|Sunday, April 16, 2000,
retaliates to Amarinders remarks
Pay panel report
divided on merger of Abohar with Muktsar
initiative on US Nagar
receives new weekly train
official frees 55 labourers
|Fund shortage hits Kandi Canal
HOSHIARPUR: Though the Central Water Commission and Punjab Pollution Control Board have cleared the extension of the 70.50-km-long Kandi Canal (stage II) a long time back, paucity of funds, has delayed the construction of this prestigious project.
Hepatitis B afflicts 4.50 cr
firing probe report submitted
body breaks promise
in fix over naming of train
Regiment celebrates golden jubilee
for Himachal Regiment
cremated with full honours
Tejinderpal board chairman'
on paediatric oncology
against liquor vend
to seize motors of power thieves
retarded woman raped
killed in accident
teachers not promoted
Bhattal retaliates to
CHANDIGARH, April 15 Former Punjab Chief Minister and a senior Congress leader, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today reacted sharply to the statement of Punjab Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh reprimanding her for holding what he called parallel meetings.
Mrs Bhattal evidently stung by the statement of Capt Amarinder Singh yesterday in Jalandhar said, it is most unfortunate and speaks volumes about the dictatorial tendencies of a leader. We need permission to attend social and religious gatherings, we need permission and the presence of the PCC President to speak on state of politics in the country and Punjab. I cannot understand the logic behind the statement.
Mrs Bhattal who has evidently spoken to some senior leaders, including the party General Secretary, Mrs Ambika Soni, told TNS, the meeting to which Capt Amarinder Singh referred near Dera Bassi was organised by the Gujjar biradari, the very people who supported Mrs Parneet Kaur, wife of the PCC President win the Patiala Lok Sabha seat. Should I not go there and speak on the Congress partys political and special agenda? There was no parallel meeting at all.
Two separate meetings had been arranged by some Congress leaders and others in the Dera Bassi area last week. One was attended by Mrs Bhattal and the other by Capt Amarinder Singh.
Mrs Bhattal who had been earlier PCC President and leader of the Congress Legislature party said, this kind of public outburst against a senior leader like her betrayed lack of confidence on the part of the party President. Capt Amarinder Singh could have called me and told me about this or taken up the issue with the Central leadership. He himself is the biggest violator of party discipline.
Mrs Bhattal who was waiting for party General Secretary, Mr Moti Lal Vora to return to Delhi so that she could take up the issue with the in charge of Punjab Congress affairs.
At another level, a large number of her supporters are expected to gather here tomorrow. According to this Bhattal camp, at least ten Congress MLAs and several other leaders would be participating in a show of strength. These MLAs are Mr Amrik Singh Samrala, Mr Harmohinder Singh, Mr Avtar Singh Brar, Mr Rakesh Pande, Mr Dhanwant Singh Dhuri, Mr Gurbhachan Singh Dirba, Mr Harbans Lal Sirhind and Mr Tej Parkash, son of late Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh. Sources close to Mrs Bhattal claimed that majority of the leadership would be there to show who is the leader.
A senior leader who joined Mrs Bhattal in taking the State Congress President to task is former minister, Mr Brahm Mohindra. He said that the entire attempt of Capt Amarinder Singh is to demoralise and divide the party vertically. The party president has failed to call even a single meeting of the state executive. He summons the meeting of his close associates, some with dubious political record and then calls it a brain storming session. I live next door to him and am a member of the State Executive Committee, but I have never been invited to any brain storming session by these healthy brain fellows. The party no longer functions on democratic lines and Capt Amarinder Singh is making every attempt to help the rivals, Akali Dal and the BJP, he said.
Mr Mohindra gave two important examples. One, when he spoke about secularism about Capt Amarinder Singhs mistake of going to Akal Takht and later when former MLA Bir Devinder Singh spoke about financial emergency, both were asked to explain. Again, if Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, MP, from Hoshiarpur calls the All India Party Secretary, Mrs Santhosh Chaudhry a mad cap, he gets scot free and anyone whom Capt Amarinder Singh dislikes gets summons and notices and some are even thrown out of the party, he said.
The present crisis and a kind of revolt springs from one fact, the fight to capture the PCC presidentship has entered a no holds barred stage. Both the factions sure of themselves are trying hard to garner maximum support. Since Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the National president is not that strong, so her nominee, Capt Amarinder Singh has come under increased attack. The party would settle down only once this crucial issue is decided.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha
member and Vice-President of the Punjab Congress, Mr
Gurcharan Singh Galib today came out in defence of Capt
Amarinder Singh. In a statement here, Mr Galib said that
the party has progressed during the stewardship of Capt
Amarinder Singh and it showed good results during the Lok
Sabha elections. He claimed that the entire Congress
party is united and shall back the party president fully.
