P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Unapproved Bt cotton seed on sale in Punjab
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 7
Cotton growers of Punjab have taken the risk of sowing unapproved Bt cotton varieties in their enthusiasm to bring the maximum area under Bt cotton this year. Scientists of Punjab Agricultural University have expressed their concern over the sale of unapproved Bt cotton varieties in Punjab at a higher price.

Punjab Agricultural University has conducted trials of various Bt cotton varieties for the northern region comprising Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan and found only eight varieties fit for the cultivation. But the Union Ministry of Environment and Science and Technology has not granted permission for the release of the same this year. The Union Government is likely to grant approval of these varieties next year.

According to Dr G.S. Chahal, Additional Director, Research, PAU, it is almost certain that a couple of Bt cotton hybrid varieties would be available for cultivation in Punjab during the crop season of 2005. But a point of serious concern for the revival of cotton and economy of cotton growers is unqualified attraction of our farmers towards Bt cotton. The availability and success for Bt cotton in rest of India has genuinely allured the cotton growers of Punjab to procure Bt cotton by all means.

Dr Chahal discloses that it is estimated by private traders that 2.5 to three lakh seed packets of 450 gm each of Bt cotton have been marketed which may cover an area of about three lakh acres — 20 per cent of the total area would be under cultivation of unauthorised Bt cotton. The area under such unauthorised cotton seed in Mansa and Bathinda districts is expected to be of still higher magnitude. What is most disturbing is the fact that there is no guarantee about Bt status of such seed that has been sold and sown. Even for genuine Bt cotton, the suitability and success of these hybrid varieties under Punjab conditions are not known. So far only two Bt cotton varieties NECH 162 and MECH 184 have been recommended for the central zone and only MECH 12 for the south zone. It has been noted that farmers got the seed of MECH 12 which is not approved even for central zone, including Gujarat. The seed traders even contracted farmers in villages and unlabeled seed of so-called Bt cotton has been sold at prices of their liking which ranged from Rs 500 to as high as Rs 3,000 per packet of 450 gm.

Dr Chahal warned, “The use of such untested and unsuitable Bt cotton is likely to become a source of disaster for the already ailing cultivation of cotton in Punjab.”

According to information available with this reporter, the area under cotton is going to be more this year as the crop last year was very good and the growers got record high price of their produce ranging from Rs 2,600 to Rs 2,850 per quintal. Because of this fact, the farmers showed renewed interest in the cultivation of cotton this year and area under the same was likely to touch six lakh hectares against five lakh hectares last year.

This year, with the efforts of the Financial Commissioner (Development), Dr B.C. Gupta, canal water was available as a result of which 90 per cent of the area has been sown before mid-May.

According to Dr Chahal, the PAU has already eight Bt cotton varieties which were recommended for cultivation in Punjab. But as per the procedure of the government, these varieties are again being tested during the current crop season. In addition, 20 more Bt cotton varieties are being tested. The genuine seed of Bt cotton would be supplied next year by reputed companies.

Dr Chahal has advised the farmers that they must protect the crop from sucking pests. A high temperature during April and early May led to burning of seedlings at certain places. But the onset of rains throughout the state has lowered the temperature and the crop has started establishing quite well. In general, the crop is expected to be good this year, say PAU experts.


5 children die in wall collapse
DC orders magisterial probe
Tribune Reporters

Payal, June 7
Five boys belonging to two families of migrant labourers were buried alive when a 20-foot wall collapsed on the victims at Rai Majra village near Payal town after last night’s storm. The victims were sleeping when the mishap took place.

Sonu (15) , Monu (13), Kalu (10) and Vicky (8) were children of a daily-wage worker Rudal Prasad, while Dev Saran (10) was the son of Jokhan Prasad, a lineman with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB). He also suffered minor injuries in the mishap and was admitted to the Civil Hospital, Khanna.

The Khanna police has registered a case of causing death due to negligence against Rakesh Kumar who was constructing the house. Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Anurag Verma, who visited the spot along with Khanna SSP Pramod Ban announced an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 for each victim.

Three families live as tenants in the house. All of them, over 20 in number, were sleeping outside when the incident occurred. An inconsolable Urmila Prasad, mother of four victims repented that she did not take the children inside when the storm started.

“The rain had not started and we were finding it quite comfortable outside. We were just thinking of going inside when there was a loud noise and the wall fell on the cots where the children were sleeping,” she said in broken sentences.

Interestingly, the wall had been raised so high without using iron rods. Neither a beam had been constructed to strengthen the wall.

The postmortem examination of the victims was conducted at the Civil Hospital, Payal. The bodies were handed over to the family in the evening.

Meanwhile, Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the wall collapse incident. He has directed the SDM, Payal, to conduct an inquiry into this.

Jalandhar: The thunderstorm which hit the northern region last night claimed one life and injured two others in the city.

Parkash, a labourer was killed at Gadaipur area in roof collapse. Two persons, including a mother and her child were injured, when they were packing their beds on the roof of their house at Adarsh Nagar. Due to the storm they fell in the courtyard of a neighbouring house, police sources said.


SGPC poll
25 file papers in Sangrur district
Tribune Reporters

Sangrur, June 7
Twentyfive candidates today filed nomination papers for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections for 12 seats in eight constituencies of the district, namely Moonak, Sunam, Longowal, Barnala, Bhadaur, Channanwal, Sangrur and Dirba. However, no candidate filed nomination papers for Dhuri, Malerkotla and Amargarh SGPC constituencies today.

Those who filed nomination papers are: Ms Mukhtiar Kaur, Moonak (women); Ms Amarjit Kaur Moonak, (general); Mr Prem Singh and Mr Amarjit Singh (Sunam); Mr Udai Singh (Longowal); Sant Baba Tek Singh Dhanaula and Mr Balwinder Singh, Barnala (general); Ms Ajaib Kaur, Ms Kulwinder Kaur and Ms Jaswinder Kaur, Barnala (women); Ms Inderjit Kaur and Mr Baldev Singh, Bhadaur (general); Mr Harpalinder Singh and Mr Amar Singh, Bhadaur (SC); Mr Jasbir Singh and Mr Bahadur Singh (Channanwal); Mr Jatinder Singh, Mr Harwinder Singh, Mr Gurtej Singh and Mr Major Singh, Sangrur (general); Mr Ranjit Singh, Sangrur (SC); and Mr Kulwant Singh, Mr Joginder Singh, Mr Gurtej Singh and Mr Sukhjinder Singh (Dirba).

