|Monday, February 21, 2000,
Akal Takht bans WSC seminar
Punjab Cong threatens to boycott
Saying it through prayers
Badal misusing police: Bhora
Youth Akali Dal to have units in
RSS misleading Sikhs: Dal Khalsa
SAD to submit memo to CRC
Action sought against NRI
Chawla, Lapoke flay demolition
Clinton may visit Golden Temple
Gill: poll violence must end
MC rapped for poor collections
Overcrowding in buses goes
Rape victim found 4-month pregnant
Four human bombs
2 tonne poppy husk seized
3 held for illegal fishing in
Promotion policy criticised
Move to privatise NFL opposed
Akal Takht bans WSC seminar
AMRITSAR, Feb 20 The Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Puran Singh, has virtually imposed a 'ban' on the holding of seminars or meetings on the controversial 'Nanakshahi' calendar.
In a directive on the letterhead of Akal Takht, he has made it clear that the seminar on "Nanakshahi jantri" proposed to be held at Desh Bhagat Yadgari Hall, Jalandhar, on February 27 could not be held.
In a communication to Maj-Gen Narinder Singh (Retd), Secretary, World Sikh Council, Giani Puran Singh said such seminars could not be held as Akal Takht had disbanded the 11-member panel on the calendar issue. The directive reads: "Any attempt to organise a seminar on the Nanakshahi calendar will be violation of the directives of Akal Takht."
The proposed seminar was to be held by the World Sikh Council.
Interestingly, the directive on the ban was issued on the letterhead numbered 308 A.T., while the edict issued from Guna (Madhya Pradesh) ex-communicating Bibi Jagir Kaur was unnumbered in the wake of the directive, the World Sikh Council has convened an emergency meeting at its head office in Chandigarh tomorrow. Talking to TNS, its President, Justice Kuldip Singh, has expressed regret over the decision.
He said the seminar was aimed at helping Akal Takht and the SGPC resolve the present crisis. "We wanted to bring Sikh scholars on one platform for making valuable suggestions on this significant issue concerning Sikhs all over the world".
Justice Kuldip Singh said the meeting of the council would be held under the presidentship of Mr Baldev Singh Sibia tomorrow to take a decision on whether the seminar should be held or not.
A section of the Sant
Samaj, headed by Baba Kashmira Singh, had urged the Sikhs
not to hold a seminar on the Nanakshahi calendar.
Punjab Cong threatens to
CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 The President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Capt Amarinder Singh, said today that his party would boycott the counting process in Nawanshahr Assembly constituency, if the Election Commission failed to order setting up of a judicial commission under Section 324 of the Constitution to probe the acts of omission and commission by the ruling SAD-BJP combine during campaigning for the byelection.
Capt Amarinder Singh told newsmen categorically that the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his government had not only violated the election model code of conduct with impunity but also criminalised the poll process by vitiating the atmosphere through intimidation and distribution of money, "bhang" and other intoxicants.
Given the interplay of "money and muscle power" in the Nawanshahr constituency and having spent crores on hurriedly carried out development works, including giving of grants to panchayats, the poll process had thoroughly been corrupted. He regretted that the EC had failed to respond to any of the over 30-odd complaints made in regard to excesses and irregularities committed in the constituency whose 130-odd villages had been "corrupted".
The same person, who is supposed to act as the guardian of law and protector of the Constitution himself breached the same, thereby, setting new trends for future. In case the EC failed to rise to the occasion and institute a judicial commission, the future of electoral democracy will be jeopardised forever.
"Winning or losing a seat is not important. But the manner in which fair play has been given the go-by and foul means instituted does not speak well of the way democratic traditions are being protected", he added.
His estimate was that in
two months at least Rs 250 crore had been spent on roads,
etc and Rs 6.5 crore given by way of village panchayat
grants. "Let Bihar not become Punjab. The Election
Commission must instil confidence in the people by fair
play and impartiality" he concluded, adding
"what has happened in Nawanshahr amounts to
rape of democracy".
