|P U N J A B||
Friday, July 31, 1998
Teacher arrested, entire
school staff to be changed
Surplus teachers to be
firm on Udham Singh Nagar
|Flood-control steps taken
Chemists' plea on price display
Triangular contest for poll
Chhibber's intervention sought
Traffic blocked for over 3 hours
Gastroenteritis cases 'confirmed'
1 dead, 19 hurt in bus mishap
Without salaries for 4 months
|1 lakh saplings to be planted
Function to help war widows held
Smuggler held, 5 kg opium seized
PSEB staff to go on strike
'Book cases of cruelty to animals'
Contempt plea dismissed
Black badge protest on August 11
Kharar hospital to have 50 beds
2 Babbar Khalsa activists
FATEHGARH SAHIB, July 30 The district police claims to have arrested two Babbar Khalsa activists along with arms, ammunition and detonators. These Babbar Khalsa activists were allegedly assigned the job of reactivating the bailed out terrorists to strengthen the Babbar Khalsa International organisation in the State.
Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Rajinder Singh, DIG, Patiala Range, told that the SSP Paramraj was informed by some unidentified person that two youths are roaming in the Khamanon area in mysterious circumstances and they may strike. The police immediately erected a naka at Mehdoodan village on the Bhakra Canal at about 7 p.m. last night. Mr Rajinder Paul, SHO, Bassi Pathana, signalled the motorcyclists to stop for checking and on questioning they revealed their names as Kesar Singh, resident of Kalewal, and Sarabjit Singh, resident of Sidhupur Kalan village. The police seized two Chinese pistols of 30 bore, 2 magazines, 20 cartridges, 10 detonators and 20 gunpowder sticks and a motor cycle (U.P.-OP-7357.) from them.
The DIG claimed that these two terrorists have confessed that they were involved in the Burail Jail episode and were closely linked with Jagtar Singh Hawara and on his instructions they were trying to revive Babbar Khalsa. They told that Jaswant Singh, Pardeep Singh and Satnam Singh who had already been arrested by Ropar Police in Burail Jail incident were recruited by them in the organisation.
The SSP said Sarabjit Singh was the mastermind behind the new recruitment and he provided mobile phone to Jagtar Hawara in Burail Jail which was taken from Mr Rajput, a Chandigarh-based lawyer, where as Kesar Singh was a petrol pump operator at Mohali.
Teacher arrested, entire school
RAIYA (Bathinda), July 30 The suicide by Birpal Kaur, a local Class IX student, after she was allegedly molested by a school teacher on July 28, has sent shock waves in the region. This is the first incident of its kind in the state.
Birpal Kaur ended her life after consuming poison after she was molested by her mathematics teacher, Harvinder Singh, in the school premises.
The police said Harvinder Singh had been arrested and a case under Section 306, IPC, registered against him.
Most parents did not send their daughters to school today. Mr Nachhttar Singh, Sarpanch of the village, said the villagers would not send their children to the school unless the entire school staff was shifted.
Attendance in government schools of the adjoining villages was thin today. The villagers insist that only women teachers should be posted in the school.
Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner, who visited the aggrieved family today, said justice would be done and Harvinder Singh would be prosecuted as per the law. He said he had ordered an inquiry into the matter and the SDM, Rampura Phul, Mr Tej Kumar Goyal, would conduct the probe. He would submit his report within two days.
Mr Ladhar said he would write to the higher education authorities for the dismissal of Harvinder Singh from service. He said he would personally visit to all government schools in the district to acquaint himself with the problems of students and parents. He said Harvinder Singh had been placed under suspension.
Mr Ladhar also said that he would shift the entire staff of the school as demanded by the residents within three days. He said he had informed about the incident to the Secretary, Education, Punjab.
According to the FIR lodged by the girl's father, Mr Avtar Singh, the teacher thrashed two boy students who had seen the teacher molesting his daughter.
Sources said Harvinder Singh was recently selected for the post on the recommendation of a senior leader of the ruling party of the state. He belongs to Phul town, 4 km from this village.
The villagers told TNS that most staff members of the school tried to shield the guilty teacher and helped him escape from Phul town.
Mr Balwinder Singh, a local resident, said the entire village was in a state of shock and food had not been cooked in any houses today. No farmer had gone to his fields.
Officials blamed for PSEB losses
BATHINDA, July 30 The Lok Morcha, Punjab, has alleged that officials of the Punjab State Electricity board (PSEB) are responsible for the loss of hundreds of crores that the board suffers every year.