ROPAR: Nine candidates for the SGPC elections filed their nomination papers in the district on Monday. From the Ropar (general) seat, Mr Harbans Singh Kandola, a candidate of the Panthic Morcha, and Mr Surinder Singh,his covering candidate, filed papers while from the Ropar (SC women) seat, Ms Daljit Kaur, an Independent candidate, from Morinda, Mr Jagjit Singh Rattangarh of the SAD, Mr Balbir Singh of the Panthic Morcha and Mr Sapinder Singh, his covering candidate, from the Kharar (general) seat, Mr Bhajan Singh of the Panthic Morcha and Mr Narinder Singh, his covering candidate, and from the Anandpur Sahib seat, Mr Hira Singh (Independent) filed papers. Tomorrow is the last day of filing nomination papers. The scrutiny of the papers will be done on June 11.

PHILLAUR: Six candidates filed nomination papers before the SDM for the SGPC elections on Monday. Ms Nirmal Kaur filed nomination papers as the SAD candidate, Ms Manjit Kaur as the covering candidate from the Phillaur reserved seat for women, Mr Harjinder Singh as the Akali Dal candidate, Ms Surinder Kaur as the covering candidate, and Mr Amarjit Sandhu and Mr Mahinder Singh as Independent candidates from the Phillaur (general) seat.

AMRITSAR: Thirtyone candidates filed nomination papers for the SGPC elections here on Monday.

Among the 27 men and four women candidates, Mr Navdeep Singh filed papers for Amritsar (east), Mr Satbir Singh and Kewal Nain Singh, Amritsar (central), Mr Jaswinder Singh, Mr Kuljit Singh, Mr Amarjit Singh, Mr Harjinder Singh, Amritsar (west).

For Ajnala Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Surjit Singh and Mr Gurdip Singh, for Ajnala women Ms Santokh Kaur, Ms Kuljit Kaur, Ms Balwant Kaur.

For Jandiala, Mr Bhoopinder Singh, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Baljinder Singh, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Kashmir Singh and Mr Sarbjit Singh filed nomination papers.

From Verka, Mr Joga Singh, Mr Raj Singh, Mr Ajit Singh. From Naushehra Panuan Mr Gurbachan Singh, Mr Inderjit Singh and Mr Karam Singh, for the women’s seat, Ms Harbans Kaur and Ms Sukhwinder Kaur, filed papers.

Mr Ranjit Singh for Patti, Mr Bahal Singh and Mr Sawinder Singh for Bhikhiwind. from Tarn Taran, Mr Alwinder Pal Singh, and for Chabbal, Mr Balwinder Singh, filed papers.

Mr Raminder Singh, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer, said nominations could be filed till Tuesday.


Panthic Morcha to declare list of candidates today
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 7
A secret meeting of Panthic Morcha leaders to finalise the list of candidates for the coming SGPC elections held at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib today. All leaders or their representatives belonging to different SAD factions opposed to Mr Badal attended the meeting.

The rights regarding the finalisation of candidature for those seats, where some misunderstandings had been created were given to Bhai Ranjit Singh, former Jathedar Akal Takht and he would announce the list of candidates tomorrow. Baba Sarvjot Singh Bedi has been made in charge of the election campaign committee.

Talking to The Tribune Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said all SAD leaders, who had made sacrifices for the party as well as for the Panth and had been isolated by Mr Badal due to his personal interests. had decided to unite on one platform against the anti-Panthic activities of Mr Badal.

He said due to the wrong policies of Badal politics had dominated religion and even the highest temporal seat of Jathedar of Akal Takht had been affected due to unnecessary interference by Mr Badal. He said Mr Badal had degenerated all principles of Sikhism and of “Miri & Piri”.

He said it was a matter of concern that the SGPC ticket had been allotted to those, who had never gone to gurdwaras, and some were not even baptised. He said the Panthic Morcha had given ticket to only those, who had been baptised and were true Sikhs in letter and spirit and fulfillled all conditions announced by Jathedar of Akal Takht. He said it was good that Jathedar Akal Takht had issued an appeal to all candidates contesting the SGPC elections not to distribute liquor and other intoxicants to influence the voters, but he must strive and ensure that Mr Badal also heed to his request.

Mr Charan Singh Loharan and Paramjit Singh Saholi also addressed the meeting.


Sarna for Panthic candidates in SGPC poll
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 7
Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, president, Shiromani Akali Dal, Delhi has said that ‘true Panthic’ candidates should be elected in SGPC elections, stated for July 11.

Mr Sarna yesterday urged the Sikh clergy to play an imparital role so that Akal Takht could be instrumental in electing dedicated members.

He said Akal Takht must ensure that Akali factions did not indulge in the distribution of liquor or drugs for voters. The SGPC elections should be considered different from the Assembly or Parliament elections, he urged. Mr Sarna further said Panthic organisations main concern should be religious and maintenance of Sikh shrines.

Mr Sarna alleged that in a survey conducted by the SAD (Delhi) more than 80 per cent Sikh youths in Punjab were found to be ‘patit’ (apostate) which was a matter of concern.


12 file papers for SGPC poll
Tribune Reporters

Muktsar, June 7
Five of the six candidates of SAD from Muktsar district filed their nomination papers for the SGPC elections here today.

They are Gurpal Singh Gora from Gidderbaha, Navtej Singh Kauni from Doda (general), Mukhtiar Kaur from Doda (women), Bhai Sarup Singh Sibia from Muktsar (general) and Manjeet Kaur Chrewan from Muktsar (women). The SAD candidate from Malout, Dayal Singh, will file his papers tomorrow.

FARIDKOT: Seven candidates, including five of the SAD, filed their nomination papers for the SGPC poll on Monday from Faridkot, Kotkapura and Jaito.

