|Friday, February 18, 2000,
Rs 1000 cr aid for Anandgarh
health authorities cross swords
engineers' seniority list set aside
Puran Singh must resign
to tax rich farmers flayed
villages on police watchlist
|Villagers to celebrate Baddowal
BADDOWAL/HASSANPUR (Ludhiana), Feb 17 Residents of the villages of Baddowal, Hassanpur, Bhanohar and Pamal, located around 13 km from Ludhiana, will jointly celebrate the 155th anniversary of the Baddowal war of 1846 from March 3 to 7.
drops in on old associate
state has lost a visionary
on social worker condemned
to 8 ration shops suspended
shop looted near Khanna
held with 63 cellphones
theft cases in Patiala
teachers strike from today
to be closed today
future at stake
denies loss in captive mining contract
HUDCOs Rs 1000 cr aid
NEW DELHI, Feb 17 The HUDCO has initiated plans to develop Anandgarh in Punjab as the new millennium city with Rs 1000 crore assistance, the Union Minister for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, said here today.
Addressing a joint meeting of officers of the Punjab Government and HUDCO, he said the new city would be developed in a phased manner, spread over a decade, on 4500 hectares to accommodate its one million population.
Anandgarh would be located on the west and north-west of Chandigarh, he said. It would have all creative inputs of environment-friendly, ecologically appropriate and energy saving systems in place.
The new city would be developed as a centre of information and knowledge with higher order institutions in the field of information technology, knowledge based industries, scientific and research institutions in the field of medical, engineering, biotechnology.
Mr Dhindsa said the new city would emerge as an entity of technological excellence.
The development proposals include emphasis on promoting the city as an eco-city with plans for greening the slops of Shivalik hills with the objective of ensuring ecological management and environmental sustainability of this new city.
The city would have
appropriate activities which would ensure it as an
economically vibrant entity, he said, adding that the
development of the city was proposed to be taken up with
substantial public and private partnership.
Jail, health authorities
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 The jail and health authorities have crossed swords over the issue of treatment of an under-trial Pakistani national Mohammad Raushan. The jail authorities have sought the intervention of the Additional Sessions Judge for ensuring proper treatment of the under trial.
In a communication to the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Jagjit Singh, Jail Superintendent, alleged that the undertrial was sent to Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital several times. But he was not given proper treatment.
At least 60 Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals have been languishing in the local high-security Central Jail even after the completion of their sentence.
The Pakistan Government has been showing an indifferent attitude towards their nationals and hence they have not been released so far. So much so that two Pakistani nationals Mohammad Asharaf and Nazirul, both residents of Lahore, died here in 1998. They had returned from Jaipur after appearing at a councillor access there. The councillor access is held after every three months, yet the Pakistan Government failed to make arrangements for the release.
As a result, most foreign nationals remain at the mercy of the jail or health authorities.
The differences between the jail and the health authorities resurfaced after the death of yet another under-trial, Sangram Singh at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital last week. The authorities of both departments have been blaming each other for the negligence which led to his death.
Dr H.S. Gill, Medical Superintendent, has said neither the Jail Superintendent nor doctors posted at Central Jail had made any complaint to him in this regard. However, Mr Jagjit Singh has urged the Additional Sessions Judge to direct the Medical Superintendent to give proper treatment to the Pakistani undertrial.
Mr Jagjit Singh said whenever Mohammad Raushan was sent to hospital, he returned without satisfactory treatment as he was still complaining of abdominal pain. The first time, he was sent to the hospital, was on October 15. The doctor in charge sent him back after four days with the observation that no disease could be diagnosed.
He was sent again on November 8 and the doctors detected some problem during 10 days of his treatment. He was again sent to the hospital after two days and was discharged on December 1.
However, when the patient continued to complaint about the pain, he was admitted to the hospital from January 22 to February 15. The doctors observed that the patient was extensively examined and investigations were done. However, no disease was found. He was sent for treatment again on February 14.
The Jail Superintendent said to frequent visits of undertrials to hospitals was a security risk. Security was not available for them taking to the hospitals.
Dr Gill said the
hospital authorities had been taking all measures to
provide appropriate treatment to the undertrials. If the
jail authorities face any problem, they should directly
come to me. He said the communication gap was
due to the jail authorities and they should not blame
other departments for their own mistakes.
Punjab engineers' seniority
list set aside
CHANDIGARH, Feb 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside
the seniority list of engineers issued by the Punjab
Government on April 2, 1999.