Saying it through prayers
AMRITSAR, Feb 20 As a show of strength the Gurbani Gurmat Sant Samaj and other pro-Giani Puran Singh organisations held the path of Sukhmani Sahib at Akal Takht. Baba Major Singh, Secretary of the Sant Samaj, performed the ardas. An appeal was made to the sangat for implementing the hukamnana issued from Guna.
Earlier, pro-Bibi Jagir Kaur organisation, Akal Purkh Ki Fauj, had started a series of paths of Sukhmani Sahib at Akal Takht. At each ardas the significance of "panch pardhani (the institution of Panj Piaras) was emphasised.
Giani Puran Singh had not taken the other four Sikh High Priests into confidence while issuing the hukamnama. The pro-Bibi Jagir Kaur institutions have been emphasising the need of involving all High Priests while taking any decision.
Baba Mangal Singh and Baba Major Singh Vaan, acting President and Secretary of the Sant Samaj, respectively, talking to mediapersons here said any Sikh who opposed a hukamnama issued form Akal Takht could not be considered a true Sikh.
Mr Jaswinder Singh Advocate, SGPC member and an office-bearer of the Akal Purkh Ki Fauj, alleged the Sant Samaj had violated the Sikh "maryada" (tradition) by holding a press conference at Akal Takht. Only a jathedar could hold a meeting at Akal Takht.
To a question,Baba Major
Singh said he was ready to accept any Akal Takht
directive in case he violated Sikh "maryada".
UGC grants Part II
CHANDIGARH, Feb 20 In India at present only 6 per cent of the total population in the eligible age group of 17 to 23 is enrolled for higher education in 207-odd universities, 9,278 colleges (1,146 women colleges). The University Grants Commission (UGC) recognises only 4,730 colleges under Section 2(1) of the UGC Act. It is these colleges which are expected to derive the maximum benefit from the funds available for various purposes.
This is exactly what is not happening in Punjab. The Dean, College Development Council, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh, of late, has made some effort to collect facts about the colleges requirements and where the UGC intervention can enable them benefit. According to him, at present projects and schemes have been submitted by as many as 71 colleges to the UGC through the Registrar for financial help. These await clearance.
The Principal of the local G.D.G.S.D. College, Dr A.C. Vaid, endorsed Dr Deepaks views that a "little effort" by colleges and the council could get handsome sums from the UGC within six months or so provided the projects are carefully drafted. For his own college, Dr Vaid has made the UGC cough up as much as Rs 70 lakh in the past few years for a variety of programmes, including vocational education, hostels, etc. He has now sent a proposal for a gymnasium.
The UGC on its part offers financial assistance ranging from Rs 7 lakh to 17 lakh for vocational courses in arts and humanities, and social sciences; commerce, management and economics; science; engineering and technology and subjects relevant to rural, hilly and tribal areas. Browsing through the schemes of the UGC one finds that funds are available for "daycare centres" in colleges and in university campuses for working couples; for seminars and conferences; for teacher fellowships; for minor and major research projects; for girls hostels and other buildings; for play fields, for computer software and hardware, etc. Name an academic activity and the UGC promptly pays up. So much so that for books, journals, library, blind teachers, sports goods, border area colleges, etc, it has schemes. Unfortunately Punjab does not know how to make use of all this available on a platter.
In India, the student enrolment is around 64,26,000 of which girls account for 21,91,000. The number of university teachers and in colleges add up to 2,97,192. Yet despite best of efforts there is a declining trend among students who are shy of taking up science subjects. This trend set in 1991-92. Despite best of incentives for M.Phil and Ph.D, teachers are shy of availing opportunities. Unless universities and colleges become responsive and alive, education will suffer, says Dr Vaid.
On the other hand, Panjab University Syndic, Mr Charanjit Chawla, says the states must also enhance the allocation on education. He said the Centres experts committee on expenditure on education has also recommended that 6 per cent of the gross domestic product (6DP) must be spent on education in public sector. It has targeted 2007 for achieving this.
