|P U N J A B||
Tuesday, September 29, 1998
|Badal to raise border
CHANDIGARH, Sept 28 Financial hardships faced by people in the 553-km-long belt adjacent to the Indo-Pak border in the state will dominate the proceedings of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's meeting with the Planning Commission authorities.
Wadala, Rode, Mann
monsoon is a nightmare
on stage two of thermal plant soon
|"SAD-BJP have no differences"||Alliance crumbling: Cong|
Badal to raise border farmers'
CHANDIGARH, Sept 28 Financial hardships faced by people in the 553-km-long belt adjacent to the Indo-Pak border in the state will dominate the proceedings of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's meeting with the Planning Commission authorities.
Mr Badal along with Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Punjab Finance Minister, is scheduled to meet Mr Jaswant Singh, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, to discuss the Rs 2500-crore state Annual Plan on October 8 at Delhi, according to official sources.
The meeting, in fact, should have been held much earlier but it was delayed as Mr Jaswant Singh was busy in sorting out various issues with the US authorities with regard to sanctions.
The Punjab Government team is going to Delhi with an elaborate agenda with regard to border belt problems. Three core issues to be discussed at the meeting include loss suffered by farmers owing to installation of fencing on the border and providing of compensation to such farmers, construction of metalled roads in this belt and repair of roads in this belt.
The state government is of the view that farmers were suffering a loss of Rs 4,000 per acre per year due to restrictions imposed on them by the Border Security Force (BSF). They are not allowed to sow certain crops like maize, sugarcane, cotton and green fodder (chari) for security reasons. Neither are they allowed to work after dusk.
The fencing is well within the Indian territory and farmers own several hundreds acre of land beyond the fence. For day to day work in the fields beyond the fence, farmers had to face lot of problems including restrictions imposed on them due to security reasons. All this has affected them as yield per acre has come down and even they could not make a use of tractors and trailers as size of gates at various places in the fence was not wide enough.
In June, when Mr L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister, visited the border belt problems faced by farmers were also brought in his notice. But Punjab Government wanted to put these before the Planning Commission to seek adequate compensation in this connection.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, when contacted in this connection said: "The Punjab Government wants the Centre should treat problems as a part of national security and give compensation in a lumpsum to the state government for passing on to affected farmers in the border belt". He said this point would be prominently raised by the Punjab Government at the meeting.
Most of the roads leading to gates in the fencing are not metalled ones. Farmers face difficulty in taking their cards, etc beyond the fence. The Punjab Government wanted that Planning Commission should provide funds for constructing metalled roads at such places. A total of 315 km of such roads have been identified in Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Ferozepore districts which needed to be metalled. And about Rs 31 crore are required for this purpose.
Apart from this, the state government is of the view that the Union Government should pay funds for the construction and repair of roads in the entire border belt as mostly these roads are used by the Army and expenditure on maintaining these roads should be the Union Government's responsibility.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the Punjab Government would ask the Planning Commission to increase its allocation for borrowing from the market. At present Punjab is allowed to borrow Rs 300 crore from the market while the government wanted that this limit was totally irrational and needs to be enhanced to Rs 500 crore.
The state government would also ask the Planning Commission to pay Rs 267 crore to the state under the advance irrigation benefit fund (AIBP) which is given by the central government for the irrigation projects near completion. He said that Rs 100 crore was to be paid by the Union Government last year but it had also been not paid so far.
Wadala, Rode, Mann may forge
AMRITSAR, Sept 28 Even as the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann has decided to field its candidate for the byelection of Adampur scheduled to be held on November 25, efforts are afoot to forge an alliance of the SAD (Democratic) led by Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, SAD (Panthic), Mr Jasbir Singh Rode, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha (RLM) and SAD (Mann) against the ruling SAD-BJP alliance and the Congress.
Although the efforts of forging a political alliance of the above parties could not bear fruit in the previous elections, yet these are considered like-minded parties in political circles.
Apart from this, the political circumstances ma force these parties to review the political algebra in the prevailing conditions.
Bhai Ram Singh, general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), has announced that his party would field a strong candidate in the forthcoming byelection of Adampur which was necessitated with the death of SAD MLA Sarup Singh.
