Wednesday, June 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Punjab Govt helpless on bus permit issue
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Transporters seek hike in bus fares

Mr Tej Parkash Singh said that the private transporters had submitted representations asking for 10 per cent increase in the bus fares. The government was examining the issue. Recently, the rates of diesel had also come down. However, the decision on bus fares would be taken only after evaluating all related aspects, he added.

Chandigarh, June 3
For the Punjab Government there cannot be a bigger headache than its inability to sanction permits to operate private, direct air-conditioned luxury bus service from various places in the state to Chandigarh, its capital.

Whenever the state government has announced to issue permits for plying such a bus service between Amritsar and Chandigarh or from other cities to the state Capital, the Chandigarh Administration has deflated the move.

And this “fact” was today admitted by the Punjab Transport Minister, Mr Tej Parkash Singh. “Recently we announced to issue 24 bus permits to private transporters for plying such buses from Amritsar and other cities to Chandigarh. However, the Union Territory officers concerned did not give permission to such buses in the city”, said the minister.

Pushed to the wall, the state government is left with no alternative except to terminate the journey of such buses at Mohali instead of Chandigarh. One can imagine the fate of a bus passenger who travels in a luxury bus from Amritsar or from other place but off-loaded at Mohali to take either an auto rickshaw or to use other mode of conveyance to enter Chandigarh.

“We have taken this issue with the UT Administration a number of times, but it refused to budge from its stand. A decade-old agreement between the state government and the Union Territory has been proving a thorn in the flesh of Punjab.Under the agreement no private bus can be allowed to enter the UT from Punjab”, said Mr Tej Parkash Singh.

“Now the issue would be taken up with the Union Territory Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), who is also Governor of Punjab”, said the minister. “When there can be an agreement to run a bus service between Lahore and Delhi, one wonders how an old agreement prevents a luxury bus service to be run between Amritsar and Chandigarh”, said a senior officer of Punjab. It was unbelievable that the UT Administration was not allowing entry of private buses from Punjab when the Centre has opened its gates for private investment in the country, he further added.

The government has not adequate financial resources to run luxury buses in public sector. The only option left with it is to allow private transporters to provide such a bus service in the capital.

In fact, the minister said because the state owned Punjab Roadways was running in a huge loss, it had stopped operations on certain routes. “ We have surrendered permits on routes measuring about 38,000 km because plying of buses there was adding to the loss of the roadways”, he said. Besides, several other steps had been taken to cut the loss of Punjab Roadways.

There was also an accumulated loss of Rs 55 crore of the PRTC. Staff had been reduced. No fresh recruitment was being made. There was a proposal to send surplus staff from the roadways to the Transport Department.

“We need to add about 210 buses in the Punjab Roadways and 50 buses in the PRTC to stop further depletion of the fleet of buses for public conveyance. For this purpose, the state government had allocated Rs 20 crore for the roadways and Rs 7.50 crore for the PRTC,” he added.

Asked about the revocation of suspension orders of certain conductors only a few days after taking action against them, the minister said that “nothing wrong was done in this connection”.


PSERC allows purchase of 8,800 m units
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 3
The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has allowed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to buy 8,800 million units of power from various central generating agencies during the current year.

The PSERC has taken this decision following a representation by the board in which it had asked that it be allowed to purchase 11,000 million units of power during the current year to ensure the continuous availability of power to both the urban and rural sector during summer.

According to sources in the board, the current power will cost around Rs 17 crore whereas the board has proposed buying power worth Rs 23 crore.

Meanwhile, the sources said the board would require around 30,000 million units of power during the paddy season. They said while the board’s thermal plants were expected to generate 14,000 million units, it was likely to get 4,000 million units from the BBMB and 3,500 units from its own hyrdo-generating facilities.

Meanwhile, the PSERC has also directed the board to restrict power purchase from various other states. Presently, the board is buying power from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttaranchal under the banking scheme and is in line to enter into arrangements with other states also in view of the coming paddy season.

The board is reasoning that it will be difficult to maintain eight-hour continuous supply of power for paddy, besides power for the industrial and domestic sector, in case it is not allowed to buy 11,000 million units of power as projected by it earlier. It has projected that it will be forced to cut supply to some sectors during the paddy season which has already started and will gather momentum in the next 10 days.

The PSEB has already been facing a crunch since the past two days because of the decision of the PSERC to advance supply to the farming sector in five border districts of the state.

Earlier, it had decided to give eight-hour power supply to the state from June 10 but advanced the move in five states because the farmers had already taken to transplanting paddy in these areas in the last week of May itself.


Indian spies — unsung, uncared
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, June 3
Indian spies who were sent to Pakistan for espionage and surveillance as part of the B-42 project, are a disgruntled lot today. As of now they are fighting an altogether different battle , not against the enemy but against the red tapism and the lack of initiative on the part of the government to acknowledge their services.

These former spies who were sent back to India under the Simla Agreement in 1974 are now struggling for survival.

While talking to the media persons, these spies narrated how after having suffered at the hands of Pakistani authorities for several years, they were disowned by their own people.

Mr Kishori Lal Sharma, son of a retired MES official, remembered how he was inducted into Military Intelligence to infiltrate into 1 Armoured division of the Pakistani army and gather information about the performance of T-59 tanks. Sharma, a diploma holder in automobile engineering, who went to Pakistan through Kasur- Khalra sector along with his guide said after three successful sorties into Pakistan he was arrested near Multan and later, incarcerated in various jails like Kot Lakhpat, Kasur, Mianwali, Multan and Baluchistan. His few colleagues Kapur Chand, Sukhdev and some others were sentenced to death following a court martial in Mianwali jail. He remained imprisoned from 1967 to 1974. He said initially at the time of his induction at Jalandhar in 1966 under the command of Lt-Col Hari Krishan Bhatti, he was given assurances of becoming an officer, but all these promises proved hollow as none bothered about them once they came back to India. Sharma, who is now working with a private automobile concern in Ludhiana says that all his repeated pleas for financial assistance to the Ministry of Defence and other authorities have fallen on deaf ears. Sharma said , “ What rankles me most is that while anybody who fought for an ideology or a political party is given his due, but services of people like him who sacrificed and put their lives at stake for the country are not recognised even.”

