P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



40 villages form panel to seek SYL water
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Mirzapur (Rajpura), June 13
Kapoori village in Ghanour sub-division near here which was once a base for the anti-Satluj Yamuna Link Canal agitation, will now play a different role. Its residents have decided to take on the mantle to fight for the mantle to fight for the flow of water in SYL canal.

Representatives of more than 40 villages today gathered in the village to form a Nahar Chalao Committee.

The committee will organise a dharna at Matka Chowk in Chandigarh and will held a protest in front of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and in Delhi to highlight the plight of more than 400 villages who desperately need SYL water for their irrigation needs.

The meeting today got a fillip with CPM state unit secretary Balwant Singh speaking on the need to fulfil the demand of the area. Mr Balwant Singh said “We are not pro-Haryana. We are only speaking for the interests of the people of the area”. He went on to say that the people of the area wanted water and it was upto the government to provide it from the SYL or any other source, including lift irrigation measures from the Narwana branch of the Bhakra canal. “I had highlighted the issue of this area even during the all -party meeting held yesterday”, the Communist leader added.

Mr Balwant Singh said in case water started flowing in the SYL canal, water table in the entire region would rise. The CPM leader said farmers were deprived of water when they needed it and their fields were flooded the monsoon season as Haryana had blocked the SYL canal entry into its area.

The CPM leader and others, including grassroot Congress leaders like Rajpura Block Congress President Ajmer Singh Totla, highlighted the problem which had cropped up ever since the SYL canal was dug up. Mirzapur sarpanch Amar Singh said the digging of the canal had led to the lowering of the water level in the entire area.

“Water which was once available at 50 feet is now available at 300 feet, he said adding that farmers now had to make use of 15 horse power motors to harvest this water”, said former Mirzapur sarpanch Jaswant Singh.

“How can a farmer who owns four acres of land give a bill for a 20 horsepower tubewell motor”, said Kisan Union (Ekta) State Vice-President Mani Singh Chak. He said farmers were taking loans to instal deep tubewells which would have repercussions on the farm economy of the state.

Farmers also lamented that they had to spend Rs 20,000 on installing a tap for their household needs due to the decline in the water table.

Representatives from 40 to 50 villages including Jansuya, Niyamatpura, Kharaula, Gaddomajra, Kotla, Nilas, Phaphal, Upalheri, Khera Gajju, Urdhan, Wajidpur, Dhuman, Chak, and Dadoomajra were present. Mirzapur sarpanch was elected President of the Nahar Chalao Committee.


BKU (Lakhowal) threatens stir on SYL
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 13
The Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal) in a resolution passed here yesterday rejected the decision of the Supreme Court on the SYL Canal and urged the Centre to reject the same.

In a press note issued here today, Mr Ram Karan Singh, president, Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal), Bathinda district, said if work to complete the canal was started, union activists would launch an agitation.

He said at a meeting of the union here, the Centre was urged to reject the recommendations of all tribunals constituted for sharing of river waters by Punjab and Haryana.

He said riparian principles should be followed in the case.

He said if the SYL Canal was completed and the river waters diverted to Haryana, thousands of acres in Punjab would become barren. He added that Punjab was already facing an acute shortage of water.

He said the union had decided to support SAD candidates in the forthcoming Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee elections.

The BKU also demanded linking of prices of foodgrains with 1966-67 based wholesale price index.


Punjab plans ad campaign on waters issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The Punjab Government has decided to mount a big advertisement and media campaign on the river waters issue to tell the people across the country that how injustice was being done to the state in this connection. It was disclosed by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, here yesterday. He said that the unfortunate aspect of the entire issue was that “zulm vi sade nal ho riha te zalam vi sanu hi kiha ja riha,” he said.

He said that facts would be put before the nation through advertisements to do away the various misgivings in this connection. Mr Parkash Singh Badal, leader of the Opposition, had asked the Chief Minister that the state government should make efforts to put a true and fact-based picture before the nation through advertisements and by interacting with media persons at the national level.