Bhai Ram Singh said the SAD (Badal) had no moral right to field its candidate as it had lost the faith of the electorate. Since most of the promises made by the SAD-BJP before the previous general election had not yet been realised, the electorates was feeling disillusioned, he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, president of the RLM, was received by Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, president SAD (Democratic) at Jalandhar railway station on his way to Amritsar and Mr Yadav, too, had expressed willingness to share the political stage with Mr Wadala.
On the other hand, the Congress, BSP, CPI and CPM have been staging common protest rallies at the district level against the rise in prices of different commodities and non-fulfilment of the promises made by SAD-BJP to the electorate. Efforts are afoot to forge the political alliance among these parties to defeat the ruling SAD-BJP alliance in the byelections.
Policy of drift in Akali politics
CHANDIGARH, Sept 28 Not a day passes when fresh accusations against the three Sikh high priests occupying coveted positions are not hurled in public. Of the five Takht Jathedars, at least three are being charged with amassing property, using uncivilised language and what not.
It all started with Akal Takht chief Bhai Ranjit Singh, who had undergone life imprisonment for killing the then Nirankari chief. He accused the Jathedars of Takht Keshgarh Sahib and Takht Damdama Sahib, Bhai Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh respectively of collecting huge properties and violating Sikh tenets. The only ones spared so far were the Jathedars of the two Takhts at Patna and Nanded Sahib. In any case, to all intents and purposes, the two Jathedars of these Takhts are never invited to consider Sikh religious issues and two granthis of the Golden Temple complex were chosen to officiate. This has been happening for long and there is no convincing explanation either from the SGPC or the Sikh clergy.
According to the SGPC chief Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, there was no need for the two Jathedars from Damdama Sahib and Keshgarh Sahib.
While the two Jathedars charged Bhai Ranjit Singh "with intemperate and abusive language and decided not to attend any meeting where the excommunication of some Sikh leaders is always on the agenda", Bhai Ranjit Singh later piqued by this attitude said the two could attend meetings once they come clean of the charge of having amassed huge funds. Clearly, Mr Tohra sided with Bhai Ranjit Singh.
And, adding more colour to the controversy was the Editor of Ajit, Mr Barjinder Singh Hamdard. He is an Independent member of the Rajya Sabha, whose closeness to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is well known. He is also Executive Director of the Anandpur Sahib Foundation that is looking after certain projects in connection with the Khalsa tercentenary.
He has been very critical of Bhai Ranjit Singhs style of working and has not spared Mr Tohra for having "abandoned" his responsibility as head of the gurdwara management body.
In addition, there had been challenges and counter challenges and the issue of langar. Moderate Sikh opinion worldwide is opposed to any edict from Akal Takht telling them to partake langar only while sitting on the floor, though this is a common practice in India and in some western gurdwaras. The edict on langar has divided the Sikhs in North America and some other western countries. At least two young Sikhs died in a Miami gurdwara, while a number of gurdwaras were sealed in British Columbia after clashes.
Those militant Sikhs who had been lying low after the defeat of the pro-"Khalistanis" in Punjab, have taken up the issue of langar in a big way and see this is as a chance to revive their ideology. The situation certainly is not a happy one, particularly after the excommunication of important Sikh leaders from Canada including the Editor of a popular Punjabi weekly, Mr Tara Singh Hyer. A campaign is on to drive home the points of difference in these countries.
While Bhai Manjit Singh is charged with floating trusts and collecting money, Bhai Ranjit Singh, too, has come under a cloud. Newspapers flashed stories about his property, forcing him to make certain admissions. All sorts of charges are being made against him. A former Akali MLA, Mr Talib Singh Sandhu, has served notice under the Sikh Gurdwara Act 1925, alleging that the only "qualification" of the Jathedar of the highest seat of the Sikhs is that he killed the Nirankari chief and collected huge funds and property and his personal life was not clean.
