|Thursday, May 11, 2000,
Sacked Jathedar may lose granthi
University Registrar summoned
PTAs are virtually running schools
PIDB, PWD row over projects
Of missed opportunities
Selection to IAS, PCS resent
CTU-Punjab row disrupts bus
Amarinder, Bhattal patch up?
cant be guru, says book
Herding of DSGMC
Row over laying of sewer
MO not delivered even after 4
Residents hot up as cool of pool
Health staff gesture to war heroes
Punsup staff to hold stir
Punjab, Army to set up military
SDEs resent guidelines
PSEB panel not to take part in
Be punctual, Badal tells doctors,
Woman alleges coercion by SHO
Police misleading public: KMC
Gurdev Badal denies knowing Karam
Parishad selects 192 students
Implement uniform ST for gold:
Firm directed to pay Rs 1,000
Jathedar may lose granthi job
AMRITSAR, May 10 Mr Balbir Singh Pannu, senior vice-president, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee will give a dissenting note when the executive committee endorses the minutes of its previous meeting, held on March 28, in which Giani Puran Singh was unceremoniously removed as Jathedar Akal Takht, in its forthcoming meeting, scheduled for tomorrow.
Mr Pannu, Mr Hardalbir Singh Shah, general secretary SGPC and six other executive members had stayed away from the meeting which had sacked Giani Puran Singh as Jathedar.
Talking to TNS, Mr Pannu said he would also give a dissenting note if the services of Giani Puran Singh are terminated as granthi. He said there was no charge against Giani Puran Singh, who performed his duty as granthi, Golden Temple. He was wrongly transferred to the Gurdwara at Muktsar as there is a tradition that a granthi of the Golden Temple could not be transferred anywhere.
Mr Pannu said after appointment as granthi at the Golden Temple an installation ceremony was held. This tradition is not followed in case of appointment of granthis at other gurdwaras. Mr Pannu said while Giani Puran Singh might have violated maryada (Sikh tradition) as Jathedar Akal Takht his record as granthi, Golden Temple was absolutely clean.
He said ever the unceremonial removal of Giani Puran Singh as Jathedar was objectionable as he was a nominee of the ruling party. His sack has sent wrong signals in panthic circles, he said.
Tomorrows executive meeting is likely to be stormy with members of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and SAD (Mann) likely to raise the issue of misappropriation of funds, nominations of members to SGPC run trusts and advancing of huge amounts to contractors for construction of buildings.
Mr Pannu, a confidant of Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Cooperation Minister, may also raise certain embarrassing issues.
The executive meeting is the first after the death of Harpreet Kaur, daughter of the SGPC chief, in mysterious circumstances. Many panthic leaders including some from the ruling party, have sought the resignation of Bibi Jagir Kaur as SGPC chief. Some leaders have also suggested appointment of a working president of the SGPC as Bibi Jagir Kaur does not devote sufficient time to SGPC affairs.
The meeting might also discuss the RSS issue, which has assumed alarming proportions in the wake of an open threat by the Dal Khalsa, SAD (Amritsar) and human rights and democratic front activists that they will physically expel activists of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat from rural areas unless they stop anti-Sikh propaganda.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Sikh clergy will also take up the issue of RSS in its forthcoming meeting proposed to be held at the Akal Takht on May 14.
The SHSAD and SAD (Amritsar) will also ask Bibi Jagir Kaur to resign as SGPC chief till completion of the inquiry into the death of her daughter.
Some members of the ruling SAD (Asr) and SHSAD might also urge that a sympathetic view be taken in the case of Giani Puran Singh and he be reinstated as granthi Golden Temple.
Earlier, there was a move that Giani Puran Singh take over as head granthi Gurdwara Tarn Taran Sahib. However, the plan did not fructify.
CHANDIGARH, May 10 A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, consisting of Chief Justice A.B. Sahariya and Mr Justice V.K. Bali today directed the Registrar of Baba Farid University, Faridkot, to appear in person and produce the relevant records pertaining to the affiliation of Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Ayurvedic Medical College, Moga, on the next date of hearing.
In a civil writ petition filed by Mr Rajesh Kumar along with other students of the medical college at Moga, the petitioners alleged that they got admission to the above said college for the Bachelor or Ayurvedic Medical Sciences course which was spread over for five and a half years. The degree course of the petitioners started in 1996 but until now exams had been conducted for the first professional only despite a lapse of four years.
Counsel for the petitioners pleaded that now after three years the students had come to know that since the college was not affiliated to any university in the state of Punjab and was not recognised by the Central Council of Indian Medicines, the college authorities were not in a position to conduct the examinations. However, the stand taken by the college was that they had applied for affiliation to the universities concerned from time to time. Counsel for the university, relying on the inspection report conducted by the Baba Farid University on September 24, 1999, submitted that the college did not meet the minimum standards required for affiliation.
Counsel for the petitioners argued that a letter dated August 16, 1999, written by the Central Council of Indian Medicines to the Registrar of the university showed that the facilities available at the college were sufficient to meet the requirement of the CCIM and granted approval for admission to another 30 students.
