|Tuesday, January 25, 2000,
CM takes up airport issue with PM
Nawanshahr: CPI, CPM keep Cong on
5 projects on BOT basis planned
Tuition fee issue kicks up row
National Anthem or Vande Matram?
Badal launches Karihas
Punjab to take up demands with
Centre after poll
|Hearing in Bachan case adjourned
AMRITSAR, Jan 24 The Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission today adjourned hearing till January 28 on the application moved by Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan for vacation of the ad interim injunction restraining him from functioning.
Management head case to be
referred to AG
Pay scales on Punjab pattern
Strike in states thermal
Dog menace in wildlife sanctuary
Phone subscribers threaten stir
Sur Sanjh results
Education system needs change
Anticipatory bail for Dhamana Baba
JE arrested for taking bribe
5-year-old girl hurt in firing
Factory making pirated cassettes
Woodbridge help for civic body
Industry flays PSEB policing
up airport issue with PM
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 Notwithstanding Punjabs pending agenda with New Delhi, its fiscal crisis or the handicap of being a geographically land-locked state, the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had a meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, on the need and efficacy of providing global connectivity to this sensitive border states on-the-move Punjabis.
High on the priority list is the expeditious completion and commissioning of the Amritsar international airport. Persistent cajoling by the Chief Minister has resulted in the Prime Minister directing the Ministry of Civil Aviation to take up the first phase of Rs 120-crore project by establishing the airstrip there by extending the existing airstrip of 9,300 ft to enable larger and faster birds to land and take-off. The airport is to be worthy of passenger and cargo flights capable of handling Boeing 747 and AB 340 aircraft.
According to the Special Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Punjab, has obtained statistics which showed that 25 per cent of the passengers taking off or landing at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi are Punjabis, whose number is close to one million, annually. Besides the actual passengers arriving or departing are a large number of their relatives who throng to the airport and embassies there for completing visa formalities.
In this context, Punjab has approached the Ministry of External Affairs as well with a request that in the larger interest of the states economy and foreign remittances received, the possibility of opening of consulate and visa offices of some of the key countries, high on the destination of the Punjabis, at Chandigarh be explored. Primarily, Mr Kaushal said the Punjabi diaspora was concentrated in the USA, the U.K. Europe, Canada, the Middle East and the Far-East. Several habitations overseas were named after Punjabis.
In fact the issue of opening a visa office for the UK kingdom in Chandigarh was taken up when the queen visited Amritsar in 1998.
Mr Kaushal said Punjab believed that a powerful lobby of travel agents, tour operators and hotliers in the Capital were working over time to cause hurdles and delays in taking up Amritsar International airport project in view of the likely setback these operators would get once human and cargo traffic was diverted from Delhi, in whatsoever percentage.
At present there are only three flights in a week from Amritsar, which link Punjab to Sharjah. Earlier flights linked it to Moscow and Birmingham, the UK, discontinued since 1989. Some of the flights stand replaced by connecting flights between Amritsar and Delhi before international flights are boarded there. Hassles discourage people from making use of this facility. Security, immigration checks, customs and baggage clearance etc. are some common obstacles.
Punjab is in the process of chalking out an action plan, taking ministries concerned in New Delhi into confidence. Mr Badal has had discussions with the Ministry of Civil Aviation as well. Giving the perilous economic condition of Punjab and want of infrastructure, unless the powers that be opened up the state to international markets Punjab would suffer. Its agricultural surpluses, particularly, wheat and paddy, would prove counter-productive with production and productivity of these crops fast catching up in other states, which earlier depended upon Punjab grains. Therefore, while emphasising on diversity and breaking the deadly wheat-paddy nexus, harming the economy, environment and ecosystem providing international linkages from Punjab soil was equally imperative, the state has argued with the Prime Minister.
Punjab has also to go beyond the stage of containerisation, Mr Kaushal said the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation and Container Corporation have established satellite container freight stations at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Chheharata (Amritsar) and Bathinda. Now approval of the inter-ministerial committee of the Ministry of Commerce has been obtained for setting up an inland container depot at SASS Nagar, Dear Bassi on a 25-acre plot. This was for handling imports and exports. With the permission of Department of Revenue, New Delhi, a bonded trucking facility has been provided at Container Freight Station, Ludhiana. Arrangements have been made for movement of air cargo from Ludhiana to II Airport, New Delhi and vice-versa. A container station is ready in Mumbais Nara Shiva Jawahar Deck.
Punjab has sought 10 acre land from the Airport Authority of India for an air cargo complex at Amritsar, said Mr Kaushal. Unless Punjab had a vibrant global connectivity the economy, which is agriculture-based, would weaken. In Punjab thousands of people have procured Internet facility. Full scale optic fibre connectivity is on the anvil. Facilities like the earthstation and infotech parks are being developed.