They are Mohinder Singh Romana, of the SAD from Faridkot, Makhan Singh Nangal (general) and Jasbir Kaur (reserved), both of the SAD, from Kotkapura, Sukhdev Singh (general) and Nazar Singh Sarawan (reserved), both of the SAD, from Jaito.

Besides, Harpal Singh and Harcharan Singh, both independants, also filed their papers from Jaito. Tomorrow is the last day for filing of nomination papers.


Two file papers for SGPC poll from Kharar
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 7
Two persons filed their nominations papers here today from the 119 Kharar constituency for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections.

The papers were filed by Mr Bhajan Singh, a resident of Jhingrankalan village, and his son, Mr Narinder Singh Shergill. Both of them have filed their papers as Independent candidates.

The SDM, Mr Sukhvinder Singh Gill, said Mr Narinder Singh Shergill had filed papers as a covering candidate of Mr Bhajan Singh. He said they had to file their papers as Independent candidates as they did not have authorisation from any party to file their papers. They could, however, produce the letter till June 11.

Meanwhile, two office-bearers of the Ropar unit SCBC Cell of the SAD have demanded that Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD Chief, should reconsider his decision of giving ticket in connection with the SGPC polls.

Mr Harnek Singh Bhari and Dr Gurnam Singh, president and senior vice-president of the Ropar unit of SCBC Cell of the SAD respectively, alleged that Mr Badal was giving ticket to persons who had indulged in anti-party activities in the recent elections instead of giving them to persons who had remained loyal to the party and had also made sacrifices in time of need. They said that they opposed such a move of Mr Badal.


Mann Singh is SGPC poll candidate
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 7
The Shiromani Akali Dal has decided to field Mr Maan Singh as its candidate in the forthcoming Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections from Mohali. The SAD allegedly took back the ticket given to former member from Mohali, Mr Hardeep Singh, and gave it to Mr Maan Singh.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Maan Singh said he had received the letter confirming his candidature from the Mohali seat. He would file his nomination papers tomorrow.

Belonging to an Akali family, 53-year-old Maan Singh is a resident of Sohana and has been the circle president of the party at Sohana for many years. He was also the vice-president of the party in Ropar district. ‘‘I have dabbled in politics and now I want to do something for my religion too through the SGPC,’’he said. Stating that his grandfather had participated in the historic Jaito morcha of 1923, Mr Maan Singh said his three brothers were in jail during Operation Bluestar.

Educated in Gurdwara Amb Sahib School, Mr Maan Singh said his focus would be on the spread of the Sikh religion, service of the gurdwaras and popularising of the concept of miri- piri. ‘‘I also want to focus on helping the Sikh youth who have fallen into drugs etc,’’ he said.


Shamsher Mehndi gets bail in human trafficking case
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 7
Pop star Daler Mehndi’s brother Shamsher Mehndi, who was the prime accused in the human trafficking case registered by the Patiala Police more than nine months back, was today granted bail with a local court discharging him in all Sections registered against him except for Section 420 (cheating).

Shamsher Mehndi was granted bail by the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate P.S. Dhanoa. The judge, while granting him bail, directed him not to leave the country without the permission of the court and to surrender his passport. An affidavit to this effect was filed by Shamsher’s counsels Brijinder Singh Sodhi and H.V. Rai. The accused also filed two local sureties of Rs 50, 000 each as a precondition for grant of bail.

Talking to TNS after being given bail in the case, Shamsher said he was thankful to God that the truth was now coming out. Shamsher’s wife, son and other supporters were present in the court today. Shamsher maintained that he had been falsely implicated in the case and had to suffer due to no fault of his.

Earlier Shamsher had been charged under Sections 406, 465, 466, 467, 468, 47, 420 and 120 (b) IPC and the Indian Passport Act. The case had been registered against him in September, 2003, at the Sadar Police Station. The FIR was registered by one Bakshish Singh, who alleged that Shamhser, along with others, had visited his village Balbehra in Patiala district in May, 2003 and took Rs 2 lakh and his passport. The FIR said on July 4 the same year Shamhser took Rs 10 lakh from him in the presence of others. Later, 30 more complainants had come forward to claim that they had given money to the Mehndi brothers.

Bail was declined to Shamhser by the same court and also by the court of the Additional Sessions Judge earlier. Shamsher had then approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court during arguments in the high court it was brought to the notice of the court that arguments on framing of charges were being held by the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Patiala. The High Court had then directed that the bail application should be put up before the same court.


Civic amenities collapse cause of diseases
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, June 7
The outbreak of water-borne diseases in this border town has come as no surprise to many as blocked sewers dotted with cesspools of garbage and slush were an open invitation to these diseases for the past several months.

The issues concerning faulty sewerage, roads full of potholes, contaminated water supply which should have been a prime concern for the local municipal authorities have been neglected altogether, thereby inviting these diseases and thus, public wrath.

Instead of providing these basic amenities, the municipal council officials have been rather busy fighting for petty vested interests.

The rains too, bring a flood of problems for the residents of this city. Even a slight drizzle inundates the town, particularly the interiors and low-lying areas making it almost impossible for the traffic to pass through these roads. Drains serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes. The worst-affected areas are Basti Shekhanwali, Zira Gate, Bharat Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Basti Balochan, Kasuri Gate and Basti Machi Mandi.

Mr Satnam Singh, a resident of Basti Shekhan says the matter had been brought to the notice of the municipal authorities many times but all in vain. They always came up with the steriotyped reply citing paucity of funds. The faction-ridden municipal council has been virtually defunct for the past several months. The clash of interests within the municipal council and apathy of the municipal authorities has further worsened the scenario, which has led to the shelving of several projects.

The local MLA, Mr Sukhpal Singh Nannu, threatened to immolate himself if the situation did not improve.

