Monday, May 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



“We have been hanged without trial”
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
"We have been hanged without trial". This is what a number of PCS officers, whose services were dispensed with on May 23 by the Punjab Government, have to say about their fate.

They say that first the government should have given them an opportunity to explain their position.

Why those officers, whose names have not figured in any list of bribe givers have been removed by the government without any reason? This is the question they repeatedly pose to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra.

They have requested the Chief Minister to relook into the issue and examine the cases of the affected PCS officers at individual levels. They hope that as the Chief Minister is a just person, he would impart justice to those officers who have an unblemished record and came on the basis of sheer merit and not any other consideration.

The government was welcome to take action against tainted PCS officers. But it should not have acted in haste against those whose names did not figure anywhere during the investigation made by the Vigilance Bureau or the other authorities concerned.

In fact, some of the removed PCS officers claim that their academic record is extraordinary and they have cleared the IAS mains examination twice or thrice. For instance, Rajesh Dhiman, who did M.Sc (statistics) cleared the IAS mains four times in a row ( from 1996 to 1999) and selected twice for IAS allied services but he did not join as he was also selected in PCS in 1999 when in allied services he had got entry into the custom services. He preferred to stay in his parent state as a PCS.

Likewise, Amit Talwar, bachelor of engineering, also cleared the IAS mains exam twice. Identical is the case of Jagjit Singh, Capt Moonesh Kumar and Anita Darshi, who had cleared the IAS mains exams. Affected PCS officers say that out of the 28 selected for the PCS cadre, the names of only eight officers figure on the alleged tainted list. They say that as many as 11 candidates were gazetted officers before joining as PCS officers, who now stand removed.

What has been perturbing them most is social stigma that has been attached to their very being. They say, "We are ready to face any action, provided it is backed by some solid evidence against them that they were selected by unfair means. With our removal, even our families have also been affected. Many of them have already crossed the age for applying for any government job.

"With one stroke the government has thrown us on the road without bothering to check our academic background and our performance in other examinations".

They have also been removed

Name  Qualifications  Achievements
Rajesh Dhiman   M.Sc(Stats) 4-times cleared IAS mains: twice selected for IAS allied services 
Hargunjit Kaur   MA: MBA Gold Medallist
Amit Talwar   B.E. Twice appeared in IAS interview
Jagjit Singh  BE  Appeared in IAS interview
Bikram Shergill   MA: MBA Gold medallist
Harsuhinder Pal BA (Hons); LLB   
Surinder Kaur  MA  
Rubinder Singh  ME  Gold medallist: twice selected through UPSC
Amarjit Singh  MA  Bank Manager
Capt Monesh Kumar  NDA  Cleared IAS mains twice
Anita Darshi  MA  Lecturer; cleared IAS mains
Jaspal Singh   MA, M. Phil Lecturer 
Rajdeep Brar  MBA   
Paramjit Singh  MBA  


Akali factions gear up for DSGMC poll
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, May 26
The rival factions of the SAD have been gearing up for the General House elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) which are scheduled to be held next month. Once again the rival factions will have a trial of strength in these elections. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is at present headed by Mr Avtar Singh Hit who belongs to the SAD.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President of the All-India Shiromani Akali Dal, has extended his party’s support to the Delhi State Akali Dal which is headed by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna who has acted as President of the DSGMC when Mr Tohra and Mr Badal were united.

Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, who enjoys considerable influence among the Delhi Sikhs, is also likely to extend support to the Delhi State Akali Dal since the All-India Shiromani Akali Dal does not have its unit in Delhi. As a matter of fact, Mr Sarna is a protege of Mr Tohra and the latter did not set up its unit in Delhi since he was sure of the loyalty of Mr Sarna. Mr Sarna and Bhai Ranjit Singh were not on good terms with each other but their differences have been sorted out with the intervention of Mr Tohra. Mr Tohra arranged a meeting between the two and brought rapprochement between them last week.

According to Mr Tohra, fight in elections of the Delhi gurdwaras would be between those who accept Akal Takht as the supreme authority and those who have denigrated the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs. Mr Tohra said the All-India Shiromani Akali Dal would extend support to the candidates of the Delhi State Akali Dal headed by Mr Sarna and they would contest the election under the patronage of Bhai Ranjit Singh who has also been camping in Delhi for the past few weeks and has been campaigning for the ouster of the supporters of the SAD (Badal). Mr Tohra is expected to visit Delhi again to extend support to the candidature of the Delhi State Akali Dal.

Meanwhile, the Akali Dal (Amritsar), led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has set up a two-member committee comprising Prof Jagmohan Singh and Mr Gurjarinderpal Singh Bhikhiwind, general secretary of the Akali Dal, to conduct elections to DGSMC. Prof Jagmohan Singh said here today that they would put up 20 candidates for the elections and field young and dedicated Sikhs in this election.

Prof Jagmohan Singh appealed to the Jathedar, Akal Takht, to ensure that liquor and money do not play any part in this election. He said the first meeting to select candidates would be held in Delhi on May 27 at Gurdwara Rakabganj at 5 p.m.

He said they would dislodge the corrupt regime which was dominating the Delhi gurdwaras for a long time. The DSGMC, he alleged, has been functioning as a department of the Government of India.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, General Secretary of the SAD, said the party would contest all 46 seats. He, however, said the issue of gurdwara elections had not been discussed as yet. But soon they would decide about the candidates. The DSGMC elects 46 members and four members are nominated from among the local Singh Sabhas and two members are nominated by the SGPC. The voting rights for the elections to the DSGMC are with Sikhs only and no Sehajdhari is allowed to vote.

