|P U N J A B||
Wednesday, December 9, 1998
officials face action
shops to be shifted
awaits DPR's sanction
in Varinder's memory
Takht chief unlikely to
gives notices to businesses
warning to striking students
career guidance must
dwellers stage demonstration
Sagar Dam unions hold dharna
only on petrol and farm produce
appoints 3 Additional AGs
|Indian chapter of Punjabi Council||Case filed against deceased SSP|
officials face action
CHANDIGARH, Dec 8 Through a very hard-hitting letter, the Punjab Government has directed the Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, to take action against the vigilance officials concerned involved in a motivated investigation against Ms Simarjot Kaur, a former District Manager, and other officials of Punsup at Patiala.
The Chief Director has been asked to send the "action taken" report within three weeks to the State Government. The letter, which has been written by the Special Secretary, Department of Vigilance, Punjab, states that Ms Simarjot Kaur was completely innocent and also keeping in view that "she is a senior lady officer, her arrest appears to be a result of vindictive action amounting to misuse of authority".
The officers concerned in the Vigilance Bureau, who are guilty of gross negligence or motivated investigation and related action, including arrests etc, should be asked to explain their position. The letter states that "it also seems that several other innocent persons have been wrongly included in the FIR. In fact, the FIR has been registered by giving wrong facts and accordingly the FIR registered required to be withdrawn". Comments on this specific issue has also been sought from Vigilance Department authorities.
The FIR against Ms Simarjot Kaur, who was on deputation with Punsup as District Manager from her parent Food and Supply Department, was registered on September 4 this year by the Vigilance Bureau, Patiala under Sections 409, 120B of the IPC and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Others included in the FIR were Mr Madan Gopal Singla, Field Officer, Mr Mohd Salim Zuberi, Deputy District Manager (Field), Mr Balbir Singh and Mr Mohan Lal Singla, proprietor of a rice mill.
The Special Secretary has stated that the case has been examined at the Government-level and it has been found that there has been gross negligence on the part of the Vigilance Bureau. It has been found that during the course of investigation, the viewpoint of only two officials, Balbir Singh and Harish Kumar, was obtained and none of the other officers/officials named in the FIR appears to have been questioned.
shops near shrines to be shifted
ROPAR, Dec 8 In view of the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa to be held at Anandpur Sahib in April next year, it has been decided to constitute a special committee for conducting a survey in this district of liquor shops near religious places, schools and hospitals.
In this committee, the MLA of the district, the SDMs and representatives of the public will be included. The committee will submit its report by December-end.
A decision to this effect was taken today at a meeting of the District Public Grievances Redressal Committee, presided over by Mr Harmail Singh Tohra, Punjab Minister for Public Works, when certain members raised the issue in this regard. The minister said liquor shops would operate at a specific distance from shrines.
The meeting also took serious note of the illegal sale of intoxicants in the district. The minister directed the district administration to conduct raids for the prevention of illegal sale of these intoxicants.
The minister directed the district administration to take immediate steps for the removal of encroachments on government and panchayat land so that development schemes could be implemented in time. He also asked the district officers to take the grievances seriously and do the needful immediately.
He directed the administration to implement a scheme for draining out the sullage water from Morinda town and protesting main roads of the town from the damages done by this sullage water.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, informed the meeting the construction of a mini bypass was being started soon for linking the new bus stand with a colony on the Ropar-Anandpur Sahib road. He said Rs 5 lakh had already been received by the administration for the purpose.
Ms Satwant Kaur Sandhu, MLA, Chamkaur Sahib, urged the minister to order repair of link roads, leading to the Morinda cooperative sugar mill in the larger interests of the farming community.
awaits DPR's sanction
FEROZEPORE: Chowk Makhu Gate in the municipal area here was renamed after eminent journalist Ramesh Chander, who laid down his life for national unity and integrity, by the local Municipal Council about five years ago.
