|Friday, March 10, 2000,
set to lead in IT
splinter group makes impact?
cost of ministers' foreign visits
over SHOs transfer by DM
trees saved from axe
on to resolve hukmnama crisis
for inner democracy in Cong
suggestion to regional parties
for migrant workers
his way to fame
to stop petrol supply to police
procurement price: BKU
workshop by Army
on land auction
S. Gill in Pakistan
graveyards vacated: forum
cr realised as penalties
gears up for Hola Mohalla
alleges police torture
transferred following dacoities
working against odds
beaten up by womans in-laws
cases of power theft detected
flay varsity decision on courses
PCS, HCS officers honoured
nod for Baba Farid varsity soon
staff not paid for 8 months
farmers get green cards
erring manufacturers, says PCMSA
Punjab set to lead in IT
CHANDIGARH, March 9 A state-of-the-art training institute offering graduate courses in computer sciences on behalf of an American university is all set to become operational at SAS Nagar by June this year.
The company will set up high-tech centres at 20-odd places in other parts of Punjab with online interactive teaching facility by September-end this year, says Mr G.S. Pirzada, Managing-Director, Punjab State Electronics Development and Production Corporation.
The state also proposes to make the opening of the Indian Institute of Information Technology a reality within a year.
For a lead in information technology, the state government has already approved a special package of incentives for the IT industry, which includes sales tax exemption, electricity duty exemption, capital investment subsidy and generating set subsidy, besides other facilities.
"During the past few weeks, we have been able to rope in some of the world's top IT companies and sign a memorandum of understanding for new projects at SAS Nagar," says Mr Pirzada, explaining the facilitator role played by his corporation in providing airconditioned premises for these collaborators to start work without further delay.
"Whatever software exports we had from this state over the years will be overtaken by software exports within next a month," says Mr Pirzada.
One of the top IT companies in the country, Infosys, resources reveal, has already signed an MoU for setting its base in Punjab. Some top functionaries of this second largest IT company of the country, were here during the past few days to hold negotiations with functionaries of the Punjab Government.
The company, it is learnt, has been given 22,000 sq ft of covered airconditioned area. It is expected to start operations here within this month.
Mr Pirzada says that AUDOCOMP Computer Systems, an Ontario (Canada)-based company, has decided to launch a new software development office at SAS Nagar. It plans to execute orders worth $ 25 million in the software division and 5 million in the hardware division in the first year of its operations.
Similarly, the Electronics Development and Production Corporation (ECP) has a signed MoU with Mr Steve Gillispie, Chairman President and Chief Executive Officer CADMUS a printing, publishing and marketing organisation based in Richmond, USA to start its operations at SAS Nagar.
The ECP has agreed to assist CADMUS with training solutions to meet their personal requirements, provision of land with required infrastructure close to the Earth Station and 2 MB point to point satellite connectivity. CADMUS has already leased out 12,000 sq ft space to set up operations at SAS Nagar and make software export within this month.
Mr Pirzada says the Software Technology Parks of India has already started operations in SAS Nagar and more than 20 companies are registered with it as software exporters. The ECP has signed an MoU with Mahindra and Mahindra to set up IT Park in SAS Nagar in the assisted sector. A detailed feasibility study has already been conducted.
Mr Pirzada says venture capital fund dedicated to the IT industry has been set up in collaboration with the SIDBI. The Board of Directors of the ECP has also approved a proposal to invest in private venture capital funds, one of which is in association with NRIs, Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors, to provide incubation facilities and other support services to the promoters of the IT project.
Mr Pirzada says the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is keen that Punjab should come on the IT map and software exports in a big way and has been personally interacting with top players of trade and industry.
Mr Pirzada attended the
CeBIT '2000 Conference in Hannover from February 24 to
March 1 where he held discussions with a number of
software and information technology companies. He was
able to generate substantial interest in some of the
leading companies in the world to set up facilities at
ACE hails move on
LUDHIANA, March 9 Punjabs Association of Computer Entrepreneurs (ACE) has described as ambitious the target set by the state government to provide e-governance in the state within the next two years.
Punjab is getting left behind in the information revolution sweeping the country, said Mr Gurpreet Singh and Mr N.S. Dhami, joint secretary of the ACE, in a talk with mediamen here today. TT awareness in Punjab was still low..
They, however, welcomed the Punjab Governments decision to computerise administration.
They demanded that the government introduce information technology education in schools with immediate effect. They also sought tax and other concessions to promote computer hardware and software.
They announced that the ACE would organise a three-day exhibition on infotech industry here from March 10 in which 70 exhibitors were expected to participate.
SAD splinter group makes
CHANDIGARH, March 9 A 12-member splinter group of the SAD legislature party today made its presence felt inside the House. They got enough support from the Opposition benches, primarily the Congress and the CPI.
During question hour, the Minister for Urban Development and Planning, Ms Upinderjit Kaur, told the House in reply to a question by Mr Hira Singh Gabrian that the Punjab Council of Ministers on January 12 had approved setting up of Anandgarh. It had been proposed to acquire approximately, 4,381 hectares for the new city and another 5,422 hectares for a nature reserve.
The estimated cost of the new township project is Rs 7,500 crore and HUDCO had promised Rs 1,500 crore. Replying to points raised by several members, she said the project was unique in the sense that it would be a self-financing one. There will be no burden on the state exchequer. Keeping in view the hardships to be faced by the people the government would pay market price for the land to be acquired and not tinker with the abadis inside the lal lakir or the village phirney. Plan was to remodel the abadis. The government she said believed in rehabilitation and not uprooting. She even defended the project saying instead of allowing unplanned, haphazard development and growth, including mushrooming of slums in the periphery of Chandigarh, it would be prudent to regulate the growth and development in consonance with the character of Chandigarh.