The judges added: "It is an agreed position that while passing the order on April 2, 1999, placing the petitioner at serial no 24, the benefit (of the Army service) had not been allowed. We, therefore, set aside the order of April 2, 1999, and direct the state government to recast the same by giving the benefit of seniority under the 1968 rules to the petitioner as envisaged in the notification dated September 1, 1971."
The petitioner was first given seniority for the period he had served in the Army. However, this seniority was later withdrawn and he was placed below even those civilian officers who took degrees in engineering year after Mr Thapar had passed out.
The plea of the government was that since the Supreme Court had rejected the civil petition preferred by Mr Thapar, seeking better benefits, therefore, no such benefit of Army service could be given to him.
Giani Puran Singh must
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 The newly-formed Youth Akhand Kirtini Jatha has asked the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Puran Singh, to resign from his post for handling the Sikh crisis in an irresponsible manner.
Criticising Jathedar and his advisers of Sant Samaj and Bibi Jagir Kaur and the SGPC executive, the jatha in a statement said while the organisation considered Bibi Jagir Kaur, SGPC executive members and leaders of the so-called Sant Samaj as guilty of wrongful acts, it also blamed Jathedar Giani Puran Singh and other Sikh head priests for acting contrary to the Sikh sentiments on the Nanakshahi calendar issue.
Nanakshahi calendar and its implementation, it criticised
the role of the Sant Samaj leaders for taking the Sikhs,
particularly the youth, away from the Sikh ideology as 90
per cent of them were cutting off their hair.
SGPC for general house
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 Some of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) members, including executive members, have demanded an emergency session of the general house of the Shiromani committee to resolve the present panthic crisis, apart from discussing controversial hukmnama.
In a statement issued here today, Mr Pritam Singh Bhatia, executive member, Mr Jaswinder Singh, Mr Baldev Singh and Mr Bakhshish Singh Dharowali, all members of the Shiromani committee, have said it was the need of the hour to call a general house session of the SGPC to resolve the current crisis after the issuing of hukmnama excommunicating Bibi Jagir Kaur from the Sikh panth.
Some members of the SGPC had also rejected the hukmnama at a seminar organised by the Akal Purkh ki Fauj.
Executive members of the
Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (led by Mr Gurcharan Singh
Tohra) and SAD (Amritsar, led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann)
have also demanded an emergency meeting of the general
house of the SGPC to discuss the hukmnama.
Jagir Kaur to end
ekantwas at right time
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC, will end her ekantwas at an appropriate time.
Disclosing this here today, Mr Harjit Singh, Assistant Secretary, SGPC and personal assistant to the SGPC chief, clarified that Bibi Jagir Kaur was still in ekantwas. Bibi Jagir Kaur would appear before the sangat at an appropriate time.
A one-page written press statement, issued here today, said: Akal Takht is the supreme temporal seat for the Sikhs all over the world. Every Sikh bows his head before Akal Takht. Mr Harjit Singh said no Sikh could afford the confront such a great institution built by the Guru himself. He, however, said it was also a duty of the Sikh Panth to maintain the maryada. The SGPC was a representative body of Sikhs and it was its duty to maintain the maryada in accordance with the sentiments of the Panth, he added.
He urged mediapersons not to publish any report on the basis of speculations lest anti-Panthic forces should take benefit.
A section of the Press
had published a report that Bibi Jagir Kaur had emerged
from her ekantwas and broke her silence.
Interestingly, mediapersons had filed their reports on
the basis of the statement of Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan,
Move to tax rich farmers flayed
PHAGWARA, Feb 17 The PPCC President, Capt Amarinder Singh (retd), today opposed BJP Vice-President Jana Krishnamurthis proposal to tax rich farmers in the coming Budget.
Talking to newsmen at the local JCT Mills Guest House, the PPCC chief said that farmers were already burdened with debts, forcing many to commit suicide.
The BJP leaders remarks proved that the party was anti-farmers, alleged the Congress leader.
Border villages on police
FEROZEPORE, Feb 17 At least two border villages figure on the police watchlist in connection with the fake currency racket. With reports of fake currency being smuggled from across the border pouring in every day, the district police has intensified its surveillance around these areas.
The police had recovered counterfeit currency, worth about Rs 16 lakh, from two persons of Dara Ka village a year ago. Interestingly, the name of the sarpanch of the village, tops the confidential list of smugglers.