In fact the vice-chancellors of the universities and the Punjab School Education Board have been asked to expeditiously introduce information technology courses by changing the curricula and making necessary changes in the syllabi. Punjab has to ensure quality education and focus on human resource development, particularly, the youth.
If Mr Badal succeeds in his efforts to exploit New Delhi to enable Punjab explore the international economic landscape, the state could, perhaps, become a major service provider in this age of computers and cyberspace and trained technical manpower.
CPI, CPM keep Cong on tenterhooks
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 Both Left parties have told the Congress that it should not take their support for granted during the ensuing Nawanshahr Assembly by-election.
The Punjab Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh (retd) who met CPI and CPM leaders, was told that they would consider his request during their state committee meetings either on February 4 or 5.
Capt Amarinder Singh met CPM state secretary Blatant Singh here on Saturday and sought the partys support for Congress candidate Parkash Singh. The CPM has a good base in the Doable area and last time its candidate had polled about 5,000 votes besides, its workers are hard campaigners. Capt Amarinder Singh wanted a joint campaign and an immediate announcement. He also suggested that the three parties should be represented on the day of filing of nominations.
But Mr Blatant Singh, according to CPM sources, told the Punjab Congress Chief that he should not take the support of his party for granted. There shall be no joint campaign at all and also on the day of filing of nominations, CPM leaders would not be there. We shall consider your request as we are keen on defeating the Akali-BJP combine. If there is another strong contender that too could be considered by the party. In any case even if we lend the support, we would go around and canvass separately, explaining to the people our reasons for this limited support, Mr Blatant Singh told the Congress leader.
CPI leader Joginder Detail also argued almost on the same lines and said the party would consider the request on February 5. The CPI has a smaller base, almost equal to the CPI (ML).
The reasons for the CPM leaders is the reported role of Capt Amarinder Singh during the last Lok Sabha poll. CPM leaders here alleged that although the Congress was supporting the CPM candidate from the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat Capt Amarinder Singh sabotaged the campaign. CPM leaders have told this even to Mrs Sonia Gandhi, president of the Congress.
The Left parties may finally end up supporting the Congress candidate who have a better chance of wining the seat compared to any other candidate. But the Left leaders here said they would not rule out other options too. We are not allies of the Congress in any respect. Our main concern is to defeat the communal line-up of the Akali Dal and the BJP. We shall consider this and decide, Mr Blatant Singh told TNS.
For the Congress their support is vital and could make or mar its chances as a strong chunk of 7,000 votes is a big factor in any Assembly election. The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had made this byelection as a prestige issue. He has made several rounds and chosen Mr Jatinder Singh Kariha, who has a clean image, as the candidate. But he would face an uphill task considering the current image of the government. Also, this seat is a traditional Congress seat with late Mr Dilbagh Singh representing it continuously except in 1977 when Mr Kariha had won. Earlier too it was mostly with the Congress. Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, MP, son of late Congress Minister Dilbagh Singh, has nursed the constituency for long. Mr Parkash Singh is his brother. Also he belongs to the Saini community which has a strong presence in the area.
Meanwhile, the filing of
nominations for the February 17 Nawanshahr Assembly
byelection in Punjab began today with the issuance of a
notification. The nominations will close on January 31
and scrutiny will take place on February 1. The last date
for withdrawals is February 3.
on BOT basis planned
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 Efforts are afoot to refurbish the image of the Badal regime as far as development is concerned.
August, 2001, has been fixed as the deadline for the completion of five major projects pertaining to infrastructure development. These include four-laning of the Chandigarh-Patiala, Chandigarh-Ludhiana-Moga and Chandigarh-Phagwara road and two bridges across the Sutlej one near Rahon and the other near Jagraon.
Formalities have been completed to float global tenders next month for inviting bids for these projects to be built on a BOT (build, operate and transfer) basis. The four-laning of the Chandigarh-Moga road also includes a flyover in Ludhiana city.
The projects have been approved by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board. A team of senior officials, including Finance Secretary K.R. Lakhanpal, PWD Secretary Mohinder Singh, Special Secretary (Finance) C. Roul and two Chief Engineers, led by the Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who is also Vice-Chairman of the board, has visited Maharashtra to study major projects constructed there on a BOT basis.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who returned last night from Maharashtra, told TNS today that Punjab required major investment to regain the first place in the country in the field of infrastructure. Due to little investment in this sector, Punjab slipped to the fourth place in 1994-95. At least Rs 5,000 crore was required for investment in most urgent projects.