Those who oppose him do not understand his
contribution, he added.
Pay panel report
AMRITSAR, April 15 The Punjab government has agreed to discuss and finalise three important demands out of nine recommended by the fourth Punjab Pay Commission and two demands recently accepted and notified by the Central government.
The Punjab government is to follow the Central pattern in respect of demands and benefits to pensioners including family pensioners, Mr Avtar Singh, patron of the Punjab State Pensioners Confederation said here today. Demands of state pensioners include five per cent and 10 per cent increase in basic pension after the age of 65 years and 75 years instead of 70 years and 80 years as recommended by Fourth Pay Commission. 0.05 per cent increase in pension for every six monthly service for those having more than 33 years service, out-door reimbursement of expenses for those having chronic diseases, revised pension fixation formula as per central pattern for those who retired between 31.1.96 to 30.9.96.
The Punjab State Pensioners Confederation led by the president, Mr B.R. Kaushal, is slated to meet Finance Minister Kanwaljit Singh on April 17.
confederation of pensioners discounts the version of
certain so-called unions of the pensioners that the
Punjab government had accepted all pending demands of the
Punjab pensioners and termed these versions as false and
devoid of facts.
BJP divided on merger of
Abohar with Muktsar
ABOHAR, April 15 Even as there is no official word on the proposal to merge Abohar subdivision with Muktsar district, the BJP leadership here has virtually crossed swords on the issue.
While a section of the party is opposing the proposed merger fearing advance political ramifications, the BJP MLA from the Abohar Assembly segment is advocating for the merger move in the larger public interest.
A section of the party feels that the BJP may lose its support base, if the Hindu-dominated Abohar was with the Sikh dominated Muktsar district. Since the party relies on Hindu vote bank, they are fearing political crisis, if the move was given a green light. They are, instead, seeking district status for the sub-division and a resolution to this effect was adopted by the party some time ago.
However, the party MLA Dr Ram Kumar favours the merger of this sub-division with Muktsar as the present district headquarter at Ferozepore is almost at 120 km from here. The proposed merger, he says, will bring some relief to the local residents as Muktsar district headquarter is comparatively near 60 km.
Sticking to his stand,
the Abohar (district) BJP president, Mr Faquir Chand
Goyal, said,The MLA is free to express his personal
views, but the party is not in favour of Abohar being
merged with Muktsar. An outspoken BJP Mahila Morcha
leader Mrs Vijaylaxmi Bhadu went to the extent of saying
that the MLA was out to please the Akali Dal that has
engineered the demand. Meanwhile, sources in the
administration confirmed that the Punjab government had
sought its comments on the matter after several
sarpanches had raised the demand for the merger of Abohar
with Muktsar long ago. Subsequently, the
authorities in a reply submitted that the demand stemmed
from the fact that the present district was headquarters
at more distance than the Muktsar, the SDM, Mr
Darshan Singh Grewal revealed.
Teachers rendered jobless
CHANDIGARH, April 15 Come the annual examination and the summer break, 2000 college teachers are rendered jobless for a span of four to six months.
Teachers are covered under special categories of part time teaches, guest lecturers and temporary arrangements. They get salaries between Rs 3500 and 7000 per month. The Government of India and the University Grants Commission has specifically said that these teachers should be paid Rs 8000 plus half of DA and half of HRA.
The University also poses a special condition for affiliation to colleges that staff should be paid regular salaries. The PU calendar also says that colleges pay salaries regularly to its staff.
Interestingly, colleges which cover over 2000 permanent job seekers number 163. There are also 43 unaided colleges. These colleges are affiliated to Panjab University, Punjabi University and Guru Nanak Dev University.
The number of non-regulars teachers is constantly growing each year. The teachers under these categories are helpless because they have no joint forum, a part time teacher said.
These teachers are barred from the membership of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union. The constitution of the union does not provide for membership to non-regular teachers.
A senior leader of the PCCTU said that even a change in the union constitution in this regard would take approximately two years. A notice is sent to teachers in the first step, followed by a constitution of an amendment committee. Letters are also sent out to college principals before a general body is convened.
The biggest threat earlier in giving membership to part timers was that they were often misused by the college principals or managements, this affected the teachers interest, it was pointed out.
