|Saturday, May 13, 2000,
chiefs plea for more time granted
has begun: SSP
on Kamaljits house to be probed
gifted by US Sikhs with Takht
Cong to hold rally at Tarn Taran
for 35 nagar panchayats on June 17
Petition filed against gurdwara body
made part of basic pay: PCMSA
to expand water facilities
medical staffs duty issue resolved
volte face on Rashtriya Sikh Sangat
hold rally in hospital
New sites identified for mini
secretariat and residential complex
Three arrested for abducting girl
Sanskrit teacher posts to stay
New fertiliser distribution policy
SGPC chiefs plea for more
CHANDIGARH, May 12 Granting time to SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur, the state of Punjab and the Director-General of Police for filing reply in the Harpreet Kaur case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today fixed July 6 for arguments.
At the outset, counsel appearing on behalf of the SGPC president sought time for filing a reply from Mr. Justice Amarbir Singh. The request was subsequently granted.
Seeking the registration of a murder and criminal conspiracy case under Sections 302, 34 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioner, Lawyers for Human Rights, had submitted that Bibi Jagir Kaur and the alleged conspirators should also be booked for destroying evidence by burning the body.
Stressing on the need to hand over the investigation to the CBI, the petitioner had stated that the Chief Minister himself had attended the cremation ceremony and had thus effectively stopped any proper investigation into the crime.
Describing the Punjab Police as mindless tool in the hands of the politicians, the petitioner had stated that there was no hope for an independent probe.
Claiming Harpreet Kaur, in all probability, had been killed, the petitioner had also stated that the boy and his family too were facing threats and required protection. Referring to media reports, the petitioner had added that there were sufficient details of suspected murder by Bibi Jagir Kaur and her people.
Notice to AG on teachers vacancies
On a petition alleging the violation of rules while inviting applications for 7230 vacancies of JBT teachers in Department of Educations primary wing, a Division Bench of the High Court today issued notice of motion to the Punjab Advocate-General for May 16.
Pronouncing the orders on a public interest litigation filed by advocate Anu Chatrath, the Bench, comprising Mr. Justice R.S. Mongia and Mr. Justice J.S. Narang, observed: It is interalia contended that in the advertisement for the post of JBT teacher, while mentioning the requisite professional qualifications, firstly, the alternative course, junior basic training, (JBT), which a person can do under the rules, has been omitted.
Secondly, the rules recognise the basic qualification as having been obtained from Punjab or from any other state, whereas in the advertisement the qualification has been confined only to those candidates who have obtained the qualification from the state of Punjab, the Judges observed.
The Bench added: Thirdly, the maximum age as per the instructions given by the Punjab Government for entry into the government service has been raised to 45 whereas the advertisement mentions 42. Fourthly, the application from various candidates have been confined only to the districts and a candidate who might have got such training from another district has been debarred from posts in different districts.
Show-cause notice to SSP
Issuing notice of motion to Hoshiarpurs Senior Superintendent of Police R.P. Mittal for August 1, the High Court asked him to show cause why proceedings for contempt should not be drawn for alleged violation of directions regarding investigation of a cheating case last year.
Taking up the petition filed by Director-cum-General Manager of a Hoshiarpur based transport company Mr Manjit Singh Lali, Mr Justice V.S. Aggarwal, however, granted the SSP exemption from personal appearance.
Alleging intentional disobedience of the order, the petitioner had earlier stated that no action had been taken against an accused, who was trying to take over the companys control through illegal acts, despite directions from the High Court. The court, he had added, had directed the respondents in December 1999 to verify the investigation into the allegations.
Going into the
background, Mr Lali had stated that a petition was filed
before the court after the police had failed to take
action even after registering an FIR following directions
from Hoshiarpurs Chief Judicial Magistrate.
SGPC faces another turmoil
AMRITSAR, May 12 Even as Mr Balbir Singh Pannu, senior vice-president, has openly raised the voice of dissent against Bibi Jagir Kaur, the SGPC is heading for yet another turmoil.
Though eight members of the SGPC executive in a written statement claimed that there was no groupism and the meeting passed all resolutions unanimously, including the confirmation of the dismissal of Giani Puran Singh, from the post of Jathedar, Akal Takht, at its meeting held here yesterday, yet chinks have appeared.
The charges leveled by Mr Pannu against the SGPC chief and her functionaries has put Bibi Jagir Kaur in a tight situation. Mr Pannu has also said there was a strong feeling among the Sikh masses that Bibi Jagir Kaur must quit as she was embroiled in one or the other controversy.
This would strengthen the hands of the SHSAD and the SAD (Amritsar) leadership.
Mr Pannu is a closes confidant of Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Cooperation Minister. The allegations made by Mr Pannu may also cast its shadow on the Punjab Assembly as Mr Brahmpura heads a powerful group of Majha MLAs.