We had gone to Mumbai to study terms and conditions, methods of operation, allotment of contracts and financial management of such projects Capt Kanwaljit Singh said Maharashtras performance had been quite encouraging and satisfactory. There had been no time over-runs in the completion of such projects and relations between the government and those who executed these remained cordial.
We have also noted down various drawbacks which we intend to remove while allotting tenders for these projects, Capt Kanwaljit Singh asserted. The Maharashtra Government had tied up with a consortium of banks for financing these projects. Punjab also proposed to do so.
Besides the Mumbai-Pune highway, 55 flyovers had been built on a BOT basis in Mumbai by private companies. On the pattern of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, Punjab has floated a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which would handle these projects on the behalf of the board.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh
said there would be no budgetary support to such projects
as these needed huge investment. A heavy dose of taxes
was required for mopping up funds for such projects.
Hence the decision to build these projects on a BOT
basis. The state government would play the role of a
promoter and facilitator only.
fee issue kicks up row
BATHINDA, Jan 24 The charging of different amounts of tuition fee from students of the local GZS College of Engineering and Technology, has created a row.
Students, who have paid more than the prescribed tuition fee, alleged that the Punjab Technical University (PTU) authorities had deliberately charged more money from them. However, Mr Narinder Singh, principal GZS College of Engineering and Technology denied the charge claiming that the difference in fee was as per their status.
He pointed out that students, who had availed themselves hostel facilities, had been charged more than the students who were day scholars. He added that concession had been extended to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates as per the norms laid down by authorities concerned.
The students on the other hand alleged that the PTU authorities had taken Rs 5000 from each of them when their counselling for the admission was held in August 1999. They alleged that the PTU authorities had returned this money only to a select-few while the others were still fighting to get their money back.
They pointed out that the PTU authorities praised that Rs 4500 would be adjusted towards the tuition after deducting Rs 500 as counselling fee. However the PTU and the college authorities had failed to adjust the amount in their tuition fee so far.
They pointed out that the college authorities had charged full tuition fee even for the second semester which had started this month.
Mr Narinder Singh, principal, said as per the directions of the PTU authorities they had started adjusting Rs 4500 in the tuition fee and 50 students had benefited. He added that when the PTU authorities did not reimburse the money to the local college authorities too stopped adjusting the amount.
He said the audit wing
of the department also objected to such adjustment on the
pretext that it was invalid till the amount was
reimbursed by the PTU authorities. He said over 10
letters had been written to the PTU authorities urging
them to reimburse the amount which had been adjusted in
the tuition fee of 50 students and make arrangements for
extending the benefit to the remaining about 150
students. There had been no response from the PTU
Anthem or Vande Matram?
AMRITSAR, Jan 24 Is playing of the National Anthem being dropped from the state-level golden jubilee Republic Day programme here on January 26, where Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal is hoisting the National Flag?
The veteran CPI leader of Punjab, Mr Satyapal Dang has sent telegrams to Punjab Chief Minister and senior Punjab officials saying that the National Anthem was being replaced by Vande Matram.
Mr Dang, when contacted, added that he would abstain from the official function to be held at Guru Nanak Stadium in protest against dropping of the National Anthem which is not mentioned on the invitation cards sent for the function.
The Deputy Commissioner,
Mr Narinderjit Singh, however, denied that National
Anthem was being dropped. It is customary that the
National Anthem is played by bands of police and other
forces. At the time of the unfurling National Flag and
Vande Matram is however sung at the beginning, he said.
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 24 The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today started the election campaign of SAD-BJP-BSM nominee, Mr Jatinder Singh Kariha. He addressed a number of corner-meetings at villages Beerowal, Kajla, Ladhana Uchcha, Ladhana Jhikka, Naura, Mahil Ghahilan, Bhaura, Sujjon, Surapur, Mandir Baba Balak Nath, B.L.M. Girls College, Bheen, Jabbowal, Palli Uchchi, Palli Jhikki, Kot Patti, Raja Sahib Ka Mazara and Karnana.
Apart from the visits of the Chief Minister the senior SAD-BJP minister, party leaders have been camping in the town and working in their respective zones. Today the Agriculture Minister, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, visited the residence of Mr Sat Pal Joshi, a veteran Congress leader, who has resigned from the Congress, in protest against the allotment of the party ticket to Mr Parkash Singh and tried to persuade him to openly support Mr Kariha. Mr Sat Pal Joshi, when contacted on the phone said he had assured support to the SAD-BJP-BSM nominee, as an independent and denied having joined the SAD. Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Mr Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Dr Baldan Chawla, Mr Ajit Singh Kohar (all Cabinet Ministers), Mr Tarlochan Singh Dopalpur, Mr Mohinder Singh Hussainpuri, Mr Hardev Singh Kahma, Mr Prem Singh, (Local senior SAD leader), Mr Chamkaur Singh Kauri, Mr Dinesh Chopra (presidents Municipal Council, Nawanshahr and Rahon, respectively), Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar (general secretaries, SAD), Mr Satnam Kainth, President BSM and Mr Mehar Chand Kailey (BSM) have been going door to door in favour of Mr Kariha to ensure the victory of the SAD in this prestigious election.
