Sunday, February 18, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



EC warns violators, tells police to take action
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 17
The Election Commission has directed the civil administration and the police to take action against the violators of model code of conduct during the run up to the Majitha byelection scheduled to be held on February 19. The Principal Secretary-cum-Director, Information Systems, Mr S Mendiratta, while addressing newsmen here today said that he had read about gross violations in various new newspapers about poll norms and had instructed the Deputy Commissioner and other officials in charge of the byelection about the smooth conduct of the poll to ‘beef up’ their vigilance and report any excesses to the commission.

He, however, added that three poll observers, one incharge of expenditure, had been deputed to give their assessment about any violation answering question about the poll arrangements, Mr Mendiratta allayed the fears of the Congress about the doctored electronic voting machines (EVMs). The Principal Secretary asserted that these machines were absolutely ‘foolproof’ and could not be manipulated. He expressed dismay over the news that some political parties were spreading rumours that electronic ‘chip’ could be changed. He denied these rumours.

Earlier, Mr Mendiratta demonstrated the use of EVMs to the representatives of all political parties and their polling agents and explained about its authentic recording of the vote. For the first time mock voting for more than 1000 persons was held and he said all parties were satisfied with its operations. This exercise was conducted to remove any misgivings among the parties contesting the poll in Majitha.

For total transparency about the conduct of free and fair polls, the Principal Secretary pointed out that for the first time, the Election Commission has introduced the process of “randomisation of EVMs to instill confidence among the parties. The ballot and control units of the machines were randomly selected by the representatives of political parties which were placed in different polling station with their signatures and seals to dispel their fear of rigging.

He added that the EC has decided to abandon the system of ballot papers totally and use only EVMs in all forthcoming Assembly elections being held in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Pondichery.


35 polling booths sensitive
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 17
The District Returning Officer has identified 28 very sensitive and 35 sensitive polling stations out of the total 132 booths in the Majitha constituency. Talking to newsmen here today the polling in charge, Ms Gurpreet Sapra, SDM, said arrangements had been made to conduct free and fair elections.

The Election Commission has directed that 50 per cent polling officials will be drawn from the Central Government staff while the remaining 50 per cent will be from the local cadre. This has been done to ensure proper conduct of poll, she added.

The commission has also inducted three companies of the CRPF for poll duty for giving an added semblence of security to the voters.

PM to inaugurate Thein Dam
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 17
The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, will dedicate the prestigious Ranjit Sagar Dam known as Thein Dam to the nation on March 4.

This was stated by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, while addressing election rally at Majitha today.


Badal ‘flouting’ election norms
Our Correspondent

Moga, February 17
Even as about 24 trucks carrying supporters of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal were reportedly detained by the police, teams of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers were despatched from Baghapurana in the district to Majitha to canvass for the SAD candidate.

Meanwhile, several opposition leaders have complained to the Election Commission that election norms are being flouted in Majitha by Mr Badal and have demanded immediate intervention of the commission.

They have alleged that liquor and money are being distributed among voters to woo them and several officers, particularly those of Mr Badal’s “choice”, are being transferred to Majitha from various towns in Punjab.

The General Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Dr Malti Thapar, said here today that teams had been sent to Majitha to canvass for the Congress candidate.


Balbir Singh Pannu cremated
Our Correspondent

Naushehra Pannuan (Tarn Taran), February 17
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) Senior Vice-President, along with three others who died in a road accident yesterday near Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh were cremated here today at the native village of Mr Pannu.

The other three who were killed have been identified as Mr Sukhsimrat Pal Singh, alias Timmi, an assistant accountant of Central Coop Bank, Mr Sukhvir Singh, alias Billa, gunman, and Mr Nirmaldeep Kaur, alias Nittu, a close relative of Mr Pannu. All were residents of Naushehra Pannuan village. Mr Pannu and Mr Sukhbir Singh were cremated with great state honour.

