Monday, July 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Talwandi refuses to recognise new PSGPC chief
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 15
In a categorical statement, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, President, SGPC, has refused to give recognition to Maj Gen Niazi who has replaced Lieut-Gen Javed Nasir, a former ISI chief as President of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee.

In a communication to Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, Mr Talwandi said he should take up the Sikh agenda with the visiting president of Pakistan so that Sikh shrines in Pakistan could be managed and controlled by Sikhs. He said the SGPC would not tolerate that the management of gurdwaras in any part of the world could be in the hand of non-Sikhs. Mr Talwandi said Pakistan must honour the Master Tara Singh-Jinah pact, signed after partition of the country in which it was agreed in principle that the SGPC had the sole right to manage Sikh shrines in both the countries. Mr Talwandi said Sikh shrines in Pakistan were in dilapidated condition which need to be preserved at the earliest.

The SGPC had not claimed any land or property in lieu of Sikh shrines left in Pakistan at the time of partition. Hence the SGPC had the sole right over the management of its gurdwaras, he said.

Gen Musharraf should be convinced to restore Sikh “maryada” in gurdwaras in Pakistan at the earliest. He said during the time of Gen Zia-ul-Haq, the then military ruler of Pakistan, the condition of gurdwara was extremely good. However, the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her successor did not bother to repair the gurdwaras as per Sikh tradition. He said the Pakistani Government must take steps for an easy access to the Sikh shrines as it was the long-cherished demand of the community.

The SGPC has also sought the intervention of the Central Government for ensuring the supremacy of Shiromani committee so far as conducting of Sikh jathas to Pakistan is concerned. Mr Talwandi said it was noticed that some unrecognised bodies and individuals had been taking jathas to Pakistan by ignoring the SGPC.


Power demand up despite good rain
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
A heavy to vigorous south-west monsoon notwithstanding, there has been a continuous gradual increase in both the availability and the demand for power in Punjab for the past four days.

The country, according to meteorological experts, is heading for the 13th normal monsoon year in succession. "Normal" is defined as rainfall within plus-minus 10 per cent of its long-period average.

The SW monsoon has been active in Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir for the past 24 hours. Delhi, for example, had 70mm of rainfall followed by Chandigarh and Ambala with 40mm each. Bhiwani and Jagadhri had 20mm each.

Kangra was perhaps the wettest place in the region with 90 mm of rainfall followed by Ghamroor (80 mm), Kasol and Nahan (50 mm each), Kahu, Gelev and Nagrota Surian (40 mm each).

Paonta, the Nangal Dam, Pandoh and Sundernagar had 20 mm of rainfall each.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Kathua had 60 mm followed by Katra and Jammu (20 mm each). In Punjab, Patiala recorded 40 mm.

If one looks at the rainfall between June 1 and July 11, almost entire northern India has had 20 per cent more rain than the average so far. Places like Suratgarh in Rajasthan, which normally remain dry even during the SW monsoon, have had good rain this time. Jammu and Kashmir recorded 185 mm of rainfall during this period against the normal average of 93 mm. Himachal had 315 mm against the average of 195 while Punjab had 242 mm against an average of 97 mm during the first six weeks of the SW monsoon. Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi have so far received 194 mm of rainfall against an average of 104 mm.

The situation is equally satisfying for west Rajasthan, east Rajasthan, west Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and east Uttar Pradesh.

Good rain notwithstanding, there has been a steady increase in the demand for power in Punjab. Against a restricted energy demand of 1,015 lakh units on July 12, the demand today was 1,040 lakh units. This is in spite of 90-minute power cuts in urban feeders throghout the state and peak-load restrictions on large-supply consumers.

Interestingly, these peak-load restrictions and power cuts have been continuing though the demand for power by the farm sector has become negligible because of the vigorous monsoon.

The most heartening feature of the monsoon this time is that not only is it widespread and uniform but the water level too, in most reservoirs connected with hydel generation in the region has started rising considerably. The rain has been fairly good in the catchment areas.

Head                                      July 12          July 13            July 14            July 15

Total energy availability*     950             957               1,010            1,012

Restricted energy demand*  1,015          1,000             1,050            1,040

*lakh units


PUDA plans 8- storeyed complex
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Housing and Urban Development Minister, Dr Upinder Kaur, will lay the foundation stone of PUDA Bhavan, incorporating the headquarters of PUDA as well as its zonal offices of SAS Nagar, on July 17.

Giving details of the project, the PUDA Chief Administrator, Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, said this complex was a functional necessity since an integrated office was necessary for efficient official public interface, in a congenial built-up environment. At present, PUDA is functioning from rented offices scattered at different places and the space available is very inadequate. Besides fulfilling the operational needs of PUDA and providing better facilities to its clients and customers, the complex, when completed, will also spur further activity in the City Centre of Sector 62, which is being planned by the Ahmedabad-based architect Dr B.V. Doshi.

The PUDA complex, to be constructed on an area of 3.286 acres, is flanked by Fortis Heart Institute and a wide road towards the north-west. The proposed complex, estimated to cost Rs 18 crore, comprises two eight-storeyed blocks facing north-south, juxtaposed by five and three-storeyed blocks enclosing an internal courtyard. The space in the courtyard flows into the external space through the double height stilted space at the ground level of the five-storeyed block. A suitably landscaped courtyard with pavements, green beds and water bodies will provide a comfortable micro-climate, two five-storeyed stilted blocks jutting out of eight-storeyed blocks, towards the opposite corners from the entrance porticos.