The other main political
parties the Congress and the BSP, though have
announced the names of their candidates, but till now
they are finding it difficult to launch their election
campaign. Particularly, the Congress, could not start the
election campaign due to dissidents. Mr Sat Pal Joshi, a
veteran Congress leader from Rahon has openly expressed
his resentment by resigning from the party and
accompanying SAD leaders in their election campaign. The
other dissidents Mr Kartar Singh Sekhon and Mr
Iqbal Singh are abstaining from the campaign.
take up demands with Centre after poll
AMRITSAR, Jan 24 After a long gap, the Punjab Government would take up the inter-State disputes, including fair adjudication of waters, transfer of Chandigarh and other left out Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab, with the Central Government after Assembly elections in Haryana.
This was stated by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Secretary General, Shiromani Akali Dal and Union Minister, Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, while talking to newsmen here today. He, however, hoped that the inter-State disputes would be settled amicably as chances of the BJP-Indian Lok Dal alliance coming to power in Haryana were bright.
Mr Dhindsa said the SAD would oppose the inclusion of Punjabi-dominated Udham Singh Nagar into the proposed hill State of Uttaranchal. He said the report of the three-member sub-committee, headed by Mr George Fernandes would be presented on the floor of Parliament. The SAD members would definitely safeguard the interests of Punjabis living in Udham Singh Nagar.
Mr Dhindsa said indiscipline in the party wont be tolerated. Mr Dhindsa said he was ready to face any inquiry on the charge that he had ever worked to defeat Mr Surjit Singh Barnala during the previous Lok Sabha elections. He further said he had also urged Mr Parkash Singh Badal to hold an inquiry to pin down those who had defeated the official candidate in the Lok Sabha elections.
Mr Dhindsa said his party would contest the forthcoming Nawashahr byelection on the basis of peaceful governance of Mr Parkash Singh Badal.
Mr Dhindsa said the SAD and the BJP leaders should not make any comment on the controversial Nanakshahi calendar as the matter was still with the five Sikh high priests.
To another question, Mr Dhindsa said the stacks of wheat in various godowns would be cleared as the Central Government had imposed heavy import tax on the produce.
Bachan case adjourned
AMRITSAR, Jan 24 The Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission today adjourned hearing till January 28 on the application moved by Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan for vacation of the ad interim injunction restraining him from functioning.
The Commission, comprising of Mr Manmohan Singh Brar, Chairman and MD Mr A.S. Randhawa and Mr Ajwant Singh Mann, members had restrained Mr Bachan on a petition filed by secretary, Sarb Hind Youth Akali Dal (Urban), Mr Jadpal Singh Dhillon challenging the appointment.
Meanwhile, the SGPC two-days ago advertised the post.
The council for the original petitioner, Jadpal Singh argued that the powers for appointment under the act wrested with the executive committee. In this case the rules were flouted as the appointment was made on a temporary basis for which there is no provision. He said the SGPC president, Bibi Jagir Kaur had decided on the appointment of Dr Bachan as far back as November. On getting the green signal from the Chief Minister, she inducted him by a back door entry.
Counsel for Dr Bachan argued that the appointment authority (SGPC) was authorised to make ad-hoc arrangements to run the administration under the Sikh Gurdwara Act and SGPC rules.
He said the court had restrained, Dr Bachan on the basis of mis-representation of facts before the court.
At this the commission chairman pointed out that no provision had been made for ad hoc or stop gap rules in the SGPC rules.
The court also objected to the application being shifted to order 39 rule 4 of CPCD when the original application was moved under order 39 rules one and 2.
Management head case to
be referred to AG
Patiala, Jan 24 The controversy over submission of accounts of the Alumni '99 function held by the Punjabi University School of Management has taken a new turn with the university authorities today deciding to refer the utterances of management head K. C. Singhal regarding ''internal administrative matters'' to the state Advocate-General to ascertain whether they invite disciplinary action under the university conduct rules.
The university authorities had sent notes to Dr Singhal, asking him to give a detailed account of the money collected through advertisements for the souvenir of Alumni ' 99 hosted by the department in October last year. The authorities had pointed out that the function fell within the ambit of financial management of the university and it was obligatory to get the entire accounts audited.
Dr Singhal had earlier replied that it was not necessary to get funds collected through the souvenir and other means audited and later asked for a week's time, claiming that some bills were still being received. He had also alleged that he was being harassed by the university as he had questioned the style of functioning of the Vice-Chancellor at a Syndicate meeting and also protested against migrations to the campus Management School from the Talwandi Sabo Regional Centre.
Talking to TNS, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr J. S. Ahluwalia, said the university had asked the Advocate-General to give his opinion as to whether the statements of Dr Singhal on an administrative matter like rendering accounts invited disciplinary action. He said while the university respected the right of its faculty members to express their views on social, cultural and economic matters, airing views on purely administrative matters was a different issue altogether.
The Vice-Chancellor said Dr Singhal had revealed through his statements that he was still to prepare the final accounts and that the bills relating to the function were still being received by him. He said this would inevitably raise questions in the minds of the public as to what kind of business management education was being imparted to the students when the Head of the Department had taken more than three months to receive the bills and prepare the accounts for submission to the authorities concerned.
He said it was also pertinent to point out that when he visited the department, a large number of faculty members had objected to the style of functioning of Dr Singhal. He said Dr Singhal had bypassed the requisite meeting of the faculty members and decided to make changes in study courses and the faculty members had requested that they should also be heard in this regard. Dr Ahluwalia said he had intervened in the matter and gave a direction that a meeting of the faculty members should be convened which rescinded the decision of Dr Singhal.
The Vice-Chancellor also pointed out that it was intriguing that in the midst of organising Alumni '99, Dr Singhal disassociated Dr D. P. Goel of his department as co-convener of the programme. He said Dr Singhal had been given one week to file the detailed accounts of Alumni '99, failing which necessary action would be considered against him. He also accused Dr Singhal of giving evasive replies earlier. He said while Dr Singhal gave one reply earlier he shifted his stand soon after to say the figures were only tentative. He said in his latest reply submitted on January 21, Dr Singhal had taken the ground that he was still collecting bills.
The Vice-Chancellor also
claimed that the management head was roping in extraneous
issues and had twisted the question of accountability of
financial matters into a case of harassment to bypass the
experiences in slums
PATIALA, Jan 24 We had heard about poverty but we never knew it was so pathetic.
We knew there was something wrong with the system but we never realised the scenario was so grim that it nearly touched the realm of hopelessness.
These are some of the views of students of the Department of Social Work, Punjabi University. Till now life, especially in their student days, seemed goody goody only. But one brush with reality, thanks to the necessary field work in slums and villages as part of their syllabi, was enough to eject them out of the unreal world they were venturing in.
In an informal chat with this correspondent the students came out with their first-hand experience of life in slums, of why basic amenities still eludes most of the masses, especially the non-influential classes, of how the system works or how it does not work, and of how government schemes remain on paper and how people fight among themselves for their small self-interests, caring two hoots about the benefit of society at large.
Miss Anukampa Dhiman, a student of first year, had lived most of her life in Chandigarh, and in those clean surroundings, she had just a faint idea about the lifestyle of the downtrodden sections of society. I had seen them on TV or read about them but I never realised that ground reality was so horrifying, Miss Anu said. She said the government schemes had not reached the slums and sub-urban areas she visited in this city. Ten persons live in small enclosures meant for one. They produce children and still scoff a family planning programmes. Drug addiction and alcoholism was consuming lives of males while the women were dying, producing more and more children, who were in turn dying of malnutrition. Says Miss Kamal Bir Kaur: It takes months for the files to move and when everything is accomplished things stop due to paucity of funds. Adds Miss Anu: I wanted to arrange for the opening of sewing school in a slum. After rounds of government offices I realised things move only at the pressure of politicians or money.
Mr Gurpreet Singh, who visited a village had a complete new experience. The village sarpanch belonged to the Congress, while the government is of the Akalis. Result? No grants, no funds. People live amidst unimaginable dirty surroundings. They are so much affiliated to their political mentors, that self-interest is given preference than interest of the village. He recalled that during the pulse polio drive a section of villagers refused to visit the camp as it was erected on the land of opposite party wallahs. Had not the administration erected a special camp for them in the next phase, nearly half of the village children would not have been immunised from the dreadful disease. The confrontation does not end here. One government ruling proposes a scheme, but the next one rejects it, he lamented.
Miss Ramanpreet Kaur had her own experience. She worked in a basti in the city having a water tank, a school and provision of constructing a community hall for the slum dwellers. She went to the administration to seek funds, only to learn that the colony having constructed houses was not legal. She wondered how the politician concerned laid the foundation stone of the community hall, which was illegal.