Quoting the committees report, Mr Chawla said public expenditure on education in 1996-97 accounted for Rs 42,271 crore, which was only 3.37 per cent of the GDP. He is upset that enough effort has not been made to educate the colleges in Punjab, particularly, the rural and semi-urban area colleges whose plight is worse. He wants these colleges to learn from Khalsa College at Bela in Ropar.
Agreeing with Dr Vaids views Mr Chawla said the prominent programmes offered by the UGC ranged from undergraduate and postgraduate development assistance, from Rs 2 lakh to 13 lakh to construction of women hostels; college humanities and social sciences improvement programme; college science improvement programme; introduction of remedial coaching for students belonging to weaker sections, etc.
The UGC even offers financial aid to those educational institutions which are 75 years old and wont to refurbish their infrastructure and expand further. But what really worries PUs Dr Deepak and other faculty is the "lack of interest" shown, so far by Punjab Colleges principals in making use of the UGC schemes. A majority of the colleges 71-odd awaiting grant have opted for computer grant and women hostels.
The UGC has a system of audit. Now after the release of 20 per cent grant once the utilisation certificate is submitted further the grant is released. The audit is by the Accountant-General, Punjab. Some principals, confided that at times one had to make "extra efforts" in the UGC to see the schemes through. Now certain structural changes there were in the offing following complaints of "favouritism and nepotism". This is likely to delay the sanction of the pending schemes.
One expects the state government, the university and the colleges themselves to get abreast with the UGC programmes and derive maximum benefit. Money is available; one needs to have the knowhow to get it, summed up Dr Chawla.
Badal misusing police: Bhora
BATHINDA, Feb 20 Mr Bhan Singh Bhora, MP, today alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was using the states police force for his own and his friends political gains.
Talking to TNS here, he alleged that Mr Badal forced Punjab police personnel to work as party workers in the recently held Nawanshahr Assembly byelection. He added that Mr Badal also sent 20 companies of Punjab police commandos in Haryana to support his friend, Mr Om Prakash Chautala.
Mr Bhora said the Election Commissions order to the state government regarding calling back of Punjab police commandos had proved the fact that Mr Badal was using the police like his personal property.
He alleged that the Punjab police, was not impartial during the Nawanshahr Assembly byelection and certain police officials acted as campaign managers for the SAD-BJP candidate.
He demanded that the
Election Commission should take action against those
police officials who worked as party workers
for the SAD and BJP alliance in the Nawanshahr Assembly
Youth Akali Dal to have units
MANSA, Feb 20 Mr Lakhwinder Singh, President of the Youth Akali Dal (Badal), said today that youth wing units would be set up on village-level in order to strengthen the party.
In a press note issued
here, he said "loyal" party workers would be
made office-bearers of the village-level units.
Soaking pits to drain
PATIALA, Feb 20 Residents here will soon have respite from water accumulated for months on streets and low-lying areas if a project of digging soaking pits, conceived by the Municipal Corporation, succeeds.
The MC has identified 14 sites in the city in this connection. In the first phase, pits in seven areas, including Charan Bagh, Modern Town, Sewak Colony, Phatak Number 21, and Factory Area, will be dug up. The work on pits on Sewak Colony and Charan Bagh has already started.
The initial sites will be closely observed. The success of the experiment on these will enable the corporation to spread the scheme to the whole city.
Mr K.S. Kung, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said the soaking pits have been successful in controlling the problem of accumulation of water in low-lying areas and roads in several cities, including Delhi and Ludhiana. He said the pits serve two purposes. One, the water is cleared and second the under-ground water, whose level is going down rapidly, gets re-charged.
Mr Kung said each pit would be 280 feet deep and 12 feet wide. Half of the width would be laid in concrete so that the walls do not collapse. An estimated Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 1.40 lakh would be the cost of each pit.
He also said the pits would be duly covered so that no mishap occurs. The cover to be laid in concrete would be able to withstand pressure of vehicle passing over it.