Ms Upinderjit Kaur reeled off figures to show how population growth was choking the Chandigarh capital region, which had necessitated the coming up of Mohali and Panchkula. Now need was for a new town to accommodate future population expansion. At this stage Mr Parkash Singh Badal intervened to say that 13 village panchayats had passed a resolution seeking the inclusion of their villages in the Anandgarh scheme. In all 29 villages will come under the project.
Reiterating the SAD stand on Chandigarh, the minister said on March 2 the party delegate session in Amritsar had passed a resolution to the effect that Chandigarh and other territory left our at the time of reorganisation of states in 1966, be returned to Punjab.
Several members, including Mr Avtar Singh Brar, Mr Hardev Arshi, Mr Ravi Inder Singh spoke on the issue. This single question dominated question hour in the House and Mr Badal assured that very attractive terms would be offered for land acquisition.
Ms Lakshmi Kanta Chawla wanted to know how much each of the medical college-hospital had earned as a result of hike in fee in 1999 and how much of that had been spent on patient care. The details were given by the minister in charge, Mr Manoranjan Kalia.
During zero hour, most of what the members said was not allowed by the Speaker. but what echo would be heard pertained to the joint agitation by non-government, unaided college managements, principals, teaching and non-teaching staff and the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union held in Chandigarh today.
Mr Ravi Inder Singh at one stage remarked outside the House the government does not listen, inside the House, the Speaker does not allow us to speak to make the government hear us. Where should we go?
Later, Mr Manpreet Singh
Badal introduced a resolution on seeking indulgence of
the House to recommend to the State to enact a
legislation on population control. It was supported by Dr
Harbans Lal of the Congress and Mr Makhan Singh of the
The cost of ministers'
CHANDIGARH, March 9 Details of expenses incurred on trips to foreign countries by ministers and other officials were today made available in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in a written reply by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to a question by Mr Hardev Arshi, (CPI).
On the medical treatment of Mr Badal the expenditure incurred was Rs 39,11,420 in New York from March 8 to April 2, 1998.
Mr Balramji Das Tandon was in the UK, from May 24 to 31 in 1999 on an official visit on "twining of Amritsar city". He and his secretary received travel and dearness allowance from Chandigarh to Delhi and back, amounting to Rs 17,200, while expenses on the delegation were borne by the Sandwell-Amritsar Friendship Association, UK. Besides Mr Tandon and his secretary, Mr V.N. Wadha, the Mayor, Mr Subash Chander Sharma and Commissioner, Amritsar Corporation, Mr Surjit Singh Rajput, accompanied him.
The minister was again in Nepal from July 25 to 27 '99 on an official visit and claimed TA and DA amounting to Rs 10,714 for his secretary and himself while remaining expenditure was borne by the sponsors.
Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura was in Dubai (April 9 '98 to April 17, '98); USA, UK and Holland (October 1, '98 to October 14 '98); and in Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore and Malaysia (September 23, '99 to October 4, '99) on official visits. The expenditure incurred on him was, Rs 8,65,541; Rs 18,44,820; and Rs 8,98,408.42 respectively. The purpose of his visit was to participate in India fair in Dubai, workingout agro-based industrial projects while in the USA, UK and Holland; and for exploring possibility of marketing Verka milk products and to study technology of machinery in dairying.
Mr Manoranj Kalia was in Canada from December 9, '98 to December 16, '98 on a study tour expenditure on him was Rs 3,57,541.
Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala was in the USA and Canada from September 29, '98 to October 16, '98 in "public interest" and again to France, Holland, Germany and the UK. His visits cost Rs 2,73,247 and Rs 2,60,813; respectively.
Mr Sikandar Singh Maulka was in Canada, the UK and the USA from August 6, '98 to August 31, '98 to study techniques to combat waterlogging his visit cost the exchequer Rs 7,65,510. He was accompanied by the Rajya Sabha MP, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, and Mr R.S. Goel, Chief Engineer, Drainage.
Mr Tota Singh was in the USA, UK, and Canada to study education and evaluation systems in schools from May 10, '99 to May 31, '99, at a cost of Rs 7,15,607. He was accompanied by the Secretary, Education, Ms S.K. Sandhu, and Secretary School Education Board, Mr Jagjit Singh Sidhu.
Mr Nusrat Ali Khan went to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) from September 20, '98 to October 11, '98 and to Bangkok, Thailand from December 11, '98 to December 17, '98 on official visits. The Saudi Arabia visit cost the exchequer Rs 1,55,827, while expenses for his Thailand and England trips from 10.6.99 to 23.6.99 were borne by the Punjab State Sports Council.
Mr Gurdev Singh Badal went to Australia, Newzealand, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore to study agricultural marketing from 20.9.98 to 8.10.98 at a cost of Rs 17,70,423. He was accompanied by the then Secretary Mandi Board, Mr P.S. Aujla.
Several other ministers, Mr Inderjit Singh Zira (former minister), Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Mr Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Mr Mohan Lal, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Mr Raghbir Singh, Raja Narinder Singh, Mr Ajit Singh Kohar and Mr Sucha Singh Langha also went abroad but on private visits.
One wonders if the real
application and implementation of what the ministers
studied at state expense has been monitored and assessed
on the ground in Punjab as to how the visits may have
proved useful to the state.
CM took no salary in '97
CHANDIGARH, March 9 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal has not drawn any pay or travelling allowance except for a sum of Rs 43,258 by way of travelling allowance in 1997-98. Thereafter it is nil in the following financial years.