Kilche is another village under surveillance for arms deals and fake currency racket.
Police sources said a high-level meeting was held at Chandigarh to discuss the matter. Over 30 persons engaged in drug-trafficking, arms deals, and circulation of fake currency figure on the watchlist.
Although the police has intensified patrolling in the villages, certain gaps in the fenced border has made the job difficult. A team of the Reserve Bank of India visited the police lines to explain the differences between fake and real currency. According to the DIG, Mr Hardeep Dhillon, police officers from Moga and Muktsar districts also participated.
The team allayed the apprehension that notes of Rs 500 denomination were being phased out for fear of them being fake.
Villagers to celebrate Baddowal
BADDOWAL/HASSANPUR (Ludhiana), Feb 17 Residents of the villages of Baddowal, Hassanpur, Bhanohar and Pamal, located around 13 km from Ludhiana, will jointly celebrate the 155th anniversary of the Baddowal war of 1846 from March 3 to 7.
A political conference will be organised to commemorate the occasion and focus on the valour of residents of villages who smilingly braved the British guns to protect the fort here.
The villagers have also decided to rename the link road between the four villages as the Ajit Singh Ladua road, after the then ruler of these villages. A new banyan tree would also be planted in place of the banyan tree in the then village square (chaupal) to which innocent women, children and elderly men, were tied and burnt alive by the British Army after they won the battle.
The old banyan tree had survived upto some 15 years ago, when the then village panchayat sold it for wood due to financial constraints. The intention behind planting another banyan tree is to ensure that the coming generations can see it and remember the sacrifices of their forefathers. This would also ensure that a feeling of nationalism is rekindled in them when they see it, says Mr Surat Singh Khalsa, a resident of Hassanpur village and a former secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal.
During a visit to the four villages today, this correspondent saw remnants of this war. Though the fort in village Baddowal was demolished a long time ago its bricks were used for construction of the old jail in Ludhiana, while a part of it has been renovated and is being used as the village temple, according to a villager.
In Hassanpur, remnants of a burnt-down haveli of the then lambardar of the village are still standing as is a pillar of then gate of the village.
Mr Surat Singh Khalsa, said he was looking forward to some kind of aid in order to preserve these monuments.
Talking about the event, elders in the four villages said that it was a peoples war and the villagers engaged indulged in hand-to-hand combat with the British Army.
The story that has come down the generations is that the only weapons our forefathers used were axes and other sharp-edged agricultural implements. However, the fort fell to the British Army and they ordered that the village be razed to the ground. One of the aides of the British, the kiledar of Lalton, however, took pity and asked the British officers to give the villagers time to escape. While the British did give some time, it was not enough and many people who could not escape were burnt alive, says Giani Sajjan Singh, a former SGPC member and a resident of village Hassanpur.
After the British captured this state, they demanded compensation of Rs 1500 from the villagers if they wanted to resettle here. To raise the money the villagers had to sell 200 acres of the village land to one Karim Baksh, Village Karimpura has come up on this land.
Villagers prefer to call the battle angauli jetu jang (unsung war which was won). They point out that earlier too, the British had captured the fort, but the ruler, Raja Ajit Singh Ladua, who was then in the other part of his state at Karnal, came down with his army and with the help of the Army of the Lahore darbar led by Ranjot Singh Majitha he recaptured it.
But after this victory, the two warriors lowered their guard and a strong British Army with its regiments from Ambala, Sarabu, Jagraon and Kalka again struck and succeeded in recapturing it.
anniversary of this war was first celebrated by a
resident of Pamal village Capt A.S. Sekhon, in 1997 and a
war memorial was built. This year, the panchayats of all
the villages have decided to turn it into an annual
affair and celebrate it jointly.
Jacob drops in on old
KAPURTHALA, Feb 17 Mr Arjun Singh, an honorary captain of Indian Army and an old associate of Punjab Governor J.F.R. Jacob was pleasantly surprised when the Governor dropped in at his native Dhipai village today.
The Governor also met the ex-armymen of the village and enquired about their welfare and heard the grievances of villagers.
Residents of the village demanded upgradation of the high school of the village to a senior secondary school, a hospital, arrangement of drinking water and construction of memorial to 20 soldiers of the INA who laid down their lives for the freedom of country.
Attack on social worker
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 The chairperson of the Manav Manch Mrs Harinder Riar, has condemned the recent attack on Dr Asghar Ali engineer and a social worker, as a gross violation of human rights.