Taking strong exception and serious view of the matter keeping in mind career of the students, the Division Bench directed the Registrar of the university to appear in person with relevant record pertaining to the affiliation of the college on May 22.
Notice to Chief Secretary on jobs to handicapped
Tribune News Services Adds: Issuing notice of motion to the Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann, for August 10, Mr Justice V.S. Aggarwal of the High Court today asked him to show cause why proceedings for contempt be not drawn for the alleged violation of directions regarding employment for the physically handicapped.
Mr Justice Aggarwal, however, granted the respondent exemption from personal appearance till further orders.
non-implementation of the High Court order dated December
17, 1997, the petitioner, Jagat Singh of Sangrur
district, and two others had earlier stated that the
advertisement for filling posts for the handicapped in
the departments was to be issued within a month and the
entire process of selection and appointment was to be
completed within the next two months but the directions
had not been complied with.
virtually running schools
PATIALA, May 10 The Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) formed with the purpose of coordinating between parents and teachers in government schools of Punjab have acquired the status of fund collecting associations which is virtually running schools on a day-to-day basis.
An increase in the number of schools in the state as well as a disproportionate increase in the contingency fund means that government schools from the primary to the higher secondary level , have to depend on PTAs for their day-to- day expenses as well as development of the school .
Presently the PTAs in various schools are not only paying for the daily requirements like chalk but also paying electricity bills and hiring of sweepers , gardeners and even part-time teachers where the studies of students are suffering because vacant post have not been filled up by the government. The associations have made their biggest contribution in building upon the basic infrastructure provided in government schools which has seen many class rooms , cycle sheds , grounds and other facilities being created in many schools from PTA funds .
Surprisingly the amount taken by most schools for PTA fund is sometimes more than the annual fee of the students . At the senior secondary level the annual charges work out at around Rs 43, besides monthly amalgamated fund of around Rs 5 per month . The PTA in case of senior secondary schools works out between Rs 100 to Rs 150 and is lower in case of middle and primary schools. Though membership of the fund is voluntary , schools cover most students under it
A visit to any senior secondary school in the district and outside reveals the functioning of the PTA . For instance at Senior Secondary School at Dakala the PTA is covering the failure of the government in not providing any sweeper or gardener School sources said earlier the PTA had also hired two part-time teachers to teach history and social science. Inquiries revealed that the school had been given a contingency fund of Rs. 650 last year. We chose to buy revenue tickets from this amount to affix on correspondence to the department, said a school official.
He said the PTA was bearing all expenditure for the maintenance of the school building and keeping part-time employees besides getting two more classrooms constructed. He said around Rs 70,000 was collected every year from the PTA for such expenses .
There are many other school where the entire complexion of the institutions has been changed due to the PTA. At Gajjumajra Senior Secondary School classrooms have been constructed from PTA funds. At Alowal the PTA has constructed a cycle shed, besides getting a play ground filled and levelled. Similarly the school at Choura had been also developed on similar lines . In the cities the development is even more dramatic. At Patiala the Pheelkhana school has constructed a new wing from PTA funds .
However, PTA funds have also created a sense of politics in government schools and there are regular complaints of misappropriation of funds by their managers . Others have also urged that the government takes a more substantial role in the management of government schools by providing them contingency funds for day-to-day expenditure as well as infrastructure development to ensure that funds collected under the PTA head are not misused and the association sticks to its role of being a coordinator between the parents and the teachers .
The Education Department
however, is not much perturbed at schools receiving a
negligible contingency fund . District Education Officer
(Secondary) Kharak Singh Cheema said the contingency
fundbeing received right now was more than than given
previously. He said senior secondary school were being
given Rs 2,00 per year as contingency and high schools Rs
1,000 per year. He said the load on PTAs for hiring
temporary staff would decrease as and when posts were
created by the government adding 7,200 posts for teachers
would be filled up soon.DEO (Primary) Harnam Singh Bajaj
said PTA funds in government schools were collected in an
above board manner and were subject to internal auditing.
row over projects resolved
CHANDIGARH, May 10 The ongoing tussle between the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board(PIDB) and the Public Works Department (B and R) has been resolved with the intervention of the Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann.
At least two meetings were held to resolve the stand off between the two organisations. In fact, informed sources said that the PWD Minister, Mr Sucha Singh Langah took a firm stand and told the authorities concerned clearly that he would like that all proposed new projects should be executed through the PWD. Sources said that such a firm stand by the Minister made the Chief Secretary intervene and resolve the issue on priority.
When contacted, Mr Sucha Singh confirmed that two meetings were held with the Chief Secretary and all issues have been resolved.He said that the PWD would not only execute the projects but also supervise and maintain quality control. The Department would submit reports on weekly basis pertaining to the progress of projects to the technical committee of the PIDB headed by the Chief Secretary.
The PWD authorities had given an undertaking that all projects would be completed within a stipulated period. All cash flow for the projects would be routed through the board, Mr Sucha Singh said.
A meeting for finalising the projects and to work out other details has been called tomorrow by the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. The Minister concerned, Secretaries of the department concerned and other officials would participate in the meeting.