This statement was provided in the written answer to a question by Mr Rakesh Pandey and Mr Dhanwant Singh.
Even the finance minister has been very sparing. The statement showed that Capt Kanwaljit Singh did not draw any pay between 1997-2000 but only collected the travelling allowance. This was Rs 281,616 in 1997-98: 48,540 in 1998-99 and 57,945 so far in the current financial year.
The details of other ministers are as follows:-
The Cabinet and ministers of state inducted on December 31 last and there who quit have not been included.
Row over SHOs transfer
JALANDHAR March 9The transfer of a Station House Officer (SHO) by the District Magistrate (DM) has become the bone of contention between the latter and the SSP and sparked off a debate as to who is the supreme authority under the Punjab Police Rules.
Mr Som Parkash, Deputy Commissioner, had ordered the transfer of Mr Harjinder Singh, SHO, Police Division No 6 on February 18 following allegations of illegal detention of a Kathua resident in a city hotel by the latter. But the SHO, it is learnt, is still functioning in the same capacity as the district police authorities have allegedly failed to implement the orders of the DM even after 21 days.
Purshotam Singh, a PCO employee was allegedly picked up by the police on February 15 in connection with a murder in the bus stand area and kept in Hotel Dainy near Ambedkar Chowk for the next two days. Though a high court warrant officer had been deputed and was unable to locate the whereabouts of Purshotam, he was presented before the Deputy Commissioner at his residence on the evening of February 17 by Shashi Sharma, a Mota Singh Nagar resident, who recovered Purshotam from the same hotel. Interestingly, Tirath Ram, a Home Guard (No 14078), who was allegedly deputed to keep a watch on the detainee, was also presented before the Deputy Commissioner by Shashi Sharma.
Both Purshotam Singh and Tirath Ram, according to the order of the DM, a copy of which was procured by The Tribune, submitted before Mr Vinay Bublani, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, that Purshotam Singh, had been detained illegally firstly in the Police Division No 6 and thereafter in Hotel Dainy. On the contrary, the SHO in his statement before the SDM, maintained that Purshotam Singh had been detained under Section 109 of the CrPC and he had been forcibly taken by Shashi Sharma and others.
Taking a serious view of the allegations of the illegal detention of Purshotam Singh, the Deputy Commissioner ordered an inquiry under Punjab Police Rules 16.38 against Harjinder Singh and entrusted it to Mr Krishan Kumar, SDM (II). In addition to this, the Deputy Commissioner directed that the SHO should immediately be shifted to the Police Lines.
But the transfer remains unimplemented so far, raising many an eyebrow in civil and police circles. Some officers maintain that the DM cannot order transfers this way and some others cite Rule 1.15 of the Punjab Police Rules 1934 which states that the Deputy Commissioner is the head of the criminal administration of the district and the police force is the instrument provided by the government to enable him to enforce his authority and fulfil his responsibility for the maintenance of law and order. The Rule further states that in the exercise of this control the DM is required to inspect police stations, but he shall exercise no executive authority in matters which concern solely the internal administration and training of the force, or in questions of discipline as between police officers and their departmental superiors....
The Punjab Police Rule 1.17 says that all postings, removals and transfers of officers in charge of police stations within a district, shall be made by the Superintendent with the approval of the DM. However, in case the DM found the work and conduct of an officer of the rank of a Sub-Inspector, and above unsatisfactory, he shall communicate his complaint to the DIG of the range, the rule specifies. The Punjab and Haryana High Court in its February 17, 1997 order in the Punjab Human Rights Organisation versus the State of Punjab case had also upheld Rule 1.17 of the Punjab Police Rules 1934. Earlier, the Director-General of the Punjab Police too, in his letter (no 25746) dated September 9, 1996 had instructed all SSPs to comply with the provisions of Rule 1.17. The letter was circulated among all DMs of the state by the Department of Home Affairs and Justice.
Asked as to why the
transfer orders were not effected as per the Police
Rules, Mr Guarav Yadav, SSP, preferred not to comment on
the issue. On the other hand, the Deputy Commissioner
said the orders should have been implemented by now.
I hope that it will be done. Otherwise, I will be
taking up the matter with the Divisional Commissioner as
I feel that the law of the land should prevail.
50,000 trees saved from axe
SUNAM (Sangrur), March 9 The Punjab Government today stopped the felling of more than 50,000 trees in the state. The step has been taken in wake of an order passed by the Supreme Court in this connection.
The Punjab Forest Department has flashed instructions to all the Divisional Forest Officers to abide by the order of the apex court. The order restrains the state from ordering the removal of dead, diseased, dying or wind-fallen trees, driftwood and grasses etc from any national park, game sanctuary or forest.
In fact, the Supreme Court order says that if any order to this effect has already been passed by any of the states, the operation of the same shall stand immediately stayed. The copy of the Supreme Courts order has been supplied to all the Divisional Forest Officers by the Punjab Government authorities concerned.
Felling of trees in Sangrur and other parts of the state had started a few days ago. While the Punjab Forest Development Corporation had been entrusted with the job of felling trees in Patiala, Ropar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Nawanshahr, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur districts, the felling in South-West districts, including Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepore, Muktsar and Moga districts has been entrusted to private parties through auction.
The Corporation authorities have already purchased 30 tractors for performing the task. It has also engaged labour for this purpose and manufacturing of tractor trailers has also been ordered.
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had instructed the State Forest Department authorities to remove all the dead and dried up trees in the state by March 31. He had stated that this was the only possible way out to check the theft of such trees. The Government had received a large number of complaints pertaining to illegal felling of dead and diseased trees.