Interestingly Mr Pannu is not one of the signatories, who have issued a joint statement denying groupism among the ruling members of the SGPC executive. Those who issued the statement included Mr Kewal Singh Badal, junior vice-president, Mr Hardalbir Singh Shah, general secretary, Mr Joginder Singh Panjrath, Mr Satnam Singh Bhairupa, Mr Pritam Singh Bhatia, Mr Suba Singh Dabwalia, Mr Gurpal Singh Gora, Mr Bhagwant Singh Hardothla and Mr Joga Singh Phaguwala.
The voice of dissent raised by Mr Pannu will provide the much-needed vigour to the SHSAD and SAD (Amritsar) members to launch a campaign against the beleaguered SGPC chief. Mr Harbans Singh Manjpur, an executive member of the SHSAD, was correct in saying that, Now the ruling party members are doing our job. Mr Manjpur said it was the demand of our party to seek resignation from Bibi Jagir Kaur. However, the senior leaders like Mr Pannu had now vindicated our stand.
Mr Pannus allegations that the manager, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, PA to SGPC chief and secretary, SGPC, had indulged in misappropriation of funds was serious matter.
Many cases are already
pending with the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission
against the SGPC and its chief. Charges include
recruitment of about 500 employees without inserting any
advertisement in any newspaper.
Inquest has begun: SSP
CHANDIGARH, May 12 Claiming the initiation of inquest proceedings by the district police into the death of SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaurs daughter, Harpreet Kaur, the Kapurthala SSP today stated that her remains had been sent to the forensic science laboratory (FSL).
In a report submitted to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, the SSP also stated that bed sheets having suspected marks of vomiting and the suit worn by the deceased had also been sent.
Giving details of the enquiry, the SSP stated that seeing newspaper reports, the Punjab DGP, by an order of April 24, had ordered him to hold an in-depth probe into the death of Harpreet Kaur However, he had already directed the DSP, Bholath, and later the SP, Kapurthala, to hold an inquiry into the allegations about suspected foul play.
The IGP (crimes), it was stated, had formed a team of officials. The different aspects of inquiry regarding the death of Harpreet Kaur, allegations of torture, forced abortion as well as the engagement at Chandigarh and the marriage had been entrusted to separate officers for submitting the report.
Regarding the directions to provide security to her husband, Kamaljit Singh, the report stated that a Punjab police guard was sent on April 28 to his house at Begowal but his younger sister, Manjit Kaur, refused to accept the security and wanted either BSF or CRPC personnel for security.
Taking suo motu
cognizance of news items on Harpreet Kaurs
mysterious death along with a complaint filed
by the World Human Rights Protection Councils
chairman, Mr Ranjan Lakhanpal, the commission had earlier
directed the DGP to ensure the safety of Kamaljit Singh,
his father, Mr Darshan Singh, and mother, Ms Balwinder
Kaur, by providing adequate security.
Attack on Kamaljits house to be probed
KAPURTHALA, May 12 (PTI) Deputy Commissioner VK Singh and SSP Iqbal Singh today ordered separate inquiries to look into the role of revenue and police officials in connection with the alleged attack by Inder Singh, a Nihang on the haveli of Darshan Singh, father of Kamaljit Singh, the alleged lover of Harpreet Kaur, daughter of the SGPC chief.
Inder Singh, who is said to be a close confidant of Bibi Jagir Kaur and is often seen as a private security guard with her yesterday descended on the haveli, of Darshan Singh at Begowal and demolished the cattle shed, damaged the fodder machine, electric motor and engine and threw them out.
Inder Singh is fighting a legal battle against Darshan Singh for the possession of this disputed land. Inder Singh had won the case of permanent injunction in the court of the Senior Sub-Judge, Kapurthala, on September 8, 1998. Darshan Singh has filed an appeal in the court of the District and Sessions Judge and the case is fixed for hearing on August 2.
Mr VK Singh said he had deputed the Bholath SDM, Mr BS Dhaliwal, to submit a report on the role of revenue officials who visited the disputed land for demarcation.
He said it would have been better had they restrained themselves in doing the demarcation work as the case was pending in the court. He also said the preliminary inquiry conducted by the SDM revealed that no revenue official was present there at the time of attack by the Nihangs.
Mr Iqbal Singh said the police had arrested Balbir Singh, an accomplice of Inder Singh, and said all accused had been identified and would be arrested soon.
He said he had deputed the Bholath DSP, Mr Harmail Singh, to look into the case and submit his report immediately.
CHANDIGARH: The common refrain in Punjab is that there is no governance. Does it stand flawed in the absence of collective decision-making? Are ministers seldom involved in statecraft, may it be at the political or administrative level? Who do all political decision-making outfits of the SAD invariably leave the final decision to the boss and later rue that it is a one-man show?
Rather than addressing important issues the SAD is engaged in counting numbers either in the legislative wing or in the SGPC. Even the BJP is not free of factionalism. Its internal squabbles are as much as those of the SAD. Whenever a response is required to issues concerning religion, administration and politics, it comes from the men down below in political hierarchy in the two parties. Such responses and reactions are often orchestrated and engineered and have no impact.