According to information, there are about 16 Sikh organisations registered with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Election Department of the Delhi Government. These include the Akali Dal factions and some Sikh organisations. The notifications for the conduct of the elections to the DSGMC is likely to be issued within a week.


Now, scam in books
K.K. Goyal

Mansa, May 26
A scam involving crores of rupees regarding supply of books at inflated prices with changed titles to government schools by the Punjab School Education Board has come to light. Mr Mithu Singh Kahneke, president, Punjab State Teachers Dal, said here today that seven books were supplied to the schools with changed titles. The books were by the same authors and had the same text.

He said a book titled “Vigyan Nu Jano” by Manjeet Bhatia was supplied to schools in 2001 and the same book with a new title “Vigyan De Mool Sidhant” was supplied in 2002 at Rs 150 per book. Similarly, “Aao Jane Jurassic Yug” by Vikrant with a changed title “Aarambhik Jeev Jantu” was priced at Rs 80, “Rang Birange Jantu” by Sham Sunder Sharma and Ashok Malhotra with a changed title “Jantuan Di Rang Birangi Dunia” was priced at Rs 80, “Bhojan Aur Hamara Shareer” by Ved Bhusan with a changed title “Bhojan Se Hi Swasthya”, “Phal Phool Anaj Ke Raja Aam” by Inderjeet Lal with a changed title “Gulab Aur Gehun” was priced at Rs 80, “Antariksh ki Unchaiyon Mein” by Sudarshan Chopra with a changed title “Hamara Antariksh” and “Vigyan Ki Aadhar De Roop” by Yashwant Kothri with a changed title “Gian Vigyan” by B.P. Kothari was supplied to the schools.

He said the original books and those with the changed titles bore the name of the same authors and no benefit was derived by the schools from these while it meant an income of crores to the board. He said in Mansa district these books were supplied to 84 middle schools, 50 high schools and 43 senior secondary schools, resulting in a scam worth Rs 6 crore.

Mr Darshan Singh Dhillon, district president, Democratic Teachers Front, Mr Jagdish Rai Garg, secretary of the front, and Mr Krishan Joga of the United Teachers Front have sought a probe into the scam from the Chief Minister and the Education Minister. 


Shifting of priceless records mooted despite scarce space
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

From the frying pan into the fire seems to hold good for what is being done with the priceless archival records of as many as eight erstwhile states which are slated to be removed from the unsafe Rajindra Palace here to a section of the local State Languages Department building without determining whether it can accommodate these or not.

Tourism and Culture Minister Ashwani Sekhri had recently announced after a visit that the archival records at the State Archives headquarters in Rajindra Palace would be shifted to a section of the Languages Department building as the former building had become unsafe and the records must be protected in view of the coming monsoon. The records pertain to the princely States of Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Kapurthala, Faridkot, Nalagarh, Kalsi and Malerkotla.

According to investigations made by The Tribune, at present the archival records are stored in around 15 rooms in the erstwhile Rajindra Palace on a floor area of around 40,000 sq ft. The department wants to shift the records to the State Languages Department where it has at present been promised only a large hall measuring 75 ft by 75 ft. The items to be shifted include 20,000 bags of documents besides a collection of 36,000 books, rare manuscripts, a gazette section and a binding section.

Though Mr Sekhri had announced during his visit to the city recently that the department would take over a complete storey in the Languages Department, this does not seem to be the case. Officials of the department have only been shown a large hall on the fourth storey of the building which is woefully short for its needs. The Languages Department Director, Dr M.L. Hasija, said though the government would take a final decision on the issue, there was an extra space in the building complex. He said some space could be given to the Archives Department for keeping its manuscripts. His department also had rare manuscripts with it. However, there was no space for large-scale record storage.

The Archives Department Director, Capt R.S. Randhawa, said a decision to shift the records had been taken as an emergency measure due to the unsafe character of the present archives building as well as the threat of further damage during the monsoon. He said he would take up the issue of letting the department take over an entire floor, including the lobby, to house the records with the Languages Department Director.

Sources said even if Languages Department was prevailed upon to give a complete floor, then also it would not be possible to re-locate all records there. They said there were other practical difficulties also particularly the size of the racks on which the records were at present stored in piles in the archives building. They said most of the racks in the archives building were 16 ft high whereas in the Languages Department only racks with a height of 9 ft to 10 ft could be accommodated.

They said even with such huge metal racks some of the records were piled on top of each other even though archives principles said that this should not be done and that there should be a space of at least 2 inches between one pile and another. “One can imagine the situation in the Languages Department if the records are shifted there,” said experts, adding that this would also cause problems for those who wanted to study the records.

The Archives Department is also likely to face problems over the keeping of manuscripts in the Languages Department Library. Languages Department officials have made it clear that they will not let any separate enclosure be made in the library for the manuscripts which is needed by archives officials to ensure the safety of the rare manuscripts.

This is the third proposed relocation of the archival records. These were first kept in Moti Bagh Palace after the merger of Pepsu with Punjab, then shifted to Quila Mubarak and finally brought to the Rajindra Palace building in Baradari Gardens in 1968. Experts feel a new building should be constructed to house the records in a scientific manner to avoid their further deterioration, failing which some funds could be provided to ensure the safety of the Rajindra Palace building. Any half-hearted transfer could ruin a precious legacy.