Assembly Budget session begins today

Chandigarh, June 13
The SYL canal issue would dominate proceedings when the Budget session of the Punjab Assembly begins here tomorrow.

While the ruling Congress has decided to move a resolution in the Assembly on the vexed issue, the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is all set to pillory the government over it.

The SAD will pull up the Congress for all its “wrongdoings with Punjab on several pertinent issues, including the SYL canal,” a party spokesman said.

The main opposition party is likely to offer a proposal for a peaceful struggle by all parties in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict on the canal, he said.

The spokesman said all party MPs and MLAs would stage a sit-in outside the Assembly to protest the withdrawal of several facilities, including free power, in the state by the Amarinder Singh Government.

The Budget is likely to be presented on June 21. — PTI


Badal to lead dharna for free power
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
After extending tactical support to Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, on the river waters issue, the SAD has decided to build pressure on him to announce free power and water to the farming sector in the state.

A top Akali leader said today that as a part of the strategy in this regard, the SAD would hold a dharna at the local Matka chowk tomorrow before the beginning of the Budget session of the Punjab Assembly. Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president of the party, would lead the dharna that would start at 10 am and continue till 1 pm. All Akali MLAs, MPs and other senior leaders had been directed by Mr Badal to participate.

The dharna has been planned to “ force” the state government to resume free power and water to the farming community in the state. “ The Congress government had promised to continue free power and water, the benefit given by the previous SAD-BJP government to farmers, but it had backed out from its promise and started charging bills for supplying power and canal water to farmers. It was not acceptable to the SAD. The farming community is facing big financial crisis and it deserves free power and water keeping in view its financial condition,” he said.

Already, the new Andhra Pradesh Government had started giving free power to farmers. The Tamil Nadu Government had made a major cut in powers bills charged from the farming community. And certain other southern states had also announced to follow Andhra Pradesh pattern on the issue. Even after the drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha elections, Capt Amarinder Singh had stated that his party lost elections because of the withdrawal of the facility of free power to farmers and promised to review the matter, he said.

The dharna was being organised to draw the attention of the government towards the issue. However, free power and water is not the only issue on which dharna was being organised. “ Its being held for a larger purpose,” said the Akali leader.

The state government would also be asked to abolish octroi, another promise made by the ruling party to the people of the state before the last Assembly elections. The trading community faced several kinds of problems in various cities because of octroi. The state government would also be asked to resume the Shagun scheme for poor girls immediately. Though the state government had promised to start another scheme to replace the Shagun scheme but nothing had been done, he said.

“The Shagun scheme was started by the SAD-BJP government to provide token financial aid to poor girls at the time of their marriage. There was no logic to stop this,” said the Akali leader. “ We would build a strong pressure during the coming weeks on the government to make it resume the scheme,” he added.

Then there is an issue of pension scheme. The government had been delaying the payment of pension to the aged and other beneficiaries. The names of thousands beneficiaries had been removed from the government lists on political grounds. “The Congress government had set a wrong precedent in this connection. It should have not stopped pension to cases approved by the previous government,” the Akali leader said.

Other purpose of the dharna was to draw the attention of the state government towards the ruling party’s manifesto that was released before the Assembly elections. Several promises were made to the unemployed youth, panchayati raj institutions and others concerned in the manifesto. But nothing had been done. All sections of the society felt deceived by the ruling party. “We would tell the government to fulfil the promises made in the manifesto. As a principle opposition party, it is our duty to remind the ruling party that on what issues it failed to deliver to the people of the state,” he said.


SAD to give representation to minorities, women
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 13
After his re-election as President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) by a voice vote at Teja Singh Sammunderi Hall here today, Mr Parkash Singh Badal announced that the base of the party would be widened by giving due representation to minorities, including Hindus and Muslims, apart from inducting women in the organisational set up.

Mr Badal, whose name for the post was proposed by Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, a close confidant of late Gurcharan Singh Tohra, had been given all powers to select other office-bearers of the SAD after the general elections of the SGPC. With this, all powers stand centralised with the SAD chief, who had been fighting for the de-centralisation of powers by implementing the much-touted Anandpur Sahib resolution.

