|Tuesday, June 6, 2000,
Badals speech hints at
Pressure to declare Bhindranwale
Search for Namdhari guru starts
Punjab to make towns, villages
Stir on June 8 to seek Bibis
Kaura talks tough, rules out truce
Govt efforts to provide better
Centre must return Sikh library
320 crore scheme to revamp canal
avenues for SDEs
PCMSA flays transfer policy
Irrigation management system
World Environment Day celebrated
Rural water supply scheme launched
Gang of thieves busted, 2 held
2 smugglers held, poppy husk
Milling date extended
Badals speech hints at
RAIKOT (Ludhiana), June 5 Persistent denials to this effect by the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, notwithstanding, his speech delivered after laying the foundation stone of a 70-acre industrial focal point here today was electioneering for all to see and gave clear indications that Mr Badal has almost made up his mind to go in for a mid-term poll in Punjab.
Addressing residents of this town, about 30 km from the industrial capital of the state, the Chief Minister listed the achievements of his government during the past three years and criticised the Congress for its misrule, both at the Centre and Punjab. He lashed at the opponents and the dissidents saying that they were working in league with the Congress and described in great detail the largesse showered upon this border state by the NDA government led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. He said people of Raikot were influenced by the Congress propaganda during the last Assembly elections in which the SAD(B) nominee, Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi, had lost to the Congress candidates, Mr Harmoinder Singh.
Incidentally, Mr Talwandi, son of Veteran Akali leader and Senior Vice-President of the SAD(B), Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, was later convicted in a murder case and his younger brother, Mr Jagjit Singh Talwandi, replaced him as the Chairman of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation Mr Badal asked the residents of Raikot not to repeat their earlier mistake. Es vaari khiyal rakhiyo (take care this time), he said, adding that the election of an SAD(B) nominee from the constituency would open the way for the speedy development of the area.
The Chief Minister called for a joint effort for industrialisation of agricultural economy by giving a boost to small-scale units, particularly in the agricultural processing. At the same time, the pressure on land had to be eased in view of diminishing land holdings and agriculture no longer being a profitable venture, he said adding that progressive policies to accelerate the industrial growth in Punjab would aim at achieving a growth rate of 10 to 12 per cent against the national average of 6 per cent.
Giving details of the achievements of the SAD(B)-BJP government in Punjab, Mr Badal said while the successive Congress governments had discriminated against the state, especially in allocations of big industrial projects, the NDA government at the Centre had been quite liberal in this respect so far. Against a total investment of Rs 14,000 crore central investment in Punjab since Independence, the present Union Government had allotted a single refinery project worth Rs 16,000 crore, work on which had already started, he said.
He charged the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, and a former Union Minister, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, with playing in the hands of the Congress which, he said, was the real culprit for not solving any of the pending issues of Punjab, including the territorial dispute, river waters and handing over Chandigarh to Punjab. The Congress has always thrived upon its policy of divide and rule its bid to stage a comeback in Punjab will be foiled at all costs, Mr Badal said.
Taking a dig at the dissidents, who are trying all kinds of tricks to destabilise the government and create dissensions within the ruling SAD(B), the Chief Minister remarked sarcastically that they (the dissidents) might forget to have their morning tea, even forget to recite japuji sahib but would never miss an opportunity to criticise the government, the party and its leadership. However, he added that such elements would achieve nothing and the party would go from strength to strength.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jagir Singh, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, announced that development of infrastructure for the industrial focal point would be undertaken on a war footing and the project would be completed by March, 2000, at an estimated cost of Rs 6.25 crore. In his welcome address, the PSIEC Chairman, Mr Jagjit Singh Talwandi, said the corporation had developed 1,400 acres of land in areas in and around Ludhiana city with a view to boost industrial development.
Prominent among those
present on the occasion were Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi,
Punjab Minister for Education, Mr Total Singh, the
Minister for Technical Education, Mr Jagdish Singh
Garcha, the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr
Rameshinder Singh, the DIG Police (Ludhiana Range), Mr
Paramjit Singh Sandhu, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K.
Sandhu, and the Managing Director of the PSIEC, Mrs
Surjit Kaur Sandhu.
