|Monday, April 10, 2000,
detractors gear up for party poll
move to raise college fees
Kaur absent at akhand path
revokes MLAs suspension
has ditched SAD on US Nagar issue
govt has failed: Bhattal
|Ex-minister flays SAD-BJP govt
BARNALA, April 9 Development of Punjab is at a stand still, public grievances remain unattended and common man badly disenchanted with the SAD-BJP government in Punjab as both are victims of sharp infighting in their parties frittering away their energies on internal crisis management and overcoming intra-party contradictions.
itching for mid-term poll
girls getting addicted to drugs
two old-age pensions
seek more facilities
reject disco culture
fish can check malaria
Khalsa condemns Sikh killings
Nagokes death mourned
paid to Giani Chet Singh
technocrats rallies on April 27
to install 500 solar tubewells
theft racket busted
Amarinders detractors gear
up for party poll
CHANDIGARH, April 9 Opponents of the Punjab Pradesh Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh, are gearing up to capture maximum number of positions in the Pradesh Congress Committee during the June elections. There is a serious attempt by the major detractors of Capt Amarinder Singh to forget their differences to dislodge him.
The move to unite all other factions who feel ignored by the State Congress chief was started some six months back. But it got an impetus after the Congress lost its prestigious Assembly seat of Nawanshahr. A former Punjab Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Raghunandan Lal Bhatia, a former Union minister and host of former ministers and MPs and MLAs have all joined hands to blame Capt Amarinder Singh for the debacle.
In fact, Mrs Bhattal challenged him on this score recently. Her argument was that the campaign was not properly organised and the Congress was less united. The selection of the candidate was bad.
We provided the Akalis a chance by making a sitting MLA contest from Hoshiarpur and thus vacating the assembly seat. We were too much sure of ourselves, said former MP Mr Iqbal Singh. His opinion is shared by several other PCC members including Mr Brahm Mohindra, Mr Avtar Singh Brar, MLA, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Mr Harbans Lal, MLA and others.
But this as one senior leader explained is not the only reason of disenchantment with Capt Amarinder Singh. Mrs Bhattal who was unceremoniously removed from the PCCC presidentship and later as leader of the Opposition strongly believes that the present State Congress President has a very narrow vision and his style of functioning leaves much to be desired.
Mrs Bhattal who could be a major challenge to the former scion of the Patiala Royal family had organised a meeting during the visit of the All India Congress Committee General Secretary, Mr Moti Lal Vohra, where six MLAs, were present besides, a good number of former MPs, PCC members and members of the AICC like Mr Iqbal Singh, Mr Sajjan Kumar Jakhar, Mr Brahm Mohindra and others. It was a good gathering of 40 odd leaders. Mrs Bhattal had earlier refused to go with Capt Amarinder Singh to an exclusive dinner. It was decided to see Capt Amarinder Singh out after the elections.
Clearly, lines are drawn for the battle royal. In June over 170 members of the PPCC are to be elected. Mrs Bhattal and her supporters are now fanning out to different areas to see that their supporters outnumber the supporters of the present president. Mrs Bhattal had a long meeting with former Union Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Raghunandan Lal Bhatia, MP. A detailed strategy was chalked out at the meeting. This group has planned that in each of the three major regions of Malwa, Majha and Doaba, they should have maximum number of supporters.
But Capt Amarinder Singh is neither alone nor is he sitting on his oars. One, he is no longer an absentee president and has been active all along. Secondly, he claims that the All India Congress Committee President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, still fully backs him. His group also claims that the Nawanshahr Assembly byelection was lost not because the Congress was not united, but because the ruling Akali Dal used dubious means at a large scale. Also, there is a feeling that the president has acted tough in keeping discipline in the party. There is some truth in the claim and the task to remove Capt Amarinder Singh would not be easy.
Detractors of Capt Amarinder Singh who are preparing a detailed memorandum, listing some major mistakes, feel that first he needlessly picked up a row with the then SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and wrote to Akal Takht on the Nirankari-Sikh feud. This did not go with the political culture and known stand of the Congress. What if the then jathedar of Akal Takht had summoned the PCC president and declared him a Tankhaiya? This is old habit of the Akalis which he is still retaining even when he has left that party and heads a secular party, said Mr Brahm Mohindra.
Then now he has picked up a row with the Daily Ajits editor Mr Barjinder Singh Hamdard. Publicmen do not fight court battles with newspapers, one senior leader here said. Also, the choice of leader of the opposition, Mr Jagjit Singh has left much to be desired. While Mrs Bhattal, ever since she was removed from that post, has participated very selectively, Mr Jagjit Singh is not that up and about speaking member.
In fact, this budget session saw more fire from the Akalis opposed to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and from the CPI members than from the Congress. Only three Congress members were active.