More than 50000 have dried up in recent months due to a mysterious disease. Most affected among these are shisham and kikar trees. In fact, entire lot of kikar in the Malwa belt has dried up.
A team of the regional Forest Research Institute, Solan is scheduled to visit Punjab tomorrow. The team will collect a root culture of trees affected by the disease in various parts of the state. Already, experts of Forest Research Institute of India located at Dehra Dun have visited the State in the past weeks to diagnose the disease.
Mr Gurmit Singh, Principal Chief Convservator of Forests, Punjab, told TNS the felling of trees in Punjab had been ordered after the acceptance of a work plan by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. The State Government had submitted a work plan as per rules to the Union Ministry for seeking its approval, he added.
Following the Supreme Court order restraining the state from felling trees, the Punjab Government has contacted the Union Ministry to get the exemption from the Supreme Court in this connection. Mr Gurmit Singh said that the Union Ministry would move an application to the Supreme Court to pray for an amendment in its order. He said that the Union Ministry had been requested to get the felling of those trees exempted which were to be felled under a duly approved work plan.
Corporation authorities told TNS that divisional managers
of the Corporation in various districts have been
informed regarding the Supreme Courts order. They
have been told to implement the apex courts order
Parleys on to resolve hukmnama
AMRITSAR, March 9 Giani Puran Singh, Jathedar Akal Takht held an emergency meeting with the Sant Samaj to take stock of the situation arising from convening of SGPC executive meeting on March 16. He also met an emissary of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Dr Puran Singh Jassi, a former Director Health Services in a bid the resolve the stand off.
Meanwhile, in a written press statement, Giani Puran Singh denied that a meeting of five Sikh high priests had been fixed for March 12. He said he was unable to contact the Jathedars of other Takhts so far so there was no question of holding the meeting on March 12.
Mr Avtar Singh Hit, president Shiromani Akali Dal, New Delhi will also meet Mr Badal and Dr Jassi to find a way out of the ongoing Panthic crisis.
Meanwhile there are indications that SGPC executive members of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and SAD (Amritsar) are unlikely to attend the executive meeting convened by Bibi Jagir Kaur.
Efforts are being made
to fix a meeting of Sikh high priests before March 16. As
Bibi Jagir Kaur has been restrained from functioning as
SGPC chief if she holds the executive meeting then those
attending will also have defied the edict.
Seminar on sarbat Khalsa on
AMRITSAR, March 9 While Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former jathedar Akal Takht has convened a sarbat Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib on April 13 to get acceptance of Sikh sangat for resuming charge of Akal Takht, the Akal Federation, a former militant organisation has decided to organise a seminar on the issue on March 15 here.
Mr Narain Singh, president Akal Federation said leaders of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Prof Jagmohan Singh Tony, Mr Kanwar Singh Dhami, Justice Kuldip Singh (retd) president World Sikh Council, Dr Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, Mr Gurtej Singh a former IAS officer and professor of Sikhism, Prof Suba Singh, Satnam Singh of Paunta Sahib, general secretary Dal Khalsa, Bhai Mohkam Singh of Damdami Taksal, Justice Ajit Singh Bains (retd) and others would participate.
Mr Narain Singh said that the sarbat Khalsa called by Bhai Ranjit Singh was not in accordance with Sikh maryada (traditions).
Jagmeet for inner democracy in
MANSA, March 9 The PPCC senior vice president and Member Parliament, Mr Jagmeet Brar today said that the Congress would continue its struggle to press the Centre to withdraw the hike in price of fertilisers.
Addressing a press conference here today, he said, he had the support of 70 MPs on the issue including 11 MPs from Punjab.
Regarding the position of the party in Punjab, he said it could be strengthened only by holding organisational elections. He added that active workers would have to be given an honourable place in the party and others would have to be sidelined.
Mr Brar claimed that Mr Badal was trying to harm the cooperative sector with cooperative spinning mills and sugar mills being closed and sold to private concerns.
Mr Brar claimed the Punjab Government was trying to sell a 75-acre plot belonging to Punjab Agriculture University to private persons at throwaway prices and said the Congress would oppose the move.
Manns suggestion to
AMRITSAR, March 9 The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has given a call to all secular and like-minded regional parties to come on a single platform to counter the moves of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Talking to TNS on telephone, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, President, SAD (Amritsar), alleged that the RSS and the BJP were harming the interests of the minority communities and there was need to counter this move.
Mr Mann said his party would take important policy decisions at its meeting on March 12 at Ludhiana. He said the Gujarat Government had withdrawn its decision on the RSS issue due to the pressure of the minorities.
Help for migrant workers
AMRITSAR, March 9 The nearly 20 lakh migrant labourers who pour into Punjab each year are often complete strangers to the state and vulnerable to exploitation.
In fact, horrifying stories of exploitation pour in each day from different parts of the state with the police a mute spectator in many cases. But finally someone has decided to help change things. Many IAS, IPS and senior officers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have come together on a single platform to save these sons of soil from exploitation. Although the task seems daunting the migrant bureaucrats are confident.
They have formed an organisation named Parwasi Mazdoor Kalian Parishad and have met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for funds, who has assured them of all help.
Talking to TNS, Mr Parveen Sinha (IPS) said apart from helping the needy, the parishad would also help in keeping a proper record of the migrant labour. He said in many crimes against labourers the criminals got away scot-free as the police failed to nab the culprits due to non-availability of a proper record of migrant labour.
Dr J.P. Singh and Mr R.C. Yadav said that the parishad had acquired land at Amritsar and planned to build a multi-storey Mazdoor rain basera (labour night shelter) with a community hall, a free dispensary, and a free school for the children of migrant labour. The project is estimated to cost approximately one crore. Though construction work has started there is a paucity of funds. But the Prime Minister has given an assurance of financial assistance.