Pressure to declare Bhindranwale
AMRITSAR, June 5 Even as pressure has mounted on Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, to declare Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale a martyr the Sikh clergy is unlikely to touch this sensitive issue as Damdami Taksal and some radicals believe he is alive even after 16 years of Operation Bluestar. No family member of Bhindranwale has come forward to accept this thesis that he was killed during Operation Bluestar in 1984. Meanwhile, the police has made elaborate security arrangements in wake of the announcement made by the Khalra Mission Committee that its activists would carry portraits of Bhindranwale and other Sikh martyrs of 1984 to be installed in the Sikh museum of the SGPC tomorrow.
On the other hand, the All-India Sikh Students Federation has also announced that come what may it would organise ghallughara divas near Gurdwara Shaheedan tomorrow despite the fact that the SGPC has withdrawn permission in this regard. The district administration has, however, said that nobody would be allowed to take law into his hands. Section 144 of the CrPC was already in force.
The All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) headed by Mr Harminder Singh Gill, Dal Khalsa, the Human Rights and Democratic Front and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) have also demanded declaring Bhindranwale a martyr.
On the other hand, the All-India Anti-Terrorist Front headed by Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta has taken strong exception to observing martyrdom day of Bhindranwale. In a written press note here today, Mr Bitta described Bhindranwale as an ISI agent who allegedly responsible for killing of more than 36,000 innocent persons. Mr Bitta urged the Jathedar of Akal Takht and the SGPC to take collective action against any move to organise a function in the name of Bhindranwale tomorrow. He said the front would also oppose any such move tooth and nail.
Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa, SAD (Amritsar) and the Human Rights and Democratic Front have decided to participate in the bhog ceremony of the akhand path organised by the SGPC at Akal Takht tomorrow. Interestingly, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of SAD (Amritsar), and Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwar Paul Singh were arrested by the police last year when they tried to organise ghallughara divas at Akal Takht.
According to sources, after the akhand path bhog only the Akal Takht Jathedar will pay tributes to those killed during Operation Bluestar. This has been made clear to representatives of various Sikh organisations who met the Jathedar recently. The SGPC is of the view that if activities of other organisations are allowed to address the congregation on this occasion the situation might go out of control.
Meanwhile, the police has made heavy bandobast around Gurdas Hall as a preventive measure as Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Chairman of the Punjab Human Rights Organisation, and Mr Surinder Singh Ghariala of the Khalra Mission Committee will lead a procession from there which will proceed towards Akal Takht.
Varinder Singh adds from Jalandhar: Even as the SGPC authorities are all set to observe ghallughara divas in a big way on Tuesday to perpetuate the memory of those killed during Operation Bluestar, Bhindranwales family will observe the day in oblivion at their residence as they have not been invited to take part in the function either by the SGPC or any of the radical Akali groups, who have been demanding that Bhindranwale should be declared a martyr on the day.
The attitude of the SGPC authorities, who are officially observing the day after a gap of five years, and that of radical Akali groups has apparently disillusioned the family, residing in a posh colony near Wadala Chowk here. It is for the first time that the AISSF has not contacted or invited them this year to its function which it organises annually to observe shahidi divas of Bhai Amrik Singh, a close confidant of Bhindranwale.
Talking to the TNS, Mr Ishar Singh, one of the two sons of Bhindranwale, who tried his best to choose his words carefully, said in a pessimistic tone, All have been busy gaining political mileage by using his name and have forgotten Sant Bhindranwale and his ideology. We have not been contacted by the SGPC, the Akali Dal (Amritsar) and the AISSF. He said the family had decided not to go to Amritsar to attend the ghallughara divas being organised by the SGPC.
While he had no soft words for politicians and hardliners, he said Sikhs could never forget his father since the movement started by him was just and right but it was undermined by some vested interests who killed innocent people which he termed as a mindless and barbaric act. Who can justify killing of innocent bus passengers?, queried Ishar Singh who observed that the wrongdoings by some people led to the decline of the movement, which had reflected the aspirations of the people of the state. I dont know the abc of politics, but I dont think there was anything objectionable in it, said a relaxed Ishar Singh, adding that the movement was still simmering since, every movement ends on a concluding note. Only time will tell but I am sure somebody will come one day and cleanse the system.