Mr Nannu said the recovery of Rs 1.5 crore sewerage and water supply bills, Rs 79 lakh house tax, and Rs 7 lakh as shop rent was still pending towards consumers due to the lackadaisical approach of the committee. Mr Nannu said he would raise this matter in the Vidhan Sabha. He said instead of spending funds for the public welfare, the MC has purchased a new AC Ambassador car even though that there were already two vehicles at the disposal of the President and the Vice-president. He said the MC owed Rs 1 crore electricity bill and around Rs 88 lakh salary to the employees of the sewerage board despite the fact that there was a good income from octroi which has been given to private hands. He said instead of ordering the repair of tubewells, the MC was keen to purchase a generator set and an AC for the office.

The municipal authorities have expressed their inability to improve the things due to lack of resources, manpower and financial crunch. When contacted, Mrs Nirmal Sahota, President, MC, said the committee was trying its best to provide basic amenities and expedite the process of recovery of bills, She said due to inadequate staff, the committee had not been able to provide effective services. About the purchase of new car, she said one of the vehicles was old and lot of money had to be spent on its repair so a new car was bought on loan. Mr Ranjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, said he had given stringent warning to the MC authorities to clean up the blocked sewers and chlorinate the drinking water being supplied.


Ropar Admn gears up to tackle gastroenteritis
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 7
The Ropar Administration has geared up to tackle the threat of the Cholera and gastroenteritis in the district. The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain, at a specially convened meeting today constituted 19 rapid action committees to keep vigil over the sanitation and potable water facilities.

The committees that will work under the supervision of the SDMs would comprise three members from the respective municipal committees, Health and Rural Development Departments. The committees have been empowered to seal contaminated water supply sources and provide alternative safe supply.

They would also destroy cut fruits and unhealthy food items, candies, contaminated ice slabs and local juice centres. The health authorities have also been directed to ensure supply of medicines in the government hospitals and primary health centres to tackle the cholera and gastroenteritis cases.

The emergency meeting regarding the threat of the diseases was called after potable water samples from a large number of unauthorised colonies were found to be contaminated. Sources in the Health Department said water samples from many ice and candy manufacturing units in the district were also found contaminated.

The water samples were found to be biologically contaminated generally due to sewerage near water sources. The water from shallow water pumps in many areas was also found to be non-potable. They, however, refused to give the details of the water sources found to be contaminated.

A number of unauthorised colonies have mushroomed in the district. The developers sell plots but do not provide basic amenities promised to the customers initially. Even a number of PUDA-approved colonies sans basic amenities.

The Deputy Commissioner said water samples from some of the unauthorised colonies were found to be non-potable. Complaints were received regarding one such Janta Colony in Kharar. The municipal authorities of Kharar had been directed against taking over the colony till the developers provided the promised amenities to the residents. The PUDA authorities were also being urged to take action against the unauthorised developers who were not providing the basic or promised facilities to the residents, she said. The Deputy Commissioner also issued show-cause notices to executive officers of Mohali and Morinda municipal councils for not participating in the today’s meeting.


Authorities turn blind eye to insanitation
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 7
Despite the outbreak of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis in several parts of Punjab including Ferozepore and Faridkot districts, the district administration and the Health Department are yet to get their act together.

Sewage water has been overflowing and heaps of garbage have been lying in several localities of Muktsar city for the past couple of months. While Gandhi Nagar is the most affected locality, the areas adjoining the Guniana road and the DAV Girls School road are also facing the same problem. As many as 45,000 residents of Gandhi Nagar have been living in miserable conditions in the midst of stinking sewage water, which has accumulated on the lanes of the locality. The sewage water had entered several houses in the area, said Mr Leeladhar Sharma, president of the Gandhi Nagar Sudhar Sahba.

Besides, residents of adjoining localities including Adarsh Nagari, Gowshala Road and Kotli Road have been facing similar problems. The worst affected are hundreds of students of these localities who have to cross the sewage water daily to reach and return from their respective schools.

Mr Raman K.P., councillor of the area, told TNS that the problem of disposal of sewage water in Gandhi Nagar aggravated following the failure of the Public Health Department and the municipal council to handle it properly. He said sewer pipes had been laid in the locality about half-a-year ago and were connected to the main disposal pipe on the Jalabad-Tibbi Sahib road.

He said connecting the Gandhi Nagar sewer pipes with the Jalabad main disposal pipe was the root cause of the problem. He said the sewer pipes of Gandhi Nagar should be connected with the main disposal pipe on that Buda-Gujjar road near the railway crossing.

The president of the Muktsar Municipal Council, Mr Krishan Kumar Teria, and the Executive Engineer of the Public Health Department Mr Jaswinder Singh, said the sewer pipes of Gandhi Nagar would be connected with the Buda-Gujjar road main disposal pipe within a fortnight.


Basic amenities elude ward I residents
Kulwinder Sangha

Mounds of earth and stone and dug up portions of a lane for laying water supply pipes obstruct entry to houses in Dashmesh Nagar, Kharar
Mounds of earth and stone and dug up portions of a lane for laying water supply pipes obstruct entry to houses in Dashmesh Nagar, Kharar, on Saturday. — Tribune Photo by Manoj Mahajan

Kharar, June 7
Residents of certain localities in municipal ward number I here are suffering due lack of basic amenities in the area. The areas are not getting piped water supply. There is no sewerage and roads are also in bad shape.

Residents of Mehak Nagar Swaraj Nagar, Green Avenue and parts of Dashmesh Nagar have to depend on hand pumps for water and they complain that the water is not fit for drinking. Due to the absence of sewerage, water from bathrooms in these areas is channelised into vacant plots and toilets are connected to pits by residents on their own.

In certain areas the Municipal Council has laid down water supply lines but the dug up portions have not been filled. At other points where the filling has been done, one sees mounds of earth and stone lying in front of houses leading to the inconvenience of residents. The market in Didar Nagar does not have streetlights and proper rainwater disposal system.

Mr Harjinder Singh, vice-president of the Didar Nagar Market Association, said that after the level of the Jandpur road had been raised, the parking area in front of the market got flooded after a heavy rain due to lack of proper drainage system. The road too, had become narrow and it had become difficult for two vehicles to pass at one time. He alleged that the civic body was not charging a uniform house tax from all shopkeepers in the area.