Mr Ravinder Kumar was fortunate to get an assignment in an urban area, and was thinking he would not have much work at hand. The moment he reached Bindra Colony here, he had a shock of his life. The colony, though in the urban area, was without concrete roads. People passed though puddles of dirty stinking water.
Singh, another student, said he was briefed about the
menace of drugs in the village he was going for his field
work. I never thought I will meet a six-year-old
boy relishing zarda and gutka. Shocked, I motivated the
menfolk to get him treated at a drug de-addiction centre.
They laughed, saying they all have been there
at hospital parking lot
PATIALA, Jan 24 People are being fleeced by contractors at various parking lots in the city.
The charge for parking a vehicle at the Government Rajindra Hospital is Rs 2. But, normally Rs 4 is charged for a scooter.
A small notice painted on one of the hospital walls says: Parking fares: cycle Rs 1, scooter Rs 2, and car/jeep Rs 3. But actually, Rs 4 per scooter and Rs 10 per car/jeep are being charged.
On being questioned, an employee on duty said he did not know about it and that his boss be asked.
The in charge said the rates had been raised about a month back. However, another employee said the rates had been so high since 1996.
People feel that change of prices should be notified.
to polio at rally
Patiala, Jan 24 Students of Blossom School held a rally here today to bid farewell to polio after completion of last round of vaccination.
The schoolchildren, in collaboration with inner wheel clubs of the city, marched to the Chief Medical Officer's office from Fountain Chowk, holding placards proclaiming a new polio-free era. The rally was flagged off by Mr b.m. Singh, Income Tax Commissioner.
Speaking on the
occasion, Ms Ravi Singh, Principal of the school, said
the rally was held to herald the successful completion of
the polio drive. Around 200 children participated,
besides inner wheel members.
scales on Punjab pattern demanded
CHANDIGARH, Jan 24 The Punjab Markfed Accounts Union said in a statement here today that the union had been struggling for getting pay scales on a par with Punjab Government staff for the past 15 years but to no avail.
A spokesman for the union said here that MARKFED had already given pay scales on the Punjab pattern to the ministerial staff with effect from January 1, 1978, along with the arrears.
The spokesman said the
anomalies committee set up by the state Government had
approved designations and pay scales on the Punjab
pattern for the accounts wing employees of all government
undertakings and cooperative apex institutions. The Board
of Directors of MARKFED had also stressed the need for
pay scales on the Punjab pattern to the accounts wing
employees at a meeting on July 30 last year. But nothing
had been done so far in this connection.
states thermal plants
ROPAR, Jan 24 Engineers and workers of the Ropar Thermal Plant (RTP) today observed a strike and staged a dharna near the main gate of the plant in support of the agitating employees of Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board (UPSEB) who have been opposing trifurcation of UPSEB.
The dharna was addressed among others by Mr Charanjit Singh, secretary of the PSEB Engineers Association of the plant, and Mr Rajinder Saini, finance secretary of the Council of Junior Engineers of PSEB.
The speakers condemned trifurcation of UPSEB and spoke on the ill-effects of trifurcation and privatisation of the power sector. They also urged the UP government to release the arrested leaders and settle the issue amicably.
Mr Satish Mittal, Chief Engineer of RTP, said while maintenance officers of the plant were on strike subordinate staff was present in sufficient number.
Mr Mittal said four of six units, were generating power normally, while one unit was being overhauled and another unit was under repair.
BATHINDA: The members of PSEB Engineers Association, GHTP, Lehra Mohabat, Bathinda zone today observed a strike in support of UPSEB staff.
In three different press notes issued by the association, the engineers claimed that due to strike, PSEB authorities had suffered a loss of about 12 lakh units.
The PSEB Engineers Association, Bathinda region also condemned the implication of the SDO, Mr Shiv Dyal in a false corruption case by the Vigilance Bureau.
JALANDHAR: More than one lakh employees of PSEB observed a complete strike in the state.
While PSEB authorities declared the strike illegal the employees posted in different circles of the PSEB including Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana held demonstrations in front of their respective offices.
Mr H.S. Minhas, an office-bearer of the struggle committee, said the privatisation exercise of the UP government was an indication that other state governments were going to follow the suit.
NAWANSHAHR: The PSEB employees federation observed a strike to express solidarity with UPSEB employees. They held a rally in front of the office of the local PSEB circle. Mr Harpal Singh, secretary of the circle unit of the federation, in a press note claimed that the strike was total. The employees also staged rallies at Banga, Behram, Mukandpur and Garhshankar.