The bodies were brought here at about 1 p.m. and complete bandh was observed at Naushehra Pannuan, Sarhali and Chohla Sahib. Thousands of residents of the area bid a farewell to their leader.

Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, SGPC President Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Bibi Jagir Kaur, former SGPC chief, Cooperative Minister Ranjit Singh Brahampura, Education Minister Tota Singh, Ms Upinder Kaur, Prof Manjit Singh, Jathedar Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh, Jathedar Damdama Sahib, and a large number of other ministers, MLAs, MPs, sapranches and panches laid wreaths on the bodies.

Harika case: court records statement
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 17
Mr Kesar Singh, the 92 year old ‘sewadar’ of former Patiala princely State Prime Minister Gurdial Singh Harika, today recorded a statement under section 164 in a local court in the case involving burial and subsequent ‘dacoity’ of 100 kg of gold in an old haveli in Bakshiwala village of this district.

Mr Kesar Singh, who presently is a invalid, was literally carried into the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Rakesh Mittal for the recording of this statement.

Mr Kesar Singh earlier had claimed to be an eye witness of the burial of five ‘gagars’ carrying gold in the form of small sheets and coins in the haveli of the late Prime Minister at Balkshiwala village near here. Mr Kesar Singh had claimed that the gold was buried in the haveli after the late Prime Minister fell out with the management of the Fatehgarh Sahib gurdwara and withdrew nearly 60 kg of gold he had donated there. Mr Kesar Singh said another 40 kg were buried with the 60 kg withdrawn from the treasury of the gurdwara.

He has claimed that part of the gold had been given for safekeeping to the late Prime Minister by Muslims fleeing to Pakistan after partition.

The local police has registered a case of dacoity against one Joginderpal Singh, a resident of Bakshiwala village who is also a member of the Harika clan following a complaint by the daughter in law of the late General.

Mr Joginderpal had been arrested in the case and placed under police remand. 


Alternative to poly bags found
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
An alternative has been found to non-degradable poly bags.

Disclosing this, Mr Gurmeet Singh, Principal Chief Forest Conservator, Punjab, said that the department would use henceforth bio-degradable poly bags available in the market. He said the department used lakhs of poly bags for growing the saplings of various plants to enhance tree and forest cover in the state.

As earlier available poly bags were non degradable, the department was facing a big problem in disposing the same. He said by using the American technology, a Yamunanagar based company has manufactured bio-degradable poly bags.

He said that on a trial basis, the department had procured the first lot of such bags from the manufacturers to grow saplings. He said the department had procured bags the degradation of which should start after a year.

When contacted in this connection, the Director of the company, Mr Atul Garg, said they had contacted the Central Pollution Control Board authorities in Delhi, certain government departments in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh with regard to the bio-degradable poly bags. He said these bags had been tested in the best laboratories of the country and the results were good.

Mr Garg said he had asked all government departments concerned to verify the results with regard to the bio-degradable poly bags from the laboratories concerned. He said their use caused no harmful effect. Refusing to name the material used to cause degradation of poly bags, Mr Garg said that certain granules were mixed in the polythene material to cause its degradation after a specific period.

It may be mentioned that the research is going in the various technical institutes to find an alternative to non-degradable poly bags. There are many states like Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan which have used the ban of such non-degradable poly bags in certain parts of these states. Many states have started a campaign against their use. Environmentalists are against their use. They choke sewer systems.

The Punjab Government had also got a draft of the bill prepared from the Punjab Science and Technology Department three years ago to ban the use of such bags in the state but that draft had not been converted into act so far.

Mr Gurmeet Singh said if the trial use of the bio degradable bags proved successful, department’s major problem would be solved. Saplings would be planted with bags on and in due course these bags would become a part of the soil.

Faulty machine hits TB detection
Chander Parkash
Tribune news service

Bathinda, February 17
The indifferent attitude of the Punjab Government has started creating bottlenecks in the National Tuberculosis Control Programme in this district as the local tuberculosis (TB) controlling authorities have not been given Rs 19,800 for getting repaired its X-ray machine attached with MMR unit.