As a result of ad hocism and inconsistency in pursuing government programmes or religio-political policies, the spillover affects governance. There is also no perceptible improvement in the delivery system and justice at the cutting-edge of the administration where public interface is the maximum.
Surprisingly, neither in the government nor in the political system is there a spokesperson to blunt the criticism or give the desired response to the happenings. A case in point is the death under mysterious circumstances of the teenaged daughter of the SGPC President. The stoic silence maintained by the political executive and the administration has damaged the governments credibility. Why does the buck always stop with the Chief Minister? He is also the President of the ruling SAD besides running the SGPC show.
In Akali circles, it is felt that the government has lost an opportunity to espouse Panthic aspirations. Even the goodwill generated by the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa could not be cashed in on. The tie-up between the SAD and the BJP is cited as an example of how the former has acquiesced, allowing the latter to have a say which SAD workers feel has been denied to them. Whether real or perceived, this notion persists.
In fact despite differences between the two coalition partners, no attempt has been made by the Chief Minister to have a joint consultative mechanism to improve things.
Insiders say that the paradigm shift in the policies and philosophy of the SAD (since the Moga conference of December, 1996) from being the sole repository of Sikhs aspirations to that of a party representing Punjabi sentiments and espousing the cause of Punjabiat and Punjab has also contributed to some extent to the crisis the party and the SGPC are facing. This again has affected governance.
So much confusion has been generated that while the 1997 agenda for governance has been ignored, the agenda, which kept the Akalis at Punjabs political centrestage, when out of power and in wilderness, seems to have been forgotten. That was about Punjabs long-pending demands pertaining to the transfer of Chandigarh, the Punjabi-speaking areas, and the sharing of the river waters. How about the federal system and greater economic and financial autonomy that used to be sought as per the Anandpur Sahib resolution?
There is a feeling that the Akali leadership clings to the mindset of the seventies or eighties (when the gun culture took roots in Punjab). It has not drawn a fresh picture of the state vis-a-vis its development or a futuristic vision. The shift from its past, initiated at the Moga conference, from the moving away from jathedar-oriented politics to jean-clad youthful politicians has not been pursued. Consequently, the present government has no policy for the youth, who remain as aimless and rootless as, perhaps, the government. One does not doubt the sincerity of purpose of the Chief Minister or his dream of what Punjab should be. But one finds his time being consumed by non-essential issues. His mild mannerism is also responsible for there being no fear in the bureaucracy of action being taken against any one.
All this has severely affected the economy and social networking of the service sector. Even agriculture and industry need a second push keeping in view the existing ground realities and future needs. In this context, the governments endeavour at building infrastructure, introducing information technology, going in for big projects, namely, the science city, oil refinery, establishing new universities and institutions will become meaningful only if the existing infrastructure and institutions are strengthened and consolidated.
Both in the political executive (which lacks the initiative and vision) and in the bureaucracy which lacks empathy and commitment), a feeling of frustration is creeping in. Monitoring of policies and programmes, despite the paucity of funds and interest, is poor. There is neither any coordination nor cohesiveness in governance. Moreover, in key appointments, no opinion, other than that prevailed at one place matters. The result. Those in key positions pay scant regard to ministers, MLAs of ordinary people. Yet the political executive spends more time on making postings and transfers than on getting work from government employees.
Punjab has a government sans a face and governance sans a direction. (Concluded)
Sword gifted by US Sikhs with Takht
ANANDPUR SAHIB, (Ropar) May 12 The local office-bearers, including the head granthi, the treasurer and the manager of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, displayed the sword gifted at the Takht by 501 American Sikhs led by Yogi Harbhajan Singh on the eve of tercentenary celebrations. The sword valued at Rs 3 crore was shown to reporters after the publication of a news item regarding its absence in a leading Punjabi daily.
The sword has been kept in an attic, referred as Toshakhana, in the Takht complex. This room is used specially for the purpose of storing precious gifts offered by the devotees at Sri Keshgarh Sahib. This room has three locks and as per the tradition the keys of these locks are kept with different functionaries. One key of this room is kept with the Jathedar of Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib and the other two are kept with the manager and the treasurer. In the absence of Jathedar his key is kept by the head granthi of the Takht. The room is opened only when these three important functionaries of Takht are present together.
The sword in dispute has been kept in this room along with many other precious offerings, as another golden khanda, gifted by Nishkam Sewa Jatha, during the tercentenary celebrations.
The Jathedar of Takht
Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh, talking to
newsmen, later, told that the sword was not being kept
for public display because as per the tradition only
those items which are related with Gurus are kept at the
Takht. Moreover, it is not possible to display at the
Takht all precious items offered by the devotees which
have been kept in the Toshakhana, he added.
Cong to hold rally at Tarn Taran
CHANDIGARH, May 12 The Punjab Congress will hold a state-level rally at Tarn Taran on May 24 to observe anti-state repression day.
A press note issued by the party said the rally would be presided over by Capt Amarinder Singh, President of the PPCC. The law and order station in the state was deteriorating day by day and the common man was getting maltreatment at the hands of government officials and politicians.
The press note alleged that political bosses were abusing government machinery for their political ends and administrative work had been adversely affected.
A separate press note
issued by the PPCC said the committee would lodge a
protest against the adamant attitude of the central
government in not rolling back the hike in the prices of
kerosene, LPG and PDS foodgrains.
Byelections for 35 nagar panchayats on
PHAGWARA, May 12 After a few days dispute between the Election Commission and the Punjab government now after the withdrawal of earlier notifications on elections of two nagar councils and 35 nagar panchayats the Punjab government yesterday again issued fresh notifications for Municipal elections for June 17.
Punjab Local Bodies
Minister Balramji Dass Tandon disclosed this here
yesterday. He said that elections to two Nagar Council of
Nangal and Mohali and Nagar panchayats of Khem Karan,
Bhikhi Rayya, Raja Sansi and Ajnala, Kalanaur Shahkot
Bhogpur Goraya Dhilwan, Bholath, Begowal Mahilpur,
Balachaur, Macchhiwara Sahnewal Dakha, Malout, Patran,
Chhaggan Sandur, Zirakpur, Amloh, Badhni Kalan,,
Dharamkot, Bagha Purana, Bhikhi Barriwala and byelections
of ward No. 6 in Sham Chaurasi ward No. 8 , 12, 25 in
Khanna ward No. 11 in Gurdaspur, ward No. 27 in Moga,
ward No. 8 in Garhshankar, ward No. 13 in Patti, ward No
13 in Jandiala Guru, 150 ward No. 1 in Maur, ward No. 6
in Batala, ward No. 3 in Dera Bassi, ward No. 9 in Lohian
will also be held on June 17 instead of June 18.Mr Tandon
explained that these elections were postponed from May 28
to June 18 earlier due to transfers in Local Bodies
Petition filed against gurdwara body
AMRITSAR, May 12 The three-member Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission today admitted a petition filed by two Sikhs from Faridkot seeking removal of the two-member management committee of the notified Sikh historical gurdwara known as Gurdwara Sahib Tilla Baba Farid Shakerganj located at Faridkot for misappropriation of the gurdwara funds and appointment of a receiver in their place.
The petition under Section 142 of the Sikh Gurdwara Act was filed by Mr Harbans Singh and Mr Gurdev Singh alleging that the president of the management committee of the gurdwara, Mr Inderjit Singh Sekhon, and member Ranjit Singh Kohli had committed acts of malfeasance, misfeasance, abuse of power, breach of trust and misappropriation of gurdwara funds and landed property and refused to render the accounts and refund back the gurdwara money.
The commission comprising Mr Manmohan Singh Brar, chairman, and Mr Amrik Singh Randhawa and Mr Ajwant Singh Mann, members will take up the petition on Monday for necessary registration and issuing of notices to the party, if necessary.
The petitioners sought the disqualification of both members from the committee of any gurdwara or board for a period of five years and restraining them to be members of the management of the said gurdwara.
They also sought directions to the respondents to pay Rs 1.90 crore as principal amount of the gurdwara fund and Rs 10 lakh as damages with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum from the date of the petition till the date of realisation. The petitioners estimated that the respondents had not submitted gurdwara accounts which totalled Rs 52.78 lakh from 1986-87 to 1996-97 and Rs 22.79 lakh from 1997-98 to 1999-2000.
They further said the respondents had neither tendered the accounts of the gurdwara to the SGPC, which was the supervisory and controlling body of all notified Sikh gurdwaras under the Act nor the respondents got the accounts checked or audited from the auditors of the SGPC.
The petitioners further
alleged that the president in connivance with the member
had usurped lands, measuring 8 to 9 acres belonging to
the gurdwara in two separate parts situated at Godri
Sahib and near the railway line, Faridkot, by
transferring them in the name of a false trust, Godri
Sahib Education Society Trust. The trust comprises his
chosen persons without any authority and sanction of a
supervisory body and as such deprived the gurdwara of the
valuable land, the value of which was about Rs 1 crore.
Bhaur criticises 'Purkh Guru'
JALANDHAR, May 12 Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, former acting president of the SGPC, has criticised Purkh Guru, a book authored by Mayor Singh Kanpuri and published by the management of Bhaini Sahib Gurdwara, by saying that it has hurt the feelings of Sikhs.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Bhaur said the recognition accorded to such a book by the Naamdharis was a matter of surprise and concern among Sikhs.