In a press release issued here today, the morcha's state president, Mr N.K. Jeet, alleged that the PSEB suffered loss of crores every year due to the 'anti-people' policies of the state government and 'cheap' working of senior officials.
Giving data from the annual action reports of the PSEB, he said in 1996-97, about 391.10 crore electricity units worth Rs 844 crore and in 1997-98, about 414.40 crore electricity units worth Rs 895 crore had been lost during transmission and distribution. In 1997-98, every day 53 transformers were destroyed by fire, he added.
In the past two financial years, the officials detected electricity theft worth Rs 32 crore only, which was 2 per cent of the total power theft in the state.
He alleged that PSEB officials were deliberately losing court cases in favour of big industrialists, who had been booked for large-scale theft of electricity in the past.
Mr Jeet further alleged that the state government was not taking care of the ongoing hydro-electric projects despite the fact that their cost of per unit generation was much lower that than of coal-based plants.
He alleged that the PSEB authorities were falsely claiming that expenditure on the establishment was going up every year. Instead, every year, the strength of employees of the board was coming down. At present, the strength of the employees for the generation of one crore units was 45 as compared to 72 last year.
Surplus teachers to be transferred
CHANDIGARH, July 30 Surplus teachers from over-staffed government schools will be shifted to staff-starved schools.
The process of transferring such teachers will start after August 16. The District Education Officers have been directed by the authorities concerned to submit the lists of overstaffed schools by August 15.
There are hundreds of schools having surplus teachers especially in cities, towns and villages in the immediate proximity of urban areas. For instance a government school at Morinda has 44 teachers on its rolls while it should have only 25 teachers as per the laid down norms. Likewise a government school at Jagraon has 56 teachers whereas it should have only 24 teachers as per the strength of students in the school.
When contacted, Mr Tota Singh, Punjab Education Minister, said while the Jagraon school had a large number of teachers its result this year was only 19 per cent. He said when he made a surprise inspection of the school, 18 teachers were found absent. Besides, only 700 students were present in the school against total number of 1200 students registered in the school.
While schools in most of the cities and towns have surplus staff, there are several schools in rural areas especially in the remote belts which are under-staffed. In spite of requests made by panchayats of villages with under-staffed schools, the authorities have not provided them adequate teaching staff.
Official sources said about 300 teachers had been found surplus in Amritsar city and schools located in the nearby villages. As many as 1300 teachers have been found surplus according to data collected so far by the authorities concerned.
After a long gap, the authorities concerned in the Education Department have taken the initiative to rationalise the staff strength in the government schools.
Mr Tota Singh said he had requested all MLAs to inspect primary schools in their respective areas and to keep in touch with the teaching staff to improve the functioning of such schools. He said MLAs could play a vital role in improving the teaching standards in government schools by remaining in touch with the teaching staff in schools.
He claimed that the dropout percentage had come down to 29 per cent in government primary schools from 40 per cent. It would be brought down further, he added. Teachers in primary schools had been instructed to be in touch with the parents of those students who keep away from school.
Mr Tota Singh said all
arrangements for introducing English in primary schools
from the first standard had been completed and Chief
Minister Parkash Singh Badal would inaugurate this scheme
next month. He said on a trial basis different sets of
question papers would be introduced in examinations at
the school level from the supplementary examinations in
Protesting teachers cane-charged
CHANDIGARH, July 30 As many as 15 members of the Navniyukat Adhyapak Union, Punjab were arrested when they tried to proceed towards the Punjab Civil Secretariat after staging a rally at the Housing Board roundabout here today.
The protestors also bore a mild cane-charge after they tried to cross barricades put up by the police.
The teachers were protesting against the action of the Punjab Government in terminating the services of about 2200 teachers, who were recruited by the Punjab Education Department in 1994. These teachers were relieved by the Punjab Government on October 13, 1997, following directions of the Punjab and Haryana Government that teaching staff recruited by the state government over and above the advertised vacancies, be retrenched.
Addressing the teachers, the senior vice-President of the union, Mr Pushpinder Singh Harpalpur said hundreds of teachers who had put in three to four years of service were rendered jobless by the state government for no fault of theirs. Demanding that the teachers be reappointed without any further delay, Mr Pushpinder Singh said after loosing their jobs, the teachers and their families were facing starvation as they had no other source of livelihood. One such teacher, Jagmohan Singh of Kattianwali village in Muktsar district was driven to suicide on June 26. The responsibility for this lay with the state government, he added.