In yet another significant development, the delegate session gave consent to a number of amendments in the SAD constitution, including enhancing the tenure of the SAD President from two to three years. While proposing the name of Mr Badal for the post of the SAD President, Mr Grewal claimed that it was the wish of Gurcharan Singh Tohra to elect Mr Badal as SAD chief for the rest of his life. Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, a former Akali minister, appreciated the announcement of Mr Badal for giving due representation to Hindus in the SAD.

While making amendments in the constitution of the party, the number of the members of the Political Affairs Committee, the highest decision-making of the party, had been increased from 13 to 25. The working committee would be increased from 31 to 51, while the New General Council comprising 101 members would be constituted.

The new set-up of the SAD would have two patrons, one president, four senior vice-presidents, four vice-presidents, one secretary general, secretary and a treasurer.

While new state organisations of the party had been set up, delegates from Afghanistan, Iran and Africa had been withdrawn due to volatile situation in these countries. However, the number of delegates in the USA had been increased from two to five.

The resolutions passed on the occasion appealed to the Sikh Sangat to defeat the alleged nefarious designs of certain “so-called Panthic organisations” during the forthcoming SGPC elections. The SAD rejected all the decisions which were pronounced in gross violation of the riparian rules.

Later, Mr Badal gave a clean chit to Mr Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke and Mr Sucha Singh Langah, who had been facing charges of violating the Sikh code of conduct. He said the SAD won’t change any “tainted” candidates, as the nominations had already been filed. He said Mr Langah could not be punished for organising Paaths of Ramayana.


SAD, SGPC violate model code
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 13
In violation of the model code of conduct issued by the Sikh Gurdwara Election Commission, the offices of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee remained opened today to conduct the election of the SAD President despite it being a gazetted holiday.

Some of the speeches delivered in view of the forthcoming SGPC general elections were also in violation of the code.

The code of conduct reads: “Gurdwaras or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda”. However, the occasion of “Shukrana (thanksgiving)” held at Manji Sahib in the SGPC complex was also used for delivering speeches regarding the SGPC elections.

Mr Badal, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary general, and other senior leaders of the SAD called upon the “Sikh sangat” to defeat the “anti-Panthic forces” during the SGPC elections in violation of the code.

Mr Badal announced that the SGPC elections were more important than assembly or parliamentary poll.

A special langar was arranged by the SGPC, which also was in violation of the code. Mediapersons were served refreshments at the expense of the SGPC.


Chandok may be summoned to Akal Takht
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 13
Parhlad Singh Chandok Even as the SAD has taken serious note of presenting siropa (robe of honour) to Mr Jagdish Tytler, Union Minister, by Mr Parhlad Singh Chandok, President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), the latter could be summoned at Akal Takht by the Sikh clergy any time.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President, SAD, said it was a matter of great concern that Mr Chandok had honoured Mr Tytler who had allegedly been indicted by many non-Sikh organisations for engineering anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi. Mr Badal alleged that at the behest of the Congress certain factions of the Akali Dal had helped Mr Chandok and his men to take control of the DSGMC last year. He announced that the Sikhs won’t allow the DSGMC to honour Mr Tytler, Mr Sajjan Kumar and those who were involved in the Delhi riots. Mr Badal alleged that former Jathedar of Akal Takht Bhai Ranjit Singh had been playing in the hands of the Congress.

He said he was shocked to read the statement of the former Jathedar of Akal Takht who had tried to denigrate the institution of Sikh clergy by announcing that the Jathedar would be summoned at Akal Takht if the Panthic Morcha was voted to power after the SGPC poll.


Parents of jailed youths in Pak a harassed lot
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, June 13
Parents of Indian youths who are lodged in various jails of Pakistan, have condemned the casual approach of the Indian Embassies in Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. In a joint statement, the parents asserted that officials of these embassies had not done enough to get the youths released.