The accumulation of
water in several areas had always remained a headache for
the residents as well as the Administration. The city
having bowl-shaped terrain had once innumerable tobbas or
ponds with rapid construction, demanding draining out of
the accumulated water. Mr Kung said earlier several
experiments, like flushing out of water or constructing
few drains, had failed to deliver results.
Riot-hit children demand jobs
PATIALA, Feb 20 Fifteen years after they lost their husbands, the widows of the anti-Sikh 1984 riots have another problem on their hands: children sitting home with nothing to do.
"We lost our everything in the riots. we resettled here in this colony (urban area -phase I) where we were given low income group flats. We all took up jobs to bring up our children. today, they need jobs but none are available as there are no reservations for them in government service,'' says Jagmohan Kaur who lost her husband in Delhi in 1984.
Jagmohan and nearly 20 other widows reside in the area. Jagmohan has two sons Amardeep and Amandeep. While the elder one has done a diploma in computers, the younger in studying in higher secondary. "I can do just this much for my children with my job,'' says the mother who works in Rajindra hospital as a laboratory attendant.
Another riot widow, Balbir Kaur, who also works in the same hospital, says. "I chose not to go in for a second marriage for the sake of my children. I brought them up against all odds. today, my son has done training from diesel component works and is searching for a job." her son Sukhwinder says that he had given an application for a post in the Indian oil corporation but was told that there was no reservation for riot victims.
Balbir and other widows don't want their sons sitting at home doing nothing. they say they are away at work for most of the day and want that their children should be gainfully employed. in fact, most of the widows say the necessity of putting their children first was the main reason why they did not go into legislation to get the murderers of their husband's punished. "I had to bring up my children, how could I take any enmity ?'' says a widow.
It is not as if time has healed the rancour of the tragedy which afflicted them. most feel: ''why did this have to happen to us ?'' Though the fact that most of the perpetrators of the ghastly acts have gone scotfree still troubles them, they are more interested in getting their children settled. Even those who filed cases said they could not follow them up after coming to Punjab.
while the future of their children haunts them, the fact that they have still not got registries from PUDA of the houses they occupy is also a cause of concern. The widows had been allotted one-room flats with kitchen in 1986.
besides the widows,
there are other riot-affected persons living in the city
who have not been able to reconstruct their lives till
yet. Prem Singh, a resident of Jagdish colony whose three
sons were murdered in the riots in Gurgaon, has got
compensation of only Rs 60,000 per family member from the
Haryana government in contrast to Delhi which has paid Rs
3.5 lakh as compensation for every deceased member. He
could also not find a job, adding to his woes.
RSS misleading Sikhs: Dal
AMRITSAR, Feb 20 The Sikh hardliner group, Dal Khalsa, launched an attack today on the RSS and alleged that the organisation was denigrating the Sikh religion in the state.
Dal Khalsa leaders, Mr Atinder Pal Singh, former MP and chief spokesperson, Mr Kanwar Pal Singh, took strong exception to the manner in which the RSS was entering the Sikh fold under the pretext of "integrating the Punjabi society". They called upon the Sikhs to come out of slumber in view of the "growing attack" on the community from the RSS.
In a hard-hitting statement both the leaders pointed out that the general perception amongst the Sikhs and in the Panthic circles was that the RSS was spreading its tentacles in the state as part of a larger gameplan.
In order to thwart the designs of the RSS, the various Sikh organisations adopted a resolution during the 53rd birth celebrations of Sant Bhindrawale at Fatehgarh Sahib and urged the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to ban the RSS in the state.
They alleged that a circular and questionnaire prepared by the RSS activists, spelt danger and could create communal disharmony in the state. "The RSS was trying to mislead the Sikhs by propagating that the "Khalsa" sect was created by the tenth Guru Gobind Singh to confront Islam. By doing so, the RSS intended to exploit the bitterness of Partition among the Sikhs and the Muslims and to project the Sikh religion as anti-Islam".
They asserted that Sikhs were a separate nation and "Khalsa" was created to confront the oppressive class regardless of the religion it represented.