The president of the union, Mr Sardip Singh (Amritsar), criticised Punjab Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh for his alleged statement that the teachers were playing into the hands of politicians and thier struggle was motivated. He said the state government should promulgate an ordinance through which the teachers could be suitably absorbed.
Mr Pushpinder Singh said if their demands were not accepted, they would be forced to gherao the ministers in villages. The union also refused proposal by the state education minister that the Education Department was envisaging a plan to appoint these teachers on contract basis. He demanded that the teachers be made regular from the date of first appointment without any break in service.
New knowhow for agro-based
CHANDIGARH, July 30 The National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) and the Punjab Agro-Industries Corporation (PAIC) have joined hands to introduce "new technologies" in the farm sector to give the much needed breakthrough to stagnating agriculture.
As a consequence of this several areas have been identified for future exploitation to encourage agro-based industry. The identified technologies pertain to "mummifying of flowers for essential oils, extraction of fruit juices by freeze drying, fruit processing plants, garlic powder, mentol from mint oil, osmotic dehydration of fruits, papin from papaya, potato flour, making rice husk particle board, cattle and poultry feed and bio-fertilisers." Each technology is job-oriented.
According to the Financial Commissioner (Development), Mr R.N. Gupta, the State Government will be approached for creating a "venture capital fund" in the PAIC for providing term finance and equity support on soft terms to those agro-based projects which involved new technologies, new markets and hence "higher risks".
The Managing Director, PAIC, Mr A.R. Talwar, who had met the NRDC Managing Director, Mr N.K. Sharma, for a detailed presentation on the available technologies told TNS a working committee would look after, identification of such technologies which would operate on commercial lines once adopted and adapted by Punjabi entrepreneurs. The NRDC had agreed to supply "marketing kits" based on which open advertisements would be issued for financial collaboration, whereafter, private entrepreneurs would be identified and projects prepared for implementation.
In fact for each of the shortlisted technologies, the NRDC has prepared one-page briefs giving background, cultivation, processing and economics of each venture.
The NRDC Managing Director expressed surprise that progressive states like Punjab and Haryana lagged behind in this area of agricultural development when one talks of "sustainable" agriculture.
NRDC, it was stated, dealt in the promotion and commercialisation of inventions, development and promotion of rural technologies. The NRDC had access to over 5,000 Indian technologies in different sectors and another 2,000 from Israel, China, Russia, Holland, South Korea and Japan. It had a working relationship with the inter-national Development Research Centre, Canada, for transfer of their technology to Indian companies.
Licensing and commercialisation also came under the purview of the NRDC.
That Punjab needs such tie-up was emphasised even by Capt Kanwaljit Singh in his June 24 Budget speech, wherein, inter alia, he had referred to the fact that Punjab must avail of the "technological breakthroughs" achieved in agriculturally advanced countries by launching new thrust on "research" and "import" of technology and equipment. In the new tie-up between NRDC and PAIC, that realisation is seen as a beginning.
BJP firm on Udham Singh Nagar
CHANDIGARH, July 30 The BJP leadership has more or less made it clear to the Akalis that Udham Singh Nagar district would have to be part of the proposed hill state of Uttaranchal. Senior BJP leaders, including the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, have told the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal that the Akalis should understand their political compulsions and should not press the government and the BJP in this regard.
Knowledgeable sources here today pointed out that Mr Vajpayee in his own characteristic style conveyed his compulsions to Mr Badal. But other leaders were more specific and told the Union Minister for Food, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the SGPC President, that they should appreciate the political reality and stop raising passions on the issue. The BJP leaders say that the BJP leadership in Uttar Pradesh and the State Assembly have taken one view and declared that the prosperous areas of Udham Singh Nagar district would have to be included in the proposed hill state. Also, all the MLAs and MPs belonging to the Uttaranchal area have threatened an agitation if the prosperous farmlands of Udham Singh Nagar district are not included in the new state. The Akalis have also been requested to pacify the people of that district who too have been leading demonstrations and bandhs.
It is also learnt that the Union Cabinet has already asked the ministry concerned to prepare the draft Bill including the controversial district in the proposed state. The Bill for the creation of three states of Uttaranchal, Vananchal and Chattisgarh is first to go to the President. Mr Badal is aware of these developments. A committee consisting of three cabinet ministers including Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, the Akali Minister for Food and Chemicals, has been constituted to examine all aspects of the creation of the three new states. Mr Vajpayee has asked this committee to keep in mind the political situation and the Uttar Pradesh Assembly resolutions in mind while making any recommendations.
It is not clear how strongly will Mr Barnala put across the Akali case. Akali sources said that Mr Tohra has told Mr Barnala to record a strong dissenting note. Mr Badal may ask him to do the same thing. But how the Akali Dal reacts at the actual time of voting in Parliament is not clear. Mr Badal, according to senior Akali leaders, would not like to take the issue to the breaking point. But Mr Badal also knows that his political position in Punjab vis-a vis the BJP and within the Akali Dal itself would be weakened.
A senior Akali Minister here confided that whenever this issue was raised by any Minister or MLA with the Chief Minister, who also heads the Akali Dal, he or she is told " Let us see. We have done our best". At times Mr Badal goes a bit further and says "The Political Affairs Committee could meet and discuss the issue when the decision is announced." He said Mr Badal felt extremely hurt and sad on the issue. We do not know he would react even when the decision is formally announced," he said.
Meanwhile, the Akali-BJP relations are getting soured every day. Some Akali leaders have protested to Mr Badal the way the state BJP president, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, had raked up the power tariff hike issue. The Cabinet Ministers from the BJP were part of the collective decision and yet Mr Sodhi made a public issue. The meeting of the BJP delegation along with the delegations of trade and industries that met the Chief Minister, and other senior leaders was clearly told about the issue. In fact, Mr Sodhi was castigated by at least by two Akali Ministers, including the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh. Mr Sodhi took the position that he was not informed either by Mr Tandon or by anyone else. In any case, the Akalis feel that the BJP is now claiming the main credit for reduction in the power tariff.
Flood-control steps taken
HOSHIARPUR, July 30 All necessary arrangements for controlling floods in Hoshiarpur district have been completed for which Rs 5.4 crore are being spent.
This was disclosed by Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner, here yesterday. He said that to divert the flow of flood water of river Beas 22 new studs and spurs had been constructed. Besides, 10 km-long protection bundhs had been constructed on various "choes" in the district by the Drainage Department.
He along with Mr H.S Dhaliwal, Executive Engineer Drainage Division, Hoshiarpur, and Mr Kulbir Singh SDM (civil) Dasuya, on Tuesday visited Begpur, Nai-Chak, Saidowal, Mangat, Budhu-Barkat, Galowel, Passi-bet, Goraian, Kahlwan, Miani, Bhoolpur, Rare, Salaimpur and Tahli villages located on the banks of Gangian choe and river Beas in Dasuya subdivision of Hoshiarpur district and inspected flood protection measures. Some villagers demanded construction of more studs, spurs and revetment at various sites to check and divert the flow of flood water.
Chemists' plea on drug price display
ROPAR, July 30 The All-India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists in a representation to the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, has urged an amendment should be made to the Drug Price Control Order Act to make provisions for displaying maximum retail price, including all taxes on all types of medicines.
Talking to this correspondent, Mr Rajinder Jaggi, senior vice-president of the Punjab Chemists Association, said here today at least five lakh members-retail and wholesale traders of the organisation had been opposing the existing rule of displaying local taxes extra on the medicines for the past couple of years but to no avail. He said on this issue chemists had organised a countrywide bandh on 1 February last year.
Mr Jaggi said adding local taxes into the printed price on the medicines was a complicated job for a chemist who had to sell hundreds of types of medicines of various companies daily. Any error in this regard could lead to a sentence and fine for a chemist.
Triangular contest for teachers' poll
AMRITSAR, July 30 For the first time in the 30-year history of Guru Nanak Dev University, a keen triangular contest will be held for teachers' association election to be held on August 5. Earlier, there was either a straight fight or unanimous selection in the university since its inception in 1969. After the withdrawal of nomination papers yesterday, the university campus has become a hub of election activities and all the three groups have already started their intensive campaign for the elections.
