|Thursday, September 21, 2000,
14 injured in mishap
Shekhars clarion call to voters
Punjab CEO visits Sunam
Minister promotes indicted SE
Stealing car for campaigning?
Police cancels case against sarpanch
Tribune survey (Part-I)
Rights body wants cops booked
Councillors meet DC
Bullet trains to be introduced in India
SGPC forms panel to count cash
PATIALA, Sept 20 The Vigilance Department today conducted a surprise check on the premises of the Patiala Municipal Corporation and seized documents concerning the construction of a road.
DoT charges security from senior
Departmental probe against SHO
60 bonded labourers released
Martyrs kin given badges of
Arrest warrants in hijack case
New UGC plan to select Profs
Thapar institute students boycott
English at primary level creates
Students clamour for elections
14 injured in mishap PATIALA,
Eight persons were killed and 14 injured when a Pepsu
Roadways Transport Corporation bus collided head on with
a truck at Wajidpur village on the Patiala-Sangrur road,
around ten km from Patiala, today morning. The accident
occurred when the bus (PB-11-P-7408) collided head on
with a truck coming from the opposite side after it tried
to overtake a car. Three persons died on the spot, while
two died on the way and another three succumbed to their
injuries after being brought to the Government Rajindra
Hospital here. The victims were brought to the hospital
here shortly after the accident and given prompt medical
attention. A police mobile van was used for this purpose.
The deceased have been identified as the driver of the
ill-fated bus Kuldeep Singh and passengers Tarsem Chand,
Lakha Singh, Joginder Singh, Babu Singh, and Gurdev Kaur.
A one-year-old male child was also killed. Mr Lakha
Singh, one of the passengers, who was slightly injured in
the accident, said he was earlier sitting on the seat
immediately behind the driver, along with two others,
including the father of the child. He said when the child
started feeling irritated, he offered to shift to another
seat so that the child could lie down. Mr Lakha Singh
escaped alives but the child was not so
lucky. Immediately after the accident, the Deputy
Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, rushed to the
hospital. He said 11 persons were discharged after being
given first aid while 14 were admitted to the hospital.
The injured include the bus conductor Krishan Chand,
truck cleaner Kuldeep Singh, and passengers Sukhdev
Singh, Joginder Singh, Darshan Singh, Subhash Chander,
Jeet Singh, Hamir Singh, Malkit Kaur, Dalip Kaur, Gurdial
Singh, Pappi Modi, Lakha Singh and an unidentified
person. Doctors attending to the patients said at least
two of them were in a serious condition. Meanwhile, the
district administration has announced an ex-gratia relief
of Rs 50,000 from the Chief Ministers discretionary
fund. The Red Cross will take the responsibility of the
medication of the injured. The Lok Sabha member from
Patiala, Ms Preneet Kaur, has also expressed her grief at
the large number of deaths in the accident and conveyed
her sympathies to the bereaved families.
PATIALA, Sept 20 Eight persons were killed and 14 injured when a Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation bus collided head on with a truck at Wajidpur village on the Patiala-Sangrur road, around ten km from Patiala, today morning.
The accident occurred when the bus (PB-11-P-7408) collided head on with a truck coming from the opposite side after it tried to overtake a car. Three persons died on the spot, while two died on the way and another three succumbed to their injuries after being brought to the Government Rajindra Hospital here.
The victims were brought to the hospital here shortly after the accident and given prompt medical attention. A police mobile van was used for this purpose. The deceased have been identified as the driver of the ill-fated bus Kuldeep Singh and passengers Tarsem Chand, Lakha Singh, Joginder Singh, Babu Singh, and Gurdev Kaur. A one-year-old male child was also killed.
Mr Lakha Singh, one of the passengers, who was slightly injured in the accident, said he was earlier sitting on the seat immediately behind the driver, along with two others, including the father of the child. He said when the child started feeling irritated, he offered to shift to another seat so that the child could lie down. Mr Lakha Singh escaped alives but the child was not so lucky.
Immediately after the accident, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jasbir Singh Bir, rushed to the hospital. He said 11 persons were discharged after being given first aid while 14 were admitted to the hospital. The injured include the bus conductor Krishan Chand, truck cleaner Kuldeep Singh, and passengers Sukhdev Singh, Joginder Singh, Darshan Singh, Subhash Chander, Jeet Singh, Hamir Singh, Malkit Kaur, Dalip Kaur, Gurdial Singh, Pappi Modi, Lakha Singh and an unidentified person. Doctors attending to the patients said at least two of them were in a serious condition.
Meanwhile, the district administration has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 50,000 from the Chief Ministers discretionary fund. The Red Cross will take the responsibility of the medication of the injured. The Lok Sabha member from Patiala, Ms Preneet Kaur, has also expressed her grief at the large number of deaths in the accident and conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved families.
clarion call to voters
SUNAM, Sept 20 Mr Chandra Shekhar, a former Prime Minister and president of the Samajwadi Janata Party, today called on people to light a lamp in the dark by voting for Prem Singh Chandumajra, candidate of the Sanjha Morcha in the Sunam Assembly byelections on September 29.
Mr Chandra Shekhar also indirectly asked Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), to extend his partys support to Mr Chandumajra as there was need for unity among all those political parties which opposed the Congress and the BJP-SAD alliance.
The former Prime Minister opined if the voters of the Sunam Assembly constituency delivered their verdict in favour of Mr Chandumajra it would certainly help in changing the social and political conditions in the country in the near future.
Mr Chandra Shekhar was addressing an election rally here which was organised in support of Mr Chandumajra, who is general secretary of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD).
Mr Chandra Shekhar said it was a matter of concern that the ruling party (BJP) and the opposition party (Congress) now shared identical views and opinions. He also alleged that both the parties were ready to sell the honour and dignity of the country.
Mr Chandra Shekhar also said the country was on the verge of economic slavery. He said effective steps should be initiated to save the country immediately from this possible slavery.