Randhawa, Gill attend
PATIALA, April 9 Punjab Pradesh Congress President Capt Amarinder Singhs luncheon meeting held here yesterday ostensibly to counter the dinner diplomacy launched by former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal saw the coming together of senior Congress leaders Santokh Singh Randhawa and Mohinder Singh Gill to the PPCC Presidents camp.
Both leaders were earlier ambivalent towards him. The luncheon meeting was also attended by five legislators and four Lok Sabha members besides other senior leaders. Capt Amarinder Singh, however, when contacted today said it was a regular brain-storming session where everyones views were taken.
However, Congress sources said the luncheon meeting was held as a show of strength to counter the activity launched by Mrs Bhattal after becoming a member of the Party Central Election Committee as well as to evolve strategy to counter dissident moves. They said Mr S.S. Randhawa and Mr M.S. Gill had bought peace with the pradesh Congress chief to secure the interests of their son and son-in-law, respectively, who are likely candidates from the Fatehgarh Churian and the Banur Assembly constituencies. They said this could also sharpen the divide with Mr Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder who is the bete noire of Mr Randhawa and the group of former Zila Parishad Chairman Ravinderpal Singh Sohi who is a likely candidate from Banur, both of who may shift their loyalty to the other camp.
The sources said among those who attended the lunch were MPs Preneet Kaur, Shamsher Singh Dullo, Gurcharan Singh Ghalib and Balbir Singh and legislators Choudhary Jagjit Singh, Avtar Henry, Kanwaljit Singh Lalli, Harbans Lal and Amarjit Singh Samra. They said Harminder Jassi had expressed inability to come due to organisational reasons and Mr Bhagwan Das Arora was sick. Others who attended the meeting were former minister Jasbir Singh and former MP Sant Ram Singla.
The sources attributed the presence of Mr Kanwaljit Singh Lalli to Mr Randhawa, who is his relative. They said Harbans Lal had also attended the meeting organised by Mrs Bhattal. Another surprising absentee was Lok Sabha member Jagmeet Brar who has consistently been demanding an introspection into the reason for the party defeat in the Adampur byelection.
Capt Amarinder Singh, however, when contacted said the meeting was a regular brain storming session which he conducted every 10 to 15 days. He said this was the third meeting in the series.He said the meeting took up for discussion various issues including anti-people policies of the Badal government as well as Sikh politics. He said everyones views on these topics was elicited and it was decided that another meeting would be held in 15 days to further devise party policies
The PPCC chief also said there was no rift between himself and Mrs Bhattal. He said both he and Mrs Bhattal enjoyed cordial relations and vested interests were trying to create a wedge between them.When asked about parallel meetings being presided over by him and Mrs Bhattal in Dera Bassi, he said Mrs Bhattal was attending a function being held in her honour by a local Gujjar leader while he was attending a function organised by the block Congress.
Capt Amarinder Singh said he had talked to Mrs Bhattal on the issue and asked her to postpone her programme if possible but go ahead if this could not be done.
Meanwhile, the PPCC
seems to be going in for a spell of activity. Party
General Secretary and in charge of the PPCC office Sant
Ram Singla disclosed here today that following the
meeting an elaborate programme was being chalked out at
the state level which would include protests and dharnas
against the anti people policies of the Akali-BJP
Jagir Kaur absent at
ANANDPUR SAHIB, April 9 As part of the concluding ceremonies of the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa, the akhand path of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib began today at Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib here.
Before the start of akhand path, Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar of the Takht, performed the ardas and Giani Tarlochan Singh, Head Granthi of the Takht, took the hukamnama from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
However, Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC, was conspicuous on this occasion by her absence though the entire programme has been chalked out and publicised widely by the SGPC. No other top functionary of the SGPC visited the Takht at the time of start of the path bhog ceremony of which will be held on April 11 and after that an ardas will be performed for the beginning of three-day programmes.
At the time of the start of the akhand path, besides Prof Manjit Singh, Giani Tarlochan Singh and Mr Jarnail Singh Aulakh, a member of the SGPC from Anandpur Sahib, two or three employees of the SGPC and a few devotees were present there.
Prof Manjit Singh said Bibi Jagir Kaur could not attend the start of the path as she had to attend a function somewhere in Haryana today organised in connection with the Khalsa march. He said she would be back in the town by this evening.
The panj piaras from Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib baptised at least 120 persons today.
Mr Karam Singh, Manager of the Takht, said the baptising ceremony was today performed by Bhai Major Singh, Bhai Paramjit Singh Phambrra, Bhai Balwinder Singh, Bhai Amarjit Singh and Bhai Sarbjit Singh. He said eight sets of panj piaras had been formed to give amrit to the amrit seekers during the concluding ceremonies up to March 14.
Meanwhile, hundreds of devotees have started converging to the city which has been tastefully decorated. The SHSAD has set up a pandal near Panj Piara park for its political conference while the leaders of the SAD will address the panthic conference from the main pandal near the Takht on April 13.