The four contestants for the post of president are Mr Amrik Singh Mangat (Independent), Mr C.S. Cheema of the Progressive Teachers Group (Cheema), Mr Gurnam Singh of the Progressive Teachers Group (Gurnam) and Mr R.K. Bedi. For the post of vice-president, the three candidates are Mr H.S. Bedi (Hindi Department), Mr G.M. Singh (Physical Education) and Mr Sukhpreet Singh. For the post of Secretary, Mr Sukhdev Singh (Biology Department), Mr Devinder Singh (Department of Psychology) and Mr S.S. Sajan (Guru Nanak Studies) are in the fray. For the post of joint secretary, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mr B.K. Chadda and Mr Simrat Kahlon would try their luck and for the post of treasurer, Mr G.S. Rang, Mr M.D. Singh and Mr Sukhdev Singh would contest. There are six posts of executive for which as many as 18 candidates would be in fray.
1 lakh saplings to be planted
ROPAR, July 30 One lakh saplings of neem, sheesham and mulberry will be planted in schools of this district from August 1 to 15 by the neo-literates under a project of post-literacy campaign being run by the District Literacy Samiti.
This was stated by Mr Khushi Ram, ADC-cum-secretary of the samiti, Ropar, while addressing a meeting of members of the core committee of the samiti.
The ADC said that the work of teaching fourth primer to the neo-literates had been begun and the work of imparting training to key resource persons and master trainers for the success of post literacy campaign had already been completed in the district.
Function to help war widows held
JALANDHAR, July 30 The annual function organised by the District Sainik Welfare Board for war widows was presided over by Mrs Madhu Davar, wife of Lt-Gen K. Davar, here yesterday.
There are 92 war widows in Jalandhar district whose husbands laid down their lives during World War-II 1948, 1962, 1965, 1971 operations and also during "Op Pawan", The District Sainik Welfare Board office here organises an annual function for the war widows to redress their problems.
Deputy Director Sainik Welfare, Lt-Col Manmohan Singh said that efforts were made to get employment for war widows/other widows and their children. A pre-recruitment training centre for the wards of war widows to prepare them for entry into the Army, Navy, paramilitary forces and state police forces were being run by the board. In addition Punjabi stenography, typing course, computer course for the daughters of war widows were also run.
He said that in the past five years many widows and other widows were able to get jobs with the help of the board.
Smuggler held, 5 kg opium seized
BATALA, July 30 Mr Lok Nath Angra Batala police district chief said here today that a naka party at 7 p.m. apprehended Sham Lal Shamu,s/o Isher Dass of Shai Fajlabad, with 5 kg opium.
He revealed that he crossed over to Pakistan in 1990 with Bachan Lal Billu son of Anant Ram of Sardarilal Wala camp Jammu. Sham Lal and Bachan Lal developed contacts with Buti Shah and stayed there for a month. Later he became frequent border crosser and remained with Buti Shah for a number of time. He formed close association with Basi Tulla of Brijpur, P.S. Zaffarwal, Gulab Nabi Khadi of Jandiala P.S. Sialkot and Mohd Sadiq of Kungra. All these border crossers are agents of the ISI in Pakistan.
Buti Shah is a top narcotics smuggler and has number of agents in Jammu. The ISI told Buti Shah to make contacts in Punjab. Sham Lal was sent to Punjab. He contacted Avinash Kumar son of Chaman Lal of Sunder Nagar Batala. Sham Lal took Avinash Kumar to Pakistan in 1996 and stayed there for few days. Avinash Kumar is now detained under the NSA and is presently lodged in Patiala jail.
In 1997 he brought two consignments of gold from Buti Shah and handed over these consignments to Charan Dass of Dagiana mohalla Jammu. As part payment of the consignment Charan Dass gave him Rs 12 lakh to get it exchanged in dollars from Jalandhar. But he could not contact the hawala smuggler in Jalandhar and came back to Jammu. Rupees 12 lakh was sent through some another agent to Buti Shah.
MBE course: Dang seeks
AMRITSAR, July 30 Mr Satya Paul Dang, veteran CPI leader, has urged the Punjab Governor and Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University to order an inquiry into the allegation that the management of Khalsa College, Amritsar, has not admitted students to the newly introduced course of masters of business economics (MBE) even though a written test and interview had been conducted by the college authorities for the same.
In a communication to Gen, BKN Chhibber, Mr Dang said candidates from various parts of the country had been left in the lurch. They had been told that the course was not being started this session. The course was advertised in leading newspapers and as many as 55 candidates appeared for the test.
Mr Dang alleged that when enquired, Mr M.S. Dhillon, Principal Khalsa College, claimed that the university had refused permission for the course while the Vice-Chancellor denied there was any hurdle in the same.
Mr Dang asked the Governor to take appropriate action against the guilty. He further said that the college management had offered these students admission in MA (Economics) for which most of them were not qualified.
to go on strike
JALANDHAR, July 30 The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Employees Struggle Committee has announced that the employees would go on a one day strike on August 19, against the board's discriminatory attitude towards its employees.
Mr H.S. Minhas, convener of the committee said here today that on August 1, a black flag march would be taken out against the Chairman and board members of the PSEB in the state for their failure to meet the long pending demands of the employees.
Accusing the board management, he said that due to mismanagement the PSEB was nearing bankruptcy today and vacancies for officers were still being created by the board management and no effective policy to cut down on the ever increasing expenses of the board.
While in the name of the loss the employees were not being given new pay scales and arrears. He demanded that the written compromise between employees' struggle committee and the board management on June 1, 1997 should be implemented.
Prior to the strike of August 19 the committee will hold dharnas and demonstrations starting from August 7 at Ludhiana on 10 August at Bathinda, on 11 August at Jalandhar on 12 August at Amritsar and on August 13 at Patiala.
Traffic blocked for over 3 hours
JALANDHAR, July 30 Traffic was blocked for more than three hours here today on the G T Road in protest against the police firing and lathi charge on the agitated shopkeepers yesterday.
While Mr Varinder Sharma, a social activist, alleged that the police was playing a partisan role in protecting the property dealers, who tried to stop the rebuilding of a shop which had been demolished at Adarsh Nagar on June 4 last by the municipal corporation. He said the agitation has been deferred on an assurance by the Deputy Commissioner that along with the SSP and municipal commissioner, a peaceful settlement will be effected.
Book cases of cruelty to
animals, cops told
LUDHIANA, July 30 Mr K. Shivaprasad, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, has issued orders to all the SHOs in the district to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The People for Animals, Ludhiana chapter, had demanded the issuance of these orders as many policemen were hesitating in booking complaints regarding cruelty to animals on the pretext that they had no orders from the DC or their department, according to Dr Sandeep K. Jain, in charge PFA.
The ADC has directed them to book the complaints, under the PCA Act immediately.
The People for Animals, Ludhiana, also presented a copy of its memorandum to the new Commissioner, MC Ludhiana, demanding a ban on open air slaughterhouses in many localities of Ludhiana and provision of shelter for stray animals, including cows, bulls, horses, dogs, pigs etc. These animals remain without proper food, water, shelter and veterinary care apart from becoming victims of many cruelties and accidents etc.
17 gastroenteritis cases 'confirmed'
LUDHIANA July 30 Four teams of health officials were sent to the affected localities today from where cases of gastroenteritis were reported.
Dr G.P Chander, Civil Surgeon Ludhiana, said a total of 354 persons were treated by the teams of doctors for different ailments. He,however, claimed that no doctor came across a "confirmed'' case of gastroenteritis. The patients were given medicines free of cost. To a question, he said the doctors did not visit the streets of colonies from where the cases of gastroenteritis were being reported.
He however, said that 17 cases of "confirmed" gastroenteritis reported from different hospitals was as follows: Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital-four, civil hospital six, M.D Oswal Hospital-two Pahwa Hospital four and Ashok Nagar Hospital-one.
Contempt plea against Editor
CHANDIGARH, July 30 Mr Justice S.C. Malte of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed two contempt petitions which were filed against Mr Vijay Kumar Chopra, Editor of the Hind Samachar group, which publishes leading dailies such as Punjab Kesri, Jag Bani and Hind Samachar.
The judge dismissed the petitions after hearing counsel for the Hind Samachar chief, who argued that contempt petition did not comply with Section 15(2) (b) of the Contempt of Courts Act whereby it was mandatory for the petitioner to seek the Advocate-General's permission before filing the contempt petition.
It was further contended that even otherwise, it was a frivolous case and was totally devoid of merit. It was an attempt to harass Mr Chopra and put restrictions on the freedom of press.
1 dead, 19 hurt in bus mishap
FEROZEPORE, July 30 One person died and 19 others were injured when a bus of a private transport company, in which they were travelling, dashed against a kikar tree near Khai-Pheme-Ki village on the Ferozepore-Fazilka road today.
According to the Ferozepore Civil Surgeon, Dr V.K. Bassi, the killed has been identified as Kishan Lal, son of Munshi Ram, a resident of Diwankhera village. He had died on the spot.
A doctor at the civil hospital said 19 injured passengers were brought to the hospital. While three were admitted, the others were discharged after first aid.
