Sunday, March 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Cong not to contest SGPC poll, says Amarinder
Rallies galore at Bhagat Singh’s village
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 23
Asserting that his government had a programme for the development of the state, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked today the Akalis to “mind their own business” and not meddle in the internal affairs of the Congress.

The PPCC chief also clarified that as in the past, the Congress did not intend to contest the SGPC elections.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who was addressing a gathering at Khatkar Kalan, the native village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in Nawanshahr district today, said his party had been voted to power on the promise that it would provide freedom from corruption and help Punjab attain its place of pride from the economic and development point of view. He, however, asked people to be ready for tough fiscal measures for the revival of the shattered economy of the state.

Lashing out at the Akalis, he said they were raising issues like the registration of Congress members as voters for the SGPC elections. “The Congress is least interested in such issues. Moreover, it had never contested the SGPC elections, nor will it this time,’ he said.

Regarding the demands put forth by residents of Khatkar Kalan village, he said he was shocked to know that the village had been deprived of basic amenities like potable water. He asked the Sarpanch and the MLA concerned to make a blue-print for the development of the village. He said Khatkar Kalan would be developed as a model village within a year.

Mr Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary of the AICC, hoped that the Congress government would leave no stone unturned to ensure the development of the state. Paying tributes to Bhagat Singh, he said our generations would be indebted to the martyr. Earlier, the chief minister paid floral tributes at the statue of Bhagat Singh and honoured Sardar Kultar Singh and Mata Amar Kaur, brother and sister, respecting of Bhagat Singh.

Others who were present on the occasion included Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Ms Santosh Chaudhary, MP, and Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, and Chaudhary Santokh Singh, Ministers for Local Bodies and Welfare, respectively.

Our Correspondent adds from Nawanshahr: The SAD organised a conference at Khatkar Kalan village on the occasion of Martyrdom Day. Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC president, Bibi Jagir Kaur, MLA, Mr Sarwan Singh Phillaur, former minister, Mr Nand Lal, MLA and Mr Resham Singh Thiara, SAD leader, among others, addressed the conference.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann addressed the conference organised by the Akali Dal while Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, President and General Secretary, respectively, of the SHSAD, addressed their party’s conference.

Mr Darshan Singh Mattu, Mr Tarlochan Singh Rajpura, state committee members of the CPM, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon and Mr Rakesh Nayyar, President and Vice President, respectively of the DYFI, addressed the conference organised by the CPM.

Mr Darshan Singh Khatkar, Mr Sardara Singh Mahil and Mr Daljit Singh addressed the conference organised by the CPI-ML, New Democracy.

Mr Mangat Ram Pasla and Mr Tarsem Jodhan addressed the conference organised by the CPM (Pasla) while Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia addressed the conference organised by the Lok Bhalai Party.


Cong-Akali pincer squeezes Punjab
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A Governor’s Address at the beginning of every Budget session is a broad policy statement of the government of the day. When a government changes, so do policies and priorities towards men and matters, whether political parties like it or not.

Therefore, it was natural for the Akalis and the BJP to react the way they did yesterday, taking exception to the manner in which their contribution to the state’s development was ignored in the Address and discussion disallowed.

The Address missed out on many (emotive) issues, perhaps by design or accident, that have been long embedded in the psyche of the Punjabis. The Akalis, given their religio-political style and wont, neither let go these issues nor involve themselves for a lasting solution to them. Yet, they have repeatedly split and united on these.

In the 20-page Address, one stumbled upon traces indicating that certain basic political ingredients remain unchanged; say the “blame game”. The political executive and bureaucrats, who prepared the text, say ‘’it is different’’. Indeed it is different: the government is pussyfooting on how it intends to right what it finds wrong. The Congress, all this time, has been talking of only two points, financial situation and corruption, right from day one, when elections to the Vidhan Sabha were announced. The Address was an extension of that echo.

The Address was silent on issues that the Akalis always perceived as vital to Punjab — the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab and the inclusion of Punjabi-speaking areas left out of the state; the settlement of Punjab’s claims on river waters on the basis of the Riparian principle; and exemplary punishment to the guilty of the 1984 anti-Sikh carnage etc. If the Address was silent on these issues, the Akalis also only twiddled their thumbs these past five years.