Mr S.L. Kaushal, Senior Architect, PUDA, who has prepared the design, said the complex would have independent entries for the headquarters and zonal office of Additional Chief Administrator, SAS Nagar, with parking on the ground surface along the periphery of the plot and in the basement accessed by two ramps. The periphery of the plot would have rows of tall trees and shrubs on boundary walls to filter the noise pollution from the roads.

The eight-storeyed blocks inter-connected with five/three-storeyed blocks will have service cores with staircases, lifts, pantry, toilets, fire safety ducts, communication and electric ducts, rooms for central air-cooling equipment, besides computer and EPABX networks.

The building will have the provision of ramps leading to the ground-floor level and lifts for the upper levels. This will also provide easy accessibility to physically handicapped persons on wheel chairs.

The basement floor will have parking areas for cars and scooters. The ground and first floors will house common facilities, including lounge, with inquiry and reception counters, visitors’ waiting area, business centre, computer centre, bank extension counter, post office, dispensary and counters for single window system.

The second floor will seat top functionaries along with the connected facilities. The second floor will also have large conference halls.

The construction will be supervised by the Chief Engineer, PUDA, Mr G.R. Jakhu and the construction is being consigned by Era Construction, a Gurgaon-based company of national repute.


No decision yet on next GND University VC
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 15
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, seems to be indecisive on the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University even as the extension of Dr Harbhajan Singh Soch will expire on July 22.

Mr Badal is said to be weighing whether to oblige the Delhi lobby or select a scholar from Punjab to occupy the hot seat. A number of members of the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, leaders of the ruling Akali Dal (New Delhi) and some senior leaders of the BJP reportedly met Mr Badal before he left for the USA to recommend Mr Jaswant Singh Phul, Principal and educationist and Mr Jaspal Singh, former Ambassador to an African country. Mr Phul is a gold medallist in MA (Political Science) from Khalsa College, Amritsar and has been president of the All-India Sikh Students Federation and advisor to Justice Gurnam Singh, the then Chief Minister. He claims that he had introduced Justice Gurnam Singh in the panthic circles at the behest of Master Tara Singh, the then president of the Shiromani Akali Dal. However, at one time he was a close confidant of Mr Gurcharn Singh Tohra, president, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal and still enjoys close proximity to Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, an Akali MLA and Mr Parmjit Singh Sarana. former president of the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee and president, SHSAD, New Delhi. The proximity of the Principal to the SHSAD leaders can go against him.

Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister and general secretary of the ruling Akali Dal is said to be lobbying for Mr Jaspal Singh for the coveted post. Mr Jaspal Singh has reportedly got the ‘balance of power’ so far as the Delhi gurdwara management is concerned. He has the support of at least four members of the gurdwara committee. Some members of the committee and Akali leaders have also met Mr Badal in favour of Mr Jaspal Singh. However, Mr Jaspal Singh had shifted his loyality to the Opposition group against Mr Badal during the elections of the committee.

Dr Harbhajan Singh Soch is trying to get extention for the third time. Earlier, he was given extension of one year each for two terms. He has reportedly pleaded with the state government that he was the only Sikh Vice-Chancellor who has been nominated on the panels of Banaras Hindu University and Jawarharlal Nehru University. However, Dr Soch has not yet received any signal in this regard though only a week is left in the expiry of his term.

Mr Badal is likely to reach India on July 20. The term of the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University has been extended but no decision has been taken regarding Guru Nanak Dev University.

The other aspirants for the seat include Dr M.S. Dhillon, Principal, Khalsa College, Amritsar, who enjoys political clout in Akali circles, Dr Hardev Singh Virk and Dr S.S. Bhatti, senior Professors at Guru Nanak Dev University, Dr Inderpal Singh, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the university and Mr Nirmal Singh, senior Professor at Panjab University, Chandigarh. He is a brother of Bibi Jagir Kaur, a former SGPC, president.

Sources said if Mr Badal does not return in time to take decision before the term of Dr Soch ends, the Governor-cum-Chancellor could appoint any academician as Vice-Chancellor under ‘stop gap’ arrangement for a period not exceeding more than one year.


Suspended ASI promoted
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 15
In a stunning development, the Patiala district police chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu has given a plum posting to a lady Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) even though she has been suspended by the Patiala Range Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) Sanjeev Gupta for terrorising a disabled woman along with a Station House Officer (SHO) of the city after being accused of specific corruption charges.

ASI Bindu Bala, who was earlier looking after the specially created woman cell in the city, has been posted as the SHO of Ghagga police station of Samana subdivision in the district by the SSP despite the fact that the DIG had asked the district police chief to inquire into the specific allegations of corruption levelled against her sometime back and also suspended her and Tripri SHO Rajesh Chibber yesterday for terrorising disabled woman running a computer centre in the Tripri area of the city.

Ms Bindu Bala and the Tripri SHO have been accused of taking over the centre of the woman and employing a computer expert to download the complaint against Bindu Bala which was reportedly typed from the centre. The two resorted to this move when the confidential information regarding the complaint was given to Ms Bindu Bala allegedly by the SSP himself, according to DIG Sanjiv Gupta who was quizzed on the issue by TNS today. The DIG has also sought the explanation from the SSP as to how a secret document was allowed to be handed over to the ASI.