Joining issue with the RSS on the questionnaire in which it has asked the Sikhs to name the "Pathan" who stabbed Guru Gobind Singh, Dal Khalsa leaders said why did the RSS not ask the Sikhs to name the servant who betrayed his own master and was responsible for the martyrdom of younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh. They questioned the intentions of the RSS leaders as the questionnaire was silent on the historical truth that Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan, had helped Guru Gobind Singh in the hour of need.
Criticising the Sikh leadership for indulging in bickerings, they said, "Sikhs by and large feel betrayed by their own religio-political leadership. "The crisis after crisis since the war of attrition broke out between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra has damaged Sikh institutions, be it Akal Takht, SGPC or the SAD".
Dal Khalsa activists
said Sikh leaderships infirmity and infighting had
never been more manifest than in its present inability to
effectively challenge the activities of the Sangh
SAD to submit memo to CRC
LUDHIANA, Feb 20 The Shiromani Akali Dal will submit a memorandum to the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) advocating amendments to the statute to ensure a more federal system of government. Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, General Secretary of the SAD and Union Minister for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, said here, yesterday while laying the foundation stone for an institute of engineers.
About the alleged attempts by the BJP in trying to saffronise the Constitution by calling for various amendments, Mr Dhindsa brushed aside this allegation and said it was not possible as the basic structure of the Constitution would remain the same. Requisite changes should be made to guarantee more fiscal autonomy to the state.
About the long-standing demands of Punjab for transfer of Chandigarh and other Punjabi-speaking areas and the sharing of river waters, Mr Dhindsa said that top leaders of both Punjab and Haryana should amicably settle the dispute.
Later, while addressing
the function, the union minister said that many
technological changes were occurring in almost all
spheres of life and engineers should strive to keep up
with these and thus help in the development of the
Action sought against NRI
KHANNA, Feb 20 A widow Daljit Kaur of Khanna has demanded the immediate arrest of her son-in-law, an NRI, under the dowry Act.
In an affidavit she alleged that her daughter was married in 1996 to an NRI, Balraj of Canada. After one month of marriage he flew to Canada with a promise to send visa for his wife Daman Preet Kaur. But later he wrote to her that if she could arrange Rs 20 to 30 lakh only then he would arrange a visa, other wise he would divorce her. After that he sent a copy of divorce order of the Supreme Court of British Columbia (Canada).
Mrs Daljit Kaur alleged that Balraj was already married twice before marrying her daughter.
She yesterday filed a complaint to the SSP, Khanna, against Balraj saying he was in Punjab again to marry another girl of Ajlod village. She said that the divorce orders of a Canadian court had no legal validity here as his marriage was conducted in India and only an Indian court could pass a divorce order in such a case.
The SSP then deputed Inspector Charn Singh Atwal, in charge, Anti-Gunda cell, Samrala to inquire into the matter. When contacted, the inspector said he was going to Ajlod village to inquire into the matter.
Mrs Daljit Kaur and her
daughter later told this reporter that the police reached
the village later but by that time the accused had
already got married.
Chawla, Lapoke flay demolition
RAM TIRATH (Amritsar), Feb 20 The demolition of the residential quarters of mahants within the periphery of the historic Ram Tirath Temple by the district administration yesterday has antagonised a large section of people in the vicinity.
The BJP MLA, Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, today criticised the "illegal" action of the SDM, Ajnala, under whose orders more than 25 houses built by mahants were razed to the ground. She said the mahants had been living their for the past 40 years.
Mrs Chawla said the demolition had been undertaken without prior notice and warning. The families of the mahants were now on the roads.
The Akali MLA, Mr Veer Singh Lopoke, who had a verbal dual with the SDM while the demolition was in progress yesterday, visited the site today and offered to take up the matter with the Chief Minister.
The President of the All-India Hindu Shiv Sena, Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, sought immediate suspension of the SDM whom he charged with "disturbing communal harmony".
He said he had sent
telegrams to Home Minister LK Advani, demanding stern
action against the SDM.