Dr Engineer was reportedly attacked on February 13 by people of Bohra community. He was on his way to Mumbai from Bhopal where he had gone to participate in a seminar on communal harmony organised by the police. In his address, he had exposed the fundamentalist groups who exploit people in the name of religion.
Badal: state has lost a
CHANDIGARH, Feb 17 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today called on Mrs Naranjan Kaur and other family members of the late Lieut-Col Partap Singh Gill.
Tax on insecticides opposed
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 Mr Rakesh Maidan, general secretary of the Punjab Seeds and Pesticides Dealers Association (PSPD), in a press note issued here yesterday questioned the Punjab Government's policy of levying 4 per cent tax on insecticides.
He urged the Punjab Government to review its policy in the wake of an earlier increase in licence fee from Rs 300 to Rs 7,500 the association said the PSPD would meet the Union Finance Minister and seek a more reasonable policy.
Dharna by rail staff
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 A number of workers of the Northern Railways today staged a dharna for over four hours outside the main gate of the Northern Railways mechanical workshop on a call of the Northern Railwaymens Union against the anti-labour policies of the government.
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Feb 17 Computerisation of registration work of various documents like sale deeds, lease deeds, gift deeds, and mortgage deeds in the office of the Sub-Registrar was inaugurated here today by Mr D.S. Kalha, Commissioner, Patiala Division. He also distributed copies of computerised registered documents to the public.
Mr Kalha said it would bring efficiency in the working of the registration office.
He said the district administration had already computerised jamabandies of about 325 villages of this district. The Central Government had also sanctioned a Rs 63-lakh project for the digitisation of patwaris field map. Fatehgarh Sahib would be the first district in Punjab to digitise maps of revenue records. The Ministry of Information and Technology had supplied computers for computerising all the blocks of this district, he said.
Mr V.K. Janna, Deputy
Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, said the photographs of
executants of various documents and witnesses would be
taken through the computer and would be printed on the
registration documents. This would check fraudulent
Supply to 8 ration shops
ROPAR, Feb 17 The District Food and Supply authorities have suspended the supply of commodities to eight ration depots in this district because of irregularities found during special checking in the first half of this month.
Giving this information here this evening, Mr Diljit Singh, District Food and Supply Controller said the eight ration depots were in Kharar, Majri and Ropar blocks and in SAS Nagar. Supply of kerosene has been suspended to two wholesale and three retail dealers.
Tyre shop looted near Khanna
KHANNA, Feb 17 Some unidentified persons had yesterday looted a tyre shop and a weigh bridge on the GT Road near here.
According to available information some truck-borne persons disconnected the telephone and locked up the employees of the weigh bridge (Dharam Kanta) in a room and took up Rs 2300, a TV set and some clothes lying there. After that they broke the lock of a tyre shop and stole tyres worth Rs 85,000.
Meanwhile, according to a press release the Khanna police had busted a gang of looters and arrested four persons.
Man held with 63 cellphones
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 (UNI) After fake Indian currency and heroin, it is the turn of cellphones to be smuggled into India.
The local Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 63 cellphones at the railway station here yesterday.
Altogether 365 smuggled in cellphones have been since June last year. Ten persons have so far been nabbed in this connection. They include a customs official, DRI deputy director RC Sankhla told UNI here.
He said DRI sleuths, on specific information, searched the baggage of a passenger identified as Sanjay of Delhi who had alighted from the Shan-e-Punjab train. The cellphones, smuggled from Dubai via New Delhi were found in his baggage.
He said the 63 impounded phones were worth Rs seven lakh in the Indian market. The carrier on interrogation disclosed that the sets had been smuggled from Dubai and he had planned to sell these at Ludhiana, the DRI official added.
Referring to the smuggling of cellphones, he said they were a hot commodity for smugglers as the profit margin was around Rs 1000-1500 in the domestic market. Smugglers prefer cellphones to gold biscuits, he added.
Previous seizures by the DRI office here included 150 sets from the Raja Sansi Airport, and 113 sets from Ludhiana railway station. .
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 An unclaimed attachee found laying last night in the populated locality of Karmo Deori in Katra Jaimal Singh later proved to be a harmless object.
The police had cordoned off the area and called the bomb disposal squad after getting report of scare in the locality.
Two theft cases in Patiala
PATIALA, Feb 17 Two thefts took place in the Urban Estate locality here today.
In the first case, the house of Mr D.L. Aggarwal, President, Mandir Committee, and a resident of House No. 162 Phase Two, was burgled early morning. The burglary took place at around 6.30 a.m. when Mr Aggarwal and his wife had gone to a temple.
According to Mr R.K. Sharma, President, Welfare Association of Urban Estate, the thieves locked a son of the couple in a bathroom and decamped with cash, gold and silver jewellery.
The second theft took
place at the shop of Apollo Tyres near Urban Estate. A
number of tyres were reportedly stolen. The Sadar Police
has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380, IPC, in
Medical teachers strike from
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 The general secretary of the Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers Association, Dr Baljeet Singh Dhillon, in a press note here today decried the attitude of the government towards doctors.
The secretary of the Punjab Medical Education in a letter sent through the Director, Medical Education and Research, and addressed to the Principal of the medical college here has threatened to take action against the striking teachers who had boycotted the classes since February 10.
The association has taken serious views of the letter and advised the Principal to take up the issue of the payment of arrears immediately.
Meanwhile, the association has decided to go on a two-day strike from tomorrow.
The general secretary, however, clarified that emergency work would be attended to.
PATIALA: Teachers of the Government Medical and Dental College here on Thursday held a rally against the apathetic attitude of the government towards their demands.
The teachers who have struck work since February 10, said from Friday, out-patient departments would remain closed to mark the second phase of their agitation for the release of arrears.
Dr Ravinder Singh,
secretary, Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers
Association, said the government was adopting a
dilly-dallying tactic over the payment of arrears while
other employees of the government had received the
arrears long ago.
OPDs to be closed today
PATIALA, Feb 17 Teachers of the government Medical and Dental College here today staged a rally against the alleged apathetic attitude of the government towards their demands.
The teachers who have struck teaching work since February 10 announced that from tomorrow, the out-patient departments (OPD) would be closed to mark the second phase of their agitational programme. They are demanding the release of arrears of the new pay scales.
Students future at stake
FAZILKA, Feb 17 Hundreds of students eligible for admission to degree course in dental surgery are disappointed as admission colleges affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Baba Farid Medical University, Faridkot, have not commenced so far. The two universities in their prospectuses had mentioned that privately-run dental colleges of Ludhiana, Sunam, Faridkot and Nanagal Kalan of Mansa district had been approved in 1999 to give admission to BDS course.
The Ludhiana college has 100 seats, while the remaining colleges have 60 seats each. Students who had cleared their (PMT) were to get admission to these colleges in August 1999.
However, since the Union Government has not approved admission to any of these colleges, the future of these students, is uncertain.
The students and their parents said the Dental Council of India had so far not succeeded in getting approval from the Union Government.
AMRITSAR, Feb 17 At a massive protest rally held here today, the Guru Nanak Dev University Employees Union (Non-teaching) and many members of the Officers Association today threatened to resort to agitation if the university authorities failed to cancel the appointments of Deputy Registrar and Assistant Registrar.
The leaders of the union alleged that a ward of an office-bearer of the BJP was recruited as an Assistant Registrar in violation of the university rules. The authorities had ignored the rights of Superintendents by making fresh appointment, they added.
PSEB denies loss in captive mining
PATIALA, Feb 17 The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today refuted allegations that a loss of Rs 150 crore had been caused by awarding a Rs 500 crore contract for captive coal mining to a private company without inviting tenders.
An official release here today said the PSEB had to go in for captive coal mining through joint venture which would lead to reduction in fuel expenses and achieve economy in the operation of thermal plants.
It said the proposal envisaged that the party to be selected would make the entire financial investment. It said the coal mined by the joint venture company of the PSEB and the selected party would be supplied to the PSEB at the rate lower than the prevailing rates of Coal India Limited. This would lead to a saving of about Rs 40 crore per year to the PSEB at present coal price levels, it added.
The release said open press tenders of the parties were got evaluated by an independent agency by the Central Mine Planning and Development Institute, Ranchi, a subsidiary of Coal India Limited. Based on clear cut recommendations of the CMPDI, the case was under evaluation to select a technically superior and financially lowest offer.
It said since the proposal was for entire investment of capital, manpower and equipment to be made by the selected party, the news item giving the impression that the PSEB had made a contract for Rs 500 crore which was higher by Rs 150 crore was totally false incorrect and misleading.
It further clarified
that the case for captive coal mining was being processed
at the board level and was not referred to the Chief
Minister nor was it pending in the office of the Chief
Minister as alleged.
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