How are the senior Akali and SGPC leaders reacting to this game? Mr Tohra, who initially seemed to be concerned and was contemplating action, and in fact, it was given that he was about to get rid of all three, later played cool. All three were his choices. In fact, he appointed Bhai Ranjit Singh to the high post while the latter was undergoing imprisonment, hence he had to appoint Bhai Manjit Singh as acting Akal Takht chief. There is no provision for acting chiefs, but Mr Tohra had his way.
More recently, Mr Tohra himself faced the serious charge of hobnobbing with the Nirankaris. None can deny that Akal Takht is purely a religious institution. A hardliner like Bhai Ranjit Singh could turn it into a strong weapon to preach his type of ideology. While at one level, the Jathedar is an appointee of the SGPC, yet at another level, his status is much above the elected president of the SGPC. Not many can strike a balance and in fact, after the death of Jathedar Ajnoha, others have been swimming with different tides.
Now while Mr Tohra awaits
the opportune time to decide the fate of these priests,
Mr Badal is maintaining strict neutrality. "I have
never interfered in such affairs and have no wish even
now", he told TNS. He denied having discussed this
with Mr Tohra, though both did discuss the issue last
week. In addition, a good number of Akali leaders have
been meeting the two leaders, and pleading for some saner
action to save them from further embarrassment. Some say
that delay in acting against the Jathedars and
particularly those involved in internecine quarrels suit
Akali leaders and hence no action. But many more feel
that this delay is causing more fissures. But what is
important is that these cast an ugly shadow over
Punjabs politics which considering the gory state
it has passed through, is not a happy augury. Delay could
suit some individual leaders, but it certainly does not
suit the people, particularly the Sikhs who have suffered
Paddy distress sale saddens
SANGRUR, Sept 28 Punjab Pradesh Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh today alleged that distress sale of paddy was taking place in the state as the government was yet to start procuring paddy despite announcements that it would start buying from September 15.
Addressing a large dharna opposite the Deputy Commissioner's office here as part of the party's agitation against inflation Capt Amarinder Singh said farmers were being forced to sell their crop at prices ranging between Rs 350 to Rs 420 per quintal even though the procurement price had been fixed at Rs 470 per quintal.
The Pradesh Congress Chief said not only should the state government start immediate procurement in all mandis, but it should also get last season's paddy lifted to create much needed space. He also demanded that the government relax moisture contents keeping in view the recent rains and procure paddy having moisture content upto 22 per cent.
Capt Amarinder Singh also held the state government responsible for the recent floods in Sangrur and Patiala districts. He said Rs 72 lakh had been sanctioned for a regulator to be built on the Khanewal drain in the two last budgets. However, the money was diverted to Gidderbaha and Malout and the regulator not constructed. Similarly Rs 1400 crore meant for checking flooding in the Ghaggar belt and for rural development had been diverted to Gidderbaha and Malout.
He said it was unfortunate that the government was taking no measures to solve the problem of flooding along the Ghaggar in Sangrur despite the fact that 74 of the 124 farmers who had committed suicide in the state were from the district.
Capt Amarinder said even though 12 villages had been badly affected by floods in Sangrur and Patiala districts the government had not ordered any special girdwari till yet. He said similarly no compensation had been offered to farmers whose cotton crop had been destroyed by bollworm. The Congress demanded that hundred per cent compensation be given to farmers whose paddy had been destroyed for a fifth time in a row due to floods along the Ghaggar and in Gurdaspur.
Speaking on the price front, Capt Amarinder said the Congress was in favour of a ban on the export of onions. He said the BJP had exploited the onion price of Rs 12 per kg during the last elections to its advantage but had failed to control a three fold increase in its price. He said 10,000 tonnes of onions which had been imported were insufficient to bring down prices.
Earlier the Pradesh Congress Chief was stopped on his way to Sangrur from Patiala at several places and garlanded enthusiastically by supporters. Sangrur Akali Dal youth wing president Gurdial Singh Chatha and a former associate of Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa Arvind Khanna and Amandeep Singh Mansahia joined the Congress along with 65 sarpanches.
Levy exemption till Oct 10
NEW DELHI, Sept 28 The Centre has agreed to provide exemption on levy imposition till October 10 and gave Rs 54 per quintal enhancement on levy rice rates, according to the Punjab Minister for Food and Supply, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, here today.