Ishar Singh said he did not nurture any ambition to join politics. I want to be away from this game. Please dont ask me any question relating to politics, he retorted when asked whether he considered Sikhs a separate quam? Ask those who are making such comments. I can tell only what I know.
When asked how the family would observe the day, his answer was, We will stay at home. We always remember him and will do so tomorrow. He did not specify how the day would be observed by the family. We will do it in our own way, which I dont think I should tell you, he said, adding that he did not know what happened 16 years ago since he was a kid of 11 then. Either people who were with Santji or Damdami Taksal head Baba Thakur Singh can tell you what exactly happened that day, he said.
Giving vent to his feelings, Ishar Singh, who secured 83 per cent marks in his matriculation examination in 1984 when Operation Bluestar took place, said he and his family were still being tormented by the police and intelligence agencies. Though no case has been registered against me till date, still we are made targets. They keep tabs on the activities of my schoolgoing kids, my phones are being tapped, my mail is being censored, he lamented, adding that all he desired now was a peaceful life and a bright future for his children.
He alleged that the licence of his weapon was not being renewed by the Moga police. I am ready to surrender my pistol. They should cancel the licence if they dont want to renew it, he added. He alleged that passports were being denied to him and his brother. The passport of his wife was not being renewed.
Asked why the family was not invited, Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, SGPC secretary, said the ghallughara divas was being observed in memory of all martyrs and not one particular person. When asked about the SGPC stance on the demand made by the Akali Dal (Amritsar) headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann to declare Bhindranwale a martyr, Dr Bachan quipped, For this, first of all his family should concede that he has died.
The Sikh League has urged Akal Takht Jathedar Giani
Joginder Singh Vedanti to not only declare Bhindranwale
and others who laid down their lives as martyrs during
the observance of martyrdom day at the Golden Temple
complex on June 6, but also to take steps to mention the
sacrifices made by them in the ardaas. In an open letter
addressed to the head priest, the Sikh League has desired
that pictures of all these martyrs should be displayed in
the martyrs gallery of Akal Takht to perpetuate
Search for Namdhari guru starts
LUDHIANA, June 5 One hundred and fifteen years after the mysterious disappearance of Satguru Ram Singhji, founder of the Namdhari sect and an acknowledged leader of the historical Kuka Movement of the Indian freedom struggle, the External Affairs Ministry of the country has finally given a nod to the long-cherished project of the Namdharis to research about what happened to their revered Guru, last seen in a British Jail in Burma, now known as Myanmar.
A five-member delegation comprising Namdharis, research scholars and historians will leave the city for Myanmar tomorrow to research into the life spent by their guru in British confinement in a foreign land. It would also try to establish for once and all whether the Britishers claim that the guru died of a water-borne disease in a jail in 1885 or not as later documents procured from some Englishmen by the sect activists assert that the death news of the guru was false and a year later he was sent to some remote areas of Myanmar.
The research will also endeavour to rewrite the history as the Namdharis believe that their guru , who launched a non-cooperation movement in 1860s some 60 years before Mahatma Gandhi did so, had also established links with the Russian and Afghani forces long before Netaji Subhash Chander Bose did so along with the Japanese to throw the Britishers out of India.The delegation expects to lay their hands on some documents that will force the historians to give more credit to the Namdharis for being one of the first to raise a banner against the British rule as today the sect is popular for the KUKA movement only.
Delegation secretary Ajit Singh told The Tribune in an exclusive interview here today that apart from the freedom struggle the main motive of the delegation would be to discover some real photos of their guru as the portraits available today were based on old paintings only. Other members of the delegation include senior Namdhari leader Surinder Singh, research scholar Surjit Singh and historians Jaswinder Singh and Tara Singh Anjaan of New Delhi.
The delegation will also try to give King Thibu of the erstwhile Burma his due for having cooperated with their guru in spite of the hostile Britishers. Another objective of the expedition will be to research on the life spent by three other Namdharis Lakha Singh , Brahma Singh and Jwahar Singh in British confinement in Myanmar and give them a high place among the Indian freedom movement martyrs as their contribution is relatively unknown. According to the Namdhari records while the former two breathed their last in the jail after spending 20 years, the third one was released by the Britishers at a very old age.