Another former Indian spy to Pakistan, Mr Vasudev had the same murky tale to tell. Vasudev, who now works as a carpenter in Central Jail said he was inducted for spying in 1966. He said that out of a group of 42 spies sent to Pakistan, only 31 survived out of which only a few were alive now and the rest either died or lost their sanity. Mohan Lal Bhaskar, said, he spent seven harrowing years in different Pakistani prisons like Kot Lakhpat, Lahore, Central Jail, Mianwali, and Multan on charges of espionage. He was inducted by the Indian intelligence agencies to infiltrate into important Pakistani organisations like the atomic energy plant in Kota, and get the microfilms of army units to know about their composition.

Bhaskar was on his mission when he was betrayed by one of his colleagues, presumably a double agent and arrested by the Pakistani intelligence. Bhaskar was sentenced to death by a summary court martial, which was later commuted by a military court to 14 years rigorous imprisonment.

In Pakistan, he along with his guide, Baba Samund Singh alias Imamuddin, used to buy a buffalo from a village before passing through a cantonment and get rid of it after crossing the cantonment. In this manner, they used to avoid arousing suspicion.

Narrating the hazards of a life in spying, Bhaskar said, “ If you ever try to look across the border, you will be greeted by eerie darkness. Even if a snake bites or a scorpion stings, you have to suppress your shriek, else you will immediately become a target of enemy’s bullet.”

These former Indian spies and many others like them, in an appeal to the government have demanded that they may be given the status of ex-servicemen and that their services should be recognised.


Ash rain leaves residents ashen
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 3
The blistering sun which has made the mercury soar higher with each passing day and ash rain due to fly ash being emitted from the four chimneys of the local Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) has once again made the life of residents here miserable.

With the temperature rising every day and no let up in the menace of ash rain, the residents of the city and its surrounding areas are left with no option but to put up with these perils.

The unscheduled power cuts being imposed in the city under the garb of the maintenance of transmission lines add to their woes. The power cuts are being imposed despite the fact that previous SAD-BJP combine government had accorded the status of power-cut free city of Punjab, to Bathinda.

For the past many days, the situation in the city has become so had that no one has been finding it easy to drive a scooter or cycle without using protective glasses. Apart from it, for most of the residents, the roofs of their dwellings have become “out of bound” areas as he cannot sleep there during night due to the continuous ash rain. Even during the daytime, the women folk find it difficult to dry clothes on the roofs.

The other problems being faced by the residents of this city and its surrounding areas could be judged from the fact that nearly 25 per cent population of the city was suffering from TB, asthma, chest and nasal problems and eye ailments due to the ash rain.

The residents, who had felt proud of having the state’s first thermal plant in their city, are now suffering as the four chimneys of same unit ash continuously.

Information revealed that thousands of metric tonnes fly emit ash was being emitted from the four chimneys of GNDTP, as it had no arrangement to reduce the quantity of ash being emitted from the same. The ash dumped in the ash ponds situated adjacent to GNDTP also used to create problems when it enveloped the sky as hot winds blow during summers. The troubles increased when the ash particles remain suspended in air for several days and enter human bodies gradually making the people sick.

Though the GNDTP authorities had earlier tried to reduce the emission of ash from the chimneys by using high-grade coal having less ash contents but it failed to produce desirable results. The GNDTP authorities have again started using the coal of normal quality. The coal having high ash contents being used in the GNDTP has caused damage to various equipment in the boilers of the four units.

Mr S.C. Mahajan, Chief Engineer, GNDTP, said the menace of ash rain gripped the city only when the direction of wind was towards the city from the thermal plant. He added that GNDTP authorities had been successful in reducing the quantity of ash being emitted from the chimneys.

He pointed out that flue gas conditioning system, which had been installed in unit number 3 and 4 was under trial run and it would be functioning properly after about 10 days. By using this system, the emission of ash contents from the chimneys of the same units would come down considerably.

He added that for unit number 1 and 2, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) had devised a renovation and modernisation plan worth Rs 183 crore. The work would be completed in about 16 months. After this, there would be no menace of emission of ash contents from the chimneys.


Minister digs out ‘dumped’ pension cases
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 3
The Punjab Social Welfare and Social Security Minister, Mr Joginder Singh Mann, today conducted a surprise check in the Ludhiana district and dug out 78 files of pending cases of widow and old-age pensions in CDPO Mangat, Ludhiana urban II. He said the officials found responsible for this won’t be spared”.

Addressing a press conference here this evening on his return from them, Mr Mann showed the files which were found dumped in an almirah of the office of the persons concerned. All formalities in the files were complete but the cases of the beneficiaries had not been presented due to some ulterior reasons, said the minister. In Mangat village CDPO, 48 cases of dumped files of pension cases of widows were of the years 2001 and three of 2002 in the same area, he said.

A probe had been ordered and action will follow within two or three days, declared the minister. “Nothing is found wanting in the files but the beneficiaries had been denied their dues by the previous government,” he alleged.

The checking will be done in other parts of Punjab also, he said.

On the other hand as many as 22,000 beneficiaries were found absent during a survey which would be conducted again, said the Minister. There were 9.25 lakh beneficiaries in all and as many as 1.14 lakh pension cases had been found to be fake, he informed.

“I had sent the file to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, about the officials who had deliberately granted these fake pensions and action will follow on the instructions of the Chief Minister,” said Mr Mann.

While 16 per cent excess pension were given in Punjab during the previous regime, 40 per cent excess cases were found in the Sangrur district, 23 per cent each in Muktsar and Gurdaspur districts, he said.

The process of clearing pension cases was going on and a new criterion had been evolved for ensuring transparency in the matter, he disclosed. Now income from all sources of the applicant will be counted and the applicant will be accountable for any wrong information, he declared. All pending cases of grant of pension to widows, aged persons destitute and disabled person had been cleared till March 31. A sum of Rs 190 crore will be given this year, he added. 


District Complex to house archives
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 3
In another turnaround on the eventual home of archival records of the seven former princely states of Punjab, the government will now house them in the offices of the district complex situated on the Mall road which is slated to be relocated to new premises on the Jail Road next month.

A meeting of the Patiala Development Authority in January had decided to shift the records of Patiala, Nabha, Faridkot, Malerkotla, Jind, Kapurthala and Nalagarh from the state archives building in the Baradari gardens to a new building on the Punjabi University campus which was to be built by PUDA. However, the records were shifted temporarily the same month to two different places to clear the front portion of the historic Rajindra kothi for holding a painting exhibition on contemporary art by the National Gallery of Modern Art in February as part of the Heritage Festival.

The archival records of the seven princely states which includes Residency records and Khalsa Durbar records is presently housed at three places. A part of the record was transferred to the State Language Department building at Sheranwala Gate to clear the front portion of the state archives building. As many as 35,000 rare books of the same period were transferred to the Punjabi University library.

The Patiala Development Authority at a meeting in February had decided to hand over the Rajindra kothi to the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Board (PUDA) for conversion into a hotel or any other facility and simultaneously decided that PUDA will construct a new building for the archival records in the Punjabi University campus.

However, now there has been a turnaround on this issue as the government wants that the offices of the Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner and the Sessions Judge, which are situated alongwith each other on the Mall road, are suitably utilised. Deputy commissioner Tejveer Singh said the present District Complex was a heritage building and could not be demolished. He said it was felt that the unique character of the building could be maintained and even enhanced by housing the archival records in it.

Mr Tejveer Singh said it had been calculated that the present District Complex could be renovated and modernised at one eighth of the cost that would be incurred on constructing a new building in Punjabi University for housing the records.

Meanwhile, sources said the future use of the Rajindra kothi was still to be decided. A meeting of the Patiala Development Authority (PDA) was held on May 9 under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Mr S.K. Sinha, but the issue of future of the Rajindra Kothi could not be taken up. The sources said earlier PUDA had floated a scheme whereby the kothi, which is situated among acres of gardens in the city, be converted into a hotel under a joint venture with a reputed organisation. Now the government is also planning to convert the kothi into a museum which could house the Medal Gallery or other pieces of arts or even become a permanent exhibition site. 


SAD ready to face challenge
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 3
With the panchayat elections approaching, the SAD is all geared up, while the Congress is yet to mobilise its rank and file.

For the past four weeks, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, along with members of his family, including Mr Gurdas Badal and Mr Manpreet Badal, are touring different parts of the Malwa region to mobilise SAD workers.

Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, former Union Minister, who is camping in his native village, while talking to TNS alleged that Congress leaders had bungled in the voters’ list by getting names of many Akali workers deleted on flimsy ground. The state election commission was also being misused by the Congress government, he alleged adding that he had received complaints that the names had been deleted by officials following instructions from leaders of the ruling party.

Some Congress leaders also pointed out that party workers were feeling demoralised that they were not taken into confidence before some important decisions for the forthcoming panchayat elections were made.


Panchayat poll on schedule
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 3
Putting all speculations to rest regarding the postponement of the coming panchayat elections, Mr S.K. Ahluwailia, Deputy Commissioner, said the panchayat elections would be held as per schedule and necessary arrangements for the smooth conduct of elections had been completed.

He said according to the Election Commission schedule, notification for the elections would issued on June 16 nominations would start from that day and continue up to June 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The papers would be scrutinised on June 20, withdrawals and allotment of symbols would be done on June 21 and polling would take place on June 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The nominations would be accepted at the offices of respective returning officers.

He said reservation for the offices of sarpanches in all 429 villages in the district had been completed. As many as 429 polling stations and 469 booths have been set up and about 3,000 employees put on duty to conduct the elections. He said the entire district had been divided into 31 culsters and each cluster consisted of 13 to 15 villges.

Thirtyone returning officers and 31 assistant returning officers had been appointed and all respective SDMs designated as subdivisional electoral officers, so that they might work as chain between the District Electoral Officer and returning officers.

He said the counting of votes would take place at the polling station concerned and would start immediately after the completion of polling. He said all developments projects had been stopped in compliance with the code of conduct.


Admn gears up for panchayat poll
Our Correspondent

Muktsar, June 3
As many as 21 returning officers and an equal number of assistant returning officers have been appointed for the smooth conduct of panchayat poll and they would be supervising about 11 to 13 panchayat elections each.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Usha R. Sharma, said for the smooth conduct of the elections, eight ROs had been appointed for Muktsar block, five for Malout, four each for Gidderbaha and Lambi blocks. These offices will look after the polling arrangements. The offices for ROs and AROs had been set up at block headquarters.

She said according to the election schedule, the nomination forms would be received from June 16 to 19, the scrutiny of the same would be done on June 20 and the nomination forms could be withdrawn till June 21. The election symbols would be allotted on the same day and the polling would be held on June 29.

She said the notice regarding the rotation-wise reservations of sarpanches had been issued. She said 52 seats were reserved for women, 106 for general category, 67 for SC category and 35 seats for women SC candidates. She said the district gram panchayats had been given block codes and gram panchayats falling in the Muktsar block had been coded as 1, Malout No. 2, Gidderbaha No. 3 and the block code for Lambi block panchayats would be No. 4.


State EC norms flouted: BJP
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 3
The Punjab government has been flouting the directives of the state Election Commission relating to reservation of panchayat seats for the forthcoming panchayat elections. The government was allegedly reserving seats in villages in which the SAD/BJP workers were sarpanches or were in strong position. Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, a former minister for Food and Civil Supplies, made these allegations in a press note here today.

The BJP would take up the matter of ‘biased’ reservations of village panchayats by the government with the state Election Commission. Though the SAD and BJP were not against the reservation of panchayat seat but the manner in which the reservation was being effected by the government amounted to manipulating the election result, he alleged.

He also told that the SAD and the BJP would jointly contest the panchayat elections. Though the parties would not contest the election on party symbols but declare support for the candidate contesting on their behalf. Meeting between the leaders of the SAD and the BJP would also be held soon to finalise the sharing of panchayat seat in the forthcoming elections.

Welcoming the unity move between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra, Mr Mittal said that the coming together of the two Akali stalwarts would brighten the SAD-BJP prospects in the election.


Punjab hires PR agency
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The Punjab government has hired a Delhi-based professional PR agency, Lexican, to “properly project” the activities and achievements of the Amarinder Singh government in the national capital and elsewhere in the country.

Official sources said that a formal order appointing the private PR agency had been issued today. Besides Delhi, the agency has its offices in Mumbai, Kolkata and elsewhere in the country and as such was expected to look after the government’s PR work not only in Delhi but also in other major metros of the country. Initially, the company has been appointed for a period of three months which would be extended depending on its performance.

The task of searching for a suitable PR agency was handled by a four-member committee headed by the Chief Secretary and consisting of Mr Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, Adviser to the Chief Minister, Mr S.K. Sinha, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, and Mr D.S. Jaspal, Secretary, Information and Public Relations.

The committee wrote to several PR companies of Delhi some time ago inviting offers. Five of them responded. They included Rediffusion, Ogilvy, Perfect Relations, Lexican and Adman. They were invited to make presentations in Chandigarh before Lexican was picked up for the job.

The hiring of the PR agency has come after a considerable debate in the government. Initially, the move predictably did not evoke a very enthusiastic response from the State’s Public Relations Department. But the Chief Minister himself was said to be very keen on the proposal. Capt Amarinder Singh was stated to be credited with the view that the “good work” being done by his government in Punjab seldom, if ever, found mention in newspapers published in New Delhi with the result that 10, Janpath, as also other top leaders of the Congress party based there do not remain very well informed about developments here.

Punjab has always remained a rather distant priority for Delhi newspapers but in recent years, the problem has been accentuated by the fact that most of them have started bringing out their editions in Chandigarh. Most of the news relating to Punjab is published in Chandigarh editions which have a rather limited circulation. News items which make it to the Delhi editions are few and far between.

Little wonder, therefore, the CM office and the Punjab Congress office here receive frequent calls from Congress leaders in Delhi to apprise themselves of the latest developments which have already been published in the local newspapers. Hence, the need for the proper projection of Punjab in Delhi newspapers.

Sources close to the Chief Minister say that the Delhi Press needs rather “sophisticated handling” which cannot be provided by the mandarins of the state PR Department who are regarded to be neither very articulate nor communicative. Hence, the need for hiring a professional PR agency. However, certain officials in the PR Department argue that unlike their western counterparts, the Indian PR agencies are more used to brand building of various products than any serious lobbying in the newspapers. What the Punjab government requires is not brand building but lobbying.


War of words between Singla, Arshi
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 3
The war of words between the local MLA, Mr Surinder Singla, and a CPI leader, Mr Hardev Arshi, over the issue pertaining to the Congress-CPI alliance intensified further today when Mr Arshi alleged that a section of Congress leaders were watching the interests of business houses in the country instead of defeating the communal forces. Whereas Mr Singla alleged that the CPI leader had used trade unions to promote his own business.

Mr Arshi welcomed the statement of Mr Singla regarding his willingness to recontest from this Assembly seat without the support of the CPI. Mr Singla, on the other hand, urged the CPI leadership to commit publicly that it would not claim any seat under the Congress-CPI alliance in future if he recontested from this constituency.

Mr Arshi, in a press note issued here today, said Mr Singla had shown his political immaturity by giving statements which had created a wedge between the two secular forces. He said Mr Singla was not a member of any decision making body of the Congress.

Mr Arshi said the decision of the Congress to contest the Parliamentary elections alone, as decided in the Panchmarhi meeting, had resulted in a loss for the Congress and the number of MPs for the party had declined to 110 from 140. He said the Congress high command had been issuing statements that the party was open for alliance as they knew the ground reality, but Mr Singla was issuing statements, contrary to those issued by the high command.

Mr Arshi said the statement by Mr Singla that Congress commanded mass following was not true as the party had won only 62 out of the 106 seats in the state Assembly, even when no rebel CPI candidate had contested against Congress candidates. He said Mr Singla should answer why the Congress had lost all Lok Sabha seats during the 1998 elections and won only eight seats during the 1999 elections.

Mr Arshi said during the recent state Assembly elections, a section of Congress leaders had worked for the defeat of the CPI candidates and a list of these leaders had been sent to the Congress high command and Capt Amarinder Singh. He alleged that some Congress leaders were playing into the hands of the MNCs and had bartered the interests of weaker sections of society.

Mr Singla said he had asked the party to review the alliance of the Congress and the CPI in connection with the Bathinda Lok Sabha seat only. He said the CPI was blowing the issue out of proportion and claimed that during the Assembly elections, the Congress had got fewer votes from the wards, represented by municipal councillors of the CPI.

He said the Congress should not forge any alliance with such parties that had weak electoral prospectus, as such alliances helped communal forces.

Mr Singla said he had only aired the demands of party workers, regarding the breaking of alliance with the CPI for the Bathinda seat. He said he had won the seat with the support of Congress workers and claimed that he was sure of winning if he had to face reelection.


Mann asks Advani, Joshi to resign
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 3
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, MP and President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), today urged the President of India to dismiss the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, and the Human Resources and Development Minister, Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, from the union cabinet if they did not tender their resignations in the view of filing of a supplimentary charge sheet against them by the CBI in a special court at Rae Bareli in connection with the Babri Masjid demolition case.

Talking to TNS, Mr Mann said the destruction of a heritage was a serious crime and they should resign, otherwise the President should sack them immediately.

Mr Mann also demanded that the Union Water Resources Minister should convene a joint meeting of the Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan and members of the Ghaggar Standing Committee.

He asked the government to take steps to harness the Ghaggar, which destroyed thousands of acres of standing crops almost every year, especially in Punjab.

He also asked the government to bear the expenditure incurred to channelise the Ghaggar.


SAD heavy weights ‘at logger heads’
Our Correspondent

Nabha, June 3
The differences in the Shiromani Akali Dal came in to fore at today’s meeting held by local Akali leaders. Raja Narinder Singh, former MLA presided over it. Most of the speakers resented interference by General Secretary, SAD and former Finance Minister, Captain Kanwaljit Singh. They took a strong notice of appointing Circle-level party officials in Nabha constituency.

Addressing the party workers Raja Narinder Singh emphasized the need to select persons with clean image as party candidates for the coming panchayat elections. In May, Captain Kanwaljit Singh organised camps at Nabha, Banur and Bahardurgarh.


Dist Cong chief takes charge
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 3
Mr Munish Verma and Vaid Hari Krishan, newly appointed district presidents of the Youth Congress and the Congress, respectively, took charge of their offices at a function held here yesterday. Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, resident of the Indian Youth Congress, had appointed Mr Munish Verma as the new president of the district Youth Congress in place of Mr Harinder Singh Bhambri, while Mr H.S. Hanspal had appointed Vaid Hari Krishan as the district president of the Congress in place of Dr Sikandar Singh.


Dept awaits funds for flood control
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 3
The Punjab Government has failed to release funds sought by the local Drainage Department for flood control measures in the district. There are a large number of seasonal rivulets in the district and the Drainage Department authorities had sought about Rs 3 crore from the government in this regard. Though the district administration has issued directions to the department to complete the flood control measures by the beginning of July, no funds have been released by the government.

The department needs the funds for desilting rivulets and strengthening bundhs.

Flood in the Budki rivulet had inundated nine villages in the Surtapur farm area near Ropar in 2001. In 2002, a vast area of standing crop at Dukli village in the Anandpur Sahib block was inundated. The government has again failed to provide funds in time for flood control measures.

Deputy Commissioner Seema Jain admitted that the funds had not yet been sanctioned by the government. She hoped that the funds would be released soon.

The district administration has asked officers of the departments concerned to stay at the district headquarters from July 1 to September 30. They have been asked not to leave the station without prior permission.

A control room (phone number 221157) will be operational round the clock from July to September to enable people to inform the admission about any emergency flood situation. Control rooms will also be established at the block and subdivisional levels.


Surprise checks by Bir Devinder
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 3
Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Kharar MLA and Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, paid a surprise visit to government hospitals in Gharuan village, Kharar and SAS Nagar in the early hours of the day yesterday and checked the presence of doctors and staff and enquired about the treatment given to patients.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh, while talking to this correspondent on the phone today, said that at about 12.30 a.m. he visited primary health centre in Gharuan village and found Dr Amarjit Kaur and Ms Kamlesh Kaur present there.

He said that although three ambulances were parked there, the driver and a class four employee were absent. He said that there was no light in the PHC.

He said that he had written to the Director, Health Services, Punjab, and the Civil Surgeon, Ropar, to take action against the absent employees.

He said that after this he visited the Civil Hospital, Kharar, and found Dr Vijay Kumar and all other staff members present there.

He asked patients whether they were being treated well and all the patients were satisfied with the treatment.


Illegal religious structure demolished
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Tira (Kharar), June 3
A religious structure, which was declared unauthorised by the Roopnagar district administration, was demolished in Tira village today. The structure was constructed on the “deh shamlat” land about three decades ago. The village panchayat had later donated the land for the playground of a government school.

When this correspondent reached the spot this evening, labourers sent by the district administration along with the local police were busy fencing the three-marla land that earlier housed the structure.

A local resident, Jota Singh, told Chandigarh Tribune that Kanungo and other officials of the Rural Development, Panchayat and Revenue Departments who came to the spot along with a heavy force of the state police, including lady police personnel, this afternoon, asked the labourers to demolish the structure without any prior notice. The officials had brought the labourer along with them for demolishing the structure.

He said there was a small room and a gumti in the temple structure built in the early 1970s on the land. “Since there was no temple, particularly for their community in the village, the then Sarpanch had given verbal consent to go ahead with the construction of the temple for our community”, he said.

Interestingly, a few residents of the village had approached the Punjab Chief Minister on May 29, demanding Rs 50,000 for raising a boundary wall of the disputed land.

In 1997-98, the land was allotted to the local government school for utilising it as a playground. “However, the land housing two other structures (private houses) coming in the same line of the temple were not allotted to the school for making the playground under political pressure”, alleged Naib Singh, another resident of the village.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, Subdivisional Magistrate, Kharar, said, “The demolition was carried out on the request of the District Education Officer and the orders for it were issued by the Deputy Commissioner”.

The “malba” of the structure was later dumped in the school building by the authorities. The school is about 100 metres from the disputed land. Moreover, the playground on which the district authorities claim that the temple was illegally constructed does not fall within the premises of the land housing the school building.

This correspondent tried to contact Mr Jagjeewan Lal, Sarpanch of the village, but his wife said he had gone for personal work at the district headquarters of Roopnagar.


Wife, 3 others get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, June 3
A woman and three of her accomplices who were accused of killing her husband were sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday by the District and Sessions Judge, Mr Lakhbir Singh today.

The judge had reserved his judgement for June 2, after hearing the counsels of both the parties. In the judgement, Paramjit Kaur, wife of the deceased, Harkaran Singh her alleged paramour, Narinderpal Singh, and two of his associates — Jagtar Singh and Gurmeet Singh — were sentenced for life and fine of Rs 1,000 each.

Sources said Harkaran Singh, a native of Mandi Kalan village of this district, had started living in the Balla Ram Nagar area of the city. On the day of the incident (June 4, 2001), he was travelling on his scooter near Dhillwan village and was run over by a jeep near the brick-kiln of the village. According to sources the clerk of the brick-kiln, who was an eyewitness of the incident, asked the occupants of the Jeep to take the injured Harkirat Singh to a hospital. But rather than taking the injured to the hospital the occupants of the jeep threw him in the fields.

The Nathana police had registered a case under Sections 304-A, 302, 120-B and 201, IPC, and arrested Narinderpal Singh. Paramjit Kaur was arrested on June 15, 2001 and Gurmeet Singh and Jagtar Singh were arrested on June 16, 2001.

When the police recovered the Jeep involved in the incident and a mobile phone from the accused it was found that as many as 11 calls had been made from the house of the deceased to that mobile phone. This helped the police to put together the events that had led to the killing of Harkirat Singh. Narinderpal Singh is a resident of Mandi Kalan, while Gurmeet Singh and Jagtar Singh are residents of Chauke village in this district.


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
If allegations in a case are to be believed, two Gurdaspur residents mortgaged the property of a third person with the Punjab Financial Corporation using another women to pose as the owner.

Disposing of their petition seeking the grant of anticipatory bail in a cheating and forgery case, Mr Justice Amar Dutt of the High Court on Tuesday directed that the trial court would decide their bail application, along with the request for remand that may be made by the investigating agency, as expeditiously as possible, in case they surrendered by June 11.

The two were apprehending arrest in a case registered on March 17 under sections 467, 468, 471, 420, 419 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. Claiming to have been implicated, the two had added that they were innocent.


Relief for border land owners
Anirudh Gupta

Following an attack on the Indian Parliament, the Army moved to the frontier areas and took position along the Indo-Pakistan border in December, 2001. Mines were installed at an unprecedented scale all along the border. Despite the best efforts, these mines could not be laid in the manner which would not disturb life of the people in the border areas. Thus, mines were laid in agricultural fields and over approaches. The mines caused immense loss of human lives as the villagers and cattle inadvertently treaded into the minefields.

However, to maintain the traditional bonhomie between the Army and the people of the border areas of Punjab, the Army undertook a number of steps to lessen the hardships of these people arising out of the minefields. In all, mines were laid in 7,241 acres in Amritsar district and 15,858 acres in Ferozepore district. Thereafter, on orders from the Central Government in October, 2002, mine recovery was commenced to reduce the inconvenience and hardships caused to border residents as early as possible. Despite the entire process being very hazardous and time-consuming, 1,547 acres in Amritsar district and 3,347 acres in Ferozepore district have been handed over to the owners till now which is only 21 per cent of the total affected land. According to defence sources, the seemingly low figure is basically due to the fact that no compromise is being made with the safety and the fields are being made absolutely free of mines before they are handed over. The deployment of the Army affected the routine life of the rural people in the border areas in many ways. Although the Army took a number of measures to ensure that the villagers do not get harmed by unknowingly entering into the minefields, these steps proved inadequate.

The Army says that it had deployed a considerable portion of manpower diverted from other operational tasks to prevent straying by civilians and cattle into the minefields, but in spite of all these precautions, 36 persons got injured and several died.

The Army authorities paid compensation to the land owners at the rate of Rs 11,560 per acre for the wheat crop (December, 2001 to June, 2002) and Rs 13,340 per acre for paddy crop (July, 2002 to December 2002), but the Standing Committee of Parliament led by Mr Madan Lal Khurana, which visited the areas, fixed the rental compensation at Rs 5,500 per acre.

In addition to this, the Army also paid Rs 200 per month for a temporary room and Rs 300 per month for a permanently constructed room situated in the minefield. The labourers, who were divested of their jobs, were given compensation at the rate of Rs 80 per day. In all Rs 8,98,11,816 has been distributed as compensation in Amritsar district and Rs 12,33,63,161 in Ferozepore district till date.

In some cases, the compensation amount could not be given to the owners due to certain procedural wrangles or disputes over the land ownerships, but the Army claims that more than 98 per cent of the total compensation that was to be paid has been distributed.


9 water samples fail purity test
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 3
Out of the 101 water samples collected by the district health authorities from ice factories, marriage palaces, dhabas and municipal committee water sources in Sangrur district during the past few months, nine have failed the purity test.

Talking to TNS here today, Dr J.R. Bansal, Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, said the water samples collected from B.C. Milk Chilling Centre, Dhuri; Nirmala Milk Centre, Sohian Kalan; Guru Nanak Ice Factory, Khanauri; Poswal Cold Store and Ice Factory, Moonak; Royal Ice Candy, Ahmedgarh; K.K. Ice Candy, Malerkotla; and V.K. Ice Candy, Malerkotla; could not pass the purity test. However, after retesting, the water samples of Guru Nanak Ice Factory, Khanauri, and Poswal Cold Store and Ice Factory, Moonak, passed the test.

Dr Bansal said the authorities had taken some more samples, out of which those from Pradhan Dhaba, Kherri, and King Popli Dhaba, Dirba, had failed the test. However, two water samples, collected from the Sangrur magazine mohalla’s water pumps, on the request of the owners, were also found unsuitable for drinking purpose. The owners of these pumps had been advised to use the water after boiling, he added.

Dr Bansal said samples were collected from Dhuri, Sangrur, Bhawanigarh, Dirba, Khanauri, Moonak, Lehra, Sunam, Barnala, Kherri, Longowal, Mahal Kalan, Dhanaula, Tapa, Malerkotla, Ahmedgarh and Amargarh.


Illegal quarrying of sand detected
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, June 3
Illegal mining of sand from the area of panchayat of Kasoor village in Dera Baba Nanak Development block on Indo-Pakistan border in this district has come to light. Mining of sand from the shamlat land of the village and custodian land has also been reported from the village.

Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa Congress MLA from the area demanded CBI probe into the scam. Part of the sand from Ravi has also been reported to be mined.

The villagers said today that the land has been used illegally for mining by Kulwant Singh and his associates for the past five years. Nearly 700 or 800 trucks and trolleys loaded with sand are mined from the area and sold. Rupees 300 per truck of sand and Rs 200 per tractor-trailer are charged. The sources said that 50 or 60 feet deep ditches have appeared in the area due to illegal mining of sand. Normally sand in the area particularly pertaining to river Ravi is sold through auction. But in the case of sand mining no auction took place and the miners even do not pay royalty to the department.

Illegal mining of sand is also taking place in river Beas near Bianpur village in Gurdaspur sub-division. As many as 200 vehicles including trucks and tractor-trailers carrying sand are sent out from this place without the royalty paid either to the drainage department or the village panchayat.

Mr Randhawa told the Deputy Commissioner this yesterday. The Deputy Commissioner is said to have started the process of identifying the miners.


Evasion of stamp duty detected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
A scandal with regard to the evasion at stamp duty has come to the notice of the Punjab Government in Amritsar and Muktsar districts where nature of cultivating land had been changed. In this regard a survey has been ordered by the revenue department.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesman for the department said about 782 cases had been detected in Amritsar district alone. Legal action had been initiated under Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act against the violators who caused loss to the state exchequer.


Inform cops before employing migrants
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 3
Mr Anurag Aggarwal, District Magistrate, today imposed a ban on traders, industrialists, farmers and others on giving employment to migrants without informing the police station concerned.

According to a copy of order issued by Mr Aggarwal, under Section 144 of the Cr PC, the ban would remain in force up till July 31, 2003.

In the order, Mr Aggarwal pointed out that some persons, belonging to other sates and living in Punjab, had been indulging in unlawful activities in the district. To maintain the law and order situation, it had become necessary that the migrants working in this district be identified, he said.


Heat wave claims two lives
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 3
Intense heat wave, sweeping the region for the past many days, claimed two lives in the past 24 hours.

Reports said a labourer, whose name could not be known, died while he was digging a mound yesterday evening while another person identified as Jaspal Singh (28), an employee of the Telecom Department, died today afternoon near bus stand. Jaspal Singh was posted in Mansa district.


Plea to appoint dependents
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, June 3
Mr Ashok Kumar Monga and Mr Raj Kishore Kalra, senior vice-president and press secretary of the Punjab Non-Gazetted Employees Organisation, respectively, in a statement here today criticised the decision of the Punjab Government to ban recruitment on compassionate grounds. They said as a result of this decision, 5,000 dependents of those who had died in harness in different departments shall be deprived of jobs.

They said the government was facing a financial crunch but it had decided to appoint chairpersons of various corporations that were running in deficit. The government had also added two more PPSC members and enhanced salaries and allowances of MLAs and ministers. However, the government was not providing jobs on compassionate grounds due to the paucity of funds, they said.

The Punjab Government had decided to offer jobs to dependents of deceased employees in 1975 which was extended to some other categories in 1986 and 1995.

The government has been urged to review the decision.


Sub-Inspector, ASI booked for graft
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 3
The local police today booked Inderjit Singh and Gurvinder Singh, Sub-Inspector and Assistant Sub-Inspector, respectively, CIA staff under corruption charges at police station C Division on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Mr Baldev Singh, SHO C Division, confirmed that a case under Sections 7/13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and 342 of Indian Penal Code had been registered against the Inspector and the ASI.

Earlier, Ashwani Kumar, a resident of Deviwali street, near Jaura Pipal area, had alleged that the Sub-Inspector and an ASI of CIA staff had raided his house on May 7 and kept him in illegal custody till May 12. He had alleged that he was released after his brother, Rameshwar, paid Rs 25,000 to them through a mediator. The police officials were also accused of picking up his brothers — Anil Kumar and Ajay Kumar — on May 5 who were later released with the intervention of some residents of the area. Mr Vanit Mahajan, a vice-president of the All-India anti-Corruption Morcha, alleged that the police had been harassing members of Ashwani Kumar’s family for more money.

Interestingly, these police officials were said to have been deputed by certain senior officials to help in recording statements in the siti cable sleaze episode.


Tax refunds released
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 3
The Income Tax Department has released the refunds to assessees who had filed their returns before December 31, 2002.

The Income Tax Commissioner, Mr S.C. Gupta, said today these assessees would get the refunds next week. He also said the Income Tax Department had decided to issue PAN and TDS cards to those who had applied from Phagwara at Phagwara once a week.

Mr Gupta also said 13 Additional and Joint Commissioners’ of Income Tax had been transferred. Mr Rakesh Gupta will hold the charge of the Phagwara range, while Ms Aparna Karan has been transferred to Jalandhar range 1, Ms Ranuka Gupta to Jalandhar range 2, Mr Sanjay Kumar Chauhan to Hoshiarpur range 2, Mr A.K. Tripathi to Jalandhar range 3, Mr Vinay Karan to Jalandhar range 4, Mr K.B. Shukla to Ludhiana range 1, Ms Anadi Verma to Ludhiana range 2, Mr Anil Kumar to Ludhiana range 3, Mr Rakesh Suri to Ludhiana range 4, Mr R.N. Parbat to Ludhiana range 6, Dr Balwan to Ludhiana range 7, and Mr Jayant Kumar to Moga range.


Govt forms panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today took stock of the situation arising out of threats of “self immolation” by a section of 1984 riot-affected families.

He has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Housing and Urban Development Minister with Mr Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Irrigation Minister and Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, State Minister for Public Health as members to look into the allotment of housing facilities to the riot and terrorist affected victims and report after the interaction with representatives of these organisations.


Jathas for Pak cleared
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 3
The Union Home Ministry today cleared the file for sending jathas of Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan to mark the martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev and Maharaja Ranjit Singh on June 16 and 29, respectively.

According to Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman National Commission for Minority Commission, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, who is expected to reach India today evening is likely to clear the file tomorrow.


Evasion of stamp duty detected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
A scandal with regard to the evasion at stamp duty has come to the notice of the Punjab Government in Amritsar and Muktsar districts where nature of cultivating land had been changed. In this regard a survey has been ordered by the revenue department.

Disclosing this here today, a spokesman for the department said about 782 cases had been detected in Amritsar district alone. Legal action had been initiated under Section 47-A of the Indian Stamp Act against the violators who caused loss to the state exchequer.


Notice pasted at house of Badal’s ex-OSD
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, June 3
A notice was pasted today outside the house of Mr Hardeep Singh, who was OSD to the former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, as a part of the move to declare him a proclaimed offender. The notice which had been issued by the Kharar court stated that if Mr Hardeep Singh did not present himself before the court by July 12 then he could be declared a proclaimed offender.


Gurpurb on June 16
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 3
As per Nanakshahi calendar issued by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee, the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev will be observed on June 16, instead of June 4, at Gurdwara Sri Muktsar Sahib at Panjab University. The information was given by Dr A.S. Ahluwalia and Dr A.S. Patang, president and general secretary of the gurdwara management committee, respectively, through a press note yesterday.


Holiday sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The Akali Dal group led by former Mayor Harjinder Kaur today met the Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, with regard to the adoption of the Nanakshahi calendar in the Union Territory. They also sought a holiday on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev on June 16, which is in accordance with the calendar. A delegation today visited Justice Verma and stated that as the SGPC had adopted the calendar the Governor must change the holidays according to it.


Farmers to get 8-hr power supply from June 5
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 3
In view of the persistent demand by farmers, the Punjab State Electricity Board chairman, Mr Y.S. Ratra, has decided to give eight-hour regular power supply to agricultural consumers from June 5 instead of June 10.

The board has also decided to release 25,000 new agricultural connections in the year 2003-04. Mr Ratra said 20,000 tubewell connections would be released under general category against test reports received by March 31 and 5,000 connections would be released under various priority categories against the test reports received till December 31.

In a press note issued here today, he also said subdivision-wise allocation would be made by the Chief Engineers (Operation) concerned keeping in view pending test reports.


13,527 quintals of wheat ‘missing’ from godown
Our Correspondent

Mansa, June 3
As many as 13527.44 quintals of wheat is alleged to be missing from godowns of the District Food and Supplies Department at Budhlada in the district.

Mr Mukhtiar Singh Inspector Grade-I and Mr Jangir Singh, Inspector Grade-II, posted at Budhlada office of the Department since 1997 responsible for the safe custody of the wheat stock are responsible for the storage of wheat. The missing wheat is said to be worth Rs 1.30 crore.

Mr Prem Goyal District Food and Supplies Controller, Mansa, said the storage of wheat was in his notice as he had the physical verification done by the Chief Analyst of the Food Laboratory, Budhlada and found that 23930 bags of wheat each of 50 kg each, and 686 bags of wheat each of 95 kg along with 902 quintals of wheat from the open stock was found short.


Wasteland project implemented

Chandigarh, June 3
The centrally sponsored scheme of integrated wastelands development project, has been implemented to develop non-forest wastelands on village/micro-watershed basis, according to a spokesman for the Punjab Rural Development Department, the scheme helps generate employment in rural areas besides enhancing people’s participation in wasteland development.

The major activities undertaken under this project are soil and moisture conservation and pasture development, promotion of horticulture, agro- forestry, encouraging natural generation, wood substitution and fuel wood conservation measures and dissemination of technology as decided by the user group living in and around the project area. The Central Government has fixed unit cost of Rs 6,000 per hectare ( Rs 5,500 is provided by the Centre and Rs 500 by the state government). TNS


Fair-price shop holders told to get new licences
Our Correspondent

Ropar, June 3
The Public Distribution System fair-price shop holders in the state would now have to obtain a fresh licence from the Food and Civil Supplies Department. According to sources, as per directions of the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies, Punjab, all existing fair-price shop holders would have to apply new licences.

Earlier, the depot holders were issued a one-time authority letter which remained valid till the department decided to suspend the depot on administrative grounds.

However, now the existing shop holders or those who intend to open new shops will have apply for an annual licence, along with a security deposit of Rs 1000, pledged in the name of the Food and Civil Supplies Department. The licence will have to renewed every year, along with a fee of Rs 100.

As per the directions, all existing shop holders are eligible for obtaining the licence. The directions, however, are silent about the refund or readjustment of the security of Rs 500, which the depot holders had deposited earlier.


One killed in land dispute
Our Correspondent

Jalalabad, June 3
Gurcharan Singh (25) was shot dead and his father Balwinder Singh was seriously injured following a scuffle over a piece of disputed land last night.

According to an FIR registered at the Sadar police station, Jalalabad, the deceased along with his father were ploughing their fields at Tinda Wali village, when Jasvir Singh and Lakhbir Singh along with five other persons equipped with firearms and sharp-edged weapons allegedly attacked them.

Shots were allegedly fired at Gurcharan Singh and Balwinder Singh from a .12 bore pistol thus injuring both of them. They were rushed to civil hospital, Jalalabad, where the doctors referred them to Ludhiana. Gurcharan Singh succumbed to his injuries on way to Ludhiana. Balwinder Singh has been admitted to a hospital at Ferozepore. The police has registered an FIR U/S 302, 307, 323, 148, 149, IPC, and 25, 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act.


CET — 2003
PTU fails to declare results
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 3
Even as most of the candidates, who had appeared for CET-2003 examination for admission to various engineering colleges of the state, remained confused following the failure of Punjab Technical University (PTU) to declare the result today, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Y.S. Rajan, maintained that the result would be available on its official website by Wednesday evening.

The students, who thronged cyber cafes of the city to know about their fate in CET-2003, remained disgruntled since the official website of the university was virtually blank on the issue. Scores of candidates rang up the office of the newspapers here to know whether the result for the high-profile examination had been declared by the PTU or not.

There are about 8,000 seats for various engineering courses in 31 affiliated colleges of the university for which as many as 15,000 candidates had appeared in the CET-2003 to seek admission for the same.

Some of the students, who reached PTU campus here this afternoon to inquire about the result, were surprised to find that neither any notice regarding the change in date of the declaration of result, was put up on information board nor any PTU official was sure when the result would be out.

Dr Rajan said since the university had allotted provisional roll numbers to as many as 800 candidates all over the state at the examination centres itself, the PTU staff was making physical verification of records of such candidates. “The delay is mainly attributed to the fact that extra time is being taken to check the record of such candidates who had been issued double roll numbers to enable them to sit in the examination since they could not get the original roll numbers in time through post,” Dr Rajan added.

“The candidates can log into our official website to check their result by tomorrow evening even as the counselling for the admission will be conducted as per the proposed schedule from June 10 onwards,” he said, adding that special arrangements had been made to hold counselling in a transparent manner.


Probe ordered into PTU’s course material lapse
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 3
The state government has ordered an inquiry into the alleged failure of the Punjab Technical University (PTU) officials in providing textbooks and course material to the students enrolled under its Distance Education programme.

Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Minister for Technical Education and Industrial Training, in an official press note issued here today, said taking a serious view of news items appearing in a section of the press in this regard, the ministry had asked the Principal Secretary, Mr K.B. Sidhu, to conduct an inquiry into the alleged failure in providing textbooks to the students even though the academic session had already begun two months ago.

“The one-man inquiry committee will fix the responsibility of the officials concerned. Besides, strict action will be taken against the erring officials following the receipt of report of the inquiry committee,” the minister added.

The statement further contended that it was unfortunate that the students were being harassed without any fault of theirs. “The state government is committed to provide quality technical education at grassroot level and PTU officials will not be allowed to play with the future of the students,” he added.


Punjabi varsity firm on engineering college
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 3
Punjabi University has decided to go ahead with the establishment of an engineering college on its campus from the coming session, despite government reservations. It has decided to put up the matter before the relevant academic bodies this month itself.

State Higher Education Secretary NS Rattan had written a letter to the Vice-Chancellor yesterday, accusing him of not having informed the government about the proposal for the college.

The university authorities have decided to put up the case before the Academic Council on June 14 following which it will be presented before the Syndicate on June 21. Sources said the need to get the project duly approved by the authorities concerned had also resulted in the postponement of the Syndicate meeting which was scheduled for June 16.

The sources said the letter had come as a surprise as the university was an autonomous body and could take decisions according to its calendar. The issue of the establishment of the college had been approved in principle at the last meeting of the and the ministry was probably unaware of this, they said.

The sources said the university had decided to raise funds for the college by taking a loan from a bank. University Public Relations Director B.S. Sandhu said he did not know the details of the scheme but said it had been decided to make it a self-finance project.

He said as the first year of the course stressed on basic sciences, the relevant infrastructure could be provided in the present set-up itself. The issue of starting a semester system and modifying the syllabus of various courses would also be taken up with the Academic Council and the Syndicate, he added.


Bhupinder tops JET
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 3
The Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training has declared the result of JET-2003, for admission to polytechnic diploma courses in Punjab and Chandigarh. As many as 18,000 candidates had appeared for the test.

Bhupinder Singh (3103228) from Amritsar has topped the test, followed by Amarinder Singh Mann (3401053) from Chandigarh and Rohit Kumar (3103164) from Amritsar. The result is also available online at and The counselling for admissions is expected to be held in the second week of July. Candidates who do not receive result cards by June 18 may contact the board’s office in Sector 36. The dates for submission of admission forms will be notified later.


Punjabi varsity Heads appointed
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 3
Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai has appointed Dr Gurbachan Kaur Bhatia and Dr Meenakshi Sharma as Heads of Department of Economics and Education and the Community Service Department, respectively.

Dr Dharanveer Sharma, Dr Tara Singh, Dr Bhupinder Singh and Dr Ran Singh Dhaliwal have been appointed Wardens of the Homi Bhabha hostel, Bhai Vir Singh hostel, Shaheed Bhagat Singh hostel and boys’ hostel, Punjab University Guru Kashi Campus, Talwandi Sabo, respectively. Dr Rakesh Mohan Sharma and Dr Devinder Singh have been appointed Senior Wardens of the boys ‘hostel and Dr Ritu Lehal of the girls’ hostel.


BA, B.Sc (II) results today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 3
The results of BA and B.Sc (II) examinations of Guru Nanak Dev University will be declared tomorrow.

The results can be accessed after 6 pm from the university website

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