Thursday, December 6, 2001, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Congress strategy to tackle rebels
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 5
Aware of the problems the party could face in the distribution of the tickets for the party candidates in Punjab, the Congress has decided to invoke the authority of the “high command” to quell the problem of rebel candidates. The party has so far received about 800 applications from ticket aspirants for the 117 Assembly seats in the state.

AICC treasurer Motilal Vora said the prospective candidates from a seat, who would all be present at the respective constituency-wise meetings that the party is organising, would be asked to publicly declare that the candidate cleared by the Congress high command would be acceptable to them.

The party is yet to decide on the number of seats it would offer to Left parties in the coming poll. Party leaders fear that the large number of aspirants who are denied the tickets could feel disheartened and not work fully for the official nominee. There could even be rebel candidates. Keen to reduce this problem, party managers have decided to invoke the authority of Congress President Sonia Gandhi to silence any dissidence.

Mr Vora said the DCC and PCC offices would complete the work of receiving applications in a day or two after which the shortlisting exercise would begin.

Indicating that the party would also work out some formula for shortlisting candidates, Mr Vora said that the preliminary list is expected to be completed by the state election committee by December 15. He said the panel of names cleared by the state election committee would be looked into by a central screening committee. The list would be finally cleared by the central election committee of the Congress.

The Antony Committee of the Congress had recommended that names of party candidates should be declared about two months before the poll.

Mr Vora said that the screening committee, which would have one more member besides him, would be set up shortly after the approval of the Congress President. He said the Congress President would visit the state in January after the state unit completed its programme of rallies in each of the Assembly constituencies.

A meeting of the apex Manmohan Singh Committee has been convened here on December 10 to finalise the party’s election manifesto. The manifesto and a charge sheet against the Badal government would, however, be released close to the elections.

Mr Vora is going to Chandigarh tomorrow to preside over a meeting of the heads of party’s frontal organisations in Punjab.


PPCC members get rude shock
Aspirants told to pay Rs 1 lakh each
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 5
Many Congressmen, who have been vying with one another for being elected members of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee are now having second thoughts with the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) asking them to submit a draft of Rs 1 lakh each.

Pradesh Congress office-bearers all over the state are getting letters from the AICC, asking them to deposit Rs 1 lakh through 10 drafts of Rs 10,000 each. The AICC missive says a decision asking all office-bearers to deposit Rs 1 lakh to the AICC had been taken following the recommendations of a committee headed by former Union Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

The committee had decided to collect money for the party through its office-bearers so that the party could generate its own funds and did not have to rely on contributions from other sources.

The AICC has asked all office-bearers to send Rs 1 lakh in total through 10 drafts of Rs ten 10,000 each. The money is supposed to be taken from party supporters. However, according to sources, party office-bearers are not in a mood to oblige the AICC. All are quiet on the issue and following a wait and watch policy.

While many office-bearers can afford to wait for some time before they send in their contribution to the AICC, those seeking the party ticket may not be so lucky. Most serious candidates for the party ticket in the state may have to cough up the Rs 1 lakh ‘’contribution’’ if they want to become eligible for the ticket. Sources said there was no way the party candidates could escape from this clause as submission of the contribution was likely to be made compulsory for grant of the party ticket.

Congress leaders, who are already annoyed at the increase in the form for applying for the party ticket from Rs 500 for general candidates to Rs 5,000 and from Rs 250 for Scheduled Caste candidates to Rs 2,500, feel the new AICC directive will further tthrow the party into the hands of the moneyed people.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a party leader said while submitting Rs 1 lakh may not be much of a problem for those who had enjoyed the fruits of power during the Beant Singh government, it was not possible for veteran and young party workers to make such a hefty contribution.

The leaders said the party had any way earned, a hefty amount by charging Rs 5,000 and Rs 2,500 each for forms for general and reserved seats, respectively. On an average there were five or six candidates for each seat, which meant 500 persons had given Rs 5,000 each to the party.


