Sunday, March 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab Budget passed unanimously
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha today unanimously passed the Appropriation Bill, 2003-04, authorising the state a sum of Rs 29,353, 93,18,000 (Twentynine thousand, three hundred and fiftythree crore, ninetythree lakh and eighteen thousand) to be spent out of the consolidated fund.

The Finance Minister, Mr Lal Singh, who moved the Bill, also summed up the discussion on the Budget estimates that had concluded yesterday. At the outset, he regretted that due to some misunderstanding and confusion he could not reply to the discussions on March 27.

While acknowledging suggestions, bouquets and brickbats from the members on the Budget, Mr Lal Singh packed his reply with political punches. He reeled off facts and figures to show how, despite the financial mess that the government had inherited from the Akali-BJP government, efforts at consolidation in the past one year had paid dividends. That had enabled the government to reduce revenue and fiscal deficits, bring down expenditure and eventually declare 2003-04 as the “Year of Development”.

Besides, the Punjab Budget and its medium-term fiscal programme had been appreciated, countrywide. It was accepted as a “model” at the national level.

He ridiculed the previous government for burdening the state with heavy debt and referred to the White Paper on the financial situation issued last year.

In his spirited political speech, Mr Lal Singh made his predecessor, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, a special target while summing up the discussions. He regretted that in his Budget comments, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who was Finance Minister for five years, had not found anything positive. He had focused only on negative criticism, which was full of distortion of facts.

The Finance Minister gave details of the various steps taken to improve financial housekeeping. He backed his statements with Budget figures of revenue income and expenditure, debt burden, guarantees, committed expenditures, austerity measures and releases for special projects (Panchayati Raj institutions, urban local bodies, social and economic services, power sector, disinvestment reforms industrial policy, diversification in agriculture) etc.

He also made comparisons between how the Akalis had followed the scorched-earth policy in the last year of their tenure and how the Congress had carried out damage-control exercise to repair the financial engine to put it back on the rails or how Punjab had re-opened the door to the World Bank that was shut tight by the Akalis.

He had an explanation for all Budget proposals (2003-04) and assured the House that even in respect of cooperative credit, the rate of interest would be further lowered to bring it down to the level of the commercial banks in the next three years.

He charged the Akalis of failing to protect Punjab’s interests. They had “connived and conspired” with the NDA government to deprive the state of its dues to avenge their defeat in February 2002 Assembly elections.

He said, “Today, either the Akalis do not have the desired clout in the NDA or are ignored with impunity by it because of which they are shy of taking up Punjab’s pending issues with the Centre.

The Akali-BJP MLAs are not discharging their duties as a responsible Opposition. Your intents are doubtful and the only job you do is to loot Punjab to make money when in power and then introduce malpractices in elections”.

When the Finance Minister spoke, Capt Kanwaljit Singh was not present. His absence was also felt during the motion on the situation arising out of the thrashing of and causing injuries to Akali-BJP municipal councillors during the recent elections. Later, Capt Kanwaljit Singh told TNS that the Finance Minister had failed to answer the points raised by him.

Several times Mr Lal Singh touched the raw nerves of the Akalis when he referred to the appointment of the Lok Pal or rampant corruption in recruitments or how, smitten by the defeat despite having cancelled 8,000 to 10,000 Congress votes in every Assembly constituency, they had been working against the state and its people in the past one year.

He concluded by giving out the “mission statement” of the Congress government when he said, “Har khet vich hariyali, har ghar vich khushali te har chehre te lali” (Plush green farms, prosper homes and radiant faces of the people).

Among those who spoke on the Appropriation Bill included Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Mr Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, Mr Harwant Singh Dattewas and Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal.


Badungar eulogises Tohra’s contribution
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 29
In a volte face, Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar SGPC Chief today lauded the ‘contribution’ of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal for “serving” the Sikh Panth for 25 years as SGPC chief in the budget session of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee here.

The development is considered significant because Mr Badungar had been describing Mr Tohra as ‘tool’ in the hands of the Congress party. Praise of Mr Tohra in the general house of the SGPC has given indications that unity between the SAD (Badal) and Mr Tohra was in the offing. The same general house had removed Mr Tohra in 1999 by levelling serious charges.

However, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, senior leader of the SHSAD thanked Mr Badungar for recognising the services of Mr Tohra. Panthic sources are of the view that the praise of Mr Tohra in the general house could pave the way for Panthic unity. It is not certain whether Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a former Chief Minister would attend the Bhog of Akhand Path at Akal Takht on March 31 being organised as part of ‘thanksgiving’ to the almighty after his (Mr Tohra’s surgery. Sources said Mr Badal might not attend the Bhog of Akhand Path as he is scheduled to deliver his speech in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on March 31.

The Panthic circles said that if Mr Badal participated in the Akhand Path at Akal Takht it would pave the way for Akali unity.

In an oblique Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president, Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar said that his party was the only ‘opposition’ in the SGPC’s general house as both Mr Tohra and Mr Badal had contested the Shiromani Committee elections jointly. 


Talwandi decries Vedanti
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 29
Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, a former SGPC chief today caused a flutter in the budget session of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee when he criticised Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht for editing controversial book — ‘gurbilas Patsahi six’ which was banned later by the SGPC.

Mr Talwandi said if “our Jathedars would edit such books which contained ‘anti-Panthic’ contents then what would be the fate of the Panth?”

During his stint as SGPC chief, Mr Talwandi had also “derogatory” language against the Sikh clergy. Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC chief, did not touch this point while answering queries of Mr Talwandi.


Golden Temple gets chapatti machine
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 29
An automatic ‘chapatti’ making machine was inaugurated by Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, SGPC President, at Guru Ram Das Langar hall in the Golden Temple complex here today. The Sikh religion is based on langar seva (service) for all humanity, said the President on the occasion after pressing the green button on the machine, bringing hi-tech gadgetry at Darbar Sahib where lakhs partake of langar daily.