He alleged that efforts
were being made to undermine the reverence of Guru Granth
Sahib under a conspiracy. He said according to the Sikh
tenets no living person can hold the title of guru,
whereas Naamdharis address their head as
Satguru, which was against Sikhism. He
demanded that either the state government ban the book or
the Naamdharis withdraw it and apologise for the
publication of such a book.
NPA made part of basic pay: PCMSA
PATIALA, May 12 Non-practising allowance (NPA) should be treated as pay for all intents and purposes including retirement benefits as per the notification issued by the Punjab Finance Department, addressed to Principal Secretaries, Department of Health and Family Welfare and Medical Educational Research and Accountant-General of Punjab.
Dr M.S. Randhawa, Dr D.S. Gill and Dr Manjit Singh Patron, president, and general secretary, respectively, of the PCMS association Punjab in a joint statement said here yesterday that decision to this effect was taken at their meeting with Principal Secretary (Finance), Mr K.R. Lakhanpal and OSD (Finance), Mr D.P. Karkara. The meeting took place following the decisions taken at a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Punjab on April 17 on PCMS doctors demands, they said.
PCMS doctors have been agitating for fulfillment of this demand and it was also one of the major demands of PCMSA during 95-day strike in 1989. Following decision of the Finance Department to treat NPA as pay for all service benefits, the status of NPA stood restored as it was before January 1, 1986.
Dr D.S. Gill also claimed that Principal Secretary Health, had also agreed that the Health Department would consider all satisfactory annual confidential reports as good while granting time-scale promotions after four, nine and 14 years of service to the government doctors. The Principal Secretary also agreed that no doctor would be deprived of the benefit of higher scale if his or her overall record was found to be satisfactory, he said.
He also assured that the
department was deputing special officers at the Health
Directorate and Secretariat levels to process speedily
the promotion/placement cases and all cases would be
cleared within next two months on priority. The secretary
added that any apprehension aired in this regard was
Move to expand water facilities
LUDHIANA, May 12 The Municipal Corporation here has prepared a plan to expand water supply and sewerage facilities and to cover at least 90 per cent of the city population in a phased manner.
According to Mr S.S. Jandu, Superintending Engineer (O and M), the first phase of the plan was already in execution since January 1 under which 56 new tubewells would be sunk and 17 overhead service reservoirs (OHSRs) of one lakh gallon capacity each would be constructed to augment the water supply.
In addition 443 kilometres of distribution lines would be laid to cover additional 20 per cent of the city population.
First phase of the scheduled to be completed by the end of the current year, would entail an expenditure of Rs 33.52 crore.
Mr Jandu disclosed that in the second phase Rs 19.62 crore would be spent to sink another as tubewells, construct four OHSRs and lay 156 km of water distribution lines in the city.
With the completion of this phase of plan, 90 per cent of the people would have the facility of potable water.
Simultaneously, the civic body and finalised a Rs 150.12 crore project for strengthening sewerage net work in the industrial megapolis. Mr Jandu said Housing and Urban Development extend corporation (HUDCO) had approved loan in 70.30 ratio for the project. Under the scheme, 503 km of lines of branch sewer and 195 km of intercepting and main sewer would be laid and the work would be executed by the Punjab water supply and sewerage Board as an executing agency.
29 policemen demoted
TARN TARAN, May 12 Twentynine police officials, who were given special promotions while showing bravery in tackling militancy in Punjab during the period of militancy have been demoted in compliance with the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
According to the information collected, the police officials demoted are four inspectors, 9 sub-inspectors and 16 assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs). Inspector Puran Singh and Mr Udham Singh have been demoted as sub-inspector (SI) and assistant sub-inspector (ASI), respectively, when Inspector Tilak Raj and Prem Das have been made head-constables.
The Sub Inspector (SIs) Mr Gurbachan Singh, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Sucha Singh, Mr Jugal Kishore, Mr Gurnam Singh, Mr Balkar Singh, Mr Tarsem Datt, Mr Teg Bahadur Singh have been made ASIs while SI Bhagwant Singh has been demoted to Head Constables post. ASIs Mr Sakattar Singh, Mr Kulwant Singh, Mr Santokh Singh, Mr Hari Singh, Mr Dharam Singh, Mr Ajmer Singh, Mr Harjit Singh, Mr Karnjit Singh, Mr Kuldeep Rai, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Ms Rajwinder Kaur, Mr Rajesh Kumar, Mr Virsa Singh, Mr Bhail Singh have been made head constables.
PSEB medical staffs duty
PATIALA, May 12 The issue of having a double-shift duty of the PSEB medical and paramedical staff has been resolved with the board management having decided to continue with the old system but with a change in duty timings of doctors.
Claiming this in a press note issued here today, Mrs Jagdish Kaur, president, Punjab Paramedical Staff Association, PSEB, said that along with the demand of canceling the proposed double-shift duty the Chairman, Mr G.S. Sohal, at a meeting with the association had also accepted a number of their other demands.
According to her, these include pharmacists performing the reception duty will be sent back to the dispensary immediately, medical assistants who have served in the cadre for 28 years and are presently working with the printing and stationery wing of the board will also be sent back to the dispensary.
The press note said the dispensaries would open from 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon throughout the year. While the laboratory staff would continue working till 2.00 p.m., doctors and two pharmacists would have an evening shift from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. in the Power Colony.
boards decision, Mrs Jagdish Kaur said they were
hopeful that the board would soon provide Rs 3.5 lakh
every year to improve the standard of medical services in
the dispensary. She also demanded an ultrasound facility
for the employees of the dispensary.
Jathas volte face on
Rashtriya Sikh Sangat
AMRITSAR, May 12 A joint meeting of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha (International) and the Shiromani Seva Dal today alleged that the Sikh Panth had to be careful about the activities of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a branch of the RSS.
The meeting which presided over by Giani Baldev Singh, deputy chief of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, said the call of the RSS to bring up the eldest son of the Hindus as a Sikh could be a deep-rooted conspiracy to infiltrate into the Sikh Panth.
The press statement issued here today said that before according a welcome to the RSS activities, the leadership of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat would have to clarify their stand on various Panthic issues.
The RSS would have to consider all those killed the in Sikh struggle as martyrs. It would have to condemn Operation Blue Star, the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. Apart from this the RSS must accept that Sikhs were a separate nation.
It may be mentioned here that a few days earlier, the jatha had announced that it would welcome the Panthic move of the RSS if it would profess faith in Guru Granth Sahib and consider Sikhs as a separate nation. It had also announced that the Sikhs had a strong base and was not facing any threat from any quarter. However, the jatha had made it clear that it wont tolerate any distortion in the holy scriptures at any cost.
Shopkeepers resent encroachments
AMRITSAR, May 12 In a letter to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and Minister for local bodies Balramjit Das Tandon, Punjab 45 shopkeepers of Shaheed Bhagat Singh market have complained against encroachments.
In a signed statement by the shopkeepers have alleged that their business had been hit due to encroachments on footpaths outside their shops by make shift illegal shops (phariwalas) who displayed their goods either on carts parked on footpaths or on tarpaulin on the ground. The shopkeepers feel particularly harassed by autorickshaws parked on the road.
These encroachments are affecting not only their businesses but have also become traffic a hazard as the road becomes narrow due to unauthorised parking. The association has alleged that several written complaints to the corporation have gone unheard.
On account of following
the complaints they allege that autorickshaw wallahs and
others now have started threatening authorised
shopkeepers. The association has urged speedy action from
the authorised concerned to solve the encroachment
Nurses hold rally in hospital
PATIALA, May 12 The Punjab Nurses Association today organised a protest rally in Government Rajindra Hospital here to mark the International Nurses Day.
Mrs Jeewanpreet Kaur, President of the association, said in a press release that the nurses were being harassed regularly by political interference in not only their postings but also in daily duties. She has urged the Chief Minister of Punjab to give attention to the condition of hospitals in the state and especially towards the shortage of nursing staff.
She said higher scales for the nurses, recommended by the pay commission, had not been implemented. She said the Centre was giving a special allowance of Rs 2000 to the nurses along with uniform allowance but the Punjab government was still dilly-dallying on the issue.
Punjab modifies notification
CHANDIGARH, May 12 The Punjab Government today modified its notification issued on March 3 about holding elections to municipalities in the state to the extent that it excluded the election of ward no 13 of the Patti Municipal Council in Amritsar district.
Seminar on population
PATIALA, The Lions Club
Patiala Sheesh Mahal organised a seminar on population
control under the chairmanship of T.N. Sharma, Member,
Lions Club International. The Chief guest, Dr R.M.S.
Bajwa, of the World Society of Alternative Medicines,
said India had become a country of 1 billion people,
which was going to create problems.
Army recruitment rally from May 22
JALANDHAR, May 12 An The Army will hold a recruitment rally for soldiers general duty (Majhbi and Ramdasia) categories from May 22 to May 28 at Jalandhar Cantonment.
The rally is being held
for soldiers hailing from Jalandhar. Kapurthala,
Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Sangrur, Fatehgarh
Sahib, Ludhiana and Roopnagar districts, a Defence press
note said. Candidates for soldier, general duty, are
required to be in the age group of 16-21 years, with
minimum height of 170 centimetres and 50 kg of weight.
Set up more phone bill deposit
LUDHIANA, May 12 The Ludhiana Welfare Association has urged the Telecom authorities to set up moe counters for the payment of bills by people and PCO owners in the Transport Nagar Telecom centre here to reduce delay and to put an end to harassment of telephone users.
In a memorandum the
General Manager Telecom, the association has pointed out
that there was only one counter to cater to more than
60,000 subscribers and over 1200 PCO holders in the area.
The long delay caused in payment of bills caused
inconvenience besides corruption.