Mr Mittal who led a high-level delegation here met the Union Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, to discuss the demands of the farmers of Punjab and rice millers.
Mr Mittal said it had been decided to conduct tests on out-turn ratio by the Central Food Technology and Research Institute and it would be applicable with effect from October 1, 1998, according to state government release here.
Extension to Dogra challenged
CHANDIGARH, Sept 28 The Additional Director-General of Punjab Police (Security), Mr Sarabjit Singh, today filed an application in the Central Administrative Tribunal contesting the six months' extension in service given to Mr P.C. Dogra, Director-General of Punjab Police.
The application will come up for arguments tomorrow.
Mr Dogra had retired from service on attaining superannuation on April 30. The state government had granted him six months' extension till September 30.
Since extension beyond six months was not within the competence of the state government, it had referred the case to the Centre for further extension beginning September 30.
Where monsoon is a nightmare
BATHINDA: Towns folk do not relish rain even though summers in this southern Punjab district are hotter than other districts. A little rain is enough to throw life out of gear.
In the absence of any natural or man-made stormwater drain, the town turns into a lake after two to three hours of rain. It generally takes a full day to drain out the rain water through pumps installed at various points.
The recent rains hampered the functioning of Deputy Commissioner's office, SSP's office, district courts, CID office and sales tax office as these areas got flooded. Some main roads were also closed to vehicular traffic.
Owing to the unique topography of the town which had developed over sand dunes, some localities have come up in low-lying areas and are prone to flooding rain water.
At Paras Ram Nagar, Jogi Nagar, Partap Nagar, Alma Basti, Janata Nagar, Amrik Singh Road, Nai Basti, Gurkul Nagar, Hans Nagar, Lal Singh Basti, Birla Mill Colony, Mall Road, Powerhouse Road, Aggarwal Colony, Ganesh Basti, Sirki Bazar, Ajit Road, where more than half of the town's total population lives, a short spell of rain is sufficient to flood the area and bring all the activities to a standstill.
Due to the recent heavy rain, some educational institutions and business establishments remained closed for day or so. A number of residents had to shift their belongings to safer places.
The hospitals located on the Mall road could not admit new patients as the area remained under one to two feet of water. The rain also caused disruption in the flow of traffic and heavy traffic had to be diverted to other routes.
Some employees living in the low-lying areas told TNS that in the rainy days they faced many obstacles which delayed their arrival in offices on time. They said that it took about one hour to cover a kilometre on the car to reach their offices.
Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner, when contacted, said pumps had been installed at various places in the town which ran continuously in rainy days so that water could be drained out fast. He said these pumps had been provided with generators so that water could be drained out in case there was power failure.
The Deputy Commissioner pointed out that a gazetted officer, along with him, was monitoring the draining out operations regularly and senior officers of the Punjab Sewerage Board had been told to monitor the functioning of pumps.
Mr Ladhar said tenders had
been floated to lay sewers in flood-prone areas and a
major portion of the town would be covered in a phased
manner. Residents could also help in draining out the
rain water at the earliest if they kept the street drains
in their area clean.
Overflowing nullah poses threat of
LUDHIANA, Sept 28 More than 50,000 residents of nearly two dozen residential colonies of Ludhiana face a serious threat of epidemic from polluted water which has entered hundreds of houses from the overflowing Budha nullah, a seasonal rivulet which passes through the city.
Although the water level in the nullah has begun to recede, the water continues to stagnate in houses. An unbearable stink pervades the entire area and residents have been staging angry demonstrations and dharnas for the past two days against the administration.
The entire untreated sewerage of Ludhiana empties into the Budha nullah which later joins the Sutlej river, a few km downstream of Ludhiana. These colonies have, therefore, turned into an open sewerage.
The affected colonies include Shiv Puri, Jain Nagar and Mahavir Nagar.
Residents of the affected areas today sat in dharna at Noor Wala Chowk, G.T. Road bypass and Samrala Chowk. They raised anti-administration and anti-municipal corporation slogans.