The former Prime Minister also held the Union Government responsible for the suicides committed by farmers. He said the agriculture sector was in crisis. Besides, small-scale industries were also facing closure due to threat of the implementation of the GATT agreement.
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the SHSAD, said Mr Parkash Singh Badal had highjacked the Shiromani Akali Dal and had reduced it to the stature of a private limited company. He said Mr Badal was the Chairman of the limited company while his son was the Managing Director and Mr Dhindsa was one of the Directors.
Mr Tohra gave a call to workers of the Sanjha Morcha to contest the byelection with a do-or-die spirit for ensuring the victory of Mr Chandumajra.
Jathedar Kuldip Singh Wadala, convener of the Sanjha Morcha, said the Congress party and the BJP were two sides of the same coin as they could not bring any change. There was need for a strong third front in the country. He also said it would be better if Mr Mann extended support to the Sanjha Morcha candidate.
Mr Chandumajra said the huge gathering at this rally proved that nobody could stop the victory of the Sanjha Morcha in this byelection.
Among others who addressed the rally were Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, president of the SAD (Panthic), Mr Harminder Singh Gill, president of the AISSF (Gill), Mr Harish Khanna, president of the Punjab unit of the Janta Dal (S), Mr Darshan Singh president of the Punjab unit of the Samajwadi Janta Party, Mr Teja Singh Tiwana, president of the state unit of the Samajwadi Party, Mr Kiranjit Singh Sekhon, a member of the central committee of the MCPI, Mr Sarup Singh, president of the All-India Kirti Samaj Party and Mr Paramjit Singh Sidhwan, general secretary of the Lok Bhalai Party. Besides these, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, MLA from Morinda, and Mr Bhupinder Singh Mann of the BKU were also present.
Meanwhile, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, and general secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal, today strongly refuted the allegations of opposition parties that SAD was supplying liquor and other intoxicants in the villages to lure the voters.
Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Dhindsa challenged the political parties to prove their allegation with regard to supply of liquor. He said if any party succeeded in proving that even a single drop of liquor had been distributed by SAD in any of the villages he would not waste anytime to produce himself for facing punishment to be decided by the rival political parties.
Mr Dhindsa also criticised Mr Tohra for levelling the charge of parivarwad on SAD leaders. He said SAD did not believe in the theory of parivarwad. He said if Mr Tohras indication was towards the candidature of Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa as the SAD nominee for the Sunam Assembly byelection it could not be counted in the category of parivarwad as his name was forwarded and recommended by the district unit of SAD.
Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, a Punjab Minister, who was also present on the occasion, said the SAD-BJP alliance had more than 80 MLAs so there was no need to recommend mid-term poll in Punjab. Regarding holding of mid-term poll in Punjab, he said these were merely rumours which had been spread by the opposition parties.
Capt Kanwaljit Singh,
Finance Minister, claimed the Dairy Development Board,
Punjab, would prove beneficial for the farmers and the
milkmen as it would provide them better animal health
facilities. He claimed their business would not hamper in
SUNAM, Sept 20 Dr Brajendra Singh, Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, and Mrs Usha R. Sharma, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, today visited the town to review the poll arrangements.
A deputation of the Congress led by Mr Sant Ram Singla, vice-president of the PPCC, and Mr Manohar Lal Arora, an Independent candidate, met Mr Rao to submit their grievances, including misuse of official machinery by SAD.
Mr Singla also demanded deployment of more observers for this byelection to hold the same in a free and fair manner.
Meanwhile, Mr K.G. Rao, Secretary, Election Commission of India, while holding a press conference here today declined to answer many of the questions put to him by the journalists by merely saying that he would report to the commission. His answer disappointed the reporters who later opined he should not convene a press conference if he had no power to answer the questions.
Mr Rao said he had come here just to check the implementation of the model code of conduct and hear complaints to be submitted by the candidates, their representatives and the public.
Mr Rao in reply to a question said the commission had so far shifted four officers Mr B.S. Shergill, ADC, Sangrur, Giani Narinder Singh, DPRO, Sangrur, Mr Darshan Singh, DSP, Sangrur, and the BDPO, Sunam, following complaints against them. However, he declined to say whether more transfers were on the anvil.
Mr Anirudh Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, said 80 per cent of photo identity cards had been prepared in the district so far. He said as many as 10,260 photo identity cards had been prepared in the district during August and September this year.
Sarbjit Singh reports from Chandigarh: Flooded with complaints pertaining to the use of corrupt practices in the Sunam byelection by the ruling SAD-BJP combine, the Election Commission of India, had according to sources, today directed Dr Brajendra Singh, Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, to rush to the constituency to collect first-hand information on the complaints.
It is the second time that he has dashed to Sunam, where the political temperature has been on the rise during the past one week. Earlier, Dr Brajendra Singh was in Sunam when certain political parties, mainly the Congress, had expressed their apprehensions that the nomination papers of its official candidate might be rejected.
Informed sources said that the Election Commission had told the Chief Electoral Officer to keep it informed about the happenings in the constituency on a day-to-day basis.
The sources said that Dr Brajendra Singh had gone to collect information with regard to the allocation of villages to ministers for campaigning in the constituency. The Sarab Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) headed by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra had complained that certain ministers were forcing the authorities concerned to put employees of their own departments as polling staff in the villages allocated to them (ministers).
The SHSAD had stated that this was being done to get bogus votes polled in the byelection.
The SHSAD requested the Election Commission to ensure that there would be no foul play while putting polling staff on duty to conduct the election on September 29. It has urged the commission to conduct the election in a free and fair manner.
Another serious allegation on which Dr Brajendra Singh has been told by the Election Commission to submit a report pertains to the distribution of liquor and poppy husk in the constituency. Mr Simranjit Singh Mann had stated yesterday that the ruling party was distributing liquor to influence voters.
The most disturbing aspect of this election is complaints against senior officers. Already a number of officers have been shifted from Sangrur district, but the commission has got several more complaints in this connection. It is, perhaps, for the first time that political parties opposed to the ruling combine have levelled allegations against government officials on such a large scale. Punjab, otherwise, is a state where officers, by and large, stay away from extending open support in elections.
