P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



IG, 2 DIGs of Punjab may be shifted
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
Leaders of various political parties urged the Election Commission to order shifting of an Inspector-General, two Deputy Inspectors-General and three Senior Superintendents of Punjab police from their present key field postings for which they have been hand picked by the present Congress government to influence the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls in the state.

While sources in the Commission confirmed that complaints were made against Inspector-General (IG) (Zonal), Rajinder Singh; Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) (Faridkot Range), G.S. Grewal, DIG (Jalandhar Range), Paramjit Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Batala, Ram Singh, SSP of Gurdaspur, Narender Bhargav and SSP of Hoshiarpur, Lok Nath, they refused to confirm or deny reports about shifting of these officers from their present positions.

Only yesterday, district police chiefs of Ropar and Ferozepore were shifted at the instance of the Election Commission.

The Commission members listened to the delegations and promised to take action on all genuine complaints. “We will know of the action only after the CEC team reaches back Delhi and issues any directions,” remarked a functionary of the Home Department holding that “directions of the Election Commission are mandatory and not recommendatory.”

“We are waiting for formal instructions from the Election Commission of India,” said a senior functionary of the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, holding that the Chief Election Commissioner made it clear during his meetings with officials as well as with delegations of various political parties that “elections will be conducted in a free and fair manner. Those in government service and with any political bias will not be allowed to play any role in influencing the outcome of the polls.”

The Shiromani Akali Dal, for example, in its memorandum submitted to the Chief Election Commissioner, went a step ahead by demanding action against key functionaries of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. The Dal held that the Chief Minister “relied wholly on a powerful but thoroughly discredited coterie of three officers - Mr S.K. Sinha (Home Secretary), Mr A.P. Pandey (Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau) and Mr Bharat Inder Singh Chahal (Media Adviser).”

But since Mr Chahal was no more in service, the Commission probably could not take cognizance of the complaint against him.

The Dal had been complaining from time to time against various functionaries of the Police Department as well as Vigilance Bureau alleging victimisation and political vendetta.

Another memorandum submitted by Mr Harsuhinder Singh Bubby Badal, General Secretary and spokesman of the Youth Akali Dal, listed complaints against SSP of Batala, SSP of Gurdaspur, Inspector-General of Police (Zonal) and Deputy Inspector-General (Faridkot Range) alleging that these officers were “playing second fiddle to the Congress government in an attempt to subvert the electoral process”.

They held that one of these officers played an active role in the November 2002 Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee elections and the subsequent Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections. The other officer had deposed against the Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in a bribery case.


Punjab shifts two SSPs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
Complying with the directions issued by the Election Commission, Punjab Governor today ordered the posting of Ropar's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Surinderpal Singh as Superintendent of Police (Vigilance Bureau). Ferozepore SSP H.S. Chahal was ordered to be posted as Superintendent of Police (Chief Minister’s Security).

The action against the two was reportedly initiated on the basis of complaints filed by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The members had alleged violation of election code in the state.

Sources in the Punjab Home Department had added that SAD had lodged a series of complaints claiming that the state government was misusing its machinery, including services of senior police officials.

The SAD had also alleged that the services of certain police officers would be availed in favour of the ruling Congress party during the elections in the state scheduled to be held on May 10.

The sources had added that the Ropar SSP was conducting a probe against former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, while the Ferozepore SSP's son was among seven Deputy Superintendents of Police recently recruited. A petition challenging their appointment is pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


Central staff in Patiala, Faridkot constituencies
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
The Election Commission of India is for the deployment of Central staff at poling booths in politically sensitive Patiala and Faridkot Lok Sabha constituencies.

Sources said the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr T.S. Krishnamurti, who addressed a meeting of senior officers associated with the conduct of elections in Punjab here today, asked the Deputy Commissioners of Patiala and Faridkot districts about the availability of the Central staff in their respective areas.

Sources said the Deputy Commissioner of Patiala, Mr Tejvir Singh, told the CEC that 800 employees of the Union Government departments were available in Patiala district. However, in Faridkot district, the number of such officers is small.

Mr Krishnamurti, according to sources, asked both Deputy Commissioners about the requirement of Central Staff to conduct polling in Patiala and Faridkot constituencies. Polling Officers and Assistant Polling Officers are expected to be taken from the Central staff and other officials are likely to be taken from the State Government. The Commission will make arrangements to provide the required staff in this connection in both constituencies, it is learnt.

In Patiala district, Mrs Parneet Kaur, wife of Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, is the ruling Congress party candidate against Capt Kanwaljit Singh of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has decided to put up its candidate in this constituency, has not named its nominee yet. The election in this constituency has become a prestige issue for both Capt Amarinder Singh as well as Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who is senior leader of the SAD.

In Faridkot, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, son of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, is contesting against the Congress candidate, Mrs Karan Brar, daughter-in-law of former Chief Minister Harcharan Singh Brar. Mrs Brar is also a close relative of Capt Amarinder Singh. Sources said SAD had demanded the deployment of Central Staff in both the constituencies to ensure free and fair election there. SAD apprehends rigging of polls in both constituencies.

Sources said Mr Krishnamurti made it very clear words to all the officers associated with the conduct of elections to maintain neutrality. “I will act decisively in case I find any officer extending favour to any particular candidate”, he told the officers. He specially asked police officers not to align with any party in the elections. “ I have got a large number of complaints regarding the alignment of certain police officers with particular politicians. It may not be the gospel truth but there seems to be some element of truth.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission is expected to issue necessary clarification about the level of officers to accompany the Chief Minister in the field to provide him security cover during electioneering.

There are reports that a number of senior police officers, against whom SAD has made specific complaints alleging their alignment with the ruling party, may be shifted in the next few days.


Congress leaders to support CPI nominee
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 7
Ms Kushal Bhora, CPI candidate from Bathinda (reserved) constituency got a shot in the arm when the entire leadership of the Congress in this district today pledged their support to her at the function organised in connection with the opening of her main election office, which was inaugurated by Mr Surinder Singla, MLA and chairman, High-Powered Finance Committee, Punjab.

Ms Bhora, who was campaigning on her own, was also given assurance by Mr Singla and other Congress leaders that they would ensure her victory in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Singla, addressing a rally organised today, said the Congress, CPI and CPM alliance was working well in Punjab and it was going to wipe out the communal forces from the political map of the state. He added that a vote for Ms Bhora would be a vote for development of Bathinda and Punjab.

He alleged that former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his associates were trying to mislead the people on the Punjab oil refinery issue. He said it was the Congress government which got sanctioned a refinery project for Punjab in 1996, but Mr Badal deliberately had delayed its completion from 1997 to 2002 when he was the Chief Minister.

He said the state Congress government, headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, was still making efforts to complete the project and hence he had urged the Prime Minister to complete it.

He alleged that the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who claimed to be a friend of Punjab, had always played with the economic interests of Punjab. By extending Central Excise and Income Tax exemption for the industries being set up in Himachal Pradesh, Mr Vajpayee had destroyed the existing industry in Punjab. There was no “feel-good” factor in Punjab.

Dr Joginder Dyal, state secretary, CPI, Punjab, urged the people to vote for Congress, CPI and CPM alliance candidates to save the country from the hands of the communal forces and to protect its secular character.

Those who attended the rally included Mr Hardev Arshi, former MLA, and Mrs Iqbal Bhasin, Istri Sabha leader.


Giving Amritsar seat to BJP a blunder: Mann
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, April 7
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), and candidate of SAD (Mann) from Sangrur, today said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had made a “blunder” by leaving Amritsar and Hoshiarpur seats to the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Mann said SAD under no pretext could leave these two seats to the BJP or any other party because holy shrines of Sikhs, Golden Temple in Amritsar and Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, fell in Amritsar and Hoshiarpur.

Mr Mann also posed a question to the SAD leadership whether the BJP would leave the Dwarka, Jagannath Puri or Mathura seats to Sikh. He said SAD should give reply in this regard immediately.

Mr Mann also claimed that SAD had alienated the Haryana Sikhs as the BJP had not given even a single seat to SAD in Haryana while it had got a lion’s share from SAD in Punjab.

Mr Mann also termed the statement of Mr Arun Jaitley, Law Minister, on the proposed enactment of a law to ban a person of foreign origin from holding the high constitutional post of Prime Minister, as “dangerous” for secularism in the country.

Mr Mann said such law would prove a death-knell for the Sikh society and identity. He termed the proposed legislation as a “racial bill”. He said in the country like India, there could be no legislation on the grounds of race, religion, caste, creed and colour. He said the Sikhs would be affected, if such a Bill was passed, as the Sikhs had a big dispora living in Western countries.

Mr Mann said in view of this, SAD(A) denounced this proposed legislation which, at this moment, was based on race and religion factors.


Bhattal visits Tohra’s widow
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Tohra (Patiala), April 7
Today it was the turn of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal to pay homage to the late Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gurcharan Singh Tohra. The Congress leader used the occasion to assert her separate identity in the party by arriving with her loyalists, including two ministers and two legislators. She also had a dig at state Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on the occasion by telling the Tohra family that the former SGPC chief had underlined the necessity to take on “feudal lords” to her during the revolt in the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) a few months back.

Ms Bhattal arrived in Tohra village along with two ministers, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang and Mr Ramesh Dutt, besides legislators Dr Harbans Lal and Mr Raj Kumar Khurana. She expressed her condolences to Ms Joginder Kaur, widow of Mr Tohra, and Tohra’s son-in-law Harmel Singh Tohra. Ms Joginder Kaur broke down several times when Ms Bhattal condoled the death of the Akali leader. She also related her experiences with Mr Tohra.

Giving a recent example, she said when a group of the Congress Legislature party had been camping in Delhi against Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the former SGPC chief had told her that the real fight in the state was against the “feudal lords” and that she would have to stand up to them.

The Deputy Chief Minister, when questioned, said the “weakness” of the party leadership had resulted in senior party leaders leaving the party. She made this comment when asked about the joining of the SAD by senior leader Balbir Singh and Hoshiarpur leader Charanjit Singh Channi’s defection to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). She said the leaders should have been kept in the party.

Ms Bhattal also struck a strident note when asked whether her supporters, including Rajpura legislator Raj Khurana, Fatehgarh Sahib legislator Dr Harbans Lal, who was divested of a ministerial post, and Animal Husbandry Minister Joginder Singh Kang had been approached for any rapprochement by the Chief Minister’s camp. “The Chief Minister should be asked this question”, she said, adding that all those who were sulking should be approached by the party. “It is Ms Sonia Gandhi’s fight and not Capt Amarinder’s”, she said, adding that the grievance of even the smallest party worked should be addressed.

When questioned when she would start campaigning in favour of Ms Preneet Kaur, wife of the Chief Minister who is the candidate from the Patiala parliamentary constituency, she maintained that the election campaign was still to start. Ms Bhattal, whose Assembly seat, Lehra Ghagga, falls in Patiala constituency, went on to say that right now the Congress candidate was campaigning in her personal capacity only. “When the campaigning starts after filing of nominations I will campaign according to the orders of the party high command”. She maintained that party central leader Mohsina Kidwai had asked for her election schedule which she had already sent and that she would campaign once it was approved.

The Congress leader remained in Tohra village for about half an hour. She offered her apologies to Ms Joginder Kaur for not being able to come earlier, saying that her mother-in-law was not well. She told the family that she might not be able to make it to the “bhog” of the late leader on April 11 as she had to attend a court hearing on April 12.


Nomination of SGPC chief after April 18
Tribune news service

Amritsar, April 7
The nomination of the SGPC chief would be made in the third week of this month. The decision in this regard would be taken at the forthcoming SGPC meeting of the executive committee to be convened after April 18 — the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Angad Dev.

The Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has conveyed his displeasure to Mr Alwinder Paul Singh Pakhoke, senior vice-president, SGPC, for re-launching of the kar seva of Golden Temple’s sarovar before the bhog ceremony of Jathedar Tohra. Hence his continuance as SGPC chief is out of question, it is learnt.

A large section of SGPC members, who remained loyal to Gurcharan Singh Tohra, have been lobbying for making Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhur, general secretary, as Tohra’s successor. The candidature of Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, former SGPC President, is also being opposed on the ground that he had started lobbying for the hot seat even before the bhog ceremony of Tohra. However, Bibi Jagir Kaur, also former SGPC chief, has earned goodwill of most of the SGPC members and SAD leaders, especially those belonging to Tohra faction by not laying any claim to the post so far.

Sources further pointed out that some dark horse from the Tohra camp could also emerge for the hot seat as Mr Badal wanted to give a clear signal that he was respecting the terms and conditions made during his rapprochement with Tohra.

According to highly placed sources in SAD, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, secretary, SGPC, would be given ‘special status’ in the SGPC on the basis of his seniority in the party.


SAD seeks transfer of Home Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
A deputation of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded the transfer of Punjab’s Home Secretary S.K. Sinha, along with certain other officers, after meeting the Election Commission.

Another deputation of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee also met the Commission and blamed the SAD, besides the Bharatiya Janata Party, for launching a low-level publicity campaign against Punjab Chief Minister.

The General Secretary of the Youth Akali Dal, Mr Harsukhinder Singh Bubby Badal, meanwhile, alleged illegal arrest and harassment by the police.

In a memorandum submitted to the Commission, SAD members also demanded the transfer of Vigilance Bureau Chief A.P. Pandey, Inspector General of Patiala Range Rajinder Singh, Media Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister B.I.S. Chahal, Amritsar’s Superintendent of Police Harmanbir Singh and Faridkot’s Deputy Inspector General G.S. Grewal.

They asserted that the Chief Minister was relying completely “on a powerful, but thoroughly discredited coterie of Mr Sinha, Mr Pandey and Mr Chahal. Their machinations were wrecking the state”.

Mr Chahal, they added, had been indicted by the Election Commission for his role during the 2002 assembly elections.

The Commission had also recommended action against him. But the Chief Minister “not only circumvented that order, but rewarded him with the post of Media Advisor”.

The deputation included former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Kirpal Singh Badungar, SAD’s General Secretary Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal and party secretary Daljit Singh Cheema.

The deputation of the Punjab Pradesh Congress, led by General Secretary Upender Sharma and Finance Minister Lal Singh, besides Local Bodies Minister Jagjit Singh submitted copies of advertisements “maligning the Chief Minister’s image”. The members added that they had enough material to expose their rivals, but were avoiding character assassination because of ethics.

They also requested that a sitting Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge should also be transferred to ensure free and fair polls as his wife was contesting. 


Rice scam being probed, says Henry
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 7
The Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Mr Avtar Henry, today revealed that inquiry into Rs 625-crore rice shellers scam was on while 773 shellers, who were alleged to be involved in the scam, were not allotted paddy for milling to ensure a fair and impartial inquiry.

Addressing a press conference after formally launching purchase of wheat at New Grain Market here, Mr Henry said a high-level inquiry into the scam, which was detected soon after the formation of the Congress government in the state, was on and the officials and rice sheller owners found guilty would be dealt according to law.

Elaborating on the arrangements for procurement of wheat, he said the first installment of Rs 4,395 crore had been received from the Resrve Bank of India and officials concerned were instructed to release payments of farmers within 48 hours after the purchase of the crop. The minister appealed to the farming community to come forward with their complaints, if any, for immediate redressal. Besides, three flying squads have been constituted for random inspection of state mandies and to check any irregularities on the part of the officials concerned, he added.

Mr Henry demanded that the Central Government should announce Rs 50 per quintal as bonus on wheat crop. We are expecting arrival of 145 lakh metric ton of wheat during this season while seven lakh metric ton of crop had already been purchased so far.

The state government had instituted an inquiry into fake allotment of ration depots under Public Distribution System (PDS) during the SAD-BJP regime, wherein, it was found that one person was holding three to four depots in his or her name in violation of prescribed norms. The allotment of such depots would be cancelled after receiving the report of the inquiry committee, he asserted.

When asked about the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s 15-day ultimatum to the Central Government to either allow the state government to sell levy sugar or it would sell on its own and would stop entry of sugar from other states, the minister chose not to comment on the issue by saying, since the Chief Minister had issued an ultimatum, so he would be in a better position to reply.


Liquor price war hots up on Punjab, HP border
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, April 7
With rival contractors winning the bids across the borders of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, the price war of liquor has started in the border areas of the district. The price war has led to sharp fall in the prices of liquor in border areas of the district. In some areas the liquor contractors of Punjab are being forced to sell liquor even below the minimum reserve price in the state due to competition from liquor contractors of Himachal Pradesh.

The price was lowest in the Nangal area. Due to competition in the first seven days of the current financial year the price of 750 ml local-made liquor bottle has fallen to Rs 50 from Rs 100 in the Punjab area. In Himachal Pradesh area, the price of local-made liquor has been brought down to Rs 40 per bottle. The prices of the economy and medium brands of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) have come to about half as compared to the previous year.

While there is no minimum fixed price of liquor in Himachal Pradesh, the excise policy of Punjab prescribes minimum rates. As per the excise policy for the year 2004-2005 in Punjab, the minimum price of IMFL was Rs 140 for 750 ml economy brand bottle, Rs 160 for medium brand, Rs 200 for premium brand and Rs 300 for deluxe brand. In case of local-made liquor the minimum retail price has been fixed at Rs 85 per 750 ml bottle.

Any contractor selling below the prescribed minimum retail price is liable to face action with cancellation of licence under Rule 36 of the Punjab Excise Act, 1914. However, the contractors of Punjab are being forced to sell below the minimum retail prices due to competition from across the borders.

The price war is giving trouble to the law enforcing agencies. Due to low prices more and more people are buying liquor from Himachal Pradesh vends. However, the henchmen of contractors of Punjab are checking everyone on their own to prevent the inflow of Himachal liquor into Punjab. This is leading to clashes between people and henchmen of liquor contractors of Punjab.

The Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Ropar, Mr Jarnail Singh when contacted on phone, admitted that the price war had started on the borders of the district. When asked about the henchmen of liquor contractors, he said adequate arrangement would made at to check the smuggling of liquor.


Students of six dental colleges to get refund
Chitleen K. Sethi
Tribune News Servicex

Mohali, April 7
Students of six dental colleges in the state will get around Rs 80000 each student, as refund of a part of the fee they paid to the college authorities during admission.

Orders to this effect have been issued to these colleges by the Secretary, Department of Medical Education and Research, Punjab. According to the Secretary's orders, these colleges violated a Supreme Court order and a Punjab Government notification in this regard.

The Punjab Government notification of July 25, 2003, had fixed Rs 5000 as the security advance to be charged from the students, the hostel fee was fixed at Rs 12000 for a single room and Rs 20,000 for special rooms. Other than this, the apex court in its order of August 14, 2003, had prohibited private medical institutions from charging any amount as miscellaneous or development fund. However, the college authorities had charged Rs 50000 each student as the security advance, Rs 25000 to Rs 45000 as hostel charges and Rs 15000 to Rs 25000 as development or miscellaneous charges. (see box)

Terming the charging of these amounts as illegal, Mr Satish Chandra, Secretary, Medical Education and Research, passed orders on March 31 asking these colleges to refund the students the excess amounts that had been charged by them under these heads. Mr Chandra also warned that in case the students were not refunded these colleges would face derecognition by the state government and the Dental Council of India and deaffiliation by the university.

Stating in his orders that a total of not more than Rs. 30,000 per annum each student should be charged for board and lodging, Mr Satish Chandra added that in the case of two students staying in an open room, these charges are to be lowered. He also said that a security advance of Rs 50000 could not be charged by the institutes on the pretext that the students handled costly books and material of the college which were liable to be damaged. ‘‘The college should insure all its material instead of retaining large sums as security,’’ he said. Regarding the development fee, Mr Chandra quoted the Supreme Court judgment in his orders.


Anti-quota front announces candidates
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 7
The Anti-Reservation Front today announced the names of three candidates for the Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Phillaur Lok Sabha seats.

Mr Davinder Singh Saini, state president of the organisation, will contest from Gurdaspur, Ms Madhu from Amritsar and Mr Harbans Singh from Phillaur. In a press conference here today the organisation president said they had applied for the poll symbol of “umbrella”.


Election office opened
Tribune news service

Bathinda, April 7
The main election office of Ms Paramjit Kaur, who has been nominated the SAD(B)-BJP candidate for this reserve parliamentary constituency as an alliance candidate for the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll, was opened here.


Ex vice-chief of DCC joins SAD
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, April 7
Former vice-president of the DCC and senior Congress leader Sukhdarshan Singh today left the Congress and joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in presence of its President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in Nihalsinghwala village here today.

Mr Sukhdarshan Singh, who had been with the Congress for the past more than 30 years, is a close relative of Mr H.S. Bhullar, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister.


BHEL gets Lehra Mohabbat project
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April 7
PSEB Chairman Y.S. Ratra said today the board had awarded the Lehra Mohabbat Second Phase thermal power project to BHEL on a turnkey basis.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the board had given an advance payment of Rs 100 crore to BHEL which had been given 3 years to complete the project. He said the total cost of the project was Rs 1,700 crore. The board had taken this decision despite criticism from its engineers that BHEL should be given only specific tasks like development of turbines and boilers and the PSEB should take up the project on its own.

He said the board was taking steps to ensure that there would be no shortage of power. The Chairman said the board was buying 250 lakh units which was costing it Rs 8 crore every day. He said more power would be bought from other agencies in the next few months to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

Mr Ratra said besides this, the board was scheduled to get 290 mw power from the Nathpa Jhakri power project in which it had a 29 per cent share. He said letter of credits had been issued and the board would get power worth Rs 42 crore per month. He said the board was holding talks to get 100 mw power from the Rajasthan Atomic Power Plant. He said the Power Trading Corporation and the Northern Regional Electricity Board had been approached for 200 mw and 100 mw power and a request had also been made to the Centre to increase Punjab’s share from the unallocated central quota.

The Chairman said no power cuts would be imposed on the industrial and urban sectors. He said in the rural areas also the power cuts would be in the range of three to five hours only. He said a 24 hour control room had been established. Anyone could ring up 0175-2207961 in case of a power breakdown.

The Chairman was, however, evasive on the tariff hike issue which had been withdrawn by the PSEB in view of the slated dismantling of the board which would be conducted by the first week of June. He said consumers would be billed according to the last year’s rate only and when asked how the board would realise arrears once the new tariff was announced by the State Regulatory Commission, he said the issue would be taken up later.


Khadoor Sahib Gurdwara being decked up 
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 7
Six beautiful gates have been erected for the 500th birth anniversary celebrations to be held at Khadoor Sahib from April 13 to 18.

Deputy Commissioner Raminder Singh, at a meeting held to chalk out the details of the function last evening, said that a new bus stand and sports stadium were nearing completion. He said streets in the township had been paved and drains constructed while streetlights were being installed on a war footing.

Besides, 1000 temporary steel toilets and bathrooms were being set up. Arrangements were being made to provide potable water near the celebration site. Eight information booths would give information on health, animal husbandry, development, municipal corporation, fire brigade, public health etc. Dhadis and kirtani jathas would recite Gurbani and apprise the sangat of teachings of Guru Angad Dev.

The Deputy Commissioner announced that the whole township would be painted white during the next two days to mark the celebrations.

He further said that the Sports Department with sports associations would organise a special sports festival from April 16 to 18.


24 injured as bus overturns
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 7
As many as 24 passengers, including three women, were injured when a private bus, they were travelling in, overturned near Nangal Shama village on the Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur road here today.

According to the police, the private bus, which was on its Delhi-Amritsar journey, was signaled to stop near Phillaur this morning by Additional District Transport Officer (ADTO) for routine checking of documents. But the driver of the bus increased its speed to avoid checking, thus, prompting the officials to chase it. The bus was alleged to be plying illegally to evade tax.

The driver of the bus, identified as Amrik Singh, in his bid to befool officials, turned the vehicle towards Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur road instead of moving towards its scheduled destination- Amritsar. Since, the road was under construction and full of pot holes, the driver lost control over the vehicle, which later overturned near Nangal Shama village. As many as 24 passengers were injured, who were admitted to the local Civil Hospital and some private hospital of the Rama Mandi area.

The injured were identified as Vicky, Sonu, Abdul Rashid, Manjoor Hussain, Sukhamrit Pal Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Pardeep Singh, Sumit Sonkar, Bhupinder Singh, Harjinder Kumar, Harbhajan Kaur, Kuldeep Kaur, Kashmiri Singh, Mota Singh, Amrik Kaur, Sukhdip Singh, Gurpal Singh, Gulam Mashoor, Mohammad Rashid and Mohammad Arshad.

Amrik Singh was arrested by the police and a case under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC has been registered against him.


Tension mounts at Ram Tirath Temple
Rashmi Talwar

Ram Tirath (Amritsar), April 7
Tension mounted at this ancient temple as police reinforcements were intensified here today following a call by Balmikis for a “large-scale kar seva” on April 9 at the temple despite a stay order till April 20.

A visit by the Deputy Mayor and the head of the Valmiki Ashram Dhuna Sahib Trust at about 5 pm here led to the closure of shops near the ancient structure that belonged to the Mahant Baldev Giri faction. However, Deputy Mayor Om Parkash Gabbar said this was a preventive measure.

Meanwhile, the Balmikis after a meeting in their temple near the Hathi Gate crossing in Amritsar took up a protest march from Hall Gate to M.M. Malaviya Road against BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Mahant Suraj Parkash and other mahants of temple

As many as 200 police personnel in riot gear along with mounted police were deputed on the roads leading to the Balmiki temple. Traffic was diverted for an hour as the Balmikis blocked traffic for nearly half an hour.

Separate meeting took place between the district administration and the warring factions headed by ADC Kulwant Singh. He said they had tried to pacify both factions.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, chowki in charge, Ram Tirath, confirmed that kar seva was going on at the sarovar but on a low scale.


Bank employees observe strike
Tribune Reporters

Jalandhar, April 7
Hundreds of employees of Central Co-operative Bank here and its branches in the entire district today observed pen-down strike against the recent decision of the Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Punjab, to unilaterally amend service and promotion rules.

Addressing a gate rally here, Mr Satnam Singh Aulaukh, president of the employees union, alleged that the decision would severely hit interests of the bank employees.

While the Council of Ministers during a meeting on February 4 had recommended withdrawal of an earlier notification regarding reduction in allowances of bank employees, the recent decision of the state bureaucracy to make service conditions further stringent was against the policies of the elected representatives, he said.

The union leaders threatened to hold a mass protest rally in Patiala on April 21, in case their demands were not met by the state government.

All branches of the Co-operative bank in Punjab will remain closed on April 21 to protest against the anti-employee decision.

FARIDKOT: On a call given by the state body of the Employees Association of the Central Cooperative Banks to protest against the indifferent attitude of the Punjab Government to accept the long-pending demands of the employees, members of all 24 branches of the bank in both rural and urban areas in the district observed pen-down strike today.

Some of the main demands include withdrawal of a number of amendments made in the service rules of common cadre and non-cadre employees, removal of anomalies in the pay parity, restoration of all previous facilities like bonus, leaves, ex-gratia grant, medical allowance, etc implementation of pension scheme, filling of vacant posts through promotion and stoppage of deputation system.

They held a joint rally in this connection here which was addressed by the senior district leaders.

Later a memorandum was sent to Mr Lal Singh, Finance Minister, seeking his immediate intervention to resolve the matter amicably in the interest of the state.

BATHINDA: All commercial and other activities in 40 branches of Punjab State Cooperative Bank of the region came to complete halt when members of its employees federation observed pen-down strike and held a rally to protest against the decision of the Punjab Government to reduce their salaries.


Taps go dry in Kharar
Kulwinder Sangha

Kharar, April 7
With the mercury hovering around 37°C and peak summers yet to come, residents of the town are already in the throes of a serious water crisis.

The shortage of water is so acute that in certain localities taps even on the ground floor level have run dry. In some areas residents have to depend on hand-pumps because water supply pipes have not yet been laid. In one locality even hand-pump water is unfit for drinking.

Mrs Charanjit Kaur, a resident of Didar Nagar, said that as she was living in a first floor accommodation, life had become miserable for her. Water had to be carried from the ground floor and she had been advised by doctors not to carry weight as she suffers from a stomach problem. She said every morning her husband had to carry buckets of water from the ground floor which is then stored for using during the day. She said the water pressure at the ground floor remained low and it almost took 20 minutes to fill one bucket.

Mrs Rainu Khurana, a resident of Anand Nagar, said that water did not reach the kitchen and the bathrooms of her house even when her family was living on the ground floor. The water pressure was very low and as such they were compelled to fill water from a tap fixed near the main water connection. A lot of time was wasted on collecting water for storage. She said that she had been facing this problem for the past eight years.

Mrs Geeta, who lives in Thatherian Wala Mohalla, has a similar story to tell. She said that though she lived on the ground floor, she was facing water problem. Water had to be taken from a tap near the meter as the taps in the house remained dry. She said that the problem had been brought to the notice of the Municipal Council authorities but to no avail.

Mrs Satya Kumari, a resident of Mehak Nagar, said she has been living in the area for the past eight years but the civic body had so far not provided piped water to the area. She said that residents of this colony were depending on hand-pumps which were discharging polluted water. She said that the water stored turned yellowish after a few hours.

Mr Charanjit Singh, president of the Municipal Council, told Chandigarh Tribune today that all efforts were being made to improve the water supply position in the town.

He said that problems were arising because the civic body had limited funds. He said that the town would get ultimate relief only when canal water was supplied to it.

He said that the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board had given an estimate of Rs 4.58 crore for making necessary arrangements for getting canal water from the PUDA pipeline that was to be laid from Kajauli water works. He said the House had cleared the estimate at its meeting and Hudco would be releasing a loan in this connection soon.

He said that 10 tubewells were functioning in the town. A meeting was held with the colonisers who had set up colonies near Kharar to give supply of water to the civic body from their tubewells to meet the shortage during summers. He said that all illegal connections, numbering 155, were being plugged by the authorities to meet water scarcity.


Love plug for hole in the heart
Gurvinder Kaur

Patiala, April 7
When children his age gather together to play, nine-year-old Krishan can only sit and watch. He dare not join them for the little boy was born with a congenital defect - a hole in the heart, a condition, which in the absence of immediate corrective surgery, may turn fatal any moment.

The condition coupled with the constriction of the lungs, has forced little Krishan to keep in check the exuberance and vitality which are the hallmarks of a normal childhood. Son of a rickshaw-puller Mahadeo who hails from Uttar Pradesh, the boy is usually confined to bed in his house in Badungar here. He attends school infrequently as even a short walk can sometimes trigger off acute breathlessness, dizziness and lung congestion .

Doctors have been advising Krishan`s parents to go in for corrective surgery ever since he turned six. The couple has been hard put even to collect the money required for their son`s monthly medicines Despite his mother Sunita and his two sisters, aged 15 and 11, doing their bit for him. Hope, is, however, burgeoning for the couple as two local women have taken upon themselves the task of collecting Rs 1.6 lakh required for Krishan`s operation.

Moved by Sunita`s plight, Ms Daljeet Kaur Sadana, in whose house Sunita works as a help, has been playing the good Samaritan for the past couple of years. She has been regularly taking the boy for treatment to the PGI in Chandigarh and bearing the expenses too. When Krishan developed an abscess in his brain nearly two years back, Ms Sadana had borne the expenses for his month- long stay and treatment at the PGI.

However, with the doctors warning that time is running out for Krishan, Ms Sadana turned to her friend and neighbour Ms Raminder Kaur Bhullar for help who not only contributed generously towards the cause but also roped in a relative Dr H P S Pannu, Medical Superintendent, Escorts Heart Institute, Amritsar, to operate upon the child. The duo is meanwhile busy collecting the money required for the surgery. The women have managed to put together Rs 7 0,000. The remaining Rs 90,000 still remains to be gathered.

The doctors plan to carry out two surgeries in one go, not only the hole in the heart will be plugged during the operation but the constriction in Krishan`s lungs would also be opened up facilitating the adequate flow of blood to the heart.

Ms Raminder Kaur Bhullar has also appealed to the Rotary organisation for help. Each minute ticking by brings added threat to Krishan’s well being. Those of you wanting to help can send money to - Krishan C/O Escort Heart Institute and Super Speciality, Amritsar.


Ghee unit clogs air
Our Correspondent

Kharar, April 7
Residents of Khanpur village, adjoining Kharar, have complained to the Punjab Pollution Control Board to take action against a ghee-manufacturing unit in the area which was creating pollution.

The residents of ward numbers IX and XI (Khanpur) said that the ghee unit had been set up in a residential area and the air, water and noise pollution created by it had made their lives miserable.

In a letter sent to be Chairman of the board, with copies to the Chief Minister, Punjab, and the Secretary, Environment, the residents complained that the factory was burning rice husk in the manufacturing process. The resultant ash polluted the air and kept falling in the residential area. Besides, chemical fumes emanating from the ghee unit gave a foul smell and was creating eye and breathing problems among residents.

They said that the poisonous water released by the factory had contaminated the water of the area. The factory was making use of high-powered generator sets which was creating noise pollution and as such it had become difficult for students to study and for residents to sleep peacefully.

They said that a new unit of the ghee factory was being set up close to the residential area which should be stopped immediately.

However, the Managing Director of the factory, Mr Raj Kumar, denied all allegations. He told Chandigarh Tribune today that no ash was falling in the area as an air pollution control device had been installed in the unit.


Councillors seek action against officials
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 7
A tussle between the Municipal Councillors, President and officials of Municipal Council, Sirhind, Fatehgarh Sahib, has erupted over the recording of the proceedings of the meeting held on March 19.

Twelve Municipal Councillors of Sirhind, Fatehgarh Sahib Municipal Council, in a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner have demanded action against those officials of the council, who have misused their rights by deliberately recording incomplete proceedings of the councillors’ meeting in proceeding book. Further the officials circulated the proceedings to the councillors after five days, where as it was mandatory to circulate the proceedings within 72 hours.

These councillors further said in the complaint that on March 19 a meeting of General House was called by the President.

After discussing all agenda items, some councillors, with the permission of the Chair, raised the issue of constructing a municipal park in the Hamayunpur area of the town by transferring the land with the management of Khalsa School Sirhind for the park.

The councillors urged the president to construct municipal park on the site of the playground of Khalsa School. The land for the playground had been given by council to the school management. They added that in lieu of that the school management should be given some land of the council in Sekhupura village for the ground. They said that when land was given for playground the population was very less, whereas now the area was overpopulated. Moreover the school had no sports team of any kind since 1974.

The councillors claimed that this suggestion was passed with a majority vote and it was decided to construct a park there. The councillors alleged that when they got the proceedings on March 25, which should have been circulated on March 22, there was no reference in this regard. The resolution passed regarding construction of park was not recorded in the proceeding book.

They demanded stern action against the officials concerned as well as to cancel all proceedings of that meeting.

A group of councillors was opposing the construction of park on the school ground, where as majority of the councillors supported the construction of the park.

Various social, religious, political and other organisations have also joined hands with the councillors over the issue. They have also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner to construct the park at the site of playground.

But the management of the school opposed the construction of park on the playground. A delegation of management of the school met the Deputy Commissioner and also submitted a memorandum.

When contacted Mr Charnjiv Channa, president of the council, he said that the issue of constructing park at the site of playground of Khalsa a School had been discussed in the meeting and majority of the members had favoured it. He said that as this was an out of agenda item, so it was not recorded in the proceeding book. He said that if councillors wanted to get it on proceeding book they could give a fresh notice to put this item on agenda for next meeting.


Patiala Diary
Preneet banks on development
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

SPECULATIONS are going on in the city over the poll result of Patiala parliamentary constituency —from where state Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s wife Preneet Kaur is again in the fray to retain the seat.

Though Patiala city forms only one of the nine Assembly segments in the parliamentary constituency, it is of much importance to the Congress candidate. The issue in this Assembly segment is not only who will take the lead, but also how much the lead of Ms Preneet Kaur will be.

The lead in the Patiala Assembly segment and other urban areas in the constituency could well decide the fate of the Congress candidate. Gaining a big lead from Patiala is important as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is very strong in the rural segments of other constituencies.

Though the SAD has fielded a formidable candidate in Capt Kanwaljit Singh, the Congress poll managers are hoping that the ongoing developmental works in the city will go to her credit. These works include a Rs 126 crore sewerage scheme, establishment of a new township near the city on 300 acres of land, augmentation of water and electricity supply and large-scale road and street repair work.

The Congress will be banking on these works to see Mrs Preneet Kaur through. Mayor Vishnu Sharma and other senior Congressmen are likely to stress on these works to ensure a big margin for the Congress candidate.

* * *

World Bank names award after city lad

Jit Gill, who had made the city proud by becoming the Sector Manager of the World Bank for the South African region, died at Washington recently. Jit fell down from the first floor of his house which was under construction. Jit had joined the World Bank in 1993 in Washington after he resigned from the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). His brother - in - law Tej Pratap Singh Phookla, who is the SDM of the city, said the family had received a communication from the World Bank stating that an award was being instituted in Jit Gill’s name in Washington. The award - The Jit Gill Award for Public Service - will be given every year. The first award will be given to Jit on posthumously.

* * *

Parking for police only

The office of the Senior Superintendent of Police here has a large parking space in front of it which must have been made by the planners of the newly constructed Mini-Secretariat. However, the Patiala police does not think it is meant to be used by the common public. The entire parking space has been kept reserved for police officers only and a board announcing this has also been put up on the gate to the parking. Police personnel manning the gate say they have orders not to allow anyone except police officers to use the parking. As a result, the parking remains empty as only a few police vehicles are parked in it throughout the day.


Woman in illegal police custody rescued
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 7
A warrant officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today found Nirmal Kaur of the Gobindpur locality in the illegal custody of the police.

According to reports, many officials of the B Division fled the police station following a raid by the warrant officer who found the woman gagged in a bathroom.

Mr P.K. Rai, SP (City), denied that she had been recovered from the police station. He claimed that she was found from a private place.

Though senior police officers are tight-lipped about the raid, it is learnt that Nirmal Kaur and her minor daughter were brought to B Division on charges of an alleged murder about a week ago. While her daughter, Sonia, was released after two days, Nirmal Kaur continued to be in illegal custody.


Dharna by Punjab employees
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 7
Employees of the offices of the Financial Commissioners in the Punjab Civil Secretariat today held a dharna in front of the office of the Principal Secretary (Finance), Mr B.R. Bajaj, for about two hours in protest against the non-payment of salary to them.

The agitating employees said their salary was deposited in the Co-operative Bank branch of the Civil Secretariat, where employees were on a state-wide pen-down strike. As a result of this, they were unable to get their salary.


Army takes up proxy voting issue with EC
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, April 7
The Army Headquarters authorities have taken up the issue pertaining to the inclusion of those wives of jawans and officers within the purview of proxy voting with the Election Commission (EC), who were presently not entitled to vote by proxy.

In an official press statement issued here today, a defence spokesman said that the Army Headquarters have asked the EC that the eligible dependents, who were residing with the service personnel, should be allowed to be registered as service voters like wives.

The spokesman further said that the EC was approached to speed up the dispatch of postal ballots so that it could reach service voters within time. Besides, the officials in lower formations and units were being regularly told to educate and motivate troops to make use of proxy voting.


Farmers’ unions threaten to intensify stir
Our Correspondent

Bakipur (Amritsar): Farmers under the banner of the Kisan Sangharash Committee and Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) today decided to intensify their agitation from May 7 three days before the parliamentary elections.

Addressing the gathering at the bhog ceremony of Angrej Singh (who died in police firing at Manawala railway station near Amritsar on March 29 during a dharna by farmers), the unions announced that they would take the mortal remains of Angrej Singh in a protest march, starting April 29 from Manawala and reaching Patiala on May 7.

Mr Kanwalpreet Pannu, convener Kisan Sangharsh Committee, said they would announce their future course of action in Patiala on May 7.

The unions also threatened to gherao all Congress candidates who would visit their villages and welcome them with black flags, April 13 onwards. They would also install black flags on rooftops in protest.

Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike and Dr Ratan Singh Ajnala, both SAD leaders, who were also present there and assured the farmers that they would support their agitation. They also presented a siropa to the widow of Angrej Singh.

Mr Joginder Singh Ugraho, president, BKU (Ekta), demanded the immediate release of the detained farmers unconditionally.

The unions demanded the cancellation of cases against farmers and Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the affected family. They also demanded a government job for one member of the family. They sought the registration of cases of murder/attempt against erring police officials and a probe in the firing incident by a retired high court judge.


Judicial probe into police firing on farmers sought
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 7
The Judicial Accountability and Human Rights Promotion Organisation (North India) today demanded a judicial inquiry into police firing on the protesting farmers at Manawala Railway station in Amritsar district in the recent past. It also demanded that police involved in the same be booked for murder.

In a press note here today, Mr Hardev Singh Grewal and Mr Mithu Ram Gupta, Advocates, said that at a meeting under the chairmanship of Mr Balwant Singh, the organisation condemned unprovoked police firing on peaceful farmers, which caused the death of farmer Angrej Singh of demanded adequate compensation for the family of the deceased.

They said that the authorities instead of booking police officials for the death of farmer Angrej Singh, registered cases against many persons including a 12-years-old boy, who were subsequently detained. The organisation demanded that false cases registered against these persons should be withdrawn.

The organisation also expressed concern over shortage of judges in courts at Bathinda and had decided to request the Punjab and Haryana High Court to post more judicial officers there.


Harvesting of wheat at night banned
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 7
District Magistrate Raminder Singh here yesterday banned harvesting of wheat by combine harvesters in the district. The step has been taken to reduce chances of moisture in the grain .

No machine will be allowed to operate from 7PM to 8AM for the next two months. On procurement in mandis the DM said in some mandis farmers brought the wheat with high moisture reach up to 12 per cent. He appealed to farmers to harvest ripe and dry crop for smooth procurement. He directed agencies to start procurement in 110 mandis and purchase centers within specifications. Wheat has been sown on in 3.63 hectares and production of 17.60 lakh tonnes of wheat was expected of which 10 lakh tonnes was expected to be purchased by government agencies.


FCI staff meeting on April 10
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 7
The FCI Executive Staff Union will hold its two-day national convention at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh on April 10 and April 11 to discuss the employees’ problems and evolve the strategy to solve them.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Gyan Chand Bansal, press secretary of the union, said the matter related with proposals to privatise the FCI’s operations and decrease its work will also be discussed. Five delegates of Punjab will participate in this convention.


In-laws’ demand ‘forces’ man to end life
Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, April 7
In a bizarre incident, Dalbir Singh, an NRI settled in Italy, on his failure to take back his wife and daughter with him, committed suicide in his in-laws’ house in Bhadas village of this district on Monday.

On the complaint of Beant Singh, a resident of Bagrian Purani village in Gurdaspur and father of the deceased, the police has registered a case under Sections 306 and 149 of the IPC against seven members of his in-laws’ family on the charge of forcing Dalbir Singh to take this step.

Beant Singh alleged in his complaint that in-laws of Dalbir Singh were demanding Rs 10 lakh for sending his wife and daughter with him. He alleged that Dalbir Singh was mercilessly beaten up by his in-laws on Monday.

They did not allow him to enter the house and in the morning his dead body was found in compound of village school.

The police has registered a case against his wife Manjit Kaur, father-in-law Sudha Singh, mother-in-law Leel Kaur, brothers-in-law Joginder Singh and Harbhajan Singh and their wives who are absconding.

The body was handed over to his parents after the post-mortem examination in the local Civil Hospital on Tuesday.


Police told to look into sarpanch’s complaint
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, April 7
Justice N. C. Jain, Chairperson of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), in his orders yesterday evening directed the SSP, Sangrur, to look into the complaint of Ms Jull Kaur, sarpanch of Sadatpur village, in Malerkotla tehsil, in which she alleged that Mann Singh, son of Mr Diwan Singh, former sarpanch, had abused her.

She said the police was not taking action against Mann Singh despite the fact that an FIR (No 0078, dated March 22, 2004) under Section 3/4 of the SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 had been registered against him.

The complainant alleged that the police was compelling her to withdraw the allegations, failing which false cases would made against her. She said similar threats were being given to the witnesses.


Husband, wife arrested for cheating
Our Correspondent

Phagwara April 7
Travel agent couple Balwinder Singh alias Billa and his wife Davinder Kaur of Phillaur were arrested by the police the here remanded in police custody till April 8, it was learnt yesterday.

The couple along with their son Satnam Singh and an NRI woman Joginder Kaur of Domeli had defrauded Surjit Singh of Domeli of Rs 12 lakh for sending him to Canada but instead he moving from Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand   came back to India.

The NRI woman went back to Canada after staying at her Domeli village   for several weeks.


Rs 5,000 stolen from temple
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, April 7
A burglary took place in Shiv Bhagwati mandir of Chak Prema village on Monday night.

It was learnt yesterday that burglars broke open the   locks of the doors of the temple and decamped with cash of the ‘golak’ (container for offerings). They locked the room of the priest Joginder Kumar before fleeing.

The priest said that the ‘golak’ contained Rs 5000 in cash as part of offerings.

He also informed that the burglary could have taken place between 11 pm and 3 a.m.. The police was informed.


Engg college fest ends
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, April 7
A two-day festival of the local Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology concluded here today.

Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, who was the chief guest, lauded the excellent show put up by the students.

Mr Sinha said that job security and securing government jobs had become a thing of the past.

He advised the students to hone their skills and look for good, competitive jobs in the private sector.

Dr P.K. Bansal, principal of the college, said that students of the institution had been doing well in academics. He said that even though the college was established in 1989, this was its sixth cultural function.

The following are the results (overall winners):

Solo song (male): Ramesh Kumar 1 (batch 2001)

Solo song (female): Richa Jindal 1 (batch 2002)

Solo dance (male): Vishal Arora 1 (batch 2001)

Solo dance (female): Sonia 1 (batch 2002)

Duet song: Jatin and Richa 1 (batch 2002)

Skit: Avinash and group 1 (batch 2002)

Western dance: Ankur and group (batch 2002)

Mimicry: Sandeep Suman (batch 2000).


MA, M.Sc exams from April 10
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 7
Annual theory examinations of MA and M.Sc of Guru Nanak Dev University will commence from April 10. In a pressnote here yesterday Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar, stated that the theory examinations of MA -I-II and M.Sc chemistry and mathematics part-I will start on April 10 while examination of M.Sc chemistry and Mathematics part-II would commence from April 12.

The Registrar added the roll numbers to all eligible candidates had been dispatched. The candidates who had not received roll numbers of these classes should contact the examinations branch of varsity along with original documents and one passport-size attested photograph, he informed.


Students donate blood
Our Correspondent

Ropar, April 7
The NSS unit of the Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology today organised a blood donation camp in the campus to mark the World Health Day. The camp was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner, Nawanshahr, Mr H.I.S. Grewal. The camp was organised under the aegis of the PGI, Chandigarh, and 350 students and teachers of engineering college donated blood.


School launches Eco Club
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 7
The local Blossoms School launched its Eco Club by taking out a rally on awareness for environment protection here today.

Students of class ninth and 10th Classes participated in the rally. It was flagged off by the Principal of the school, Mrs Ravi Singh. Students carrying placards and slogans went from door-to-door in Century Enclave and Majithia Enclave.

They made the residents aware about the water conservation and ban on Polybags. Students gave practical demonstration on conserving water which. They also carried paper bags and cloth bags with them and explained the disadvantage of polybags.


Promise of pole-free Patiala
Our Correspondent

Patiala, April 7
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) today asserted to make the whole Patiala National Capital Region (NCR) Town a pole-free city by introducing five-pair distribution points and five-pair cables by the year-end.

While highlighting the achievements of the department the District Telecom General Manager, Mr C.S. Kataria, said that 8.75 K wireless local loop (WLL) equipment had been commissioned in rural and urban areas of Patiala Secondary Switching Area (SSA) during this year. Along with this nearly 19,000 new telephone connections had been provided till date.

To improve the mobile signals within the city and other parts of Patiala SSA more towers had been planned at Sanauri Adda, SST Nagar exchange, Dharampura Bazar, New Officers’ Colony, Old Rajpura town, Sanaur, Devigarh and Ghanaur.

Mr Kataria further said that the existing Customer Service Center, at present being housed in CTO building would be soon shifted to the main telephone exchange building. The basic objective behind this was to increase the interface between the subscribers and BSNL.

He further added that a higher grade call center was also being established at Urban Estate telephone exchange building to provide information on all enquiries related to various telecom services. Along with this, eight online cash counters and seven banks and their branches had been authorised to collect telephone and mobile bills up to pay date.

Recently the BSNL had entered into an agreement with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for selling its products at various establishments of the corporation dealers, he added.

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