Punjab move to raise college
CHANDIGARH, April 9 There is a move to hike tuition and admission fees both in government and private colleges. If the proposal gets through, the government colleges will charge a higher fee from the students from the next academic session. In fact there has been no hike in the fee structure in respect of government colleges since 1986.
On the other hand , the private colleges 162-odd, both aided and unaided continue to effect occasionally hike in the fees and funds charged from the students with the approval of the university concerned.
Now when there is a parity of pay scales of teachers working in government and private colleges, why can not there be same fee structure for the students in the government and private colleges ?
In case the government proposal, which reportedly was finalised at a meeting the Minister of Higher Education held in Chandigarh on Saturday with representatives of the universities concerned gets the nod of the Chief Minister, the worst sufferers will be 85-odd private colleges located in semi-urban, rural and Kandi areas of the state. Paying capacity of parents in these areas is low. Even girls are seldom sent for higher education.Their prospects will suffer.
There is a possibility that due to non-paying capacity of parents even the students number may drop and some colleges could even close shop. Moreover can the Chief Minister, who espouses the cause of the rural people, afford such a situation to develop? On the other hand , a small segment of affluent section in these areas will prefer to shift the students to urban areas putting extra burden on the institutions there.
What is the normal practice and procedure to effect fee and fund hike? According to Panjab University Syndic, Prof. Charanjit Chawla, the government normally prepares the proposal and sends the same to the universities with which the colleges are affiliated. It is for the Syndicates and Senates of the respective universities to take the final decision taking into consideration all facts and factors. This is in respect of universities and private colleges seeking the two to mobilise their own resources to meet the looming financial crisis.
However in respect of government colleges, which number 43 in Punjab, all the government has to do is to issue a notification effecting fee hike. This is applicable even to the professional colleges.
In fact the Punjab government did broach the subject of fee hike at the meeting of the Finance Board of Panjab University on March 13. The Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Mr G.P.S. Sahi, had raised the issue. His line of argument was simple : in view of the financial crisis the university and colleges must become self-reliant, financially. The Board decided to accept the pattern adopted by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. That proposal was to hike tuition fee four times and examination fee two times.
The matter of the Board was placed before the University Syndicate on March 18, where it was opposed by several syndics, including Prof Chawla, Mr G.K. Chatrath, Dr V.K. Bansal and Dr R.D. Anand. But it found support in Prof Raghbir Singh.The opponents wanted some rationale and rationalisation in the entire process. The proposal was rejected and the matter ended.
In fact the Saturday meeting was attended by only one Vice-Chancellor, Mr M.M. Puri, while the other two universities, at Patiala and Amritsar were represented by the pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean-cum-Registrar from Patiala and Dean and Registrar from Amritsar. It is learnt that government had asked the Amritsar-based GNDU Vice-Chancellor to study the fee structure and fund system and suggest ways and means. Thus the proposed tuition fee of Rs 125 and admission fee of Rs 250 is on the recommendation of a committee which Guru Nanak Dev University Vice-Chancellor had constituted and which the government apparently wants to effect.
While students are busy preparing for the annual examinations and political parties are busy in their own affairs after nearly a month-long Budget session of the Vidhan Sabha, it seems the government is keen to push through the proposal, which may be possible but will be difficult.
The fee being charged at the undergraduate level for arts, commerce and science is at least four times in private colleges than the one charged from students in government colleges. It is Rs 500-800 per student, per year in government colleges and Rs 3,000-5,000 per student, per year in private colleges. Moreover, there are two self-financing courses as well in the colleges. One on business administration and the second on computer education. The fee charged is between Rs 10,000 and Rs 14,000, respectively.
A majority of students, nearly 1.26 lakh (excluding plus one and plus two students studying in colleges) study in 162 private colleges against a mere 40,000 in government colleges, which number 43.
The 95 per cent grant-in-aid covers only 139 colleges with teachers numbering around 3,900. A large number of teachers, nearly 1000, get paid just Rs 4,500 per month for a six-month period. They are on contract and their services are terminated on March 31 every year and they are reappointed in September-October, while, full fee is charged from every student for the whole year for such teachers.
Many private colleges are not that badly hit, financially, as if often made out by the managements. Besides the tuition and admission fees, these colleges charge amalgamated fund, student fund and miscellaneous funds, which cover a lot of ground. Why a case can not be built by the government, which meets up to 95 per cent of the financial burden and needs of these privately managed colleges, to meet the remaining 5 per cent also and takeover these colleges?
Let the government have a greater say in the financial matters and ensure at least 20 per cent money is reserved for development in every college for building activity etc.
Let Punjab take a lead.
It has to dovetail ordinary education with professional
education and introduce vocational courses for all
undergraduate courses if Punjab youth is to meet the new
challenges in future. Fee, in this scheme of things, is
just one aspect. There is more to be done and a lot to be
undone to make higher education meaningful.