AMRITSAR: Employees of PSEB observed a strike here.
In Tarn Taran too the employees of the local PSEB circle observed a strike and organised rallies here.
PATIALA: PSEB functioned normally despite the one-day token strike observed by the employees in support of the striking UPSEB powermen.
Claiming this in a press release issued here today evening Mr Gurcharan Singh Sohal, Chairman PSEB said all the boards thermal/hydro generating stations and substations functioned normally and power supply in the entire state was normal.
He appreciated the responsibility displayed by the boards engineers and employees in maintaining un-interrupted power supply.
Meanwhile work in field offices of the PSEB was paralysed.
A joint rally was staged by PSEB Employees Struggle Committee, PSEB Engineers Association, Council of Junior Engineers in front of the PSEB head office here.
menace in wildlife sanctuary
ABOHAR, Jan 24 A section of the Bishnoi community is in a fix as to how to deal with the menace of stray dogs in their 13 villages that form part of a wildlife sanctuary.
As the stray dogs in these villages are posing threat to the black buck population, the community and the wildlife officials are unable to find a solution. Since hunting is prohibited by 29 commandments guiding the community, Bishnois do not favour the killing of the dogs either.
While the wild officials admitted that infants of the black bucks were vulnerable to stray dogs, they were unable to kill them apprehending resistance from the Bishnois. Disclosing that isolated incidents of dog attacks on the black buck infants had come to light, the Wild Life Inspector, Mr Natha Singh, however, expressed helplessness in killing the dogs.
The Bishnois do not want the dogs to be killed either, he lamented. A visit to these villages revealed that the stray dogs continue to torment the black bucks.
Sarpanch of Uttranwali village said, Since our principles do not allow us to kill animals, how can we think of poisoning the dogs? Even as the community continues to protect the black buck population from poachers, they are somehow reluctant to kill the dogs.
Even sterilisation goes against our principles, an elderly Bishnoi resident quipped.
The presence of blue bulls is another cause of concern for these Bishnois.
Although they want the
authorities to some action, they are not clear as to what
should exactly be done to tackle with the menace. The
Ferozepore Deputy Commissioner, Mr Kulbir Singh Sidhu,
however said he would ask the wildlife authorities to put
these animals in one part of the cluster of the Bishnoi
dominated villages to protect the fields.
subscribers threaten stir
PHAGWARA, Jan 24 Twelve local organisations, including the Federation of Small Industries, the Chamber of Small Industries, the Chamber of Small Exporters, the Senior Citizens Council, the Citizen Rights Forum, the Telephone Subscribers Association, and the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Welfare Society on Saturday issued an ultimatum to the Telephone Department to either regularise services in the town by January 25 or face agitation.
A multi-member action committee had been constituted to spearhead the agitation, according to Mr T.D. Chawla, convenor of the local Telephone Subscribers Association and member of the committee, here yesterday.
In a letter to the General Manager (Telecom) Jalandhar range, these organisations had alleged that large number of telephones were not functioning and complaints had not been redressed for last four days.
LUDHIANA, Jan 24 Sur Sanjh, the inter-college geet and ghazal gayan competition, was inaugurated by Dr H.S. Sekhon, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh, Dean, Punjab University, Chandigarh, presided over the function and gave away prizes to the winners at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Ludhiana.
Twelve teams from various colleges of Punjab participated. The results of various competitions are as follows:
Running trophy: Master Tara Singh, College, Ludhiana; 2 Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana; 3 SDP College, Ludhiana.Ghazal: 1 Inderjit Kaur, MTS College, Ludhiana; 2 Hema Rani, SDP for Women, Ludhiana and Jaganbir Singh. GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana; 3.
Harsaranbir Kaur, Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana, film songs: Hema, SDP College for Women; Ludhiana and Hardeep Kaur, MTS, Ludhiana; 2 Vijeta, Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana and Harvinder Singh, GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana; 3 Harbir Kaur, Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana.
English song: 1 Navritu, Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana; 2 Randeep Kaur, Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana.
Sakhsi, SDP College for women, (geet), Puja Sood, DD Jain
College, (Ghazal), Gurpreet, Ramgarhia Girls College,
(ghazal), and Jaswinder Singh (self composed geet) GTB
National College, Dakha.
system needs change
AMRITSAR, Jan 24 The Union Urban Welfare Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, yesterday stressed the need of changing the educational structure in the country to compete with the developing nations.
Speaking at the prize distribution function of the local Khalsa College for Women, Mr Dhindsa said although many countries had gone ahead of India in science and technology, but they had lost their traditional values.