Mr Harkrishan Sharma of Dashmesh Nagar said in a part of the colony there were metalled roads while other areas had roads that were brick-paved. There was no proper streetlight in the area. The poles for the streetlights had been provided by the Punjab State Electricity Board and tubelight rods and other material by the civic body. As power connection had not been given to these points by authorities concerned, some residents had linked them to their domestic power connection. As such the streetlights were used sparingly fearing a heavy power bill. He said there was no water supply and sewer system in the area.

Mrs Gurmeet Kaur, a resident of Green Avenue, said life had become miserable for her family ever since it shifted to the area about six months ago. There was no supply of water and they had to depend on hand pump. The water from the handpumps was of a yellowish colour which was not fit either for drinking or for washing clothes.

Mr Karnail Singh said the council had laid water pipes in the area but the dug up portion had not been filled even though the work had finished more than a month ago. As the area had been dug up right in front of some houses, it had caused lot of inconvenience to residents.

Mrs Amrik Kaur, municipal councillor of ward number I, said there was shortage of water in the area. If one tap was opened, water did not reach other taps in the house.

Mr Charanjit Singh, president of the council, said a loan of Rs 9 crore from Hudco was being arranged to provide water and sewer system in the area where it did not exist. He blamed private colonisers for not providing facilities in the colonies developed by them. The civic body, however, was making efforts to provide the basic amenities to the residents.


Village pond becomes source of income
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, June 7
Cost-effective technology is being put to use for the people of Sidhwan a remote village in Ropar today with the implementation of the duckweed technology in the village pond.

The village pond that was a nuisance due to foul smell of decaying organic waste, has become a source of income for the village panchayat and meeting place for the villagers after the use of duckweed technology. The project was implemented in the village under the aegis of the Punjab Council for Science and Technology.

The experts told that in the project the village pond is divided into two parts. The waste water coming to the pond was first kept in a sedimentation tank so that the solid waste gets deposited at the bottom.

The water is then stored in a partitioned portion of the pond. In this portion duck weed is grown over water. The top of water is partitioned with bamboos so that the weed layers do not overlap. The weed feeds on the organic waste of the pond. The duckweed has the potential of reducing 100 to 150 Mg/litre biological oxygen demand in water to just 30 Mg/litre.

The water purified by the duckweed automatically flows into the other portion of the pond where six varieties of fish including Grass carp, Common carp, silver carp, Rohu, Katla and mrigal are reared. All said varieties of fish feed on the duckweed that is collected from one portion of the pond and kept in bamboo partitioned small portion of the other part.

The total cost of implementing the scheme in a village pond was just about Rs 3.5 lakh. The village panchayat is likely to earn Rs 50000 per annum from the pond even by rearing fish.

After the implementation in the village ponds duckweed technology besides generating finance for the panchayats could also stall the increased trend of filling the village ponds that are an important source of water harvesting and recharging of underground water.

Besides the duckweed technology another scheme of cheap sewerage system was also being planned for the Sidhwan village. The village would be developed as a model for other villages of the area so that the cost-effective technology offered by the PCST was accepted by the people.

Besides the Sidhwan village the duckweed technology was also being planned in the Suksal and Daroli village in the Anandpur Sahib block. The experts from the PCST feel that at least one village in each block should be developed into a model village using the cost-effective technologies so that it can motivate others.


Bhai Ghaniya’s 300th death anniversary to be observed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
While the world hails Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, as the first humanitarian at the service for the care of war victims, Sikhism produced Bhai Ghaniya, more than 100 years before the inception of the Red Cross. This year the 300th death anniversary of Bhai Ghaniya will be observed as “Malham di dabbi Bakshish Divas”.

Bhai Ghaniya, a disciple of the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, selflessly served wounded soldiers and gave practical shape to the words of the Gurbani: “Na koi bairi, na hi begana, sagal sang hum ko ban aai” (enmity to none, friendship for all).

His silent humanitarian services were recognised during the invasion of Anandpur Sahib by the combined forces of the Mughals and hill kings in 1704. The fierce battle left thousands of soldiers from both sides writhing in pain. The sufferings of the soldiers for a drop of water moved Bhai Ghaniya to offer water to the injured whether a friend or foe.

On being summoned by the Tenth Guru after receiving complaints that he was also serving the enemy soldiers, Bhaiji replied: “Graceful Guru, you have taught me the lesson of universal brotherhood, and of serving the suffering humanity without distinction of caste, colour, race or creed. I did not find any enemy as I saw your image in them and I served you.” Hearing this, the Guru ordered medicines and dressings, and said other than serving water, the humanitarian crusader could also dress the wounds of the injured .”

The observation of the anniversary by the Bhai Ghaniya ji Mission, headed by Prof Bahadur Singh Sunet, aims to establish an international service organisation on the pattern of the Red Cross with help from ‘seva pathis’ of the SGPC and social bodies. It will also make efforts for renaming the Indian chapter of the Red Cross and include the name of Bhai Ghaniya. In addition to this, the mission will try to establish a Bhai Ghaniya ji Chair in any Indian university, get portraits of the great humanitarian put up in hospitals and declare September 20 as “service to humanity day”.


Chandumajra revives SAD (Longowal)
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 7
Suspended Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) senior leader Prem Singh Chandumajra today teamed up with two other former SAD leaders to revive the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal).

Mr Chandumajra announced the revival of the SAD (Longowal) at a press conference held at the Circuit House here. He was accompanied by former PSEB Administrative Member Baldev Singh Mann and former minister Inderjit Singh Zira. Both of them have been expelled from the SAD on charges of anti party activities in Sangrur and Ferozepore parliamentary constituencies during the recently held Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Chandumajra claimed that the new party would meet on June 15 to decide upon the organisational structure of the new party. He appealed to all leaders feeling “suffocated” in the SAD to join the new outfit. He claimed that the party had already received support from certain Akali workers who were fed up with the “dictatorial” functioning of SAD president Parkash Singh Badal.

Defending his case, Mr Chandumajra claimed that the SAD had lost the Patiala parliamentary seat because it had fielded a weak candidate.

The new party also announced that it would support the Panthic Morcha during the SGPC election. The party also alleged that 90 per cent of the persons who had been nominated for the SGPC ticket by the SAD did not conform to the conditions laid down by Akal Takth.


Akali meeting on June 10
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
A meeting of the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will be held on June 10 at the official residence of the party President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, here.

Party spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said various political issues like the SYL canal will be discussed at the meeting. The PAC meeting will be preceded by party MLAs’ meeting.


SGPC gives list of 27 employees above 60
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 7
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) today submitted a list of 27 employees above the age of 60 years to the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (SGJC). The name of Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta figured at the top of the list.

Other employees whose names figure in the list include Mr Harbir Singh Bhanwar, media adviser, Mr Khajan Singh, legal adviser , a retired Executive Engineer and some retired revenue patwaris . The list was submitted by Mr Dilmeg Singh, secretary, SGPC.

The SGPC secretary has written that these employees were recruited as per resolutions passed by the executive committee.


SAD (A) leaders granted bail
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 7
Six SAD(A) leaders, who were arrested here yesterday under sections 107 and 151, Cr PC, were today presented before local SDM Pritam Singh, who granted them bail.However, since these leaders were lodged in Kapurthala jail they would be released later this evening.

The six leaders were Jathedar Rajinder Singh Fauji, Central Working Committee member of SAD (A), Mr Sukhwinder Singh Khalsa, national vice-president, of the party Mr Gurjant Singh Kattu, general secretary of party’s youth wing, Mr Satnam Singh Sandhu, general secretary of the kisan wing, Mr Resham Singh, circle president of the party, and Mr Gurcharan Singh, a senior leader.

These leaders were arrested when they along with other party activists were protesting against a function of Shiv Sena Bal Thackeray held to pay tributes to those jawans who had sacrificed their lives during Operation Bluestar in 1984.

The radical Sikhs asserted that Sena’s Shardhanjali Samaroh for security forces on the anniversary of the operation was an anathema to Sikhs who observe this day as “ghallughara Divas”.


Sikh jatha leaves today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
A 1,000-member Sikh jatha will leave for Pakistan (tomorrow) to observe the matyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev at Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore.

SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh said here today that the Pakistan Embassy in Delhi had struck off the names of 36 pilgrims. The jatha would also visit gurdwaras Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib and Sacha sauda before returning on June 17.


Councillor, union leader stand-off ends
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 7
The stand-off between a Congress councillor, Mr Brij Bhushan Parbhakar, and the local Nagar Council Karamchari Union general secretary, Ms Surjit Kaur, has ended following the intervention of Baljinder Kaur Mann, wife of Punjab Social Welfare Minister Joginder Singh Mann, according to Ms Kusum Sharma, organising secretary, PPCC, here today. Mr Mann is abroad these days.

Following the settlement the municipal employees ended their week-long dharna. They also called off their proposed strike today.

Mrs Mann held a detailed meeting at her residence with Congress councillors, including Mr Malkiat Singh Ragbotra, president, Nagar Council, Phagwara, yesterday. Union leader Surjit Kaur also attended the meeting.

Both Mr Parbhakar and Ms Surjit Kaur had been accusing each other of objectionable behaviour. Both had been demanding action against each other in this regard.


Cancel NDA’s notification, says Sehajdhari panel
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 7
All-India Sikh Sehajdhari Prtinidh Sabha has urged the Central Government to cancel the notification issued by the previous NDA government curtailing the right to vote of Sehajdhari Sikhs in the SGPC poll.

The president of the sabha, Dr I.S. Chawla, alleged that the previous government had ignored nearly 1 crore Sehajdhari Sikhs as only names of 8 lakh Sikhs figured on the draft of the revised electoral rolls prepared by the Gurdwara Election Commission.

He further added that when the SGPC Act 1925 was passed a special note was given in the act that Sehajdharies would caste their votes whenever the SGPC general elections would fall due. The sabha had urged the government to postpone the SGPC election till further arrangements were made so that the Sehajdhari’ Sikhs could also enjoy their right to vote.


Operation restores woman’s voice
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
Dalbir Kaur, a resident of Shahwala village in Sultanpur Lodhi under Kapurthala district who lost her voice after her dupatta got caught in a grass-cutter and nearly strangled her, has got her voice back after being operated upon with a plasma knife.

Her voice box and food pipe were severely damaged in the accident. She was even unable to eat. She received treatment from Jalandhar, DMC, Ludhiana and Government Medical College, Chandigarh, but could not get her voice back. Doctors at various hospitals told her that her voice could not be restored due to severe damage to her voice box.

However, Dr Amrik Singh, Medical Superintendent, Guru Ram Dass Hospital, here operated her with a ‘plasma knife’ which not only restored her voice but also enabled her to eat.

Dr Amrik Singh said plasma knife was an instrument which generated high energy and operated without causing damage to tissues. He claimed that it was for the first time that the plasma knife, available at only a few hospitals in country, had been used in an ENT operation.

Shingara Singh, the woman’s husband said earlier they had been disappointed when doctors at prestigious hospitals told that the her voice could not be restored. However, his family was now very happy to see Dalbir speaking and eating again.


Dental check-up camp
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 7
Rashtriya Jyoti Kala Manch in association with State Bank of Patiala organised a free dental check up camp at Rose Garden Senior Model School here today.

As many as 400 students were examined at the camp. The Chief Manager, SBOP, Mr Dharmpal Sharma, highlighted the importance of regular dental check up. Medicines free of cost were also distributed among the patients.


Freedom fighter dead
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 7
Chaudhry Dharm Pal Dutta, a renowned freedom fighter and former president, Ashoka Educational Trust, Sirhind, died in Sirhind today. He was 79.

He received internal injuries after he fell from his scooter. He drove the scooter to his residence from where he was taken to hospital where he died.


High Court
Notice issued in poll symbol case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
Taking up a petition filed by the Shiromani Khalsa Dal for quashing a decision of the Chief Election Commissioner and other respondents regarding reservation of election symbols to political parties for Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, Mr Justice Amar Dutt and Mr Justice Rajive Bhalla of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice for June 9.