BJP revokes MLAs
PHILLAUR, April 9 The national working committee meeting of the All-India Mahila Morcha of the BJP, will be held on April 29 and 30 in Jalandhar.
This was disclosed by the Punjab BJP chief, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi here today. He said that Mrs Maya Singh, All India president of the Mahila Morcha will preside over the meeting.
In a surprising move Mr Daya Singh Sodhi revoked the suspension of BJP MLAs Sat Paul Gosain (Ludhiana) and Jagdish Sahni (Batala).
Mr Sodhi said that both MLAs had regretted for their allegations against him and Local Bodies Minister Balramji Dass Tandon and explained before the five members DAC headed by Punjab BJP General Secretary Narotam Dev Ratti, that these allegations were made due to wrong information and misunderstanding.
Mr Sodhi condemned the state governments policy regarding traders community and demanded more simplification of taxes. Mr Sodhi said he would meet Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal tomorrow to discuss traders demands.
JALANDHAR (PTI): Indicating the deepening chasm between alliance partners BJP and the Akali Dal, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi on Sunday criticised the hike in the licence fee levied on traders and the tax imposed on bakers and halwais saying the measures gave an impression that the urban population in the state was being discriminated against.
The state government had recently hiked the one time licence fee for traders from Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 and had also imposed a renewal fee of Rs 2000.
BJP has ditched SAD on
US Nagar issue
JALANDHAR, April 9 Accusing the BJP led coalition government of being unable to protect the minorities in the country, the Samajwadi Party has alleged the former had deceived its coalition partner, SAD (Badal) on the issue of Udham Singh Nagar.
In a statement issued after a meeting here yesterday, Jaswant Singh Kahlon and Mr Shivi Jaiswal, presidents of the Punjab and Chandigarh units, respectively said on the one hand the Akalis were assured by the Central government that Udham Singh Nagar would not be included in the proposed Uttaranchal state, on the other a bill advocating its inclusion had already been passed by the UP Assembly. The dual act was nothing but treachery on the part of the BJP government with its alliance partner.
The Samajwadi Party
leaders said it was during the regime of Mr Mulayam Singh
Yadav that Udham Singh Nagar was upgraded as a district,
as demanded by the Sikhs. They asserted their party would
oppose any further move by the Central government to
include Udham Singh Nagar in the proposed Uttaranchal
SAD-BJP govt has failed:
DERA BASSI, April 9 The present collation government of the Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party has failed in every front, said Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Chief Minister of Punjab, while addressing a public meeting at Kuranwala village, near here, today.
Criticising the Akali government, she said the Akali-BJP combine had annoyed businessmen, labourers, farmers and youth with its 'fruitless' policies. Unemployment had gone up in the state, she added.
She held the Akali government responsible of the killings of members of 32,000 Punjabi families during terrorism. Instead of showing sympathy to the bereaved families, some Akali leaders even joined the bhog ceremonies of hardcore militants who were shot dead in various encounters.
Talking on the financial position of the state, Ms Bhattal said that the state government was bearing a loss of Rs 450 crore during her tenure as Chief Minister. But due to the wrong policies of the present government, this had increased to Rs 3,900 crore, claimed Mrs Bhattal.
"The government ignored the Shagun Scheme in the new budget but had to carry it on because of strong objections by the Congress, she added.
Those who addressed the
rally included Mr Som Nath, former Chairman of the Forest
Corporation of Punjab, Mr Gurcharan Singh, MLA, Sangrur,
Mr Malkiat Singh Vimmi, former MLA, Ludhiana, Mr Chander
Mohan, MLA, Kalka, Mr Brij Lal Goel, former Chairman of
PUNSUP, Punjab, Mr Raj Khurana, former minister, Punjab.
Ex-minister flays SAD-BJP
BARNALA, April 9 Development of Punjab is at a stand still, public grievances remain unattended and common man badly disenchanted with the SAD-BJP government in Punjab as both are victims of sharp infighting in their parties frittering away their energies on internal crisis management and overcoming intra-party contradictions.
These views were expressed by Mr Upinder Sharma, a former Punjab minister, while talking to mediapersons here yesterday.
Flaying Mr Parkash Singh Badal-led Punjab Government, he asserted that keeping in view appointments of MLAs Mr Jagir Singh Bhullar and Mr Manmohan Singh Sathalia as Chief Parliamentary Secretary and Chairman, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, respectively, very well indicated that all was not well with Mr Parkash Singh Badal and the SAD.
Cong itching for mid-term
DERA BASSI, April 9 Congress will form the Government at the Center with a full majority and the beginning of it will start from Punjab, claimed Punjab Pradesh Congress committee president Capt Amrinder Singh. He was addressing a public meeting here at Ram Temple on Sunday.