With the growing rate of vacancies, it will not be startling to see the PCCTU losing its popularity. The number of part-timers will be a big concern, a teacher pointed out.
Salaries of subject
experts for special courses can be questioned. Students
were charged huge amounts according to
existing fee structure for other courses saying
that it would contribute to the total staff
salaries. In practice staff was only paid for
six-seven months. Having worked as part time
teachers for six to seven months, they are
unsure of extension next year.
AISAD initiative on US Nagar
PATIALA, April 15 The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal is in the process of forming a grand alliance of like-minded political parties to put pressure on the Central Government not to include Udham Singh Nagar district in the proposed Uttaranchal state .
The party has extended invitations to the CPI, CPM, the MCPI, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Janata Dal, the Samajwadi Party, the Lok Dal, the Akali Dal (Mann), the Akali Dal (Democratic) and Rajewal and Ekta factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union to form a common agenda on the issue .
Party General Secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra, talking to TNS, said all political parties would meet in Chandigarh on April 17 on the issue. He said neither the ruling alliance nor the Congress had been invited.
Mr Chandumajra said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badals motives on Udham Singh Nagar appeared suspect as he had not taken any concrete step to get the district retained in Uttar Pradesh, despite being member of a committee formed to find a solution to the problem.
He said it was not possible to believe that the Defence Minister George Fernandes led Committee had not been able to meet once in two years. Similarly the Uttar Pradesh Government had passed a Bill on Udham Singh Nagar without taking the permission of the committee .
He said though Mr Badal had recently made a statement that he stood by his earlier stand on Udham Singh Nagar, the fact that Mr Badal had written a letter requesting for a meeting of the committee spoke volumes of his intentions as he could easily call a meeting as and when he wished due to his proximity with the central leadership .
Speaking about the Congress, the Akali leader said it was not being invited to the meeting due to its double speak on the issue . He said while the Uttar Pradesh Congress stood for Uttaranchal, the Punjab unit said it was against it and the Congress Parliamentary Party also did not have any firm stand on the issue .
He said following the meeting a common memorandum on behalf of all parties would be submitted to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, and the President. He said the memorandum was likely to stress on the assurance made by Home Minister L.K. Advani at the 12th Lok Sabha that the wishes of the people of the district would be taken into consideration before any decision on the issue.
The meeting would be
held in the house of former Speaker Ravi Inder Singh. Mr
Chandumajra said his party would formalise an action plan
on Udham Singh Nagar district as well as other demands of
CM receives new weekly train
AMRITSAR, April 15 The newly introduced Sealdah-Amritsar Express, which was flagged off on Thursday by the Union Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, was given a warm reception on its arrival at Amritsar railway station here this morning.
The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was the first to welcome the train along with other personalities, including Punjab ministers, MPs, MLA, prominent citizens and senior civil and railway officials. Mr Badal garlanded the train guard, driver and assistant driver.
He said that the railway authorities had assured that the Amritsar railway station would be made a model station by being equipped with the latest infrastructure and expansion of the existing platforms.
The Railway Minister had already augmented the work on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link and an amount of Rs 30 crore had been earmarked for this purpose during this year. Mr Badal informed work on the Beas-Tarn Taran and Ferozepore-Moga-Ludhiana- New Delhi rail route & would start soon. He claimed that a number of developmental projects were being undertaken in the state like construction of two big bridges on the Sutlej for linking major cities of Punjab, including Ludhiana, Ferozepore, Rahon and Nawanshahr.
He said that the Union Cabinets approval for an international airport at Amritsar had silenced leaders like Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who had been criticising the government. Lauding the decision of the Union Government to give international status to this historic city, Mr Badal said the move would change the economic scenario of the state.
The ceremony was also attended by Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike, legislators Mr OP Soni, Mrs Laxmi Kant Chawla, Mr Manmohan Singh Sathiala, Chairman, Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, and an MP Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur.
Mr V. Pchandan, Additional General Manager, Northern Railway, Mr Shanti Narayan, Member (Traffic), and Mr NK Goel, Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepore Division, also spoke.
This train has provided a fast link between the major cities of Punjab and Bihar and West Bengal. It will connect the holy cities of Amritsar, Patna Sahib and Varanasi. This weekly train will also stop en route at Jalandhar city, Ludhiana, Ambala Cantonment, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow, Varanasi, Patna junction, Patna Sahib, Jhajha, Jasidih and Asansol.