Anticipatory bail for
ROPAR, Jan 24 Mr Maghar Khan, Sessions Judge, today gave anticipatory bail to Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala, head of Dharam Kala Asthan in Dhamana village, about 10 km from here.
The Baba has been named in a case which registered at the Nurpur Bedi police under Sections 342, 365, 506, 323, 148 and 149 of IPC on the complaint of Mr Kamaljit Singh, a medical practitioner of Bains village. Kamaljit said he was beaten up by the Baba and his security guards and driver on December 11.
Earlier, Mr Lehmber Singh, the investigation officer in the case, said in court that the Baba had joined the investigation and since nothing was to be recovered from him, he was no longer required for further investigation.
On January 17 when this
case had last come up in court, the Sessions Judge had
directed the public prosecutor to produce the
investigation officer on January 24 to determine whether
the Baba had joined the investigation or not. On that day
the public prosecutor had stated that the Baba had not
joined the investigation so far. Arrest of the Baba was
then stayed until today.
arrested for taking bribe
ROPAR, Jan 24 Mr Malwinder Singh Sidhu, DSP of the Vigilance Bureau, Ropar, today caught red-handed Amardeep Singh, a Junior Engineer (Operations) of the Punjab State Electricity Board, posted at Chamkaur Sahib, while taking a bribe of Rs 1000 from Mr Gurnam Singh of Katlor village.
The DSP said the JE had demanded Rs 2,000 from Gurnam Singh for installing a new transformer in place of a burnt transformer near his fields in the village. But the JE was given Rs 1,000 which he accepted and was arrested.
girl hurt in firing
PHAGWARA, Jan 24 A five-year-old girl Harjinder Kaur was injured in an accidental fire and was referred to a hospital in Jalandhar from the local Civil Hospital yesterday, Mr Ravel Singh, SHO, city police station, said.
He said a man was
firing in the air at the wedding celebration
of Nasib Singhs daughter at Sukhchain Nagar. A
bullet got stuck in the pistol. When he was trying to
clear it, the bullet got fired and hit the hip of the
girl. The marriage party had come from Shergarh village,
making pirated cassettes raided
BATHINDA, Jan 24 The police today raided a factory which was making pirated audio cassettes for the past one year and recovered more than 4000 cassettes.
Police sources said the owner of the factory Navneet Kumar, was selling pirated audio cassettes through his shop situated near the local bus stand.
A police party raided a premises in the Gali Sucha Singh Wali here and recovered duplicate cassettes, blank cassettes, inlay cards, three recording machines, shells and screen.
This is the fourth factory producing pirated cassettes unearthed by the police in the past eight months.
The sources said two big recording machines, a small recording machine, 1.20 lakh inlay cards and other material was recovered from the factory.
Woodbridge help for civic
LUDHIANA, Jan 24 The civic authority of the City of Woodbridge, USA, will provide software to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for its technological upgradation and capacity building in the fields of sanitation, health, tax collection, solid waste management, hazardous waste management and waste water recycling.
This was stated by the Mayor of Woodbridge and Future Governor of New Jersey, Mr James Mc Greevy and the Ludhiana Municipal Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu, while addressing a press conference here today. Earlier, they had discussed areas of cooperation between the two cities.
Mr McGreevy informed that a team of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had been invited to Woodbridge to see the working of civic authorities there and to adopt the same in Ludhiana, after making certain changes to suit the local needs.
Dr Sandhu informed that they had worked out a list of priority for this cooperation between the two cities with management of information systems topmost on the priority list, to be followed by health care.
Talking about his achievements in Woodbridge, Mr McGreevy said that they had made vast strides in the field of sanitation and had also achieved 60 per cent of resource recovery from the waste disposed, through the use of biotechnology.
The two men also said that the main focus of this cooperation was on policy formation than on its enforcement.
AMRITSAR: Mr McGreevy visited the sanctum sanctorum of Golden Temple and Durgiana Mandir to pay obeisance here on Monday.
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Narinderjit Singh, accompanied the four-member delegation from the U.S.A. during their visit to this historic city. The other members of the delegation included Ms Sharon McGreevy; Mr Roger Church, Director of the Asian Affairs and Mr Peter Kothari.
Mr McGreevy was presented a siropa and the model of Golden Temple by the SGPC senior vice president, Mr Kewal Singh Badal.
flays PSEB policing
LUDHIANA, Jan 24 Creation of its own policing stations by Punjab State Electricity Board in each district has been criticised by the various industrial and trade associations of Punjab.
Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, strongly condemned the action saying the board was already running up losses and the creation of police stations would only mean a greater financial burden. Creation of the police stations would also lead to more corruption, they said.
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