Giving details Mr R.C. Yadav said the parishad would assist migrant labourers in getting their dues from the farmers and industrialists. Most of the migrant labourers work as manual labour in industry, trade and agriculture. Their contribution to the states economy is substantial as they form the bulk of unskilled workers.
from Uttar Pradesh had formed UP Kalyan Parishad
Punjab about two decades ago which did commendable
job for the welfare of migrant labour from UP. The new
state-level body will cover entire migrant labour from
Bihar, UP, Bengal and other parts of the country. It
plans to provide initial shelter and other assistance.
Driving his way to fame
LUDHIANA: Fame, as they say, comes in the way of a few, but almost everyone strives to attain it. And in the case of Nirmaljeet Singh Sohal, a local businessman, this desire for fame coupled with a spirit of adventure may led him to his goal.
Sohals claim to fame is his ability to be able drive a car while sitting on the seat next to the drivers. In fact, it is a common site in Khud Mohalla, where he resides, and the nearby localities to see people first getting panicky on seeing a car with no one the drivers seat zooming down the road, and manoeuvring smoothly through the stream of traffic.
Says this 44 years old businessman, Since the young age, I had a strong urge to do something awe-inspiring and adventurous. It all began when I saw a friend allowing his five-year-old son manage the steering wheel of the car while sitting next to the driving seat. This was 15 years ago and it got me working on driving the car this way and now this has become an obsession with me.
Now that Mr Nirmaljeet has mastered this art, he says whenever he is driving alone, he drives in this peculiar way and the heavy flow of traffic notwithstanding, he just gets on with the job. In areas like Domoria bridge, the Railway Station Road and near the Clock Tower, where normal way driving is also a Herculean task in itself because of heavy traffic, Nirmaljeet can easily drive in his normal way at a speed of 15 to 20 km/hr.
Nirmaljeet has also driven his car on the National Highway and claims that he has driven this way on the GT Road from Ludhiana to Khanna, Ludhiana to Phillaur and Ludhiana to Jamalpur and at a high speed of 70 to 80 km per hour.
Asked whether he had
been apprehended by the traffic police for this obsession
of his and he informs, Recently, when I went to the
DTOs office to get my driving licence renewed, the
officials concerned were so amused on learning about my
skill that they rewarded me by remitting the fee charged
for the renewal of the licence. In fact, the traffic
police is also generally quite amused to see me driving
my car this way. I am always careful not to violate
rules. His next goal is getting his name in the
Limca Book Of Records for which he has already written to
Threat to stop petrol supply to
AMRITSAR, March 9 Petrol Dealers in Punjab have threatened to stop supplying petrol and diesel to the Police Department as petrol bills of past four years amounting to Rs 16 crore had not been paid by this department.
President of the Punjab Petroleum Dealers Association, Mr J.P. Khanna said that the dealers were concerned over the non-payment of bills and added that this was unfortunate that the Punjab government and the Police Department had taken it for granted to draw petrol and diesel on credit. Due to this the petrol dealers have been compelled to stop supply of petrol on credit
He stated that petrol dealers of Moga had to hold dharna before the office of the SSP at Moga from yesterday to protest against the non-payment of dues amounting to Rs 65 lakh.
This agitation would continue till the payment of petrol bills was made, he added.
The association warned the police and the administration against forcible drawing of petrol and diesel from the dealers unless the previous payment was made. All petrol stations in the district, followed by in the state, would resist forcible drawing of petrol, diesel on credit by the police, he added.
The president expressed surprise that the Finance Minister of Punjab said that there was no financial crisis in the state while petrol bills were still unpaid. The Cash-strapped petrol dealers have been on the brink of going bankrupt as more than 80 per cent of their capital has been held up with the Punjab government.
MOGA: All petrol pump
owners in the district on Thursday decided to stop the
supply of petrol and other petroleum goods in the police
from March 15 following its failure to make payments to
them for the supply of petrol and related produce since
long. The unpaid amount is over Rs 16 lakh. A decision to
this effect was taken by the dealers at a meeting,
chaired by the general secretary of the Moga District
Petroleum Pump Owners Association, Mr Gurmeet Singh.
Members of the association also staged a dharna in front
of the SSPs office in support of their demands.
Declare procurement price: BKU
FEROZEPORE, March 9 The Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lakhowal) has said that rabi crop is ready to reach mandis of the state and the Government has not announced procurement price of the crop so far which is a matter of concern for the farmers.
In a statement here yesterday Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, Prof Manjit Singh Kadian and Mr Bhupinder Singh Maheshari, president, secretary-general and general secretary, respectively, of the union warned that the organisation would be compelled to launch an agitation if the procurement price of rabi crop was not announced by March 12.
They urged the government to withdraw hike in the price of the fertiliser in the interest of the farmers.
They added that the farmers of Punjab were already under debt of Rs 6,000 crore and facing difficulties in repaying the instalments of interest alone.
BKU leaders said that an
emergency meeting of the organisation would be held at
Ludhiana on March 12 to discuss current issues, including
the failure of the government in announcing the
procurement price of rabi crop.
Environment workshop by Army
PATIALA, March 9 A week-long Environment and Nature Conservation workshop is in progress here under the aegis of Headquarters Western Command. Environment experts of the Army are being assisted by guest speakers, including prominent scholars and environment engineers, and experts from Punjabi University and Thapar College of Engineering.
An Army release said the
commitment of the Army in nature conservation was
well-known. Successful environment projects by the Army
had changed the face of deserts and arid land, it added.