Though the Board has planned an investment of Rs 2000 crore in the state in the next two years on various projects including the widening of the Zirakpur-Patiala-Sangrur Road and four-laning of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana-Moga, the Chandigarh-Ropar-Nawanshahr road and some fly over-bridge and bridges over certain rivers.
Mr Sucha Singh told The Tribune that in the first phase three projects including four-laning of the Chandigarh-Moga-Ludhiana road and the Khanna-Machhiwara-Rahon road and the Zirakpur-Patiala-Sangrur road would be taken up in the first phase.
Earlier, the various
associations of PWD employees including the
Sub-Divisional Engineers Association had strongly
protested against the alleged handing over the execution
of the projects to the Board and taken up the matter with
the Minister and the others concerned in the Punjab
Government.The Association had submitted a memorandum to
the Government in this connection.
CHANDIGARH The two ruling coalition partners, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) were ecstatic when Punjab Vidhan Sabha poll results were announced in February 1997.
With three years gone and two more to go, what will be the present government remembered for at the end of its term?
This casual question by The Tribune to a senior Cabinet-rank minister evoked an unusual answer: For missed opportunities.
Are you serious?
Without blinking he said: Yes, I am. His candid admission sums it all.
Whatever be its flaws (including cash and carry policies), the Congress in power (1992-1997) can be credited with the turnaround it brought in terrorism and ushered in peace. The SAD-BJP has laid the foundation of big projects, which have long gestation period. But has it addressed the immediate needs and problems of the common man?
In three years, the SAD- BJP government has given slogans for many things like providing corruption-free administration (part of its common minimum programme) is not among them. Badgering and belittling it has received all this time is more from within than outside. There literally is no opposition from the Congress Party, a House divided among itself.
Governments occasionally find excuses and alibis either for doing, dodging or not doing anything. The present out-fit is no exception to this political syndrome where theatrics and populism have gone hand-in-hand. The occasional chest-thumping that it follows conscience, and not polls, sounds hollow.
Going by the governments agenda, while on the trail of the present government, The Tribune found much substance in the innocuous answer for missed opportunities, the Minister gave.
One of the February 97 agenda promises was A special commission of Inquiry, headed by a retired judge, to expose the Congress hand behind the violence in Punjab. One has not heard of that.
Even the institution of the Lok Pal has failed to deliver. Not only was the incumbent removed by the High Court, it also held void all corruption cases inquired into by the Lok Pal against former Congress ministers. There is no Lok Pal at present .
In between corruption struck deeper roots. No sangat darshan, no publicly naming of corrupt officers or even rewards scheme for exposing corrupt officials yielded any results. Reorganisation of the states Department of Vigilance at best, has received only cosmetic touches.
Though in the preamble to the common minimum programme, there is a telling comment on corruption during the Congress rule, the present government itself, seemingly, has not come clean out of accusations or undone what it accused the Congress of. In fact, the Government feels insecure and remains inconsistent in its actions and reactions to men and matters.
The government often talks of divisive politics of the Congress, resulting into driving of a communal wedge between the Sikhs and Hindus. How about its own silence of convenience (or connivance) on the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, quietly walking into rural Punjab? The RSS issue now threatens to destabilise communal harmony and divide the Sikhs and their institutions. So far, there have been only individual responses. There has been no institutional reaction either from the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) or the SAD to the crises which have erupted now, or in the past.
It is widely believed and perceived that the ruling coalitions institutional silence will eventually pave the way for the radicals and push out the moderates, who now run the government. The former have already petitioned Akal Takht, which will discuss the RSS issue in Amritsar on May 14.
As one surveys the religio-political scene, one finds that a series of crises, mostly man-made, have persistently diverted the governments attention from governance engaging it to do fire-fighting. Consequently, all that matters to the legislators and SGPC members is the politics of survival.
So strident have been the religio-political swings that in these past three years the SGPC and Akal Takht, on the one hand, and the SGPC and other organisations, namely, the Sant Samaj, the so-called intellectuals etc, on the other hand, have been working at cross-purposes on various issues.
May these be the All-India Gurdwara Act, langar, calendar, appointment, role and functions of the Jathedars of various Takhts, following of rehat-maryada, definition of a Sikh or even RSS controversy. There is no consensus. This has resulted in the Panthic base getting eroded and weakened. There is a crisis of identity on the horizon. Yet there is no inbuilt mechanism in existence either in the SGPC or the SAD to respond or to work out an agreeable solution to contentious issues. There is some merit when it is said the SAD without the SGPC is Khali (empty) Dal. The two have symbiotic relationship. Their housekeeping needs improvement.
to IAS, PCS resent government delay
CHANDIGARH, May 10 A section of PCS officers in Punjab is up in arms against the State Government for delaying deliberately their selection to the IAS cadre.
A meeting for the selection was held in this connection in Delhi on May 8. A team of officers led by the Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann participated in the meeting. However, no decision for the selection was taken at the meeting as the Punjab officers asked for postponing the meeting as seniority of the PCS officers in the state required to be recast in the light of the Janjua case judgement.