(To be concluded)


Vivek, Ashwit top in science, Neeru in commerce
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 26
Vivek Bansal, a student of SSD Public Senior Secondary School, Bathinda, and Ashwit Mahajan, a student of Government Mahindra College, Patiala, share the first position by securing 91.33 per cent marks in the science stream of the senior secondary school examination of the Punjab School Education Board, result of which were declared here today.

By securing 90.66 per cent marks, the second position in the science stream has been bagged by Gaurav Deep Singh, a student of Khalsa College, Amritsar. Kanwar Yugraj Singh, a student of Khalsa College, Amritsar, Poonam, a student of DAV College, Abohar and Jagmohan Singh, a student of BUC College, Batala, share the third position by securing 90.22 per cent mark each.

In the commerce stream, the result of which was also declared today, Neeru Kamboj of MSS College, Bathinda, secured the first position by securing 91.77 per cent marks. Saloni Kansal and Meenakshi Gupta, both students of MSS College, Patiala, have been placed second and third by securing 85.77 per cent and 85.55 per cent marks, respectively.

Mrs Narinder Kaur, Controller, Examination, said the pass percentage of of the science and commerce streams was 61.61 as compared to 65.49 last year. Of the total 30,891 students, 19,510 students had appeared in the science group and 11,381 in commerce. The pass percentage of the science and commerce was 58.72 and 66.55 respectively.

The result gazettes would be available at textbook depots by 10 am tomorrow. The marks sheets and certificate would be made available at the district sales book depots.

The total number of result late award awaited (RLA) is 103.

The merit list of the first 15 candidates ( roll no/marks) in the science and commerce streams is as follows:

Science stream

Vivek Bansal (22535/411), Ashwit Mahajan (515563/411), Gaurav Singh (20722/408), Kanwar Yugraj Singh (20562/406), Poonam (30704/406), Jagmohan Singh (32647/406), Vikram Khanna (20561/405), Taranbeer Singh (20703/405), Shewta (20402/404), Shaurabh (28685/402), Sukhbeer Singh Sandhu (19661/401), Atam Kapoor (20702/399), Rahul Arora (45599/397), Devinder Singh (20563/396) and Priyanka (26994/396).

Commerce stream

Neeru Kamboj (93651/413), Saloni Kansal (93652/386), Meenakshi Gupta (93654/385), Nandani Sharma (83026/381), Jasleen Kaur (93655/375), Kushboo Arora (66351/374), Amanpreet Kaur (81889/374), Deepika (93504/372), Anu Arora (66359/367), Radhika Khurana (65624/ 364), Kajal Gupta (91448/364), Ritu Yadav (93667/ 364), Manpreet Kaur (64959/363), Shela Narang (66361/363) and Nancy Raval (89119/362).


Dismal show by local schools
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, May 26
Students of the local government and private schools have failed to secure above 80 per cent marks in the science and commerce streams of the senior secondary class examinations of the Punjab School Education Board, whose results were declared here today.

A student of SSD Public Senior Secondary School, Bathinda, Vivek Bansal, and Ashweet Mahajan, a student of Government Mohindra College, Patiala, have topped in the state by securing 91.33 per cent marks in the science stream. In the commerce stream, result of which was also declared today, Neeru Kamboj of MSS College, Bathinda, secured the first position by securing 91.77 per cent marks.

By securing 80.44 per cent marks, Tanveer Kaur, a student of Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B 1 here, is the highestscorer in the town. The second position in the town has been secured by another student of the school, Geetika Jindal, who secured 80.22 per cent marks.

Of the total 83 students of the Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B 1, there are 22 cases of compartment and eight candidates have failed. The students of the Government College, Phase 6, have fared badly. Out of a total of 106 students who appeared in the science stream examination, only 61 have passed. As per the result gazette, there are 20 cases of compartment and 25 candidates have failed.

In the commerce stream, Sheetal, a student of Sant Isher Singh Senior Secondary School, has topped by securing 80.44 per cent marks. Jagmohan Singh of Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B 1, has secured 70.22 per cent marks. A student of Government College, Phase 6, has stood third by securing 69.33 per cent marks. An official of the board said of the 55 candidates of the Government College, Phase 6, who appeared in the commerce stream, 16 failed and another 26 earned compartments. In case of Government Senior Secondary School, Phase 3B 1, of the total 44 students who appeared in the examination, there were 22 cases of compartment, while two students failed.


Akali Dal (A) out of Panthic Morcha
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 26
Since the Panthic Morcha is going the Congress way as the SAD had gone the BJP way, the Akali Dal (Amritsar) had been pushed by circumstances out of the fold of the Panthic Morcha and the party had decided to “plough its own furrow” and keep equi-distance from the Congress and the BJP Akali conglomeration sponsored by these two parties for keeping alive the spirit of the Akali Dal that was established in 1920.

Announcing this policy decision to select group of newsmen here today, the SAD(A) President, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, alleged that the game-plan of Capt Amarinder Singh was to form a new Akali conglomeration comprising Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President SHSAD Ravi Inder Singh, former Speaker Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi, former SGPC President Randhir Singh Cheema and Sucha Singh Chhotepur, former Akali ministers. The fate of the Panthic Morcha was sealed as it had gone astray. When asked as to whether his party had formally severed its relations with the Panthic Morcha, Mr Mann quipped these relations had automatically got severed after the Morcha leaders had started hobnobbing and honey-mooning with the Chief Minister and his party. The Panthic Morcha was floated last year and it included Dals of Mr G.S. Tohra, Mr S.S. Mann, Mr J.S. Rode, Mr Ravi Inder Singh and the Sant Samaj with Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi as its convener.