Environment workshops were on the agenda of all major
military stations, aiming to educate troops about the
noble cause, it said.
Assurance on land auction
CHANDIGARH, March 9 Mr Parkash Singh Badal, leader of the House, told the Vidhan Sabha today that full facts about the Budhlada Sugar Mill land auction would be investigated and action initiated.
The issue was raised by Mr Sukhwinder Singh Aulakh, who sought to know if any advertisement or public announcement was made in this regard. The land was sold for Rs 16.16 lakh, on June 12, 1999, the land measured 16 acres.
M. S. Gill in Pakistan
AMRITSAR, March 9 (UNI) Chief Election Commissioner M.S. Gill today left for Pakistan accompanied by his wife and children.
According to official sources here, Dr Gill and his family members crossed over into Pakistan through the Wagah joint check post (JCP).
Get graveyards vacated:
FEROZEPORE, March 9 The Ferozepore District Joint Action Christian Forum has urged the Deputy Commissioner to get Christian graveyards vacated from illegal encroachments and take steps for their proper maintenance.
The forums general
secretary, Mr Alvin Bhatti, said today that a memorandum
in this connection was recently presented to the Deputy
Commissioner. The forum demanded funds for erecting a
boundary wall or fencing along the graveyard to protect
it from encroachers.
2.08 cr realised as
PATIALA, March 9 The Enforcement and Operation Wings of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has realised Rs 2.08 crore through penalties after checking 1,53,586 connections of various categories throughout the state.
An official press note
said here today that the PSEB had directed the
enforcement officers to make every effort to nab erring
consumers. It said if all consumers paid for the
electricity consumed by them, the board could provide
substantial additional quality power to consumers.
Kisan mela on March 25
PATIALA, March 9 A kisan mela will be held at Rakhra near here on March 25, under the aegis of the Punjab Young Farmers Association.
The theme of the fair is Declining productivity of rice and wheat. Foundation seeds of the highest yielding PUSA-44 variety of rice will be distributed among members. Foundation seeds of the dwarf and high yielding variety of PUSA basmati-1 will be sold.
exhibition will be set up on the occasion. The low-cost
combine harvester will be an added attraction.
Participants will be taken a round the demonstration
plots of the newly released wheat variety HD 2687, which
possesses high yield potential.
Residents block traffic
LUDHIANA, March 9 Residents of Manoj Colony, Jassian Road today staged a dharna near Jalandhar by-pass and blocked the flow of traffic on this road for almost an hour today.
Admn gears up for Hola Mohalla
ROPAR, March 9 The Deputy Commissioner has set a deadline for officers of the different departments to complete all necessary arrangements by March 14 to provide facilities to lakhs of pilgrims during the six-day annual Hola Mohalla to be celebrated at Kiratpur Sahib and Anandpur Sahib from March 16 to March 21.
Mr G.S. Grewal, Deputy Commissioner, while presiding over a meeting of the district officers held to review the Hola Mohalla arrangements at Anandpur Sahib yesterday, said nine control rooms would be set up in the mela area by the police to maintain law and order while Mr Gurmeet Singh, SP (Operation) would function as camp commander.
The Anandpur Sahib town has been divided into 16 sectors to keep the town clean during the mela days. As many as 275 sanitation workers would perform duties in the mela area while 40 temporary bathrooms and 360 temporary toilets were being set up for the pilgrims.
The district health authorities will set up 10 health centres in the mela area. The food and supply authorities have been directed to ensure supply of essential commodities.
Youth alleges police torture
LUDHIANA, March 9 A 22-year-old youth is alleged to have been subjected to third degree torture by the police on grounds of suspicion.
Vinod Kumar, a resident of Sardar Nagar, was reportedly picked up by a police party led by SHO (division No. 2) Jaswinder Singh from his residence around 11.00 a.m. yesterday morning.
Says Vinod Kumars mother Krishna Devi: The police said that they had arrested a pickpocket, Shiv Kumar, who had said that he also knew Vinod. They said that they wanted to take Vinod for questioning to the police station.
Krishna says that she asked the police to question Vinod at their residence, but the police forcibly took Vinod away.
When I reached the police station division number 3, I requested the officials present there to release my son. However, I was horrified to see four policemen carrying my unconscious son, she recalls.
She says she was told by the police officials that Vinod had been picked up on suspicion. They said they had received an information over the telephone that Vinod was in possession of a revolver.
Krishna Devi alleges that the police went to her house to search for the alleged revolver, which was not found.
She says she was then told about an international team visiting the Sarabha Nagar police station. She went there to present her case and seek justice, but the SHO Jaswinder Singh pleaded with her not to complain against him and assured to get her son released.
She says that when she again reached the police station, the police there had already sent her son home along with a neighbour.
She says they later went to Civil Hospital and got Vinod medically examined.
Even 24 hours after the alleged torture by the police, Vinod, however, was unable to get up from the bed and talk. He said the police had tied his hands to the back and his legs were pulled in opposite directions after being tied.
Meanwhile, the SHO was not available for comment and was away on leave.
DSP transferred following dacoities
PHAGWARA, March 9 (UNI) Deputy Superintendent of Police Pritam Singh was transferred last night amid mounting criticism of the police failure to prevent a series of dacoities and restore public confidence shattered by the murder of non-resident Indian Parvinder Sharma on Monday night here.
Nawanshahar Deputy Superintendent of Police Satinder Singh, against whom the Punjab Pradesh Congress President Capt. Amarinder Singh, had lodged a formal complaint with the Election Commission on the charge of helping the ruling SAD in the last months byelection, has been appointed the DSP in place of Mr Pritam Singh has been shifted to the Punjab armed police battalion at Bahadurgarh as its Deputy Commandant.