Informed sources said that eight PCS officers from Punjab were to be selected for the IAS cadre. On the direction given by the Central Administrative Tribunal, the Punjab Government had sent a panel of 27 names from the PCS cadre on the basis of seniority for the selection of eight persons to the select committee. Apart from a member of the Union Public Service Commission, the committee has one representative of the Union Home Ministry and one of the Union Personnel Ministry as its members. Besides the Punjab Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner (Revenue) and Financial Commissioner (Development), Punjab are also members of the committee.
Certain affected PCS officers told The Tribune today that there was no need to recast the seniority of PCS officers in Punjab. They alleged that as the Government wanted to accommodate two PCS officers,who are said to be very close to the Government, selection process had been delayed under one pretext or other.
These affected PCS officers said that they had no objection if the Government wanted its favourites but it should at least do justice to the officers who were eligible to be considered for the selection. They said that one of the PCS officers opposing the holding of the meeting of the select committee had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court and his plea for deciding the issue of seniority had already been rejected. Later the same officer went to the Supreme Court which did not grant any stay against holding the meeting of the Select Committee on May 8.
In spite of this, the Punjab Government authorities concerned took a plea at May 8 meeting that the seniority required to be recast. Certain PCS officers said that, in fact, the meeting of select committee was fixed after a gap of three years. Earlier, such meeting,which otherwise is mandatory to be held under the Regulation 5 of IAS (Appointment by Promotion) Regulation of 1955 as amended in December 1997 every year, was held in March 1997.
As the Government dilly-dallied over the convening of the meeting for three years, Mrs Amrita Atwal, Additional Secretary Food and Supplies, moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which directed the Government to hold the meeting of the select committee within two months and ordered to fill the 8 vacancies of the IAS from the PCS by March 25 but this order was not implemented.
Later the State Government filed an application with the CAT that some more time may be given to hold the meeting and one of the Assistants of the Chief Secretarys office gave an undertaking that the government would hold the meeting within 15 days. The CAT allowed the holding of the meeting by April 30. However, meeting was fixed on May 8 as UPSC authorities, who earlier had proposed to hold the meeting on April 19 and then again on May 1, insisted that meeting should be held at the earliest. However, now May 8 meeting, which was held but no appointment was made, has been postponed indefinitely.Some of the affected officers said that they had approached the State Government authorities concerned a number of times but justice had eluded them so far.
They said that why the panel of names for selection purpose was forwarded to select committee if there was any dispute of seniority . Moreover there was no need for holding the meeting in Delhi and the authorities concerned should have conveyed to all concerned in Delhi that the meeting of May 8 should be postponed. The PCS officers concerned said that in fact there was no dispute of seniority at any stage and matter was being kept pending for obvious reasons.
They said that the split
in the PCS Officers Association was imminent over this
issue as the Association had failed to safeguard the
interests of its members. The Government should
understand that the division in the ranks of the PCS
cadre would not be in the interest of the state and it
should intervene immediately to set the things right and
to give the PCS officers concerned their due at the
row disrupts bus service
CHANDIGARH, May 10 Impounding of an air-conditioned bus belonging to a Punjab BJP MLA by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking has snowballed into a major controversy leading to the suspension of bus service between Punjab and Chandigarh for the last two days.
Though the Secretary, Transport (Punjab), Mrs Tejinder Kaur, said the dispute had been amicably resolved, the bus service had not been resumed until late in the evening.
It all started on May 8, the day a meeting was convened to finalise inter-state agreements for bus services between Punjab and Chandigarh.
The Punjab Government had recently issued an Inter-State Bus Permit to Mr Jagdish Sawhney, a BJP MLA from Gurdaspur district, to run an air-conditioned bus between Amritsar and Chandigarh. The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, however, refused to honour this permit on the plea that it does not grant permits to any air-conditioned bus.
The Punjab Governments reasoning was that even if Chandigarh does not issue Inter-State Permits to air-conditioned coaches, it should allow the bus to operate by counter-signing the permit as has been the practice in other states and union territories.
The tussle began when Chandigarh impounded the bus belonging to Mr Sawhney. In retaliation Punjab started impounding all CTU buses plying in the state. The CTU also reacted and impounded all Punjab buses in Chandigarh territory leading to chaos and total disruption of bus service.
According to Mrs Tejinder Kaur, a decision was taken to release all buses after she had talks with her counterparts in Chandigarh. The delay in the resumption of bus services was due to be some legal hitches, she said.
A recent Supreme Court order had taken away the powers from the State Transport Departments for compounding offences. Compounding can only be done by the Chief Judicial Magistrates. As such all CTU buses impounded by Punjab had to released on sapurdari resulting in the delay.
Hopefully, the services would become normal within a day or two. Most of the buses have been released by both Punjab and the CTU. But we are taking up this matter with the Governor of Punjab-cum-Administrator of Chandigarh, Mrs Tejinder Kaur said.
As a result of this tussle thousands of passengers were stranded here and at various places in Punjab because of total suspension of services to and from Chandigarh.
Punjab, however, maintains that it was the fault of Chandigarh as it never filed any objection when a public notice was issued for the grant of inter-state permit to the bus. The notice was published in newspapers. Subsequently, it was notified in the gazette again inviting any objections to the grant of permit.
Bhattal patch up?
SANGRUR, May 10 Political differences between the Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, Capt Amarinder Singh, and former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today seemed to have been resolved when both stalwarts of the PPCC shared the dais and addressed a dharna here.
The dharna was organised by the Congress as part of its statewide dharnas at the district headquarters against the policies and programmes of the government in front of the Deputy Commissioners office here.
On the other hand, supporters of Capt Amarinder Singh and Mrs Bhattal continued to raise slogans in favour of their respective leaders.
However, Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Jasbir Singh, general secretary of the PPCC held the newspapers responsible for making a hue and cry about the differences between both leaders. Both claimed that there were no differences in the party and they were united.
The speakers at the dharna held the Badal government responsible for the economic crisis, unemployment and corruption in the state. Some leaders also accused Mr Parkash Singh Badal of not fulfilling promises made in the manifesto during the Assembly elections.
Mrs Bhattal said the Congress was observing a black day of the Badal government today as it had been committing excesses on various sections of the society in one way or the other.
Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, accused Mr Badal for making the state bankrupt. He dubbed Mr Badal as anti-farmer and anti-poor.
Mr Santokh Singh Randhawa said Mr Badal should resign as he had failed in stopping the hike in prices of fertilisers, diesel and other essential commodities.
Among others who addressed the gathering included Mr Avtar Henry, MLA, Pt Som Dutt, a former MLA, Mr Gurcharan Singh Dirba, district president of the Sangrur DCC, and Mr Arvind Khanna, a Congress leader. Mr Bhagwan Dass Arora, MLA, Sunam, Mrs Sajida Begum and Mr Brij Lal Goyal, both former MLAs, were also present on the occasion.
JALANDHAR, May 10 (PTI) Close on the heels of the controversy regarding the perceived RSS designs on the ideological roots of Sikhism, the communitys think-tanks have now trained their guns at the Namdhari sect for allegedly using sacrilegious language in a book and claiming that the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib cannot be a Guru of the Sikhs.Akhand Kirtani Jatha International and Social and Panthic Watchdog Group, in separate statements issued here, said the book Purakh Guru published by Sarb Hind Namdhari Darbar, Bhaini Sahib contains claims that the Guru Granth Sahib and the panj pyaras (five beloved ones) of 10th Guru Gobind Singh were never accorded the status of a Guru.
Both organisations demanded that the Punjab Government immediately impose a ban on the book and ask the Namdhari sect to withdraw it from the market.
Not only has the books contents hurt the Sikh sentiments but a sacrilege has been committed through use of objectionable language, Prof Gurmukh Singh, one of the five members of the Akhand Kirtani Jathas top decision making panel said.
The Social and Panthic Watchdog Groups statement was accompanied by a copy of the book which says Guru can only be an individual, not a granth or panth, adding that those believed the scriptures were Guru were flush with money and other resources, which they employed to propagate falsehood.
The group took particular objection to a statement in the book that it is not difficult to sway people into celebrating the Guru Granth Sahib gaddi diwas or believe in the guruship of the scriptures as Sikh shrines are centred around the idea of Guru Granth Sahib as the Guru.
of DSGMC members decried
CHANDIGARH, May 10 Several Akali MLAs have reacted strongly to the news appearing in these columns today that as many as 15 members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee have been herded to Nangal.
Talking to The Tribune former Ministers, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, said this amounted to gross government interference in the religious affairs of the Sikhs. Condemning the manner in which members had been kept prisoners when DSGPC elections are round the corner was nothing but blatant misuse of political and administrative power by the ruling Akali Dal and its President.
The two MLAs were joined by some others as well in taking cognizance of the incident. They dubbed the holding of the election for the management of the gurdwaras in Delhi as a farce in view of the news appearing in The Tribune today.
by the government in religious affairs has been main
plank of the Akali politics all these decades. Now
intoxicated by power, the ruling Akali leadership was
making a serious mistake, thereby, inviting future
non-Akali governments to follow suit, said Mr
Row over laying of sewer
JALANDHAR, May 10 A revelation has been made by the district administration that non-scheduled castes people and others exerted pressure on the officials concerned to stop the laying of a sewer meant for taking disposable water from a Scheduled Caste locality to the common village pond in Laroi village near Bhogpur.
The issue of laying a sewer in the predominantly Jat Sikh village took a serious turn when some upper caste people had allegedly disrupted the pipeline work about two weeks ago, saying that they did not want to share the pond with Scheduled Castes, who live on the eastern side of the village. As the pond was situated on the eastern side, the main contention of the upper Castes was that the flow of water could not be towards the low-lying Scheduled Caste colony. So much so, that ultimately the laying of the sewer had to be undertaken by the district administration by imposing Section 144 of the Cr. PC. It is rarely that Section 144 of the Cr. PC is used for any developmental work.
A report prepared by the district administration for further submission to the National Human Rights Commission, which had issued a notice to the administration in this regard, has pointed out that the SDM and other officials were pressured by some people, including the non-SC residents of the village,but all such pressures were effectively resisted by the administration, which resulted in completion of the work.
The pipeline was aimed at eliminating the problem of accumulation of dirty water in the Scheduled Caste area during monsoon. Since the upper caste people were averse to any overground channel, an amount of Rs 4.72 lakh was allotted by the district administration to the Panchayati Raj Department for laying of an underground disposal pipe under the Employment Assurance Scheme.
But, this was also
allegedly objected to by the upper caste people, mostly
Jat Sikhs of the village. This had led to a sharp
division of residents on communal lines and the Schedule
Castes had made a representation before the District
Magistrate, Mr Som Parkash, who in turn visited the spot
and directed the SHO, Bhogpur on March 14, to make
security arrangements in the wake of the tension between
the two communities and to ensure the completion of work,
related with the laying of pipeline work. Even after
this, the tension refused to die down, forcing the
administration to impose the prohibitory orders, which
were revoked by the SDM on April 6 after completion of
delivered even after 4 months
PHAGWARA, May 10 A money order (MO) has not reached its destination even after four months.
Ram Onkar, an employee at a military farm in Bir Sarangwal, sent Rs 3000 to his family in Faizabad (UP) through money order on January 3 this year. However, the money order has not been delivered at its destination so far.
Ram Onkar told newsmen here yesterday that he had given reminders to the postal authorities on March 24 and April 27 this year about the M-O not having reached his family.
hot up as cool of pool eludes them
PATIALA, May 10 With the onset of summer city residents take solace in the cool of the pool. But the city known as the nerve centre of sports boasts of very few pools, each presenting its own set of problems. As a result, people are left with the few options of either enduring the sizzling heat or cooling it in the Bhakra canal and its adjoining rivulets.
With the Government College for Women pool lying closed for the past decade or so, only six swimming pools are left in the city.
While the NIS swimming pool caters to the general public, the steep charges ensure that only the elite can make use of the facility.
The other pools are located in Thapar College, Yadavindra Public School (YPS), Diesel Component Works (DCW), Mohindra and Medical College. While the pools of educational institutions are restricted to the needs of students, staff members and children of staff members. The problem with the DCW pool is that only officers have the privilege to take a dip. Girls shun the Mohindra College pool as it is too crowded and noisy. The Gymkhana pool is only meant for members and their children. This means that the general public has to opt for other avenues and most of them flock to the NIS pool.
Two prime ministers are associated with the NIS pool: Mrs Indira Gandhi laid its foundation stone in 1970 and Mr Morarji Desai formally commissioned it in 1977.
Unfortunately the pools much touted solar heating system refused to work from day one. It was meant to warming up the pool up to room temperature in the winters, thereby facilitating swimming throughout the year. The solar heating system was installed by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) which has now allegedly turned its back on rectifying the system. The NIS authorities took the matter to court in 1998.
Also the touch pads and the sophisticated Omega watches are lying in the NIS store in a state of disuse.
The steep hike in
charges to use the pool has ruffled many a feather among
both the general public and professional swimmers.
The charges under the pay and play
scheme are Rs 150 per month for children under the age of
16 years and Rs 300 per month for others. Defending the
hike, Mr G.S. Anand, Regional Director, countered,
We had no option as the maintenance of such a big
pool is very costly. Chlorine gas, which is meant to
clean the pool is very difficult to procure and is
staff gesture to war heroes
CHANDIGARH, May 10 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal today received a draft of over Rs 72,000 from Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Health Minister, Punjab, as part of the contribution by the employees of the Health and Family Welfare Department towards the Punjab War Heroes Family Welfare Fund.
staff to hold stir
PATIALA, May 10 The Punsup Employees Union will agitate against the management for non-acceptance of their demands and also for not giving time to the representatives of the union.
This has been announced by Mr Krishan Sangruri, president, and Vidhu Shekhar Bhardwaj, general secretary of the union. It has also been decided that the union will chalk out its future programme of agitation at its meeting to be held on May 13.
They alleged that the office-bearers of the union had urged the new Managing Director of Punsup on December 7 last to give time to them to resolve the outstanding issues. The union also submitted its charter of demands on December 8. However, despite repeated requests to the management, it did not give time to consider their demands.
The demands include
grant of stagnation increments after 8th, 16th and 24th
year of service, weightage of unserviceable crates,
determination of life of tarpulines, nets and crates,
promotional sales of helpers, regularisation of services
of daily wage chowkidars and grant of special pay to
Punjab, Army to set up
CHANDIGARH, May 10 A military station and junior leaders academy will come up at Anandpur Sahib. This project was dedicated to tercentenary celebrations of birth of Khalsa.
The Punjab Government and Army authorities today resolved to make efforts for the speedy establishment of the military centre. This was decided at a joint meeting between the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi, GOC-in-Chief, Western Command, along with other officers, says a press release.
CHANDIGARH, May 10 The executive committee of the Sub-Divisional Engineers Association, Punjab PWD (B and R), has expressed resentment against the guidelines issued by the Finance Department Punjab for the implementation of the assured career progression scheme, which is, grant of higher scales after the completion of four, nine, and 14 years of service.