According to the International Bhai Mardana Society, which is engaged in the release of the youths, there are 10 youths imprisoned in the District jail at Kota, another 18 in the Much jail at Baluchistan; and 33 youths in the Kot Lakhpat jail at Lahore.

Lured by travel agents, these youths in search of greener pastures went to Turkey from where the police arrested them and confiscated their passports, other documents and cash. Then they were pushed across the Iran border. They were again arrested by the Iranian police. They were later handed over to the Pakistani Rangers. Since then they are languishing in various Pakistani jails.

Mr Harpal Singh Bhullar, president of the society, said Indian embassies had not initiated any significant steps to get these youths released. He said Indian officials had not even bothered to meet these youths once and ask about their welfare in Pakistani Jails.

Mr Bhullar said Mr Gian Singh , who is the only Sikh member in the National Assembly of Pakistan, has approached the Pakistani Prime Minister in this regard.

Mr Bhullar said if needed, they would approach the Supreme Court to get them released. He said parleys were already on with the Minority Minister of Pakistan and other social organisations, including the Pakistani Human Rights Commission, to get them released as soon as possible.


Jailed Indians in Pak end fast
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 13
At least 33 Indians in Pakistan’s Kot Lakhpat jail ended their fast today following assurances from Mr Gyan Singh, the only Sikh member in the National Assembly that Pakistan Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali would consider their cases in a humanitarian light .

Their cases would be reportedly taken up by Pakistani Prime Minister on June 16. Mr Harpal Singh Bhuller, President, International Bhai Mardana Yaadgar Kirtan Darbar Society who managed to rescue three such Indian youth from Pakistan by secretly bringing them along with the Sikh jatha from Pakistan, by train, said here today. Mr Bhuller claimed that the assurance had been given to him by Mr Gyan Singh from Pakistan on telephone .

The Indian detainees had been on a fast since May 17 in Pakistan’s Lahore Jail. Duped by bogus travel agents they had landed in Turkey from Greece and were pushed into Pakistan via the Taptan border in Iran. They had resorted to a fast following ill-treatment and their illegal detention despite having completed jail terms. They had been demanding their immediate release .

Mr Bhuller said as many as 10 letters had been received by families of detained youth revealing heart-rending tales of inhuman conditions in Pakistan jails. Many of them have stated that their letter may be considered their last communication as many of their cellmates had fallen seriously ill.

Mr Harpal Singh claimed that in a telephonic conversation with Gyan Singh, he discussed about the fast undertaken by Indian youth in Pakistan jail, to which Mr Gyan Singh said they had sent a list of 63 youths to the Prime Minister to be considered for their release on compassionate grounds. According to Mr Bhuller, Mr Gyan has said he had been called for a meeting with the Prime Minister on the issue on June 16.


Four pilgrims killed in mishap
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 13
Four pilgrims, including three of a family, were killed and seven others were injured in a accident on the GT road near Chiheru Bein, 8 km from here, early this morning. Their Qualis overturned when its driver lost control over the vehicle. They were going from Gurgaon to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine near Katra in Jammu.

The family that was wiped out in the accident had Mr Shikantu (25), his wife, Roopa (23), and their daughter Pooja, (one). They died on the spot. The fourth pilgrim — Ms Poonam (30) — succumbed to her injuries in Civil Hospital here. She was brought to hospital in an unconscious condition.

Besides the driver Shashi Yadav, other six injured belonged to two families. They included Sunil Kumar, his wife, Maya, their son Kartik (8), Sunil’s brother Krishan Kumar and Khushi, the nine-year-old daughter of the latter and Miss Nisha, a close relative. Poonam, who died in hospital, was the wife of Sunil Kumar.

The Chiheru police first aid vehicle took the injured to the hospital. The bodies were also brought here for post-mortem. The police had registered a case.

The site of the accident presented a gory sight, with blood, shreds of human flesh and the luggage of the pilgrims strewn around. Punjab Social Welfare Minister Joginder Singh Mann has expressed condolences with bereaved families.


Mandi board says no to crumb bitumen
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The controversy over the use of crumb rubber modified bitumen (CRMB) in new roads and repair of old ones has taken a new turn as the Punjab Mandi Board has stopped its use following complaints from both contractors and engineers alleging large-scale malpractices in its procurement and usage.

While government sources confirm that the mandi board has stopped taking supplies of CRMB from the stores of the PWD (Roads and Buildings), (it insists that there is) “nothing wrong in using the CRMB in roadwork”.

For the past two years, Punjab had switched from normal bitumen to the CRMB both for the repair and construction of new roads. But many roads built by using the CRMB have been damaged because of the poor quality of the material used.

Though top functionaries, including engineers, blame “poor supervision” for the damaged CRMB roads, contractors allege that the state was being forced to use the material at the instance of certain politicians who were hand in glove with the suppliers.

“The CRMB supplied to us through PWD stores is much inferior in quality and as such roads constructed by using it have been a shambles again. In one case, the entire premix top of a 10-km stretch of a rural road came off within a few days of the repair work, leading to the suspension of some engineers,” revealed a contractor.

After several roads got damaged quickly after repairs, the department ordered the use of normal bitumen and decided that the CRMB would be used only in repair of rural roads.

Besides the mandi board, PUDA was being asked to use the CRMB in its works.

At present, Punjab has 42,000 km of rural roads of which nearly one sixth become due for repairs. But this year, only 3,000 km of rural roads were repaired. The state highways, about 7,500 km, could not be takenup for repairs for want of funds.

Speaking on condition of anonymity the contractor says that in the absence of proper infrastructure, the CRMB use was “wasteful”. Further, Punjab was getting its supplies from the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) at a rate higher rate than the one at which other manufacturers were supplying the same material to other consumers, including the National Highways Authority of India.

“Punjab is getting the CRMB by paying Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 per metric tonne more than other agencies. Punjab consumes about 1800 metric tonnes of the CRMB every year. It is costlier than the normal 60/70 to 80/100 grade bitumen by about Rs 4,000 a tonne,” says a retired engineer, holding that the CRMB is an advanced and better material for constructing roads provided it is transported and used in a prescribed manner.

The CRMB was being procured to allegedly benefit a manufacturer who was supplying the through the IOC and was reportedly close to certain politicians of the state. The supply was being monopolised as even the IOC does not have the capacity to meet the whole demand.

The Tribune spoke to senior functionaries of the Public Works Department, including engineers and contractors, over the CRMB controversy.

The CRMB is a mixture of ordinary bitumen and particles of crushed rubber. Rubber being lighter than bitumen should normally float in bitumen but in reality it settles down in storage tankers because of impurities in it.

The CRMB has to be kept in special storage tanks for carriage and also in hot-mix plants which have a provision for stirrers or rotors. The CRMB has to be churned all the time so that the rubber particles do not settle down.

But neither the department nor most of its contractors have tankers or hot-mix plants with stirrers. As such, the rubber particles settle down at the bottom, compromising its usefulness in road work.


Shun tainted leaders, Atwal urges parties
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 13
“Political parties should shun tainted leaders”, said the newly elected Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr Charanjit Atwal here today.

He was in the city to pay obeisance at Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple, Jallianwala Bagh and Ram Tirath.

Talking to mediapersons, he said tainted leaders were a threat to democracy.

He said criminal elements should not be elected to Parliament.

He said the ruling and opposition parties should try to resolve the chaos in Parliament by mutual interaction which had arisen due to opposition’s demand to remove tainted leaders in the Union Council of Ministers.

The Deputy Speaker favoured Parliamentary sessions of longer duration.

He said at present the time was too short to debate on vital issues.


Child wounded in mine blast
Tribune News Service

Behak Khas (Ferozepore), June 13
A five-yr-old child, identified as Gurpreet Singh, suffered multiple injuries when a mine blew up while he was playing in the courtyard of his house this afternoon.

Gurpreet Singh, son of Makhan Singh, a mason, who suffered head injuries and fractures in his leg and arm, was taken to the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot. His condition was stated to be critical.