For Cong, SAD, it’s ‘money game’
Tribune News Service

Bhucho Mandi (Bathinda), December 5
The Lok Bhalai Party chief, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, addressing a party rally here yesterday, alleged that both the SAD and the Congress had made elections a “game of money”. These parties had been trying to woo voters by various allurements, but the electorate was too wise to be taken in. He alleged that genuine workers were being denied a place in the organisational set-up by these parties, what to talk of their being fielded in the coming Assembly elections. The Lok Bhalai Party alone had decided to allot the party ticket to loyal, honest and dedicated workers.

He promised that his party, which would emerge as the third alternative in Punjab, would fulfil all genuine demands of the people if voted to power in one go. Instead of wasting crores on wooing voters by distributing grants to youth clubs and other bodies, his party would promote sports and eradicate unemployment.

He said the POTO, which the NDA government was trying to impose, would be used against the innocent.

He said the use of religion for political ends was a dangerous trend and parties indulging in the same were harming the social fabric of the country. He was not in favour of forming a pressure group of Sikh members of Parliament to oppose the POTO. Mr Ramoowalia pointed out that his party believed in clean politics and would contest the coming Assembly elections on its own strength.


Badal to be discharged soon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 5
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who underwent an operation here a fortnight ago for upper femur bone fracture (left side), is likely to be discharged in a day of two, Dr P.S. Maini, Chairman of the Orthopaedics Department at Ganga Ram Hospital, who performed the corrective surgery with the help of modern internal fixation techniques said.


Ropar, Kanjli wetlands “deserve”global status
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
On the direction of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), has recommended to the Ramsar Convention Bureau, Switzerland, the inclusion of Ropar and Kanjli wetlands in the Ramsar list. At present, six wetlands, including Harike, find a place in the list.

According to Dr Satnam Singh Ladhar, Principal Scientific Officer (Environment), PSCST, the ministry has started the process of designating 20 wetlands as Ramsar sites according to the Indian Government’s commitment at the San Jose conference of Ramsar Convention countries in 1999. Each contracting party shall designate suitable wetlands within its territory in the List of Wetlands of International Importance. India has been a party in the convention since 1982.

Dr Ladhar says both wetlands are significant in terms of ecology, botany, zoology, limnology and hydrology.

The Ropar wetlands, which were formed with the construction of a barrage over the Sutlej in 1952, are an important habitat for certain threatened species in the Shivalik foothills like the scaly ant-eater and the python. These are also important breeding places for the smooth Indian otter, hog deer, sambhar and pangolin Nearly 35 species of fish have been recorded. These supports a variety of both local and migratory birds like coots, common pochard, red-crested pochard tufted pochard and shovellar.

The wetlands, which are spread over 1365 hectares, play a substantial role in charging the aquifers since the arata is sandy which permits water seepage into the ground. These are a source of water for irrigation and industrial as well as domestic uses. These wet lands supports 19 species of trees, 13 species of shrub and grass and nearly 15 species of aquatic plant.

The wetlands were declared a nationally designated area in 1990 by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The Kanjli wetlands, which were formed in 1870 with the construction of a head regulator near Kanjli village on the Kali Bein rivulet in Kapurthala district, are an important ecosystemic entity in the region. Spread over an area of 183 hectares, these have value like the Harike wetlands. Twenty-six hectares of forest created along the Kali Bein provide a suitable habitat for many organisms. Various species of mammals, fish, birds and other vertebrate fauna, micro-fauna and many species of plants are important features of these wetlands.

This area was declared “national wetlands” in 1988.

Dr Ladhar explains that the Bureau has developed its criteria for the designation of wetlands of international importance. He says both wetlands meet at least one criterion or more. The Ropar wetlands contain representative, rare or unique wetlands types; second, these support plant and/ or animal species at critical stages in their life-cycles, provide refuge during adverse conditions; and, third, regularly support 20,000 or more water birds.

Similarly, the Kanjli wetlands contain representative, rare or unique types.

However, both wetlands are facing an ecological crisis. Studies undertaken by the Council reveal that the Ropar wetlands are facing a severe problem of siltation from the adjoining nude and soft hills. Outside interference by resident and migratory birds, illegal fishing and poaching may put many species in danger. Besides these, the inflow of chemical effluents and sewage from towns in the upper reaches like Nangal, Anandpur Sahib and Kiratpur Sahib are posing a big ecological threat.

Similarly, the Kanjli wetlands are facing the problems of excessive overgrowth of hyacinth, increasing pollution levels, deforestation in catchment areas, excessive grazing and soil erosion etc.

It is learnt that the Himachal Government has asked the Bureau to include the Renuka, Chandratal and Pong Dam wetlands in the present Ramsar site.


Punjab getting warmer: Experts
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 5
Has the climate changed in this region? This question has become a topic of discussion among experts especially in the agriculture sector. Climatic conditions play a major role not only in determining the cropping pattern and other related matter but also the economy of any region.

The day temperature last month remained at about 1.30 Celsius above normal, according to the Punjab Agriculture University Meteorological Department. It remained 28° Celsius in November whereas it should have been around 26.7° Celsius. And in September and October it was 32.4° Celsius and 32.3° Celsius against the normal 32.4° Celsius and 31.9° respectively.

The night temperature in November also remained at about 1.1° Celsius above normal and in October about 2.1° Celsius.

A dry spell is prevailing in this region since September when the rain was recorded 8.4 mm in/around the local city. In September it was only 27.8mm whereas according to the PAU Meteorological Department it should have been around 101 mm. However, around Chandigarh rainfall was recorded on October 3, but in that belt too the dry spell prevails.

Punjab is becoming a warmer place. Its winter period has started shrinking. This is the perception not only among agriculture experts, but also the general public, especially hosiery industrialists whose entire trade is dependent on wintery conditions.

Asked to what extent the agriculture pattern could be affected in this region (Punjab, Haryana, part of Rajasthan) by the apparent changed climatic conditions, Dr Govinder Singh Nanda, Director, Research, PAU, said the university was aware about the changing climatic conditions and had maintained a data of the past 20 years or so in this connection.

Dr Nanda said whereas PAU was keeping a watch on the changing climatic conditions, it had adopted a staggered sowing pattern to test the germination and yield of various crops, especially wheat which was a major crop of this region. Giving an instance in this connection, he said the first crop of wheat was sown on October 25 and the second on November 5.

However, Dr Nanda said there was no very significant changes in the climate of this region. So, it would not have any drastic afffect on the cropping pattern in this region.

The university planned to set up five weather stations in Punjab to improve the monitoring of the climate in this region. These stations were likely to be set up at Gurdaspur, Bathinda, Bullowal, Ludhiana and Faridkot. Modern equipment would be installed at these stations.


Sikh clergy to meet tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
The crucial meeting of Sikh clergy will be held at Akal Takht on December 7. Remarks of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi against high priests will be discussed at the meeting.

However, the ruling Akali Dal, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal has reportedly urged the Sikh high priests not to take stringent step against Mr Talwandi who had recently made volte-face on the issue of alleged links of Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar with Baba Bhaniara.

Though Mr Talwandi had torn his ballot paper in the general house in protest against the nomination of Prof Badungar, he supported his appointment at the political affairs committee meeting of the party.


CM must quit for unity: Baba Bedi
Our Correspondent

Rajasansi (Amritsar ), December 5
Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, Convener Panthic Morcha, has reiterated that Panthic unity cannot be forged unless Mr Parkash Singh Badal resigns as Chief Minister and President, Shiromani Akali Dal.

Before addressing a public rally, here today , Baba Bedi said Mr Badal would have to accept the conditions set by the Panthic Morcha if he was sincere on defeating the Congress which was responsible for Operation Bluestar and the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and other parts of the country.

Levelling serious charges, Baba Bedi alleged that Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar was elected President, SGPC under pressure from the excommunicated Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara. He alleged it was an established fact that Prof Badungar had close links with Baba Bhaniara that was why the outgoing President Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi had toren his ballot paper at the general house meeting.

The Panthic Morcha Convener said only ‘keshadharis ‘ had the right to cast their vote during the elections of the SGPC.

Replying a question, Baba Bedi said Mr Badal was responsible for violating the ‘hukamnama’ (edict) issued by Bhai Ranjit Singh, the then Jathedar, Akal Takht on December 31 , 1998 for a temporary truce among the warring Akali factions. Describing Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti as a ‘sarkari jathedar’, Baba Bedi claimed that Bhai Ranjit Singh was the ‘real jathedar’ of Akal Takht .

Baba Bedi announced that the Panthic Morcha would field its candidate for all 117 constituencies during the forthcoming assembly elections .

The Panthic Morcha he said, condemned the POTO as it was aimed at suppressing the minority communities.


Akali leaders to join morcha: Rode
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 5
The Panthic Morcha today claimed that some senior Akali leaders would join hands with it at its December 9 Ludhiana rally. The rally would also be addressed by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Kanshi Ram.

Addressing a press conference here today, the morcha convener, Baba Sarbjit Singh Bedi, and former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode said efforts were also being made to reach an understanding with former SGPC chief Jagdev Singh Talwandi.

Both leaders said the morcha would also field its candidates on some seats in Uttarancal and UP in the forthcoming Assembly elections in these states. Mr Rode said the December 9 rally would be a historic event as it would change the political equations in the state. He also indicated that the morcha would put up its candidates on all 117 assembly seats in Punjab.

Meanwhile, the morcha’s local unit organised a meeting at the gurdwara at Gur Teg Bahahur Nagar here. The meeting, which was held to take stock of the situation regarding the December 9 rally, was attended by senior morcha leaders like Mr Anoop Singh Minhas, Mr Sarbjit Bariana and Mr Joga Singh Mao Sahib.


AIR to broadcast ‘Daire’ against female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 5
“AIR Jalandhar will help promote the theatre movement against female foeticide and encourage adaptations of effective theatre scripts on the subject for broadcast”, said Mr S.V. Kapil, Station Director, AIR Jalandhar.

Mr Kapil was speaking at the staging of a Punjabi musical play, “Daire”, on female foeticide presented by Patiala-based National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS) at the Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, to mark the birth centenary celebrations of Sobha Singh, a master portraitist.

Paying glowing tributes to the memory of the great artist, Mr Kapil said although Sobha Singh was a spiritual artist of divine portrayals, yet he was well known for his love for performing arts and had close contacts with theatre personalities like Norah Richards and Prithviraj Kapoor. Mr Kapil applauded director-couple Pran and Sunita Sabharwal and artistes for their initiative in producing “Daire” in an imaginative, innovative and interesting way to convey the hard message of curbing the crime of female foeticide based on Dr Satish Kumar Verma’s script. He assured the NTAS to broadcast the play from Jalandhar and other stations of AIR.

Dr Satya Paul, founder president, Apeejay Education Society (India), New Delhi, in a message read out on the occasion, assured every help for the promotion of theatre and visual arts through all Apeejay schools, colleges and institutions of technical and higher learning, spread all over the country.

Mr Kapil and the Principal, Dr Sucharita, honoured the Sabharwal couple and all 25 students of Apeejay dramatics, headed by Prof Shabnamjit Singh.

In the play, “Daire”, the roles enacted by Sunita Sabharwal, Davinder Mann, Gagandeep Kaur, Surjit Kaur, Davinder Singh, Gulshan Pandey, Harjit Singh, Vandana and Akshay were appreciated. The credit for music goes to the Akhilesh Happy group; make-up to Mohan Kamboj; lighting to Agha Shahi and for stage setting to Mohan Lal, Sunil Chauhan and Jaswinder Singh. The set was designed by Sampan and Anupama Sabharwal.


Dr Mahajan may be DRME
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5
With Dr O.P. Mahajan, Principal, Medical College, Amritsar, getting the retrospective promotion, he may be tipped for the post of Director, Research and Medical Education (DRME). No regular DRME has been appointed for the past 10 months after the retirement of Dr S.S. Sidhu. At present, Mr Harjit Singh, an IAS officer, is holding the additional charge of the DRME.

In case, Dr Mahajan is promoted as DRME, a race for the principal’s post at the government medical college would begin. Dr Inderjit Singh Shergil and Dr Bhola Singh, both professors of surgery, are the seniormost professors. However, the process for filling the regular posts of Principal might be delayed due to certain inquiries pending against one of the Professors.

Mr B.R. Bajaj, Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Research, in his order, stated that the state government had given promotion to Dr Mahajan as Principal since November 30, 1998 which was denied to him earlier. Interestingly, Dr Mahajan has been placed above Dr Sidhu who has now retired which means Dr Sidhu was ‘wrongly’ promoted as Principal by ignoring Dr Mahajan.

Meanwhile, the Medical Education and Research Department will hold its departmental promotion committee meeting at Chandigarh on December 14 at which more than 100 posts of Professor, Assistant Professor and medical lecturer will be filled. The posts have been lying vacant for more than two years.

Interestingly, during the inspection of a college by the Medical Council of India (MCI), the state government used to “call from another college” so that the college being inspected did not get de-recognised. The PCMS association had taken up the case with the government many times but the vacancies could not be filled.


Shopkeepers down shutters
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, December 5
Shops near Hanuman Chowk remained closed today in protest against the manhandling of shopkeepers and alleged looting of shops by municipal employees while removing encroachments.

Mr Kedar Nath, one of the shopkeepers, while talking to this correspondent, said the municipal employees deliberately targeted and damaged the shops and looted cash on the pretext of removing encroachments.

Mr Om Parkash and Mr Sai Das, both shopkeepers, were beaten up allegedly by the employees.

Later, the shopkeepers marched in procession to the office of the municipal committee and held a dharna. They blocked traffic for half an hour and raised slogans against the employees and president of the municipal committee.

However, the police intervened and persuaded the shopkeepers for negotiations with the employees. Mr K.S. Jyoti represented municipal employees and Mr Sai Das and Mr Ashok Kumar participated in negotiations on behalf of the shopkeepers.

Mr Rakesh Jyoti, president, municipal committee, said the removal of encroachments would continue. A meeting of traders represented by various organisations and municipal employees would be held on Friday to decide the boundary up to which the shopkeepers could place their articles on the municipal land.


ADGP Bhullar’s bail extended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The interim bail granted to suspended Additional Director-General of Punjab Police Daljit Singh Bhullar in a triple murder case was today extended till December 20 by a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Significantly, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice Jawahar Lal Gupta and Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi, also directed the ADGP to surrender before the authorities at Patiala Jail thereafter.

Seeking permission to place on record the ADGP’s medical report, his counsel had earlier contended that the applicant, as per the opinion expressed by the doctors, was required to stay in hospital for two weeks to recover from coronary bypass surgery. After that, the applicant had been advised bed rest for another month, counsel had submitted.

Giving details, he had claimed that Bhullar was admitted to a hospital in Ludhiana on November 28 as his condition was critical. He was operated upon the next day, he had added.

The triple murder case pertains to the murder of a non-resident Indian and a business partner of the Bhullar family — Dr Paramjit Singh Sahota — and two others in 1996.


Cop on duty shot dead
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, December 5
A police personnel on patrol was shot dead last night by an unidentified person in the Satnam Nagar area of Mandi Gobindgarh town in the district. The assailant escaped after the incident.

According to police sources, Harmeet Singh, SPO 386, along with another policeman Balbir Singh was on a night patrol in the area, when they saw an unidentified man. When they signalled him to stop, he started running. While the policemen were chasing him, he opened fire on Harmeet Singh. The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 307, 186 and 353, IPC, and 25, 27 and 54, Arms Act.

Mr Parampal Singh Sidhu, SSP, today visited the spot and called a meeting of the officers of the department.


Smoking banned in court complex
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 5
Patiala District and Sessions Judge S.N. Aggarwal today banned smoking in the local court complex with immediate effect.

Mr Aggarwal, while issuing these orders, also wrote to Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir and District police chief Paramjit Singh Grewal to ban smoking in public places all over the district.

The Sessions judge’s order today closely follows a District Vigilance Committee meeting yesterday in which District Bar Association president Balbir Singh Billing had pointed out that smoking continued in public places, including the court complex, even though the Supreme Court had banned smoking in public places through an order on November 2.

The local Bar Association while advocating a complete ban on smoking in the court complex had also made it clear that it would take the support of other associations to ensure that the Supreme Court order became a reality. 


Improvement trust head “misusing” powers
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 5
As many as three trustees of the local Improvement Trust staged a walkout at the general house meeting held here last evening in protest against the functioning of the trust’s chairman in a “non-transparent manner” and “misuse” of the powers entrusted to him.

A section of the trustees alleged that the Chairman, Mr Mohan Lal Garg, had been distorting the facts relating to the minutes of the meetings to his convenience. Apart from it, had been allotting the civil works to selected contractors, they said.

They alleged that earlier, the works were allotted to contractors at rates 30 to 35 per cent lower than the Central Scheduled Rate (CSR) while now the works were being allotted to contractors at rates only 1 to 2 per cent lower than the CSR.

They pointed out that the shopping complex buit at Amrik Singh Road could not be auctioned twice as Mr Garg was trying to favour some of the persons known to him. They added that no approval was taken from the state government for auctioning the land where the “Patwar Khana” was situated. Apart from it, the 25.21-acre scheme of the Improvement Trust was not amended before starting the construction of a office complex here.

Mr Garg when contacted, denied all allegation and said the functioning of the trust was transparent and he had not been misusing his powers. He pointed out that the official complex in the 25. 21-acre scheme was being constructed as per rules and the sanctioning of the scheme relating to the land of “Patwar Khana” was under process.

He said open tenders were being invited for all development works and so far the trust authorities had received no complaint in connection with these. Works were allotted to the lowest bidders only, he added.

Mr Garg alleged that three trustees had staged a walkout to serve their own political interests and added that one of these trustee wanted him to enlist his brother as a contractor with the trust for executing development works. He added that the shopping complex on Amrik Singh Road Found few bidders during the auctions held so far and the shops were not fetching adequate prices. This was the main reason that the auction was cancelled twice.


Amritsar heritage walk planned
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 5
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Punjab chapter, has taken a new step to promote heritage tourism and sensitise the local residents towards the old buildings which are historically or architecturally significant in of various towns Punjab. The first step towards this action by INTACH has identified a heritage walk plan of Amritsar that shows a route for walk in the walled city.

Releasing the printed heritage walk brochure to the press, Dr Sukhdev Singh, state convener INTACH said in terms of time and distance, this route highlights the heritage value of some important public or private buildings, sites and lanes.

“The theme of the walk is to give back the city to its own residents and the objective is to promote heritage tourism so that these buildings generate a sense of pride and relevance in their owners. They become rather instruments of promoting economy,” he said. Explaining the concept further he said tourism promotes hotel service and travel industry.

Dr Sukhdev Singh appealed the municipal corporation, district officials, members of INTACH, SGPC, NGOs, the political parties and the citizens of Amritsar to make this a success. 


Seminar on traffic rules
Our Correspondent

Patiala, December 5
Patiala police organised a seminar on “Traffic rules” at Police Lines here today. Speaking on the occasion, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh, stressed the need to raise awareness among schoolchildren, keeping in mind the ever increasing number of vehicles on the road. A painting competition and quiz were held on this occasion. The first place in the painting competition was taken by BN Khalsa Senior Secondary School and the second place by Multipurpose School.

The first rank in quiz competition was taken by Lady Fatima School and second by Civil Lines School.


Shift’ dairy farm
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 5
Residents of the Talianwala mohalla here have made a plea to the authorities concerned for the shifting of a dairy farm that was being run in their locality.

The residents have written to the Chief Minister and other authorities also. They complained that foul smell emanated from the dairy farm. They said the owners of the dairy farm tethered buffaloes in the street which created traffic problems. The heaps of waste from the dairy farm remained lying on the road which served as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and flies, they said.


Best Hindi book award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The Punjab Languages Department, has awarded the best published Hindi book award for the year 2000 to a book on poems titled “Nihathi Ladai Lardte Hue” by Prem Vij. It is his fifth book. Earlier, the Languages Department had given him a grant for publication to his satarical book ‘Bheed ka Bhoogal’.


Ban extended
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, December 5
Mr Vivek Aggarwal, District Magistrate, has extended ban on loudspeakers till January 31, 2002. However, he has allowed the conditional use of loudspeakers in marriage and religious ceremonies.


RSS workers burn Khaleda’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 5
Workers of the RSS, BJP and VHP organised a rally and burnt the effigy of Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia here today to protest against the torture of Hindus in Bangladesh.

The workers converged at the local Company Bagh and then marched towards the district administrative complex where they burnt the effigy of Ms Zia. They handed over a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr K. Shiva Prasad. 


4 killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Barnala, December 5
Four occupants of a car were killed when it collided head-on with a truck on the Barnala-Sangrur road, near Dhanaula, 8 km from here, today. The car was bound for Manimajra. Those killed in the accident have reportedly been identified as Vinod Kumar, Som Nath, Pratibha and Monu.


TSU members stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 5
Members of the Technical Services Union (TSU) of Bathinda circle staged a dharna in front of the office of the Chief Engineer yesterday. They were protesting against the privatisation of the state electricity board.

Mr Sukhmandir Singh, circle president, in a press note issued here today, said the Union Government was going to pass the electricity Bill-2000 very soon which would render hundreds of employees jobless.


Punsup’s assurance to employees
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, December 5
The chairman, Punsup, has given assurance to members of the local unit of the Punsup Employees Union, Punjab, that their demands will be discussed at a meeting with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the state Food and Civil Supplies Minister on December 24. The authorities would consider all their demands, he said.

Mr Daljit Singh, vice-president of the union, in a press note issued here yesterday said the Chairman had given assurance to the union regarding solving the issue at the earliest.


ETT candidates gherao DEO
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, December 5
Members of the Unemployed Elementary Teachers Union and selected candidates for the ETT posts, under the leadership of Mr Devi Dayal and Mr Avtar Singh Bhalwan, presidents of the Malwa zone and the district unit, respectively, of the union, gheraoed the office of the District Education Officer (Primary) here for more than four hours today.

They were demanding that the merit list of the selected candidates for the ETT posts and the list of the vacant stations should be displayed on the notice board. They also demanded that the stations should be given to the selected candidates as per their choice on the basis of their position in the merit list.

Mr Avtar Singh Bhalwan said they also demanded that there should be no political interference and favourtism in the allotment of stations. He said the union and the DEO held a meeting till 10 a.m. but the deadlock continued, following which they gheraoed the DEO and did not allow him to leave the office.

He said the gherao was lifted by the agitators when the DEO issued a notice that the merit list of the selected candidates and the list of the vacant stations would be made public.

Mr Tarsem Lal, district secretary, Democratic Teachers Front, said besides his organisation, the representatives of the Government Teachers Union and the SC and BC Teachers Union also participated in the gherao to give a boost to the genuine demand of the selected ETT candidates.


College teachers hold rallies
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 5
As part of the agitation launched by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, the local district council organised rallies in front of all colleges of the district.

Dr Rupinder Kaur state executive member of the union, said a demonstration will be held on December 6 in front of the house of Dr Baldev Raj Chawla Minister for Health. Representatives of the Principals association, teachers and non-teaching employees of various non-government colleges of the district would assemble at Hindu College and would proceed for the demonstration.

He said it would be led by Prof Gurnam Singh Kahlon, officiating president of the PCCTU.

Dr Kahlon criticised the government for arresting peaceful demonstrators outside the Punjab Secretariat and sending them to judicial remand. A protest rally of the Principals Association, Management Federation of Punjab, teachers and non-teaching employees would be held at the Matka Chowk, Chandigarh, soon, he added.

PHAGWARA: The striking private college teachers here threatened to burn effigy of Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, if he did not desist from creating hurdles in the way of the implementation of the Pension-cum-Gratuity act.

On the second day of their strike in response to the PCCTU’s call, the strikers sought immediate intervention of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in this connection. The agitators hailed Master Mohan Lal, Punjab Minister for Higher Education, who had come openly in support of the teachers. SAMANA: The Principal Federation has expressed deep concern at the arrest of members of executive of the PCCTU at Chandigarh yesterday. The academic activities has come to standstill due to cease work call of the teachers here. Federation office-bearers Mr S.S. Sodhi and Mr P.S. Sanga have requested Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to save higher education in the interest of students.


Hard work only way to success: SP
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib
Neither blue blood nor political or economic clout and good pedigree are required to become a great personality. Rather, it is hard work, determination and perseverance that make you great. Mr Shami Kumar, SP (H) and renowned scholar and writer told this to students while interacting with them at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College here at its ‘Institute Administrative Interaction’ programme organised by the ISET Students chapter.

In his address on “Morale motivation how to succeed without clout and corruption”, he proved his point by giving various examples from history, religion and personal experiences. He said that it is a wrong perception that only money and political backing are required to become an officer or a prominent personality. He said that Eklavya, a legend from the Mahabharta”, was a jungle dweller. But by dint of hard work and perseverance, he became one of the best archers of his time.

Mr Mitter Sen Thapa, a renowned English, Sanskrit and Hindi writer of Nepal, was just a middle pass and he became the best writer of English and wrote many books and won many awards. Similarly, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was born in a poor family and turned out to be a legal and literary luminary of the country just due to his hard work.

Answering queries of students, Mr Kumar cleared their doubts regarding getting jobs. He said that there may be a few cases of malpractices because of the undue interference of politicians, but by and large it is devotion, dedication and determination of the students coupled with patience, persistence and perseverance which put them on the road of success and plum jobs.

Mr H.S. Heera, Principal of the college, proposed a vote of thanks.

Mr I.P.S. Gill, training and placement officer of the college, said this interaction would help the students boost their morale.


Teacher awarded for research project
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 5
Prof Vikram Chadha, teaching at the Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, has been awarded a commendation certificate for his post-doctrol research project, titled,” WTO Obligations, Globalisation and the Significance of Agricultural Research: A comparative study of the Indian and the Mexican situations”, by Department of Pacific Studies, School of Humanities and social sciences, University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara (Jalisco), Mexico.

Prof Chadha was in Mexico during October-November 2001, on a Mexican Government fellowship, during which besides completing his research project, he delivered lectures on India’s development model and his research findings, at the Agricultural University of Chapingo, University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara and El Collegio, Zamora (Michigan). 


Make payments, urge traders
Our Correspondent

Moga, December 5
Though the Punjab Government has said payments would be made to traders soon after the procurement of foodgrain, a deputation of traders of the Moga Traders Federation said they had not been paid so far.

They said although the traders had repeatedly urged the Punsup to clear their payments, nothing had been done although three months had passed. They said several lakhs of rupees were outstanding towards them.

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