Earlier, in the day the SSP organised a press conference and disclosed that Bindu Bala had achieved the unique distinction of being the first lady officer in the state to be appointed full-fledged SHO and that the step would go a long way in promoting gender equality. He said the ASI had done commendable work as incharge of the woman cell in Patiala for over three years. The SSP disclosed today that the appointment had been made in the afternoon of July 14. He, however, did not disclose that the ASI had been suspended on corruption charges by the DIG and that his office had been accused of handing over the secret information to the ASI.

Mr Sanjiv Gupta said he had been handed over a complaint against Bindu Bala in which serious charges of corruption as well as misuse of position were listed. He said he had sent the complaint to the SSP for his comments and directed him to conduct an inquiry into the case within a week.

The DIG disclosed that he learnt on last Wednesday that the complaint had been handed over to Bindu Bala by the SSP to trace its author. He said later in the week a disabled woman, Meenu Kingar, who runs a computer centre, approached him stating that Bindu Bala along with SHO Rajesh Chhibber forcibly entered her centre along with a computer expert and downloaded several files in floppies besides asking her to disclose the author of the complaint. Mr Gupta said the two officers also forced Meenu Kingar to put her signatures on a statement prepared by them.

He said Meenu Kingar recorded her statement before him yesterday. She alleged that she was being terrorised by the police officers concerned. He said following this he placed both Bindu Bala and Rajesh Chhibber on suspension and transferred them to the police lines.

The DIG claimed that he came to know of the new posting of the ASI following the press conference organised by the SSP today. Mr Gupta said he would take further action in the matter only after the perusal of the posting report of the SSP.


1.33 cr allocated for 3 railway stations
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 15
The five-member Railway Convention Parliament Committee today announced that the railway station here would be beautified and made into a model station.

The chairman of the committee and MP from Junagarh, Mrs Bhavnaben Chikhalia, while addressing mediapersons here today said Rs 1.33 crore had been allocated for the modernisation of railway stations of Amritsar, Ferozepore and Pathankot during the current financial year.

Mrs Chikhalia said more than 70 per cent of funds had been earmarked for the holy city since it was a major tourist centre.

The chairperson further said the plans for modernisation would include providing better passenger facilities, uplifting the facade, improving railway reservation, removing encroachments and extension of platforms.

Commenting upon the poor facilities and lack of drinking water, canteen, sitting arrangement at the Attari station, the international railway terminus in view of biweekly Samjhauta Express connecting India with Pakistan, Mrs Chikhalia said the members would take up the issue with the Railway Minister and with the board and the General Manager for providing all these facilities at Attari.

The Divisional Railway Manager, Mr J.S. Marwaha, said the General Manager, Mr Dhasarthy, had visited the Attari station last week and had taken the matter with the customs and immigration authorities for adding better passenger amenities. He added that a plan would shortly be prepared to upgrade these facilities for the passengers crossing over from the two countries.

The members of the committee included Mr Radha Mohan Singh, MP from Motihari (Bihar); Mr Raghu Nath Jha, MP from Gopalganj (Bihar); Mr Solipeta Ramachandera Reddy, MP (Hyderabad); and Mr Hannan Mollah, MP from Howrah (CPM). The committee visited the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, Durgianan Mandir, and the Wagah checkpost.


400 villagers suffer from hepatitis-B
Pushpesh Kumar

Bathinda, July 15
Chauke village in this district has been hit by hepatitis-B due to the absence of a regular doctor, the villagers are forced to go to quacks. Sometimes it even costs them their lives.

Sources in the Civil Hospital revealed that the department had done an extensive survey of the village and out of the total 227 blood samples taken as many as 63 were found positive. Even two of the six water samples failed the tests.

The sources said the survey was undertaken five times and five camps had been organised by the health authorities but due to the use of non-sterilised and recycled needles by quacks the disease had reached such proportions.

Reports indicated that about 5 per cent of the population of the village was hepatitis-B positive.

The health authorities had organised awareness camps at the village, stressing the need for hygiene. However, due to lack of round the clock medical services of a qualified doctor, the villagers are forced to go to the quacks.

A senior doctor at the hospital said the infection had spread to about 400 persons in the village.

Dr Bawa Ram Gupta, Civil Surgeon, said as many as 19 quacks had been arrested in the district. Water supply to the village was under constant observation and chlorine tablets had been distributed. The services of local dispensaries were available for villages, he said.

Mr R. Venkatratnam, Deputy Commissioner, admitted that the villagers preferred to go to the quacks in the absence of round the clock health facilities.

Visits to the village had revealed that most of the quacks had procured certificates from Bihar and were not valid in Punjab. They had been asked to stop their practice, he said.

The SMO of Walianwali village had been transferred to Chauke and the IV fluid sets and IV fluids had been provided to the health authorities.

Arrangements for 10 beds had been made at the village and a generator set would be provided to facilitate the storage of vaccines.

The Chief Minister had announced a grant of Rs 7 lakh for the village. The whole village would be vaccinated.


Cong, SAD woo Morinda voters with money
Nishikant Dwivedi

Karora (Kharar), July 15
A virtual campaign for the Morinda Assembly constituency has picked up with the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the main Opposition, the Congress, distributing funds for development of villages in the area in an apparent bid to win over voters for the Punjab Assembly elections due early next year.

