Friday, March 28, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Bir Devinder Singh is Dy Speaker
Chandigarh, March 27
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha today unanimously elected Mr Bir Devinder Singh as Deputy Speaker. He replaces Mr Darbari Lal, who was inducted as a Minister of State into the Council of Ministers.

Annul periphery Act, House panel moots
Chandigarh, March 27
The Punjab Assembly’s Committee on Subordinate Legislation headed by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, a Congress MLA, has strongly recommended the repealing of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, as “it has become redundant and obsolete piece of legislation in view of the fresh pieces of legislation enacted in 1995”.

Strait-jacket effort at fiscal reforms
Chandigarh, March 27
The Punjab Budget (2003-04) is an endeavour to bring about a change in the direction of curbing government expenditure and mobilising additional resources. 




150-foot breach in minor submerges 400 acres of wheat
Joginder Singh, a farmer, fails to control his tears on seeing his near ripe wheat crop damaged Bathinda, March 27
Residents of Bhokhra and Amargarh villages today sat in dharna as 400 acres of their wheat crop was submerged by Kot Bhai minor water. The minor yesterday morning had 150 feet breach following which water flowing into the Bathinda canal affected fodder crop in the two villages.
Joginder Singh, a farmer, fails to control his tears on seeing his near ripe wheat crop damaged by water released from the damaged portion of the Kot Bhai Rajwaqha, in Bhokhra village, Bathinda, on Thursday. 
— Photo Kulbir Beera.

Dhumal appears in Ropar court
Granted bail in defamation case
Ropar, March 27
After the rejection of his petition by the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the quashing of the defamation case filed against him in the court of CJM, Ropar, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, appeared in the court of the CJM today.

Judge who decided 4,000 cases in 4 months
Chandigarh, March 27
Four thousand cases in four months in the present overburdened judicial system seems impossible but is true. The man who achieved this is none other than Justice Tejinder Singh Doabia, who after completing his five-year tenure as a Judge of the J&K High Court, is in the city and intends to settle here. 


Punjab ministers air grievances
Chandigarh, March 27
Indications are that Punjab ministers are restive and have aired their grievances at the March 24 and March 26 meetings of the Council of Ministers. Sources say that besides the bureaucracy becoming a soft target, at least two ministers also found themselves on the wrong side of the fence.

Amritsar MC budget passed
Amritsar, March 27
The annual budget of Rs 80.50 crore, inclusive of water and sewerage charges, was passed amidst a walkout by opposition councillors in the session of the Municipal Corporation, here today. The SAD-BJP combine staged the walkout protesting the meagre allotment for development projects.

Ajnala let off with warning
Amritsar, March 27
Mr Harpartap Singh Ajnala Congress leader earlier ‘expelled’ by District. Congress president Inderjit Singh Baserke refuted his expulsion with a letter from Congress president H.S. Hanspal, at a press conference here today. 


Contracted green peas dumped in open market
The magic of contract farming seems to be wearing thin in the year of its initiation itself with a few hundred farmers, who had put their faith in the promises of Punjab Agro by sowing peas in around 500 acres of land in Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib districts, being forced to dump their produce in local ‘’mandis’’ after rejection by the agro agency.

A Ludhiana woman leaves for her job in Saudi Arabia at a time when thousands are fleeing the countries neighbouring Iraq.
(28k, 56k)

Transport Dept sets up nodal point
Jalandhar, March 27
The Transport Department authorities have set up a nodal point at the local Patel Chowk-based Punjab Roadways workshop ground for smooth conduct of test drives of licence seekers and registration of new vehicles.

Vigilance verifies ‘benami’ properties
Patiala, March 27
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has verified land records and details of ‘benami’ properties of former Ministers Sucha Singh Langah, Tota Singh and Ajit Singh Kohar in several villages in Patiala and Sangrur districts.

Notice issued in Bhattal case
Chandigarh, March 27
In less than a fortnight after a Special Judge for Vigilance cases ruled that the complainant in the corruption case against Punjab’s former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal had no right to argue at the time of framing charges, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion on a petition challenging the orders.

Vigilance probe against Gurdev Badal
Chandigarh, March 27
The Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, said today that it had initiated a probe against Mr Gurdev Singh Badal, a former Agriculture Minister, for alleged misuse of his official position while making appointments and promotions in the Agriculture Department without sticking to proper procedures and rules.