Official sources said X-ray machine in the local TB hospital with a mass miniature radiographer MMR unit, had been lying unused for more than 20 months after it developed some fault.

Sources added that a Mohali-based private firm, which was engaged for carrying out the repair of fault by the authorities, estimated that the cost of repair would be nearly Rs 19,800. This change of some components of the machine which was purchased in 1982-83.

Ever since the estimate had been prepared, the district TB control authorities had been writing to the state government for sanctioning the requisite amount. After some delay, the amount was sanctioned but local treasury office failed to release the amount.

Sources said the district TB control authorities had been writing regularly to the Director, Health Services,, Punjab, to sort out the matter so that the machine could be repaired at the earliest.

Sources said the authorities even sent advance invoices of repair to the authorities concerned so that money could be arranged as early as possible for carrying out the repairs.

Sources added that the Odelca X-ray machine fitted with MMR unit was very useful in the detection of TB in any person as it could take 50 photographs in one go.

The TB control programme, which had been intensified in the district in the recent past, had not been picking up so fast due to the fact that the X-ray machine was lying idle due to want of repair.

Official sources said now the district health authorities had planned to arrange the money required for the repair of X-ray machine out of Rs 50,000 grant which Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, had promised to give them out of Red Cross funds for purchasing medicines for TB patients.

Sources alleged that although there was a post of regular technician with the authorities, the post had been lying vacant for the past many years. The technician was being arranged from the Civil Hospital whenever needed.


SAD vehicles videographed
Tribune News Service

Majitha, February 17
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today made videotapes of all buses and other vehicles being used for transporting Akali workers from different parts of the state to Majitha.

Mr Jasbir Singh, former minister, and Mr Bir Devinder Singh, a senior Congress leader, said the videotapes would be sent to the Chief Election Commission for necessary action.

He alleged that the SAD had surpassed all previous records of violation of the code of conduct in the Majitha byelection. However, the Election Commission had taken no action in this regard.


Tota Singh’s son sparks off controversy
Tribune News Service

Moga, February 17
The distribution of cheques to felicitate the marriages of Scheduled Caste girls by the son of Punjab Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, at a public function here yesterday has sparked off a controversy.

As the minister, who was the chief guest, could not turn up at the function, officials allowed his son, Mr Barjinder Singh Brar, to distribute the cheques to about 60 applicants at the local Block Development Office.

Criticising the incident, a member of the CPI state council, Mr Randhir Singh Gill, alleged that the move was clearly aimed at projecting the progeny of the minister as a future leader. Terming this as a “glaring instance of sycophancy”, Mr Gill questioned the logic behind inviting a “non-entity” as chief guest at the state function.

The Deputy Commissioner was out of station and could not be contacted for comment.

Mr Brar denied that he was accommodated as he was a minister’s son. He claimed that he was the political secretary of his father and was drawing a salary in that capacity. “It is wrong to believe that I am a non-entity”, he said and added: “I was asked by my father to represent him at the function, otherwise the distribution of cheques would have been delayed”.

Municipal reading hall in bad shape
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

BATHINDA: The Municipal Council reading hall located in the heart of the city has been crying for attention for the past many years, but without any success.

A big room named Municipal Reading Room at the entrance of Veer Colony of Amrik Singh Road is in a bad shape. It has become a permanent residence for stray animals, including pigs, dogs and cows.

Due to its neglect by the authorities concerned, people also have started using it as a urinal and to dump garbage. Some windowpanes are missing and the plaster from the walls has started peeling off.

A few years ago, people, mostly the elderly, used to read newspapers in this room daily. The reading room was a prominent centre and used to hum with activity.

However, the council authorities withdrew the services of an employee who was deployed here to see to the supply of newspapers and also maintain the building.

Interestingly, after the closing down of the reading room, the council authorities have passed a resolution to give a grant of Rs 50,000 to the public library. They have also passed another resolution to make payments for the newspapers which are received at Sant Ram Nabha Library located in the city.

Sources say there is a move to construct a market at the site where the abandoned Municipal Council Reading Room was located, and this is the main reason that the authorities are not interested in running it.

Mr S.K. Mittal, Executive Officer, Municipal Council, when contacted, said the authorities would restart the reading room after making arrangements for manpower and funds for the same. But this exercise would take time, he added.


Punjab to have friendly ties with California
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
The Senate Rules Committee of California has passed a resolution to establish a “friendship state relationship between California and Punjab”.

According to documents faxed by a Toronto-based Punjabi journalist to The Tribune, Mr Gregory Schmidt, Secretary of the Senate, has intimated in writing to Mr Jessie Singh, a USA-based eminent Sikh, that the committee passed a “senate concurrent resolution No. 3 to establish the friendship between the two states. The letter to Mr Jessie Singh was written by Mr Schmidt on February 14.

Meanwhile, the Punjabi journalist said that Mr Jessie Singh was on the way to India and that he would present all the documents pertaining to the resolution to the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, on February 22. Mr Jessie Singh is expected to land in Delhi tonight.

Extending thanks to the members of the Senate of California state, Mr Jessie Singh has issued a statement mentioning that the initiative to this effect would further strengthen the bilateral, social, cultural and business relations between the two states of two largest democracies in the world.

Along with other eminent Punjabis, Mr Jessie Singh has also expressed his views for establishing friendship before the Senate Committee, according to information available here. 


BSF, Pak Rangers hold meeting
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 17
A delegation of the BSF, led by the DIG, Ferozepore, yesterday returned to India after holding meeting with Pakistani Rangers at Wagha checkpost on the Pakistan side.

The BSF and Pakistani Rangers reportedly discussed frequent indiscriminate firing on the border. The BSF asked Pakistan to check infiltration by unidentified persons into India.

They also discussed many other common issues during the meeting.


Population growth, a growing concern
From Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 17
Women would be targeted under a special drive being launched in Patiala district to create awareness about the need to control population in the city.

Disclosing this, the Assistant Commissioner (General), Mr Rahul Gupta, said that the thrust of the drive would be to target rural women. He added that women would be told of better medical and educational benefits accruing to their children in case they planned their family.

This was stated at a rally by Mr Gupta at the SDKS Shakuntala Girls Senior Secondary School here today. He said that only by giving higher education to women and delaying their marriage at an early age could society progress.

Mr Mohan Lal Gupta, chairman of the Parivar Bhalai Society, said that schemes should be devised so as to control the population growth. He added that teachers and students should be educated to promote measures for the goodwill and betterment of the people.

The co-chairman of the society, Mr Vijay Kumar Goel, said that the need of the hour was to send this message especially to the remote areas of the city.


Youth conference on March 23
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, February 17
A delegates’ conference of the All-India Federation of Democratic Youth (AIFDY) will be organised here on March 23 and 24.

Giving this information to mediapersons here today, Mr Kiranjit Singh Sekhon, national convener of the organisation said a decision to this effect was taken by the central committee of the AIFDY at a meeting held in Hyderabad recently.

Mr Sekhon said delegates from West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana Orissa and Himachal Pradesh would participate.

He further said the conference would discuss several issues, including free and compulsory education for all, unemployment, removal of illiteracy, struggle against social evils, new economic policy, opposition to WTO and GATT, criminalisation of politics, and the role of youth during calamities.


Fake-TV gang busted
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 17
The Bathinda district police has succeeded in seizing fake colour televisions with the arrest of four persons.

Police sources said those arrested namely Kartar Singh, Surjeet Singh, Narinder Singh and Sharanpal Singh had been selling off fake televisions under the brandname of a reputed company and in this manner were minting money.

Police sources said the modus oprandi of the accused had been to bring various components of a television from Ludhiana and other areas and later assembled them together to make a television. They then pasted stickers of some reputed company on it and sold it to unsuspecting buyers.

Sources added that the accused had also developed their own marketing network to dispose off these televisions to people residing in this town and surrounding areas.

Mr P.K. Rai, ASP, said two fake televisions and wrappers of reputed company were recovered from the accused. He added that according to information, the accused had sold off more than 40 fake televisions to people. 


Patiala to have rehri market
From Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 17
With a view to removing traffic congestion in the city, particularly front of the bus stand, the local Improvement Trust has proposed to set up a rehri market here on the lines of similar markets in Chandigarh. This market is proposed to be set up on a land of the Health Department in front of Mata Kaushalya Hospital.

The proposal is to rehabilitate all old rehri owners here on this land, so that, besides removing traffic congestion, pollution can also be checked. Booths would be given to them at controlled rates.

The Improvement Trust has selected this land as it is lying unutilised. The trust Chairman, Mr Manmohan Singh Bazaz, said only one house of a Medical Officer of Mata Kaushalya Hospital and some quarters of Class IV employees existed on this land. He said the official’s house was old and could be pulled down.

Mr Bazaz said the quarters of Class IV employees were also in a dilapidated condition and could be brought down to make way for the new complex. He said a bazaar could be developed on this land as it was in the heart of the city. It can easily be approached from the Mall Road and the bus stand.

The trust Chairman said rehri owners would not face any problem in shifting to the new site as it was centrally located. He said, besides rehabilitating rehri owners here, the trust would also develop a part of the site as a commercial centre. He said negotiations with the Health Corporation in this regard were on.

Most citizens said the trust would face problems in implementing this proposal. They said more rehris would come up on the vacated site after owners of the old ones get booths in the new market. They said it would also be difficult to set conditions regarding who should get booths in the new market as all rehri owners of the city would demand a place there. They said many of these rehris were owned by powerful people of the city. “Such persons will benefit from the scheme,” said Amarjit Singh of Rose Market.

Meanwhile, the hospital authorities are not happy with the proposal. Sources said hospital authorities had told trust officials that the land was needed for the construction of a water tank. They had also said, under present rules, some space had to be kept vacant along this tank. They said the tank was necessary as the hospital did not have its own water supply and was facing shortage of water.

The hospital authorities said Rs 2.5 lakh had been spent on renovating the residence of the Medical Superintendent that the trust considered dilapidated. They said space had also been kept here for the construction of two houses of senior medical officers.


Govt’s new guidelines for excise staff
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, February 17
To avoid possibilities of harassment of the trade and industry by the unauthorised visits to small scale units by the Central Excise Officers, Government of India has instructed the Central Excise Authorities that the permissions to visit the SSI units be given by an officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner.

In the latest circular by the Additional Commissioner (Tech.) Chandigarh to the trade and industry associations, it is informed that in the authorisation letter given to the visiting officer the particulars like name of SSI units to be visited, name of officer visiting, broad purpose of visit is to be given. The copy of said authorisation letter is also to be endorsed to the concerned unit.


Managers seek promotion policy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 17
Managers working in the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) today demanded the constitution of a high-level committee for framing promotion policy and distribution of work among the corporation staff.

In a representation to the Managing Director of the PSWC, Mr Arun Goel, they also demanded representation to the managers in the proposed committee. Keeping in view the increase in storage capacity, new staff should be recruited and the existing staff promoted according to norms, the representation added.

The representation alleged that due to the shortage of staff the corporation had incurred losses in the stocks of wheat and rice to the tune of several crore. 


ASI booked for custodial death
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 17
Bowing to the pressure by people and relatives of a resident of Dhariwal Dona village who had died at Kapurthala allegedly in police custody on Thursday night, the district police authorities have booked an ASI, a Head Constable and a Home Guard jawan posted at the Kapurthala city police station.

The police picked up Madan Lal from the Sant Nagar locality after residents had approached the police, saying that a person, under the influence of liquor, was abusing passers-by. He reportedly died when he was being shifted by police officials to hospital after his condition started deteriorating in the police station.

The incident had sparked off protests by the relatives and other residents of Dhariwal Dona village.

Jeet Ram, father of the deceased, alleged that he died in police custody due to negligence of the police and because he was beaten up.

As many as 200 residents held a dharna in front of the city police station today and left only when a case was registered against the accused officials.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr V.K. Singh, said he had deputed an SDM to inquire into the circumstances leading to the death of Madan Lal. “After preliminary inquiry I have found that the deceased was drunk and the only fault of the police officials was that they had taken him directly to the police station instead of taking him to hospital. Whosoever found guilty would not be spared,” he said.

A case under Section 304-A, IPC, has been registered against ASI Kulwant Singh, Head Constable Kuldip Singh and Home Guard jawan Jaswant Singh.

Meanwhile, the deceased was cremated at Dhariwal Dona village in the evening after a post-mortem examination.


Computers donated to students
Tribune news service

Kapurthala, February 17
Non-Resident Indians (NRI) have come forward to help students of Kapurthala become computer literate by providing them with used and second hand computers.

The state government has been promising to include computer education in the school curriculum at the primary level. But little has been done in this direction and the students of the government schools, especially in rural areas have been deprived of computer education and other facilities required for it. Each of the 23 prestigious Sainik Schools, including the local Sainik School, has just two 20-years-old computers, which fails to fulfil the requirements of the computer education.

Fully abreast of the situation at home, scores of NRIs in different countries, who originally hail from the district, have donated about 100 of their used and old computers which will in turn be disbursed among government and private schools in both rural and urban areas. These computers were collected by the Derby Mayor, Mr Ashok Kali, who hails from Kapurthala.

The computers have already reached the Navseva Jawahar Lal Nehru Port, from where these will be further distributed among the have nots. The officials of the district administration have been facing problems in collection of these computers from the port authorities. We think we will be able to get the first instalment of 100 computers within a day or two,” said Mr V.K. Singh, the Deputy Commissioner. He said a function would be held at the local Sainik School on February 23 during which the Window compatible computers would be handed over to the heads of the schools, “I have planned to provide two computers each to the government schools in rural as well as urban areas, while five computers will be provided to the students of the local Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia College. Similarly, about 10 computers will be given to the students of the Sainik School”, Mr Singh said. 


Hostel for disabled inaugurated
Harjeet Singh and Pushpesh Kumar

Bathinda, February 17
The hostel of Mahant Gurbanta Dass School for Deaf, Dumb and Blind (MGDSDDB) was inaugurated today by Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairman of the school.

The authorities concerned swung into action only after a news story titled “Hostel awaits VIP for inauguration” appeared in The Tribune on February 3. The authorities concerned then decided to inaugurate the hostel within two weeks after the news story was published.

The students of the school were living in the classrooms of the school on the first floor which did not have the window panes. At night the students were living in cold conditions. Although the hostel was constructed on a priority basis and in a short period, yet the students were no allowed to use the rooms as it had not been inaugurated by VVIP.

About 67 students are hosteliers hailing from different parts of Punjab.

The newly-constructed hostel has 17 rooms, each room having six students. The authorities concerned have spent Rs 27 lakh on the construction of the hostel.

The school is a unique in the whole Punjab where deaf, dumb and blind are being taught so that they could lead the normal life like others.

Mr Jaspal Singh after inaugurating the hostel addressed the students, staff members and other guests. He said boundary wall of the school and residential facilities for the staff members would also be constructed soon.

He said that a workshop would also be constructed where the students would be given the training of various vocational courses.

He added there were adequate funds for the development of the school. Various eminent personalities and NGOs donated more than Rs 3 lakh to the school. 


Engg college lacks facilities
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, February 17
Giani Zail Singh Engineering and Technology College here set up in 1989 is still lacking in necessary facilities.

The college, situated on the Bathinda-Dabwali highway, about 5 km from the city and spread over an area of 162 acre, is providing specialisations to the students from all over India in the fields of civil, electrical, electronics and instrumentation, mechanical and architecture.

Although all departments of the college are fully equipped with lab facilities, yet 16 posts of professor are lying vacant for the past many years in various departments. There are only two departments — civil and electrical — which have the full strength of professors. There are 18 posts of professor in the college.

The authorities concerned say that the posts of professors for various department have been advertised but they do not find qualified candidates having Ph.D degrees.

At present there are five hostels in the college. As four are boys hostels which are sufficient for the number of boy students. But the girls are facing the problems as there is only one hostel for them. The strength of girls living in hostel is 250 while the capacity of the hostel is only 180. The remaining 70 girls are being accommodated in the staff quarters.

Second hostel for girls could not be constructed due to lack of funds, the authorities say. Till 1998 one girls hostel was sufficient as the strength of the girls was low but now strength had tripled in the past three years. Architecture discipline is the first preference of the girl students of the college and is the main cause in the increase in number of the girl students.

The college management has not set up a placement cell so far, as a qualified teacher is not available.

The college do not have an auditorium, students home and swimming pool as well. The office of the college principal is also an incomplete building.

Mr Narinder Singh, Principal of the college, when contacted, said that although the college was facing some problems but claimed that it was number two among all engineering colleges of Punjab. He added the efforts were being made to construct another girls hostel.


City girl wins national prize in dance
From Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 17
Aarohi Walia has won the first prize at the National Youth Festival held at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi from January 29 to February 2. Aarohi, a second- year student of BA studying at the local Government College for Girls (GCG) brought laurels to the city as well as the Punjabi University whom she represented in the competition.

Aarohi, daughter of a well-known classical dancer, Ms Daisy Walia is thrilled at standing in the first two places in the National Youth Festival for the second consecutive year. Aarohi had stood second in the National Youth Festival last year. She has been performing Kathak (Jaipur Gharana) since she was eight-year-old.

Now Aarohi is 19-year-old and has even performed abroad.

“My hard work has rewarded me and I dream of maintaining this dedication and devotion towards dance. I have seen people raising their eyebrows and showing dislike when I tell them that I am planning to do a masters in dance”; said Aarohi. She added that her aim is to revive the interest of the people in classical dance forms.

Ms Walia said, “An artist has brought fame to the Punjabi University after 16 long years. This year, the university has also got awards in Bhangra, Light Vocal, Western group, clay modeling, mono-acting and mimickry”. Aarohi had also won the second place at the SAARC youth festival at Nagpur last year. 


Kashmir students visit city
From Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 17
35 budding youths and teachers from remote areas of South of Kashmir, including Badgam, Pulwama and Anantnag districts, from government as well as private schools came to the city from February 13 to February 17 as part of our Army’s two-year-old project, Jyoti-2000.

The excursion was led by Victor Force jawan, Major Manpreet Singh, under the aegis of HQ 15 Corps. The students were given track suits and other gifts by the Army cadets. The aim of the trip was to provide a chance to these students to integrate and identify themselves with the children of the city.

The children visited many historical places, Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara and Harmander Sahib. Ghulam Mohindin, a student said that he felt very happy in Punjab because people here come from all religions. He added that he had not expected that there would be Muslims here too. The effort was to enable them to understand the strength of secularism and imbibe the spirit of unity.

Before coming to the city, the children had visited Chandigarh and appreciated its parks, colleges and University. In the city, the students saw National Institute of Sports (NIS), Yadavindra Public School (YPS), Army school, Sheesh Mahal and Moti Bagh Gurdwara. They also visited the Lance Naik Albert Ekka Nature Park at the Patiala military station. The group enjoyed themselves the most during various gameshows played with the students of YPS.

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