Of the admitted injured passengers, one each was referred to hospitals in Ludhiana and Faridkot.
Vijay Pal, driver of the bus, was the alone injured, admitted there now. A resident of Khuban village in Abohar subdivision, he was lying unconscious on the bed and blood was being transfused to him. His condition is serious.
Black badge protest on August 11
PATIALA, July 30 In protest against the step-motherly treatment by the central and Punjab Governments, the Punjab Government College Teachers Association has decided to wear black badges on August 4. The association has also threatened to go on an indefinite strike from August 11 if their "genuine" demands are not met, according to a press note of the association issued here yesterday.
The association criticised Union HRD Minister M.M Joshi for the "unilateral" announcement of the "modified" Rastogi pay scales for university and college teachers. Mr P.S Bhatti, president of the association, said it was for the first time that the UGC recommendations had been ignored.
He said the HRD Minister had gone back on his assurance regarding Ph.D and M.Phil increments to in service teachers and the promise regarding a higher scale to selection grade teachers who had more than five years of experience in teaching.
Without salaries for 4 months
FEROZEPORE, July 30 About 12,000 teachers working in government-aided schools in this district have not been given salaries for the past four months.
According to a press release issued by the district unit of the Punjab State Recognised School Teachers and other Employees Union, the reason for non-payment of salaries is that the government has not released grant in aid to the schools.
Kharar hospital to have 50 beds
KHARAR, July 30 Mr Inderjit Singh Zira, Punjab Minister for Health who paid surprise checking visit to Civil Hospital Kharar in the morning today has declared that the civil hospital of Kharar would be soon upgraded from 25-bed hospital to 50-bed hospital and the renovation and construction work with an estimated cost of about Rs 2.5 crore would start in December 1998. He was talking to reporters after inspecting the hospital where he reached at 8.05 a.m. today. He said that he was very much impressed by the work of the team headed by Dr S.S Dhanoa, SMO Kharar.
He declared that 500 new doctors would be soon recruited and hospital would be modernised with an estimated cost of about Rs 126 during the current year. He declared that no government doctor would be allowed to do private practice. He said that the government was thinking of giving up checking powers to CMO's and SMO's in order to check misuse of intoxicants. He said that new drug inspectors would be recruited soon.
FARIDKOT: Residents of Bhagthala Kalan, once a border village in the erstwhile princely state of Faridkot, have not been provided basic amenities even 50 years after Independence. Due to absence of any waterworks, women of the area have to fetch drinking water in clay pots from two canals Rajasthan and Sirhind feeder or from two handpumps installed across the canals, 1.5 km from the village.
Subsequent arrangements made by the state government for providing water supply from Pakhi Kalan village waterworks have failed to improve matters. After persuasion by the panchayat, the government agreed to resolve the issue at the earliest and in this connection, the state Agriculture Minister, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, laid the foundation stone of a waterworks project on September 7 last year.
Poor education is another drawback in eradicating illiteracy in the village. A primary school which operated from a single room for the past five decades was upgraded to the middle standard in 1996. It still lags behind owing to shortage of staff, furniture and accommodation. The institution has nearly 100 students on its rolls. There is a demand for establishing a high school with all facilities, which would encourage youth of six surrounding villages, namely Bhagthala Khurd, Hasanbhatti, Kabarbachha, Kailash, Mallewala and Pehluwala to go to school. The residents are also sore over the inadequate irrigation facilities. Recently they had set up a siphon at a cost of Rs 2 lakh, to irrigate 600 acres of land. A siphon installed by the government in 1982 was unable to meet the entire demand.
The substation at Mudki town (Ferozepore district) has failed to cater to the needs of the people. No action has been taken to install a new transformer, sanctioned six months ago to boost power supply. There is urgent need to connect the village with 132 kv grid substation located at Faridkot to ease the situation.
Due to poor disposal and drainage system, storm water generally remains stranded hours together in the kutcha narrow lanes, posing problems to the movement of the rural folk. They have to cover a 16 km to reach this district headquarters town as there is no direct road from Bir Bholuwala to this headquarters town.
Admitting the facts, Mrs Harbans Kaur, sarpanch of the village, said no Harijan dharamshala had been constructed yet. She also regretted the indifferent attitude of the district administration in clearing 20 cases of old age pension for which there were 150 applicants. She also stressed the need for early construction of houses under the Punjab Government housing scheme to rehabilitate the poor. A fair price shop was also required to meet the demands of the needy.
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