While Mr Pritam Singh was relieved of his charge here late last night.
Meanwhile, the police is its line of investigation on migrant labourers, at least 75 of whom had been questioned so far to find a clue to the series of dacoities in which a group of at least 10 armed men had also looted cash, including foreign currency, worth Rs 15 lakh and gold jewellery from four houses besides damaging a car and a scooter. Several people, including women and children, were assaulted by the gangsters.
Police working against odds
DERA BASSI, March 9 Inadequate staff, long and odd hours, VIP duties coupled with poor transportation facilities have been instrumental in the rising crime graph in the subdivision.
Police sources reveal that although the population has been rising manifold, the number of police personnel deployed in the subdivision has not been commensurate. This problem has been compounded by obsolete weapons and non-availability of adequate number of vehicles for the patrolling and transportation.
The subdivision has two police stations, one at Dera Bassi and the other at Lalru, besides three police posts at Lohgarh, Mubarikpur and Handesra. All the stations have been functioning with only half of the sanctioned personnel for the past many years. This has not only affected the routine policing but the force is unable to carry out special drives to curb anti-social activities, admits a police official.
The problem can be gauged from the fact that the Dera Bassi police station, presently functioning with three Sub Inspectors, six Assistant Sub Inspectors, 10 Head Constables and 42 constables, has only one light commercial vehicle (LCV) and a motorcycle.
Similarly, the Lalru police station has one LCV and one motorcycle for the use of two Sub Inspectors, five Assistant Sub Inspectors, eight Head Constables and 21 constables. These stations are responsible for maintaining law and order in 152 villages. Added to this is the pitiable state of the vehicles, sources revealed.
The department has one Gypsy which is always used for escorting the VIPs on the Chandigarh-Ambala National Highway from Jharmari barrier to Chandigarh barrier near Zirakpur.
The personnel of these stations are performing VIP duty averaging 9 hours a day as more than 8 VIPs of surrounding states cross the highway daily. The number of cops deployed on VIP duties further hits the staff strength in the villages and other areas of the subdivision.
On the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently, the number of registered cases in these police stations has shown a sharp increase. While 456 cases were registered in Dera Bassi, 252 were registered in Lalru in 1999.
The number of cases registered in both the police stations in 1998, were 188 and 97, respectively.
This year, 199 cases have been registered in Dera Bassi and 99 in Lalru. The number of cases registered in the corresponding period last year was 34 and 13 respectively, sources disclosed.
According to sources, three murder cases were registered in Dera Bassi police station in 1998 while two in Lalru. This rate has gone up to five in Lalru during 1999. In this year one murder case was registered in Dera Bassi on March 3.
Cops beaten up by
JALANDHAR, March 9 In an interesting case a woman and three policemen accompanying her were allegedly beaten-up by her in-laws at their home when they went there to recover some jewellery and other items given in dowry.
The woman, Manjit Kaur was living with her in-laws at their house in Dugri Pind while her husband was abroad. But she was allegedly harassed by her in-laws for bringing inadequate dowry.
Acting on her complaint to the Kartarpur police yesterday that her in-laws had seized her jewellery, a police party went with her to her in-laws house to get it back. But when they entered the house all four of them were allegedly beaten up by her in-laws including father-in-law Jarnail Singh brother-in-law Palwinder Singh, mother-in-law Dhanwant Kaur and one Mohinder Singh, Fauji, a resident of village.
Another police party
subsequently recovered 15 grams of gold and two rings of
the complainant from the house. A case was registered and
accused have been booked under Section
353/380/353/186/332/342/ 323/354/148/149 of IPC.
CBI reopens case for investigation
JALANDHAR, March 9 (UNI) A case of recovery of Rs 15 lakh from the wife of a Customs officer at the city railway station on the eve of Divali in 1998 has been reopened for investigation by the CBI.
A CBI team has been conducting investigation in and around the city for the last three days after the complainant had alleged that government railway police (GRP) had diluted the case.
The Customs officers wife had claimed that the money packet was handed over to her for delivery to a person at the city railway station by a businessman of Faridabad at the New Delhi railway station. Both the alleged giver and prospective taker of the money had come under the ambit of the CBI investigations.
20 cases of powertheft
FEROZEPORE, March 9 More than 20 cases of theft have been detected during the past one-and-a-half month in Mamdot subdivision of the local circle of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) as part of the ongoing campaign to check power thefts.
Announcing this today, an official of the PSEB said that a major case of alleged power theft was detected on March 1 in a rice mill at Mamdot which is owned by an Akali leader and member of the SGPC.
A raid was conducted by the SDO, Mr Surjit Singh Mohi and the Xen, Mr Tirath Singh. The raiding party of the PSEB found that the industrial unit was allegedly getting power supply by tampering with the meter. The firm was asked to pay a fine of Rs 6,52,714.
Officials further said that 33 per cent of the total fine was deposited by the firm, following which power supply to it was restored after a couple of days. The owner of the firm had filed an application before the PSEB Disputes Settlement Authority at Patiala, he added.
Teachers flay varsity decision on
PATIALA, March 9 The decision of the Punjabi University to take written undertakings from teachers stating they would participate in the requisite number of refresher courses before December 2000, failing which they may be proceeded against has nettled the teaching community as well as the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA), which has requested the authorities not to insist on this condition.
The university authorities have written to around 35 lecturers and 15 Readers saying University Grant Commission (UGC) rules had made it mandatory for all teachers to participate in four refresher courses. It has asked the teachers concerned to give an undertaking that they will fulfil the condition before December 2000.