Clinton may visit Golden Temple
AMRITSAR, Feb 20 Efforts are afoot to include the Golden Temple in the itinerary of the proposed visit of US President Mr Bill Clinton to India next month.
As a part of this preliminary exercise, a senior official of the American Embassy, Mr Peter W.B. Bodde, today visited the holy shrine.
Talking to TNS at the
information centre Mr Bodde said that he was likely to
urge the President to visit the holy shrine during his
visit to India in March next month.
Gill: poll violence must end
ALADINPUR (Tarn Taran), Feb 20 Dr Manohar Singh Gill, Chief Election Commissioner, says the poll violence at Palli Chikki in Nawanshahr is a new phenomenon in state politics.
Talking to mediapersons at his native village here after the bhog ceremony of his father, Col Partap Singh Gill, he said the Election Commission had written to the Government of India to enact a law to end criminalisation of elections. "Poll violence must end", he emphasised.
Dr Gill and his family members too took part in the "kar sewa " for the local sarovar started by Baba Jagtar Singh. Mr Ranjit Singh Brahampura, Cooperation Minister, Punjab, Mr Prem Singh Lalpura, MLA, Mr Balbir Singh Pannu, Senior Vice President, SGPC and Mr Major Singh Uboke, MP, expressed sympathy with the bereaved family.
Dr Gill inaugurated a
block of the village Government High School.
Plan for artificial limb
BARNALA, Feb 20 The Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Mrs Maneka Gandhi, said permanent artificial limb centres would be established all over the country to facilitate needy and poor disabled persons. She told this correspondent here today that four spinal centres would be set up in the country at cost of about Rs 15 crore and one of these centres would be established in Punjab.
information regarding the artificial limb centres, Mrs
Gandhi said five districts would have one artificial limb
centre where limbs would be offered to poor and needy at
Conference dwells on urban poverty
AMRITSAR, Feb 20 An international conference on habitat agenda and human settlement in South and Southeast Asia was held at Guru Nanak Dev University.
It was pointed out that as a result of mass migration to large cities, urban poverty due to lack of employment, especially for women, is emerging as the acute problem.
Experts highlighted the problems of the Indian slums. It was argued that though the slum-dwellers perform useful functions for the city, yet they remain an exploited lot.
Prof B. Singh Bolaria, University of Sasketchwan, Canada, pointed out that a increasing economic and political power of the global capital had often meant declining importance of national economies. This has prevented the developing economies from establishing national priorities on social spending.
Prof Balgobind Baloo,
Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar, presented the case of
displaced people of Hirakud Dam in Orissa which was
completed in 1956. In 1986 the displaced were still
suffering from the trauma of displacement. None of the
displaced survives had more than 50 years of life.
Plea to curb stray cattle
TARN TARAN, Feb 20 The gram panchayats of Kakka Kandiala, Behla, Mughal Chak Gillan, Kad Gill, Tharu, Kajikot, Palasaur and Thathi Khara have urged the local civil administration to make arrangements for selling stray cattle that damage standing wheat and fodder crops in the area at night.
In a press note release
here yesterday, the gram panchayats lamented that the
problem had been brought to the notice of the
administration a number of times but to no avail of the
Medical camp for animals held
ROPAR, Feb 20 A free medical camp for animals was today organised by the local unit of Bharat Vikas Parishad in collaboration with the local Animal Husbandry Department at Phoolpur Grewal village, about 5 km from here.
A team of six veterinary
doctors of the Animal Husbandry Department examined more
than 300 animals some of the animals were also operated
upon. Medicines worth Rs 20,000 were distributed.
MC rapped for poor
AMRITSAR, Feb 20 The performance of the local municipal corporation has been found "unsatisfactory". The council commissioner disclosed that an arrear of Rs 8 crore was still to be recovered as house tax. Mr N.K. Arora, Principal Secretary, Local Self Government directed the corporation to recover at least 50 per cent of the targeted arrears in a month.