Our correspondent adds: Speaking at a separate function, Mr Badal said the Punjab Government had geared up to introduce and effect revolutionary growth in the field of information technology in view of the fast changing global scenario. He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a city college for women here on Saturday. He said that a software park had been set up at Mohali and an ultra-modern information system centre had come up at a cost of Rs 250 crore.
The inaugural function was attended by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Minister for Agriculture, Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike, MP, Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur, Captain Ajit Singh Rangretta, Chairman of the Punjab Scheduled Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation, and the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Narinderjit Singh.
Court official frees 55
CHANDIGARH, April 15 Following intervention by the Punjab and Haryana High Court here, 55 labourers working in a Ropar district brick-kiln allegedly without wages have been freed by a warrant officer.
In his report filed before the High Court, warrant officer N.S. Bedi stated that the labourers proceeded to their native place after their custody was handed over to the petitioner in the presence of police officials.
He also stated that the alleged detainees, when asked, had complained of unsuitable working conditions and non-payment of wages. Expressing a desire to leave the place, the labourers had stated that they were not willing to work there anymore, the warrant officer added. The allegations of atrocities being committed on them, he added, were, however, not true.
He also stated that the brick-kiln owner did not offer any resistance to forestall their departure after they were asked to pack up.The alleged detainees, he added, loaded their luggage in a truck and proceeded to their native place.
The warrant officer, it may be recalled, was appointed by Mr Justice R.L. Anand of the High Court on a petition seeking the release of 57 detainees filed by Mr Sunder Lal after he managed to escape. He had added that the detainees had been working for past two years.
Issuing notice to the
brick-kiln owner, Mr Kulwant Singh, Mr Justice Anand had
observed: After hearing the petitioner and on going
through the averments of the writ petition, supported by
an affidavit, I am of the opinion prima facie that the
persons mentioned in the writ petition are in illegal
custody of the respondents and their release has become
Fund shortage hits Kandi
HOSHIARPUR: Though the Central Water Commission and Punjab Pollution Control Board have cleared the extension of the 70.50-km-long Kandi Canal (stage II) a long time back, paucity of funds, has delayed the construction of this prestigious project.
Construction work can be started from RD 59.50 to RD 75 without any clearance from the Forest Department as the forest area does not fall in this track, but clearance for the onward area is required.
More than 300 employees of Kandi Canal Circle, including one Superintending Engineer, five Executive Engineers, 18 Sub Divisional Engineers, 96 Junior Engineers are sitting idle. The annual establishment expenditure of this circle is more than Rs 6.50 crore.
Kandi Canal (stage II) is proposed to be extended from Hoshiarpur to Balachaur (RD 59.50 km to RD 130 km), utilising the balance 258 cusecs of water and bringing 29,527 hectares of new Kandi tract area under irrigation, benefiting 218 villages of Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts.
Out of 29,527 hectares, an area of 8351 hectare would be irrigated through Naru Nangal, Gangowal, Pojewal and Bhaddi lift irrigation distributaries and the balance area through distribution network of 10 surface flow distributaries and lined water courses totalling 680 km.
The stage II alignment passes through 73 villages and land measuring 205 hectares would be acquired for its construction.
With the construction of stage II, there will be a 6213-tonne increase in the foodgrain yield per annum. Consequently, this would work out to an increase of Rs 3021 lakh.
The estimated cost of stage II is Rs 147.13 crore. On the completion of this project, irrigation water would increase the productivity of the land and bring an economic revolution in the rural areas. This in turn would reverse the migration of the rural population to the urban areas.
An area lying between Chandigarh, Hoshiarpur, Dasuya and Mukerian road and Shivalik foothills is known as the Kandi area. This tract is economically and socially the most backward area.
The land is fertile, if assured irrigation is provided. The farmers holdings in this area are small and they are not in a position to sink their tubewells and as such are dependent on rains.
A spokesman of the
department told The Tribune that the state government had
failed to allocate funds for the construction of second
phase of this project. It had approached the World Bank,
NABARD and AIBP (an agency of the Union Government) to
arrange for finance for this project. He said none had
replied positively so far.
Hepatitis B afflicts 4.50 cr
JALANDHAR, April 15 Nearly 10 to 12 per cent of doctors pathologists and the clinical laboratories staff are either suffering from Hepatitis-B or have turned carriers of the virus responsible for the disease.
Making this startling revelation during a chat with The Tribune Dr S.K. Tyagi, a Patna-based consultant, who was in the city to participate in a Doctors conference on Hepatitis-B and HIV today, said doctors and laboratory technicians constituted a high-risk group and were more prone to accidental infection anytime during their prolonged dealing with blood, blood products and clinical experiments carried out on patients. Ironically, most of the doctors including, particularly specialists in the field of gynaecology. pathology and laboratory technicians suffering from the disease are either innocently unaware of it or they do not want to divulge it before others, said Dr Tyagi.
Painting a gloomy picture of liver diseases in the country, Dr Tyagi said there were nearly 43 to 45 million people suffering from Hepatitis-B. Ten per cent of those having acquired the Hepatitis-B virus would eventually suffer from liver cirrhosis or the liver cancer. Of 70 per cent of all those suffering from cancer the world over were the ones who suffer from the cancer of liver. Once the virus was in the healthy body it might take 10-20 years to attain its worst form when one fine morning the patient discovers that his liver had stopped functioning, leading to his or her death.
The Hepatitis-B and HIV viruses generate more or less similar symptoms and were transmitted in human body in a related manner, mainly through due to unsafe sex and transfusion of unsafe blood and products related with blood. Though both end up in slow death, the only difference between the two diseases is that if the Hepatitis-B is preventable with the use of a vaccine, the HIV is not, said Dr Tyagi adding that safe sex and use of clean blood was the only potent weapon against the two deadly diseases.
The situation in case of the HIV positive cases, was too explosive as there were 40 lakh such known cases in the country. While the country has a large chunk of population which was acting as carrier of the virus but was not even aware of it and such people were responsible for proliferation of disease among other people. What we see on the surface is just the tip of the ice berg and it would be a wrong perception altogether to think that truck drivers alone were responsible for the problem, which is rampant in every part of the society, observe Dr S.P. Sondhi, of the Department of the Medicine of the Meerut Medical College.
He said Mumbai was
shaping out as the HIV capital of the country
as of 25000-30000 sex workers there, 50 per cent had been
tested to be HIV positive. See how much of damage
they can do to society even if we count that they deal
with four to five customers a day, and said.
Moreover, at the end of the year 2000, we will find
one of the three Mumbai housewives will be suffering from
the disease, he said.
Jethuke firing probe report
BATHINDA, April 15 Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, today said that magisterial probes report into the Jethuke firing in which two Dalit youths were killed by the police had been submitted and action on it would be taken shortly.
Addressing a press conference here this evening, he said that Mr Gurtej Singh SDM, who conducted the probe, covered all the aspects of situation which led to the killing of two Dalit youths in police firing and blocking of traffic on the Bathinda Patiala rail section by the BKU (Ekta) activists.
He, however, refused to disclose the details of the report and said that report would not be made public before any action taken on it.
Two Dalit youths were allegedly killed in police firing on January 31 at Jethuke village in this district. About 15 police men also received injuries when the BKU (Ekta) activists allegedly threw stones on them. Two police men also received fire arm injuries.
Mr Jaspal Singh said that number of schemes had been prepared for the overall development of Bathinda city. He added that main development schemes which would be given priority included the setting up transport nagar on 68 acres of land, construction of ring road and two other wide roads in the city to solve traffic problem.
He said that in the
second phase, the setting up dairy complex and pavement
of interior roads of the city would be taken up. He added
that efforts were being made to arrange funds for
providing sewerage and drinking water in the uncovered
areas of city.
Civic body breaks promise
PATHANKOT: The promises made by the local civic administration for bringing an improvement in the sanitary conditions of the city within a fortnight has been broken. The administration in the first week of December last year announced that the garbage and waste would be removed from the city quickly. Garbage dumps would be constructed on the outskirts of the city so that the residents live in a pollution-free atmosphere. But the sewage water and sullage often flows on the roads and streets. Discarded polythene bags add to sanitary problems.
For the year 2000-2001 the Municipal Council here has passed Rs 14 crore budget, according to Mr Satish Mahajan, President of the Council. The council has been put in the category of A. It has sufficient income to launch a comprehensive plan to improve sanitary conditions of the city. The officers and the ruling group of the council blame insanitary conditions on the shortage of sweepers in the city having a population of 2.5 lakh.
* * *
The statue of Capt G.S. Salaria, who laid his life while fighting rebels in Cango as part of UN peace-keeping force, was unveiled by a union minister, Mr Ajit Singh Kohar. The statue has been located in the vicinity of 21 Sub Area Park near Kathkapul. The District Planning Board has spent a sum of Rs 7 lakh on the statue.
Master Mohan Lal, Minister of Higher Education, was also present. He said that 114 Army men from Punjab were killed during Operation Vijay in Kargil. The next of the kin of defence personnel who laid down their lives in action have been given a sum of Rs 8 crore. About 62 kin of the killed soldiers have been given government jobs.
He further said the Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum would be set up soon. The museum is to cost Rs 2 crore. A comprehensive plan for this has been approved by the State Cabinet.
* * *
Mr R.K. Gupta Senior Superintendent Post office, said the Speed post service has been made available for New Delhi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar from the main post office at Pathankot.
He said new features have been added to the service. These include free pick up of the parcels, book now, pay later; discount on bulk mail; late hour booking; delivery on holidays, proof of delivery and same day delivery in the local area.
Mr Gupta said foolproof arrangements have been made to ensure time bound delivery of the parcels booked through the Speed Post service. He said there is provision for refund of speed post charges if the delivery is made after the fixed time limit.
* * *
After the introduction
of foetus tests, there has been a decline in birth rate
of girls as compared to boys. The Pathankot Municipal
Council has registered births of 2214 boys against 1609
girls last year (from January to November).
Police turns people-friendly
FATEHGARH SAHIB: The police has launched an innovative scheme for image building and to remove the public misconception of the police department. The police personnel have been specially trained to observe utmost courtesy, while dealing with the public. The scheme has been named shrimanji.
According to Mr Paramraj Singh Umranangal, SSP, the policemen have been instructed to address the people as shrimanji whenever they approach them or make a call for any business. The police is no longer the brute force that has been known for rude behaviour and high-handedness.
The SSP said the scheme was basically the brain-child of Mr Harpreet Singh Sidhu, SSP of Patiala, who had successfully launched it in that city. After getting fruitful results there, it was being introduced in Fatehgarh Sahib.
People in the district are in for a pleasant surprise whenever they visit or make a call, the policeman on duty would respond in a courteous manner. The move is likely to boost the sagging image of the force and instil confidence in the public which has appreciated this scheme and hope that the police force would maintain its people-friendly face for all times to come.
He stated that on the pattern of Patiala scheme, this plan for the convenience of the public has been introduced. At his office, four separate counters for verification of arms licence, driving licence, various types of certificates and for passports had been set up, where the people would deposit their documents and get a receipt. After 10 days they could collect their documents from the same window. This would avoid unnecessary harassment as well as save time.
The SSP hoped that the scheme would eliminate the menace of middleman as the public could now interact directly with the police for redressal of their grievances. Policemen have also been granted a weekly holiday for the first time, giving them the much-needed relief from their long, hectic duty. The police have also introduced bara khanna (common dinner) in which all officers and jawans would partake of common food at least once a month to develop a camaraderie in the force.
He has also initiated
various social projects like blood donation and medical
camps. Besides the marriage of 151 girls has already been
solemnised. The police has also erected memorials of
slain policemen in their respective villages. The
district is also looking after the wards and the families
of the martyrs. The SSP said these steps would definitely
strengthen the police-public relations and inspire
policemen to do their duty with honesty and dedication.
Centre in fix over naming of
AMRITSAR, April 15 The Railway Ministry is in a dilemma over the name of the newly launched Sealdah-Amritsar train. As per the advertisement inserted in various papers on April 13, Eastern Railway had named the train as Akal Takht Express. However, Northern Railway has deleted the name of Akal Takht in its advertisement, which appeared today, reportedly in the wake of protests lodged by a section of Sikhs. Senior officials of the Railway Department admitted that it had received many protest letters for naming the train after Akal Takht.
Meanwhile, Dr Surinder
Singh Shahi, a leader of the Congress party has raised
objection over the naming of train after Akal Takht. In a
press note issued here today, Dr Shahi said that due to
wrong policies, the name of Akal Takht had already been
dragged into a controversy. He said Sikhs could not
tolerate the denigration of Akal Takht.
Punjab Regiment celebrates
CHANDIGARH, April 15 The 9th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment celebrated its golden jubilee somewhere in the western sector. A number of functions, including a special sainik sammelan, horse show, brass band display, dare devil display and pagal gymkhana, besides a barakhana for jawans and a special family welfare meet for ladies were organised to mark the occasion.
A large number of retired and serving personnel as well as war widows attended the functions. The chief guest on the occasion was Brig R N Mishra, who had commanded the battalion during both, the 1962 Indo-China war as well and the 1965 Indo-Pak conflict. The Colonel of the Punjab Regiment, Maj Gen A. K. Awasthy was also present.
Raised on January 16, 1948, the battalion was deployed in Hyderabad in 1949 to protect the local populace. It successfully participated in combing and clearing operations in Nagaland during 1956 - 58, earning two Kirti Chakras and three Shaurya Chakras in the process.
In 1962, the battalion bore the brunt of the Chinese attack at Namka Chu. Though it lost three officers and 62 other ranks, the battalion was awarded three Maha Vir Chakras, three Vir Chakras and seven Sena Medals. The 1965 Indo-Pak war saw the battalion defending the Kalidhar Ridge in the Sector, withstanding numerous attacks and heavy artillery fire. For its actions, the battalion was awarded Battle Honour Kalidhar, besides one Vir Chakra, three Sena Medals and several commendation cards.
During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the battalion, whilst deployed in the Ranian sector thwarted all attempts by the enemy for over two days, with the award of Theatre Honour Punjab, one Maha Vir Chakra, five Vir Chakras and two Sena Medals bearing testimony to its gallantry.
The battalion has also
experienced the rigours of manning the Line of Control in
the Kargil Sector facing intense enemy artillery
shelling, earning the Northern Army Commanders
Appreciation Certificate and one Yudh Seva Medal besides
Plea for Himachal Regiment
NANGAL, April 15 Mr Suresh Chandel, MP from Hamirpur, has appealed to the Centre to establish a separate Himachal Regiment in view of bravery displayed by soldiers belonging to the state during the Kargil conflict.
Mr Chandel who earlier visited the parents of the late Capt Amol Kalia also demanded an increase in the quota for soldiers from the state.
Mr Chandel said he had requested the Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, to get various demands of soldiers implemented.
Mr Advani assured him that the necessary steps would be taken to fulfil these demands.
He said efforts were
being made to explore the hydroelectric potential of the
state. During the past one year, the Dhumal Government
had signed agreements to generate 4200 mw of electricity
per annum, where as the previous governments finalised
projects for generating only 3200 mw during the past 50
Sepoy cremated with full
NAWANSHAHR, April 15 Sepoy Baljinder Singh (19) of 17 Sikh Tiger Battalion who died in cross-firing in Nowshera sector on April 14 was cremated at his native village, Gulpur, about 15 km from here, today with full military honours.
Major Mohinderpal Singh
Nakkra, Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare, Hoshiarpur, laid
a wreath on behalf of Brig Kuldip Singh Kahlon. Mr Nand
Lal, MLA, Mr Pritam Singh Johal, SDM, Mr S.P. Joshi, DSP,
Balachaur, also paid tributes to the martyr. Capt Amarjit
Singh, father of the martyr, lit the pyre.
'Make Tejinderpal board
PATIALA, April 15 The Sikh Intelligentsia Forum of Punjabi University today said Mr Tejinderpal Singh Sandhu, son of a former Punjab Subordinate Services Board Chairman Jasdev Singh Sandhu, should be made Chairman of the board after the sudden demise of his father.
Disclosing this, the forum patron, Mr Kulwant Singh Grewal, said a resolution to this effect was passed at a meeting of the forum members. Mr Tajinderpal Singh Sandhu is an advocate and also Managing Director of cooperative banks.
Mr Grewal said all members of the forum felt that this would be a true tribute to J.S. Sandhu. He said the meeting was held under the chairmanship of Dr D.S. Dhillon and condoled the sudden death of the former chairman who was described as an intellectual Akali politician known for his honesty and generosity.
Workshop on paediatric oncology
LUDHIANA, April 15 Each year 30,000 to 40,000 new cases of cancer amongst children between the age group of 0 to 12 years are being reported in India.
This was disclosed by Dr Shripad D. Banavali of the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, while speaking during the inaugural function of the two-day long workshop on Practical Paediatric Oncology organised at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here today. The workshop has inaugurated by Mr Prem Nathgupta, secretary of the managing society of the DMC.
This workshop is being organised to develop DMC as a local centre for cancer treatment to acquaint the practitioner with the latest developments in this field and to increase awareness so that the disease can be diagnosed early and then treated properly.
Speaking on the
occasion, Dr Daljit Singh, paediatrician at DMC also
informed that during the past few years the cancer rate
in children had risen drastically and acute leukaemia
contributed to almost 30-35 per cent of all cancers. He
said that there was however, need for standardising the
treatment protocol. Various experts in the field from all
over the country are participating in this workshop,
informed Dr G.S. Wander, Medical Superintendent of the
Protest against liquor vend
BATHINDA, April 15 Hundreds of activists of the Khooni Phatak Sangharsh Committee and residents of Partap Nagar area today staged a dharna in protest against the opening of a liquor vend in the residential area by the authorities concerned.
Mr M.M. Behl, General Secretary of the committee, said that the dharna would continue till the liquor vend, which was opened today, was closed.
He pointed out that
authorities concerned had allowed the liquor contractors
to open the vend in the residential area. Moreover, the
liquor vend had been opened on that road which led to
religious places. The opening of the liquor vend would
affect the law and order situation in the area.
PSEB to seize motors of power
BATHINDA, April 15 The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities have decided to seize the electrical motors and other allied equipment of the power thieves during the coming paddy season to check electricity thefts.
Official sources said that electric motors and allied equipments would be returned to unscrupulous consumers only after the paddy season. Apart from seizing the electrical motors and allied equipments, criminal cases would also be registered against the unauthorised power consumers.
Mr R.S. Dhillon, Chief Engineer (Operation), West Zone, PSEB, said that special gangs would be constituted to check the theft of electricity. All electricity meters would be provided with seals during the paddy reason.
He added that during a special drive launched in January, 2000, about 13,527 cases of power theft were detected and penalty worth Rs 262 lakh was imposed. So far, Rs 113 lakh had been recovered out of a total fine imposed on power stealers.
The West Zone had also earned Rs 146 lakh from the extra load of electricity declared by the consumers under the voluntary disclosure scheme, he added.
He pointed out that to meet the power demand in the coming summer and paddy season and to give relief to the overloaded system, the PSEB had commissioned 220 KV substation at Mansa, while two more substations one at Bajakhana and one at Ghubaya were construction.
Apart from it, a special campaign had been launched to maintain grid sub station and 11 KV lines in the first phase.
About 24000 shunt capacitors had also been provided at 11 KV transformers which would improve voltage regulation and reduce the damage rate of the transformers.
Mentally retarded woman raped
ABOHAR, April 15 A mentally retarded woman was allegedly raped by a Home Guard jawan here on the night of April 13. The police has registered a case against the accused, Roshan Lal.
He has not been arrested so for.
Enquiries revealed that the victim, in her early thirties was a native of Orissa with no relative to look after her. As the victim was not in a position to give her statement, the police has registered a case on the basis of the eyewitness account given by Parmod Kumar, a tea stall owner. The tea seller in his statement alleged that Roshan Lal took the victim to a public toilet near the Jhansi Market and raped her.
The police had
difficulty in registering the case due to the inability
of the victim to narrate the incident. However, on the
intervention of a BJP Mahila Morcha leader, Mrs Vijay
Laxmi Bhadu, the police took the woman for a medical
examination and recorded the statement of the eyewitness.
Two killed in accident
KAPURTHALA, April 15 Two persons were killed in a scooter-train accident near Ibban village at an unmanned level crossing here this morning.
The dead have been identified as Wadala Kalan villages Nambardar Avtar Singh(50) and a mason Bhajan Singh of Ibban village.
According to the railway police, both deceased were coming from Ibban village on a scooter and when they were crossing the unmanned railway crossing it was hit by a train coming from Jalandhar side resulting in their death of both scooter riders.
Senior teachers not
AMRITSAR, April 15 The Punjab Government has prepared a list of 1,100 B.Ed. teachers to promote them as Lecturers but names of senior B.Ed teachers have not been included, Mr Joginder Singh Gill, Government Teachers Union, said here today.
According to Mr Tota Singh, Education Minister, 500 B.Ed. teachers would be promoted in the second list. Mr Joginder Singh regretted that junior B.Ed. teachers were being promoted before senior teachers. He termed this as discriminatory.
Wheat arrivals commence
LUDHIANA, April 15 Arrangements for the procurement of wheat have been made and the arrival of wheat in markets has begun.
This was announced by Mr Sohan Singh Thandal, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, while addressing a meeting of the district food and civil supplies while addressing a meeting of the district food and civil supplies controllers of Patiala and Ferozepore divisions held here yesterday to review the arrangements.
Earlier, the minister visited Khanna to inspect the wheat procurement arrangements.
The minister directed the officers to visit the mandis daily to supervise wheat procurement and solve problems of farmers on the spot.
The minister said in view of the bumper wheat crop this year, he expected the procurement to cross the target of 14 lakh tonnes.
The PDS system was also reviewed at the meeting and the minister directed proper distribution of kerosene and sugar among members of weaker sections.
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