Regarding corruption, if today the Congress blames the Akalis for the all ‘’pervasive corruption’’ and talks of a judicial commission, the Akalis had also all along levelled corruption charges against the Congress and also of inheriting an empty kitty in 1997. The Akalis, despite a promise in their 1997 election manifesto to ‘’fix’’ Congressmen and ‘’check’’ corruption, did nothing. Now the fear of a commission haunts them!

The Address has listed the Akalis’ ‘’revenue-sacrificing’’ measures and placed the blame for empty treasury at their doorstep. Though it has obliquely hinted at a possible rollback of freebies, what about its own commitments, worth Rs 1,200 crore? The Congress may accuse the Akalis of creating a financial mess, yet can it afford to go the Akali way and indulge itself in doling out money the way Akalis did? If not, how will it fulfil its populist poll promises?

The Address was a replay of the Congress theme song of Akali-bashing rather than a note on pragmatic and futuristic view. One has heard its tune right through the Congress election campaign, election manifesto, ‘’charge sheet’’, memorandum to the new Council of Ministers and in the Governor’s Address.

The time for rhetoric is over. It is time for action without witch hunting or vindictiveness. The Address assures this. But the common refrain in the corridors of power is different and quite contrary to this. Surely, one expects Capt Amarinder Singh, of having done his homework. One wishes he, perhaps, knows how to deal with politico-administrative exigencies and matching promises with performances. Truth cannot be burdened with data. Should one rely on truth or on data? Of the two, the Congress and the Akalis, who is telling the truth and what are the facts?


Ahluwalia returns to campus
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 23
Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia re-entered the university after a prolonged spell last night and immediately started convening meetings in the morning besides indicating that he would hold interviews for selection of teachers under the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS).

The CAS had been the mainstay of the VC’s support earlier with a majority section of the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) backing him because of the large-scale selections made in the recent past under the scheme. However, a faction of PUTA, which is agitating against him as part of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) which comprises employees and students also, had earlier claimed that teachers not in agreement with his style of functioning had been overlooked under the CAS.

Dr Ahlwualia “appealed’’ to “elements’’ who have been leading the agitation against him to strengthen the peaceful atmosphere of the university in the interest of the students whose examinations are round the corner as well as for the resumption of the process of selection of teachers under the CAS.

The Vice-Chancellor came back to the campus after 11 p.m. last night after a prolonged absence due to registration of criminal cases against him in both of which he has secured bail from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. While one case pertains to allegations of moral turpitude, the other is regarding an attack on a university teacher by a former student leader.

Dr Ahluwalia functioned from his residence today holding meetings regarding holding of the combined. B.Ed entrance test besides finalisation of the varsity budget. When questioned whether he would also function from his office in the face of threats by the JAC that it would lock it up, he said right now he was functioning from his residential office due to the nature of work. He, however, said he would also function from his office if needed.

He said it was unfortunate that the local police had not taken cognisance of the threats issued by the JAC. He said he as well as the university Security Officer, had informed the police about the threats, adding that it was the responsibility of the police to ensure that none was allowed to take the law into his hands. The VC said the committee was free to undertake a peaceful agitation but they could not obstruct any teacher or employee from doing his duty by obstructing traffic on the main gate of the university as they were doing for the past many days.

Dr Ahluwalia similarly said the committee could not prevent him from attending office in the university, adding that the police should not allow ‘’a handful of elements’’ to obstruct the functioning of the university. He said measures were being taken up to bring normalcy on the campus and that steps had been initiated to start two new departments of environmental studies and biotechnology besides updating and revising syllabi of various courses.

Meanwhile, today being a holiday the JAC did not hold any protest either in front of the university gate or in front of the VC’s office. It has however resolved not to allow the VC to attend office. The Forum for Educational Action and Reform (FEAR) today said tackling the situation, which had emerged on the campus after two cases were registered against Dr Ahluwalia, had become the first litmus test for Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.


‘Namaz’ performed at Guru ki Maseet
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Sri Hargobindpur, March 23
History of sorts was created when “namaz” was performed at historical ‘Guru ki Maseet’, which was got constructed by the Sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind, for the Muslim brethren about 400 years ago.

While the controversy of Babri Masjid stands unresolved, a “memorandum of understanding” (MoU) has been signed by the Nihangs — the caretakers of the mosque and the Punjab Waqf Board in the presence of Deputy Commissioner K.A.P. Sinha. Dr Mohammad Rizwanul Haque, Administrator, Punjab Wakf Board, described the MoU as an international event which would pave the way for strengthening communal harmony in the country.