A former Congress minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, today handed over a cheque of Rs 31,000 for the construction of a causeway to Singhi Devi Temple and Rs 20,000 to the village sarpanch for the development of streets in this village.

Mr Kang’s money distribution spree has followed a similar exercise by Mr Ujaggar Singh Badali, local Jathedar of the SAD and an aspirant of the party ticket from the constituency.

Mr Badali gave the Kansal village a cheque of Rs 2 lakh for the development of roads and streets and promised that Rs 25 lakh would be credited next week to the account of the Naya Gaon panchayat for development of sewerage system.

The constituency has assumed importance as it is represented by rebel SAD leader and former Punjab Assembly Speaker, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, who is being projected by the Bahujan Samaj Party as their chief ministerial candidate.

The area comprising Kansal, Naya Gaon, Janata Colony, among others, has drawn attention of both the SAD and the Congress, as majority of voters of this constituency come from this area.

While the Congress had earlier promised the people of this area that they would be included in the New Chandigarh proposed by late Chief Minister Beant Singh and then opposed by the then leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, whose party is now concentrating in the area to make up for the loss of Anandgarh project that antagonised over 30,000 residents of 29 villages to be acquired for the project.

The money distribution by the Akali Dal came as part of an announcement by the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, earlier.

Akali Dal sources indicated that Mr Badal was likely to announce Notified Area Committee (NAC) status to the area before August 15, to wean away voters of the region from the Congress.

The leader of the anti-Anandgarh movement and local MLA, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, banking upon his glory of embarrassing the Badal government through court intervention, has not yet got active in the right earnest.

The fund distribution and sudden attempts to promise NAC status to the area barely six months before the scheduled Assembly election has come after years of rallies, dharna and memoranda by the residents. Mr Badali also indicated that a bridge on the Patiala Ki Rao rivulet would come up as soon as monsoons were over.

The project had already been sanctioned and administrative clearance needed to be given for the project whose second phase had now been advanced, according to Mr. Badali’s claim at a meeting yesterday in Kansal village.

Mr. Badali is likely to visit Karora village tomorrow to distribute cheques for developmental work.


Magnet therapy for alleviating pain
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 15
Magnetic therapy camp held in the city came as a new hope for the residents of the city suffering from joint pain and were fed up with going from one doctor to another and taking pain killers. So when Maharashtra Gramin Arogya Vikas Bahu—Udeshiya Sanstha (MGAVBS) of Nagpur held a camp of magnetic therapy, it attracted large number of people.

The camp which started on June 25 at Ganesha Basti and concluded on July 15 received overwhelming response from the city residents.

It was organised with the efforts of Dost Welfare Society an NGO of the city. Dr Parkash Meshram, Dr Vijay Jain, Dr Nitin Kumar and Dr R.J. Thakur all from MGAVBS, Nagpur were the experts who examined the patients.

Miss Ashu (16) who came for the treatment sinusitis made the magnetic therapy for 10 days said that although her problem was three-year old but continuous sitting for half an hour daily gave her relief and she decided to apply this till it cured completely.

Mr Montu (10) whose one leg was weaker than the other one and was facing difficulty in walking, attended the camp regularly. His mother told that for the past five years the right leg of Montu was becoming weaker while other parts of the body were normal.

The family made every possible effort to get it cured but it did not show any improvement. But after coming to this camp Montu felt relief from pain, so family got a hope that his problem can be cured, she added.

Doctors said that if Montu practised therapy regularly for one year he can be relieved from his problem.

Ms Dhillon (55) was not able to walk was confined to bed and used to take heavy dose of pain killers and sleeping pills. She attended the camp regularly for 14 days and feeling improvement in her condition, decided to apply it for a long time.

These people are some of those patients who visited the camp. Dr Parkash Meshram said that magnetic therapy was an old therapy and it was a complete science in itself. In this type of treatment the problem was cured by the stimulations of magnetic field created in the body. By placing north and south poles of magnet in alternative manner, a magnetic field was created in the body which stimulates the blood circulations and turn cures the ailment.

He said that it speeds up various physical and biochemical reactions of body. He added that it was a form of natural therapy like acupressure, yoga and acupuncture.

The magnets are placed close to that part of body which has to be healed and a wooden block was put below the feet and patient was made to sit on a plastic chair, to prevent the magnetic field from being earthed and lost. The therapy is done for 30 minutes twice a day.

Dr Chohan told that majority of the patients were suffering from knee and backbone problems. Those suffering from piles, chronic arthrities, cervical pain, sinusitis also came for treatment he added.

Dr Nitin Kumar told that although magnetic therapy was a very effective way of treatment and modern techniques were based on it but due to neglect it was disappearing in the country. Residents praised the camp and efforts of Dost Welfare Society.


Residents sore at streetlight maintenance
Trbune News Service

Patiala, July 15
A string of recent developments, including development of the Baradari Gardens, may have lit up Patiala, but as far as the Municipal Corporation is concerned, lighting up the city by ensuing efficient streetlight is apparently not on top of its agenda.

Residents of various localities complain that the corporation is not paying any attention to the trouble-free running of streetlights. It is not only the outer colonies and people in the old city who are suffering, but also those living in so called presitigious colonies. The situation is such that even the road in front of the Yadvindra Public School (YPS), which goes further to the Officers Colony and the cantonment, is not lit up at night.