Already three election observers deputed by the commission are staying in Sangrur district. The commission is not allowing any minister, including the Chief Minister, to use government resthouses in this district.
promotes indicted SE
CHANDIGARH, Sept 20 A Superintending Engineer suspended by the Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board following his alleged indictment in the corrugated galvanised iron (CGI) sheets case was promoted Chief Engineer by the Punjab Government.
All this happened in the first half of the day today bringing to surface an open tug of war between the Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, Mr Mall Singh Ghuman, and the Agriculture Department headed by the Agriculture Minister , Mr Gurdev Singh Badal.
The bone of contention has been the post of Chief Engineer, Punjab Mandi Board, where the Agriculture Minister has got the seniormost Superintending Engineer of the Board belonging to his SC lobby promoted and appointed Chief Engineer inspite of pending enquiries and his indictment in the CGI case.The other lobby of general category, however, opposed the promotion saying that no Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) was convened while promoting an engineer to the highest position in the Board.
Conflict started after reports of rusting of corrugated galvanised iron sheets used by the Punjab Mandi Board at various places were received. The issue was raised at District Grievances Committee meeting at Bathinda where the Deputy Commissioner deputed a Subdivisional Magistrate to look into the allegations. The inquiry officer was asked to associate two engineers from the PWD for technical assistance and help.
The report of the committee, says Mr Mall Singh Ghuman, indicted Mr Suchanand, then Superintending Engineer of the Board, and Mr Ram Parkash Bhatti, an Executive Engineer, besides one person in the case.
It is a clear case of indictment in Rs 5 crore purchase of substandard corrugated galvanised iron sheets. On my return from abroad, I placed Mr Suchanand and Mr Ram Parkash Bhatti under suspension, Mr Ghuman told The Tribune over the telephone.
I suspended him at 10 a.m. and within an hour, the entire SC lobby, including the Agriculture Minister and the bureaucracy of the Department of Agriculture got together and promoted Mr Suchanand as Chief Engineer. This was done to circumvent suspension orders issued by me in the morning, says Mr Ghuman maintaining that the provisions of the Punjab Mandi Board Act have been amended so as to take away powers of appointment, disciplinary action against Chief Engineer from the Chairman.
Until recently, he says, there was no post of Chief Engineer in the Punjab Mandi Board. Senior Superintending Engineers were taken on deputation from the Punjab Public Works Department and given the charge of Chief Engineer in the Board.
But recently, the rules pertaining to class I position of Chief Engineer were amended by the Punjab Government. Mr Ghuman agrees that the Government was well within its rights to frame rules and amend the Act also.
In this case, he says, the Government took away from him, his power to appoint and take action against the Chief Engineer to suit one particular person since he had the support of the entire SC lobby.
Under the amended rules, the position of Chief Engineer would be open both to engineers of the Board as well as deputationists from the Punjab PWD. The power to appoint or take disciplinary action would now remain vested in the Government and not with the Board. The official sources further maintain that under the amended rules, Mr Suchanand was eligible to be promoted as Chief Engineer as he fulfilled the mandatory requirement of three years of service as Superintending Engineer.
Sources in the Punjab Government maintain that amendments to rules was a long-drawn out process and had nothing to do with the recent visit abroad of the Chairman and the secretary of the Board. They also maintain that the Government has powers to amend rules and the Act.
When asked about the disbanding of the inquiry committee appointed by Mr Suchanand himself some time ago, the official sources said that the inquiry committee was disbanded as some engineers facing action in the CGI case were also members of the committee. On September 5, the inquiry was stopped. Instead a joint secretary in the Department of Agriculture was asked to conduct the inquiry on behalf of the Government. The official sources maintained that suspension of Mr Suchanand as Superintending Engineer issued by the Chairman of the Mandi Board were being examined by the department. Opinion of Legal Remembrancer was being sought whether action could be taken against a man already promoted to higher position which was beyond the purview of the competent authority issuing suspension orders.
While Mr Mall Singh
Ghuman has rushed to Ludhiana on his way to Barnala to
apprise the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, of
the developments, the controversy may turn unsavoury with
Sunam byelection just round the corner.
LUDHIANA, Sept 20 An activist of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance appears to have carried the electoral war a bit too far.
He took away a car, not belonging to him, from outside the Government College for Boys here on Monday and took it for campaigning in Sunam where his party was fighting in an electoral war with other political parties. The car, a white Maruti Zen, bearing registration number PB-10-V-0732 , was recovered by the police today from a spot near Domoria bridge.
It was covered with green-coloured posters, soliciting votes for the SAD candidate, Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa. The posters also carried the photographs of the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Union Minister for Sports, Mr Sukhdev Dhindsa and All-India Sikh Students Federation (B) chief, Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu. A religious book was also found from the car.
For Ms Ravinder Malik, a lecturer in economics at the Government College for Boys, and who is the owner of the car, it has been quite a shocking experience. She told TNS that she had been parking her car outside the college for years and there had never been any problem. On Monday, I parked my car outside the college gate around 9.45 a.m. and went inside to take my classes. When I came out at around 12.45 p.m., I was shocked to find that my car was missing. I contacted the police who promised to look into the matter.
She said she received a phone call from the police today informing her that her car had been found abandoned near Domoria bridge. I went to the kotwali and identified my car which had been covered with election posters. It is clear that somebody had stolen my car and used it for campaigning in the Sunam byelection and then brought it back here.
security from senior citizens
BATHINDA, Sept 20 The new scheme of the Central Government to provide telephone connections without security to those who have crossed the age of 65 years has some anomalies as the security has been charged from even those who are 70 years old by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in some cases.
After the announcement of this scheme, senior citizens purchased forms and applied for connections. However, Mr Ram Singh, one of those who applied for the connection, was asked to deposit Rs 3,000 as security.
The Social Welfare Department of Punjab has said all those who would get a telephone connection under the scheme, would not be given pension.