The issue has become complicated as presently only lecturers can participate in the refresher courses. Those Readers who have been served with notices in this regard had joined service before 1986 when this condition was not in the lecturer grade. It is practically impossible for Readers to participate in more than one refresher course before December 2000 as a two-year gap has to be maintained between each course. The university directive makes it mandatory for all teachers who have been promoted as Readers from lecturers after 1986 to complete the requisite number of courses.
University teachers feel they should be exempted from the UGC guideline, making it compulsory to participate in four courses, including two orientation ones and two refresher courses as the Syndicate had in a decision in 1997 made it mandatory to participate in only two-refresher courses. The Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) has taken up this issue with the Vice-Chancellor and has asked it to honour the decision. It has also pointed out that no such condition was imposed while promoting lecturers to Readers and that the cases had been cleared by the audit without any condition.
PUTA Secretary Dr Hari Singh Boparai, while talking to TNS, said the association had pleaded that participation in two orientation or refresher courses should be enough to be eligible for promotion as senior scale lecturer or Reader. He said besides this as the relaxation to participate in refresher courses for promotion to the next scale had been extended till December, 2000 , the increments of those already promoted should not be stopped . He said promotions should also not be withheld for want of completing the required number of courses.
New PCS, HCS officers
PATIALA, March 9 Addressing the candidates who have been selected in the Punjab Civil Services (Executive and allied) and in Haryana Civil Services (Judicial) at a function organised by the IAS and allied Services Training Centre at Punjabi University, here, today, Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia said the administrative services were an opportunity as well as a challenge because in this field if one was dynamic, one could bring about a qualitative change in society.
Dr Ahluwalia cautioned the selected officers that they would have to maintain a balance between conflicting pressures from political leaders and rising expectations of the masses.
He announced that the university would soon start a similar centre for the defence services.
As many as 41 candidates from the PCS (Executive) and allied services and five from HCS (Judicial) services were honoured by the Vice-Chancellor.
Dr G.S. Bajwa, Director of the centre, said that the centre was imparting training for PCS (Executive), PCS (Judicial), HCS (Judicial), PMT, CET and various other courses such as MBA, MCA, MFC, and MBE. Every year, the centre trained over 800 candidates for various services. Besides the core faculty, it involved over 140 teachers from various departments of the university.
Dr B.S. Bhatia, Senior
Professor in the Department of Business Management and
Dean, Research, while addressing the successful
candidates urged upon them to develop people-centred and
service-oriented policies and build pockets of excellence
in administration and meet the expectations of the
MCI nod for Baba Farid
FARIDKOT, March 9 The local Baba Farid University of Health Sciences is likely to be recognised by the Medical Council of India (MCI) shortly.
Official sources said all necessary documents for the recognition were submitted to the council last month and it would award recognition to the new university at its executive meeting in the last week of the month.
Sources said non-recognition of the university by the MCI had worried the medical students of the state who had expressed fear that in absence of recognition of this university by the MCI their future was in jeopardy as the degrees awarded by this university would not fetch them job or admission in the postgraduate courses.
The sources added that a section of students of Government Medical College, Amritsar, had threatened to launch an agitation if the Punjab Government failed to take remedial measures in this regard. They also condemned the state government for disaffiliating the medical and dental colleges from their respective previous universities and affiliating them with the Faridkot university.
Dr J.S. Gujral, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said the varsity would not award any degree to any student of the medical and dental college of state affiliated with it before January 2001.
He pointed out that vested interests were deliberately raising the matter of non-recognition of the university to malign its image. He said the MBBS degree was not awarded to any student till the completion of internship.
School staff not paid for 8
FEROZEPORE, March 9 In a representation to the District Education Officer (Secondary) here, three teachers of the local Hindu Girls Senior Secondary School have said that staff of the institute had not been paid salaries for the past eight months.
They added that due to the non existence of management committee, staff of the school was not being paid five per cent share of the management for the past five year. It is stated that the school is a government aided private institute.
Randhawa memorial competition
LUDHIANA, March 9 Dr K S Aulakh, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, today inaugurated Dr M S Randhawa memorial poetry recitation competition organised by the Young Writers Association at PAU.
Dr Aulakh lauded the
contributions of Dr M.S. Randhawa, former
Vice-Chancellor, PAU, in the fields of art, science,
literature and administration. He also released a Punjabi
poetry book Samen Da Rang by veteran poet Dr
Niranjan Singh Sandhu. A copy of the book was presented
to Dr K.S. Sekhon, Dean, Postgraduate Studies and
Director, Students Welfare, PAU.
VC stresses need for crop
LUDHIANA, March 9 A delegation of senior defence officers from the National Defence College, New Delhi, visited Punjab Agricultural University, today.
Addressing the delegation Dr G S Kalkat, Vice-Chancellor, said that countrys security and agricultural production were mutually dependant.
120 farmers get green cards
ROPAR, March 9 The Oriental Bank of Commerce today issued 120 green cards to the farmers of 15 villages of Mianpur village at a function organised at Rajemajra village about eight km from here.
Some green cards were
given to the farmers by Mr R.S. Bindra, Deputy General
Manager, Chandigarh region of the bank at a function
after inaugurating a medical camp organised by the bank
in the village.
Punish erring manufacturers,
HOSHIARPUR, March 9 The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) has sought action against those who are manufacturing sub-standard intravenous (IV) sets not conforming to the parameters laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
In a press note released here today, Dr Ajay Bagga, press secretary of the association said life-saving intravenous fluids were administered to patients through these sets and they should be of standard quality.
He demanded that the
government should take necessary measures to weed out
these sub-standard sets. He said the manufacturers should
be directed to print the maximum retail price keeping in
view the wholesale price of the sets.
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