Engineer M.S. Nijjer,
President of the Association, said that guidelines were
tougher than promotion rules because for getting next
scale of pay one was supposed to have at least two good
reports out of last three annual confidential reports
(ACRs). The system of writing ACRs was faulty and even
average report was not conveyed to the engineers
concerned. The Association has sought withdrawal of these
panel not to take part in strike
PATIALA, May 10 The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Mulazam Sangharsh Committee has decided not to participate in the strike announced by some Board unions, being held to protest against the privatisation of the state electricity boards and on other issues.
In a statement here today, Punjab State Employees Federation leader Charanjit Singh Waila and Sangharsh Committee leader Surinderjit Singh Walia said the strike, being held by certain trade organisations, was politically motivated and would not help the employees in any manner.
They said the Mulazim Sangharsh Committee had taken the lead in getting many genuine demands of the employees met by the Board at a special meeting with Board Chairman G.S. Sohal. They said in view of this the committee had decided not to participate in tomorrows strike. They also claimed that a majority of employees would not heed the strike call.
Mr Charanjit Singh Walia announced that the demands accepted by the Board included release of Dearness Allowance instalment with effect from January 2,000, grant of wheat loan of Rs 3,000 to class IV employees and implementation of the category wise new scales from January 2000.
He said the Board has also agreed in principle that the present transfer policy was defective and agreed not to do any mass transfers under the present policy.
Mr Walia said the Board had also agreed to implement pending recommendation of the Fourth Wage Commission with regard to pensions as well as lift the ban of leave travel allowance (LTC). He said it had been decided that another meeting would be held with the Board Management on June 19 to discuss the other pending demands.
Secretary DK Tewari said that the strike announced by
different unions had been declared illegal. He said this
had been done by the Labour Department as the strike was
being held within seven days of the end of a conciliation
meeting between the unions and the management. He said
under Section 22-b of the Industrial Disputes Act any
strike within seven days of a conciliation meeting was
illegal. A conciliation meeting had been held on May 8
with representative of the Technical Services Union, PSEB
Employees Union (AITUC), Ministerial Services Union and
Thermal Employees Coordination Committee.
punctual, Badal tells doctors, vets
CHANDIGARH, May 10 To increase operational efficiency at focal points in rural areas, the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today issued instructions to all heads to ensure punctuality and regularity of medical officers and veterinary doctors in hospitals and dispensaries. They should also stay at their place of postings, says a press release.
While reviewing progress of the implementation of Focal Points Scheme in the state, the Chief Minister said the district headquarters staff should monitor the presence of field staff in their respective areas of posting and jurisdiction for the redressal of public grievances.
status for Punjab JEs
CHANDIGARH, May 10
The Joint Action Committee of Junior Engineers ,
of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory,
Chandigarh today claimed that the Punjab Government had
granted class II status with designation as assistant
engineers to those junior engineers who had completed
regular service of 16 years. A decision to this effect
was taken at a meeting of the council of ministers last
evening, the committee said. It claimed that the Chief
Minister had conveyed the decision to the committee.
shifts two DIGs
CHANDIGARH, May 10
The Punjab Police today ordered, with immediate
effect, the posting of Mohd Mustafa (DIG/Faridkot Range)
as DIG/Administration, IRB, Patiala and Mr Rajpal Meena
(DIG (ORP)/Administration IRB Patiala) as DIG
(ORP)/Faridkot Range, Faridkot, according to the
Principal Secretary, Mr Rajesh Chhabra.
Woman alleges coercion by
JALANDHAR, May 10 A bank employee and the wife of a Punjab police official, who is fighting a legal battle against one of her bosses, a kin of the Punjab Cooperative Minister, and her colleagues for alleged harassment at her place of work, has charged a Kapurthala SHO of coercing her to withdraw the court case against them.
Harpreet Kaur, wife of Niranjan Singh, an ASI, in a complaint to the Kapurthala SSP, had alleged that she was being harassed, both sexually and mentally by Rashbeg Singh Dhillon, Managing Director, Kapurthala Central Cooperative Bank and some of his subordinates for marrying a Scheduled Caste person. As she was allegedly unable to get an FIR registered after repeated efforts, she filed a case against the accused in a Phagwara court. The next date of hearing of the case has been fixed for May 25. A complaint in this regard has also been filed by Harpreet with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.
Talking to the TNS, Harpreet Kaur (35), a resident of the Model Town locality of Phagwara, alleged that she was being pressurised by the Punjab police authorities to withdraw the court case against Mr Dhillon and others since he was a close relative of Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Punjab Cooperative Minister. In an affidavit, she said she was summoned to the Kotwali police station, Kapurthala, Mr Amrik Singh Chahl on March 9 where after making her sit for over two hours, the former ordered her to withdraw the case against her boss.
The very manner with which I was summoned shocking as the SHO made a telephone call in my neighbourhood and asked me to immediately rush to the police station as he wanted to discuss something very urgent with me. I apprehended that something serious had happened probably to my husband so I reached the police station where I was made to sit over for two hours by the SHO. After I asked the SHO to tell me the reason for which I had been summoned, he in turn asked me to withdraw the case for there was great pressure on him, alleged a Harpreet.
A visibly upset Harpreet said when she politely refused to tow the line of the SHO, he got furious and started threatening her with dire consequences. The SHO told me in an insulting way that the bank MD was a brother-in-law of Mr Brahmpura and I will not be able to do any harm to him even if I did not withdraw the case, said Harpreet. In a fit of anger he threatened that he will see me if I did not withdraw the case till March 25. When he saw that his threats were not cutting any ice with me he said he will spoil the career of my husband as he was his boss, she said.
Harpreet, alleged that her complaints to the police authorities in this regard had failed to move anything so far. He crossed all limits of decency when he commented on my marriage with a Scheduled Caste boy. The SHO tried to scare me by saying that Dhillon had so many friends who could harm both of us.
The SHO, was not
available despite repeated efforts, but Mr Iqbal Singh,
SSP, said an inquiry had been ordered into the alleged
indecent behaviour of the SHO and Mr Baldev Singh DSP had
been asked to submit his report in this connection within
a week. He said as far as the alleged harassment of
Harpreet at her workplace was concerned, the matter was
pending in the court and the police could not do any
thing in this regard.
misleading public: KMC
AMRITSAR, May 10 Khalra Mission Committee (KMC) has alleged that the Punjab Police has not changed in its modus operandi even though the Akali Government under Mr Parkash Singh Badal had completed three years in power. KMC chief Surinder Singh Ghariala charged the Punjab Police officers of misleading public opinion by raising the bogey of ISI and militancy. Mr Ghariala demanded a high-level inquiry by a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court into the drama staged by the Kapurthala police chief, Mr Iqbal Singh, on May 7.
Mr Ghariala released the
report to the media here yesterday. The report said,
Four men of Dhun and Narli, went to purchase
sickles. They went in a Maruti car of Mr Gurdip Singh who
belongs to Communist leader Sohan Singh Dhuns
family. At a tea shop near Fattu Dhinga, these four men
quarrelled with policemen in civil dress. Irked by the
quarrel, the police allegedly fixed nine kg RDX, four
detonators, three time pencils, three ABCD timers, three
9-volt batteries, two foreign-made pistols of 30-bore, 11
cartridges in their car. Mr Ghariala alleged that there
were short comings with police version.
Badal denies knowing Karam Singh
CHANDIGARH, May 10 Reacting to the news item, appearing in a section of the press today, regarding the death of Vaid Karam Singh by hanging from a ceiling fan at his private residence, Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, Agriculture Minister, Punjab, has said he did not know the deceased nor had any relations with him.
Mr Badal said that Vaid
Karam Singh was a neighbour of his guard. He had come to
meet him when he was on duty. The guard asked him to stay
in his room till he was free from duty. When the guard
went to his room it was found locked from inside on
peeping inside by removing the cooler, the guard saw the
man hanging. Meanwhile the police is investigating.
Parishad selects 192
PATIALA, May 10 Bharat Vikas Parishad, Patiala, has selected 192 students of government and government-aided schools of the city for the overall betterment of these students. These students hail from 16 such schools.
According to Bharat Bhushan Sirhindi, press secretary of the parishad, Punjab Minister for Higher Education Mohan Lal would be the chief guest at a specially organised function at Raj Kamal Palace, Patiala, on May 18 in this regard.
Implement uniform ST for
BATHINDA, May 10 Mr M.P. Jain, president, Bathinda Sarafa Association, yesterday said that gold, diamond and precious stone business of Punjab would shift to neighbouring Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi states if the state government did not implement a uniform rate of sales tax (ST) on these items at the earliest.
In a letter written to
the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr
Jain pointed out that by implementing a uniform rate of
sales tax, the government would be able to earn more
revenue than that being earned by it at present.
directed to pay Rs 1,000
PATIALA, May 10 District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Mr B.D. Singh, Director, Baron Electronics Private Limited, to pay Rs 1,000 as compensation to Mr Vikram Raj Singh Chauhan of Shamsher Singh Street, Triveni Chowk for not supplying him with a cordless phone which was promised free with the purchase of an Aiwa television.
The complainant was not provided with the cordless phone at the time of purchase of the television, as a result of which he filed a complaint in February that despite his repeated pleas to the dealers and giving a notice, he was not given the cordless phone. He pleaded for a compensation of Rs 50,000 for the mental torture and harassment suffered by him.
Chaudhary Enterprises, authorised dealers of the firm manufacturing Aiwa colour television, had assured that cordless telephones had not been received from Baron Electronics, Chandigarh, and the same would be made available to the complainant when these were supplied by Baron Enterprises.
The forum ruled that Chaudhary Enterprises was a branch office of Aiwa company and was not equipped to supply cordless phones at that time.
It said the complainant was allured to buying the television set through the advertisement of a free cordless phone. It has been held guilty of not providing cordless telephone to the dealers when the advertisement was issued.
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