People are in a dilemma whether they should get a telephone connection or pension.
Mr Raj Kumar, President, Nagar Sudhar Action Committee, alleged that the government had announced the free telephone connection scheme but it was not being implemented by the authorities concerned. He said to get the connections, the residents had spent Rs 200-300. Most of them had deposited affidavit, domicile certificate and copy of the ration card but now the department had decided to charge the security amount.
Mr T.S. Gambheer,
General Manager, Department of Telecommunications, when
contacted, said the department was not charging the
security amount from senior citizens. He added that
security was being charged from those senior citizens who
had not fulfilled the necessary requirement for the
connection. He clarified that the senior citizens had to
get the certificate from the district-level committees
authorised to give senior citizen certificate. He said
the department was implementing the scheme properly,
adding that those from whom the security amount had been
charged, could get the amount back by fulfilling the
FATEHGARH SAHIB, Sept 20 The registration of a case against the sarpanch of Kheri Bir Singh village on the recommendation of the Deputy Commissioner and subsequently the cancellation of the case by the police has become a controversy in this district. Hundreds of residents of the village again submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner today alleging that the police had cancelled the case without any inquiry.
According to information, panchayat members and residents of the village submitted a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, alleging that Avtar Singh, sarpanch, was not only misusing his powers, but also embezzling panchayat funds. He did not deposit the rent of panchayat shops in the panchayat account, they said.
The Deputy Commissioner marked the complaint to the SDM Bassi Pathana, for inquiry and she marked an inquiry to the Tehsildar. In his report to the Deputy Commissioner, he mentioned that the allegations were partially true and prima facie proved misuse of power and embezzlement. He suggested that a probe should be conducted and development work should be done under the supervision of development officials instead of the sarpanch.
After getting the
report, the Deputy Commissioner sent the complaint to the
District Attorney for legal opinion. He recommended that
a case should be registered against the sarpanch. The
Deputy Commissioner then wrote to the SSP to register a
case against the sarpanch at Bassi Pathana police
station. But no action was taken. The villagers again
complained to the Deputy Commissioner and the Finance
Minister, alleging that the police was hand in glove with
the sarpanch and that it had cancelled the FIR without
conducting any inquiry. They demanded that action should
be taken against the sarpanch and erring police
A Tribune survey (Part-I)
In many areas, paddy is still not ready for harvesting. Though the inflow is expected to improve by the first week of October, advanced sown varieties of paddy have started arriving in the markets at a number of places. At most of the places in the Malwa belt, it is satha paddy that ripens in 60 days that is coming to the markets. But at other places, other varieties of paddy, too, have started arriving.
Even before the formal procurement operations begin, in many areas farmers are being forced to go in for distress sale of their kharif produce. The Tribune conducted a random survey of various grain markets in Punjab and Haryana to determine the state of these markets and the preparedness of the procurement agencies.
Commission agents in Punjab are a disappointed lot. They say that neither any proper arrangements for drinking water nor for cleaning the grain markets have been made so far. Commission agents at Samana and Patran said that it would have been better if the Deputy Commissioner or senior officers of the Food and Supplies Department had held meetings with them before starting one of the biggest procurement operations of the kharif season.
They said that they had not been contacted by anyone so far. No meeting had been held at the field level with the commission agents. Every year a plethora of problems were faced by farmers, commission agents and even by officials of the government procurement agencies.
But the government had talked neither to the representatives of farmers and villagers not to the associations of commission agents in the countryside.
There are apprehensions in the minds of commission agents. They say that due to this indifferent attitude, especially of the FCI, an impression has gone around among commission agents as well as farmers that procurement agencies will harass farmers during procurement under various pretexts like moisture content, colour of the grain and other conditions laid down regarding the procurement of paddy. They also say that as the government has not liberalised the policy with regard to levy rice, traders and sheller owners will be reluctant to buy paddy.
It is not known when the procurement at the rural centres will begin. When a Tribune team visited various rural procurement centres near Samana and Patran, these were totally weed-ridden and even brick-paved market platforms were not visible because of the wild growth. At Kakrala village, a contract was busy making the lighting arrangements at the procurement centre.
In the Majha region, private millers have been forcing farmers to resort to the distress sale of their produce. At the Bhagtanwala grain market, farmers incur a loss of Rs 10 lakh a day. Middlemen or commission agents from Jammu, Delhi and Haryana have been frequenting various grain markets to purchase paddy at low rates.
Some farmers, as a symbolic protest, may take their produce to Sunam.
Mr Narinderjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, wants the subdivisional officers to supervise all 143 purchase centres from September 21.
He wants proper procurement arrangements in the no-shelling zones like Khem Karan, Bhikhiwind, Patti, Harike, Ajnala and Ramdass.
At the Bhagtanwala market, the daily arrival has reached about 80,000 bags, to aggregate one lakh bags more than the corresponding period last year. The rates for IR-8 are between Rs 370 and Rs 400, Rs 100 less than the MSP. The rates are Rs 350 in Rayya and Rs 398 in Tarn Taran. For sharbati (fine quality of paddy), the rates quoted are between Rs 550 and Rs 570.
Mr Jagdev Singh, a former sarpanch of Nagli village, criticised the Punjab Government for delaying the procurement by government agencies. Mr Asa Singh of Varpal village said that he had sold his sharbati variety for Rs 700 per quintal last year, but now he was getting less than Rs 600 for it.
The procurement process in all 90 mandis in Jalandhar district is all set to begin as the weather has been fair this time. The district is looking for an increase of around 20 per cent in the arrivals of paddy, which totalled 5,21,172 tonnes last year, even as the area under the paddy crop has decreased from 1.33 lakh hectares to 1.30 lakh hectares.
While the district administration apprehends space shortage for storing paddy by the FCI, no such problem is likely to be encountered by the state procurement agencies like Punsup, the Warehousing Corporation, the Food and Supplies Department and Markfed.