Residents living in various outer colonies of the city are also a worried lot. Speaking to The Tribune, they said the corporation does not have a foolproof method of rectifying faults. Moreover, registering complaints is a futile exercise as employees do not attend to the calls in time.

Sources said the lack of coordination between the corporation and the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) was the reason for their poor maintenance. Under the present arrangement, while the corporation was responsible for providing the necessary material, the responsibility of maintenance was of the PSEB. And due to this complaints could not be attended to immediately.

“They ecourage us to put up our own tubelights on their poles”, said Rattan Singh of Gurbaksh Colony. Residents were sometimes forced to put up their own tubes on Municipal poles as complaints were not attended to for inordinate periods, he added. They said though this move ensure early restoration of power in the locality, it set a precedent for the corporation employees which expected everyone to adopt this practice.

Sources said the number of thefts had also increased due to non-functional streetlights. They said there had been as many as 14 thefts in the last few days. Narinder Singh of katcha Patiala said non-functional streetlights were also an invitation for hooliganism in the old city with its narrow lanes.

Residents said only a drastic shake up in the corporation and changing of old attitudes could ensure efficiency in the system. Most of them, who are disillusioned with the present working said the only answer lay in privatisation of maintenance services. They said this would result in accountability in the entire operation and also do away with the present system of joint maintenance by the corporation and the PSEB.


Probe ordered into land deal case
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, July 15
Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot, has ordered an inquiry into a land deal dispute involving Mr Mantar Singh Brar, Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Kotkapura, and Mr Lakhwinder Singh Randhawa, a resident of Ramgarh village in Jaitu tehsil in the district.

Mr Hussan Lal, ADC, Faridkot, has been deputed for the inquiry.

The Deputy Commissioner has taken this step following directions from the Punjab Human Rights Commission.

In his complaint, Mr Randhawa said he along with his mother and brother sold 29 acres to Mr Brar, his brother, Mr Balkar Singh, and Mr Kultar Singh.

An agreement was entered for the sale of land at the rate of Rs 1,95,000 per acre whereas the sale deed was registered at the rate of Rs 1,20,000 per acre by them which caused a loss of Rs 1.30 lakh to the state treasury, Mr Randhawa alleged.

The complainant said Mr Brar paid only Rs 2.50 lakh with the assurance that he would pay the remaining amount shortly.

In spite of his requests, Mr Brar failed to make the payment and instead allegedly under his influence the Kotkapura police raided the house of the complainant on May 4 and took away his servant, Gulu Singh. Mr Randhawa charged the police with detaining his servant illegaly for two nights.

Mr Randhawa also sent telegrams to the SSP and other higher authorities in this connection. The commission has also sent a copy of the order along with a copy of the complaint through a special messenger to the Inspector-General of Police, Litigation, besides the SSP, Faridkot, for compliance. Mr Brar was, however, not available for comment.


500 disabled to get jobs: DC
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, July 15
Five hundred physically challenged persons would be identified for employment opportunities, Mr Vivek Aggarwal, DC, said. He was addressing the inaugural function of a camp for giving artificial limbs free of cost to the disabled here today. The camp was organised by the district Red Cross Society and the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Phagwara. The DC said camps would be held at Kapurthala, Bholath and Sultanpur Lodhi blocks on August 5 and 19 and on September 9.

Mr Yashpal Gupta, convener, All-India Viklang Aids Organisation, said the Bharat Vikas Parishad provided artificial limbs to about 25,000 physically challenged persons every year through its 14 centres.

Mr Kamal Mata, president of the local parishad branch and Mr Amarjit Pal, SDM, also spoke on the occasion.


Shift Dimple to mental hospital, urges Dang
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 15
The veteran social worker, Mr Satya Pal Dang, today sought immediate intervention of the police to get Mrs Dimple Goyal proper psychiatric treatment and protect her children’s right to their property. Mr Dang in a press note issued here today felt that it was the primary duty of the police to get Dimple admitted to a mental hospital so that she could be cured.

He added that Mrs Goyal along with her two children was deserted by her husband she was to fend on Rs 850 per month in a posh locality house of the city for 15 years. The trauma to bring up the children on meagre means may have been the reason for Ms Goyal to lose her mental balance.

Mr Dang felt that Ms Goyal should have been treated at the mental hospital instead at the Civil Hospital. He alleged that the police was needlessly delaying proper medical treatment to her.

Mr Dang has brought the matter to the notice of the senior police officer that it was their legal duty to get the women treated and protect the property till her children become adults.


Power cut schedule
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 15
Total energy availability is 1000 lakh units while the restricted energy demand is 1030 lakh units.

According to an official press note, the power cut schedule for the Urban Industrial mixed feeders for July 16 will be as follows: cut for Khanna, Muktsar, Ferozepur, Jalandhar and Patiala will be from 11.00 am to 12.30 pm and from 3 pm to 4.30 pm. For Kapurthala, Ropar, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Mohali, cut will be from 12.30 pm to 2 pm and from 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm.

For circles of Sangrur, Gurdaspur, Nawanshahr, Bathinda and Ludhiana suburbs, cut hours will be from 8 am to 9.30 am and from 12 noon to 1.30 pm. For circles of Ludhiana and Tarn Taran, cut hours will be from 9.30 am to 11.00 am and from 1.30 pm to 3.00 pm.