All four corporations were hauled up at a pre-budget meeting held at Chandigarh on January 28 under the chairmanship of Mr N.K. Arora. The commissioners of the corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Ludhiana were also present. The Amritsar Corporation also was rapped for mounting arrears in the water supply and sewerage department and a target of 50 per cent recovery was fixed. The Patiala corporation was reprimanded for not computerising house tax, water supply and sewerage bills. It was asked to follow the practice of the Ludhiana corporation in this regard.
The Patiala corporation was also lagging behind in the collection of arrears in the water supply and sewerage. The Jalandhar corporation was directed to achieve 55 per cent of house tax arrears. It was also directed to achieve the target of budgeted income derived from octroi.
All targets were required to be achieved by the month end.
The issue of disposal of properties belonging to respective corporations on lease also came up for discussion and Mr N.K. Arora said the properties be disposed of at 40 per cent of the rate fixed by the price fixing committee headed by respective deputy commissioners.
Mr N.K. Arora took strong exception to the negligence regarding unauthorised constructions especially in the six categories commercial multistorey shopping centres, showrooms, residential apartments hospitals and nursing homes, marriage palaces, educational institutes and hotels. He said corporations should take strict action at the start of such violations and regretted that the matter was not being taken seriously. He said defaulting municipal town planners should be taken to task.
Interestingly, all commissioners brought to his notice that mayors of all four corporations withhold items in the House meetings for "certain reasons" and for a long time."
It was decided to frame some mechanism to check this pattern. Mr NK Arora directed all commissioners to send the minutes of the meetings of sub committees at local level within three days, where the presence of the respective mayors are mandatory.
The meeting underlined the need for the maintenance of parks. A ban on fresh appointment of gardeners and phasing out of old gardeners is one of the austerity measures mooted in the meeting. It was felt that a uniform code regarding the safe disposal and management of hospital waste and new bye-laws should be framed.
The department of Water Supply and the Sewerage Board are to be privatised in six months. However privatisation will first start with improvement trust colonies.
Incidentally, The Oriental Bank of Commerce had rejected the loan for the Ganda nullah project of the Amritsar Corporation. The corporation was told to approach HUDCO for the purpose.
All four corporations
were instructed to prepare budgets of the year 2000-2001
and notify them by March 31.
Overcrowding in buses goes unchecked
MALERKOTLA, Feb 20 The district administration and the police have been turning & blind eye to rampant overloading by private bus-owners endangering the lives of travellers here.
Commuters complain that
most of the bus operators first pack their buses to
capacity and then accommodate the maximum number of
passengers on the roof tops. Most passengers, on their
way to work during the peak hours, have no choice but to
travel on the roof- tops. There are a few buses available
for rural travellers who visit the headquarters for
Rape victim found 4-month
LUDHIANA, Feb 20 The 16-year-old girl from Jagraon, who had accused DSP Ashok Puri of physical assault and rape on January 22 and 23, was reportedly found pregnant by 16 weeks during preliminary medical examination by a board of doctors at the Civil Hospital here today.
The girl had complained to the SSP, Jagraon, that she had been raped by the DSP in connivance with her mother, and step-father. Subsequently, an FIR was registered against the DSP yesterday.
It is learnt the SSP has recommended suspension of the DSP.
In a conversation with this correspondent on the phone the accused DSP alleged he was being implicated in the case by the girls family at the instance of certain politicians whom he had apprehended or detained for unlawful activities during his last three years of posting at Jagraon.
"The victim is like my daughter. I am ready to get a DNA test done to prove my innocence and face a departmental inquiry by any official from outside the Jagraon police district," he said.
Asked if the girl had ever visited his official residence, DSP Puri said", "The girl, along with her parents, had come to my house several times to supply milk. But I have never talked to her."
Four human bombs
FARIDKOT, Feb 20 In a breakthrough the Punjab police has arrested four of the eight human bombs, who were planning to disturb the peace in different parts of the state. Remaining four are likely to be arrested shortly, Mr Sarabjit Singh, DGP, said while talking to mediapersons here yesterday. He refused to disclose their identity.