On decision of the Political Affairs Committee of the SAD to launch a Morcha, including mass arrests by party MLAs and SGPC members in Chandigarh on June 11, Mr Mann declared not only his party’s disassociation from the Morcha but also its decision to oppose it and expose Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President SAD(B). We are educated people and should solve issues through dialogue and not conflict, pleaded Mr Mann. Akali morchas had in the past left behind bloodshed, misery, widows, orphans, Mr Mann reminded Mr Badal. Besides, Mr Badal’s morcha would neither succeed nor be supported by masses as it lacked moral base. Moreover, the Prime Minister won’t allow Mr Badal to launch the Morcha at a time when there was tension on the border, he claimed. Mr Badal’s morcha was not against government high-handedness but to save his men and his own skin from campaign against corruption, asserted Mr Mann. The unfortunate murder of Akali leader Gurdial Singh Sidhu and six others in Bhikhiwind on Sunday was the result of gang war between smugglers, alleged Mr Mann. If Mr Badal launches Morcha against POTA, Gujarat carnage, war-mongering, turning Punjab into battleground, ban on Sikh jathas to Pakistan, SYL water issues and anti-farmer policies, then we will support him, Mr Mann declared.


Tarn Tarni made SHSAD Secy
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 26
The Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) yesterday made Mr Manjit Singh Tarn Tarni, secretary of its head office here. Mr Tarn Tarni had resigned from Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), a few days ago.

Mr Pardip Singh Walia, a senior leader of the SHSAD, said the orders for the appointment of Mr Tarn Tarni were issued by Mr Gurcharn Singh Tohra, the party chief on Saturday.

Mr Tarn Tarni had resigned from the SAD after levelling serious charges of corruption against its leadership. Mr Tarn Tarni had alleged that the party president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had promoted his family at the cost of senior Akali leaders and indulged in rampant corruption.

A few days earlier, Mr Tohra had given a call to senior Akali leaders to join the SHSAD who were feeling ‘suffocated’ in the SAD.


Parallel meetings by Cong leaders
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 26
The rift between two senior state Congress leaders, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, MP, and Mr Avtar Singh Brar, fomer Education Minister and ex-MLA of Faridkot, come to the fore yesterday when both leaders organised parallel meetings here to collect the names of the party contenders from this block to contest the forthcoming Zila Parishad and Block Samitis elections in the state. Mr Avtar Singh held a meeting of his supporters at Milap Palace before noon and Mr Jagmeet Singh at Circuit House in the evening.

Talking to this reporter at his residence Mr Avtar Singh Brar claimed that he along with Mr Surinder Iqbal Singh, President of the DCC, had been assigned the duty by Mr Jasjeet Singh Randhawa, Minister of Rural Panchayats and Public Health, to collect the names of aspiring candidates from this block and send the same to the PPCC and the high command to give a final shape to the list.

He had already received applications from contestants of six zones, including Mr Sukhmander Singh and Labh Singh (Sadiq) reserve; Mr Harkirat Singh Gill (Mandwala), Mrs Sonia (Golehwala), Mr Harcharn Singh (Arianwalakslan), Mr Darshan Singh (Waradraka) and Mr Ruldu Singh (Sandhwan). Similarly, applications from the candidates of nine villages, including Mr Chhinder Singh (Sagrahur), Mr Budh Singh, Mr Baldhir Singh and Mr Krishan Kumar (Mumara), Mr Nek Singh (Chotiwala), Mr Harnek Singh (Mehmuana), Mr Gurdial Singh (Kilanaw), Mr Inderjeet Singh (Machki Malsingh), Mr Jaswinder Singh (Kotsukhia), Mr Lachaman Singh (Golehwala) and Mr Jassa Singh (Piple) to contest the block samitis elections had also been received. The applications of the aspirants from other villages Deep Singhwala, Behlewala, Sadiq, Ghumiara, Faridkot Dihati, Bhana, Chahal, Dhudi, Pakhikalan, Bhagthala and Arianwala would be received today. He further stated that Mr Randhawa would tomorrow visit the town to ascertain the list of the candidates. Mr Brar also clarified that the Congress would contest both Zila Parishad and Block Samitis election in the state.

The CPI might also join hands with the Congress in this connection. He said Mr Upinder Sharma, former MLA, had been assigned the duty to complete the process from the other block of Kotkapura in the district. Clarifying his position, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar said he had held meeting of Congress workers only to redress their grievances. However, being a whip of the party in the Lok Sabha he could also recommended the name of the aspirants to the PPCC if any candidate approaches him.

No supporter of Mr Avtar Singh Brar attended his (Mr Jagmeet Singh’s) meeting. Meanwhile, during the meetings at Kotkapura on Friday and here yesterday a number of party workers expressed resentment over his indifferent attitude towards protecting the interest of this district particularly in distribution of funds from his MP quota. The workers further alleged that due to his (Mr Jagmeet Singh’s) adamant attitude the party suffered a big jolt in his parliamentary constituency comprising Faridkot, Muktsar and Moga in the last Assembly elections.


PUDA directed to pay relief
Our Correspondent

Ropar, May 26
The District Consumer Forum, has directed PUDA to pay compensation to a complainant for deficiency in service.

In a complaint before the forum, Mr Mohinder Pratap Singh Dhillon, a resident of Patiala alleged that PUDA allotted plot No. 766 in Sector 39 of Mohali to Jit Singh in 1995 on receiving 25 per cent of the payment. The later obtained a no objection certificate from PUDA in 1997 and sold the plot to the complainant. On purchasing the plot the complainant deposited the balance sale consideration of Rs 1,78,500 to PUDA and the plot was transferred in his name.

However, a few months after he purchased the plot, PUDA cancelled the allotment of the original allottee Jit Singh on the plea that he had furnished a false affidavit. After the cancellation he was asked to appear before the Estate Officer, PUDA. Re-allotment in the favour of the complainant was also eventually cancelled in 1998. His appeals to the Chief Administrator PUDA, and the Principal Secretary of the department concerned did not yield any result. He was refunded Rs 2,82,000 through a cheque on July 8, 2001 after forfeiting 10 per cent of the sale price by PUDA.

The complainant demanded a compensation of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 10,000 as costs of litigation due to the alleged harassment he had to face at the hands of PUDA officials.

PUDA in its reply to the forum alleged that Jit Singh, the original allottee, had secured the plot submitting a wrong affidavit. The cancellation orders passed by the officials concerned had also remained intact in all appeals filed by the complainant before the competent authorities. They also raised preliminary objections as the complaint was not maintainable, the complaint had no locus standi to file it and the forum had no jurisdiction to try the case. After both parties had submitted their evidence in the form of affidavits the forum comprising the president, Mr J.P. Gupta and two members upheld the cancellation of the plot by PUDA.

They, however, held that though PUDA cancelled the plot of the complainant on October 7, 1997 yet the deposited amount excluding the 10 per cent forfeiture was refunded to him on July 8, 2001. That means the refund was made three years and nine month after the cancellation of plot which amounted to deficiency in service.

So, the PUDA was directed to pay an interest at the rate of 18 per cent on Rs 2,82,000 with effect from November 7, 1997 i.e. one month after the cancellation was ordered which is maximum time period allowed for processing the refund. The interest amount would be deemed as compensation to the complainant the forum maintained.

The forum awarded litigation costs of Rs 1000 to the complainant. The amount involved is to be paid to the complainant within 30 days failing which it further carries an interest of 18 per cent till the realisation of the amount.


Ayurveda system ailing
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
Even as national luminaries of Ayurveda have started reaching the city for the major events to be held tomorrow, in the presence of the Chief Minister, senior practitioners and teachers of this form of medicine in the state are a dejected lot.

And they have reasons to be. For the last more than 15 years, the Punjab Government has failed to appoint a regular director for its Directorate of Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy. According to sources, the post has been occupied for short durations by civil servants as their additional charge. In just two years, the post was occupied by as many as 12 different persons.

The basic problem remains lack of a regular technically sound leadership. Senior vaidyas feel that the system of ayurveda has rotted in the state. In comparision, its neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh is doing rather well, with more than a 1000 dispensaries. In Punjab, according to sources, the last dispensary that was opened was in the late eighties and after the last regular ayurved Director Padma Shri Amar Nath Shastri retired, no progress in the field has taken place.

There are about 500 dispensaries in Punjab which, according to sources, are in a pitiable condition. On an average, the cost of annual supply of medicine doesn’t increase Rs 1000. “Whereas the salary of employees of the dispensary amounts to around Rs 5 lakh per dispensary. There are many such dispensaries where no physician ever goes. Usually, they practice allopathic medicine in the nearby dispensary. However, all such dispensary heads meet every month to draw their salaries at the office of district ayurvedic officer.” says a senior practitioner of the system.

Dr R. Vatsayayan, a leading ayurveda practitioner in Ludhiana, states that ayurveda was born in Punjab as the Vedas, it is believed were written on the banks of the Indus thousands of years ago. “There are references which show that the first conference of seers of ayurveda of that time was held in the Shivaliks. And look at its condition now. Government Ayurvedic College Patiala and Government Ayurvedic Pharmacy Patiala, are seeing their worst days. The college has lost its MD degree. Pharmacy lost a major GOI project due to the state government’s apathy.”

“Instead, what has come up are private ayurvedic colleges. It’s a joke that Punjab has five medical colleges teaching students allopathy and 10 colleges teaching ayurvedic medicine. None of these ayurvedic colleges comply with the norms laid down by the Central Council of Indian Medicine. All they are producing is qualified quacks,” alleges Mr Madan Gulati, Assistant Director, Ayurveda, Chandigarh.

Dr Sanjeev Sood, Head of the Department of Panchkarma, at Ayurveda College, Jalandhar, states, “A meagre 2 per cent of the total health budget is kept for alternative systems of medicines. Which is peanuts. How can you expect that remarkable research will be done with zero resources? India is the parent country of Ayurveda, it’s roots lie here and still we struggle hard to gain recognition and respect for it in India.”


Cops draw flak for poor law & order
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 26
Within hours after drawing criticism from DGP M.S. Bhullar and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal over the deteriorating law and order situation and rise in crime here and the surrounding areas, the Jalandhar police has initiated damage control exercise against the criminals who, virtually, had a field day for the past two months.

DGP Bhullar had admitted that crime had registered a rise in the city and expressed displeasure over the spate of henious crimes in Jalandhar during his visit. While, Mr Bhullar was disturbed over Thursday’s robbery in which robbers had injured a businessman and robbed of Rs 32 lakh.

Mr Badal, who was allegedly attacked by a constable while addressing a public rally on the MC poll eve, had alleged that Jalandhar  had become a “Haven” for criminals. He had also discounted the police’s theory that the constable, from whom a knife was seized, had not attacked him but was just “celebrating” his promotion due in near future under the influence of liquor.

Mr Bhullar had instructed district police officials to contain both the crime and criminals.

The district police has claimed that it has initiated a fresh campaign against anti-social elements, which, according to it, has already started showing results as the police was able to solve two  murder cases just  within a day after it got snubbing from the DGP. The DGP’s remarks have virtually put the police out of its slumber, much to the relief of residents, who were having sleepless nights over the rising crime. 


Doctors oppose NPA withdrawal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The PCMS Association, Punjab, said today that the move of the state government to discontinue the non-practising allowance (NPA) by allowing private practice would be a “reward to corrupt” and “punishment to honest doctors and poor patients”.

Members of the association said it would oppose the anti poor and anti-people move of the government. They requested the government to re-examine the issue.

Dr M.S. Randhawa, Dr D.S. Gill, and Dr Manjit Singh, Parton, President and General Secretary respectively, of the association alleged that a powerful lobby of corrupt doctors, was trying to scuttle penal action and wanted to legalise their roaring private practice.

They maintained that the move to withdraw the NPA and allow private practice was being justified as an economy measure by labeling investment on health as “non productive expenditure”, whereas each rupee spent on health-care had been proved by economic experts as the most productive investment.

They said the Central Pay Commission and the report of an expert group on health had clearly stated that the NPA was a misnomer. In fact, it was merely a compensation for not doing private practice. It was given to doctors for doing emergency duties, medico-legal and post-mortem duties at odd hours.


Govt to step up anti-corruption drive
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 26
The Finance Minister of Punjab, Mr Lal Singh, at a meeting here, said the anti-corruption drive launched by the Congress in the state had yielded positive results and the present government was taking all steps to ensure that the faith of people in the administration was restored.

He also said his party was going to accelerate its campaign to stem out corruption from the public sector and those found guilty of taking bribes would be subjected to punishment by the law.

The Finance Minister asked people to immediately report to the head of the department concerned or the Deputy Commissioner of the district if anyone asked for bribe.

The minister assured that the present government would strive to bring transparency in the functioning of all government departments in the state.



6,000 cases pending in Labour Court
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 26
As many as 6,000 cases are lying pending in the Labour Court, Patiala, even as the Bar Association here struggles to function under an acute shortage of staff and facilities. Even the building in which the court operates is very old and has been declared unsafe by the PWD Department for the past 10 years.

The workload upon the court which caters to four districts namely Patiala, Sangrur, Fatehgarh Sahib and Ropar has been increased due to the transfer of both reference cases as well as claim applications of workmen from the Bathinda Labour Court to Patiala. However, the staff of three temporary employees — one reader, one stenographer and one copyist — are proving inadequate in the present circumstances.

Recently, lawyers have submitted a memorandum regarding problems being faced by the court to Ms Justice Bakshish Kaur of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who visited the court premises for inspection on May 24. The president of the Bar Association Labour Court, Mr Viday Vatrana, when contacted, said the lawyers have requested Mr Justice Bakshish Kaur to direct the Labour Department to provide permanent staff and one additional post each of stenographer and accounts clerk to ensure the smooth functioning of the court.

The general secretary of the association, Mr S. D. Marwaha, said despite numerous requests for relocation made by the association, the court continues to function amidst dismal conditions. He said they had requested Ms Justice Bakshish Kaur to direct the Labour Department to either provide a safe building or shift it in the District Courts complex on The Mall. He stated that the court room and makeshift retiring room of the presiding officer was small and hinders both the court proceedings and general movement. He said there was not even a proper toilet in the premises.

The lawyers have also asked that the cases under the Workman Compensation Act may be transferred to either the Labour Court or to Senior Sub-Judges as the Assistant Labour Commissioners who have been looking after these cases of lately are not conversant with law pertaining to workman compensation. The association has also demanded that once a month a Lok Adalat be held for settlement of labour court cases.

The Bar has also stressed upon an immediate need to review the jurisdiction areas of both the Assistant Labour Commissioners, Patiala and Rajpura.

Mr Vatrana said as the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Patiala, has jurisdiction over half of Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib district and the Assistant Labour Commissioner, Rajpura, has jurisdiction over the other half of Patiala along with Samana, Patran, Rajpura and Derabassi which causes inconvenience to residents of Patiala, Samana and the Ghaggar area.



Former MLA denies charges
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 26
A former Congress minister, Mr Harminder Singh Jassi, today denied allegations levelled against him by Mr Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, former chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Jassi said Mr Sidhu was levelling baseless allegations against him due to the political rivalry between them. He claimed that if any allegations levelled by Mr Sidhu were found to be true he would quit politics.

While Mr Jassi had defeated Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu (son of Mr Sidhu) in the 1997 Assembly elections, Mr Sidhu won this time by a narrow margin of 237 votes.

Mr Jassi saud vehicles owned by him, including at Tata Indica and Tata Safari, were on loans from a finance company and the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, respectively. Commenting on his alleged landed properties in Haryana and Rajasthan he said first of all they do not exist at all and if proved by documentary evidence he would gift them to the family of Mr Sidhu.

Regarding his property at his native village Jassi Bagh Wali, which as alleged by Mr Sidhu, was valued at Rs 1 crore, Mr Jassi said he was ready to exchange it with the residential property of Mr Sidhu at Bathinda city, which was valued at Rs 18 lakh, as agreed to by Mr Sidhu.

He said a person of the status of Mr Sidhu should not indulge in levelling false allegations against anybody.


Telecom Dept told to pay relief
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, May 26
The district Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the SDO (Telephones) and Accounts Officer (BSNL), Kapurthala, to pay a compensation of Rs 5000 to Mr Manjit Paul Singh Ratti, an advocate, for deficiency in service and Rs 1000 as costs of litigation.

Mr Ratti had filed a complaint with the forum, alleging that his telephone had been disconnected by the Telecom Department though he had paid the bill. In spite of showing the receipt, the department had not restored his telephone connection, he had added. The department had contested the claim of the complainant, saying he had not complied with the instructions on the back of the bill. According to those, if the consumer paid the bill after the due date, he was to inform the billing section regarding the payment, which the complainant had failed to do.

The forum opined that before disconnecting the telephone, it was the duty of the department to check its records.


With eye on poll SGPC woos Nihangs
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 26
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee has been endeavouring to bring representatives of various Sikh organisations on one platform before SGPC general elections due this year.

This was evident from a meeting of the Nihang factions, maintaining distance from the SGPC for long.

Representatives of the Nihang factions had on Friday announced that they would extend full support to the SGPC for launching any struggle for the sake of the Sikh Panth.


SGPC chief’s appeal
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 26
Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC chief, has appealed to the Sikh sangat to start “akhand path” at every village and city from June 4 to commemorate Ghallughara Divas. 

The bhog ceremony will be held on June 6 in the memory of those killed in Operation Bluestar. He stated this in a press note issued here yesterday. Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has appealed to the Sikh masses to do Japuji Sahib path to mark the occasion.


Ramoowalia meets Jacob
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
The President of the Lok Bhalai Party and former Union Minister, Mr B.S. Ramoowalia, yesterday met the Punjab Governor, Lt-General J.F.R. Jacob (retd), to convey to him that the campaign against corruption launched by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, should be supported by all those who wanted to cleanse public life.

He said there should be no witch hunt but corrupt politicians and bureaucrats should not be spared. He requested the Governor to ask the government to stop the arrest of farmers, to improve commission agent-farmer relations.


1,000 examined at cardiac camp
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 26
As part of outreach programme, Fortis Heart Institute today organised a one-day free cardiac check up camp at the BBK DAV College for Women, here. More than 1,000 patients from Amritsar and nearby towns like Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Kapurthala, Kartarpur, Pathankot, Dasuya, Ferozepore, Hussainiwala Cantt, Patti, Ajnala, Ramdas, Baba Bakala, Uddhoke, Fatehgarh Churian, Sri Gobindpur, Lopoke, Rattoke, Harike, Beas, Goindwal Sahib, Verka, Batala, Dinanagar, Madhopur, Dhar, Tibbar, Sarna, Dhilwan, Hamira, Sultanpur Lodhi, Chaudrian, Begowal, Granthian, Qadian, Dhariwal were examined.

Apart from getting free consultation from expert cardiologist and cardiac consultants tests like ECG, ECHO, color doppler, TMI, blood tests were done free of cost. The core cardiac team of the institute provided consultation also. Through these camps the institute aims to spread awareness among the masses about heart diseases which today affect over three per cent (3 million) of the population in India and Punjab being the area where the incidence of this disease is the highest in the country.

According to doctors of the institute, “There is an alarming increase in the incidence of heart-related ailments in our country today. The world average of the incidence of heart disease is 1.5 per cent whereas in India the average doubles to 3 per cent.” 


Census shows decline in farm workers
P. P. S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26
In a predominantly agriculturally prosperous state like Punjab, there is a sharp decline of proportion of workers in the farm sector—from 55.2 per cent (1991) to 39.4 per cent (2001). This places the state at number 27 in the all-India listing.

Even the percentage of cultivators has declined from 31.4 (1991) to 23 (2001). The percentage of farm labour too has gone down from 23.8 to 16.4 between 1991 and 2001.

Where is this sharp shift of work force from the agriculture sector headed to?

An “agricultural worker’’ includes the cultivator and agriculture labourer.

What does all this indicate? Is agriculture becoming less remunerative? Or are urban economic avenues more remunerative?

The data of Census 2001 should make farm economists, sociologists and urban planners analyse these new trends so that policy changes are effected to give agriculture and urban development a new orientation.

In fact, the contribution of farmers’ wives is seldom considered as ‘’work’’. Work the women do on farms and at home is seldom taken into consideration. This was amply reflected in the Census-1991 data, which showed very little female work participation in Punjab.

This aspect was taken care of in Census-2001. The definition of ‘’work’’ was explained to the enumerators. Consequently, says the Director, Census, Mr Inderjit Singh, all districts have shown a significant improvement in the female work participation rate. This increase is most significant in Nawanshahr district, where it has risen from 4 per cent (1991) to 33 per cent (2001).

For the state, as a whole, the female work participation rate has been recorded at 8.7 per cent, an increase by nearly four-and-a-half times during the decade, 1991-2001. It was just 4.4. per cent in 1991.

Among the females, Mr Inderjit Singh disclosed, almost one out of every four (23.2 per cent) in rural areas is a worker, while, the corresponding ratio in urban areas is 1:10 (9.7 per cent).

Going by the census definition of work and the data now available, it is observed that in Punjab, 62.4 per cent people have been returned as non-workers and 37.6 per cent as workers. In other words, out of a total population of 243.2 lakh, workers are 91.4 lakh and non-workers 151.8 lakh. Even today, the work participation rate of Punjab is lower than the national average of 39.3 per cent. Have Punjabis become lazy or are they depending on migratory labour?

Interestingly, 3.4 per cent of the workers in Punjab are engaged in ‘’household industries’’. This is almost two-and-a-half times that of 1991. Between the two sexes, 2.3 per cent among males and 7 per cent among females are engaged in household industries.

There is a growing unemployment, particularly, among the educated youth. Punjab also has a high percentage of school dropouts. A large section of the educated youth is unemployable and the state lacks the requisite institutions to impart the required and needed vocational training to hone such skills that would help them find jobs. Punjab is one progressive state, which has never thought of having an IIT. This should make the government to work out job-oriented policies and set up institutions that would open avenues for the youth to earn a living.

Punjab needs a reliable data bank on human resource development and requirements in the key fields, of education, health, agriculture, industry and government to enable it plan a futuristic state contiguous to the economic map that the Congress promises to unfold in the Budget session beginning June 12.


12 pvt buses impounded
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 26
In a joint operation, the Vigilance Bureau and the Transport Department detected irregularities in the plying of 88 private buses at eight different checkpoints laid in four districts of the Doaba region last night. Of these, 12 buses were impounded for running without valid documents.

The bureau and the Transport Department laid nakas at the PAP Chowk, Jalandhar, Banga T-Point, on the outskirts of Hoshiarpur and on the Kapurthala-Jalandhar road last night and checked 198 buses during a four-hour operation.


Patwari suspended for demanding bribe
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, may 26
The DC has suspended Patwari Balaur Singh at Chauke village for allegedly asking for bribe for registering a mutation of a piece of land.

According to an official press note issued today, Naseeb Kaur of the village had lodged a complaint with officials that the patwari asked to give Rs 20,000 for registering the mutation of a piece of land decree of which was in her name as per orders of a Civil Court.

The DC ordered an inquiry which was conducted by the SDM, Rampura Phul. The report found the patwari guilty.


Order to close soda factory
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, May 26
Mr Anurag Verma DC, today ordered the closing of a soda-water factory at Rampura Phul as it had used water which was unfit for consumption.

An official press note said, a Civil Surgeon had sent a report that the factory used the water unfit for consumption. The DC said until factory owners produced the certificate that it had used water fit for consumption, it would remain closed.


Priya murder case solved
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 26
The local police today claimed to have solved mysteries surrounding the death of two persons.

However, the police authorities kept mum about daring robbery in which four unidentified assailants had shot at a city businessman and looted foreign currency worth Rs 32 lakh from him on Thursday and about a broad daylight robbery in a bank in the Model House locality.

In a press note issued here today, the Jalandhar police claimed to have solved the Priya murder case of Alawalpur with the arrest of her husband Teeta and two of his accomplice who had “cooked up” the story that Priya had been killed by four unidentified persons though it was Teeta who had allegedly murdered her.

The police also solved the murder of Praveen Kaur. She was murdered by Vikram, Inder Pal and Dinesh, who had been arrested from an orchard near Variana village, while their accomplice Bimla was arrested from her house at Basti Bawa Khel.

Meanwhile, six-month- old murder of Gursevak Singh, a resident of Dehlon, was solved with the arrest of his wife, Jaswir Kaur of Phagwara, Jaswant Singh, a resident of Kohala, and Maninder Singh from the Basti Bawa Khel area. 


1 killed over land dispute
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, May 26
One person was killed and two others were injured in a quarrel that took place over a land dispute at Palasaur village yesterday. The local police has registered a case under Sections 302, 148 and 140 of the IPC against six persons of the same village.

Police sources said today that the dead man had been identified as Kashmir Singh and the injured as Jagir Singh and Gurmeet Kaur, alias Meeto, related to Kashmir Singh. Amrik Singh, son of Mukhtar Singh, former Sarpanch of the village, along with Suba Singh, Pando, Baldev Singh, alias Kala, Barkat Singh and Darshan Singh had been booked for the crime. 


Hundal elected PCCTU chief
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 26
The Tiwari-Hundal group registered a victory and bagged almost all positions in the annual elections of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), an organisation of non-government-aided college teachers, here today.

It is for the first time during the past two years that the elections witnessed a close contest wherein almost all presidium positions were bagged by the Tiwari-Hundal group.

In the elections, Mr S. S. Hundal of Guru Nanak College, Moga, and Mr V. K. Tiwari have been elected president and general secretary, respectively. With the outcome of the poll, the annual convention of the union, in which 400 delegates participated, concluded at the local Doaba College here today.

Mr Hundal defeated his nearest rival, Mr Sindarpal Singh, by about 100 votes, while Mr Tiwari defeated Mr V. K. Sareen by the same difference. Those who have been elected unopposed include Mr G. S. Kahlon of Khalsa College, Amritsar, as vice-president, Mr Balbir Singh of Modi College, Patiala, as finance secretary, Mr V. K. Sharma as secretary, Guru Nanak Dev University region, Mr Aminder Pal Singh of Guru Nanak College, Budhladha, as secretary, Punjabi University Patiala region, and Mr Kanwaljit Singh of GTB College, Dakha, as secretary, Punjab University Chandigarh region.

The executive members include Mr A. K. Dheer, Prof Lakha Singh, Prof Satnam Singh, Mr Chander Shekhar, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr V. K. Bhardwaj, Mr Rajvinder Singh, Mr Sarbjit Singh, and Mr S. S. Dhillon.

The elections passed off peacefully and the outgoing general secretary, Mr Jaspal Singh Randhawa, congratulated the new team. 

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