The Peak Load Restriction hours on Large Supply consumers have been revised from July 10 as follows: consumers falling under North, South, West and Border operation zones will have cut from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm. Consumers falling under central operation zone will have cuts from 8 pm to 11 pm.


Rs 1 lakh award for Dr Samra, associates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has announced the Vasantrao Naik Award of Rs 1 lakh for Dr J.S.Samra, Deputy Director, Natural Resources Management, ICAR, New Delhi, and his associates for their work on rain-water management in various parts of the country.

The award will be presented to Dr Samra and his associates tomorrow at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. A multi-disciplinary team headed by Dr Samra had worked on rain water harvesting and its management in different ago-ecological regions in the country. The other members of the team were Dr V.N. Sharda, Dr A.K. Sikka, Dr P. Samraj and Mr V. Lakshmanan. This award is considered one of the most prestigious in the field of agriculture.

Born in Dinewal village in Amritsar district in 1947, Dr Samra did MSc (Agriculture) in 1970 and obtained his doctorate in 1974. He worked in Shivalik region for five years for promoting the resource conservation programme of this region. He has four international and national fellowships to his credit besides five national awards.


Staff shortage hits bank working
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 15
About 100 posts of clerk are lying vacant in various branches of Sangrur Central Cooperative Bank in this district. Due to this, the bank is not in a position to open special helpline counters for its customers.

This was stated by Mr Pawan Kumar Singla, manager, head office of the bank here, in reply to a question at the “customers meet” organised by the evening branch of the bank at the new Grain Market here.

Mr Angrej Singh Preet, deputy manager and Mr Kanwaljit Singh, branch manager of the evening branch, also shared views with the gathering.


First woman SHO in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
The Patiala police has earned a rare distinction by appointing a woman officer as a full-fledged Station House Officer of a police station.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Bindu Bala became the first woman SHO in Punjab after she was given charge of the Ghagga police station in Samana by the Patiala SSP, Mr H.S. Sidhu.

During the past 54 years, no woman officer has commanded a police station independently in Punjab. The only exceptions have been when IPS (women) probationers had been given charge of police station as a part of their training. ASI Bindu Bala had joined the department in 1985. She was promoted to the rank of Assistant Sub-Inspector in 1991-92 and was regularised as an ASI in 1998. She earlier headed the women cell in Patiala for more than three years. She is a former national-level athlete. At the recently concluded Police Duty Meet, she was the topper in “scene of crime,” VIP security” and “turnout.” Her husband, Inspector Rakesh Kumar, is posted in the Punjab Vigilance Bureau.


Land-grab bid: 35 booked, 3 held
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, July 15
The police has registered a case against 35 persons of whom three have been arrested on the charge of intimidating Jasbir Singh of Sheikhupur village near the town after trespassing into the house and confining Jasbir Singh and his family members illegally in a room, giving threats to them to vacate the land belonging to Ajit Singh Aujala a resident of Jaitwali village in Jalandhar and later got three persons admitted in local civil hospital with sharp edged weapon injuries which were found later by the board of doctors as self-inflicted.

The police has registered a case. According to reports lodged Jasbir Singh alleged that on the evening of July 13 Ajit Singh along with 35 persons came to house in fields in four vehicles with arms forcibly opening the main gate and gave threats to vacate the land of Ajit Singh and when he told that he was occupying the land on lease for 99 years and when he and other members of the family asked them not to give threats, they all confined us in room and gave threats to liquidate them. On knowing the forcible entry in his house, the residents of the village started coming to his house and sensing trouble, they all went away hurling abuses.

He alleged that in order to frame him in false case, Balbir Singh, Vijay Kumar and Anil Kumar all of Jalandhar got themselves admitted in local civil hospital with sharp-edged weapons injuries but the police got them examined medically from a board of doctors which opined the injuries self-inflicted and also got verified that no injuries were caused to them in the village. The police today arrested Balbir Singh, Vijay Kumar and Anil Kumar from the hospital.


Two highway robbers held
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, July 15
The police yesterday arrested two highway robbers — Sukhpal Singh, resident of Kutbi Nangal, and Daljit Singh, a resident of Kotla Chahal, while five of their accomplices — Amraj Singh, Happy, Daljit Singh, Kuljit Singh and Hira Singh — managed to escape in the cover of darkness.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, SSP, in a press note today, said they used to commit robberies during night.

On the intervening night of July 13 and 14 when Mr J.S. Cheema, DSP, Gurdaspur, went to inspect a naka at night, Rajiv Kant and Pawan Kumar met him and told him that they were robbed by three persons who were on a motor cycle.

The DSP alongwith the complainants chased and caught two of them near Bath Sahib while snatching money from some people on the highway. The remaining fire, however, fled. The motor cycle was impounded, the SSP said. A case under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act and 379, IPC, was registered against them yesterday in Sadar police station, Pathankot.


6 booked for murder bid
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 15
Six persons, all residents of Johal Raju Singh village, have been booked under the Arms Act and under Section 307 of the IPC for firing on Mr Devinder Singh of the same village by the local city police station. The accused have been identified as Darbara Singh, Gurmej Singh, sons of Ajaib Singh, Sona, Gurdev Singh, Manjinder Singh sons of Darbara Singh and Dial Singh son of Gurmej Singh.