This demand was made by the local Rotaract Club (Main), which sought permission to install a statue of Ramesh Chander at the chowk with the sole objective of inspiring others to work for the nation's unity and integrity.
The council conceded the demand of the club and passed a resolution on October 4, 1993, granting permission to install the statue. However, for the final sanction, the council referred the matter to the Director, Information and Public Relations (DPR), Punjab.
Since then, the matter has been hanging fire as the DPR has not responded so far despite several reminders. The DPR was also informed by the council many times that the statue installation expenditure would be borne by the club.
With the hope of getting the final sanction from the DPR, the club got prepared a stone bust of Ramesh Chander at an expense of Rs 25,000 about three years ago. But, the bust has been lying in the house of the then president of the club, Dr (Mrs) Sunita Wadhwa, in the absence of sanction from the DPR.
The club, however, has temporarily put up a big rubber tyre in middle of the chowk where an iron board with the words "Shaheed Ramesh Chander Chowk" on one side and "shaheedon ki dharti par aapka swagat hai" on the other side has been erected.
in Varinder's memory
MULLANPUR DAKHA (Ludhiana), Dec 8 An impressive cultural mela held here today in memory of the late Punjabi film actor, Varinder, has highlighted the growing isolation of the Punjab government in the cultural field.
The day-long mela in which more than a dozen Punjabi folk singers took part was held in the local sabzi mandi off the Ludhiana-Ferozepore highway and attracted thousands of people from the town and as well as from the surrounding villages. It was here a decade ago when Varinder, a cousin of the Bollywood superstar Dharmendra, was shot dead by the militants during the shooting of a movie. For the past three years, an annual cultural mela is organised in his memory by the Varinder Yaadgar Sabhyachar Trust set up by his friends and admirers. Varinder's wife, Pammi, was the chief guest at the function.
More than a dozen Punjabi folk singers and artists, including Mohammad Sidique, Priya Nijjar, Manjit Rahi and Biba Daljit, Inderpreet Hassanpuri, Makhan Brar, Janga Nandpuri, Karnail Gill and Babbi Sushma, took part in the mela where several of them were honoured. While the mela was treated as an important occasion by the residents of the area and those who admired the late actor, the Punjab government presumably regarded it as a non-event. Its participation in the function was nil.
"We do not expect any participation by the government in the function", say Mr Surinder Singh Cheema and Mr Balwant Singh Dhanoa, chairman and president of the trust, in a talk with Tribune News Service. "Nor do we expect any funds from the government or any one else. We elect the office-bearers of the trust every year who contribute up to Rs 11,000 each to meet the expenses of the mela. This is sufficient for us..."
However, the Punjabi cultural czar, Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, who is president of the Vishav Punjabi Sabhyacharak Manch, and organises Prof Mohan Singh Mela every year at Ludhiana, says that the Punjab government is making a big mistake by staying away from such cultural events. "Is it not the job of the government to preserve the cultural heritage of the state and to take care of its artistes, dead or alive? Should it not preserve the memory of those who have died fighting for preserving the cultural unity of the state during a dark and troublesome period in the history of Punjab?"
He points out that Punjab has had so many Chief Ministers during the past 50 years. But no mela is held in their memory. "It is because while they ruled the land, persons like Varinder ruled the hearts of the people". He is of the view that the absence of any effort on the part of the government is leading to holding of such festivals by private bodies which he regards as a "parallel cultural movement".
Mr Jassowal is at pains to stress that he is not talking as a politician. "Art and culture belongs to all Punjabis. They all worship it. Therefore, I always tell my friends to take off their political shoes before entering the shrine of art and culture".
He complains that Punjab's Department of Cultural Affairs has turned itself into a "big hoax". He points out that it is the only government department which does not have any office at divisional, sub-divisional, district or block level. Its activities remain confined to sponsoring artistes at public rallies and functions attended by the ministers.
The Department of Cultural
Affairs should also honour outstanding artists just as
the Languages Department honours outstanding
litteratuers. "Is it too much to ask", he
questions, pointing out that in the absence of any
interest of the government in the matter, the new
generation is becoming increasingly ignorant of Punjab's
cultural heritage. The Punjabi culture is under attack
from pop music and obscene songs. It must be saved.
chief unlikely to review edict
AMRITSAR, Dec 8 Even though ex-communicated non-resident Indian Sikhs have routed the pro-'hukamnama' leaders in the recently held Khalsa Dewan Society (Vancouver) elections, Bhai Ranjit Singh, Jathedar, Akal Takht, is unlikely to reconsider the 'hukamnama' (edict) on 'Guru ka langar'.
Critics consider the victory of a moderate Sikh, Mr Jarnail Singh Bhandal, and his 14-member team in the Khalsa Dewan Society (Vancouver) elections as 'rejection' of the 'hukamnama' by NRI Sikhs. However, sources close to Bhai Ranjit Singh and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC president, are of the view that elections in a foreign land concerning a segment of Sikhs should not be taken as 'referendum' on the edict. Mr Bhandal defeated Mr Kundan Singh Sajjan a hawk among the NRI Sikhs, with a comfortable margin.
A former Advocate-General of Punjab, Mr G.S. Grewal, in a signed statement had submitted before the Akal Takht Jathedar to "agree to revive his hukamnama and avoid public confrontation". Mr Grewal had stated that the 'sangat' in Canada had declined to abide by the edict.
Col Jasmer Singh Bala, Akali Dal, Working Committee member and leader of the Panthic Vichar Manch, had, however, stated that the elections in Canada had no impact on the sanctity of the 'hukamnama'.
However, sources close to the Akal Takht claim that Bhai Ranjit Singh will not concede to the demand of 'moderate' leaders to reconsider the 'hukamnama'. He is of the view that the institution of 'Guru ka langar' was started by the Guru 400 years ago and nobody had the right to make any amendment.
The sources say it is
moral victory for the Akal Takht chief that Prof Manjit
Singh, Jathedar, Sri Kesgarh Sahib, too, endorsed the
'hukamnama' in his appeal to the NRI Sikhs during the
gurdwara elections. Earlier, he had dissociated himself
from 'hukamnama'. Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, too, appealed
to the Canadian Sikhs to vote for the pro-hukamnama
gives notices to businesses
PATIALA, Dec 8 Close on the heels of a drive launched to remove encroachments in the city, the Patiala Municipal Corporation has now decided to target those who have opened business establishment in residential areas which are hazardous to public health.
The drive against such businesses, which follows a high court order is expected to start in another few days, corporation Commissioner Harkesh Singh Sidhu disclosed to TNS.
Mr Sidhu said the corporation would target only those establishments which caused a nuisance in residential areas and not those which sold daily provisions or tea shops. He said 19 businesses, including printing presses, flour mills, scooter garages, LPG godowns and gas welding shops had been targeted and had been served notices.
The corporation Commissioner said 227 establishments had been served notices and action would be initiated against them in a phased manner. He said some of the establishments like garages and welding shops had been advised to shift to the focal point.
He said attempts would be made to rehabilitate those wanting to shift out of residential premises with the district administration holding a meeting to facilitate their movement.
However, a large number of affected persons have expressed their inability to move out. The main reason for this is lack of funds to purchase a plot in the focal point besides a limited clientele which would be lost if they shifted out.
Talking to TNS, a flour mill owner, Shankar Gautam, said he would prefer to close shop rather than shift his flour mill from near his residence. He said the business would become unviable if he was made to shift a few kilometers from the present premises. Urging for exemption for flour mills, he said the local flour mill association had decided to go to court against the move.
Mr Brij Lal Gupta, president of the Flour Mills Union, said mill owners had completely rejected the notices issued by the municipal corporation. There are 180 flour mills in the city which roughly comes at one unit per colony or a cluster of 50 houses. He wondered how so much space would be available, adding that the place selected should also be at equal distance to all residential areas, a proposition which is not possible.
Further, the flour mills
are being wrongly targeted on the charge of spreading
pollution as these mills do not come under the list of
industrial units identified by the Pollution Control
Board for spreading pollution.
warning to striking students
PATIALA, Dec 8 While the strike launched by students of colleges under Punjabi University in protest against the fee hike continued for the 11th day here today. The university authorities issued a warning to the striking students of taking disciplinary actions against them if they failed to return to classes at the earliest.
According to an official release of the university all principals of colleges concerned had been directed to take action against students involved in nefarious activities. The college principals had also been advised to take the help of local administration in maintaining peace and discipline in their respective institutions.
The release also termed the strike to be politically motivated as the fee structure of the university was similar to that of the other universities in the state.
It also claimed that only a small number of students, who were facing shortage of lectures and were not in a position to attain qualifying marks for the final annual examination, were indulging in misleading propaganda and disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of the educational institutions.
Meanwhile, the strike was observed today in all colleges in the city. The striking students wearing black badges also disrupted the university youth festival (Patiala Zone) at Khalsa College, however, no untoward incident was reported.
A statement released by
the Joint Action Committee claimed that students
organisations of Faridkot, Mansa, Bathinda, Sangrur,
Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala districts had resolved to
stage demonstrations and observe complete strike
career guidance must
AMRITSAR, Dec 8 Mrs Gurbinder Kaur Chahal, Secretary, Defence Services, inaugurated a three-day exhibition and conference on educational and vocational planning at Guru Nanak Dev University here today.
Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, presided. The conference is being organised jointly by the placement cell of the university, the Employment and Vocational Guidance Division and the Sainik Welfare Department.
Mrs Chahal said career guidance should be encouraged at the grassroots level. She said due to lack of guidance, the youth today indulged in unlawful activities and spoiled their careers. Hence, timely guidance was essential.
Brig K.S. Kahlon, Director, Sainik Welfare, in his address highlighted the problems of unemployment in the country. He said the youth should plan their careers, keeping in view their interest and resources available. He appealed to educationists to create such an atmosphere that students became career conscious.
Mrs Gurinder Kaur Sachdeva, Deputy Director, Employment and Vocational Guidance Division, in her welcome address explained the various steps being taken for providing career guidance to the youth by her department.
In the inaugural session, Col R.G. Kadam, Lt Commander B.J.S. Cheema, Group Capt R.L. Bhatia and Mr M.S. Malli highlighted the career opportunities in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the paramilitary forces.
JALANDHAR, Dec 8 (UNI) About 250 protesting hut dwellers including women, today held a demonstration against the Punjab Urban Development Authoritys alleged attempt to evict them from near the new tehsil complex in the city.
The demonstrators led by Samata Party state general secretary Arun Sharma Pappu and District president Inderjit Singh Thakur, marched to the office of the Deputy Commissioner and submitted a memorandum to Additional Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar, demanding registration of case against those who demolished several kiosks and huts on December 2 and 7.
The Samata leaders, in a statement, today alleged that certain drunken persons armed with lathis came in a Gypsy fitted with a red light around 3 p.m. yesterday and demolished two kiosks.
Earlier on December 2, they alleged, a similarly armed group of people demolished seven huts and three kiosks and also inflicted injuries on two persons.
The unidentified persons also hit Lakshmi and Pakhu Ram with lathis.
They threatened to march
again and hold a dharna outside the Deputy
Commissioners office on December 17 if the
administration did not take action against the assailants
or if the PUDA-hired men tried to evict them from their
dwellings which, they claimed, they had been occupying
for over two decades.
Sagar Dam unions hold dharna
GURDASPUR, Dec 8 Thirteen employee unions operating at Ranjit Sagar Dam (RSD) held a dharna at Jugial township in front of the office of the Chief Engineer today in response to a call given by the joint action committee of the RSD Employees Union to highlight their demands.
Mr Chandra Shekhar, general secretary of the state unit of CITU, while addressing the dharna said handing over of the dam to the nation by the Prime Minister on February 12 as announced by the Punjab Government would be prevented at all costs by the committee if their demands were not conceded.
Mr Shekhar, however, said an announcement regarding handing over of the RSD project to the nation on the said date was misleading in view of a lot of work which still remains to be done and cannot be completed by February 12. He said 70 per cent work regarding setting up machinery by the Punjab State Electricity Board still remains to be done. The laying of transmission lines has not been started so far. A turbine to run one power project cannot be installed before the end of next year and this will produce only 150 MW of electricity. The installation of remaining three turbines for commissioning three power projects to produce 450 MW of electricity will take another year.
Mr Shekhar warned that generation of power from the dam will only start if the Shahpur Kandi dam project is handed over to the Irrigation Department. He said he was aware of the state government's move to get the dam completed by an American company so that workers from the dam site go somewhere else and may not offer resistance to the government. He said RSD workers would not allow the Punjab Government to handover the Shahpur Kandi dam project to a multinational company even if it involved a lot of sacrifice.
Mr Harinder Singh Randhawa, general secretary of the RSD unit of CITU, said commissioning of the Shahpur Kandi dam project on department level would be cheaper and save the government Rs 700 crore in terms of infrastructure available after the completion of RSD. Moreover, the design of the Shahpur Kandi dam project had already been completed by the department.
Their other demands
included one year's salary to RSD employees, grant of
terminal benefit to be raised from Rs 7,500 to Rs 25,000
and grant of rural allowance bonus and uniform allowance
to the employees.
chapter of Punjabi Council
JALANDHAR, Dec 8 The International Punjabi Welfare Council headed by Mr Bobby Kumar, an eminent NRI settled in the USA has decided to launch the Indian and British chapters of the council and also plans to extend the activities of the council to all major European countries.
In a press conference here today, Mr Kumar said the council aimed at helping senior citizens, needy women and poor school kids.
He said the council would promote better relations between Punjabis and NRIs.
The membership fee for executive members (life members) of the council, will be Rs 5000 and each member will have to pay Rs 100 per annum.
Mr Kumar promised to send Rs 10 lakh to the Indian chapter to initiate the activities of the council in the country.
Mr Kumar appointed the
following as office-bearers of the Indian chapter of the
council: National Chairman Mr Gurcharan Singh
Channi; State Chairman Mr Lakhwinder Singh;
Vice-Chairmen Mr Amarjit Singh Burmi; Mr Paramjit
Singh Raipur, Mr Jasbir Singh Sandhu and Mr Jagjit Singh
Rosy; Secretaries Mr Sarabjit Singh Minhas and
Prof Gurnam Singh; Finance Secretary Mr Gurcharan
Singh Transporter and Treasurer Mr Balbir Singh
Bhatti. Office-bearers of the youth wing: National
Chairman Mr Amarjit Singh Khambra; and State
Chairman Mr Amrik Singh Burmi. Mrs Dalwinder Kaur
was appointed the chairperson of the women wing and Mr
Jaspal Singh Dhesi as Chairman of the British chapter.
filed against deceased SSP
TARN TARAN, Dec 8 The Verowal police has registered a case under Sections 677, 468, 420, and 120-B against Ajit Singh Sandhu, who was posted here as SSP, and 17 more for forcible possession of land owned by Ranjit Singh and other residents of Gagrewal village in 1993.
The land belongs to Ranjit Singh, Manjit Singh, Rajinder Kaur and Gurbachan Singh, the residents of Gagrewal village. They had lodged a complaint stating that Ajit Singh, in connivance with the patwari, kanungo, Naib Tehsildar, the village sarpanch and the SHO, had forcibly harvested their rabi crop in 1994 during his tenure as SSP here.
The complaint was made to the Divisional Commissioner, Jalandhar, who inquired into the matter.
Ranjit Singh, one of the owners, also lodged a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court ordered that a criminal case against Ajit Singh Sandhu, the then SSP of Tarn Taran, and the other accused be registered. The Verowal police registered the case on the instructions of the court.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 8 The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I, Chandigarh, comprising its President, Dr H.C. Modi, and members, Mr R.K. Behl and Ms Swaran Kanta, will hold a special sitting of the court tomorrow exclusively to deal with complaints against the Telecom Department.
Senior officers of the
department have been called to attend the court. This
special sitting will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the
court room of Forum-I, situated near the Punjab Mandi
office in Sector 17. Fresh complaints will also be heard.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 8 The Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann, today inaugurated the first automatic bus washer machine installed by the PRTC at its bus depot here.
Mr Mann said the PRTC plan to introduce a new holiday bus ticket for the convenience of people. These concessional tickets will be available from special counters at all main bus stands on Saturdays and Sundays. The ticket, which has been priced at Rs 110 for adults and Rs 40 for children, will be valid for the whole day and ticket holder could plan accordingly and would be no distance restriction under this scheme.
only on petrol and farm produce
CHANDIGARH, Dec 8 While reviewing its decision with regard to levying of infrastructure development cess, the Punjab Government exempted all other items from the one per cent cess except agriculture produce and petrol.
Informed official sources said here today that a notification in this connection had been issued. He said that earlier one per cent cess was levied on the items on which Sales Tax was paid. But revising the decision new cess would be applicable only on petrol and farm produce. On agriculture produce it would be paid by the buyer.
According to information
available here with the imposing of the cess on petrol it
had become costly in Punjab as compared to in union
territory Chandigarh. Informed sources said that petrol
would cost about Rs 2 more per litre in Punjab than
CHANDIGARH, Dec 8
As the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal,
turned 71 today, his Cabinet colleagues and officers
felicitated him at his office. Sweets were distributed by
the Public Relations Minister, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan on
this occasion as a gesture of best wishes for the CM's
health and longevity.
post: new name panel sought
CHANDIGARH, Dec 8 The Administration has called for a fresh panel of names from the Punjab Government for the post of SSP Chandigarh. This has been done after the state Government expressed its inability to relieve Mr Dinkar Gupta, who had been posted here a couple of months ago.
The panel of police
officers is to be forwarded to the Ministry of Home
Affairs for final approval. Meanwhile, the Inspector
General of Police, Mr Ram Pal Singh, has proceeded on
leave after handing over the charge to Mr N.S. Randhawa,
income of temples public
PATIALA, Dec 8 The All -India Hindu Mahasangh President, Swami Krishnanand, yesterday appealed to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, to make public the income of the temples under government control.
In a press no issued here, Swami Krishnanand said the task of ensuring better management of the temples and their development had not been achieved after they had been taken over by the state government. He said the public was ignorant of the money being earned by these temples and the purpose it was being put to.
The swami said temple committees formed by the government had resulted in the recruitment of excess staff which was eating into the funds of various temples, instead of ensuring better management.
mourn death of Mohanta
CHANDIGARH, Dec 8 Lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today abstained from work to mourn the death of Mr S.C. Mohanta, senior advocate and a former member of the Rajya Sabha.
Mr Mohanta had died in Delhi yesterday. His body was brought to Chandigarh.
According to the Honorary
Secretary of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar
Association, Mr Behl, his cremation was attended among
others by High Court Judges, judicial officers, a large
number of advocates and political leaders.
appoints 3 Additional AGs
CHANDIGARH, Dec 8 The Punjab Government today appointed three Additional Advocates-General.
They are Mr Satish Sibal, Mr H.S. Riar and Mr H.S. Bhullar. Mr Sibal has been in the profession for the past over 40 years. He was designated as senior advocate in 1989. Mr Riar is also a senior advocate. He was earlier Deputy Advocate-General.
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