Sunday, March 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Govt opens dialogue with agitating farmers
Chandigarh, March 15
The Punjab Government has opened dialogue with the agitating farmers here. Informed sources say that a three-member team of the state government led by Mr Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Irrigation Minister, held talks with representatives of the farmers.

Countdown to Punjab Budget
Efforts to find ‘fiscal space’
Chandigarh, March 15
Countdown to the presentation of the Punjab Budget, 2003-04, on March 24 has begun. Financial pundits are busy juggling revenue income and expenditure figures available so far. The effort is to find ‘’fiscal space’’ and balance political populism and compunctions.

60 per cent colleges below standard, says NACC
Amritsar, March 15
Prof V.N. Radhashekhran Pillai, Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council, lamented that about 60 per cent colleges in the country do not meet the minimum education standards. The infrastructure in these colleges is outdated and massive overhauling and financial resources, in addition to effective manpower, are needed to upgrade these.

Ludhiana MC role model, says Planning Commission
Ludhiana, March 15
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has done wonders within a short span of one year, with a chronic loss-making institution getting flush with crores of surplus funds. This has become possible only after the new Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, took over in May last year.




BJP to document police ‘excesses’
Chandigarh, March 15
The Punjab unit of the BJP today set up a three-member committee to document facts with regard to the police “excesses” on party activists in various parts of the state during the recent municipal elections.


Minister Kaypee unhappy with party Mayor
Jalandhar, March 15
Punjab Technical and Industrial Training Minister Mohinder Singh Kaypee today accused Congress Mayor of local Municipal Corporation Surinder Mahey of bringing bad name to the party by pursuing anti-people policies.

Dharna by SAD, BJP workers
Sangrur, March 15
Activists of the BJP, the SAD, and residents of the town today staged a dharna at the Pheruman Chowk here to protest against the assault on Mr Nanak Chand Kalra, former chairman of the Sangrur Improvement Trust, and his son Jatinder Kalra, a BJP Municipal Councillor and demanded the arrest of the remaining four accused.

Nagpal appointed city Cong chief
Abohar, March 15
Mr Sunil Jakhar MLA warned officials of the Municipal Council and the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board of action if sanitation was not attended to in a few days. Officials looking after amenities would have to shed lethargic life-style, Mr Jakhar said at a press conference later.


A shopkeeper waits for customers with all supplies for Holi on display, at Bathinda on Saturday. — Photo Kulbir Beera

PSSSB case: accused gets judicial remand
Kharar, March 15
Mrs Preeti Sahni, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, here today sent Gurmail Singh, who was arrested by Vigilance Bureau in connection with the appointment scandal of the Punjab Subordinate Services Selection Board, in judicial remand till March 26.

25 buses leave for Afghanistan
Wagah, March 15
A convoy of 25 buses was flagged off from the joint checkpost here today around 1 p.m. Mr Abdul Razzaq Jalali along with Mr Shahid Kazim and Mr Abdul Waffa, Director of Transport Ministry, Secretary, Transport, and official in the Transport Ministry of Afghanistan, respectively, accompanied the buses to Pakistan for their onward journey to Afghanistan.

Badungar flayed for sacking Manjit
Patiala, March 15
Sympathisers of the dismissed Jathedar of Kesgarh Sahib, Prof Manjit Singh, today organised a seminar here today in the hometown of SGPC President Kirpal Singh Badungar to censure the latter and urge the Akal Takht Jathedar to finalise the service rules of the jathedars of the Sikh Takhts.

Heritage status for Golden Temple opposed
Amritsar, March 15
The Khalra Mission Committee has opposed the move of giving heritage status to the Golden Temple and allowing women to perform seva and kirtan in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple.

4 ultrasound units face action
Violation of PNDT Act
Sangrur, March 15
To initiate proceedings against four ultrasound units of this district, the District Advisory Committee (DAC) for the implementation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, at its meeting, recommended the cancellation of registration of one ultrasound unit for the violation of various provisions of the PNDT Act. It also recommended suspension of registration of three ultrasound units for one month on a similar ground.

Doctors told to pay 2 lakh
Pathankot, March 15
The District Consumer Redressal Forum, Gurdaspur, presided over by Mr Gurdial Singh Sandhu, has held two doctors of Gurdaspur responsible for operating upon Amarjit Kaur in a “careless” and “negligent” manner causing her death. The forum directed the two doctors to pay Rs 2,00,000 as compensation to the complainants.

Symbolic protest against squalor
Phagwara, March 15
A section of local journalists presented a unique memento to civic body chief Malkiat Singh Ragbotra here yesterday. As a symbolic gesture against the insanitary conditions in town in general and around the statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside local Town Hall in particular, the journalists cleaned and washed the statue with milk and swept its surrounding areas.

Demand for Baba Bairagi memorial
Chandigarh, March 15
Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, President, Bairagi Mahan Mandal, Punjab, today demanded that the Central Government should install a memorial in honour of Bairagi Baba Banda Singh Bahadur at Mehrauli, where he was martyred.


ZP chief’s vehicle challaned
Bathinda, March 15
The police has challaned the private vehicle of Chairman of the Zila Parishad, Mr Bikramjit Singh, for violating the rules. The vehicle was challaned near the Bibiwala Chowk last evening when a relative of Mr Bikramjit Singh was driving it.

Officials review Kathua, Chamba problems
Pathankot, March 15
Top civic and police officials of Punjab, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir today held a meeting to sort out the problems of Kathua and Chamba and review the security arrangements at the Ranjit Sagar Dam.

Auction of liquor shops put off
Chandigarh, March 15
The Punjab Excise Department authorities today postponed the auction of liquor shops in the Banga area and Hoshiarpur district. Informed official sources said the participants in the auction had pooled and had been asking for lowering the reserve price by Rs 10 crore.

Suspended for insubordination
Gurdaspur, March 15
The General Manager, Milk Union, Gurdaspur, on Thursday placed under suspension Balbir Singh, a Senior Assistant (Administration), on charges of dereliction and negligence in the performance of duty, disobeyance of orders, abusing and showing ill-will against higher officials and making complaints against higher authorities for ulterior motives.


Gang of thieves busted, 6 held
Jalandhar, March 15
The district police has busted a seven-member gang of thieves with the arrest of its six members and recovery of stolen electronic goods. Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said following a tip-off, a police party raided the cremation grounds at Lambra village and arrested six persons — Amarjeet, Harpreet Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Tilak Raj, Ashok Kumar and Balwinder Singh — all residents of Malkon village.

SI arrested for extorting money
Gurdaspur, March 15
The police has arrested Sub-Inspector Karanjit Singh, posted as Station House Officer, Dorangla police station in the district, for allegedly extorting Rs 2,000 from Joginder Singh of Sadda village under Dorangla police station.

Custodial death: 2 cops booked
Nawanshahr, March 15
The local police registered a case against Head Constable Bhola Amir Singh and Constable Kundan Lal under Section 304, IPC, here today in connection with the alleged custodial death of suspected Kashmiri terrorist Qasim (35) of Tanka village of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir yesterday.


Sinha rules out talks with Pakistan
Patiala, March 15
External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha today ruled out talks with Pakistan unless it stopped aiding terrorism in India. He said both countries would benefit if Pakistan permitted economic linkages and greater people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

PUOSA may take up issues of public interest
SAS Nagar, March 15
Need for taking up important social issues like family planning, diversification and better healthcare for masses was stressed at the general body meeting of the Punjabi University (Campus) Old Students Association held here today.

Holiday confusion upsets exam dates
Bathinda, March 15
While a section of teachers enjoyed the Moharram holiday, which was never declared by the Punjab Government yesterday, the students of classes 6, 7, 9 and plus one in some schools of this and nearby districts could not appear in their annual exams.

Better education in govt schools stressed
Amritsar, March 15
Expressing dissatisfaction over the basic structure of the government-run schools in Punjab, the Minister of State for Education, Professor Darbari Lal, said more than 90 per cent of such schools were without minimum basic infrastructure and needed special attention.

Prof Darbari Lal addresses a press conference in Amritsar on Saturday. This is his first visit to the city after becoming Minister of State for Education. — Photo Rajiv Sharma



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