New Punjabi TV channel from May
Chandigarh, March 27
A Canadian broadcasting company run by two Punjabi NRI brothers has decided to launch a new Punjabi satellite TV channel from Punjab for Punjabi viewers across the globe by the end of May this year.

Liquor shops’ auction a tame affair
Patiala, March 27
The auction of liquor shops of Amritsar, Kapurthala, Jalandhar and Nawanshaher districts which had been put off earlier, turned out to be a tame affair today with the areas being auctioned off almost at the reserve price itself.

Zaffarwal rules out revival of terrorism
Gurdaspur, March 27
Mr Wassan Singh Zaffarwal who reached his village today after more than 19 years, talking to reporters at his house said he was and had been against the formation of Khalistan and continuance of terrorism both in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. He added that neither Pakistan nor the ISI had contacted him to revive terrorism in Punjab after he left Pakistan more than five years ago.

Jawan cremated with honours
Patiala, March 27
The mortal remains of Varinder Kumar (24), who laid down his life during counter-insurgency operations in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on March 24, were consigned to the flames at his native Khelan village 20 km from Lalru in this district, today.

Clarification on Dang’s statement
Amritsar, March 27
The Tribune in its issue of January 22 carried a news-item which announced that the RSS chief, Mr K.S. Sudarshan, during his visit here on January 29 would honour about 600 of its veterans or their relatives who had played a “cammendable role in saving thousands of Hindus from the clutches of Muslim goons” it was also claimed that but for the role of the RSS “lakhs would have lost their lives or would have been forced to convert to Islam”.

Thandal’s judicial remand extended


Farm experts to brief CM
Chandigarh, March 27
The International Food Policy Research Institute has agreed to cooperate with the Punjab Government to help it provide options on grain management, diversification of crops and subsidy rationalisation to bring the food economy of the state in tune with the WTO regime.


Tiwari is Special Secy (Power)
Chandigarh, March 27
Mr D.K. Tiwari has been posted as Special Secretary, Power. He has also been given additional charge as Special Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs, Punjab.

DC releases credit plan
Fatehgarh Sahib, March 27
Mr Vikas Pratap Deputy Commissioner, launched credit plan 2003-04 of the State Bank of Patiala, while presiding over a meeting of the District Consultative Committee at Bachat Bhavan here today.


Two vehicle thieves held
Jalandhar, March 27
The police has busted a two-member gang of vehicle thieves with the arrest of its members and the seizure of three stolen cars. Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said that following a tip-off, a naka was laid near Paragpur village on GT Road.

Four arrested on murder charge
Bathinda, March 27
The police has arrested four persons namely Pamma, Bittu, Laxman Singh and Lotty on charges of murdering Jasvir Singh and later throwing the body into a canal.

Doctor booked for flouting PNDT Act
Sangrur, March 27

Since the implementation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, the health authorities today for the first time filed a complaint in a local court against the owner of an ultrasound unit for the alleged violation of various provisions of the PNDT Act.

FCI employee booked
Muktsar, March 27
Mr Shiv Kumar Sharma, SSP, in a press note issued here yesterday said that a case against Balvinder Singh, a quality inspector with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has been registered under Sections 409, 412, 417, 418, 424, 427, 428, 471, 474 and 120-B of the IPC, as the accused had caused losses to the state exchequer to the tune of Rs 26,86,183.


Punjabi writers end chain fast
Chandigarh, March 27
Punjabi writers ended their chain fast at Matka chowk today with the Minister for Higher Education and Languages, Punjab, Mr Harnam Dass Johar assuring them the acceptance of their demands. The Principal Secretary, Education, Mr N.S. Rattan and Director, Language Department, Mr Madan Lal Hasija, were also present on the occasion. 

PTU cancels exams, orders probe
Jalandhar, March 27
Punjab Technical University has constituted a committee to probe alleged leakage of question papers for the examination of M.Sc. (Information Technology) and M.Sc. Programming in C-Sharp (Lateral Entry) for third semester under its Distance Education Programme.

NAAC gives A+ grade to Mohindra College
Patiala, March 27
The local Government Mohindra College has achieved the rare distinction of becoming the first college in Punjab to bag the A+ grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India, which is entrusted with the task of performance evaluation, assessment and accreditation of universities and colleges in the country.

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