The FCI, with a total procurement share of about 40 per cent, stocks the commodity in its own godowns which also have old stocks. The shortage of wooden crates is another problem in the storing of the crop in the open.
Mr K. Shiva Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, said he had directed the procurement agencies to take adequate measures to minimise the problems of farmers.
The agencies have also been directed to depute one inspector per procurement centre.
Temporary power connections have been provided by the district administration in almost all mandis to enable the commission agents to set up their driers and cleaners, the operations of which will be supervised by the District Mandi Officer.
The district administration, in addition to clamping a ban on harvesting operations between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., has made an arrangement according to which a register will be maintained in all mandis to record the name of every farmer and the owner of the combine harvester who had harvested the crop. We will fine combine to harvester owners if we find that unripe crop has been harvested by them, said Mr Prasad. Similarly, to put an end to confusion in the mandis and to ensure that only good quality crop arrives in the market, commission agents have been asked to display placards with details of the firm printed on these, on the heaps of crop to be sold by them.
Mr Shiva Prasad said there was no shortage of bardana at the moment as all agencies had around one lakh bags which were adequate to meet the requirements.
The authorities in Gurgaon have apparently completed the ground work for procurement.
The paddy has not yet started arriving in the mandis. The same is the case in Rewari and Mahendragarh district. The reason for this is not far to seek. Gurgaon, like other parts of south Haryana, is not a paddy-growing belt. The records of previous years show that the total arrival of paddy in the mandis in Gurgaon district has been low.
According to the District Food and Supplies Controller, Mr S.S. Rana, the grain arrivals in the three mandis in Nuh, Sohna and Punhana in Gurgaon district last season were more than 12,000 tonnes. The authorities this time are expecting a total arrival of 15,000 tonnes.
This authorities in Rewari and Mahendragarh districts apprehend a slight fall in the traditionally short supply of paddy.
The state government has assigned Hafed the job of procuring the crop on its behalf in this district. The Hafed authorities claim that the necessary arrangements relating to labour, transportation and gunnybags have been made.
The authorities had convened a meeting of the rice millers of this district on September 18. The assessment at the meeting was that the millers would again go in for bulk purchases at markets rates. A quick survey revealed that all rice mills in the district are empty. This is a ground for optimism. Paddy growers will be one up on the millers as the balance of the dynamics of demand and supply is again in their favour.
However, interviews with farmers in paddy-growing areas revealed apprehensions in their minds on the moisture-specification front. Even last year there were allegations by a cross-section of the paddy growers that their produce had been rejected on account of excess moisture. Consequently, they had to go in for distress sale. There were also allegations that personnel checked the grain in a haphazard manner. However, the authorities rebut the charges and say that further precautionary measures will be taken so that the farmers do not have any apprehensions on this front.
With inputs from Sarbjit Singh (Chandigarh), Varinder Walia (Amritsar), Varinder Singh (Jalandhar) and Ravi S. Singh (Gurgaon).
BKU activists stage dharna
BATHINDA, Sept 20 Activists of the local Bhartiya Kisan Union (EKTA) today staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioners office in support of their demands for paddy procurement.
They demanded that the conditions laid down for paddy procurement should be relaxed and government agencies should start procurement immediately. They demanded that the maximum moisture content limit should be increased to 22 per cent from the existing limit of 18 per cent. The leaders warned that if the procurement was not started immediately the union would resort gherao officials.
Addressing the rally, Mr Jhanda Singh, district president, BKU (EKTA) said Gurdev Singh Badal, Agriculture Minister, was making false claims of being farmer-friendly.
Rights body wants cops booked
BATHINDA, Sept 20 The Lawyers for Human Rights International today demanded a criminal case should be registered against those police officials who were involved in beating up migrant labourers in Rampuraphul town of this district on the intervening night of September 15 and 16.
The organisation has also demanded a CBI probe into the incident as it suspects higher officials are also involved in this incident.
Mr Balwant Singh Dhillon of the Lawyers for Human Rights International, said the organisation had probed all facts of the case and it had been concluded that policemen attacked the dwellings of migrant labourers on the intervening night of September 15 and 16. Apart from beating up the migrant labourers, the policemen led by a senior official also forced hundreds of migrant labourers to leave the town.
The migrant labourers were forced to board the train to send them back to their native places. Some of the migrant labourers saved themselves from the police atrocities by hiding themselves in the paddy fields.
At least 30 migrant labourers suffered injuries and got themselves admitted to the civil hospital at Rampuraphul. The police did not register a case against the guilty persons even though the medico-legal reports were submitted to them by the doctors.
He said if the authorities concerned failed to take action against the guilty officials, the organisation would file a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The copies of report would be sent to the Prime Minister, the President of India, the NHRC, the PSHRC and the Punjab Chief Minister.
AMRITSAR, Sept 20 The countdown for the removal of Mr Subash Sharma as Mayor, municipal corporation, has begun with 28 councillors, including four belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal, led by BJP president Om Parkash Kalia meeting the Deputy Commissioner and urging him to convene a special meeting of the House within 14 days so that a no-confidence motion could be passed against the Mayor.
The request for the special meeting was made under Rule 55 (2) of the Corporation Act, 1976.
Mr Kalia said the councillors had got the receipt of the requisition for the meeting from the superintendent of the municipal corporation. The copies of the notice had been sent to the Minister Local Bodies and other persons concerned. Mr Kalia said the Deputy Mayor, Mr Lakha Singh, and three other councillors, besides Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, MLA, also put their signature for the requisition of the meeting.
The notice read that as per Section 55 of the Corporation Act, the corporation was supposed to hold at least one meeting every month for the transaction of business. However, no regular meeting had been held for the past three months. The meetings which were held during this period were condolence meetings and no business was transacted.
Talking to The Tribune, Mr Kalia said Mr Sharma should have resigned as Mayor the day the party high command expelled him from the BJP for six years.
Meanwhile, sources said Mr Sharma might tender his resignation anytime as he had failed to muster the support of the required number of councillors to face the no-confidence motion. As per rules, the meeting of the General House had to be convened within two weeks once 17 councillors gave it in writing.
The meeting of the district executive committee of the Punjab Istri Sabha, meanwhile, condemned the refusal of the Mayor to resign.
In a statement issued by
Mrs Vimla Dang, a former CPI MLA and president of the
sabha, she said a meeting of the sabha had been convened
on September 24 to decide the future course of action
against the Mayor.
to be introduced in India
PATIALA, Sept 20 Union State Minister for Railways Digvijay Singh, today, said Bullet trains on the pattern of those running in Japan would be introduced in India .
Talking to newsmen here , Mr Digvijay Singh said the prestigious RITES organisation would prepare a feasability report for the project for which Rs 20 crore had been sanctioned .
He said the issue had been discussed in a high level meeting of the Railway Board recently which was attended by all its senior officers . He said the project took final shape after he visited Japan to study the working of the world famous Bullet trains there .
The minister said bullet trains likely to be introduced in India would run at a speed between 300 and 350 kilometers per hour . He said special tracks would be constructed for these trains on a high raising so that there was no question of anyone straying in their paths .
He said besides this it had been decided to run another train to augment the tourism potential of Rajasthan which would be called Desert Queen . He said this train would be run in collaboration with the Rajasthan Tourism Corporation . Besides this the Railway ministry had decided to run the Palace on Wheels on the four month off season also on a fifty per cent discount . He said this was being done for the convenience of domestic tourists .
He also announced that
his ministry was considering starting a service between
Patiala and Ambala . He said a proposal in this regard
had already been submitted to the ministry and that it
was in an advanced stage of consideration . He also
presented a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the Deisel Components
Works ( DCW ) for exemplary working during his visit to
panel to count cash
AMRITSAR, Sept 20 Mr Dalmegh Singh, Assistant Secretary, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, has formed a four-member committee to count cash and verifying cash books. The committee has been formed following allegations that cash was being stolen.
Mr Balbir Singh Pannu, Senior Vice-President and three other SGPC members, including Mr Jaswinder Singh Advocate, Ms Kiranjot Kaur and Mr Puran Singh Josh had given in writing to the officiating secretary that cash should be counted in their presence.
The members of the four-member committee are: Mr Major Singh, chief gurdwara inspector (section 85), Mr Harbhajan Singh Manawa, chief gurdwara inspector (section 87), Mr Subeg Singh, flying squad superviser and Mr Sukhdev Singh, member of the flying squad. However, Mr Pannu and Mr Jaswinder Singh Advocate, Mr Josh and Ms Kiranjot Kaur have insisted that the four-member committee should count the cash in their presence. Mr Pannu alleged that some vouchers had been thrown in the room of cashier. However, SGPC officials have denied the allegations.
Mr Dalmegh Singh said he had already submitted a report to the SGPC regarding the sealing of cash books and cashiers room by Mr Pannu and Mr Josh.
Corporation works comes to a halt
following Vigilance check
PATIALA, Sept 20 The Vigilance
Department today conducted a surprise check on the
premises of the Patiala Municipal Corporation and seized
documents concerning the construction of a road
.Following the surprise check during which members of the
Patiala Vigilance Bureau seized the measurement book
which is supposed to contain details of the work done
besides other files, the corporation authorities put a
notice on the entrance of the Corporation Commissioner
s office that a vigilance inquiry was going on and
that people wanting to see him about development work
should do so only after it was complete .The notice
ensured virtual desertion of the corporation office with
all people who had come to the office to get their work
processed besides representing to the Commission about
needed development work , going away . According to
vigilance sources, they had received a complaint that an
attempt was being made to embezzle money by floating a
tender and getting work executed for a road which had
already been recarpeted earlier . The complaint was
allegedly lodged by a contractor . It had been alleged
that the exchequer would suffer a loss of Rs 1
lakh. Following this the vigilance authorities today
seized the measurement book pertaining to the project
work besides the estimates of the road project. The
sources said had also carried out an investigation by
interviewing people living around Soodan Wali street
whose work was alleged to have been done only on paper.
The checking was carried out under the supervision of
Superintedent of Police B K Uppal . They said apparently
the corporation had got the work done on the street in
the last week of August but had processed the case later
and showed the execution in September. This, they said,
was clear after talking to people besides a survey of the
spot , adding the road had been recarpeted . The sources
said right now they were investigating only one complaint
and further investigation would be conducted only after
verifying the facts from the seized documents
. Meanwhile a stir was created in the corporation office
after a notice about the surprise check was put up.
Corporation Commissioner K S Kang when contacted said he
had thought it fit to inform the public about the
surprise check by the Vigilance Department and the reason
why his staff would not be able to conduct regular
functioning due to non-availability of key files . Mr
Kang said it was intriguing why the matter had been taken
to the Vigilance Bureau only after the tender regarding
the road had been passed . He said the Vigilance Bureau
had been given full cooperation by his staff. The
Commissioner said he had, as a precautionary measure,
directed the Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation,
to inquire into all the development works conducted by
the body during the past one year so that all information
about the works could be collected and they could be
double checked on the ground.
According to vigilance sources, they had received a complaint that an attempt was being made to embezzle money by floating a tender and getting work executed for a road which had already been recarpeted earlier . The complaint was allegedly lodged by a contractor . It had been alleged that the exchequer would suffer a loss of Rs 1 lakh.
Following this the vigilance authorities today seized the measurement book pertaining to the project work besides the estimates of the road project. The sources said had also carried out an investigation by interviewing people living around Soodan Wali street whose work was alleged to have been done only on paper. The checking was carried out under the supervision of Superintedent of Police B K Uppal .
They said apparently the corporation had got the work done on the street in the last week of August but had processed the case later and showed the execution in September. This, they said, was clear after talking to people besides a survey of the spot , adding the road had been recarpeted . The sources said right now they were investigating only one complaint and further investigation would be conducted only after verifying the facts from the seized documents .
Meanwhile a stir was created in the corporation office after a notice about the surprise check was put up. Corporation Commissioner K S Kang when contacted said he had thought it fit to inform the public about the surprise check by the Vigilance Department and the reason why his staff would not be able to conduct regular functioning due to non-availability of key files .
Mr Kang said it was intriguing why the matter had been taken to the Vigilance Bureau only after the tender regarding the road had been passed . He said the Vigilance Bureau had been given full cooperation by his staff.
Commissioner said he had, as a precautionary measure,
directed the Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation,
to inquire into all the development works conducted by
the body during the past one year so that all information
about the works could be collected and they could be
double checked on the ground.
probe against SHO
AMRITSAR, Sept 20 In a communication, the Additional Director-General Police (ADGP) has ordered an inquiry against the SHO of police station C division in a case of wrongful detention of two women.
The case relates to an alleged theft committed by Rajan Saini. While the police failed to apprehend him, it arrested his wife and mother.
They were illegally detained and maltreated by the SHO. Both were booked and challaned under Sections 108, 107 and 151, CrPC, for judicial remand. A relative of the suspect lodged a complaint against the treatment meted out to them by the police.
JALANDHAR, Sept 20 The South-Asian Anti-Child Labour Organisation today secured the release of 69 bonded labourers with the intervention of the Himachal Pradesh High Court from a brick kiln located in a village in Una district of Himachal Pradesh.
Regional convenor of the organisation, Mr Jai Singh, told this correspondent today that these labourers belong to 13 different families of backward areas of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. They had been working at a brick kiln, owned by Mr Lekhraj, at Kuneran village, Amb tehsil, in the district for the past three years.
He said on a complaint lodged by the organisation the High Court had sought report from the district police chief of Una. But the report submitted by the SSP, Una, failed to mention that they were bonded labourers.
Martyrs kin given badges of
JALANDHAR, Sept 20 Badges of sacrifice and certificates of honour were given to 35 next of kin of martyrs during an investiture ceremony at Katoch Stadium here today.
Badges and certificates were presented by Lt-Gen Kamal Davar, GOC, Vajra Corps, in recognition of the supreme sacrifice made by gallant and officers and jawans belonging to Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts.
General Davar said the gesture on part of the Army was a humble acknowledgement of upholding of the highest traditions of the Army by the officers who had died.
FEROZEPORE, Sept 20 A team of the District Transport Office, led by the Assistant DTO, Mr Gurcharan Singh Sandhu, impounded a bys plying between Ludhiana and Bikaner via Fazilka and Jodhpur, allegedly on forged documents.
The DTO staff had laid a barrier on the Ferozepore-Fazilka highway near Khat Khemeke village, 20 kms from here.
The ADTO impounded the bus, bearing registration no. PB-05-F-9645 and demanded the documents, following which bus driver, Tarsem Lal started arguing with the officer. The bus was taken to the DTO office where it was found that all the documents were forged.
SANGRUR, Sept 20 (PTI)
The police today arrested a granthi, his wife and
son-in-law for allegedly murdering his daughter for
having an affair.Barnala police chief Ajaib Singh told
reporters that a case against them was lodged as per a
directive of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on
September 15 on a plea alleging that the girl was killed
by her family in December.The police chief said the girl
was allegedly murdered while she was sleeping and her
body cremated in nearby fields.
warrants in hijack case
PATIALA, Sept 20 District and Sessions Judge S N Aggarwal issued warrants of arrest in the I C 814 Indian Airlines hijack case against seven accused again today .
Warrants of arrest against the seven, including Ibrahim Akhtar, Ahmed Kazi, Shahid Sayeed Akhtar, Zahoor Ibrahim Mistry, Shakeer alias Rajesh, Gopal Verma and Abdul Rao, had been issued earlier too but the CBI had said they could not be produced before the court as there was no extradition treaty with Pakistan .
The accused are wanted for their role in the I C 814 hijack case under which an Indian Airlines plane was hijacked after it took off from Kathmandu and was eventually force landed at Kandahar airport in Afghanistan .
prosecution today produced three other accused in the
case Abdul Latif, Yusuf Nepali and Dalip Kumar
before the court. All three who were arrested for
providing arms and ammunition to thehijackers are already
being tried by the court. The judge has fixed the next
date for hearing for December 6.
JALANDHAR, Sept 20 (UNI) A Haryanvi villager was arrested here last evening on the charge of double duping gullible people with the promise of tripling their genuine currency but with fake ones.
District police chief
Gaurav Yadav today said when Bhupinder Singh of Pipal
Than village under Garhi police station of Jind district
was arrested at Kapurthala Chowk along with a briefcase
containing 17 wads of currency notes of Rs 100
denomination, a .315 bore pistol and two
New UGC plan to select Profs
AMRITSAR, Sept 20 It will be a herculean task to become Professor in a university under the career advancement scheme (CAS) if new instructions issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) are any indication.
As per the instructions, the selection of Professor will depend on a secret report to be submitted by a UGC nominee. The new system may also delay the selection of professors, apart from making it cumbersome.
The UGC nominee would work as an observer at the time of the interview and submit his opinion to the UGC.
In a communication to Registrars of all universities, Dr Pankaj Mittal, Deputy Secretary, UGC, states: The commission has decided that quality and merit be not compromised in the process of selection to the post of Professor.
The letter of the Deputy
Secretary, UGC, further reads: The commission
having considered the merit of the proposal, therefore,
decided that the UGC observer be deputed to observe the
process of selection adopted at each selection committee
meeting conducted by universities/ colleges to consider
cases for promotion to the post of Professor under ACS.
The university/college be, therefore, directed to inform
the UGC about the schedule of such selection committee
meetings at least three weeks in advance to enable the
UGC to depute its observer and inform the concerned
university/college well in time.
institute students boycott classes
PATIALA, Sept 20 In a major development, first year Bachelor of Engineering (BE) and Masters of Computer Application ( MCA ) students of Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology today boycotted classes in the morning in protest against the more than 50 per cent tuition fee hike, besides a steep increase in the development fee.
The institute had hiked the tuition fee this month itself from Rs 16,000 to Rs 24,000. The development fee of Rs 5,500, which was charged as a one-time measure earlier, had been made annual with the governing council of the institute deciding to take Rs 3,500 every year as development charges .
Earlier students, who are miffed at the steep increase in tuition fee as well as development charges, had met the Dean , Student Welfare, and represented to him that the institute should reconsider the proposal as they had not envisaged such a hike when they took admission in the institute. However as nothing was done in the matter, the students today boycotted classes to express their resentment against the fee hike.
The institute Director, Dr M.P. Kapoor, has taken serious note of the students boycott. He called the agitating students to the institute auditorium and addressed them and served notice on them that they should either join classes immediately or vacate their hostels.
Dr Kapoor told the students that the institute was striving to provide quality education and the hike was necessitated to maintain the exemplary standards. He said the students had been informed at the time of admission that an upward revision in the tuition fee and the development charges was on the anvil and that the decision would be taken by the governing council shortly. He, however, said the institute had taken note of the feelings of the students and would consider their plea on the issue.
Students while talking to TNS said they had not expected such an increase in the fee. They said the institute had also denied them a chance to migrate to some other institute by delaying the notification of the fee hike decision by one month even though it had been decided on August 3. They said, moreover, they had been conveyed that the fee hike would be conveyed to them at the time of counselling before final admission but that also did not take place.
Most of the students feel that Thapar Institute is already having a stiff fee structure as compared to other engineering colleges in the region. However, Thapar authorities feel the hike is justified as the institute receives scant funding from the Punjab Government and has to continuously improve its course curriculum besides providing the latest information technology tools to all its students.
Meanwhile, sources said
students had represented to the Director yesterday to
revoke the fee hike decision. They said the matter had
been sent to the Institute Managing Director M.L. Thapar
English at primary level creates
PATIALA, Sept 20 Raman, a class II, student of Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya Primary School here faltered as he was asked by his teacher to read the word kettle because he did not know the difference between i and l.
Same was the case with the other students of various government schools in the city where English has been introduced as one of the subjects.Three years have elpased since English was introduced at the primary level in the government schools yet students are still finding it hard to cope up with the subject. This year English has been introduced in Class III but till now neither the syllabus nor books are made available to us. So we are teaching the Class III students the same books they read the previous year, said a teacher of the Sanskrit Government Mahavidyalaya Primary School.
Attributing the root cause of the problem to the lack of adequate teaching staff in the government schools Mrs Satnam Kaur another teacher of the same school said one single teacher had to teach six subjects in a class which is a bit overburdenig for a single person. A single person can not be equally proficient in Hindi, Punjabi, Mathematics, Science and English alike, she added.
Sources in the Education Department said most of the government schools lacked adequate number of teachers. Teachers who had been teaching other subjects were assigned to teach English too, the source added. Even in the higher classes English teachers had no specific qualification like teachers of Punjabi and Hindi who must have a graduate degree in the respective subjects, the source revealed.
Educationists have mixed feeling regarding the introduction of English as a subject at the primary level. English as a subject should be introduced from class III onwards, said Dr Meenakshi, Head Education Department , Punjabi University. The children should be first taught their mother tongue and then slowly introduced to other languages, she added.
Students from the rural background have no touch with English in their day to day life. Most of the students attending private schools picks up the language at an early stage which makes it easier to continue at schools. The parents of the students attending government schools need to be made aware of the language first, said Dr Kirandeep Kaur of the Education Department, Punjabi University.
Echoing the same sentiment, Manjeet Chandhok, Principal of Mata Sahib Kaur Model School said the teachers could expect no help fron the family members of their students where English was concerned. Everything had to be taught and completed within the classroom itself, she added.
However the decision to introduce English at primary level was a good one, said Dr Kaur. English could boost the confidence of the vernecular medium students. Most of the vernecular students shied away from competetive examinations due to their weakness in the language, she said.
teachers for the subject was most important said Mr T.R.
Sharma, a prominent educationist who has retired from
Punjabi University. He said a major hurdle in proper
training of youngsters was the fact that government
schools lacked proper infrastructure and did not have
adequate teaching tools.
clamour for elections
PATIALA, Sept 20 Seventeen years after elections to student bodies were suspended in Punjabi University here, students are now clamouring for the right to elect their own representatives to look after their interests.
The main reason given for not allowing elections on the campus is that these may cause an increase in the lashes among sutdents. The authorities fear that political parties may get involved in student bodies and disturb the autonomy of the university. But we have the example of Panjab University where elections to student bodies were held in the past two years. There have been fewer clashes there because the students gain a sense of resposibility. They are also members of the Syndicate body, says Gagandeep Singh, a student of MBA and an active member of the Punjabi University Students Organisation (PUSA).
Only a students representative can understand and communicate the problems of the students effectively to the authorities, says Rajwinder Kaur a student of LLB.
Students politics is at a standstill. Today students are not much aware of the happenings in the management and the student bodies. Elections will enhance the students standing in the varsity, says Sandeep Kapoor, president of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on the campus.
It is paradoxical that uneducated politicians are consulted in matters relating to the varsity and students studying here do not have any say. Most of such decisions are politically motivated and not in the interest of the students. I feel elections to student bodies will put a check on such practices, says Mohammad Idris, a research scholar in the Department of History.
Harjinder Kaur, staying in a hostel, shares this view. The energy of the students can be tapped and channelised for the all-round development of the campus by electing student representatives.
The authorities are not keen on holding elections. They realise that their decisions will then be scrutinised by the student committee, laments a research scholar on condition of anonymity.
A senior official of the
varsity says, the elections were suspended in the
whole of Punjab in 1983 due to militancy. Though these
have begun at some places, the Punjab Government is yet
to give a green signal. The university authorities cannot
do anything in this connection; only the Vidhan Sabha can
take a decision.
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