He that a mid-term poll, which might come at any time, would show how low the Akali-BJP government's popularity graph has slid. He alleged the Akali-BJP leaders had rigged the recent Nawanshaher by-elections. He criticised the present government for imposing heavy taxes on the public and doing nothing to curb sky-rocketing prices.
Pointing to the industrial slump which is now plaguing the state, he said that some prestigious units are on the verge of closure. "The government's policies have only spread distress," he said and pointed to the desperation of youth for jobs, and of farmers for remunerative prices. "Almost every section of society is annoyed with the present government," Singh claimed.
Citing economic statistics with regard to unemployment and revenue generation, the Punjab Congress president saw the state sinking deeper into debt and despair on every front.
"Duty of Excise, which was Rs 900 crore, shows no increase for a long time. It should be increased manifold. Taxes fetch the government Rs 5,300 crore but Rs 5,600 crore are being paid as salaries to the employees. The present government had sown thorns in way which now Congress have to bear, he added.
Besides, local leaders,
Santokh Singh Randhawa and Mohinder Singh Gill, former
PPCC presidents, former Minister Ravinder Singh Sohi and
former Zila Parishad chairman Deepinder Singh Dhillon
also addressed the meeting.
Rural girls getting addicted
NAWANSHAHR, April 9 More and more school and college going rural girls are getting addicted to drugs here, thanks to the abundance of foreign money, unhappy homes, the mismatched marriages and above all apathy of parents.
This is the outcome of a study conducted by a local social worker and teacher with local girls college, Ms Vishav Mohini. About 7 to 8 per cent of rural girls coming to colleges have been found hooked to drugs, she revealed while holding parents apathy towards their wards especially towards girls responsible for the malaise. About 55 per cent of the parents did not know the class in which their daughters were studying and more than 80 per cent of them were unaware the subjects their daughters were studying. Most of them were sending their daughters for education with the sole purpose of finding a good match for them, she added.
Marrying off a girl is still considered a big problem even in the affluent families in the villages and due to the lure of foreign countries, in many cases girls as young as 18 years old had started taking drugs after being engaged or married to a man of 40 years, she pointed out. According to Ms Vishav Mohini, most of the girls start the habit at plus one or plus two level in the school with tablets and cough syrups. Abundance of foreign money is also responsible for the increase in drug abuse in this part of the Doaba region, says Ms Vishav Mohini quoting some of her students, We can take as much as money from our parents and they never ask us how we spend this money.
However, it was noticed that those girls who kept themselves busy by associating themselves with various projects in the college or who actively participated in social welfare activities were much more alert on the issue.
Drawing two old-age pensions
JALANDHAR, April 9 An interesting case of a person drawing two-old-age pensions simultaneously has come to light at Umrewal village in Nakodar subdivision. A former sarpanch allegedly forged some documents and helped his sister draw someone else old-age pension, not just for one or two months but for over five years, before being caught.
Gurdev Singh, a former sarpanch and currently a nambardar of the village forged old-age pension documents of Mangal Kaur, a resident of the same village, on the basis of which his sister, Kartar Kaur, kept drawing old-age pension from the nearby Haripur branch of Punjab National Bank, posing as Mangal Kaur since 1994.
Meanwhile, Kartar Kaur also enjoyed her own old-age pension for a year from April 26, 1999, till April 13 when the Mehatpur police detected the fraud and arrested Gurdev Singh in this connection.
The fraud came to light when Wazir Singh, a village postman, told the police that the pension card of Mangal Kaur handed over by him to Gurdev Singh way back in 1984 might have been misused by the latter. In his complaint, the postman said the card in the name of Mangal Kaur, which was sent by the Punjab Social Welfare Department had been handed over to the then village sarpanch since he could not locate the house of Mangal Kaur. He said Gurdev Singh had retained the card with him saying that it belonged to one of his sisters. The card was later tampered with by Gurdev Singh, who removed the photograph of Mangal Kaur from it and instead pasted the photograph of his sister, Kartar Kaur, a resident of nearby Udhowal village.
Kartar Kaur also opened an account (No 3572) on September 3, 1994, in the name of Mangal Kaur in the Punjab National Bank branch at nearby Haripur village and operated it for about six years. At the same time she used to draw her own old-age pension granted to her by the department on April 26, 1999, through another account (No 5552) in her own name in the Indian Bank branch at Udhowal village. Interestingly, Gurdev Singh, the then Sarpanch, who had earlier attested the photo of Kartar Kaur as that of Mangal Kaur, later verified the photograph of Kartar Kaur in his capacity as the village nambardar.
Pensioners seek more facilities
GURDASPUR, April 9 Pensioners in this district are a harassed lot in view of absence of adequate facilities. The treasury office which the majority of the pensioners frequently visit for getting pension lacks proper entrance. One entrance which is in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner is still kutchha and not even properly paved. The other entrance is in front of a temple adjoining the SSP office. The area is low living and water accumulates here during rain thus making it impossible to reach the office without being drenched.
