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4 departments to go to panchayats
Patiala, July 17
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said the drive against corruption would continue in the state as long as he headed the government, even as he said the state government would transfer the powers of four departments of Primary Education, Health, Social Welfare and Public Health to panchayats.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh addresses sarpanches and panches at a swearing-in function Chief Minister Amarinder Singh addresses sarpanches and panches at a swearing-in function held at Polo Grounds in Patiala on Thursday. 
— Photo Subhash Patialavi 

42,310 sarpanches, panches take oath
Punjab Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh and chairman of High Powered Finance Committee Surinder Singla at the oath taking ceremony Jalandhar, July 17
 In its bid to give more powers to Panchayati Raj institutions, the state government has decided to start the process of handing over the control of a number of departments. 

Punjab Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh and chairman of High Powered Finance Committee Surinder Singla at the oath taking ceremony of newly elected sarpanches in Jalandhar on Thursday.
— Tribune photo Kulbir Beera

Fatehgarh Sahib



Bus carrying panches  overturns, 12 injured
A bus carrying sarpanches and panches of five villages of Kharar subdivision overturned near Ratwara village Ratwara Sahib (Kharar), July 17
 What would have been a moment of pride for the newly elected sarpanches and panches, turned out to be an anti-climax. A bus carrying 30 elected representatives from five villages for the oath taking ceremony to be held in Patiala, overturned while negotiating a sharp turn near here this morning.

A bus carrying sarpanches and panches of five villages of Kharar subdivision overturned near Ratwara village on Thursday.
— photo Parvesh Chauhan

CM firm on doing away with NPA
Patiala, July 17
Even as agitated organisations of government doctors today called the decision of the state government to do away with the non-practicing allowance being given to doctors in the state “illegal”, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, said there was no reason why the government should continue to subsidise this allowance.

Petrol stations start charging hiked prices
Chandigarh, July 17
The announcement of the Punjab Government decision to raise Sales Tax on petrol from 20 per cent to 25 per cent on petrol with effect from today has created a peculiar situation in the state.

Low quality board education worries principals
SAS Nagar, July 17
The Punjab School Education Board has become the last choice of meritorious students, thanks to the low standards of education being offered by the board.

Civic bodies defy order on water user charges
Chandigarh, July 17
Though the Punjab Government enhanced the user charges for drinking water and sewerage about three months ago, but nearly 90 per cent of the municipal committees have not implemented the government order in this connection.


SAD, CPI decry imposition of taxes
Chandigarh, July 17
The Punjab state council of the CPI, today criticised the heavy dose of taxes to the tune of nearly Rs 1,000 crore.

Cong to project Jagjit as Dalit leader
Bathinda, July 17
Feeling upset over the success of Uttar Pardesh Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati’s rally at Chandigarh on Tuesday as an aftermath of Talhan episode, the top leadership of the state unit of the Congress has decided to organise a big rally of Dalits in the state to project Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, as their “undisputed” leader. 

DCC chiefs’ meeting on July 19
Chandigarh, July 17
Mr H.S. Hanspal President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, has convened a meeting of the DCC Presidents for July 19 at Punjab Congress Bhavan here, according to Mr Raj Pal Singh, Secretary (Media). 


Bail petitions of Badal’s OSD
Chandigarh, July 17
Mr Justice Amar Dutt of the high court today referred to another bench two bail petitions filed by Punjab’s former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s officer on special duty Hardeep Singh. The details of the orders were not yet available.

Production warrants against Narottam
Kharar, July 17
Ms Baljinder Kaur Bhatia, Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate, here today issued production warrants for July 21 against Narottam Singh Dhillon, a close relative of former Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, in connection with a case registered against Mr Badal at SAS Nagar.

Thandal’s bail plea rejected
Ropar, July 17
The Special Judge, Ropar, Mr S.K. Goel, today rejected the bail application of former State Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Sohan Singh Thandal.

Five get judicial remand for abetting suicide
Kharar, July 17

A local court today remanded five persons accused of abetment of suicide in judicial custody till July 30. The Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Ms Baljinder Kaur Bhatia, while accepting the prosecution’s request for a judicial remand of the accused, ordered to take Om Pal, Mohan Lal Sethi, Des Raj, Naresh Kumar and Raj Kumar in 14-day judicial custody.


Tenders not opened, work half finished
Nangal, July 17
A nexus between certain contractors and officials of the Nangal Municipal Council has resulted in a strange case of corruption in which the work worth Rs 5 lakh is already being executed by a certain contractor, while the tender for it is yet to opened. The case came to the fore today due to the infighting among contractors.

Ratra conducts surprise check
Patiala, July 17
The Punjab State Electricity Board Chairman Mr Y.S. Ratra, today paid a surprise visit to the board’s grid substations at Sarai Banjara village and Banur during which consumers complained of erratic power supply on domestic feeders of the areas concerned.

Hounded youth asks Vedanti for help
Amritsar, July 17
Dalit youth Harbans Singh continues to be hounded by the Haryana police. This youth from the village of Dadwan Dhariwal in Gurdaspur district was falsely charged with possessing counterfeit currency, but it later turned out that the currency was genuine and some senior police officials of Haryana had connived to divest him of his money.

People drag their vehicles through a pool of rain water in Amritsar
People drag their vehicles through a pool of rain water in Amritsar on Thursday.
— Photo Rajiv Sharma 

Bhai Jasbir Singh back from England
Chandigarh, July 17
Bhai Jasbir Singh Khalsa Khannewale was accorded a warm welcome on his return here from England. He had gone on a two-week visit to that country to perform “Shabad Kirtan”, according a press note issued by Sri Guru Harkishan Sahib Eye Hospital Trust being run by Bhai Jasbir Singh.

Minister for cooperative politics in villages
Bathinda, July 17
While advocating cooperative politics for ensuring allround and effective development of the rural areas to make them self-reliant, Punjab Local Bodies Minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh today said the state government would empower the panchayats shortly to set up a “real” Panchayati Raj system in Punjab.

Fear of breach has villagers worried
Gurdaspur, July 17
Resentment prevails among residents of Naushehra Nalbandan, Chhotepur, Kala Chack and Gandar Lahri of Pathankot sub-division of this district for the government’s “failure” to undertake flood protection measures to check land erosion.

Bathinda areas inundated
Bathinda, July 17
Almost all commercial establishments of Sirki Bazaar, Guru Nanakpura sector, Mall Road, Paras Ram Nagar, Bathinda-Goniana road, Veer Colony and some other parts of the city were closed following the flooding of this area.

Breach plugged
Abohar, July 17
More than 100 acres of agriculture land was affected due to a breach in the Lambi Minor (sub canal) today.


Farmers allowed to buy own transformers
Patiala, July 17
The Punjab State Electricity Board has decided to allow individual and clusters of agricultural consumers to purchase their own distribution transformers for feeding their networks.


DC holds open darbars in six villages
Fatehgarh Sahib, July 17
The government was committed to provide urban facilities to the rural people and a campaign has been launched by the district administration to identify the immediate requirements of the villagers, so that it could be fulfilled at the earliest, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, while addressing open darbars in six villages of Bassi Pathana subdivision yesterday.

MC President cancels tenders
Faridkot, July 17
Mr Gurcharan Singh, President of the nagar council, yesterday cancelled the tenders invited for various development works and invited fresh ones following objections by councillors.

Probe against municipal planner
Amritsar, July 17
A high-level team, headed by the Chief Vigilance officer, Local Government, Mr A.K. Kansal and Mr Rajinder Rai, Vigilance Officer, today conducted on-the-spot inquiry against Mr Hemant Batra, municipal town planner, an additional divisional fire officer and certain officials of improvement trust.

Sarkar assumes charge
Ferozepore, July 17

Mr B Sarkar, IAS, yesterday assumed charge of the Commissioner, Ferozepore Division. 


Woman, sons charged with murder
Phagwara, July 17
The police today claimed to have solved a murder case. The murder had been committed last year and the body had been found with a hand chopped off. A press note by the Kapurthala SSP, Dr R.N. Dhoke, this evening said Krishna, her brother and sons, besides some relatives, had been charged with the murder of Rashpal Ram.

Man held for making fake school papers
Kapurthala, July 17
The Bholath police has arrested Rajinder Singh of Mubarkpur village who was running a stationery shop at Begowal village for allegedly preparing fake school-leaving certificates.

Altercation over meat leads to murder
Amritsar, July 17
An altercation over meat led to the murder of Hadam Masih, a resident of Chamiari village under the Ajnala police station in Majitha police district, here late last evening. The suspects allegedly buried the body.

Power board head cashier shot dead
Amritsar, July 17
Shiv Ratan Salwan, head cashier in the PSEB, was shot dead and a tea vendor seriously injured when two scooter-borne armed Sikh youths tried to snatch a bag containing lakhs of rupees from him at the Majitha road here today.

One arrested in cash-for-job case
Kapurthala, July 17
The police has arrested Rajinder Kaur, a resident of Chiddan village in Amritsar district on the charge of committing fraud of Rs 6 lakh on four persons of Kanjli village for providing jobs in the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Killers of youth arrested
Kharar, July 17
The police has arrested five persons who were responsible for killing one person and seriously injuring another two at three places on the outskirts of Mullanpur Garibdas village on July 3.

Fake CDs seized, 3 held
Muktsar, July 17
The police today arrested three persons from Killianwali town of this district for their alleged involvement in making fake compact discs under the garb of branded CDs.

2 killed in accident
Jalandhar, July 17
Two persons, including a woman were killed and three seriously injured when a Tata Sumo and a truck collided head on on the Jalandhar-Amritsar road, near here, today.


43 assessors trained at NAAC programme
Amritsar, July 17
As many as 43 assessors were trained to take up the job of assessment and accreditation of universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning of India at a three-day Assessors Training Programme (Northern region) of NAAC held at Guru Nanak Dev University campus, which concluded here today.

Book promoters of institute, says varsity
Jalandhar, July 17
Punjab Technical University has asked the Nawanshahar police to register a case against promoters of Dayanand Dental Institute and Industrial Training Centre for “misleading” students on the affiliation with the university.

Students decry fee hike
Hoshiarpur, July 17
A large number of students from all over the state under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad organised a rally in front of Government College here today in protest against the new higher-education policy of the state causing a heavy increase in fees.

Move to privatise ITIs opposed
Hoshiarpur, July 17
Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, president of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Punjab, today condemned the state’s proposal to privatise 18 polytechnics and 94 ITIs. In a message faxed from Mahilpur, he also criticised the state government for imposing sales tax on goods sold to military canteens.


Milk outlet inaugurated
Patiala, July 17
A milk bar, which is a unit of the Patiala District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union, was inaugurated at Rajpura, near here, today. The bar was jointly inaugurated by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Patiala Milk Plant, Mr Raghubir Singh Ghuman, and its General Manager, Mr Sukhbir Singh.

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