According to sources, Gurpreet was playing in the courtyard when the mine blew up. He was found lying in a poll of blood by his family. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was given first aid and then shifted to Faridkot.

On receiving the information about the blast, Army authorities sent a team headed by senior officer to the site of the blast. The team examined the remains of the explosive to identify its type. Senior police and civil officials also visited the spot.

Mr Bhupinder Singh, Station House Officer (SHO), Sadar police station, Fazilka, when contacted, said the mine was identified as NH-14, which is shaped like a grenade.

He said investigation carried out by the police established that the mine had come to the house from a field that had been mined by the Army during the Kargil conflict. He added that Makhan Singh had brought sand from this field to the courtyard during its construction.

He, however, pointed out that the sand had been brought from the field after the area had been demined by the Army.

He said it could not be known how the blast occurred. A report in this connection has been recorded in the DDR of the police station.

Though the Army authorities had demined areas mined by them during the Kargil conflict, mine blasts have been reported in the district and other border areas of Punjab and Rajasthan in the past.


A courier of thrill

Ropar, June 13
Mr Jagdeep Singh Dua, lecturer in Shivalik College of Pharmacy here, received a courier from Delhi recently. On opening the courier, Mr Dua was surprised when he saw that the courier contained his driving licence which he had lost to a pickpocket in Delhi.

Mr Dua said he had gone to meet a relative, when his pocket was picked near the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Mr Dua lost about Rs 2000 and the driving licence. Though he managed money to return home, the lost driving licence had him in trouble. But the sudden courier from an unspecified destination made him heave a sigh of relief. Mr Dua said his pocket might have been picked by some “honest” pickpocket. — TNS


Bhakra turbine damaged
Tribune News Service

Ropar, June 13
The second turbine of the left hand power house of the Bhakra got damaged today due to low water level in the dam. Sources said due to the low level the water pressure in the dam had decreased.

The BBMB authorities tried to use the draft pipe to create the artificial pressure to compensate for the low water pressure. However, due to the hole in the draft pipe it burst.

The 108-mw turbine is likely to remain out of order till June 16, the sources said.

They said the damage to the turbine was not likely to have much effect on the power generation. Already due to the low water level 455 mw power is being generated against a capacity of 1250 mw.


Roadways staff oppose privatisation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The secretariat of the Haryana Roadways Workers Union, affiliated with the Sarb Karamchari Sangh, will chalk out a strategy to oppose privatisation of the roadways at its meeting to be held in Rohtak tomorrow.

A secretary of the union, Mr Lal Chand Kasana, said here today that the union was opposed to handing over to private operators those routes on which Haryana Roadways was operating its services profitably. Similarly, the union also opposed the move to engage a private contractor for washing and cleaning buses in roadways workshops.

The union was also concerned over the non-declaration of bonus by the roadways for last year. The union would also discuss the course of action to be taken to get all ad hoc and daily-wage employees regularised despite an announcement by the government in this regard.


Martyrs’ families given relief
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 13
The police today organised a function to commemorate the sacrifice of martyrs from the force in the district at Mandi Gobindgarh. Sixteen families of police martyrs belonging to the district were presented electronic sewing machines and Rs 5,100 each.


More tubewell connections for farmers
Our Correspondent

Kharar, June 13
The Punjab Government will release 40,000 tubewell power connections to farmers this year against 25,000 cleared during the previous financial year.

Stating this in Kalaran village after inaugurating 24-hour power supply to the village, the Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, called for the judicious use of natural resources.

He said the watertable was going down day by day, and if remedial measures were not taken to check this, it might be too late. Future generations would have to bear the brunt of this, for which they would never pardon those responsible.

Mr Kang also inaugurated an urban-pattern power supply to Dholan Majra, Kanjhla, Bangian and Nathmalpur villages by switching on transformers. He said more villages would be included in this power scheme soon.


3 of a family killed as car rams into truck
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 13
Three members of a family were killed while five others were injured, one of them seriously, when their car rammed into a truck near Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT) on the Jalandhar-Amritsar road here this morning.

According to the police, Tilak Raj, a resident of Kidwai Nagar in Ludhiana, along with his family members, was on his way to Dera Baba Bagga Singh at Taran Tarn. Eight members of the family were travelling in the car.

According to the investigating officer, two children identified as Inder (12) and Jatin (6), who were sitting on the front seat on the jam-packed car diverted the attention of the driver of the vehicle, who could not apply breaks in time to save it from ramming into the truck from the rear side.

The front portion of the car was badly damaged. Inder and Jatin and their grandmother Darshna (60) died on the spot, while Tilak Raj, his wife Sonia, his sister Neelam, Vineet and Ashu were injured. They were admitted to Sacred Hospital here and were later shifted to Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana. The bodies of the victims were shifted to the local Civil Hospital for post-mortem. The injured were in a state of shock.


Two killed in separate accidents
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 13
Two persons were killed in separate road accidents here during the last 48 hours. The deceased have been identified as ex-serviceman Nirmal Singh of Gidderbaha in Muktsar district and Karamjit Singh.

Nirmal’s scooter was hit by a vehicle at Diwana Bahman village, 12 km from here. He was taken to Civil Hospital by activists of the Sahara Jan Sewa, an NGO where doctors declared him dead.

The body has been handed over to his relatives after a post-mortem examination.

In the second accident, Karamjit Kaur was crushed by a truck in Amarpura.


College to hold digital design course
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 13
A short term training programme on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI ) design ‘Idea to Chip’ will be organised by the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib, from June 14 to July 23.

College Principal Dr D.S. Hira said the electronic industry had achieved a phenomenal growth during the last two decades mainly due to the rapid advances in integration technologies, large-scale system design-in short, due to the advent of VLSI.

He said as the number of components on a chip kept on increasing, the need for a software design tool was felt which led to the development of Hardware Descriptive Language (HDLs). He said the main objective would be to implement digital systems in chip using HDLs.

Dr Hira said the department was accredited by the National Board of Accreditation, New Delhi, of the All-India Council of Technical Education. He said the department had specialisation in the field of VLSI designs. More such value-added courses were being organised in other departments also, he added.

Prof Lakhwinder Singh, Head of the department, said that this course deals with advance digital system design and introduction to Electronic Design Automation Tools. He said that Prof Tripatjot Panag and Prof Jagtar Singh would coordinate the training and the students of B.Tech /BE in electrical, electronics, instrumentation and computers were eligible to undergo this training.

He said that last year same course was organised in collaboration with Bangalore-based software company but now the faculty of the department had developed expertise in the field and started imparting training of its own.


Plastic institute to get national status
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, June 13
The Director-General of the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology, Dr Sushil Verma, said the institute would soon acquire national status.

Talking to this correspondent on his day-long visit here yesterday, Dr Verma said at present institute had 21 centres across the country and it was one of the premier institutes of international standard.

He said a majority of the centres had modern equipment and testing facilities which were being offered to the private sector for meeting stringent international quality standards.

The Director-General said the institute had floated the idea among entrepreneurs that they could make use of facilities at their centres to develop new products and do trial production at a nominal cost.

He said the entrepreneurs would be helped to market their products.

He said the institute centres at Chennai and Bhubaneshwar had excellent infrastructure and facilities and it had decided to start M.Tech in plastic engineering and design from the current session. Initially, the institute will offer 18 seats for this course.

Dr Verma said the government had decided in principle to give the institute a status of deemed university.


17,000 appear for JET
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 13
As many as 17,000 candidates appeared for about 8,000 seats in diploma courses of 46 polytechnics of Punjab and Chandigarh in the joint entrance test (JET). It was conducted by the Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training today.

The test was held at 76 centres in various parts of the state and Chandigarh.

These seats would be filled through a central admission system through counselling to be started in the first week of July. The result of the JET would be announced before June 18.

This was stated in a press release issued by Mr Harbhupinder Singh Nanda, Secretary of the board, here today.

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