|P U N J A B||
Wednesday, September 9, 1998
Five members of delegation of Punjab received Ist Satyam Maitra National Award of literacy on international literacy day function held at Siri Fort auditorium at New Delhi photo by T C Malhotra
Best literacy district
set for paddy procurement
Taliban threat not tackled: Gujral
fears return of militancy
award against doctor set aside
into cop's death nearly complete
Nihangs beaten to death
sign up against illiteracy
purchase policy opposed
facility in all Punjab exchanges soon
Best literacy district award
NEW DELHI, Sept 8 The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, here today presented the Satyam Maitra national award for the best literacy district in the country to Rupnagar district of Punjab.
A five-member delegation comprising Ms Vini Mahajan, Mr Gurdeep Singh, Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu, Dr Piara Lal Garg and Mr Bachan Dass were deputed by the Punjab Government to receive the award for the project which was initiated in September 1995.
Speaking on the occasion of International Literacy Day, the Prime Minister commended the role played by the National Literacy Mission in trying to remove the stigma of illiteracy from India.
Stating that the government alone could not remove illiteracy from the country, he said citizens do have a role to play in making the people of this country literate. He added the literacy movement should be converted into a peoples movement.
Among those present on the occasion were the Vice-President, Mr Krishan Kant, the Union Human Resources Development Minister, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and the Union Minister of State for HRD, Ms Uma Bharti.Ms Mahajan, then Deputy Commissioner of Rupnagar, said the project was carried out at a low cost.
Out of Rs 122 lakhs sanctioned by the state and central government, only Rs 56 lakh was utilised.This is the first project of the northern state to get the Satyam Maitra memorial award.Ernakulam model of mass literacy campaign was successfully implemented in 1,000 odd villages and municipal wards of the district where about eight lakh persons reside.
Women and youth worked voluntarily for the campaign. Three primers containing 30 chapters were taught to the learners within a period of nine months including mopping up period.At least 75,000 learners identified through a survey were the target of the campaign.
CM's statement on panel under
CHANDIGARH, Sept 8 The issue of the Peoples' Commission, instituted by several human rights organisations which have formed an umbrella outfit on "disappearances" in Punjab, has become more controversial despite the matter being sub judice.
The World Sikh Council President, Justice Kuldip Singh, a former Judge of the Supreme Court, today crossed swords with the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who had said at Nangal on Monday that there was no need for a parallel commission when the state had already constituted one.
In a separate but identical statement even the Punjab Human Rights Organisation and the Movement Against State Repression activists, Justice A.S. Bains, Mr Inderjeet Singh Jaijee, Mrs Baljit Kaur and Maj-Gen Narinder Singh, have taken exception to the Chief Minister's observations.
Justice Kuldip Singh said the Chief Minister's statement was not based on "legal" position regarding powers of the State Human Rights Commission. The complaints before the Peoples' Commission pertained to the period prior to 1996, while, before the government commission these were not more than one year old.
The Chief Minister should own the Peoples' Commission or constitute a commission under the Commission of Enquiry Act or under the executive powers of the state.
"Needless to say human rights violations on such a large scale cannot be pushed under the carpet and have to be investigated in public interest by an independent forum", he added.
On the same lines, the
other organisation representatives have commented and
reminded Akalis of their own promise to give justice to
those whose kin were "missing". The Chief
Minister should read the mandate of the National Human
Gidderbaha gets 50-bedded hospital
GIDDERBAHA, Sept 8 Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today alleged that anti-people policies of successive previous Congress governments in state and the Centre had given a severe blow to the economy of farmers.
Speaking at a function organised in connection with the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Rs 2.16-crore 50-bedded civil hospital here, he said that indebtness of farmers even after 50 years of Independence was due to the "misdeeds" of the Congress.
He said that previous Congress government in the state never bothered to eradicate the water-logging problem in certain pockets of Punjab. He added that true to its promise, the SAD-BJP government of Punjab was on the verge of eradicating the water-logging problem in Muktsar and its surrounding areas.
Mr Badal alleged that due to wrong policies of the Congress governments, the people were still deprived of basic amenities like drinking water, sewerage facility, drainage of rainy water and power connections.
He said that with a view to making agriculture a profitable venture, his government had taken innovative steps for improving productivity. He said that the paddy production was expected to be 30 per cent more than last year.
Efforts were also on to industrialise Punjab on a massive scale. He said that within a few months, projects worth Rs 20,000 crore in public as well as private sectors would start setting up in Punjab. The state would also get the Ludhiana-Chandigarh rail link shortly.
Mr S.S. Channy, Managing Director, Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC), said that about 145 buildings of the existing hospitals at the cost of Rs. 18 crore had been repaired and work on other five was going on.
Earlier, the Chief Minister flagged off 31 ambulance vans for various hospitals of the state for the quick transportation of patients to the nearest medicare available under the 'Health for all' programme.
Bollworm attacks cotton crop
CHANDIGARH, Sept 8 The American bollworm, which had devastated cotton crop in a large part of the cotton belt in this part of the country last year, has resurfaced in the cotton belt this year.
Officials of the Punjab Agriculture Department and the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today confirmed the attack of bollworm and other pests, especially leaf curl, on the cotton crop in the cotton belt Bathinda, Mansa, Faridkot and Muktsar districts and certain parts of Sangrur district.
Sources said that the attack of the worm, which in fact is attacking the cotton crop almost every year for the past several years, was not confined to Punjab areas. It had been also noticed in Haryana and Rajasthan.
A senior official of the Punjab Agriculture Department said that American bollworm was present in almost all cotton-growing districts in Punjab but the incidence of attack so far was not very alarming. He said that attack was under control.
A team of experts of the Punjab Agriculture Department had visited the area and instructed field officials to guide farmers in spraying pesticides effectively, he added.
In this latest report, Dr Joginder Singh, a senior entomologist of PAU, who is leader of the State Cotton Surveillance and Monitoring Committee, has stated that the attack of American bollworm had increased. He has advised farmers and field officials to remain vigilant to save the crop from attack.
In his report he observed that farmers were spraying pesticides by mixing two or three chemicals or brands. He said that farmers should spray pesticides as per the recommendations of the PAU as that would be the more effective way to deal with the pest attack.
Officials of the Agriculture Department said that September was the most crucial month for the cotton crop and cloudy weather or rain could prove very harmful for the cotton crop in the days to come.
Although officials of the Agriculture Department say that American bollworm attack is under control, independent reports coming from the cotton belt suggest that the scale of attack is almost the same like that of last year.
About six lakh hectare is under cotton crop in Punjab. Almost an equal area is under the crop in Haryana.
Last year, farmers in Punjab had suffered a loss of Rs 1500 crore due to attack of American bollworm and other pests and waterlogging. The cotton output last year was only nine lakh bales.
Meanwhile, the Punjab
Agriculture Department has banned the sale of
insecticidal and pesticidal mixtures in Punjab. This step
has been taken on the basis of recommendations made by a
high-level committee of experts set up by the Punjab
Governor to find out the reasons for the large-scale
damage to cotton crop in northern India last year.
All set for paddy procurement
LUDHIANA, Sept 8 The Food Corporation of India and the other state government procurement agencies are all set to enter the market from September 15 to procure paddy in the state.
According to Mr D.P. Reddy, Senior Regional Manager, FCI, allocation of mandis between the FCI and the government procurement agencies has been completed and staff posted to ensure that the farmers do not face any difficulty in quickly disposing of their produce.
Mr Reddy told Tribune News Service after an extensive tour of Jalandhar, Bhatinda, Patiala and Sangrur districts that the emphasis of the FCI and other agencies this year would be on the purchase of good quality paddy. "We are keeping our fingers crossed as regards the weather. There have been no rain in the state for the past few days. This should ensure a lower moisture content in paddy to be brought to markets by farmers.
If the quality of paddy to be purchased by the FCI and other procurement agencies remained consistently good, there would be no problem in getting it milled quickly. Large quantities of paddy which was purchased last year had remained unmilled because the official agencies were virtually forced to buy paddy even if it did not meet the specifications.
Large quantities of paddy purchased and milled last year were below specifications. This forced the Government of India to relax specifications. But these stocks were still lying with the FCI because there were no takers for Punjab rice elsewhere in the country.
Mr Reddy said that in a bid to liquidate last year's stocks, the FCI planned to allow the rice shellers to mill paddy on an "actual weighment" basis. The FCI would also look into the possibility of allowing the millers to mix last year's rice with the new crop rice in a bid to upgrade quality.
Although the FCI was facing a "crisis situation" as regards storage of grains, all efforts were being made to maximise movement of grains out of Punjab to make more space available for the new paddy. During the month of August, more than 8.5 lakh MT of rice had been moved out of Punjab through the Railways.
In September and October also, the FCI hoped to transport the same quantity. The problem of storage was accentuated by the fact that the movement of grains out of Punjab during the months of April, May and June averaged just 3.5 lakh MT a month. In July, it rose to the figure of 5.5 lakh MT.
Paddy arrivals in Punjab
this year were officially estimated at around 120 lakh MT
against the figure of 99 lakh MT last year. But Mr Reddy
feels that the actual paddy arrivals in Punjab mandis
might not exceed 110 lakh MT. Of this, the FCI planned to
procure up to 30 lakh MT leaving the remaining to private
traders and official agencies. Last year, private traders
procured 27.77 lakh MT of paddy.`
New irrigation project planned
CHANDIGARH, Sept 8 While the Sutlej-Yamuna link (SYL) canal still remains an abandoned child, Punjab has conceived the Dasmesh irrigation project.
This is not entirely a new conception. It is a revised, renamed and updated version of stage-III of the SYL project. Due to militant activities, the work on the SYL project stopped in July, 1990; so did the work on various components of stage-III under construction at that time.
The new project, is entirely for irrigation of Punjab areas. The water to be used for the purpose will also come from the state's "own share". The benefits will flow to several blocks in Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala districts. Through "gravity" and "deep" tubewells irrigation will be provided, covering even the kandi area. Water will be drawn from the Bhakra mainline with the Dasmesh canal off-taking somewhere near Ropar and extending down to Dera Bassi area.
Once water is lifted from the BML canal into the balancing reservoir it flows by gravity. The proposed canal, primarily, runs in the foothills of the Shivaliks, irrigating areas on either side in Ropar, Sialba Majri, Chamkaur Sahib, Kharar, Bassi Pathana, Rajpura, Ghanaur and Dera Bassi.
Besides increasing agricultural produce, the canal irrigation in the command area is expected to "recharge" the groundwater reservoir, resulting in arresting depletion in the sub-soil water. Tubewells will assure supplementary irrigation. The project will contribute to the socio-economic uplift of the villages.
The envisaged project cost is Rs 450 crore. The land requirement is 2,315 acres; 1,023 acres have been acquired. The main canal will be 17 km in length, while, branch canals, distributories and minors will raise the total length to 375 km. Canal irrigation will improve in 89,500 hectares and tubewell irrigation in 27,530 hectares.
Punjab and Haryana politicians routinely exchange hot words and make claims, counterclaims and trade charges over the non-completion of SYL. This skeleton, has already cost the exchequer Rs 600 crore, approximately. So dilapidated is its condition that it is not worth even a drain. It, at times, becomes a source of floods. To recommission it, an equal amount of Rs 600 crore will be needed, say engineers.
Blast victim's 10-yr-old fight for
AMRITSAR: Seventy-year-old Harnam Dass, once a rickshaw puller who can now hardly walk or talk, has been going from pillar to post for the past 10 years to get compensation in vain.
The poor old man lost his wife, Shakuntla Devi (50), and his daughter, Babli (9), about 10 years ago in a bomb blast on May 30, 1988 at Shiwala Bhaian. As Harnam Dass was in state of deep shock an impostor, Subhash Chander, collected the compensation from the revenue authorities claiming to be the husband and father of the deceased, Shakuntla and Babli, respectively.
The impostor is still untraceable even 10 years of the tragic incident, while the father of five children is seen going from one office to another to claim the compensation.
What is worse, the state government has asked the district administration to fix the responsibility for releasing compensation to the impostor rather than taking immediate action for releasing the money to the actual claimant.
Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, president of All-India Hindu Shiv Sena, took up the Harnam Dass case with the Chief Minister and Governor for releasing the money to the old man without further delay.
Mr Billa, while talking to TNS, said the victim had also written a number of letters to all concerned but it had fallen on deaf ears. Though the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had also written a letter to the Relief and Rehabilitation Department for releasing the ex gratia amount to the deserving person, no action had been taken so far.
Mr S.S. Johal, SDM-I, when contacted admitted that the case for compensation was very genuine. He said compensation would be released to the victim as soon as it is sanctioned by the government.
The then Deputy Commissioner, Mr Amarjit Singh, in his report sent to the Directorate of Relief and Rehabilitation, after conducting a magisterial inquiry, had strongly recommended release of the ex gratia grant to Harnam Singh. The Deputy Commissioner in his report had admitted that the compensation was given to the wrong person rather than to the genuine person. He, however, said before releasing the ex gratia grant to the impostor, Subhash Chander was shown as the husband and father of the deceased in the list of the victims by the then SSP and Executive Magistrate. The amount was released on the basis of that list.
The Deputy Commissioner further stated that the fact-finding report had recommended strict action against the SSP's office staff for wrongly showing an impostor as husband and father of the deceased.
The inquiry officer also recommended action against a person who had given a surety for the impostor. The report of the Deputy Commissioner added that action was also being taken against the revenue officials who had released the ex gratia to the impostor while the genuine person had been moving heaven and earth to claim the grant. He had concluded that Harnam Dass was the actual husband and father of Shakuntla Devi and Babli, respectively, and ex gratia should be released to him immediately.
However, Mr Surinder Kumar
Billa, pointed out that though the Deputy Commissioner
had strongly recommended his (Harnam Dass) case on the
basis of the magisterial inquiry on May 28, the victim
was not given any compensation even after three months.
He alleged that the state government was not sincere
towards the terrorist victims which had caused immense
resentment among them.
Taliban threat not tackled: Gujral
JALANDHAR, Sept 8 (PTI) Former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral today termed the Vajpayee governments performance on the foreign policy front "a total failure" and said the Centre had failed to take any steps to tackle the threat posed by the Afghan Taliban which is exporting terrorism to central and south Asia.
"Over 60,000 men, women and children have been killed in Algeria by Algerian and Afghan mercenaries and the entire central Asian and south Asian region is under threat from the terrorism being abetted by fundamentalist Taliban," Mr Gujral who recently returned from Algeria told reporters here.
The former Prime Minister toured Algeria extensively for 20 days as part of a high-level six member United Nations team which would soon submit its report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Mr Gujral said not only had Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee failed to take any credible diplomatic steps to meet the situation arising from the threat posed by the Taliban but he was also guilty of weakening the national consensus on the nuclear policy by negotiating with the USA on the issue.
"The ruling party has not taken the Opposition into confidence before going in for such negotiations with Washington," Mr Gujral said, adding that the US pressures for signing the comprehensive test ban treaty (CTBT) must be resisted.
He said the weakening of Russia as a military and economic power had adversely affected the security of the central Asian and south Asian states, thus creating a worrying scenario for India whose interests are primarily involved in the region.
"The Government of India should immediately work out a coordinated response with Russia, Iran and other central Asian nations," the former Prime Minister and Chairman of Parliaments Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs said, adding that the Indian foreign policy was facing a major challenge after Pokhran-II.
Asked about the issue of Kashmir figuring at global fora like the recent NAM meeting, Mr Gujral said such aberrations were occurring because the BJP-led coalition government "does not seem to be believing in national consensus."
"All kinds of statements are being made by BJP ministers and others who are not directly concerned with conducting the foreign policy," Mr Gujral said,adding that the Gujral doctrine was still relevant and bearing dividends for the country.
"The BJP has a problem with the doctrines nomenclature which it is welcome to change as long as it continues with this nationally-accepted comprehensive policy," Mr Gujral said.
Mr Gujral said the discovery of huge reservoirs of natural gas in Bangladesh two months ago, should have provided a strong impetus to the central government for exploring ways for closer bilateral economic ties but "instead some parties in India are busy raking up the issue of expatriation of Bangladeshi refugees settled in India for decades now."
Mr Gujral criticised the Peoples Commission set up by the World Sikh Council to probe human rights violations during militancy and said it was not prudent to bypass the official human rights commission set up by the government.
He, however, refused to comment on whether the Peoples Commission should be banned altogether as demanded by the BJP, Congress and the Left parties.
"Non-official agencies should assist the Punjab Human Rights Commission and not take upon themselves its role," the former Prime Minister said, echoing the observations made yesterday by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Mr Gujral, a Lok Sabha MP from here, said the state was facing an acute shortage of funds and Mr Badal has asked for additional resources from the Centre. "I support Punjabs demand for additional resources," said Mr Gujral, known to be a close friend of the Chief Minister.
He said the developmental activities in the state had not kept pace with the increasing demands and aspirations of the people and the Centre must help the state government.
Mr Gujral said the country needed a legislation under which any political party deserting a coalition government even after giving a written undertaking to the President should automatically stand disqualified.
Mr Gujral told reporters here that it was important for the nation to formulate such a legislation in order to ensure durability of coalition governments.
"No single party
since 1989 has been able to muster a majority on its own
in Parliament", he said, adding that political
parties would keep true to their word given to the
President if such a law was enacted.
CPI fears return of militancy
JALANDHAR, Sept 8 (UNI) Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary Joginder Dayal today said convergence of four factors had led to a comeback of terrorism in Punjab in the recent past.
"Rising religious fundamentalism, foreign interference, smugglers activities and ineffective policing are the four causes that now threaten harmony of the state, he said at a press conference here.
Mr Dayal alleged that "misgovernace and non-governance" by the Akali-BJP combine in Punjab due to "corrupt and nepotistic practices of the ruling and bureaucratic elite" have enhanced the danger of convergence of the four factors leading to the revival of terrorism in the border state.
The CPI leader said the fourth phase of his party agitation in association with the Bahujan Samaj Party and CPM would focus public attention on the four issues, besides maintaining pressure on the state government to take immediate steps to curb rural indebtedness and unemployment in the state. Details of the fourth phase of the agitation would be chalked out in a meeting of leaders of three parties to be held at Chandigarh on September 11, he added.
The BSP, CPI and CPM held dharnas during the first phase in July, "chakka jams" in the second phase on August 16 and hunger strikes yesterday in the third phase of their joint agitation against the Punjab government.
The Communist leader alleged that the threat of narco-terrorism also loomed large over Punjab, if the sudden rise in the smuggling and sale of drugs and narcotics was any indication. He alleged that Punjab Police were aiding and abetting narco-terrorism instead of taking steps to check it.
Dr Dayal said seven lakh unemployed youth were the most vulnerable target for the designs of narco-terrorists and hence the government must take immediate steps to arrange for the employment of this large army, sixty per cent of whom were educated.
The Communist leader urged the state government to make arrangements for writing off the high-interest loan of Rs 2,800 crore owed by the peasantry to "arhtiyas" out of total rural indebetness of Rs 5,700 crore.
"When the central government could write off a whooping Rs 47,000 crore of sick-industrial loans to save the industry from going under, there is no reason if (Badal government) could not find funds to save the Punjab peasantry from the Rs 2,800 crore loan by paying its principal to the Arhtiyas.
Forum award against doctor set
BATHINDA, Sept 8 The State Consumer Redressal Commission, Punjab has set aside the orders of District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in which the appellant Dr Amrit Gupta of Gupta Hospital, Bathinda was directed to pay Rs 58,500 and Rs 10,000 as compensation for mental stress with costs of Rs 2000 to the respondent Dev Raj and others on account of negligence attributed to the appellant in performing an operation upon the mother of the respondents, Mrs Roopa Devi.
In its 10-page orders delivered on August 26, 1998 the state consumer commission held that it was of the firm opinion that the opinion expressed by the District Consumer Forum in the matter was not justified under the law, and that the respondent, Mr Dev Raj and others, had failed to prove negligence on part of Dr Amrit Gupta.
Mrs Roopa Devi, suffered an injury to her hip while on a religious tour. She was medically examined by the doctors at Vrindavan and the injury was described as minor. On March 20, 1995, she was admitted to the Gupta Hospital of Dr Amrit Gupta. An operation was conducted on March 21, 1995. A second operation was conducted after five or six days and subsequently a third operation also conducted.
On April 28, 1995 the doctor informed the patient's relatives that the patient be shifted to CMC, Ludhiana. The patient was shifted there, her condition turned serious and ultimately, on May 22, 1995 she was shifted to Bathinda, where she died on May 25, 1995.
It was alleged in the suit that in fact no such operations were required. Besides, the patient was diabetic and the doctor had not conducted the necessary tests before performing the operation. It was also alleged that the operation was performed with unboiled surgical instruments , due to which infection occurred ultimately resulting in the death of the patient.
The relatives bill for medicines and treatment was Rs 1,25,000 and the complainants had demanded Rs 4,25,000 as compensation.
After considering the evidence and documents produced, the district consumer forum passed the impugned order directing payment of Rs 58,500 and Rs 10,000 as compensation for mental stress with costs of Rs 2000.
The state commission, after listening to the arguments of both the parties, held that it was not a case of prima-facie negligence in which the forum could straightaway decide the dispute while adjudicating the complaint and medical experts evidence was required.
It further held that all unsuccessful operations could not be attributed to the negligence on the part of the doctor. Much more evidence was required to prove that the diagnosis or treatment was of the standard required.
FEROZEPORE, Sept 8 (UNI) A major railway tragedy was averted when two Railway gangmen came across five bombs on the Vijaypore-Jammu Sambha line late last night and informed the authorities.
A team of CRPF personnel, along with a bomb disposal squad, soon reached the spot and cleared the track by around 4.45 a.m. However, two hours later, two bombs exploded in the nearby bushes, but no harm was caused to life or property, according to Northern Railway sources here.
The five bombs were located at 2 a.m. by Kuldip Singh and Harbhajan Singh of gang number 13 while doing their routine patrolling, Northern Railway. (Ferozepore range) Divisional Manager N.K. Goel said.
Probe into cop's death nearly complete
MOGA, Sept 8 (UNI) The inquiry into the recent lynching of a police head constable by an unruly mob here is likely to be completed tonight and a final report was expected to be submitted tomorrow.
Sangrur Senior Superintendent of Police Arpat Shukla, who is probing alleged police lapses that led to the gruesome murder of Mr Tarsem Singh at the citys Bahona Chowk on September 3 said last night that the investigation would continue for the third day today. Mr Shukla on Sunday hoped that the probe would be over by the next day and the report would be ready by today.
The SSP yesterday recorded the statements of DSP Surinder Singh and SSP Bhushan Kumar Garg (both suspended on charges of dereliction of duty) and verified relevant records of the police stations of division one and division two and Sadar police station. He also recorded the statements of moharars of these stations and verified several wireless records besides collecting notes from pertinent telephone operators.
Investigations are being
carried to find out whether police negligence and failure
contributed to the murder of head constable Tarsem Singh,
who was battered to death by a team of villagers at Basti
beaten to death
TARN TARAN, Sept 8 Two Nihangs were beaten to death by an irate mob which suspected them to be thieves at Sabhra village last night.
Earlier, a villager was killed in firing by the Nihangs when some women suspecting them to be members of the "kale kachhewale" gang raised the alarm.
On September 3, a Head Constable, Tarsem Singh, was beaten to death by a mob at Moga on suspicion that the policeman was a member of the gang.
According to information available here, the two Nihangs, Pyara Singh and Sukha Singh, were passing through the village when the incident occurred.
LUDHIANA, Sept 8 Second-year students of all engineering colleges of Punjab affiliated to Punjab Technical University have proceeded on a strike to protest against certain rules of the university.
Villagers sign up against illiteracy
PATIALA, Sept 8 International Literacy Day was celebrated by the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education, Punjabi University here today by organising a "learn to sign your name" campaign in Agrawar village, 20 km from here.
Dr Amrit Kaur, in charge of the centre, led the campaign in which students of M.A. Education part-II of the university, students of plus two of Government Senior Secondary School, Agrawar and teachers of the school participated.
The campaigners, with
banners in their hands, marched from door to door in the
village and taught illiterate male and female adults to
sign their name. Of the 80 school students, 25 pledged to
impart literacy to 25 illiterates belonging to their
respective villages within a year.
Direct purchase policy opposed
PATIALA, Sept 8 The Punjab Arhtia Association has opposed the Punjab Government's policy to allow the direct purchase of produce by procurement agencies.
In a statement here today, Mr Balkrishan Singla President of the association, said the policy would hit the arhtias.
STD facility in all Punjab
CHANDIGARH, Sept 8 All telephone exchanges in Punjab will be provided with STD facility by March, 1999, that will connect them with the rest of the country. Efforts are also being made to make phones available in Chandigarh on demand.
Mr R.N Sharma, Chief General Manager Telecom, Punjab Circle, said this during a meeting with MPs from Punjab and Chandigarh here today. The work on connecting all exchanges that do not have the STD facility is going on, he added. At present a number of rural and small exchanges in Punjab do not have STD facilities, he added.
The department would provide around 1.90 lakh new connections throughout Punjab that will include major cities and towns till March, 1999. With this the equipped exchange capacity in Punjab will be increased by 2.88 lakh lines. Besides this, a total of 364 village exchanges are also planned during the year.
Meanwhile the MP attending the meeting welcomed the new local area policy under which neighbouring towns could be reached by dialling `92' followed by the STD code and number. This can be done through phones that do not have STD facilities. Mr Sharma said new methods were being worked out to make the system even better and efficient as more circuits were being provided for the same.
Various items regarding functioning of village public telephones, improvement of enquiry services, shifting of village public phones and provision of STD PCO on demand were also discussed at the meeting. Long- pending waiting lists in all exchanges will be cleared during this year.
The meeting was held at
Punjab Bhavan. Mr Satya Pal Jain, Mr Prem Singh
Chandumajra, Mr Zora Singh Mann, Mr Satnam Singh Kainth,
Mr Tarlochan Singh Toor, Mr Rajmohinder Singh and Mr
Sukhdev Singh Libra were among those who attended the
Hindu jatha to visit Katasraj
AMRITSAR, Sept 8 A Hindu jatha of 200 pilgrims will visit Katasraj temple in Pakistan during November this year. The president of the All-India Hindu Shiv Sena, Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, in a press note issued here yesterday said that the jatha would leave on November 16 for Lahore to participate in the Mahashivaratri celebrations at Katasraj on November 23.
roads to be built on priority
PATIALA, Sept 8 Punjab Public Works Department Minister Harmail Singh has said development works will be completed within a definite timeframe in the state.
Addressing a conference at Balbehra village after laying the foundation stone for the construction of a 3-km-long road from Balbehra to Arnoli yesterday, Mr Harmail Singh said priority would be given to construct link roads.
The minister also alleged
that panchayats had misused grants during the earlier
Congress Government. He said it was due to this that the
development works in the villages had come to a halt. Mr
Harmail Singh said this trend would now be changed and
contractor robbed of 5 lakh
BARNALA, Sept 8 The Barnala police seems to be at its wits end to curb the thefts and burglaries which are on the rise in this region.
Three unidentified persons yesterday reportedly robbed a wine contractor of Rs 5 lakh at pistol point.
Cases of burglary in the town too are on the rise. During the past couple of weeks, the Professors Lane and 22 Acres areas have been the target of the burglars and cheaters. In Professors Lane, anti-social elements tried to snatch golden ornaments from the wife of a businessman. Burglars made an unsuccessful bid to steal from a doctor's house. They had to take to their heels when the doctor returned at midnight after remaining out of station throughout the day.
Houses at street No 8 on the Kacha College Road and in the 22 Acres area too have been targeted by thieves.
sought on people's panel
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 8 Mr Birdevinder Singh, general secretary of the PPCC, today demanded immediate ban on the People's Commission as its functioning would cause hatred among various sections of society, demoralise the police and promote communal forces in Punjab.
Talking to mediapersons here, he said the PPCC would oppose the commission if it was not banned and would not allow anybody to disturb peace in the state.
He said the SAD-BJP Government had failed on all fronts. He alleged that corruption was rampant and there was lack of coordination between ministers and bureaucrats.
security at Khadoor Sahib
TARN TARAN, Sept 8 The district police has made elaborate security arrangements for the three-day Khadoor Sahib mela starting from today. On Thursday political conferences will be organised by the SAD, Congress, CPI and other major political parties.
The SSP in a press note
issued here today said that the township of Khadoor Sahib
had been divided into four sectors each being supervised
by a gazetted rank officer. The police has also
established temporary bus stands on all roads into the
PATIALA, Sept 8 The chemical examination report of two minor boys whose bodies were found in a swimming pool in Doaba College, Jalandhar on July 26 has confirmed that the two were sodomised.
The state chemical laboratory, Patiala, which confirmed the police theory that the two boys, Vatin (8) and Ravideep (9), were sexually abused by two persons working at the swimming pool was sent to the SSP, Jalandhar, today.
However, the viscera examination has not found any sign of poison.
for probe into patient's death
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 8 Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) and Senior Punjab Medical Services (PCMS) Associations in their joint meeting held here today urged Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to order a probe into the death of a PSEB employee Mr Tarsem Lal. The Associations urged that the enquiry conducted either by the CBI or by a sitting judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
It may be recalled that Mr Mohan Lal, Forest Minister, Punjab, in his press statement had accused the Civil Surgeon, Gurdaspur, of not attending to a patient Tarsem Lal. son-in-law of Mrs Raj Rani, president of the mahila morcha of the district unit of the BJP, who was brought in a serious condition to the Civil Hospital on August 31. He was referred to Amritsar, where he succumbed to his injuries. The Civil Surgeon had rebutted the charges and said that there was no delay on the part of the doctors in the treatment of Mr Tarsem Lal.
In a press release, Dr Ajay Bagga, press secretary of the PCMS Association stated that it is a matter of great regret that a cabinet minister and a district head of the Health Department were locked in allegations and counter allegations thus tarnishing the image of the department as well as of the government. He said that an independent probe was a must to get at the truth.
PATIALA, Sept 8 The Vigilance Department here has registered cases against five persons, including a District Manager of Punsup, on a complaint filed by a bank in a loan case.
Department sources here said cases had been registered under Sections 409, 120-B and 13 (1) C and D of the IPC. The sources said three of the accused, including Mrs Simarjit Kaur, District Manager of Punsup, Madan Gopal Singla, field officer of Punsup and Balbir Singh, Inspector, had been arrested following raids. All three were produced before Sub-judge Sunil Arora who sent them to judicial custody till September 21.
to import cows from Israel
FAZILKA, Sept 8 Dr Rattan Singh, Animal Husbandry Minister, Punjab said that to enhance milk production cows from Israel would be imported. Each of these cows would give about 8000 litres of milk per month. He was speaking at Kathera 20 km from here. He said steps to promote dairy-farming, Poultry-farming and fisheries were being taken. The government would provide upto Rs 20 lakh for such schemes at low interest rate. 60 per cent subsidy shall also be allowed on such loans.
Dr Singh said that the
SAD-BJP government, had appointed 200 veterinary doctors
and 100 more veterinary doctors shall be recruited soon.
Addressing the gathering Zora Singh Mann, Member
Parliament, Ferozepore announced a grant of Rs one lakh
for development of Kathera village from his discretionary
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