Devinder Singh is the secretary of the village Coop Agriculture Services Society and the rival group led by Darbara Singh wants to capture management of the society which is said to be the root cause of firing incident.


Man, wife held for smuggling opium
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 15
Surjit Singh and his wife Sukhpreet Kaur, residents of Bir Bholuwala village in Faridkot district have been arrested for allegedly smuggling opium.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, in a press note issued here today said both the accused were arrested at the bridge of a distributary between Mehma Sarja and Lakhi Jungle villages as they were found to be in possession of 3 kg of opium.

He said the duo was travelling on their scooter when they were stopped by the police personnel at a naka on the bridge of a distributary. He said Surjit Singh had tied the opium on his belly in the shape of a packet. Dr Jain said Surjit Singh had been in the business of smuggling opium since 1996 and had lately involved his wife in the trade.


PTU to open centres abroad
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 15
Punjab Technical University will open its centres in various developing countries to train Indians settled in these countries as well as the natives under different courses launched by the university under its programme of distant education. To begin with the university will open its centres in the middle east and African countries next month.

Disclosing this Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Technical Education Minister, said here today that 30 courses would be offered in these countries including B.Sc. (IT), M.Sc. (IT), MCAM and hotel management courses.

He said the university would send its teachers to these countries to train the local teachers for manning these centres. These would be set up on the basis of master franchise.

Mr Amarjit Singh Grewal, Director Distant Education of the university, said these centres would bring foreign exchange to the country besides breaking the monopoly of advanced countries in this field.

Mr Garcha said more than 100 centres would be opened in the country during the current academic year.

He further said that for the first time in the history of the university, all seats under the general category in all engineering colleges got filled on the first day of counselling. As many as 42,250 students were admitted under the general category. Counselling for the special categories would be held later. Mr Garcha said three new engineering colleges had been opened this year.

When Mr Garcha was asked as to who would ensure jobs for the graduates of these courses, he replied these were vocational courses and would generate self-employment.

Mr Garcha maintained that higher education had become meaningless and now it was an era of information technology and Punjab was witnessing a revolution on this score.

Mr Amarjit Singh Grewal said 50 new centres would be opened in Andhra Pradesh where the IT courses would be started from this year under the distant education programme of the university.

Mr Grewal said that graduates of the university would be sent to developing countries to train the local faculty to run the university centres there.


Students suffer as varsity changes decision
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, July 15
The counselling for admission to various courses of Punjab Technical University (PTU) was held here today at the Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology where a large number of students and franchisees of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) alleged that a private computer centre owner was harassing them.

The DRDA had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the PTU to run various courses in the computer centres affiliated to the DRDA set up at focal points of the districts this year.

Sources in the DRDA disclosed that it was mentioned in the MoU that the DRDA would run the various courses certified by the PTU and that the varsity would not sign any MoU with any other private party to run the same courses in Bathinda district.

The PTU had authorised the DRDA to run these courses for five years, from May 31, 2001, to May 30, 2006. But the PTU overruled its MoU with the DRDA and gave the permission to run the same courses to private computer centre of Chandigarh. Even the name of the DRDA was not mentioned in the list of authorised centres disclosed by the PTU in various advertisements and the prospectus.

Today hundreds of students, who were hoping to get admission to the government-recognised DRDA study centres were taken by surprise when the owner of the Chandigarh-based computer centre refused to oblige them and instead asked them to take admissions in his study centres.

A group of students alleged that the owner of the private computer centre was demanding Rs 5,000 for admission to his study centres opened at various places in the district.

Some DRDA study centre operators alleged that the private party was demanding 25 per cent of the total fee collected from them on the plea that their study centres and neither the DRDA was recognised by the PTU.

The counselling for the DRDA-recognised study centres was not carried out until a senior officer of the district administration reached the spot.

The Deputy Commissioner said he had received complaints regarding the demand of Rs 5,000 by the private computer centre owner. The Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr Gurtej Singh, was asked to go to the spot and verify the facts and he had started the process of admissions to the DRDA study centres, where 80 students were to be admitted, he said.

He admitted, that the PTU had overruled the MoU signed with the DRDA.


School name issue unresolved
Our Correspondent

Chak Ram Singh Wala (Bathinda), July 15
A meeting of four panchayats called by the district administration to resolve the ongoing dispute over the issue of naming the high school of Chak Ram Singh Wala village ended without producing any results on Friday.

Meanwhile, the chain fast started by the villagers entered its fifth day yesterday. As many as 18 villagers, including five women are on fast in protest against the change of the school from Chak Ram Singh Wala School to Chak Fateh Singh Wala School.

Sources said the panchayats of Chak Ram Singh Wala, Chak Fateh Singh Wala, Chak Bakhtoo and Harjoginder Singh met the Deputy Commissioner and other senior officials of the administration yesterday. The officials repeatedly assured them that there was no conspiracy in the “clerical mistake” which resulted in the change of name of the school but the factions maintained their respective stands.

The villagers maintained that their fast would continue till Chak Ram Singh Wala High School was upgraded to senior secondary school.

Mr Gurnam Singh Sema, former president of the district Congress Committee, said the school was upgraded in 1957 with the efforts of the then Chief Minister, Punjab Mr Partap Singh Kairon.