The demonstrators alleged that the authorities had not properly desilted the nullah before the rainy season and had not properly maintained the sewerage in the localities around the Budha nullah. This had resulted, according to Mr Sunil Mehra, municipal councillor of the area, in the blockage of drains causing avoidable floods.
Mr Lajpat Rai, Rajya Sabha member, also visited the localities and instructed BJP workers to help the residents of the affected localities the maximum.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Goel, said that heavy rains upstream of the nullah had made it overflow which in turn had flooded the localities. All efforts, he said, were being made to control the situation.
Municipal Corporation, Mr S.S. Sandhu, said that all
efforts were being made to desilt the nullah in the
affected areas. The large number of encroachments in the
localities were, however, hampering the operations.
Unscrupulous elements had constructed houses right on the
bed of the Budha nullah at several places. This was
making it very difficult to carry desilting machines and
other equipment to the areas.
Meeting with industry a fiasco?
CHANDIGARH, Sept 28 Described as a "routine, monthly" meeting, the Chief Minister today held one with the representatives of the industry. It ended without any concrete result.
Nevertheless at the end of the three-hour meeting, at least four committees were decided to be constituted in order to give "voice" to the industry. It was also felt at the conclusion of the meeting (it, however, remained inconclusive since the Chief Minister had yet another outstation engagement) that rather than calling all departments together the department of industries and commerce should hold separate meetings on "problems" it wanted sorted with the departments concerned.
Interestingly, according to official and industry sources, there was an agenda running into some 15-odd pages with a dozen or so items each related to the department involved, namely, labour and employment, Punjab State Electricity Board, Local Government, Punjab Small Industries, Excise and Taxation, Punjab Warehousing Corporation. The agenda, by and large, remained untouched.
The four committees constituted pertained to "reviving" PSEB's dispute settlement committees at the district level, a consultative committee for the PSEB, a committee on sales tax and one on reforms in labour laws though most of the laws are central. Certain issues like privatisation of octroi, etc were raised but went unheeded. Constitution of committees shows the Government knock for such on exercise at every given opportunity.
A majority of those who attended the meeting described the exercise as "waste of time". "Bureaucracy seems to be running the show rather than political executive" was the common refrain. Some of the senior bureaucrats said they had to sit through the meeting though there was no item on the agenda pertaining to their charge.
Work on stage two of thermal
LEHRA MOHABBAT, Sept 28 The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities will start construction work on stage two of Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant (GHTP) in the current financial year.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr S.P. Sharma, Member Generation, said that in stage two of GHTP, two units of 250 MW each would be constructed over 34 months at a cost of Rs 1500 crore.
The money required for the setting up these units has been arranged from various banks and financial institutions and the board would also approach the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) in case of any shortfall.
He said the PSEB authorities had approved the project in principle and clearance from the Minister of Environment and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) was awaited.
The second unit of stage one of GHTP would be commissioned by the end of October. Final checking of all components was on and the plant would be synchronised by October 10.
PSEB authorities had decided to give a generation allowance to the staff on the pattern of the Ropar Thermal Plant.
PSEB authorities had also started 'in-plant training' of its engineers in crisis management. For this, the PSEB had engaged the National Power Training Institute, Faridabad.
Bhagat Singh remembered
MOGA, Sept 28 The general secretary of the All-India Students Federation, Mr Rahul Bhauji, said here today that students will launch countrywide agitation against unemployment.
Mr Rahul while addressing a gathering of students at a function here said that the struggle for the inclusion of right to work as a fundamental right and for free education up to plus two would continue. The function was organised to mark the 92nd birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
The youth and students wing of federation will submit a memorandum of their demands to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal next month.
A Communist leader Satpal Dang, his wife Vimla Dang, Mr Herdev Arshi, Mr Jagroop Singh also addressed the gathering. Mr Joginder Dayal, former general secretary of the federation demanded Rs 1600 as unemployment allowance to youth. He also demanded free travel facilities for unemployed youth.
SAD-BJP have no differences:
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 28 Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Minister for Local Bodies, Punjab, said there were no differences between the SAD and the BJP on the issue of Udham Singh Nagar. Talking to mediapersons here today, he hoped that this issue would be settled amicably.
Referring to the Adampur constituency byelection, he said the SAD and the BJP would work jointly for the success of the SAD nominee. He added that the controversy relating to the Sikh high priests would not disturb peace in the state.
He directed the field staff of the Municipal Corporations and the Municipal Councils in the state to display identity cards while on duty. All officers of these departments in future would have to stay at their places of posting.
He said the government was ready to privatise sanitation in the state. Income of all Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils was likely to be increased by 30 to 35 per cent during the year, he added.
Referring to the pen-down
strike by the Punjab Ministerial Services Union, he said
it was totally illegal. The state government employees
were already drawing maximum salaries as compared to that
of the neighbouring states, he said, and appealed to the
employees of the Ministerial services to end the
SAD-BJP alliance crumbling:
AMRITSAR, Sept 28 Prof Darbari Lal general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee and a member of the AICC said that the political alliance between the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP was on the verge of "collapse" as leaders of both parties had expressed diametrically opposite views on the inter-state river waters, Udham Singh Nagar, Peoples Commission and invoking of Article 356 of the Constitution on the Bihar issue.
Set up INA foundation
ROPAR, Sept 28 The central government should set up an INA Foundation, on the pattern of Nehru Foundation, with headquarters at New Delhi with the huge "amount brought to India a few decades ago from the Azad Hind Bank of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind, situated at Bangkok (Thailand), founded by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
A resolution, to this effect, was adopted last night at the concluding session of the two-day fourth All-India Conference on Netaji, organised by the local Netaji Research Foundation at the new Netaji School complex.
Approving the resolution, it was pointed out that the money belonged to the INA left in the bank after the end of World War II and the disbanding of the INA. So the same money should now be utilised for the purpose of perpetuating memory of the INA and posterity.
It was also resolved that efforts be made to persuade the countrymen to greet each other by using the slogan of 'Jai Hind', given by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to spread communal harmony and national integration.
Earlier deliberations on 'The dreams of revolutionaries: Their Fulfilment' were held. This session was presided over by Swami Rajayogindra Veerayyaswami, General Secretary of Netaji Birth Centenary Trust, Bangalore.
Almost all speakers were of the opinion that though the revolutionaries played a major and decisive role in the freedom struggle and made the supreme sacrifices, yet in independent India their ideas and dreams were given a back seat by leaders.
The delegates regretted that even after 50 years of independence, India had not been able to secure due place in the comity of nations. It primarily was due fact that the leaders of the post-independent India had given up the path of sacrifice, shown by the revolutionaries, rather a majority of them had started 'looting' the nation.
The speakers also warned the government that if it forgot to follow in the foot-steps of the revolutionaries, the nation would have to face the worst crisis. They were also of the view that nothing tangible so far had been done to inculcate the spirit of revolutionaries in the youth who were the future of the nation.
Mr VP Saini, convener of the conference, wanted another freedom struggle on the lines of revolutionaries to get rid of all evils, facing the nation since independence. He declared revolutionary ideas had been gaining ground in the country and by 2007, Netaji's revolutionary ideas would uproot the huge bastions of corruption, injustice, immorality and inequality from the nation.
Mr Biswanath Bose from Calcutta, Mr Swaminathan from Madurai, Mr Kamal Dutta from Assam, Mr Shiv Shankar from Bangalore, Mr RL Awasthi from Varanasi, Mr DK Sharma from Karnal and Mr Mohinder Jain from Ropar also spoke.
Presiding over the session, Mr Swami Rajayogindra Veerayyaswami gave a call to the youth to take hold of torch of nationalism once sought by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
Rain damages crop, houses
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 28 Recent rains and a few breaches in the Kandi canal have damaged not only the standing crop but also fertile land and houses in some villages in the Kandi and Bet areas of Hoshiarpur district according to Mr Romesh Chander Dogra MLA from Dasuya. After visiting his Dasuya constituency he said here today that after the breaches in the Kandi canal the water entered into adjoining khuds due to which 15 feet to 20 feet banks of the fertile lands in villages Bringly, Bissochak, Bholkalota and Tapper eroded. Besides, walls and roofs of many houses developed cracks situated on the banks of khuds. He said that he brought this matter to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner Hoshiarpur who instructed authorities at Mukerian to provide tarpaulin to the affected people for shelter.
But it failed to comply
with his orders. He urged the government to provide full
compensation to all affected farmers according to their
actual losses instead of fixed norms. He also urged the
Deputy Commissioner to provide houses under the Indra
Abas scheme to these whose houses were damaged by rains.
People 'misled' on ministerial
CHANDIGARH, Sept 28 The Punjab State Ministerial Services Union said here today that the state government was misleading people with regard to agitation started by the union.
Mr Raj Kumar Arora, president, and Mr Kulbhushan Kanwar, secretary-general of the union, said today that the union had given a call for stay-in strike when it had been left with no other alternative. They said that union was in touch with the Punjab Government authorities and had held several meetings for getting its demands implemented but nothing positive had come out of such meetings.
On the call given by the union, employees in Punjab Government are on stay in strike for the past two weeks or so. The union leaders said on August 20, the Chief Secretary had assured them that scales of clerical and stenotypists' cadre would be announced within a week but nothing had been done so far. Neither had their designations been changed although the government had promised to do the same within a week at meeting in August.
The union leaders said
that threats to employees on the part of the government
would further provoke employees to intensify the
agitation. They have urged the Chief Minister to
intervene for getting their demands implemented.
Couple, two others die in mishap
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 28 (UNI) A couple married, four days ago were among four members of a family who died when a tractor overturned after hitting a roadside hillock near Denoh village of the district early today.
A minor boy travelling in the tractor survived with minor injuries.
The deceased have been identified as Onkar Singh (24), his wife Jasbir Kaur (21), his sister-in-law Simarjit Kaur (32), and nephew Gurpreet Singh (7), the police said.
Four-year-old Manpreet Singh, son of Simrajit Kaur, survived with minor injuries, Onkar Singhs father Mr Jaswant Singh said.
Mr Jaswant Singh said the
family members were returning to their home at Atwarpura
village after paying obeisance at the
"dera of Sarwan Nath when the mishap
occurred. Onkar Singh was married on September 24, he
Pension cheques for ex-servicemen
PATIALA, Sept 28 Deputy Commissioner Viswajit Khanna today asked bank officials to make the arrangements to give pension to ex-servicemen without any harassment.
Presiding over a meeting of district sainik board here Mr Khanna said action would be taken against officials delaying pension of ex-servicemen. He also instructed bank officials to make arrangements to display a notice on the notice board regarding ex-servicemen's pension.
Held for bid to kill wife
HOSHIARPUR, Sept 28 The police here has arrested Parveen Kumar, a transporter in Mumbai, under Sections 498-A, 406, 506, 148, IPC, for allegedly beating up and attempting to kill his wife, Ritu Arora. The police has obtained up to October 4. A case has also been registered against two uncles and two aunts of the accused.
Ms Ritu Arora, daughter of Mr Ajit Arora, runs a school here. Her mother was a Municipal Councillor here.
Ms Ritu married Parveen Kumar in December 1994. Soon after marriage her husband and in-laws started harassing her for more dowry. She talked to her about this and her father who gave money to his son-in-law on various occasions. Later on one occasion, he demanded Rs 20 lakh for which she expressed her inability.
Parveen Kumar took his wife of Udaipur, a few days back, where he tried to kill her by allegedly throwing her in the lake.
Ms Ritu related her tale of woe to her relatives over the telephone in Delhi and Hoshiarpur. On receiving information, a police party went to Udaipur and recovered Ritu who had been kept there in captivity.
Powerloom workers' strike called off
AMRITSAR, Sept 28 Mr Amarjit Singh Asal, general secretary, Punjab state committee, AITUC, in a press statement, issued here today has claimed that a settlement had been reached between the owners of power-looms and workers. The latter were on an indefinite strike since September 12 demanding a nine per cent hike in wages.
Mr Asal said that the employees have agreed to join duties in return for a nine per cent hike in wages.
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