The district Treasury Office here has not lavatory either for male or female pensioners.
According to Mr O.P. Sharma, president, Government Pensioner Union district treasury offices at Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Patiala had press information rooms for the pensioners. This facility is lacking here though the Deputy Commissioner had promised to provide this facility.
Mr Sharma said pensioners getting pension up to Rs 300 a month were only entitled to get pension from the treasury. He demanded that the pensioners drawing Rs 3000 as monthly pension be allowed to draw pension from the treasury.
The other place from where the retired employees draw pension is the local branch of the State Bank of India. Though there are separate counters each for male and female pensioners but they are far from adequate. Mr Sharma demanded more counters to avoid rush on the limited counters.
Patialvis reject disco culture
PATIALA, April 9 Unwilling to flow with the tide, young Patialvis have said a big no-no to the hip-swinging, arm-swaying colourful world of discoing.
Eight months after beckoning guys and gals by opening a discotheque twice a week, a restaurant, tremored by the lukewarm response to the club has now closed its disco doors. With it, curtains have fallen on the citys first attempt to break loose from the traditional (for some, boring) style of spending the evenings in ones house of occasionally at a friends place. Elders and sociologists, however, term it a victory of Punjabi culture over the Western mode of life.
The club had made a hesitant start. It had opened the disco on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday evenings only. The idea was to gauge public response. Only couple entries with a fee of Rs 100 were permitted. But all hopes of attracting large number of youngsters waiting for a vent to shake a leg died down in less than year. Initially few excited couples came in but watching disco on TV screens and then actually participating in it amidst strangers proved to be a different game altogether.
Says Mr Deepinder Singh, a co-owner of the club, People were very excited about the discotheque. We received many queries. And some still enquire. But it failed to become a rage. The club which is doing a roaring business as a family restaurant and party venue had to often choose between one or two willing couples offering a business of Rs 200 for three hours and a party booking of Rs 3,000 for same time. We had to choose the latter, said the businessman. However, while it lasted, there was no untoward incident during the disco hours. No law and order problem was reported unlike cities like Chandigarh and Delhi. Still, the discotheque failed to pick momentum.
But, how does one explain inhibited dancing at family gatherings? Mr Avtar Singh Gairat, senior citizen and journalist, offers an answer, Group dancing is a part of our culture. We do it often in marriages when all our sagey-sambandi (relatives) are around. But for a young couple (friends or lovers) to do so amidst strangers has proved to be difficult.Thus they have rejected it.
He opined that youngsters get attracted by the music videos showing the glittering free world of a discotheque. But actually they are still glued to the old customs and traditions of our society which has no room for such form of leisure activity.
Mr H.S. Bhatti, a
sociologist of Punjabi University, calls it a victory of
traditional values over the modern
degenerating effects. He said the city still
boasts of community living in contrast to the
individualistic, consumeristic society of a metropolis.
Going to clubs and discos or dating is not
acceptable in the present social set-up and it is for the
good of all of us, Mr Bhatti stressed.
Guppy fish can check
JALANDHAR, April 9 The guppy and gambusia varieties of fish can effectively help curb the proliferation of malaria parasite and consequently reduce the incidence of malaria and related diseases among human beings.
The two common varieties of fish love to feed on the larvae of mosquitoes in village ponds and other small water bodies thus, proving to be friends of human beings more so because the method could easily replace deadly insecticides used to contain the mosquito during summers to a large extent, according to Dr Promilla Kakar, the Deputy Director (Malaria), Department of Health, Haryana the fish seed could be procured at nominal cost from any of the government fish seed farms.
The extensive use of these varieties of fish in village ponds and other water bodies is perhaps the only potent biological alternative to insecticides sidered and check like malaria and dengue. Both the diseases can prove deadly if not treated in time, Dr Kakar told TNS here today.
Making interesting revelations about the behaviour of malarial and other parasites and the misconceptions prevalent about them among people, Dr Kakar said the vector responsible for dengue fever had the tendency to bite human beings during day, while the or mosquito do the job during night time.
Another misconception we find among people is that they think that these parasites proliferate only in dirty places. But it has been observed otherwise also as it was found that they generally prefer clean but moist places like stored water in room cooler and overhead water tanks, she added suggesting that the best guard against the disease was to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes through different means. Similarly, plggeries, which were ideal breeding grounds for parasite responsible for Japanese fever should be set up far away from human settlements.
She said there had been tremendous decrease in malaria cases in Haryana due to the effective implementation of the nationwide urban area malaria scheme. No death due to dengue or malaria had been reported from any part of the state including the Mewat region, where malaria and dengue had claimed many lives during the 1996 floods. Dr Kakar said there had been over 90 per cent fall in malaria cases during the past few years.
She said under the
scheme, at least 40 lakh people living in urban areas
have been divided into 201 section. Nearly 2000
multi-purpose health workers go to people at their
doorsteps and take preventive measures like collection of
blood slide samples. These testing positive is provided
treatment on the spot, she said adding that her
department would observe June as Malaria
month during which people would be educated about
the disease and how to save themselves from it through
distribution of posters and holding of seminars.
Dal Khalsa condemns Sikh
LUDHIANA, April 9 The Dal Khalsa today held a prayer meeting at a historical gurdwara in Ghuman village in memory of 35 Sikhs massacred at Chatti Singhpora village on March 20.
Various leaders, while condemning the killings, said this carnage could not be simply explained as an act of terrorism, but was an effort to put the Sikhs and Muslims at loggerheads.
Mr Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib, vice-persident of the dal, called upon the Sikhs in Punjab to continue to extend their solidarity with the bereaved families.
MOGA (PTI): The SAD (A) chief, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, on Sunday sought a probe by a United Nations agency into the killing of Sikhs.
Mr Mann said he was told
by families of victims, when he visited the site, that
militants from across the border were involved in the
massacre requiring a UN probe. He said all Sikhs living
in the valley were feeling a sense of insecurity and if
the Centre had not taken any steps. He apprehended
migration of Sikhs from the valley.
Jathedar Nagokes death
NAGOKE (Amritsar), April 9 Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Urban Development, Poverty Alleviation, Youth Affairs and Sports, has called upon the people to rise above petty party politics and make Punjab vibrant with all-round development and economic prosperity to be a front-runner state in the country.
Paying tributes at the bhog and antim ardas of Jathedar Kulwant Singh Nagoke, a prominent Akali leader and social worker, who died recently, Mr Dhindsa said he was a poor but honest man who rose from the grassroots level to serve the Panth and the Akali party.
Tracing the history of this historical village, which has produced eminent Akali leaders, the Union Minister said the village held great importance as far as the Akali movement in the pre-Independence era was concerned. It had also played a commendable role during the freedom struggle. He said Jathedar Kulwant Singh Nagoke also followed in the footprints of great Sikh leaders in his own humble way. His death was a great loss to the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth, he added.
Mr Dhindsa announced the construction of a library in the village in the memory of Jathedar Kulwant Singh Nagoke and assured people that the government would provide adequate funds for the purpose.
Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur,
MP, Mr Surinder Singh Kairon, former MP, Mr Ranjit Singh
Chhajjalwadi, MLA (Khadur Sahib), Sant Balbir Singh, MLA
(Bhadaur), Jathedar Bhan Singh Nagoke, Mr Bharpur Singh
Dhanaula, former Chairman, Punjab Tourism Development
Corporation, Mr Manjit Singh Tarn Tarni, Mr Phula Singh
Nagoke, Mr Partap Singh, Chairman, Block Samiti, Khadur
Sahib, Mr Hardeepinder Singh Lyallpuri and Mr Sadhu Singh
Ragi (both members SGPC) were among those who paid
tributes to Jathedar Kulwant Singh Nagoke.
Tributes paid to Giani Chet Singh
AMRITSAR, April 9 The former Jathedar of Akal Takht and head granthi of Golden Temple, Giani Chet Singh, was paid glowing tributes by religious, social and political leaders on the occasion of antim ardas performed today in the presence of a large gathering.
Giani Chet Singh died on March 31 at the age of 98 after a brief illness.
At the request of members of his family, no reference to political matters and the ongoing controversy in the Sikh Panth was made.
The services of Gianiji who remained as head granthi of Golden Temple for a long period of 30 years and served as Jathedar of Akal Takht for about one year in the early sixties were lauded by the speakers. Gianiji remained an authority on Sikh ideology.
Those who paid tributes
to the former Jathedar included the SGPC President, Bibi
Jagir Kaur, former Jathedar of Akal Takht, Bhai Jasbir
Singh Rode, the head granthi of Golden Temple, Giani
Mohan Singh, the Jathedar of Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal
Singh, Punjab ministers, Mr Sewa Singh Sekhwan who
represented the Punjab Government and the ruling Akali
Dal, and Dr Rattan Singh, senior Congress leaders, Mr
Lakhmir Singh Randhawa, former minister, and Prof Darbari
Lal and Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary,
Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta.
rallies on April 27
JALANDHAR, April 9 Farm technocrats of the Agriculture, horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Soil Conservation Department would hold rallies in front of the office of all Deputy Commissioners in the state on April 27.
The farm technocrats are demanding the restoration of pay parity and allowances with other technocrats, reinstatement of their colleagues suspended on frivolous grounds, adopting a correct method of fertiliser verification and grant of an adequate travel allowance.
Dr Satnam Singh, general
secretary of the Agriculture Technocrats Action
Committee, Punjab, said in a press note here yesterday
that if the government was serious about implementing its
commitment of giving new impetus to agriculture in the
state it should accept the long pending
demands of farm technocrats and focus on areas like
intensive adaptive research trials, surveillance and
management of pest diseases and soil health, besides
making arrangements for updating the knowledge of
Govt to install 500 solar
FATEHGARH SAHIB, April 9 The Punjab Government has decided to install 500 solar tubewells for agriculture purpose in the Fatehgarh Sahib district. The Centre and the state government will give a subsidy of Rs 22.50 crore for this, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, said while addressing a gathering at Ajner village in Khamano subdivision today after laying the foundation stone of a hall in the village school.
He said the government had launched a new scheme under which the motors up to five horse power would run with solar system and the cost of a tubewell would be Rs 5 lakh. The farmers would have to pay only Rs 50,000 and Rs 4.5 lakh subsidy would be given by the government. He said first of all the scheme would be introduced in the district.
On this occasion, he
announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh to solve the drain water
problem in village and Rs 3 lakh for the construction of
a wall around village pool. Mr Bachan Singh Cheema, MLA,
Jathedar Swarn Singh Chanarthal, district president,
SAD(B), and Ms Harjit Kaur, sarpanch of the village, also
addressed the gathering.
Forum announces awards
PATIALA, April 9 Punjab Writers Forum today announced to honour a number of personalities of Patiala, who had won laurels, with Patiala Rattan Awards on April 16 at Central Public Library Auditorium here. Some personalities will be given Punjab Rattan Awards. The Governor of Punjab, Lt-Gen, J.F.R. Jacob (retd), will inaugurate the function and give away the awards.
Mr Ved Parkash Gupta,
Convener of the forum, announced that the names of the
persons who were to be honoured had been finalised. The
list includes the names of Mr Vijay Chopra, Editor-in
-Chief of Hind Samachar group of newspapers, and Mr
Shekhar Gupta, Chief Editor of Indian Express, for
service to humanity through journalism, Capt Amarinder
Singh and Mr Jagan Nath Kaushal for shiromani sahitkar;
Mr Jigar Jalandhari for literature and poetry; Mr Jagjit
Singh Dardi for development of Punjabi journalism;
Kamaljit Sandhu Kooner, Navjot Sidhu and M.P. Pandav for
sports; Palwinder Cheema, Harpal Tiwana and Girja Shankar
for theatre and cinema; Gill Surjit for folk writing;
Mohan Lal Ballo for music; Brig. Sukhdev Singh for his
outstanding defence service; Dr N.D. Aggarwal for medical
science; Justice Jatindra Veer Gupta, Mr Hardev Singh
Cheema, Mr Arun Goel and Mr S.K Ahluwalia for
Diesel theft racket
SANGRUR, April 9 The local police has busted diesel theft racket which involved fitting special pressure cylinders under the lid of tankers carrying the fuel which ensured that diesel-level remained constant when checked with the dip stick irrespective of the oil level in the tank.
Disclosing this here today, Mr Arpit Shukla SSP said the firm Arvind Enterprises allegedly got the cylinders fitted under two trucks supplying diesel from the Indian Oil Corporation at Ambala to the Indian Acrylic Factory based at Harkishanpur here.
He said on the way to Harkishanpur the tankers unloaded 2000 to 2,500 litres of oil from each tanker at Parkash Filling Station, Sujadpur, at the rate of Rs 10 per litre . The tanks were again sealed with duplicate seals and delivered to the factory after the pilferage , he added.
Mr Shukla said the
police had recovered tanker number HR-37-4218 and
HR-01-GA-1199, along with 3300 litres of diesel. A case
under section 420 and 120, IPC, had been registered at
Bhawanigarh police station. Transporters, Jaswinder Singh
and Karnail Singh and Arun Kumar, owner of Parkash
Filling Station had been arrested.
Board answersheets missing
MANSA, April 9 As many as 254 answersheets of 10+2 examination of the Punjab School Education Board were found missing from the examination centre No. III by its superintendent.
Official sources said Mr Piara Singh, Superintendent, Examination Centre No. III, Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Sardulgarh, had brought the matter into the notice of higher education authorities, including the Controller of Exams.
The sources added that answersheets were in the cupboard which was locked and stolen after breaking the lock on April 4. Some of the roll number slips and signature sheets of the students, who were appearing in the final examination, were also found missing.
The education authorities had also brought the matter into the notice of the Sardulgarh police. The DEO (Secondary), Mrs Bhupinder Kaur, had also taken up the matter with the district police authorities.
The sources said that in the absence of roll number slips with photos and signature sheets, the examination centre superintendent and other members of invigilator staff were facing difficulty in conducting exams. So far, no higher official of the education authorities had visited the centre.
Mr Yurinder Singh, SSP, when contacted said that the authorities concerned had not lodged any written complaint and so no case was registered in this regard. He added that he had directed the SP (D) to inquire into the matter and take necessary action.
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