The DGP admitted that the ISI had intensified its activities to further escalate terrorism and smuggling of fake currency was continuing.
He evaded the question regarding the withdrawal of 20 Punjab police companies which were deployed to ensure free and fair Assembly elections in Haryana on February 22.
While presiding over a darbar the DGP impressed upon the senior police officials to create a congenial environment at all police stations to solve the problems of the people.
Senior officers who were
present on the occasion included Mr Mohammad Mustafa, DIG
Faridkot range, the district police chief, Mr Arun Kumar
Araon, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr A. Veenu Parsad.
2 tonne poppy husk seized
MALERKOTLA, Feb 20 The local police has arrested Roop Singh, son of Nikka Singh, a resident of Ahmedgarh, for allegedly possessing nearly 200 kg of poppy husk.
A case under Sections
15, 61, 85 of the NDPC Act has been registered against
the accused, according to the DSP, Mr Surinder Singh
3 held for illegal fishing
TARN TARAN, Feb 20 Three persons have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, by a raiding party of the Harike Bird Sanctuary. They were produced in the court of Mr Kuldeep Singh, JMIC, Patti, who sent them in judicial custody upto March 2, 2000.
Mr Rupinder Singh,
Inspector Wildlife Department Harike, told this
correspondent here today that a party raided certain
points in the bird sanctuary area last night and arrested
Kartik, Kanta and Srikant, all migrant labourers settled
at Harike, for fishing in the bird sanctuary. Their boat,
net and other material were also seized.
Promotion policy criticised
MANSA, Feb 20 The executive committee of the Association of Heads of High Schools of the district has criticised the present promotion policy of the Punjab Government concerning the post of Principal in senior secondary schools terming it unjust and ill-conceived.
The association, at a meeting held, yesterday under the presidentship of Mr Gurcharan Singh Jeet, moved a resolution: "This promotion policy of the Punjab Government is defective because it keeps on a par a school lecturer and a headmaster of the high school, though both belong to different cadres having different pay scales, functions, responsibilities, status and educational qualification. The educational qualification for the post of the headmaster is M.A, B.Ed, and six years experience. Whereas a school lecturer is simply an M.A., B.Ed. and experience is an additional qualification. The headmaster of a high school performs multiple duties and responsibilities including that of an administrator and organiser, drawing and disbursing officer, liaison officer and inspecting officer in addition to teaching work. Duties and responsibilities of the headmaster are similar to the principal of a senior secondary school."
It further demanded that the present faulty promotion policy should be more realist. The resolution proposed the creation of a new post of a vice-principal in each senior secondary school equivalent to headmaster cadre in pay scale, status and responsibilities. The senior most lecturers should be appointed vice-principals. Only then the headmaster and vice-principals, should be promoted as principals on merit-seniority basis.
Other demands of the association included P.E.S.-2 status, 9800-16550 pay scales with effect from January 1, 1996, on the basis of recommendations of Chhattopadhya Commissioner, three timebound scales after four, nine and 14 years on the pattern of doctors, engineers, PCS and PPS officers etc.
threatened to launch a peaceful struggle if its demands
were not met immediately.
Move to privatise NFL opposed
BATHINDA, Feb 20 The National Fertiliser Employees Union has threatened to launch an agitation if the Central Government did not withdrew its decision to privatise various NFL factories.
Mr Ramesh Bhardwaj, general secretary of the union, in a press note issued here yesterday said mala fide intention of the Central Government could be judged from the fact that while it was not touching sick public sector units (PSUs) for privatisation, NFL, which was earning a huge profit every year, was being handed over to private parties.
He added the union would oppose this move of the central government tooth and nail.
He pointed out that the
NFL management had not sought any budgetary allocation
from the Central Government and it was arranging funds
for the expansion of existing units out of its own
resources. The management was also financially supporting
MFL, PDIL, IDPL and PNFC. The company had been awarded
various national and international prizes for safety,
environment and quality control.
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