New sites identified for mini
secretariat and residential complex
PATIALA, May 12 The Patiala District Administration has identified two sites for construction of a district offices complex as well as a residential complex for district officers after taking a decision to shift from the present site situated on the Mall Road .
According to sources the district administration has finalised two sites for setting up of a mini secretariat as well as residential quarters for its officers. One is on the Jail Road right next to the jail and the other near the police lines near the Animal Husbandry Complex.
Its seems to be a toss between the two sites with their also being a possibility that the district office will be established at one site and the residential quarters at the other. At both sites around 30 to 35 acres of land is available for development. The district administration is preparing a case for development of both sites which will be submitted to the Optimum Utilisation of Government Land Committee for final approval.
As new residential quarters are also mooted to be constructed under the scheme, the administration is also submitting a list of residents of officers which have more land adjoining them than the officers are entitled to. Of special interest are government houses located near the posh number 22 railway crossing. There is a proposal to use them to their optimum use once the residences of the officers are shifted to the new sites.
Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir, when contacted, said some of the government land near the 22 number railway crossing could be used to commercial and parking spaces. He said presently only one side of the road was being used for commercial purposes with government houses situated on the other side. He said there was also a proposal to create a shopping complex in the area with multi storey parking facilities.
Meanwhile the future of the present district complex is also not clear. Situated plumb on the Mall Road in the city, it is worth crores in terms of real estate. The administration is toying with the idea of using it for commercial purposes or even making it a heritage site as it is a princely building around 125 years old.
The city residents themselves while understanding the need for a modern mini secretariat which would benefit them also as all district offices would be situated in the building, feel the face of the present district complex structure should not be changed. The present district complex was earlier the Rajindra Hospital built by Maharaja Rajinder Singh. The district offices shifted here in the 1950s after a new building for the hospital was built in the city. The building can be turned into a heritage hotel which would give a fillip to tourism in the city, said Amarjit Singh. Others while talking to The Tribune said the present district complex lent an air of majesty to the town and the Mall Road which should not be allowed to be lost.
Some of the residents felt that the district office could be retained at the present site and more offices built for officers by using space behind it which was being used as seating arrangement by lawyers. Some of this space could be made available to the district office as the lawyers could be adjusted in the modern judicial complex which was coming up in the vicinity. However, they said to make this possible a provision for parking would also have to be made in the complex itself as parking on the Mall Road in front of the Deputy Commissioner s office had become a traffic hazard.
However, all the
residents who were questioned were happy to know that the
government was considering building new residential
quarters for its officers and that many of them would
have to vacate their present spacious bungalows if this
scheme went through. This is a good move which will
ensure that extra land attached to many of the residences
in the city is used to good effect for the common
good, said Sukhwinder, a businessman.
PATIALA, May 12 The district administration yesterday announced a plan for meeting the threat of floods in the ensuing monsoon.
Besides 16 sensitive points, as many as 258 vulnerable villages having a history of facing floods have also been identified for special monitoring in the next couple of months. For providing medical facilities, 105 teams of doctors and para-medical staff have been set up.
A new step announced this year is the decision of the district administration to register cases against persons who have encroached upon the drains or have filled them up for any use.
Briefing reporters after a meeting of officials of the district administration, the Drainage Department and the Municipal Corporation at Red Cross Bhavan here today, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, Deputy Commissioner, said the district was well prepared to meet any eventuality during the monsoon. He said the meeting decided that, apart from setting up flood protection offices at vulnerable points inter-linked with wireless communication service, all the artificial as well as natural rivulets or drains would be desilted.
Mr Bir said embankments of these seasonal rivers like the Patiala Ki Rao, the Chhoti Patiala Nadi, the Mirranpur choe and the SYL canal would be strengthened. A deadline of June 15 for all these measures had been fixed.
Mr K.S. Kang, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said that the city, which had bore the brunt of floods in 1988 and 1993, had been divided into seven sectors to meet the threat in the coming monsoon. He said the corporation had formed a Rs 30-lakh plan to provide equipment like vehicles, motorboats and desilting of the seasonal drains passing through the city. The drains include the Rajbaha channel, the Chhoti Nadi and the Jacob channel, near the National Institute of Sports.
Three arrested for abducting girl
JALANDHAR, May 12 The district police has arrested three persons for allegedly abducting and selling a 16-year-old minor girl to a middle-aged man.
Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, said the accused have been identified as Ram Asra, presently residing in a factory near Domeli village, his wife Asha Rani and Kamla Prasad, an employee of a factory on the GT road here.
Mr Yadav said Ram Asra and his wife, who were working as labourers in a factory, came into contact with Kamla Prasad, a widower whose wife had died seven years ago, and proposed to him that they would arrange a girl for him in return for some money. After this, Ram Asra and his wife went to their native village in Uttar Pradesh, abducted a minor girl and handed her over to Kamla Prasad, who had two children. The girl has been recovered from the possession of Kamla Prasad. A case has been registered.