According to the External Affairs Ministry documents, the delegations 20-day visit has been cleared after a hectic correspondence with the military government in Myanmar. It said the delegation had been allowed to visit a number of; jails where the Britishers claimed to have kept the satguru.The main places to be covered included Yangoon (formerly known as Rangoon), Myeik and Moulmein cities.
Namdhari Ajit Singh was optimistic of finding some documents about their guru. Showing documents he said according to the announcement made by the Britishers the guru died of dehydration in November, 1885, in a jail in Myanmar. However the sect activists managed to make a chance discovery some years ago about another document signed by Mr Bernard, British Chief Commissioner in Burma, in August, 1886, that the satguru had been sent to a remote place in the country where no one had access to because in spite of being kept in strict imprisonment he had managed to keep contacts with the freedom fighters in India. An initial research of the Myanmar Jail records by the sect revealed that no prisoner had died of such disease in the said year nor even four years later. More investigation done by the sect revealed that even the census done by the Britishers had also not recorded any such death.
Punjab to make towns, villages
CHANDIGARH, June 5 The Punjab Government has decided to introduce the western concept of self-regulation and self-discipline for the industry in the state where the State Pollution Control Board will accept at face value monitoring reports sent by the industrial units by electronic mail on a specified proforma.
The state government has also decided to activate environmental protection in the field, at the district level, for making the villages and towns cleaner. A compendium of guidelines has been prepared for environmental committees at the district level to monitor and enforce pollution abatement policies.
These were among the observations made by Mr Rajan Kashyap, Principal Secretary, Science, Technology and Environment, at a seminar on millennium environment organised by the Punjab Pollution Control Board at the Regional headquarters of the CII here this afternoon.
"We stand at a critical point in history, where environmental destruction threatens our well being in the immediate short term, and our existence in the long term," Mr Kashyap said, seeking participation of all in the first "battle of the environment millennium".
Justice Kuldip Singh was the guest of honour at the function. Others who spoke included Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, Secretary, Industries, Punjab.
Mr I.S. Paul, Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council, said that besides the involvement of citizens, it is the active involvement of both business and industry or corporate citizens which is required for a cleaner environment.
"Positive trends are already evident, including a cadre of environmental professionals dedicated to solving the country's environmental problems. India's business is beginning to see that the economic and environmental opportunities for using new, clean technologies to increase efficiency while reducing waste are too good to pass up," Mr Paul said.
Mr Ajay Kumar Mahajan, Chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board, in his address of welcome said that environment protection is not just the role of regulatory authorities or voluntary agencies, but that of every citizen who must play an active role to combat the pollution problem and assist regulatory agencies in environment management programme.
He further said that due
to lack of will, the environment issues have always taken
a backseat, though an important objective of the Ninth
Five Year Plan was to ensure environmental sustainability
of the development process. The environmentalists and the
NGOs should participate in educating the masses that
environment degradation is a slow and silent killer of
living being, he added.
Stir on June 8 to seek
AMRITSAR, June 5 A senior ruling Akali Dal and SGPC member, Mr Puran Singh Josh, today announced to launch an agitation to demand Bibi Jagir Kaurs resignation on June 8.
Mr Josh told newsmen today that the demonstration, led by him, would begin from Gurdwara Ramsar and culminate at the SGPC office in Golden Temple complex.
He claimed that Baba Mangal Singh of Sat Satlani, acting president of Gurmat Gurbani Parcharak Sant Samaj and certain senior leaders of the SHSAD, including the vice-president, Bhai Manjit Singh, and district president, Onkar Singh Sharifpura and AISSF (Gill faction) president Harminder Singh Gill would participate in the demonstration.
In a statement, Mr Josh justified his action and said that Bibi Jagir Kaur had violated the Sikh traditions and maryada of Akal Takht by flouting the hukumnama issued by the then Jathedar, Giani Puran Singh.
Bibi Jagir Kaur who was excommunicated from the Sikh panth, not only appeared before the Akal Takht for pardon but had refused to tender her resignation.
Kaura talks tough, rules out truce
FEROZEPORE, June 5 The Punjab unit of the BJP is heading for fresh dissensions after the election of Mr Brij Lal Rinwa as its president.
An indication to this effect was given to TNS today by a senior party leader Mr Jagmohan Kaura, who had resigned from the post of organising general secretary in protest against the election of Mr Rinwa, reportedly under pressure from the RSS.
Mr Kaura in no uncertain terms, warned of an extreme step to restore the honour of the BJP workers, which, he said, had been lost by electing a president in violation of the party constitution. Although he did not specify what exactly he meant by the extreme step, he said: Anything is possible.
Asked if he was considering to cause a split in the party, he said: Wait for sometime. Adding that a large number of BJP workers were in touch with him, he said: Their opinion has to be considered before taking any major step.
Mr Kaura ruled out the hope of a truce saying, he would not withdraw his resignation.
Mr Kaura had accused the RSS of imposing Mr Rinwas leadership on the party, saying, He is not even a primary member of the party.
Mr Kaura claimed that committed party workers were still with him. He alleged, that the BJP leadership had failed to extend its support base in Punjab due to its own weakness.
Despite the fact that the BJP was sharing power with the Akali Dal in Punjab, he charged, the status of the party had been lowered. The party had proved itself incapable of protecting the interests of its workers, who had frequently been humiliated by the Akali Dal, he alleged.
Govt efforts to provide better
FATEHGARH SAHIB, June 5 The Punjab Government has decided to observe the next two years as development years. During this period Rs 1 crore would be spent in every Assembly constituency of the state, according to the requirement of the MLAs, said Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Minister for Technical Education, while addressing a press conference after inaugurating a free ayurvedic camp at Mandi Gobindgarh in the district today.
He said the government was making efforts to improve the primary education system in the state. He said Rs 12 lakh was being spent in every constituency on buildings of primary schools. He said Rs 36,000 has been sanctioned for constructing toilets in every school. He alleged that the previous Congress governments had destroyed the educational structure in the state by giving free hand to students as well as to teachers.
Addressing the ayurvedic camp he expressed concern over the release of grant by the Centre to the state. He said last year though the Centre had released Rs 447 crore for the development of ayurvedic system in the country and state got only Rs 37 lakh for this purpose. He urged the social organisations to come forward to popularise the ayurvedic system and to organise such camps. He appreciated the efforts of Dr Ananta Nand Tirath of Ahmedabad (Gujarat) who is successfully treating and curing the cancer patients.
Dr B.K. Dutt, Deputy
Director, Ayurvedic, Mr Kanhayia Lal, Mr Sanjay Goyal of
Bharat Vikas Parishad, Gobindgarh also addressed the
gathering. The camp was organised by Dhanvantri Ayurvedic
Society in association with Bharat Vikas Parishad, Mandi
Gobindgarh. More than 700 patients were checked and
medicines were distributed, free of cost.
Centre must return Sikh library
LUDHIANA, June 5The Sikh Student Federation (SSF) yesterday appealed to the Vajpayee Government at the centre to apologise to the Sikhs for the Operation Bluestar during the Congress regime. It also asked the government to return the historic documents of the Sikh Reference Library to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee(SGPC) taken away by the Army during the operation.
In a written statement president of the federation, Bhai Rajinder Singh Mehta, and the secretary-general, Bhai Amarjit Singh Chawla, even after throwing out the Congress from the power at the Centre no other ruling party had tried to heal the wounds of the Sikhs .
The leaders appreciated
the gesture of Defence Minister George Fernandes who
informed that the the library documents were lying with
the Army and demanded action against the Congress and
army officials concerned for keeping Parliament and
people in the dark.
320 crore scheme to revamp
BATHINDA, June 5 Breaches in the irrigation channels, including canals, distributaries and minors seem to have become a routine feature in this region.
Official sources said that more than 40 breaches had occurred at various places in the Bathinda branch and other distributaries of Sirhind canal and Sirhind feeder canal in the past two years. The Punjab Government had not spent even a single penny on their repairs. Since. 1979, the authorities concerned had been taking up little repairs of the distributaries passing in this region.
The sources said the Kotbhai distributary had breached about five times in the past two years while two breaches had occurred in the Bathinda branch of Sirhind canal during the period.
Mr P.K. Singla, Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department, who visited the site of breach in Bathinda branch of Sirhind canal today, when contacted, said the Punjab Government had moved a scheme of Rs 320 crore to the Central Government for the remodelling of the entire canal system in the state. He added that scheme was under the active consideration of the Centre.
Under the scheme, the capacity of the canals would be increased and these would be given a fresh lease of life. The entire exercise would take about five years as the work would be done in phases.
He said the main canal system in Punjab was more than 100 year old and most of the canals required immediate repairs. The Punjab Irrigation Department was maintaining 14,500 kms length of canals and five head works at present.
The sources said the breaches had been occurring in most of the distributaries of Sirhind feeder as they were under strain as more water was flowing through them than the original capacity to meet the ever increasing demand of farmers of southern-western Punjab.
Mr Singla said the
Punjab Government was also planning to introduce a new
system of maintenance and repair. The Punjab Irrigation
Department was giving water for irrigation to 80 per cent
of the total cultivable area against 37 per cent fixed by
the Punjab Government in a single crop season.
avenues for SDEs
CHANDIGARH, June 5 The Subdivisional Engineers Association of PWD (B and R), Punjab, has urged the Punjab Government to redesignate certain cadre posts to create promotional avenues for the subdivisional engineers.
At a meeting held here, the Association discussed various problems faced by the SDEs. The main focus in the meeting was on preventing stagnation in the cadre. Even those recruited earlier as SDEs were awaiting their first promotion, a spokesman for the association said today.
The association has demanded the redesignation of 19 cadre posts of personal assistant to superintending engineers as executive engineer. It said as senior SDEs posted as PAs were already in the scale of Xens, the redesignation of these posts would entail only a nominal financial implication yearly.
The association says this issue was referred to the Finance Department about a year ago and the matter rests there as yet. It said while the state government authorities concerned were wasting crores of rupees on appointing consultants for designing, planning and supervising various projects, the government was not willing to spare a small amount to better the lot of the SDEs.
The association has strongly opposed the allocation of certain projects pertaining to construction of buildings, overbridges and four-laning of roads to certain government and private agencies.It said many agencies were not well equipped to handle projects of big magnitude. The government was also violating the Allocation of Business Rules, 1994, the association said.
It said though the government had planned to close the loss-making boards and corporations, yet it had set up the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board when there was already a full-fledged PWD Department for executing various projects.
At the cost of the PWD,
several departments like the Punjab Urban Development
Authority, the Mandi Board, the Housing Board, the
Markfed and the Punjab State Industrial Export
Corporation have set up their own engineering wings.
These departments were being allocated works and projects
like construction of bus-stands which earlier used to be
constructed by the PWD.
PCMSA flays transfer policy
PATIALA, June 5 The PCMS Association today alleged that the exercise of first ordering large-scale transfers of PCMS doctors and then staying the list temporarily was a calculated conspiracy to divert the attention of the PCMS Association from the real issues like the implementation of the time-scale pattern and other recommendations of the fourth Punjab Pay Commission and the demand of PCMSA for a high-level probe into the malfunctioning of the Punjab Health System Corporation during the past four years.
In a press note issued here by Dr D.C. Sharma, General Secretary of the PCMS Association, the PCMSA demanded action against the officials of the Health Department, including the PHSC Managing Director, for creating havoc and a mess during the recent transfers, many of them having been done on purely erroneous considerations, in the absence of a proper transfer policy for which the PCMSA was striving hard for long. The Director, Health Services though being the technical head of the Health Department, was being totally ignored during the transfers, he alleged.
The PCMSA reiterated that it would not oppose any rationalisation if done sincerely by the Government. He ridiculed the decision of the Government to shift almost one hundred doctors from ESI hospitals in the state against the norms. It demanded that the doctors with long length of service and seniority should be given preference in postings. All those transfers where senior persons had been adjusted as per their request or where transfers had been ordered on the basis of serious complaints should be implemented henceforth. All transfers involving the slashing of ESI posts or done otherwise without any reasonable grounds should be cancelled.
Regarding the controversy involving Mata Kaushalya Hospital, Patiala, the PCMSA demanded that a sufficient number of gynaecologists should be continued to be posted at the hospital. Keeping in view the low bed occupancy, vacant beds should be utilised for developing other specialities in the hospital. The state had spent lakhs of rupees on the equipment for radiodiagnosis, laboratory and blood bank services.
The PCMSA urged the
Government to first formulate a rational transfer policy
in consultation with the association and then hand over
the work of transfers to the two Directors of Health
Services instead of clerks and bureaucrats.
Irrigation management system
HARNAMSINGHWALA (Bathinda), June 5 To facilitate better maintenance of water courses, the Punjab Government has introduced a Participatory Irrigation Management System under which the users would look after these channels from the funds generated by them on their own.
Addressing a press conference here today after inaugurating a water course, the Punjab Irrigation Minister, Mr Janmeja Singh Sekhon, said more than 210 associations of farmers had been formed and registered and these had been assigned the task of looking after their respective water courses.
He pointed out that Rs 500 per acre one-time functional grant was being given to the associations. Of this, Rs 50 was being contributed by each beneficiary. The remaining money was being contributed by the Central and state governments. He said with this money, the associations had been able to carry out necessary repairs of newly built water courses.
In another move, the Punjab Government has directed the officials of the Irrigation Department to keep a watch on the canals, distributaries and minors falling in their respective jurisdiction so that breaches could be avoided in storm conditions.
The minister said all arrangements had been made to prevent floods in the state during the rains. All dhussi bundhs of the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej had been strengthened. The matter of constructing a special bundh on the Ravi to avoid the diversion of the waters by Pakistan, had been taken up with the Ministry of Defence by the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in the recent past.
Apart from it, a project
to increase the height of bridges over the Ghaggar at a
cost of Rs 28 crore had been prepared to prevent floods.
A link canal between the Beas and the Ravi was also being
constructed to save the Gurdaspur area from floods, he
World Environment Day
LUDHIANA, June 5 Environment Day was celebrated today all over the city with full zest and vigour. The residents of the city are suffering from pollution emitted by the automobiles and the industries.
Several functions were organised in the city to celebrate World Environment Day. The District Youth Congress took out a rally in the city to make people aware of the dangers of environmental degradation. Pawan Dewan, President, District Youth Congress stressed on the planting of more trees and to stop the unplanned growth of colonies in the city. Eminent citizens and students of different colleges participated in the march from the Ferozpur road to the DC office. Slogans were raised on environment related problems.
Trees were also planted by Malkit Singh Dakha, ex-Minister Punjab, K.K. Bawa, Secretary, Punjab Pardesh Congress, on the roadside. They emphasised the need to check adulteration of petrol and diesel. They also demanded ban on plastic bags and need to create mass awareness.
As part of the celebrations for promotion of healthy environment the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha in collaboration with the Punjab Pollution Control Board organised street plays at various spots in the Rose Garden.
The jatha put forth the message that keeping the environment clean and healthy is everybodys responsibility. Mr Tejveer Singh Additional Deputy Commissioner was the chief guest. He praised the work of the Jatha and said that in the coming rainy season the administration would take effective measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. He also said that the public should keep the surrounding environment clean. Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary of the Jatha, stressed that action should be taken against those who sell uncovered eatables. He also said that environment protection measures, if not taken at global-level would lead to serious repercussions.
Mr Najar Singh, Xen, PPCB, Ludhiana, said that the Board was taking strict action against the industries which do not install pollution control devices. They also demanded that dustbins should be installed in the Rose Garden and the surrounding areas. The children and the staff of Guru Ram Dass School were also given participation certificates.
The students of PAU,
planted saplings to add to the green environment in the
surrounding area. Some of the nationalised banks also
observed World Environment Day by putting up hoardings
carrying messages to keep environment clean and healthy.
Rural water supply scheme
PATIALA, June 5 The Punjab Government has decided to launch rural water supply schemes on a large scale as the water table in the state has been rapidly diminishing.
Speaking after launching a Rs 30 lakh rural water supply scheme which will benefit Bibipur, Chatar Nagam, Salempur and Naganwa villages, Raja Narinder Singh, Minister for Public Health, said a special plan has been formulated by the State Government to provide safe drinking water to villages falling in district Patiala. He urged the farming community to try to change the cultivation pattern in their areas. Instead of going in for sowing wheat and paddy, the farmers must concentrate on growing other form of crops and vegetables, he suggested. This was necessary due to the diminishing water table in the state and its adjoining areas, he stated. He added that the present state government had always strove to simultaneously develop rural and urban areas.
Mr Ajaib Singh
Mukhmailpur, Minister for Public Works, agreed that the
State Government had taken notice of the plight of the
farmers living in the Ghanour block. The economy of this
area had stagnated because of repeated flooding of
villages in the block, he said. He added that the Ghanour
was one of the worst developed areas of the state. Due to
it being flood-prone, the State Government was planning
to substantially develop the area by pumping in more
funds, he asserted.
Durgiana Committee Secy removed
AMRITSAR, June 5 Dissensions in Shree Durgiana Committee widened today as the committee removed its executive member and Secretary, Mr Ramesh Talwar.
Mr Talwar was also removed from chairmanship of all sub-committees managed by the Durgiana Committee, the General Secretary said here today in a press statement.
Although no specific reason was given for his removal the action was believed to be the result of Mr Talwar forming an independent body of Durgiana utsav committee.
MALERKOTLA, June 5 The Deputy Director (LD), Mr J.P. Singla has dismissed Dhanna Singh, sarpanch of village Dadhogal block Malerkotla-1 under the Punjab Raj Act, 1994, under Panchayati Section 20 (4).
According to information
the sarpanch was dismissed after the report of District
Development and Panchayat Officer who alleged that the
sarpanch had taken illegal possession and constructed a
house on the land.
Gang of thieves busted, 2 held
JALANDHAR, June 5 The district police claims to have busted one gang of migrant labourers by arresting two of its members from near Kandiana village last night.
The gang was allegedly involved in murder case and looting a number of houses and deras at Kahlwan, Nurpur, Bhagwanpura and other villages after attacking family members with iron rods and other blunt weapons.
Mr Gaurav Yadav, SSP, said two members of the Rajasthan based gang Ram Avtaar, a resident of Ramgarh village near Jaipur, and Lallian, a resident of Pancholimer near Kota in Rajasthan, were arrested by the Adampur police during a combing operation in the area. Earlier, the same gang had escaped from the police dragnet when on an information a party had cornered them near Jandusingha village on May 29. Two pistols, cartridges, lathis and iron rods have been seized from them.
During preliminary interrogation, it was revealed that the two were members of a eight to -10-member gang of Bawarias based in Rajasthan and they used to visit Punjab on regular intervals for committing crime. The gang, the members of which stayed near railway stations, also included women, who would go to village in garb of draught-hit and identify their potential targets, while menfolk would do the same job while posing as polishwallahs.
2 smugglers held, poppy
MUKTSAR, June 5 The district police has arrested two smugglers of the area along with huge quantity of poppy husk yesterday.
Police sources said Rajinder Kumar and Parkash Chand were arrested after the police received the information on a wireless set that a Jeep had escaped a police naka near Balluana village. The Jeep was going towards Gidderbaha.
A police naka was laid down on the Gidderbaha-Mudhir road but the smugglers escaped after dashing against the barricades. They were finally nabbed when the police stationed a tractor-trailer in the middle of the Doda-Sukhna road and the Jeep after hitting it fell into a ditches.
Mr Kultar Singh, SSP said 10 bags of poppy husk were recovered from the Jeep. Both smugglers belonged to a narcotics smuggling gang.
He added that Rajinder Kumar had been declared proclaimed offender as he had failed to present himself in the court on the date fixed for a hearing in a criminal case registered against him. Both would be sent to the Joint Interrogation Centre Amritsar.
The SSP added that in
another case Paramjit Kaur and Kale Khan had been
arrested for allegedly killing Randhir Singh, husband of
Paramjit Kaur, and throwing the body into the Sirhind
feeder canal recently. Both were booked under Sections
302, 201 and 34 of the IPC.
Milling date extended
CHANDIGARH, June 5 To help Punjab rice millers in continuing their custom milling, the Ministry of Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs has permitted delivery of rice of 1999-2000 kharif in 95-kg packing till end of June this year.
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