authentic" information on Sikh scriptures, gurdwaras, warriors, saints and martyrs, it would also be of great educational value to other people. It would make up for wider preaching of Sikhism.
The SGPC website will be available in three languages, English, Punjabi and Hindi. The website will also ensure an interface with the people and through e-mail a "chat forum" will be introduced. With each passing day SGPC website will incorporate more information for the benefit of people.
The online access to SGPC website will also give general and specific information on Punjab, its history, culture, geography, agriculture, pilgrimage, sites etc. On the other hand besides the daily "hukamnama" from the sanctum sanctorum and gurbani kirtan, the website will provide information of general interest on Guru Granth Sahib, the ten Sikh Gurus, various gurdwaras, home page etc.
The website has been so designed that anytime, anyone anywhere, who surfs for online access, will get the photoshots of the Golden Temple of that particular hour bringing the ambience of the temple precincts into homes all over the globe. To be completed in three phases, the website will fulfil a longfelt need of the people who have cherished a desire to see and hear from the Golden Temple.
Mr N.S. Kalsi, who played a key role in introducing the website on behalf of the SGPC said the "e-mail" received from abroad will be locally mailed to the addressees. Moreover, for better viewing, two servers will be put up in the USA and one each in Chandigarh and Amritsar. Besides, there will be at least eight "touch screen" terminals in the Golden Temple "parikarma" for people to watch. It will ultimately be possible to ensure "live" hukamnama on the internet.
The centre has, through a notification, said that those with internet facilities at district headquarters will henceforth pay only the "local call" charges rate for the facility with effect from August 15.
Mr Kalsi, who is Director, Technical Education, Punjab, invited people to send suggestions and material. On behalf of the SGPC Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur gave a brief background. The website has been prepared by Pugmarks Interweb, whose representative, Mr K.S. Suri, also spoke on the occasion.
Siropas were presented by Dr Gurcharan Singh to those who contributed to the preparing of SGPC website.
The front page shows a picture of the Golden Temple in a golden frame with its image shimmering in the holy tank.
The website can be
accessed at http://www.sgpc.org
Veterinary varsity plan revived
CHANDIGARH, Aug 12 The proposal to set up a university of veterinary and animal science at Damdama Sahib (Talwandi Sabo), which was earlier put in cold storage, has been revived.
Dr Rattan Singh, Punjab Minister for Animal Husbandry, told TNS today that he had taken up this issue with the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. The proposal had been sent to the Finance Department for scrutiny, he added.
Dr Rattan Singh said he was trying his best to expedite the clearance of this proposal at all levels.
During the previous Congress Government, the proposal to set up this university was approved by the Cabinet. However, nothing was done. Recently, the Punjab Veterinary Officers Association headed by Dr G.S. Chahal met Dr Rattan Singh and urged him to take up the issue with the Chief Minister.
Dr Chahal says that a particular lobby at Punjab Agricultural University was creating hurdles in the setting up the independent university of veterinary and animal sciences.
Justifying the need for setting up such a university, the Punjab Government authorities concerned had stated in the original proposal mooted in this connection before the Cabinet that animal husbandry alone contributed 17 per cent to the state economy against 30 per cent from the agriculture sector although the proportionate investment in the agriculture sector was much more than animal husbandry.
The contribution, in fact, of the animal husbandry sector during the two previous Plans to the state economy has been increasing whereas from the agriculture sector it had declined. The state has made tremendous progress in the livestock sector in the past three decades.
Minister finds doctors absent
JALANDHAR, Aug 12 The 400-bedded Civil Hospital is in a shambles, with infrastructure facilities nearly amiss, doctors indulging in private practice and the number of patients coming down.
The laidback attitude of the staff came to notice as Mr Inderjit Singh Zira, Minister for State Health, raided the hospital today morning to find that out of 43 doctors, eight to 10 did not report, three were missing and 13 gave vague excuses for arriving late by nearly half an hour.
The minister reprimanded the late comers and ordered a departmental enquiry against three doctors.
Recently a racket involving sale of dirty cotton and bandages to the "kabarrias" was unearthed. The hospital did not provide clean bed sheets to the patients, alleged a reliable source.
Incidentally, the hospital attracted headlines recently when a staff member helped a woman to steal a newborn child from the gynecological ward. The police recovered the child after nearly a month. The gynecological ward is one of the dirtiest and the minister admitted that the number of delivery cases had come down as doctors were not providing sufficient facilities to the patients.
Referring to the collapse of the health services in the state, Mr Zira said when he visited the Civil Hospital, Nawanshahr, he found that a pregnant woman about to deliver was not being attended to.
The Minister said in successive raids on 40 dispensaries, he found only the Kharar dispensary functioning properly. Action against other dispensaries would be initiated, he said.
However, agreeing that much was needed to put the health services in the state on the right track, Mr Zira said unfortunately corruption had reached the top in the Health Department.
Meanwhile, the Civil
Surgeon here has been directed by the minister to give
the list of doctors who are doing private practice.
Failing to do this, he said, the Civil Surgeon would be
held responsible if no action was taken.
Teachers contest Joshi's claim
BATHINDA, Aug 12 Hundreds of teachers of non-government affiliated colleges of Bathinda, Rampura and Talwandi Sabo today held a rally in protest against non-implementation of recommendations of the UGC regarding pay scales by the Central Government.
Addressing the rally, Mr R.S. Brar, vice-president, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU) alleged that Union Human Resources and Development Minister, Mr M.M. Joshi had downgraded the institution of the UGC by unilaterally announcing the lower pay scales for the teachers of Indian universities and colleges.
PATIALA: A complete strike was observed at the Punjabi University campus and colleges in this district here on Wednesday, the second day of the nationwide indefinite strike launched by the teaching community.
Rallies and dharnas were organised at the campus and colleges. A number of representatives of the teachers' association condemned the Human Resource Development Ministry for allegedly issuing misleading advertisements stating that the teachers' agitation was unjustified and uncalled for.
Dr B.S. Nanda, president of the Punjabi University Teachers Association and Mr P.S. Bhatti, president of the Punjab Government College Teachers' Association said in a separate statements that the claim of the HRD Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi that the teachers were being paid more than the bureaucrats was an inflated one.
NAWANSHAHAR: A rally was held at B.L.M. Girls College on Wednesday.
Prof. M. Parkash Sharma, president, PCCTU GNDU circle, Prof Bhushan Lal Mr Swatanter Kumar, president, Nawanshahar District trade union council addressed the rally.
FATEHGARH SAHIB: Teachers of Mata Gujri College here sat on a dharna in the college campus.
Prof G.S. Sandhu, addressed the gathering.
Candlelight vigil on border planned
AMRITSAR, Aug 12 The Indo-Pakistan Friendship Society headed by veteran journalist and Rajya Sabha member, Mr Kuldip Nayar, will hold a midnight candlelight vigil on the Indo-Pak border near Attari on the night of August 14 to promote peace and friendship between the two countries.
Civil liberties activists, intellectuals and journalists will participate holding lighted candles in this annual event.
Film Director Gulzar, film stars, Raj Babbar and Farooq Sheikh will also take part. A function will be organised near Neem Chamelli Tourist Complex, Attari. Hans Raj Hans will present a musical programme.
Guru Nanak Dev University
will organise a symposium on national consciousness on
August 14 at 5 pm which will be addressed by Kuldip
Nayar, Gulzar, Raj Babbar and others. Mr Manjit Singh
Calcutta, Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, will
Battle equipment show held
AMRITSAR, Aug 12 An armoured brigade in the western sector organised a battle equipment display and motivational show for more than 1000 school children and NCC cadets here today as part of celebrations of 50 years of Independence.
Brigadier K.P.S. Yadav inaugurated the show which was attended by a host of Army and civil dignitaries.
The show began with a speech by Brigadier Yadav. Thereafter, the children were shown various equipments of the brigade. Many children requested for a tank rides which were organised as the Army band played martial tunes. Pictorial memories of wars were also shown to the children.
Meanwhile, an armoured regiment has adopted Rampura village of Amritsar district. The regiment has carried out developmental activities and presented welfare and entertainment programmes.
The regiment has carried out a tree plantation drive along roads leading to Rampura village. The regiment has also provided medicines free of cost to the villagers. The Commandant, Col Narendra Singh, presented a much needed ceiling fan to the village school.
Youth Cong men burn CM's effigy
FEROZEPORE, Aug 12 The district unit of the Punjab Youth Congress under Mr Jasbir Singh Dimpa, state president, staged a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner's office here in protest against the hike in power and bus fares.
Mr Dimpa, Mr Ravinder Singh Sandhu, a former MLA, and Mr Surinder Gupta, president, Faridkot DCC, submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.
The party alleged in the memorandum that the law and order situation had deteriorated after the formation of the SAD-BJP government and excesses on women, children and the poor had increased.
The memorandum condemned the lathi charge by the police on Youth Congress workers at Chandigarh on July 15.
After presenting the memorandum, Mr Dimpa, the DYC president, and other activists burnt the effigy of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Gallantry award winners to be
CHANDIGARH, Aug 12 The Punjab Government has decided to honour gallantry award winners by treating them at a par with freedom fighters in the matter of invitation to state district level Independence Day and Republic Day functions.
This was announced by Mr Jammeja Singh Sekhon, state minister, defence services welfare, who has instructed the government officials to give full honour to the 1,236 gallantry awardees in the state, whenever they visit their office.
Agricultural staff boycott meeting
AMRITSAR, Aug 12 Officials of the Agricultural Department, including members of the Agricultural Officers Association, today boycotted the meeting convened by the Chief Agricultural Officer here in protest against the alleged indifferent attitude of the state government towards employees of "reorganised scheme" and "grading scheme" of agricultural marketing who had not been paid their salaries for the last three months.
In a press note issued
here today, Dr Gurdev Singh Gill, president of the
officers association, alleged that the step to boycott
the meeting was taken as the government failed to release
the salaries despite a number of representations.
SC students' plea for
AMRITSAR, Aug 12 Mr Davinder Singh Walia and Mr Sohan Lal Amrohi, president and vice-president, respectively, of Yuva Shakti, Punjab, have alleged that the Punjab Technical University authorities at Jalandhar are harassing candidates belonging to scheduled Castes by denying them concession in marks for admission.
In a joint statement here today, they have alleged that the authorities are trying to "grab" the seats meant for Scheduled Caste candidates.
Seminar held on human rights
JALANDHAR, Aug 12 As part of Operation Sahyog of Vajra Corps Army School, Jalandhar Cantt, organised a seminar on human rights today.
Lieut-General K. Davar,
GOC, Vajra Corps, was the chief guest. Chief of Staff
Vajra Corps Maj-Gen V.L. Gunjikar was the guest of
honour. Other eminent persons present were Justice A.S.
Bains, Chairman, Punjab Human Rights Commission Prof
Gurupdesh, Director Staff College, Academic, Guru Nanak
Dev University, Amritsar, and Dr D. R. Vij (retd),
Principal Government College of Education, Jalandhar.
Union leader meets CM
CHANDIGARH, Aug 12 The Punjab Government has agreed to change the designation of clerks and stenotypists and to revamp the civil services for speedy disposal of office work. A claim to this effect was made here today by the Punjab State Ministerial Service Union which held a meeting with the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today.
Mr K.K. Jindal, General Secretary of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union, after a meeting with the Chief Minister said that another meeting would be held on August 20 with the State Government to discuss the remaining demands.
The main demands of the
union include restoration of parity in scales of
ministerial staff keeping 1968 as a base year, scale of
Rs 4550-7220 for clerk and stenotypist and upgradation of
junior assistant to senior assistant and junior scale
stenographer to senior scale stenographer.
Close bus stand or begin
AMRITSAR, Aug 12 The ruling party MLA, Mrs Luxmi Kanta Chawla, has urged the Chief Minister to direct all ministers and legislators to travel by buses to acquaint themselves with the miserable condition of commuters.
Mrs Chawla said a little rain was enough to throw life at the local bus stand out of gear. She said the ministers and MLAs had been turning a blind eye towards the genuine demands of the bus passengers as they travelled in cars and Gypsies. She said a portion of the bus stand had been declared "unsafe" a few year back. Another portion had collapsed some time back. She said that either the government should close the bus stand or undertake repair works at once for the safety of the passengers.
Mrs Chawla said on an
average 1700 buses left the Amritsar bus stand everyday,
which fetched a revenue in the shape of "adda
fee" to the tune of Rs 3 lakh every month. She
demanded that the entire amount be spent on repair works
of the bus stand.
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