Woman booked: The Noormahl police has booked a woman and her alleged paramour on the charge of murdering her husband.
According to the police, the body of Jit Singh, a resident of Talwan village, who had been missing for past six days, had been found from an abandoned village near Dakana village. His brother, Chinda Singh, had alleged in a complaint that Jit Singh had been murdered by his wife, Balwinder Kaur, and her alleged paramour, Sarabjit Ram, a resident of Dakana village. No arrest has been made so far.
Crop stolen: Sucha Singh, a resident of Phillaur, has alleged that his entire wheat crop had been stolen after cutting it with the help of a combine harvester by Mohinder Pal, a resident of Kot Kamal. A case has been registered.
Burnt to death: Sita Devi, a resident of Military Farm in Jalandhar Cantt, near here, succumbed to her burns in the Civil Hospital on Friday morning. According to the police, Sita Devi received burns when her clothes had caught fire in her kitchen last night.
a resident of Santokhpura Mohalla, was killed when his
moped was hit by a truck, near Pathankot bypass last
night. Chindder Pal, the driver of the truck has been
arrested by the police.
Sanskrit teacher posts to stay
PATIALA, May 12 The state government will neither abolish the posts of Sanskrit teacher in the schools nor adjust the existing staff in other faculties.
Announcing this at the inauguration of the Sanskrit Week celebrations organised by the Punjab Language Department in its premises with support from the Centre here last evening, Mr Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, added that students opting for Sanskrit as an additional subject in Middle and Matric classes will not have to pay extra fee.
Stressing on the need to preserve the ancient Indian language, the Minister also informed that he would hold meetings with school principals in the district to formulate a Sanskrit propagation strategy.
Dr Madan Lal Hasija, Director Language Department, said the department would work for the popularity of both Punjabi and Sanskrit languages. Besides awarding a Rs 1 lakh award to a Shiromani Sanskrit Sahityakar, the department also honours a leading Sanskrit writer with Kalidasa award every year.
He said under a new scheme, the department would translate ancient Sanskrit texts and granths into Punjabi language.
Earlier, nearly 12 teams from schools all over the state participated in the Sanskrit poetry recitation and qawwali competitions. The team from Army School, Jalandhar, won the best team trophy in poetry competitions while Divya Jyoti Public School, Nabha, was adjudged the best in qawwali.
In the individual competitions, Ravi of Army School, Jalandhar, won the first prize while Isha of Hindi Kanya College, Kapurthala, won the second spot. The third prize went to Shivani of Divya Jyoti School, Nabha. The same school won the best team award in the qawwali competition.
Change in school timings
CHANDIGARH, May 12 The Punjab Government today ordered a change in timings in schools.
In a press release here, the Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, while all primary schools would open at 7.30 a.m. and close at 11.30 a.m, all middle, high and secondary schools would open at 7.30 a.m. and close at 12.30 p.m.
New fertiliser distribution policy
CHANDIGARH, May 12 The Punjab Government today announced a new policy for the distribution of fertilisers as well as agro-chemicals in the cooperative sector.
Markfed has been told to meet the complete demand.
As per the decision the Punjab Cooperation Minister, Mr Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, has directed Markfed through the office of Registrar of Cooperative Societies to arrange over 11 lakh tonnes of fertiliser worth Rs 660 crore e for the current financial year against 6 lakh tonnes arranged last year.
The Managing Director of Markfed, Mr D.S. Bains, told mediapersons here today that all arrangements to meet the demand for fertilisers and agro-chemicals for the current kharif crop had been made and fertilisers in sufficient quantity had been stacked. Markfed would supply fertilisers and agro chemicals through agriculture cooperative societies numbering over 3000 and through 120 outlets at focal points.
Before 1987, Markfed was supplying agro-chemicals and fertilisers to societies in the state. but in 1987, the policy was changed and IFFCO and KRIBHCO were also allotted the work of distribution of fertilisers alongwith Markfed. Its share was fixed at 60 per cent while remaining share was of IFFCO and KRIBHCO. Mr Bains said as farmers faced a lot of problems because other agencies did not have the required infrastructure, the entire supply of fertiliser was given to Markfed in 1998. However, again in 1999 the old system was revived. However, other agencies failed to meet the demand for fertilisers in Gurdaspur and Amritsar. The Punjab Government had to direct Markfed to come to the rescue of farmers in both districts. Hence, the allocation of entire fertiliser distribution to Markfed this year.
The issue price of DAP would be Rs 460 per 50 kg bag and Rs 228 of urea per bag. As the government had withdrawn the part of subsidy and also imposed sales tax on fertiliser, the price had gone up.
As far as the
distribution of agro-chemicals was concerned, Markfed has
been declared a nodal agency and a high-level committee
had been constituted for the procurement of pesticides.
Markfed had been told to arrange Rs 20 lakh tonnes of
different types of agro-chemicals worth Rs 50 crore. Mr
Bains said that only quality product would be procured.
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