Ms Gurmeet Rai, Director, Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI), who was honoured with an international award by UNESCO for the conservation of the historical Krishan Temple at Kishankot village, near here, said though as per the MoU, the Taruna Dal, a sect of Nihangs, had agreed to conserve “Guru ki Maseet” as a traditional mosque by allowing to perform “namaz”, yet the Wakf Board requested the Nihangs to continue as caretakers. It may be mentioned here that this 17th century mosque on the banks of the Beas was got built by the Sixth Sikh Guru for his Muslim subjects. The legend has it that the Hindu god Vishwakarma came down to the earth in a human form to build this sacred town. For many years, this mosque has been maintained by the Nihangs as it was abandoned at the time of the Partition. Dr Haque said he remembered that the late Baba Kirtan Singh, the Nihang chief of the Taruna Dal, had signed an MoU at Baba Bakala on February 8 last year. He said it was the desire of babaji that Muslims must perform their “namaz” at the mosque which was gifted to them. As per the wishes of Baba Kirtan Singh, five saplings were planted in the names of five pirs.

Baba Balbir Singh, who is the caretaker of the mosque, told TNS that the Nihangs had preserved the “amanat” of Muslim brethren after the Partition of the country. He said the holy Guru Granth Sahib which was placed inside the mosque was taken to the newly constructed adjoining building so that the mosque could be preserved in its original form as gifted by Guru Hargobind.

Dr Sukhdev Singh, state convener, INTACH, said the CRCI had started the conservation work with the financial help of Sikh Foundation.

Maulwi Hamid Hussain Qasmi was specially called to perform “namaz” from Amritsar. Before the “namaz”, in presence of a large number of Nihangs and officers of the district administration, Mr Akhlaq Ahmed Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Punjab Wakf Board, said the performance of “namaz” after 55 years would be recorded in the world history as an event when Sikh brethren showed so much magnanimity towards Muslims.

Earlier, awards were presented to the villagers and members of the CRCI at Kishankot village, where an ancient temple, being looked after the Sikhs was preserved with a cost of Rs 14 lakh. This temple was built during the reign of legendry Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Mr Richard A.Engelhardt, Regional Advisor for culture in Asia and the Pacific, while presenting awards, said the small village temple had been highlighted at the international level with this award. Mr Barjinder Kumar Uppal, SSP, Gurdaspur, Ms V. Neerja, SSP, Batala, and Mr V.K. Mishra, Vice-Chairman, INTACH, were present at the ceremony.


On-line lottery: Punjab restrained
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Punjab government not to take any action against Sikkim government’s on-line lottery.

Delivering the verdict on a petition filed by Ludhiana-based Barnala Trading company the sole distributors of Playwin lotteries, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, also fixed April 4 the next date of hearing in the case.

The Punjab government, had issued three notices to Playwin lotteries asking them not to promote its on-line lottery by going against the rules fixed by the state. Counsel for the petitioner had, on the other hand, contended that the notices issued by the Punjab government were violative of the Punjab State Lotteries rules and against the spirit of the Central Lotteries Act, 1988.


Exporters, Customs nexus comes to light
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
With a Jalandhar-based export firm allegedly using forged bank documents and shipping bills for claiming duty entitlement, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is on the track of a novel method being adopted by certain exporters in the region in connivance with Customs officials.

CBI sleuths said here today that they had booked three Customs officers along with five other persons running an export firm for allegedly defrauding the national exchequer to the tune of Rs 1.77 crore by producing fake documents some time ago. The Customs officers, A. K. Kaul and B.R. Ahuja, both superintendents, and M.P. Singh, an Inspector, were suspended when the case came to light.

During 1999 - 2000, the accused had entered into a criminal conspiracy with various exporters at Jalandhar, one of them being Meghna Impax, a company floated by three persons. Papers showed the owner of this firm to be an employee of one of the accused. Records recovered by the CBI revealed that money from the employee’s bank account was later transferred into the accounts of the other partners.

The accused showed the export of timing shafts for Mercedes trucks, whereas they were actually exporting crank shafts. As many as 33 consignments were “exported” by the firm. According to regulations, the government compensates for the price difference between the local market and the international market. For this a document, Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB), is issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

The DEPB entitlement for timing shafts is 22 per cent while that for the crank shaft is much lower. The firm partners, in connivance with Customs officials, changed the listings from crank shafts to timing shaft in the copy of the shipping bill retained by the Customs. The entries could not be changed in the copies forwarded to the port authorities and the banks. This is how the scam came to light. Investigations also revealed that bank documents used to claim duty entitlement were also forged.

CBI sources say there are a large number of firms, generally engaged in manufacturing hand tools and engineering items, which are engaged in this practice.

In certain cases, CBI officers add, exporters have not received any payment of foreign exchange through their banks, but have submitted forged Bank Realisation Certificates (BRCs) with their claim for DEPB to the DGFT. There are two regional offices of the DGFT in Punjab at Amritsar and Jalandhar.

As per rules, a DEPB can be issued only when foreign exchange payment against goods exported has been received by the bank concerned, for which the bank issues a BRC.


Probe charges against PTU VC: Youth Cong
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 23
The Punjab Youth Congress today demanded that the Chief Minister order a high-level probe into the alleged irregularities by the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University (PTU) including allegations of sexual harassment of women employees during the previous SAD-BJP regime.

Addressing a press conference here today, the Vice-President of the Youth Congress, Mr Bobby Sehgal, alleged that the previous regime had failed to take action against Mr H.S. Gurm, Vice-Chancellor for his alleged involvement in sexual harassment of women staff of the university.

A delegation had met Punjab Technical Education Minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee in this regard, who had assured them that a detailed inquiry would be conducted, followed by strict action against the erring functionaries of the university, Mr Sehgal added.

He further said they would submit all relevant documents supporting allegations of acts of omission and commission of Mr Gurm to the Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, in Chandigarh next week.

“As Capt Amarinder Singh had announced that functioning of the PTU would be streamlined after coming into power and all wrong appointments would be scrutinised, the state government should order a high-level probe into the matter without delay,” he added.


Scholar accuses guide of manipulation
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 23
A lecturer in the Department of Physical Education and allegedly a victim of sexual harassment, Ms Anita Tamrakar, has requested to the authorities concerned for the cancellation of the registration of her doctoral thesis, giving vent to her mental trauma over the unsavoury controversy regarding her allegation of sexual harassment by her guide. The whole episode had compelled her to go to media as Dr Kanwaljit Singh had already been running a smear campaign against her. Although the university had instituted a probe into the charge of molestation by Dr Kanwaljit Singh, Ms Anita, while talking to The Tribune here today, accused Dr Kanwaljit Singh of manipulation by giving false and baseless information through recently held two press conferences.

She pointed out that Dr Kanwaljit Singh had sent his resignation which had not been accepted and may later be withdrawn. She alleged that there was a lot of pressure on her to withdraw her complaint whereby the university would let her continue her Ph.D studies. Ms Anita said she would not succumb to any pressure and face the consequences.


2-year RI for Naib Tehsildar, 3 others
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 23
Mr Gurbir Singh, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, has sentenced four persons, including a Naib Tehsildar, a patwari and a lambardar, to two years’, rigorous imprisonment and fined them Rs 500 each for hatching a conspiracy and preparing false documents.

The district police had booked the four persons — Rajinder Kumar, Manohar Singh (lambardar), Vijay Kumar (patwari) and Tej Ram (Naib Tehsildar) — for cheating and forgery in 1998, on the complaint of Mr Sadhu Ram, a local resident.

Mr Sadhu Ram had stated that he and Mr Dev Raj owned property jointly and his partner died on March 24, 1995. However, in a land mutation deed signed on July 23, 1995, in favour of the son of the deceased, the district revenue officials had shown the presence of the deceased, he had added.

The complainant had alleged that Rajinder Kumar, son of the deceased, wanted to grab the compensation for the whole land. The district Improvement Trust had acquired the land in 1993 and ownership papers of the land had been falsely prepared in favour of Rajinder Kumar with the connivance of revenue officials.

In another judgement delivered yesterday, Ms Poonam Ratti, Judicial Magistrate, sentenced Ajit Singh and Shiv Kumar, Junior Engineers with the Irrigation Department, to one-year imprisonment for embezzling funds meant for earth and compaction works of Arniwala Minor. The accused had been facing trial for bungling of a few thousand rupees by preparing fake bills.


A warm send off to Bir
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 23
From being lauded as a “farishta”, a prompt worker and even a social worker, there were eulogies galore for outgoing Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir at a well attended special function here today.

Representatives of over 20 social organisations paid rich tributes to Bir at the function which was also attended by Deputy Commissioner Tejvir Singh and Assistant Commissioner (General) Rahul Gupta.

Social worker Vijay Goel, who is vice-president of the District Red Cross Society said Bir was single-handedly responsible for reviving the past glory of Baradari Gardens besides other developmental activities in the city. He gave an account of the manner in which the Rajindra tank was refilled with water after decades and the sarovar of the Kali Mata Mandir reconstructed.

The Principal of the Government Model School, Charanjit Kaur Cheema, said how Mr Bir had got two toilets constructed in the school. She also recounted how a double-storeyed building was also constructed on the school premises.

Karnail Singh of the Patiala Brotherhood Society disclosed how Bir had got a premix road constructed in Baradari Gardens for the benefit of old citizens on request even though he had got his transfer orders. He said the development works undertaken by Mr Bir were a challenge for the new incumbent.

Mr O.P. Gupta, Secretary of the Rotary Club, Midtown, said Mr Bir had undertaken many works which came in the Municipal Corporation. He related how Bir had given Rs 50,000 for the computer centre of the Rotary Club where girls were given free training. Mr Inder Mohan Bajaj recounted the initiative taken by Mr Bir in the aftermath of the Gujarat earthquake by sending generators and metal cutters instead of clothes.

Advocate Ram Kumar Goel highlighted how Mr Bir braved criticism while constructing road dividers.

Others who spoke included social workers Mohan Lal Gupta, Narinder Singh Sehgal, Col Karminder Singh, Pran Sabharwal and Rakesh Vermi of the Dedicated Brothers Group.

Mr Bir said civil servants should keeping touch with the masses instead of maintaining a haughty attitude.

Bir said only if civil servants had such an attitude could they be able to mitigate the sufferings of the people. He said he would always remember his stay in the city with the local Bar Association President Balbir Singh Billing even offering him a plot in the city.


Inspector’s bail plea rejected
Our Correspondent

Mansa, March 23
Ms Gurdarshan Kaur, Judicial Magistrate (First Class), yesterday rejected the bail application of Mr Suresh Kumar Goyal, inspector, Fisheries Development Department, posted here. He was arrested in connection with a case registered against him on the statement of Mr Raj Kumar Garg (Kotliwale), former president, local District Bar Association. Goyal had allegedly trespassed the chamber of the lawyer and manhandled him on March 19.

He has been sent to judicial custody in Central Jail, Bathinda.


HC Judge to inspect Jalandhar courts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Mr Justice M.L. Singhal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court will be inspecting civil and criminal (judicial and executive) courts of Jalandhar Sessions Division from April 8 to April 13. The Judge will also be looking into financial records.

On instructions issued by the High Court Registrar, the Presiding Officers were asked to prepare statements giving monthly details of the cases instituted and disposed of from the date of their taking over or that of the last inspection. The Registrar also directed that history sheets of five of the oldest cases of all categories, including the improvement trust cases, should also be prepared.


Veterinary varsity plan
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 23
The Punjab Government is planning to set up a Veterinary University in the state for the welfare of animals.

This was stated by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, while addressing a gathering after inaugurating an animal welfare camp at Majri village here today.

He said the government had sent a project worth Rs 100 crore to the Union Government for its approval. He said the government would pay special attention to the welfare of animals in the Kandi area. As many as 1,582 animals were examined and free medicines were also given during the camp. Hundreds of animals were also vaccinated.

Dr G.S. Chahl, Director Animal Husbandry, Dr Surinder Singh, Director Fisheries, Mr Devinder Singh, SDM, Mr Kamal Sher Singh, ADC (Dev), were among those who spoke on the occasion.


Martyrdom Day observed
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 23
The martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev was observed here today by NGOs, political parties and representatives of the district administration at various places. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, MC President Bhupinder Singh Bhullar and representatives of the district administration attended a function organised by the Sahara Jan Sewa at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Park. A small procession was also taken out.

The local unit of the CPI and trade union workers also held a rally led by Mr Jagdish Singh Ghai, district secretary, of the party.

Activists of the district unit of the Lok Morcha, Punjab, also observed Martyrdom Day.


Scooter rally against drugs held
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 23
Nearly 300 scooterists participated in an anti-drugs awareness rally taken out in 20 villages at Bhagta Bhaika area of the district today. The event was organised by the Bathinda Rural Youth Clubs Association.

The participants in the rally were members of various youth welfare clubs of Bhagta and nearby villages. Mr L.K. Yadav, SP (H) flagged off the rally from Bhagta. Mr Bharat Bhushan Garg, SDM, Phul, and Dr Mehboob Singh Sran, Project Director, Red Cross Deaddiction Centre, were among others present on the occasion.

Mr Jatinder Bhalla, Bhagta block president of the Youth Club Association, said the motive behind the rally was to educate the youths about the menace of drugs. He said such rallies would be held in around 10 villages, during which the doctors would educate the residents on the hazards of using narcotics.

Dr Sran, while addressing the gathering at Bhagta and Kothe Guru villages, said if the addicts wanted, they could easily quit drugs. 


Civic corpns poll on May 19 likely
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The Punjab Government today issued a notification declaring that the general elections to elect councillors of Municipal Corporations of Amritsar, Patiala, Ludhiana and Jalandhar will be held before the expiry of their present term.

The notification has been issued by Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Secretary, Local Government, Punjab. The election process of these bodies will be completed before May 22. Though no date for polling has been fixed, it is likely to be May 19. The elections of all four corporations will be held on one day.


Doctor booked for pre-natal test
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 23
A team of medical specialists of the local Civil Hospital led by Dr V.K. Kaushal today raided a clinic in Goniana town, 15 km from here, and found a case of pre-natal sex determination.

The police was informed about the incident. The doctor running the clinic and other para-medical staff were booked under the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique Act, Dr Kaushal said.


MC urges Director to recover amount
Our Correspondent

Bareta (Mansa), March 23
The Executive Officer of the Municipal Council, Bareta, Mr Kulwinder Singh Pal Singh, has written to Mr J.V. Goyal, Director, Local Government, Punjab, to recover the extra amount which the council had to pay to Mr Surinder Kumar, contractor, from the then Executive Officer and Junior Engineer of the Council as they both were responsible for not making the payment to the contractor.

It may be mentioned that due to the refusal of the then Executive Officer and Junior Engineer of the council to pay Rs 43,008 to the contractor for the work executed by him in 1993, the council had to pay Rs 1,00,892 to the contractor.

Mr Surinder Kumar, contractor, had done some construction on the sides of the road from Krishna Mandir to Kanchian up to Budhlada-Jakhal road in 1993 and had submitted his bill of Rs 43,008 to the council.

Mr Radha Krishan Bansal and Mr Harish Chander, the then Executive Officer and Junior Engineer, respectively, did not release the payment to the contractor as he did not allegedly agree to pay them 50 per cent of the bill amount.

Following this a suit was filed in the civil court, Mansa, by the contractor against the council.

The council, however, could not produce the relevant records.

The suit of the contractor was decreed in 1997 and the court ordered the council to pay him Rs 43,008 with 12 per cent interest which was evaded by the council.

Thereafter the contractor filed execution proceedings claiming Rs 1,00,892.

The council refused to pay the amount on the pretext of scarcity of funds.

When the council invited tenders for works worth Rs 10.5 lakh in January, 2002, the contractor approached the court with the tender notice.

The Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mansa, thereafter issued direct orders to the Manager, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bareta, to pay Rs 1,00,892 to the contractor out of the municipal council’s bank account.


Auction of liquor vends: revenue up by Rs 9.49 cr
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, March 23
A revenue increase of Rs 9.49 crore was recorded during the auction of liquor vends of Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts conducted amidst great enthusiasm among scores of bidders here today.

The total licence fee for Hoshiarpur increased from Rs 63.39 crore to Rs 69.46 crore and from Rs 33.53 crore to Rs 36.96 crore for Nawanshahr district during the auction monitored by Mr H.S. Nanda, Deputy Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, Jalandhar division and Mr Kirandeep Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur.


Das is IG, IRB
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 24
Mr P.M. Das has taken over as the new Inspector-General of Police, India Reserve Battalion (IRB), at Patiala. Earlier, Mr Das was Inspector-General, Railways. He was decorated with the President’s Police medal for gallantry,.


Punjab board cancels exams at 17 centres
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 23
On the basis of reports of mass copying, the Punjab School Education Board has cancelled examinations at 17 centres. According to information available, the papers had been cancelled at nine centres of matric and eight centres of senior secondary class.