In his petition, Dal spokesman Jaspal Singh Dhillon contended that their request for reservation of party symbol was denied on the ground that his political party was not registered. His counsel Navkiran Singh stated that there was no such provision under the Sikh Gurdwara Act or the Sikh Gurdwara Board Election Rules, which gave powers to the Chief Election Commissioner to reserve such election symbols.

Maintaining that despite representation the respondent did not consider the request, the petitioner prayed for stay on the decision of the respondent in reserving the election symbols for the political parties.

SGPC poll

A Division Bench of the High Court on Monday fixed July 1 as the next date of hearing of a petition seeking directions to the Chief Election Commissioner and other respondents to adopt measures for ensuring the casting of votes by only those who fulfilled qualification of an elector under Section 49 of the Sikh Gurdwara Act.

The petition filed by the convener of Shiromani Khalsa Panchayats also sought directions to the Commissioner to record the whole process of SGPC election.

Referring to Section 49 of the Act, the petitioner stated that one had to be a resident of the constituency, besides being more than 21 years. The Section also mentioned that no one could be registered as an elector if he trimmed or shaved his beard or hair, smoked or took alcoholic drinks.


Warrants against ADC stayed
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, June 7
The Additional Sessions Judge has stayed the implementation of an order passed by Mr J.P.S. Wahniwal, Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate against the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Sanjay Popli. The SDJM had issued bailable warrants against Mr Popli and directed that his salary be attached for the latter’s failure to appear as a witness in a case being tried in his court.

Official sources said the Additional Sessions Judge, while disposing of a revision petition moved by Mr Popli against the order of Mr Wahniwal, held that the implementation of the order of the SDJM was stayed till further orders. A case was registered at the Jalalabad police station on June 9, 2003, under Sections 452, 323 and 332 of the IPC and under the Arms Act when Mr Popli was working as SDM there. Mr Popli was to appear as a witness in that case in court.

Mr Popli could not appear in the court of the SDJM, Jalalabad, despite the fact that summons were issued to him. Taking notice of the failure of Mr Popli to appear in court, the SDJM issued bailable warrants against Mr Popli in the last week of May and directed the authorities concerned to attach his salary. Mr Popli challenged the alleged illegality of the order passed by the SDJM in the court of the Additional Sessions Judge through a revision petition. The Additional Session Judge, after listening to the arguments stayed the implementation of the order.


Sheetal Vij gets bail
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 7
Sheetal Vij, a leading industrialist and exporter hailing from Jalandhar, accused of evading customs duty, was granted bail by the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Inderjit Kaushik, here today. The court also granted bail to one co-accused, Ravinder Jain, but declined to bail out another accused Rajinder Kumar.

Mr Kaushik ordered the accused to furnish surety bonds to the tune of Rs 5 lakh each and one surety in the like amount. However, the accused could not be released today as they were not able to furnish bail bonds.

Earlier the bail applications filed by all accused were dismissed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Ludhiana, Mr ArunVir Vashist, on June 3.


Three sisters commit suicide

Gurdaspur, June 7
Three sisters today allegedly committed suicide by jumping before a train in Bathwala village, 5 km from here.

The reason behind this act was still being ascertained. The Railways Police was conducting investigation under Section 174 of the CrPC.

The victims’ father, Jethu Ram, and mother, Chhand Bhai, told the police that they hailed from Belkari village from Madhya Pradesh and used to work in a brick-kiln. They said they, along with their three daughters, Maitri(20), Savitri(18) and Ratbai(13), had come here to find work two months ago.

They said some people told them at around 6.30 am today that their daughters had committed suicide. When they went to the railway track they saw their daughters’ bodies lying there.

The parents said they were at a loss to understand the cause of their daughters’ extreme step.

The victims’ bodies have been handed over to their parents after a post-mortem. — UNI


Raped by four, girl commits suicide
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Nawanshahr, June 7
In two separate sensational broad daylight incidents, a young unmarried girl who was “raped” by four youngsters, including her alleged boy friend, consumed salphos tablets and rushed to the Nawanshahr police station before dying and another detainee “hanged” himself to death in the Balachaur police station itself this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Nawanshahr police has arrested all four accused in the rape case and suspended the three Balachaur police station-based constables for dereliction of duty, besides urging the Deputy Commissioner to hold a magisterial inquiry into the detainee death case.

Usha, a 24-year-old girl and resident of Rakhra Dhahan village in the district, had come here in the afternoon for fetching a B.Ed admission form, where her alleged boy friend Manjinder Jinda of Sahoongra village allured her to a room, where three of his friends were already waiting. Apart from Jinda, according to the police, his three friends — Kulwinder Kindi, Kulbir Ladi, both residents of Sahoongra, and Parminder Pinda, a resident of Rakhra — not only raped her, but also made some film of the act.

The act of Jinda and his friends filled Usha with a deep sense of humiliation and she allegedly consumed celphos tablets and rushed to the Nawanshahr police station. At the police station, she briefly told the SHO the story and said the rest of information could be had from her purse as she had written a note stating her entire tale of woe. Subsequently, she was shifted to the Civil Hospital, where she died.

In another incident, Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Rakhra Dhahan village, who was detained by the Balachaur police on theft charges, allegedly hanged himself to death with his pyjamas in the police station detention cell at around 1.30 p.m. Since, the police officials on duty had expressed apprehension that he might have been murdered by somebody, the police had registered a case of murder against anonymous people.

“In the rape case, we have arrested all three accused, while in the police station death case, we have suspended three officials on duty, including Head Constable Husan Lal,” said Mr M.F. Farooqui, SSP Nawanshahr.


Dalit youth beaten to death
Our Correspondent

Barnala, June 7
Kewal Singh, a Dalit youth and a resident of Jhaloor village, about 10 km from here, was allegedly beaten to death yesterday by some landlords of Jhaloor village.

Police sources said Jaspal Singh, a brother of the deceased, had lodged a complaint with Sadar Police Station here that his brother Kewal had been beaten to death by Bhola Singh, Mahinder Singh and Paramjit Singh, landlords, with whom both Kewal and Jaspal worked as labourers in their farms.

The Sadar police has registered a case against Bhola Singh, Mahinder Singh and Paramjit Singh, residents of Jhaloor, under Sections 302 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Kewal reportedly had a tiff with his landlords who then asked him to work in some fields they had recently purchased in Pharwahi village. Kewal refused to work in Pharwahi village in fields sticking to his stand that he would work in Jhaloor village fields. Agitated by his attitude, the landlords abused him and then beat him up, which allegedly resulted in his death.

However, some other persons claimed that deceased Kewal was only slapped by landlords when he defied their orders. After the tiff and slapping incident, the deceased got provoked and consumed some poisonous substance resulting into his death.


6 held on charge of robbery
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 7
The district police claimed to have busted a six-member criminal gang with the arrest of all its members.

Mr G.P.S. Bhullar, SSP, said here today that with their arrest, the police has solved a robbery case wherein it was found that the employer’s driver had planned the robbery with the help of his two accomplices.

He further said the police had received information that some robbers, armed with sharp-edged weapons, had gathered at a secluded house near Regal cinema near here and were planning a robbery.

Subsequently, a raid was conducted and six persons were arrested, who were later identified as Mohinder Pal, Subash, Gautam, all residents of Gandhi Camp, Jaswant Singh of Saidpur village in Shahkot, Jasbir Singh of Raulli village in Moga and Ranbir Singh of Manakwal village in Ludhiana. Their search led to recovery of two country-made pistols, 2 cartridges, four iron rods and two mobile phones.

During interrogation, the accused revealed that Mohinder Pal had been employed as driver by Mr Uttam Singh Kohli, a resident of Guru Teg Bhadu Nagar, here about three months back. His friends, Subash, a street hawker, and Gautam, conspired to commit robbery.


Husband, in-laws held in dowry death case
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 7
Bhinder Kaur, mother of a three-year-old child and resident of Nahian village of the district, was allegedly forced to commit suicide by her husband and in-laws. The suspects then cremated the body to destroy the evidence, it was further alleged.

The police has registered a case in this regard on the complaint of Mr Iqbal Singh, brother of the deceased. He alleged in his complaint that his sister was being tortured for bringing more dowry.

All three — Gulab Singh (husband), Kikar Singh and Tej Kaur, father-in-law and mother-in-law, respectively, were arrested today.


Two brothers booked in rape case
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 7
Two brothers, Inder Singh and Joginder Singh, alias Mehni Singh, residents of Malooka village in the district, have been booked for their alleged involvement in the rape of a resident of the village on May 22. The case was registered on June 6 only after the victim made a number of rounds of the office of the district police.

Police sources said a case was registered after it was confirmed in the medical report that rape had been committed. No arrest has been made so far.


Students threaten not to pay fee
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 7
The Guru Nanak Dev University regional campus located at Gurdaspur is reportedly in disarray. Several serious lapses have been pointed out by students of three technical courses by university in this regard.

Students of B.Tech (computer science), B. Tech (electronics and communication) and MCA (five-year integrated) have threatened to resort to agitations and stage protests if the current conditions continue. They also threatened not to deposit any fee for the next session if things did not improve.

As many as 106 students in a signed statement alleged that these technical courses were being conducted without the basic infrastructure and qualified faculty . “Not a single permanent teacher has been appointed so far.” All teachers were on ad hoc and their technical knowledge was far from satisfactory,“ they alleged.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr SP Singh, said all posts were being filled and new recruitments were being delayed due to elections.

They further said, the library had the capacity to accommodate only 40 students. Apart from this the result of only one of the four semesters had been declared.

No hostel for boys, no sports or extra-curricular activities, erratic electricity supply, and no generator back up, were some of the other complaints of the students.

The VC stated that the campus was new and was being developed slowly. The university was making efforts to provide facilities and for this regular quarterly meetings were taking place.


Medical college girl students return to hostel
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 7
Following efforts to ensure foolproof security in the girls hostel of the local government Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, all 40 girl students who had left the hostel on June 4 returned today and resumed classes, said Dr J.S. Dalal, Principal. He said work on raising a boundary wall had been taken up and it was likely to be completed in the next two or three days.

Eight floodlights have also been installed around the complex, besides two high-power emergency lights in the corridor of the building in case of power failure.

Two more female guards, Mrs Dharam Kaur and Mrs Kulwinder Kaur, have also been put on patrolling duty to ensure the security of students. Six male guards are already performing their duty, said the Principal.

Dr Dalal also promised to take up the matter with the Vice-Chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, for the reabsorption of 40 internee nursing students of Adesh Nursing College, Muktsar, residing at the nursing hostel here for the past over six months, who were forced to leave the hostel by the university management on May 28 following their participation in an indefinite strike launched by girl students of the medical college on May 21 in protest against the alleged failure of the medical college authorities to make foolproof security arrangements in the hostel.

Accepting a demand of boy students, work on the football playground has also been launched.


Pollution board holds painting competition
Our Correspondent

Rajpura, June 7
Richa Aggarwal of Patel Public School and Gaurav of Scholars Public School bagged the first position in the senior and junior categories, respectively, in a painting competition organised by the Punjab Pollution Control Board in association with Siel Chemical Complex here recently.

In group song competition, C.M. Model Senior Secondary School, Holy Angel School and Patel Public School won the first, second and the third positions respectively. In employee’s category, Arshdeep Kaur and Abhishek won the first prize in the senior and junior categories (painting competition), respectively.

As many as 100 students from various schools of the city and nearby places participated in the competition. Speaking on the occasion Mr Krunesh Garg, Environmental Engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board, highlighted the significance of this year’s UN theme ‘Wanted? Seas and Oceans, Dead or Alive!” and reiterated the role of younger generation and schools for the protection and development of the environment. A cultural programme was also organised by students on the occasion.

A similar programme was organised at Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 3, Patiala, to emphasis on the importance of tree plantation. Dr Mathra Das was the chief guest. Speaking on the occasion Dr Das highlighted the need of planting saplings. She also urged the students to work for the conservation of environment.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |