Thursday, April 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


SAD to oppose digging of SYL Canal: Sukhbir 
Our Correspondent

Former Union Minister Sukhbir Badal addresses a rally of the SAD’s youth wing workers at Gurdwara Alamgir
Former Union Minister Sukhbir Badal addresses a rally of the SAD’s youth wing workers at Gurdwara Alamgir near Ludhiana on Wednesday. — Photo Inderjeet Verma 

Ludhiana, April 2
Coming down heavily upon the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for his statement on the floor of the Assembly that the government would abide by the verdict of the Apex Court on Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal (SYL), the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) General Secretary and a Member of Rajya Sabha, Mr Sukhbir Badal, made it clear that his party was prepared, not only for opposing the move, but physically stopping the digging of the SYL Canal as well.

The former Union Minister was addressing a mammoth rally, organised by the party’s youth wing at Gurdwara Alamgir here today. The rally was to mark the launch of a campaign against de-addiction and other social evils. It would also coincide with the observance of the 400th parkash utsav of Guru Granth Sahib and would be a programme for social reform, especially among the Sikh youth. The President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC), Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, presided over today’s function.

Mr Badal also took the Chief Minister to task for his decision to seek the intervention of the Centre in the river waters distribution. ‘‘What is the rationale behind asking for the setting up of a tribunal to re-allocate Ravi-Beas waters when Punjab’s case has always been based on the premise that no non-riparian state can be allocated water form the rivers of Punjab ?’’ He said it was ridiculous that the government, on the one hand, was asking for the cancellation of the 3.5 MAF water given to Haryana by the then Prime Minister, late Indira Gandhi, while on the other, was seeking the intervention of the Prime Minister again. This, he said, ran counter to the government’s pleas in the Supreme Court, challenging Article 78 of the Punjab Re-Organisation Act which gave the Central government or the Prime Minister right to intervene in Punjab-Haryana disputes.

Castigating the government for its plan to privatise Punjab State Electricity Board in an undue hurry, Mr Badal declared that the youth wing of the SAD would launch a concerted battle against the decision.‘‘The very motives behind this move are suspect and smack of a deal between the top functionaries of the state government and some private business houses. The government is out, not only to jeopardise the future of the employees of the PSEB, but to make the consumers in the state hostages to the profit motives of business houses, ’’ he added.

Mr Badal criticised in no uncertain terms what he called the ‘the total neglect of development activity in the state’. The government had mopped up an additional 9000 crores of rupees through various anti-people measures. Giving details of this revenue, Mr Badal said that the government had imposed Rs 2,930 crore of additional taxes in the last year’s Budget and another Rs 3,034 crore through this year’s annual Budget. This, he said, was in addition to Rs 3000 crore which the government had saved by abolishing various social welfare and pro-farmers and pro-employees scheme started by the SAD-BJP government.

‘‘Where is all this money going ? The employees are not getting any benefits. No development is taking place in the state. Not a single developmental project has been started by this government; nor has it added even a single unit of additional electricity to the state’s existing generation capacity, in sharp contrast to 1034 MW of power added by the SAD-BJP government,’’ he remarked.

Mr Badal unfolded the youth wing’s programme for enrolling at least one lakh fresh members for the outfit, setting up units in each and every village as also in all wards of the cities. As a part of the youth wing’s social awareness programme, rallies would be held at all district headquarters. This would be followed by rallies in every legislative constituency of the state. A massive state-level rally would be held in August as a climax to the mass contact campaign, he added.



New session begins
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 2
While all government and government-aided schools re-opened yesterday, new session in a majority of the private schools began here today.

The schools that re-opened today included Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School at Sarabha Nagar, DAV Public School, Guru Nanak Public School, St Thomas Senior Secondary School and Tagore Public School. However, for the children of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School at BRS Nagar, it was the third day today and for a few schools, including Kundan Vidya Mandir, tomorrow will be the first day of the new session.

Excitement was writ large on the faces of the children as they stepped into classes carrying new books in their satchels. Meeting their new teacher was even more exciting for them. Vidhi, a student of Tagore Public School, said she had an apprehension that her new teacher would be more strict, but her fears disappeared when the teacher entered the class and tried to mix with the children.

Priyanka, a Class III student of Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, said her day went very well on the first day, but while coming out of her new building, she lost her way. ‘‘All students that I came across seemed very tall and I was scared to ask them the right way. I started weeping and then a senior class girl approached me and guided me towards the right direction,’’ she said as she continued to sob.

Amandeep, a Class VII student of Guru Nanak Public School, seemed very happy today as she said three of her five good friends were in her section.



Doraha MC poll: Opposition candidates allege intimidation 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and the BJP nominees, contesting municipal council elections in Doraha town, have alleged that they have been facing threats and intimidation by the ruling party functionaries right since the day of filing nominations.

In a jointly signed statement, all 11 candidates, belonging to the SAD-BJP combine, said they were under immense pressure to withdraw from the contest, failing which, they had been threatened with dire consequences. The alliance had put up 11 candidates in the civic poll in the town while in two wards, it had extended support to Independents.

Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh, an SAD activist, who had contested Assembly elections from the Payal constituency and lost. He was constituency in charge at present. He told Ludhiana Tribune that some of the party candidates holding ration depots had received threats that their allotment would be cancelled if they did not retire from the electoral battle.

‘‘We have approached senior police officials and apprised them of the threat to the life and property of the party candidates but to no avail. None of the contestants has been provided any security cover by the police. We have also intimated the State Election Commission.’’

Charging the ruling party (Congress) with blatant misuse of power and official machinery, Mr Jagjiwan Singh said the Opposition parties were being denied the fundamental right to contest elections. He said if the government was out to capture power by fair or foul means and in the process the administration, including the election machinery, was to become a tool in the hands of the government, then the SAD-BJP alliance was prepared to leave the entire field open for the ruling party candidates and the government could go ahead with the farce of holding free and fair elections.

Without naming him, the SAD functionary charged a senior Cabinet minister and his supporters with flouting the election code and threatening the Opposition nominees. According to Mr Jagjiwan Singh, the entire government would virtually become an accessory to violation of norms and be held responsible for failure to ensure peaceful and fair elections if the activities of the said minister were not effectively checked without any further delay.



1 lakh SAD youth members to be enrolled
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jugiana, April 2
“The youth wing of the SAD will enroll 1 lakh members as a part of its drive to strengthen and harness youth power in the state. The members will be recruited at all levels and entrusted with highlighting the failure of the present regime which has frittered a way its mandate in just one year,” asserts SAD General Secretary and MP Sukhbir Singh Badal.

He was addressing a gathering of senior Akali leaders and youth activists at the residence of Mr Gurmukh Singh Giaspura here today. Present on the occasion were Mr Hakam Singh Giaspura, Mr Manpreet Grrewal, Mr Maninderpal Singh Sunny, Mr Manjit Singh Gill and Mr Jaspal Singh.

Talking to TNS, Mr Badal said the privatisation of the power sector would have a telling effect on the agricultural sector in the state. “Keeping in view the trying times the farmers were passing through, we had waived the power tariff and were compensating the Board for the losses incurred on this account. There are other ways to mop up revenues and taxing the farmers will prove counter productive”, he maintained.

He said more than 10 states had privatised power and faced failure. Private companies had not only hiked the tariffs, but also resorted to other measures which had pushed the tariffs through the roof. Punjab would also be no exception and the tariffs would make it hard for the common man to pay his dues, he added.

Commenting on the enrolment drive, he said the SAD was committed towards opening up more employment avenues for the youth. “ We are deeply concerned about the rampant drug abuse among the youth and the lack of employment, especially in rural areas. Apostasy is another cause of concern which would be redressed through camps to be held all over the state in the coming months. We are in touch with the SGPC and the committee chief has assured all possible support to us for this purpose,” he pointed out.

He also added that the new members would be entrusted with the responsibility of highlighting the failure of the Congress in their respective areas.

On the scope for the youth in the coming Parliamentary elections, he said, “We will give them due representation. During the Assembly elections, out of the 93 tickets, 22 were given to youngsters and 11 of them won. It is a good sign and we will always strive towards working for the betterment of the youth”, he stressed.



Colonisers cheat farmers of crores
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
A number of colonisers in Ludhiana are learnt to be owing crores of rupees to farmers whose land they took over for developing residential colonies. Name any coloniser or his colony and there will be acres of land which have been taken possession of, but without all dues having been paid to the real owners of the land.

In fact, all agricultural land belonging to hundreds of farmers has already been developed into residential colonies with palatial houses constructed on that land. “We are not even able to recognise as to which piece of land belongs to us”, disclosed a farmer, who had sold two acres of land about a decade ago, but is yet to recover his final dues. The farmers said they have nothing in their hand as they were cheated into signing out their ownership of land for a paltry advance, while the balance was pouring in small and paltry amounts.

A random survey of the colonies, which have come up in the suburbs of the city, revealed that the farmers were first made to sell their land at throwaway prices. Even the total cost was not paid to them. The farmers said they have moved from pillar to post pleading with the authorities for the due payment of their land. But nothing has come out so far.

Interestingly, most of the colonisers seem to have defaulted on payment to the original owners of the land, despite the fact that they have already sold the plots further for hefty amount to others. Notwithstanding the claims about the slump in the real estate business, the prices of property continues to remain quite high in and around Ludhiana.

The problem with the farmers is that most of them are not in a position to take on the might of the colonisers. One farmer revealed: “there are so many like us, but we are not united as not many among us know each other...and it is also very difficult to organise them all”. Some colonisers have been making payments through meagre installments that are hardly proportionate to the outstanding amount.

The farmers are not even prepared to adopt the legal course knowing well that the legal process is too long as it consumes time and money. A farmer pointed out; “we know that our case is strong, but who knows will the cases will be decided as there is no time-bound guarantee”. Certain farmers whose land has been taken over by a coloniser in the city suburbs have started organising a group of the affected farmers. They said, they would unitedly fight against the colonisers and ensure that they were not able to sell their plots further without clearing their dues, the original owners of the land.



Getting passport will now be easy
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Getting a passport will now be much easier. The waiting period will also be reduced by at least 10 days after the linking of the passport branch in the Deputy Commissioner’s office with the Regional Passport Office (RPO), Chandigarh, via Internet. The city’s Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, on Wednesday formally inaugurated the linking facility.

The software for the purpose has been prepared and is being supported by the National Informative Centre (NIC) at Ludhiana. According to NIC sources, all relevant data with regard to new passport applications will be fed into the computer at the Ludhiana passport branch and then transferred through Internet to the RPO, Chandigarh. Consequently, the information will be available at RPO terminals. Earlier, the RPO had to manually feed the data into the computer after receiving the applications through post or special messengers.

Mr Aggarwal disclosed that after receiving the application at Ludhiana, the concerned SSPs’ offices in the district (Ludhiana, Khanna and Jagraon) would be asked to submit a timebound (within 15 days) police verification report and this police verification report, too, would be fed into the computer and transferred along with applications to the RPO at Chandigarh. Computerisations, he said, would make the system very efficient.

Disclosing the overall benefit of this local level facility to the public, Mr Aggarwal said since the inception of the branch on January 15,2002, around 10,000 applications for new passports had been received by this branch, resulting in preventing a lot of hardship to the large number of passport seekers of this district. He disclosed that in the first year from January 15 to December 31, 2002, total 7000 applications were received, whereas, during a period of 3 months of the current year till March 31, an additional 3000 applications have been received.

The district administration has been conducting checks in the office of the Registrar where the new Multi User (Chain Server Technology) Software of Property Registration Information System Module (PRISM) prepared by the National Informative Centre, Punjab, has been installed to enhance the efficiency and the quality of the work. 



Controversy mars new contract for 
ferrying passengers
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Mattewara (Ludhiana), April 2
The annual contract allotted to a contractor to ferry passengers across the Sutlej from Mattewara bandh has run into a controversy with the former lessee claiming that the contract was allotted in an underhand manner and the residents of at least 10 villages near here were facing inconvenience because the new lessee was not able to provide proper boats for them.

The contract was allotted to Mr Surinder Pal Singh of Mangli Khas village on March 28 and he was supposed to ferry passengers, cattle and vehicles across the river from yesterday. But he could not do so yesterday as he had no boats. The ferrying began only today when two small boats were brought by him.

The boats were used by the residents of the neighbouring villages, including Sheru Garhi, Garhi Fazla, Togar Garhi, Mangli, Tanda, Chaunta and many others to cross the river as it provided a shortcut to Rahon and Nawan Shahr. During morning and evening hours hundreds of people crossed the river.

The former lessee, Mr Dhram Pal, a mallah , who had been ferrying the passengers at the same bandh for the past 50 years, alleged that while he had the necessary infrastructure required to ferry people, vehicles and cattle as he had 50-seater boats, that could carry eight to 10 scooters and two to three cattle heads at one time but still the contract was given to a person who did not have a single boat. He alleged that small boats being used by the new contractor were made for fishing and not ferrying people.

When a Tribune team visited the bandh today, it discovered that Surinder Pal had already started ferrying people in two boats but as these boats were small not many people could be ferried at a time and they had to wait for the next round. Some passengers said that although there was not much water in the river in this season, even then the water was entering into the boat.

They added that they could not ferry their cattle as the boat was not able to carry the cattle’s weight.

Mr Harmel Singh, a resident of Chaunta village, who had come to cross the river had to wait for the next round. He said that he was scared to sit in the boat as it was quite small and he feared it could sink anytime.

Mr Surinder Pal Singh was not present at the spot. His workers said that he was arranging for some bigger boats and these would be arriving within 10 days. They said that he had already placed an order for bigger boats and it would take some time for the carpenters to make them.

The Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Mr Ranjit Singh, was not available for comments. Sources in the department, however, denied the allegations stating that the contract was allotted to Mr Surinder Pal Singh after an open auction where he had agreed to pay an amount of Rs 1, 93,000 for the work and the former lessee had furnished the bid at Rs 1,92,000. Hence the contract had been given to the highest bidder, they added.



‘Congress mood upbeat’

LUDHIANA: The District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (Urban) President, Mr K.K. Bawa, on Wednesday claimed that the mood among grassroot workers of the Congress was upbeat and the party was certain to sweep the coming Assembly elections in different states, including Delhi, and the Parliament elections scheduled for next year.

Mr Bawa, who returned here today, after attending the AICC meeting of all district and block presidents from the country held at Ambedkar Stadium, claimed that the rank and file of the party had accepted Ms Sonia Gandhi as their leader and she was bound to lead the party to a sweeping victory. TNS



Approach roads cry for maintenance
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, April 2
The approach roads to this township from all sides, including Ludhiana, Malerkotla, Payal, Raikot and Sandaur are in a bad condition. All requests by local leaders to the authorities to take action have been in vain. Deteriorating condition of roads have resulted in many fatal accidents.

Six approach roads to the town are not safe for vehicular traffic. Mr Happy Verma, general secretary, All-India Sikh Students Federation, said accidents near Jagera Bridge had caused many deaths. Potholes dotted the main road between Pohir village and Jagera Bridge.

Mr Nachhatar Rahi, brother-in-law of one of the accident victims, alleged that the PWD was indifferent about the maintenance of Malerkotla-Ahmedgarh road, accidents on which had claimed the lives of many persons. He said that the Local Bodies Department, PWD, and various market committees were supposed to look after the maintenance of particular stretches of these roads. And this confusion had resulted in the present condition of approach roads. Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie, councillor and president, local unit of SAD, alleged that officials who had supervised the construction of Jandali Bridge during the Akali regime, had left the work incomplete. Obstruction by a huge Banyan tree and uneven path between the bridge and a railway level crossing near the bridge had led to many accidents.

Mr Kuldeep Singh Karwal, president, local unit of SAD (Amritsar), criticised the previous SAD-BJP government and the present state government, for ignoring the maintenance of the road on the bank of the Sirhind canal. Though this road was the shortest route from Raikot, Barnala and Ahmedgarh to Anandpur Sahib, but the pilgrims had to take other routes so as to avoid accidents as the condition this road was very bad.

Mr Munir Mohammed, president, Muslim Youth Front, narrated the vows of the residents of Dhulkot, Kalakh, Chhapar, Latala, Rachhin, Maherna, Mohali and Sandaur villages whose appeals to mend the approach roads had fallen on deaf ears.

Mr Pawan Kumar Sharma and Mr Tarsem Lal Kapila were concerned over the falling business in the town because people from surrounding villages had started going to other towns for purchases , due to bad condition of the approach roads, they added.

Ms Razia Sultana, MLA, Malerkotla, when contacted, said she had taken up the matter with the authorities concerned and stretches of roads falling under her constituency would soon be repaired. Mr Rajnish Sharma Guddoo, President, Municipal Council, said that he had already asked MC officials to initiate process for construction of the approach roads on a priority basis. ‘‘Meanwhile patch-work will be done on all roads,’’ he said. The secretary, market committee, was not available for comments.



Navratras — period of fasting
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, April 2
“We keep fasts during Navratras for strength and to control ourselves and our desires. For the entire period , we abstain from consuming alcohol and eating non-vegetarian food. We eat a special kind of food, permissible during fasting, like ‘kuttu ka atta’ and fruits. Goddess Durga gives us strength to do so and we feel cleansed after the fasts,” says Nitesh and his wife Malini, ardent devotees of Goddess Durga.

The basic aim of observing Navratras is to propitiate Goddess Shakti, as the power to bestow wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge and other potent powers and aligning oneself with her. Navratras offer salutations to Goddess Durga, who exists in all beings in the form of intelligence, mercy, beauty and as the companion of Lord Shiva, the one who creates, sustains and destroys the universe.

The festival, lasting for nine days in the honour of the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga, is observed twice a year, in Chaitra and in Aswayuja. And during this period, the devotees of Goddess Durga observe fasts.

Navratras bring with itself celebrations with devotion and temples are specially decorated during this period. According to Pandit Hari Mohan of the Durga temple, situated near the Jagraon bridge, the number of devotees increases four times during these days. “The devotees offer flowers, fruits and perform pujas devoted to Goddess Durga,” he says.

Ludhiana Tribune spoke to a number of devotees present in the temple. A businessman said he kept fasts to thank Goddess Durga for blessing him with prosperity. Vibhti, a student, said, “I keep fast to show my devotion”.

Interestingly, Sandhya, a student, observes Navratras for health purpose. “Fasting improves my digestive system”, she says.

Navratras have a deep religious significance but the festival time also take on the hues of a social affair, evident from the fact that Hotel Majestic Park Plaza is offering special vegetarian food at three of its restaurants. Other hotels are also tempting guests by offering Navratras special.

Women throwing kitty parties also thoughtfully provide a few dishes for those who are observing the fasts. Even at marriages, a special table is laid with Navratra delicacies .

The period is also considered auspicious and functions, including marriage and ‘mundan’ ceremonies, are held during Navratras.



Promoting alcoholism

COME March 31 and the thekas in every nook and corner can be seen offering heavy discounts on liquor. The sales promotion campaign of booze in the last week of March through attractive banners and loud speakers at such places tempt the people to drink, and it is no wonder that all the ahatas are overcrowded.

It is quite painful that alcoholism is being promoted by contractors with the active support of the administration. Perhaps, it also suits the government since taxes from liquor comprises a major part of the state revenue.

If this is the state policy, then why insist on giving a statutory warning on the bottles “Drinking is injurious to health”. Certainly, the administration and the NGOs seem to be working on cross-purposes and the efforts of the people attached to such organisations, who tirelessly work to promote de-addiction, are nullified by none else but the government, which is quite unfortunate.

Let us all encourage NGOs who are sincerely working for de-addiction, thus, enabling many a family to live in peace and harmony rather than everyday discord in the family, if the earning member loves none else but booze.


Pensioners seek a better deal

Contrary to promises by the Congress on the eve of the Punjab Assembly elections in February and acheivements highlighted during the regimes one year in office, nothing has been done so far by the Amarinder government for the welfare of employees and pensioners in the state.

The party manifesto promised a hike in medical allowance, grant of house rent allowance to pensioners, review of outdoor treatment policy and implementation of pending recommendations of the 4th Punjab Pay Commission.

Sadly, more than five years have elapsed since the report containing 10 major recommendations concerning pensioners was submitted to the then government on February 20, 1998. The Badal regime implemented only two recommendations — revision of pensions and grant of old age allowance at the age of 65 and 75 years instead of 70 and 80 years, respectively.

The unimplemented recommendations include 97 per cent DA admissible on 1-7-93 to be counted for gratuity and benefit in pension for the service rendered beyond 33 years.

Pensioners regret that there is no point in setting up a pay commission if its recommendations are not to be implemented. They also complain that a fixed medical allowance of Rs 250 per month being paid to Punjab government employees and pensioners since 1.1.1998 is inadequate to meet the ever-increasing cost of medicare these days. Since January, 1998, prices have registered a rise of 39 per cent as per consumer price index/medicare cost data. In view of this fact, medical allowance should be raised from Rs 250 to Rs 350 per month with immediate effect.

The pensioners point out that as serving employees they were getting HRA, CCA and rural area allowance. However, after retirement, they have been deprived of all these benefits. In all fairness, they should be granted a house rent allowance at a flat rate of Rs 100 per month. Pensioners seek a fair deal from the Amarinder regime.

Yash Paul Ghai

Mosquito menace a problem

The onset of monsoons gives long awaited relief from the scorching heat of the summer but the rains also bring humidity and waterlogging. The standing water creates an ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes and Ludhiana is no different.

The Municipal Corporation has made no arrangements or preventive measures to tackle the problem. The drainage system is a mess and during monsoons the condition worsens with sullage flowing on the roads and mosquitoes making life miserable for the common man.

These impish devils grow active, especially at night. Men employ all weapons to keep these dangerous and irritating enemies away. Millions of people in India suffer from malaria and dengue every year. In order to prevent this, the MC has to take steps by not allowing dirty water to stand on roads or also by fogging through machines.

Rahul Trehan

Life a virtual hell

Life in the city like Ludhiana has become a virtual hell due to several reasons. The highly polluted environment, worse condition of infrastructure, especially the potholed roads, sewerage, illegal encroachments of public places and increasing crime rate, etc, have brought this city to such a level that everyone has difficulty in breathing and uncertainty in living.

But the most drastic and dreadful experience for Ludhianvis is the congested and hazardous traffic on city roads.

No doubt, for the solution of problems like road accidents, the integrated and coordinated efforts on the part of the Municipal Corporation, police and media are urgently required.

First of all, we will have to focus ourselves towards the problems like parking in the city. At present there is hardly any place left for parking for customer vehicles and in most of the congested main markets and shopping areas, the front portions of shops are being used for parking for shopkeepers, which should be vacant for customers and pedestrians.

Although dairies have been shifted outside the city limits but problems like that of stray animals continue. Stray cattle, pigs and dogs often lead to serious accidents. In many parts of the city pigs are freely roaming day and night, making the life of people miserable. Such animals should be confined in a special constructed enclosure for the sake of public health.

Overtaking from left side instead of right side is another reason for fatal mishaps. Having a mobile in one hand and using the other to control and balance a fast-moving vehicle is also the most dangerous aspect which often becomes the cause of accidents. Talking to the pillion rider on a two-wheeler is another unsafe habit. The government should seriously consider checking driving under the influence of liquor, which is a common and major cause of fatal accidents.

One may often observe many drivers stopping in the middle of a road to exchange pleasantries with friends. Not only this, on squares where traffic control lights are fitted, people sneak through red lights if there is no policeman around.

Bad roads with full of potholes are also the major cause of several accidents. Easy availability of driving licence, unfit vehicles on roads, insufficient policing and most important is lack of awareness of the consequences of bad and rash driving and many other factors conspire to make our roads virtual death traps.

kuldip Singh kreer



Employees seek release of salary
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 2
Employees of the Health Department have condemned Treasury branch officials for not dealing with the pay bills of Class III and IV employees of the Health Department.

Mr Harjinder Singh, Finance Secretary, Para-Medical Punjab Union, in a press statement today said one of the Senior Assistants in the Treasury branch was “harassing”the health employees. He said the person had cleared the bills of the gazetted officers, while the pay bills of Class III and IV employees were still pending with the branch.

The employees have not been paid the salary for two months i.e. January and February 2003”, Mr Harjinder Singh added.

The employees also appealed that departmental action should be taken against the erring officer and the bills be cleared at the earliest.



‘World on threshold of enlightenment’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Dadi Manohar Indira of the Brahma Kumaris Mission yesterday said the world was on the threshold of enlightenment and the golden period of the human history was about to come. She was speaking at a function organised by the local unit of the mission here.

Dadi Indira said the founder of the mission, Brahma Baba, had a vision of an enlightened world. He wanted this vision to be realised and materialised and the mission was quite optimistic about the new world order that would usher in peace and progress every where, she added.

She pointed out that there was still something great about India which made it look apart from others in the world. She remarked, “Boxers or wrestlers may not be born in India, but the saints and rishis are still born here...who can lead us to enlightenment”.



Rs 1.5 lakh looted
Our Correspondent

Bishanpura, April 2
Three unidentified car-borne robbers snatched Rs 1.5 lakh from Mr Jagtar Singh, an employee of a milk supplying company, near here, today afternoon.
Mr Jagtar Singh of Buana village was returning to his village on a scooter after withdrawing the money from the Punjab and Sindh Bank, Doraha.

The robbers, travelling in a car without a registration number, blocked his way, assaulted him and snatched the amount by forcing him to open the glove compartment of his two-wheeler, where the money had been kept.

Senior police officers of Khanna rushed to the spot. Mr Jagtar Singh said he had withdrawn the money, savings of the past several years, for some personal work.

Police sources said the robbers did not have any weapon and used only a stick to terrorise the victim. A red alert had been sounded and a sketch of the suspects was being made on the clues provided by the victim. The robbers had short hair and sported a beard, the victim said.

The police suspects that the robbers must have been keeping an eye on the bank.


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