Nine members of the Guru Singh Sabha of Lebanon who gifted the machine to Darbar Sahib, including the sabha president, Mr Sarvan Singh, and members Mr Piara Singh, Mr Surinder Singh Bajwa, Mr Jasbir Singh, Mr Paramjit Singh, Mr Sukhbir Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Gurnam Singh (Engineer) and Mr Naresh Kumar (mechanic) were honoured with siropas and a picture of the Golden Temple on the occasion.

Mr Sarvan Singh said, “it is a humble moment for us when we can contribute something to the Golden Temple which stands as the greatest symbol of seva in the Sikh religion for all sangat.

Costing Rs 32 lakh, the automatic machine can make and process 2,000 to 4,000 chapattis per hour according to the multi-speed systems as per the requirements.

The customs duty of Rs 16 lakh was got exempted by Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Minister for fertiliser, for the machine, said Professor Badungar.

Sikh sangat turned out in large number today to watch the machine.

The machine starts the process with an automatic kneading of dough from plain flour, making balls, rolling them out into chapattis, that pass-over a hotplate with turn-over facility till the golden perfect chapattis come out for the langar.


Animal Husbandry Director in VB net
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Dr Gurcharan Singh Chahal, Director, Animal Husbandry, Punjab, MD, Punjab Poultry Development Corporation (PPDC) and CEO, Punjab Live Stock Development Board, was nabbed by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau here today.

A spokesman to the Vigilance Bureau disclosed that a case had been registered against him at Mohali today for having committed irregularities, embezzlements and misuse of his official position during his tenure as Director, Animal Husbandry, Punjab.

It was alleged that in 1998, Dr Chahal gave financial assistance to the Wool Grading Centre, Ludhiana, without any legislation and getting approval from the state Finance Department under the “ram and buck scheme”. He said Mr Chahal had issued the utilisation certificate to the Government of India in which he did not mention any date.

The spokesman revealed that Dr Chahal got a building of Carcass Utilisation Plant, Khiowal, Hoshiarpur, constructed through the PPDC, whereas under government directions the constructions should have been got done through the PWD. Dr Chahal misappropriated government money to the tune of Rs 18,67,664 in the case, he alleged.

As per the contract, a company named M/s Food Processing Company was to install a semi-imported affluent treatment plant in 1997 worth Rs 17,48,071, but Dr Chahal connived with the company and got installed an Indian-made plant worth Rs 87,500 only, thereby causing an embezzlement of Rs 873071.

The spokesman said further investigations were in progress.


CAG report unveils irregularities
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in its review report ( financial year 2001-2002) of various Punjab Government departments has highlighted several financial irregularities. Functional deficiencies and failures to enforce the rules and regulations by the authorities concerned. The report was presented today in the Punjab Assembly.

About the performance of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, the CAG report says out of 8406 identified industrial units, 65 per cent ( 5471) were running without the consent of the board. Even out of the remaining 2925 units, 2015 ( 24 per cent) were granted consent, which was to be taken from the board and 920 units were either refused consent or their applications were under process. As of March 2001, the board identified 8088 units requiring the installation of air pollution control devices but only 4672 get the equipment installed. No action was taken against the defaulter units.

The Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant at Bathinda was discharging chemical emission in excess of the prescribed norms since 1987-88. The board, however, granted consent up to May 1992 and directed the plant authority to alter or replace the existing control devices. As per tests of the sample in August,2001, the emission ranged between 348 and 416 mg/nm against the norm of 150. No effective action was taken by the board to enforce its directions.

Out of the 300 hospitals and nursing homes identified by the board as bio-medical waste generating units, only 20 ( 7 per cent) applied for authorisation for the disposal of the waste. None of them was granted the authorisation. Of the 93 hospitals identified by the board looking in waste treatment facilities, only three provided the waste treatment facility.

Stating about the vehicular pollution, it has been mentioned that there were 29.10 lakh registered vehicles of different categories as of March, 2001, in the state. The State Transport Authority( STA) had authorised only 187 pollution check centres( PCC) as of January, 2002. However, no data was available with regard to the issuance of “ pollution control certificates”. No information was available either with the board or with the STA of the vehicles challaned due to excess emission. A study conducted by the board for vehicular pollution in Ludhiana in 1997 concluded that 74 per cent three wheelers, over 91 per cent buses and 97 per cent trucks did not meet the prescribed standards of smoke density.

Scrutiny of the records of procurement and storage of wheat in the Food and Supplies Department has revealed that unauthorised excess cash credit of Rs 324 crore was availed and it caused additional interest liability of Rs 29.99 crore from June, 2001, to March, 2002. Sale proceeds aggregating Rs 643.56 crore were not repaid to the State Bank of India against cash credit and consequently additional interest liability of Rs 150.42 crore was created against the state. Claim of carry over charges amounting to Rs 2 crore were not lodged by the FCI. Gunny bags worth Rs 8.44 crore transferred on loan basis by the department to wheat procuring agencies remained unrecovered for three years.

Regarding government companies, the CAG report says out of 48 such companies ( 20 working and 28 non working ) and 5 statutory corporations, only six companies and three corporations finalised their accounts for the year 2001-02 within the stipulated period. Accounts of other 42 companies and two corporations were in arrears for the period ranging from one year to 28 years as on September 30 last.

The performance of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation with regard to exports was poor. Its emporia were running into heavy losses. Regarding the functioning of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, the report says in spite of obtaining powers to acquire assets of defaulting loanee units to realise dues by sale of assets pledged, mortgaged or hypothecated, the Corporation took six years to initiate action under the relevant rules.

Despite an alarming increase in default amount from Rs 95.42 crore ( 133 units) in 1996-97 to Rs 379.89 crore in 2000-01. The corporation had taken over assets of 22 units against which Rs 52.52 crore was due and assets were sold only of three units to realise Rs 1.61 crore. Notice issued to recover dues to 13 units were not pursued further and the amount in default increased from Rs 21.08 crore to Rs 35.91 crore by March 31, 2001.

Regarding the Punjab State Electricity Board( PSEB), the CAG report says excess consumption of coal to the tune of 40.74 lakh tonne from 1997 to 2002 by its thermal plants caused a loss of Rs 772.68 crore to the board. The excess consumption of coal had a rising trend as it increased from 16.26 per cent in 1997-98 to 17.02 per cent in 2001-02 when compared with standard norms. Payment of Rs 5.32 crore as commission to a private firm for settlement of claims between the board and the Railways was unjustified as both were Government organisations, says the report.


2 IT institutes’ contract cancelled 
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 29
Exercising its autonomy by rejecting a proposal by the state Higher Education Department to defer a decision on an agenda item seeking closure of two information technology institutes, the Punjabi University Syndicate today cancelled the contract with private parties.

Highly-placed sources disclosed that the university had received a letter from the Higher Education Department yesterday, asking it to defer a decision on the fate of the two information technology institutes set up by the then Vice- Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia in 2000. One institute was set up on the university campus here under the name of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Institute of Information and Technology and the other at Talwandi Sabo, which was named Guru Gobind Singh Institute of Information Technology. The latter was offering distance education courses in IT and had even conducted tests in several parts of the country.

The university Syndicate today approved the recommendations of a committee constituted by it in the light of the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the two institutes. The committee, which included the Dean, Colleges, Dr U.C. Singh and the Dean, Academics, Dr S.P. S. Virdi, recommended cancellation of the contract with private parties, claiming that it was in violation of the provisions of the university calendar. This recommendation was accepted in toto.

Besides this, Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai informed the Syndicate that he had written to the state government to order a Vigilance inquiry into the manner in which the two institutes were awarded contracts to open the institutions. He said the Vigilance inquiry would fix the responsibility of wrongdoings in the matter.

The Vice-Chancellor also tried to dispel any notion that the universitywas not honouring its commitment to Punjabi in light of reports to this effect recently. He said to develop Punjabi language, literature and culture, the university would undertake a project to prepare an English version of Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha’s Encyclopedia of Sikh Literature. He said while the university would receive Rs 1.71 crore for the development of the Punjabi language, it would spend Rs 3.81 crore on this head. He said funds would be diverted from other heads to meet this shortfall.

Mr Boparai also disclosed that the Publication Bureau of the university had printed 45 new books and issued reprints of 32 books. He said the efficiency of the administration would be further improved by introducing new technology involving an expenditure of Rs 23 lakh. He said total computerisation of the university library and the examination branch was already under way and more facilities, especially in teaching, library and sports, were being provided to students. He said the university would spend Rs 16.09 crore on different construction projects during the next year.

Meanwhile, it was informed to the Syndicate that the university would receive grants of Rs 22.76 crore from the state government and that it would generate an income of Rs 29.66 crore.

Giving details of the budget, the VC said Rs 10.20 crore would be spent on general administration, Rs 27.03 crore on teaching and research, Rs 2.63 crore on library expenditure, Rs 3 crore on administrative work, Rs 8.86 crore on welfare services, Rs 2 crore on improvement of education and miscellaneous expenditure of Rs 5.60 crore. He said against a total expenditure of Rs 64.45 crore, income would be Rs 52.43 crore, leaving a deficit of Rs 12 crore.


Cong candidate elected unopposed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 29
Mr Charanjeev Channa, President of the Municipal Council, Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib, and Congress candidate from ward No 12, was today declared elected unopposed as his only opponent has withdrawn his papers. With this, the Congress has bagged the first of the 17 MC seats here. On the last day of withdrawal of nominations, 39 out of 120 candidates withdrew their nominations. Now there are 81 candidates in the fray.

Mr M.L. Sharma, SDM-cum-Electoral Officer, said all 81 candidates had been allotted symbols. He said the polling would take place on March 5.

None of the political parties is contesting elections on party symbols. The candidates of the Congress have been allotted the symbol of ‘chair’, whereas SAD-BJP candidates have opted for ‘rising sun’. The campaigning has intensified with the allotment of symbols. Meetings and rallies are being held in the town. Dr Harbans Lal, minister from the area, is himself leading the campaign for the Congress candidates.


Cong man is Kharar MC chief
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 29
Mr Charanjeet Singh (Congress) was elected the president of the Kharar Municipal Council here today. Besides, Mr Ram Murti was elected the senior vice president and Mrs Raghubir Kaur was elected junior vice president.

Mr Charanjeet Singh defeated the sitting president, Mr Ranbir Singh Kala (the SAD, Badal) by three votes. Mr Bir Devinder Singh who is an ex-officio member of the MC, did not attend the meeting.


Notices issued to 32 chemist shops
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 29
The Sangrur District Drugs Authority has issued notices to owners of 32 medicine shops of Sunam and Longowal for allegedly intentionally closing their shops to avoid the inspection of their shop premises a couple of days ago by a team of drug inspectors who had been authorised to do the inspection by the State Drug Controller and Director, Health Services, Punjab.

Talking to TNS today, Mr Amit Duggal, District Drugs Inspector, Sangrur, said he had issued notices to owners of 24 medicine shops at Sunam and eight at Longowal for intentionally closing their shops to avoid inspection. He said after getting information that a team of drug inspectors were visiting the town, these shopkeepers closed their shops.

Mr Duggal said these shopkeepers had been directed to explain their position and file replies in seven days from the receipt of the notice.

The Drug Inspectors had conducted raids on March 27 at medicine shops at Sunam, Longowal and Sangrur. The team inspected four shops at Sunam, two at Longowal and one at Sangrur. It also collected drug samples from four shops at Longowal and Sangrur for analysis.


Bitta berates Cong for ‘ditching’ him
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 29
All India Anti-Terrorist Front chief Maninderjit Singh Bitta, said Hindus were being forced to leave Jammu and Kashmir under a plan. He favoured that the situation be tackled with an iron hand.

Mr Bitta, was here last evening to mourn the death of a leader of the front. He said that Mr K.P.S. Gill, former Punjab Police Chief, be made Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and the Congress party should support Mr Farookh Abdullah to form government there.

He said Rs 1.50 crore assistance would be distributed among the families of victims of terrorists and martyrs of security forces etc. on April 9.

Mr Bitta opposed Sikh organisation’s move on clemency for Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar sentenced to death. He called upon political parties not to help militants to capture power.

Mr Bitta decried the Congress party for leaving him alone in crisis. He alleged the Congress had “stabbed” him in the back by not raising its voice in his favour.


19 ground water recharging projects initiated
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 29
The Regional Director of the Central Ground Water Board, Dr M.D. Nautiyal, yesterday said the board had intitiated 19 ground water recharging projects in Punjab, including one at Parikrama of Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, at a cost of Rs 4.56 crore.

Speaking at a seminar held at the Municipal Corporation Office here to discuss the issue of recharging of ground water, Mr Nautiyal said out of the total 138 blocks in the state, ground water levels were receding in at least 84 blocks according to a recent survey. He said half of the state’s territory was facing the problem, with Patiala, Sangrur, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Moga, Amritsar and Nawansheher districts being the worst hit.

The city Mayor, Mr Vishnu Sharma, said according to the latest survey of Patiala city, there was presence of sufficient ground water. He said it was however necessary to install ground water recharging facilities as the ground water level was receding at the rate of 24 centimeter per year.

The Mayor said the corporation was coming up with a new regulation that would make it mandatory for everyone going in for a new construction to construct a recharging well on his premises. He said presently the corporation had 53 deep tubewells and it would install 25 new tubewells to augment the water supply system in the city.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh, said ground water levels in the district had receded at alarming levels in Dera Bassi and Lalru blocks. He said it was mainly because of continous digging of deepwater tube-wells in the area. He said changing crop patterns in such areas was the only way out of the problem.

The Additional Director of PUDA, Mr Hussan Lal, said means had to be devised for less expensive ways of replenishing ground water. He said the movement could be taken to the village level easily. He said PUDA was installing ground water recharging wells in all its new complexes and that the facility had been created in Phulkian Complex, which had come up in the city recently, he added. Mr D.S. Soni, senior scientist at the Central Water Board, and Mr Jagwant Singh Brar, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), also spoke.


Missing woman’s kin stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 29
Relatives and family members of a married woman, who had gone missing for the past one week, today gheraoed the police station of the area demanding strict action against the accused.

They sat on a dharna outside the police station for about two hours and alleged that no action had been taken against the in-laws of Rosy, who was missing for a week.

Later, the police reportedly detained the father-in-law and the mother-in-law of Rosy. Her husband was still at large. The parents of Rosy alleged that her husband used to beat their daughter for bringing inadequate dowry. They demanded that strict action should be taken against the accused.


CNG in buses sought
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 29
Delhi’s release seems to have become Punjab’s bane with the mass transfer of autorickshaws from Delhi to some cities of the state, forcing the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to ask the state Transport Department to make it mandatory for all autorickshaws in the state to use CNG kits.

The board recently requested the Transport Department to initiate the use of CNG in buses in the state also.

Sources disclose that the number of autorickshaws plying in Punjab had increased during the past around one and a half year due to stringent regulations making it mandatory for all autorickshaws in Delhi to switch over to CNG from conventional fuel. This had raised the pollution levels in the state.

The exodus of autorickshaws from Delhi had also resulted in the availability of cheap autorickshaws. These vehicles, which have already past their prime, are the main source of pollution in the cities because they are using adulterated oil.

Board sources say it was becoming increasingly difficult to take action against autorickshaw owners not following pollution norms. In Patiala, an attempt to make the drivers conform to norms a few months back was met with a demonstration and memorandums to politicians, citing alleged harassment at the hands of transport officials.


Development projects at standstill
K.S. Chawla

LUDHIANA: Some of the prestigious development works of the Municipal Corporation have come to a standstill due to the alleged apathy of the authorities concerned. The completion of these projects has also been delayed and is likely to be delayed further the way things are moving at the Municipal Corporation level.

The most important project pertaining to the elevated road or what is known as “elevated bridge” from Jagraon Bridge to Chand cinema has been held up.

The Rs 32.68-crore project had generated a lot of controversy when it was conceived and there was strong opposition from the BJP which was a partner in the coalition of the Punjab Government. However, the BJP had to yield to the overwhelming majority of the residents who wanted this project to be taken up so that the traffic problems on the GT Road passing through the busy part of the city was smoothened. This 3-km long elevated road project was entrusted to SKANSKA Cementation India Ltd, a Kolkata-based company. The Municipal Corporation approved the tender on May 18, 2001, and this was to be completed by June, 2003. But this is not likely to happen as the major obstacles are yet to be removed.

Enquiries show that Rs 10 crore has been spent and 30 per cent of the work completed. The foundation work has been completed and pillars have been raised. But the precasting work is suspended because space is required for the same. At present precasting work is being done near Budha Nullah. For placement of beams, temporary structures have to be raised and some working space is needed.

The major obstacle in taking up the work is removal of the HT and LT wires which are running parallel on the GT road.

Some of the wires are even crossing one another. Almost seven months have passed since the work could not be started further.

Besides, there are sewer and water pipes which are to be removed before the roofing work is taken up. Under the agreement, the Municipal Corporation is required to remove these hindrances and allow the further work.

Mr Ashok Kumar, Superintending Engineer of the corporation, claims that the PSEB authorities have been approached for the removal of these hindrances. He rather goes a step further and says that wires have been shifted.

But the Chief Engineer, PSEB, Central Zone, Mr J.N. Sachdeva, maintains that the corporation has not written to them. Rather, the PSEB authorities have written to the corporation and estimated that Rs 1 crore is needed for undertaking this work. Unless, the Municipal Corporation deposits the money and agrees for the same, the wires cannot be removed. Moreover, cables have to be laid in place of the wires.

Further, the road diversion is also to be done when the major roofing structures are taken up. The police will be involved as the traffic will have to be diverted.

The Municipal Corporation is causing delay in making payment to the construction company and nearly Rs 2 crore are pending with the corporation as arrears.

The corporation has served a show-cause notice on the PWD (B and R) for not completing the work of flyover over the Lakkar da Pull which connects the old city with the new city. Mr Ashok Kumar says that more than Rs 1 crore was paid to the PWD for undertaking the project but the amount was deposited by the PWD authorities in the state treasury which was used somewhere else. But Mr Rampal Singh, Executive Engineer, Provincial Division, PWD (B and R), contests the claim of the Municipal Corporation and says that the department has not received any money after 1997. “We have been asking for more funds, but the corporation is not ready to deposit any amount and blaming us for the delay. Let the Municipal Corporation deposit money, we will complete it,” he asserts.

The corporation deposited Rs 4 crore with the Railways for the design and bridge over the rail track, but the same has not been prepared so far.

Lakkar da Pull was the lifeline of Ludhiana as it connected the old city with the new city. But the Railways has demolished the bridge which is causing a lot of difficulties to the people. Now the people cross the rail track facing serious threat to their lives.

The PWD has challenged the show-cause notice of the Municipal Corporation.

Similarly, the Dhuri level crossing overbridge was taken up for construction 33 months ago. This is near completion now and the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, announced that it would be open for traffic on January 1 last. Now almost three moths have passed, but there is no sign of its being opened to the public. The construction company has been fined Rs 10 lakh for the delay, whereas the company claims that it is not its fault. The fault lies with the Railways which has not completed its portion.

Another prestigious project of overbridge on the Dhandari level crossing is also facing difficulties because of paucity of funds. The work is being carried out by the UPSBC-UP Government waned company and the cost of the project is worth Rs 15 crore. The work on this project started in November, 2000, and was to be completed in 18 months. But the way the work is going on, it would take another two years to complete the project.

Besides, there are some other projects of the corporation which have been hanging for a long time.


Rs 12-lakh irregularity in MC funds: DC
Our Correspondent

Mansa, March 29
Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, in a press note here yesterday said that the Mansa Municipal Council had brought to his notice that former Municipal Chief Pawan Kumar Matti, Executive Officer T.R. Sharma and Accountant Sunil Dutt Verma of the council had committed serious financial irregularities.

Giving details Mr Ahluwalia said after the new council came into existence the above officials prepared undated cheques for Rs 11.5 lakh and issued cheques for Rs 55,000 between March 17 and 20. He said the above cheques were prepared or issued wrongly. Mr Ahluwalia said when the notification regarding election of new council was issued, the previous Municipal Council ceased to exist acc ording to provisions of the Punjab Municipal Act 1911. The notification of new Councillor was published in state government gazette on March 11 and they took oath of office on March 22. So the cheques issued thereafter amounted to irregularities. Mr Ahluwalia added that the cash book of the Council which should close daily was not closed. Many entries in the cash book were not attested by the Executive Officer and the cheques were not entered in the cash book. Mr Ahluwalia has sent his report to Secretary, Local Government Punjab for action in the matter.


Equine show inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 29
The Punjab Technical Education and Industrial Training Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, today formally inaugurated Punjab’s first equine show at the Darshan Singh Kaypee Stadium, near here, today.

The two-day show, aimed to be a nodal point for exchange of experiences by horse breeders from across the country, was attended by hundreds of horse lovers. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kaypee said in Punjab, 32 stud farms were being developed as a part of diversification policy of the government. He said the show would enable the farmers to adopt new and advanced horse-breeding techniques.

Results: ‘Marwari’ breed (1 to 2 years): First, Mr Lakhbir Singh of Jandiala village; second, Mr Jagtar Singh of Majitha; and third, Mr Tarlochan Singh of Kapurthala.

‘Kathiawari’ breed (1 to 2 years): First, Mr Balwinder Singh of Talwan village; second, Mr Kewal Singh of Shankar village; and third, Mr Kulwant Singh of Habowal village.

A student of Class X, Vijay Singh, of Amritsar displayed astonishing feats.


Harpreet case: ‘discrepancies in statements’
Our Correspondent

Patiala, March 29
Defence counsel today claimed that there were several discrepancies in statements made by Manjit Kaur, sister of Kamaljit Singh, in the Harpreet Kaur death case. In this case former SGPC chief and Harpreet’s mother Bibi Jagir Kaur and others are facing trial.

The counsel, Mr Satnam Singh Kler, said Manjit Kaur had made different statements to the CBI and the court. Pointing out the discrepancies, the lawyer said while Manjit had told the court that she had met Jagir Kaur, she did not disclose this fact to the CBI.

He said similarly Manjit had told the court that Kamaljit had got involved with Harpreet as the latter used to come to their house frequently, adding Manjit had told the CBI that she came to know about the affair from a PCO owner of their village from where Harpreet used to make calls to Kamaljit.

The cross-examination, which remained inconclusive, was held in the court of Mr S.P. Bangar. The next hearing will be held on April 18 and 19.


Microscope eyepiece goes missing
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 29
A controversy has arisen over the disappearance of an eye piece of an expensive operating microscope used in eye surgery in the Eye Department of Government Rajindra Hospital here with the Medical Superintendent directing that the matter be reported to the police, besides ordering an internal inquiry.

Medical Superintendent A.S. Sekhon said a senior member of the department, Prof R.N. Bhatnagar, had reported about the loss. He said following this he had asked Dr Bhatnagar to report the matter to the police and that an FIR had been registered in this regard. He said he had simultaneously also asked the department head, Dr M.S. Bhatia, to conduct an internal inquiry into the incident. There have been a state of robbers.

The missing items include a tonometer, which is used to examine eyes, besides a briefcase of a doctor. Rajindra Hospital, which presently does not have funds for a regular supply of medicines, is finding it literally impossible to replace the stolen equipment.

The latest “robbery” may add to its woes as hospital had only one microscope. With the hospital authorities not being in a position to replace the missing eyepiece patients visiting the hospital would be the worst affected.

Department head M.S. Bhatia said he had conducted an inquiry into the incident and would submit his report to the Medical Superintendent shortly. He said he could not divulge the contents of the report as he could not arrive at a conclusion about the alleged robbery. He added that the eyepiece was being used by only one member of the faculty.

Meanwhile, a controversy has arisen in the department whether department members can remove important parts of several machines, including the operating microscope, and take it with them after surgeries. A few members of the department have been keeping certain parts, including the eyepiece of the operating microscope and its light source, besides parts of other machines with them.

The doctors using the machines claim that they are forced to do so because of lack of proper security and moreover, certain equipment belonged to them. These doctors claimed that they have to sometimes spend money on their own on such items as the hospital was unable to replace them.

Meanwhile, Dr Sekhon has said the police will be making inquiries in the case. He said the department would also be tightening its security arrangements, besides bringing in accountability on the operation and maintenance of costly equipment.


Heart diseases on the rise’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 29
A former president of the Cardiological Society of India, Dr K.K. Sethi, said, according to a study conducted by the World Health Organisation, in the next 10 to 15 years the death due to heart and tobacco-related diseases would double in India

He said this after delivering his keynote address at the first medical update conference organised by the Amritsar Academy of Clinics here today. Cardiologist from Delhi Heart and Lung Institute said: “India along with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are in the cardiac-prone belt of the world.

Dr Sethi said the main reasons of alarming increase in the heart problems were due to genetic pre-disposition, rapid unbanisation, lazy lifestyle and no physical exercise. He cautioned that all developed countries must evolve a long-term plan to deal with the heart problems.

The cardiologist felt that the second most significant contributor was diabetes. He said more than 9 per cent of the population was suffering from diabetes, which was a sure sign of getting the cardiac problem.


Action against ultrasound centres opposed
Our Correspondent

Barnala, March 29
A five-member sub-division-level inspection team comprising Dr Suresh, Singhal, Dr R.C. Garg, Punjab IMA President, Dr Suresh Kumar, Mrs Neera Chopra and Mr Narsi Ram yesterday made surprise check of five ultrasound centres here for the violation of the PNDT Act, 1994.

Dr R.C. Garg, Punjab IMA Chief who was on the inspection team said that the team found that all Centres had maintained provisions, records and did not violate the PNDT Act. Dr Garg said that ultrasound machines were meant not only for the determination of sex but were used as tools for the diagnosis of other body disorders.

Dr Garg said that ultrasound machines were very useful for the detection of foetal abnormalities. He cautioned that if these abnormalities were not detected in time that would lead to the delivery of handicapped children.

The Punjab government, Dr Garg said must refrain from closing these centres on flimsy grounds making a clear cut difference between the violation of the PNDT Act, 1994 and use of ultrasound machines for the detection of disorders as well as foetal abnormalities and disorders.


India donates more buses to Afghanistan

Wagah, March 29
A fleet of 57 buses were today donated to Afghanistan by the Indian Government.

The buses crossed over to Pakistan en route Afghanistan from the Indo-Pak joint checkpost (JCP) here this afternoon.

With this, India has so far donated 269 buses to the war-ravaged Afghanistan. Earlier the Indian government donated four similar fleets of 25 buses each, two fleets of 30 buses each and one fleet of 32 buses to help Afghanistan mark the beginning of its economic build-up. An Afghan team that was here to take the buses to Afghanistan comprised drivers, engineers and officials of the Afghanistan Government.

The buses were to leave for Afghanistan yesterday but due to non-clearance by the Pakistan authorities, they remained stranded for a day at Wagah on the Indian side. PTI


Jawan cremated with military honours
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Virendra Singh, who was a soldier in the Indian Army, lost his life at the hands of Kashmiri separatist militants in Jammu on last Monday. Hailing from Khelan village of Patiala district, Virendra Singh was the only son of Mr Meghraj Singh and like many of his comrades, a young man, having got married only three years back.

A pall of gloom descended on the village as soon as the news of his death reached there. Wrapped in the Indian Tricolour, his body reached the village on Wednesday in a Tata Sumo. The body was escorted by jawans of the Rashtriya Rifles who told the villagers how the soldier got killed during a shootout with the militants.

His funeral at Khelan village on Wednesday was attended by a large number of villagers whose slogans such as “Virender Singh amar rahe” rent the air.


Robotic system developed
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 29
“If only I could arrange money, the machine made by me could be put to full use,” said Mr Harisharan Aggrawal, a diploma holder in instrument technology, who claims to have made a robotic system that will help the hotel owners in providing better and speedy services to the customers. He claims that with the use of the machine, a single waiter can do the job of 15 waiters.

The machine made by Mr Aggrawal has an electronic instrument which books the order from a customer and tells about it to the attendant at the counter. The machine has three buttons used for different purposes: one button shows the item demanded by the customer, the second button tells the quantity and the third one gives the number of the table of the customer.

Mr Aggrawal claims that by getting the information, the attendant at the counter can ask the waiters to serve the specified items at a particular table. He claims that the machine will reduce the workload of waiters as they will not have to get orders from customers.

Mr Aggrawal has also made a security system which, he claims, will help in checking fire, burglaries and thefts in households. He said the sensors in the system would blow a horn in case of a burglary or fire in the hosue. He said the horn would also blow if someone switched on the light during night.

Similarly, another instrument made by him will inform when the water tanks at the rooftops of houses are full. Mr Aggrawal claimed that the instrument would prevent the wastage of water. Yet another instrument made by him is an electricity tester which will indicate the presence of electric current from a distance of one foot, claimed Mr Aggrawal.

He said a Chandigarh-based company had asked him to prepare a water level checking instrument on a large scale. He said he needed finance for which he was making efforts.


Punjab Budget ‘anti-people’
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 29
The Lok Morcha Punjab has dubbed the Punjab Budget as anti-people. It alleged that by threatening its employees under the dictates of international finance agencies, the government had shown its dictatorial attitude.

Mrs Pushp Lata, district president, and Mr Jagmail Singh, district secretary, in a joint statement issued here alleged that by levelling ‘user charges’ on essential services of life including education, health, drinking and irrigation water, sewerage facilities, the government was discouraging their use and availability.

They alleged that privatisation of education it would make it costlier.

Mr Kiranjit Singh, Dalit leader, in a separate press note issued here said the proposed 12.5 per cent tax on telephone was unfortunate.


PSHRC directive on missing man
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, March 29
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has directed the ADGP (Crime) to file a report on a missing person, Mr Bhajan Singh, resident of the local Mohalla Jaswant Singh.

Mr Prem Singh, brother of Mr Bhajan Singh, in a complaint to the commission has alleged that his brother was kidnapped on March 28, 2001, from here and had been missing since. He fears that his brother has been killed and a property dispute was the cause of the kidnapping.


61 cases settled at Lok Adalat
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, March 29
A Lok Adalat was organised by the District Legal Services Authority, Hoshiarpur, at the Sessions Court here today.

Besides motor accident claims tribunal cases, those under the Hindu Marriage Act, Rent Act, civil suits, civil appeals, executions and maintenance applications were taken up for disposal.

Mr C. D. Gupta, Mr R. P. Nagrath and Mrs Shashi Kataria, Additional District and Sessions Judges, Hoshiarpur, presided over the three Benches in the adalat.

Mr Harbans Lal, District and Sessions Judge, Hoshiarpur, said of the 123 cases taken up today, 61 cases were disposed of amicably and Rs 3,52,30,000 was settled.


Mishap disrupts traffic
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, March 29
Traffic on the Phillaur-Goraya road remained disrupted for several hours following an accident involving a truck, a jeep, and an iron-laden tractor trailer late last night.

Five occupants of the jeep and the truck driver sustained injuries in the accident. They were admitted in Phillaur Civil Hospital.

In another mishap, a tanker turned turtle near All-India Radio station at Goraya late last night.


Lok Morcha to observe ‘black day’
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 29
The district unit of the Lok Morcha, Punjab, today decided to observe April 8 as ‘black day’ in protest against US attack on Iraq.

Social workers, artistes, leaders, of various trade unions and members of the association who attended a meeting said the day was selected to raise the voice of peace lovers as it was on this day in 1929 that Bhagat Singh and other freedom fighters threw bombs in the Assembly.


Old-age home inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, March 29
Renowned environmentalist and founder of the Chipko Movement Sunder Lal Bahuguna today inaugurated Bhagat Puran Singh Birdh Ghar (Old age home) at the local Pingalwara, a branch of the All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society, Amritsar. The home can accommodate 30 old age persons in its 24 rooms.


2000 challans disposed of
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 29
As many as 2000 traffic challans were disposed of at a Lok Adalat here today.

Mr Inderjeet Singh, District and Sessions Judge-cum Chairman District Legal Services Authority, said that of 3000 challans taken up about 2000 were disposed of by five branches. Mr Justice H.S. Bedi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court inspected the Lok Adalat.


Model bus stands for Punjab districts
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, March 29
Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar will have model bus stands. This was stated by Mr Tej Prakash, Transport Minister, Punjab, while talking to mediapersons here today. The minister was the chief guest at the prize-distribution ceremony of Shastri Model School here.

Stating that 300 new buses would be on the roads in Punjab near future, the minister said special bus travel permits for the unemployed youths were also in the offing.

The minister also inaugurated a library at the school and exhorted the students to work hard. Earlier, the school director, Mr Ram Lal Sevak, read out the school report.


Law panel’s vice-chief appointed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 29
Senior Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate H.S. Riar has been appointed as Punjab State Law Commission’s Vice-Chairman. The commission has been constituted by the Punjab Government for the review, revision and amendment of the existing state statutes. It is headed by retired Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Justice A.S. Garg.

Former Senior Additional Advocate-General, Mr Riar had also served as District Attorney, besides serving as Deputy Advocate-General and Additional-Advocate General.


Grant for MC
Our Correspondent

Kharar, March 29
The Punjab Government has sanctioned a special grant of Rs 31 lakh for development works to the local municipal council. This was announced by Mr Jagjit Singh, Minister for local Self-Government, at the house of the newly elected president of the municipal council, Mr Charanjit Singh, today.

The minister also enquired about various problems being faced by residents of the township.


Hawala money seized from students

Kapurthala, March 29
The police today arrested two students and seized Rs 7 lakh as hawala money from their possession near Ramgarh village.

The SSP, Mr R.N. Dhoke, said both the suspects, were going towards Bholath in a car to allegedly distribute the money when they were arrested by the police.

The suspects have been identified as Vishal Kumar and Rajesh Kumar, both residents of Ludhiana, and are studying in BA (I) and 10+2, respectively.

On their interrogation, they confessed that they were doing the business at the instance of Tinku of New Delhi. Police parties have been dispatched to New Delhi to arrest Tinku. A case under various sections of the IPC has been registered. PTI


2 stolen cars recovered
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, March 29
The district police claims to have busted a three-member inter-district gang of thieves with the arrest of its kingpin and the recovery of two stolen cars from his possession.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, in a press note issued here today, said a police party intercepted a car at the BMC chowk here during routine checking last night. Two out of three occupants of the car managed to flee while the driver was rounded up.

Upon questioning, he revealed that they were part of a three member gang of thieves. He was immediately arrested and was later identified as Paramjit Singh of Baramula district in Jammu and Kashmir.

The other gang members were identified as Wasim Ahmed of Srinagar and Amin Ahmed of Sopore district.

The arrested person said the car, they were traveling in, was stolen from Jalandhar recently.

The police has also recovered another Maruti car from one of his hideouts.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested one Sukhvir Singh of Lohian for stealing a scooter, which was later recovered from his residence.

The district police has also registered a case against two travel agents, including Kulwinder Singh and Onkar Singh. The case has been registered under Sections 406, 420, 506 and 34, IPC, for duping Charan Kaur of Nurmahal of Rs 3.5 lakh on the pretext of sending her son abroad.


Drivers killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Abohar, March 29
The drivers of two trucks were killed on the spot when their vehicles collided near Sayyedwala village on the Sri Ganganagar-Abohar road in the wee hours today.

According to information, a truck (RJ-31G-0621) going from Jalandhar to Sri Ganganagar and driven by Jaswant Singh, collided head-on with another truck (RJ-07G-5352) which was being driven by Mahender Singh. His truck was loaded with fruits and was on its way from Rawla in Rajasthan to Ludhiana.

Jaswant Singh (33) was a resident of Jammu Basti in Abohar, while Mahender Singh (22) was a resident of Khanuwala in Rajasthan.

The police has registered a case under Sections 304-A, 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC. The bodies were handed over to the relatives of the drivers at the Civil Hospital here this afternoon.


1 killed in bus mishap
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 29
A Punjab Roadways bus (PB12C-9513), coming from Tarn Taran and heading towards Delhi, turned turtle near the toll tax barrier last night. One passenger died on the spot, while seven others were injured in the accident.

Immediate relief was provided by persons posted at the nearby first aid post. The rescue operation lasted for about two hours.

The bus driver probably lost control over the vehicle while trying to steer clear of a dead cow that was lying on the road at a distance of few metres from the toll tax barrier.

Surinder Singh (40), a resident of Doraha who was standing near the window of the bus, died on the spot. Mr Manjit Singh, in charge of the first aid post, Doraha, said, “We rescued 25 persons in two hours. The injured were provided first aid and taken to Sidhu Hospital.”


BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) men booked
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 29
The Rampura Phul police has registered cases against Mr Jhanda Singh Jethuke, district president, BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), under Sections 341 and 149 of the IPC.

BKU activists stopped traffic on the Bathinda-Barnala road yesterday, supporting the cause of PSEB employees against the proposed implementation of the Haldia Committee recommendations.

The other leaders who have been named in an FIR include Mr Surjit Singh Gill Kalan, Mr Bhola Singh, Mr Bikkar Singh Kotra, Mr Natha Singh, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Buta Singh and Mr Nachhatar Singh Jaid. Police sources said nearly 250 other activists had also been booked.


Held for duping people

Moga, March 29
The police on Friday arrested Sarbjit Singh of Amritsar from the town on charges of duping people of several lakhs of rupees by posing as a government official authorised to collect applications with money for converting ‘kuccha’ houses into ‘pucca’ ones.

The accused had set up an office in Goyal Market here from where he was operating as an official of Chandigarh-based Housing Development Ltd, a non-existent department, the SSP, Major Singh Dhillon said.

Besides an identity card of a journalist, allegedly issued by the Punjab Government, several fake documents were also seized during a raid on his office, he added.

Preliminary interrogation revealed that he had also set up similar offices elsewhere in the state. UNI


Advocate found dead
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 29
Mr Gurbinder Singh, an advocate and member of the District Bar Association died under mysterious circumstances.

Police sources said the advocate came from his in-laws’ house last night and he was found dead in the morning. The advocate was a son of Ganga Singh, ADA (Legal), Vigilance Bureau, Bathinda. A case has been registered under Section 174 of the CrPC.


Students participate in ‘Trendz — 2003’
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 29
Students of 32 engineering colleges from different states participated in “Trendz — 2003” a two-day national technical festival, which concluded yesterday at the Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology here. Artistes of the North Zone Cultural Centre enthralled the audience in a cultural show organised last evening.

The students, who participated in different competitions related to engineering and technology, were in festive mood. Punjabi folk singer, Sunita Bhatti performed on the first day.

The festival was organised by the ISTE students’ chapter of the college. The students of BITS, Pilani; NIT, Kurukshetra; PEC, Chandigarh; LD Engineering College, Ahmedabad; IIIT, Hyderabad; LIET, Longowal; SGSITS, Indore; Jabalpur Engineering College, Jabalpur, participated among other colleges.


Medical seats yet to be filled
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, March 29
A section of students, aspiring to become doctors, have been making the rounds of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) to get admission in various medical colleges as per the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but to no avail as the authorities have failed to take any action in the connection.

The BFUHS was ordered by the High Court to fill vacant seats of the All-India quota of the MBBS. The High Court had also ordered the Punjab Government on February 27, 2003, to issue a notification in this regard within seven days.

Though about a month has elapsed since then, the government has failed to issue a notification.

The Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of the BFUHS refused to talk with TNS on this issue yesterday. However, when contacted, Dr Ravinder Singh, Director, Medical Education, Punjab, said the issuance of the notification was the prerogative of the state government. He added that only the government could take action in this connection.

However, a section of students, who had made unsuccessful attempts to get a convincing answer regarding the admissions from the authorities alleged that procedural lapses on the part of the BFUHS management had played havoc with their career and now even the government seemed to be not interested in the issue.

They added that a delay in admissions would make them lose one academic year and they would always lag behind other students.

“We have been running from pillar to post with the copy of the High Court order for securing admissions. for our wards, but neither the Punjab Government nor the BHUHS authorities are interested in the implementation of the order,” alleged another parent.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the High Court had directed that immediately after the issuance of the notification by the Government, the BFUHS should take steps to fill up the seats in accordance with the provisions of the notification dated April 10 2002, and the prospect issued by it.

It may be mentioned that for the past nine months, a number of students, who had scored good ranks in the PMT merit list of 2002, have been suffering as authorities have failed to fill up the vacant MBBS seats in various medical colleges of the state. The aspirants alleged that the BFUHS authorities had failed to fill the seats despite the fact that the Supreme Court, in its decision pronounced on January 27, 2003 had ordered that all vacant seats from the all-India quota be filled from the state PMT list.


Commerce students get degrees
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 29
Dr Ved Parkash, Secretary of the University Grants Commission (UGC), has said the higher education system needed adapt to the challenges demanded by the economic conditions of the country.

Dr Parkash was addressing the second annual convocation of the economics, business and commerce departments of Guru Nanak Dev University, here, today. Dr S.P. Singh, Vice-Chancellor, presided over the occasion. More than 100 scholars of MBA, M.Com, MBE, M.Sc and B.Sc in economics were conferred degrees.

The UGC Secretary regretted that not more than 7 per cent of the population receive higher education. The government, he said, had earmarked almost double the budget for higher education from last year, under the five year plan. He said uniform access to information and education to both rural and urban places could be achieved by networking all universities.


M.Sc IT paper on April 20
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, March 29
The examination of M.Sc IT (third semester) of Punjab Technical University, which was leaked and had to be postponed, would now be held on April 20. This stated here today by sources in the university.

Meanwhile, police sources said that two persons — Baldeep Singh and Ravinder Singh — had been arrested under Sections 409, 420 and 120-B of the IPC for leaking the said paper. They said that the involvement of officials of the PTU in this connection was also being probed and some persons based at Chandigarh were also suspended to be involved in the matter.

The sources said that the paper was leaked at a local examination centre on March 26 and the examination superintendent of the centre had also given a certificate stating that the leaked paper was tallying with the paper distributed on the same date.

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