The Controller of the Examination, Ms H.S. Brar, said the social science paper of matric at Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Naya Goan (Amritsar) held on March 18 had been cancelled. The paper of science held on March 20 at Government Senior Secondary School, Gardabad (Gurdaspur), Government Senior Secondary School, Dera Baba Nanak (Gurdaspur), DR Modern Senior Secondary School, Chheharta (Amritsar), Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jhabhal (Amritsar), Government Senior Secondary School, Ghandhabana (Amritsar), Raj Memorial Senior Secondary School, Ajnala (Amritsar), SK High School, Krishna Nagar (Amritsar), and Government Senior Secondary School (1), Sonam, has also been cancelled.

The physics paper of 10+2 held on March 20 at Milan Memorial Senior Secondary School, Dhariwal (Gurdaspur), had also been cancelled. The Controller said the papers of Physics and accountancy held on March 20 at Senior Secondary School, Khemkaran-1 (Amritsar), Government Senior Secondary School, Bhikiwind-1 (Amritsar), Government Senior Secondary School, Valtoha-1 (Amritsar) and Government Senior Secondary School (1 and 2), Patti (Amritsar), had also been cancelled.

The paper of Hindi (elective) and Punjabi (elective) held on March 21 at Government Senior Secondary School, Dera Baba Nanak-2 (Gurdaspur) and the Punjabi (Elective) paper held at Government Senior Secondary School, Tarn Taran (Amritsar) had also been cancelled.

The fresh dates for holding the re-examinations would be notified later, said the Controller.


Degrees awarded to Mohindra College students
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 23
As many as 400 students were awarded degrees at the annual convocation of Government Mohindra College held here today.

The Minister for Public Health, Rural Development and Panchayats, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, presided over the function and delivered the convocation address in which he lauded the achievements of the college in academics and sports.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Randhawa stressed the need for improving the quality of education in wake of emerging global scenario marked by tough competition. Exhorting the students to develop self-confidence in order to achieving success in life, he commented on the problems facing the youth caused by overpopulation and unemployment. Lamenting that there was a visible decline in the teacher student relationship, the minister advised the teachers to play a role in social transformation.

Laying the foundation stone of lecturers’ theatre in the science block of the college, Mr Randhawa announced a grant of Rs 50,000 to the college and also assured the Principal of the college, Dr R.K. Sharma, of getting the tubewells of the college repaired within 15 days.

Among those present during the function included Director of the Languages Department, Dr Madan Lal Hasija, and Dean HRD of Punjabi University, Prof Daljit Singh.


1,934 take scholarship exam
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 23
With a view to ending the practice of copying and inculcate the spirit of hard work among the students, the district unit of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), Punjab, today conducted a scholarship examination for the fifth, eighth and 10th classes at nine centres in different parts of the district. As many as 1,934 students appeared in the examination.

Giving this information here today, Mr Param Ved, a district committee member of the DTF, said the result of this scholarship examination would be declared by April 23. He said the first three toppers in three categories (rural, urban and aided, and private) would be awarded with cash scholarship. Toppers would be given Rs 700 each while second and third position holders would be given Rs 600 and Rs 500, respectively.

He said a total of 27 students would get scholarship while 63 students would be awarded with prizes and mementoes.


NIFD students display creations
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 23
The National Institute of Fashion Designing (NIFD) organised its annual exhibition today under the name Bhavyakriti on its premises at Leela Bhavan here. Creations were displayed at eight stalls. The first and second year students presented the elaborate clothing line which ranged from formals to nightwear, clothes for children, traditional and modern embroidery patterns and a variety of state-specific clothes, including shawls from Bengal, Luckhnavi suits and popular clothes worn in Kashmir and Karnataka.

One of the faculty members said the students had used several techniques including textile printing, screen printing, spray printing and leaf printing in their designs. “The complete process of prints to stitching has been done in-house by the students themselves,” she said. The two-day exhibition will be open for visitors and is meant to serve as a confidence-building exercise for the students.

Amanpreet, a student, said such exhibitions served as an indispensable part of their education as designers. “The annual exhibition has given me a platform to exhibit my works and also a chance to new designers to prove that even they exist and not just a few names repeatedly mentioned in media”.


College to set up counselling cell
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, March 23
Following the recommendation of the advisory committee of educationists and prominent persons, the local Guru Nanak College today decided to set up a counselling cell here for students and the youth.

The committee, which met with Mr Ashwani Kohli, an educationist, in the chair, also decided to give a fillip to IT courses and computer education.

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