The school was established at this village to cater to the needs of three villages. He alleged that upgradation of the middle school to senior secondary school would amount to violation of the rules and the high school of this village should be upgraded.

Mr Sema alleged that the SAD government had made the schools and colleges as political playgrounds.

The school was closed for the past one week due to the ongoing dispute between the villagers of the Chak Ram Singh Wala and Chak Fateh Singh Wala, he said.

Mr R. Venkat Ratnam, Deputy Commissioner, said the school was set up for three villages and the ongoing dispute was unfortunate. The matter would be resolved soon, he assured.


RASA’s call to unaided affiliated school
Our Correspondent

Mansa, July 15
Mr Jagdish Rai Sharma, state president of the Recognised and Affiliated Schools Association (RASA), gave a call to all unaided affiliated and recognised schools of the state to unite and join RASA. He was addressing a meeting of more than 500 representatives of recognised and affiliated schools of the district in the premises of local Summer Field Public High School here today.

Mr Sharma said Mr Tota Singh, Higher Secondary and Primary Education Minister, Punjab, had already sent a proposal for exemption of house tax, road tax, special tax and to convert the electric and water connection as domestic from commercial and for grant of free bus passes to the students of unaided affiliated and recognised schools to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, for approval which was expected to get approval very soon.

He said unaided private schools in the state had been showing excellent results. In the matriculation results, the pass percentage of these schools was more than 90 whereas the pass percentage of government and aided schools was less than 26 and the overall pass percentage in the state was 49.

A resolution was passed during the meeting demanding revaluation of answersheets of Class V and Class VIII examination from the Education Department. The meeting also demanded revaluation of answersheets through table marking.

Mr Sharma said there were more than 11,250 unaided private schools as against 12,176 government schools, when the average strength of private schools was 800 students as against the average strength of 300 students in government schools.

He further said Mr Om Parkash, Soni, who is the patron of RASA, had been winning the Vidhan Sabha seat from the Amritsar West Constituency with the help of RASA. He said in the forthcoming elections, RASA would support Mr Tota Singh, Higher Secondary and Primary Education Minister, Punjab.

Among others, Mr Ravinder Singh Mann, senior vice-president of the state unit of RASA , and Mr Ashok Sadiora, district president of RASA, addressed the meeting.


Assurance to college staff on pension
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, July 15
The Punjab Government is committed to implement the demands of the employees of government- aided private colleges at the earliest. It has the Chief Minister's approval also.

Master Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, told this to this correspondent here today. He said bureaucratic delays and the practice of some colleges not to contribute the provident fund of their employees towards a corpus fund of Rs 100 crore were hindering the implementation process. He had already issued directions to the Principal Secretary, Punjab, for implementing the demands within a month. The employees of these colleges were likely to be covered soon for grant of pension and gratuity, he said.

The minister said in spite of repeated instructions to the managements of these colleges to contribute the provident fund towards the corpus fund, only 100 out of the total 140 managements had so far sent their contribution. The Education Department had been forced to issue directions to the remaining 40 managements to send their contributions within a month or face stoppage of the government grant.

Master Mohan Lal said the government had introduced all 35 trades, including Information and Technology, at various colleges in the state as recommended by the University Grants Commission. The remaining colleges which fulfilled the conditions by the next academic session would be given sanction to introduce the said subjects.


Punjabi University B.Ed results
Our Correspondent

Patiala, July 15
Punjabi University today declared the results of the B.Ed entrance test conducted on July 1, in which 42,574 candidates appeared at 176 examination centres spread over 11 cities all over Punjab.

Giving this information, Dr B.S.Bhatia, Registrar and Coordinator of the test, Punjabi University, said the first five positions had been secured by girls. Manpreet Kaur topped the list followed by Rajwinder Kaur and Amandeep Kaur who secured the second and third position, respectively.

Dr Bhatia said that the counselling for admission would begin on August 3, 2001, at Punjabi University campus.

Meanwhile, in a press note released by the Joint Controller (examinations), the scores in the theory paper obtained by the candidates, who appeared in the B.Ed examination that ended on July 11, would be made public on July 18. Certification of these scores obtained in their papers would be available to the candidates thereafter on July 18.

The release added that the results of the B.Ed examination would be declared after five days of the completion of the practical and sessional work examinations which are under way.


Interview for primary teachers from July 20
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 15
Interviews for the selection of ETT/JBT/BA, B.Ed teachers for primary schools will start on July 20 at Government Senior Secondary School, Railway Mandi, Hoshiarpur.

This was disclosed by Mr Avtar Singh District Education Officer (Secondary) Hoshiarpur here yesterday. He said letters to candidates for interview on July 20 and July 21 had already been sent. The list of candidates to whom letters had been issued for interview would be displayed on the notice board of the school on July 17. Letters for interview to other candidates were being issued and the list of these candidates would also be displayed on the notice board three days before their interview.


One-year extension for VC Guram
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 15
Dr H.S. Guram, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University has been granted one-year extension in his tenure, according to Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Minister for Technical Education, Punjab.

The one-year term of Dr Guram expired on July 11 and the state government had recommended the extension of one year for him to the Chancellor and Governor of Punjab J.F.R. Jacob, said Mr Garcha.

Mr Garcha said the state government was satisfied with the performance of the Vice-Chancellor during the past one year.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |