P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Kalam asks Chief Secretary to act in job scam
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 20
The President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has asked the Chief Secretary of Punjab to take appropriate action in the alleged recruitment scams which took place in the local Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology (GZSCET) between 1997 and 2002.

The President’s office has taken the action on the representation made to him by the GZSCET Teachers’ Association. The association in its representation alleged that though a number of recruitment scams had taken place in the college, they were being hushed up at different levels. The association also alleged that politicians, senior IAS and IPS officials, who were entrusted inquiries, had either hushed them up the same at various levels or intentionally delayed for some vested interests.

According to a letter received by the association, Mr A. Samuel, Under Secretary (P), President’s Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, said after receiving communication from the association on June 1, 2004, the letter had been forwarded to Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab, for appropriate action.

The GZSCET Teachers’ Association has exposed a number of scams pertaining to the recruitment of lecturers, laboratory attendants, junior technicians, senior technicians, stenographers, peons etc. The association alleged various irregularities, including more marks to a candidate in an interview than the total marks prescribed for the same, fabrication of false experience certificates for favourite candidates, changing the criteria, recommended by the Department of Technical Education, for carrying out the selection of candidates for various posts, commission of forgery, calling experts of different subject than the experts of those subjects for which the interviews were held and calling more candidates for interview than the number of candidates to be called for same as per the norms.

Apart from it, the association alleged that in certain recruitments, where the written test was mandatory, no written test was conducted, a particular employee of Class III category was made member of selection committees, which carried out maximum recruitments and certain candidates were denied extra marks for their higher qualification than the minimum qualification required for the job for which they appeared in the interviews and interview board/selection committees overstepped its power by awarding more marks to the candidates in the interviews as per their convenience than they were authorised.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that the inquiries into the allegations levelled by the association against the college authorities had either been probed or were being probed by about four senior police and civil officials.

Mr Lalit Mohan Sharma, general secretary, GZSCET Teachers’ Association, said so far the official in whose tenure these scams had taken place, could not be questioned by any state government agency despite the fact that association had supplied documentary evidences to substantiate the allegations levelled against the college authorities. He alleged that the college authorities had denied justice to about 3,000 candidates, who appeared in different written tests and interviews conducted for selecting candidates for various jobs from 1997 to 2002. He added that recruitment scam in the local college was much bigger than the recruitment scam of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), which was exposed by the vigilance bureau in 2002.

He added that the association had taken up the matter with Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, DGP, Punjab Police, Chief Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, Deputy Commissioner and SSP, Bathinda. He said now the association had taken up the matter with the President of India, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Punjab State Human Rights Commission and the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.


Company’s closure leaves over 200 jobless
Chitleen K Sethi

Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 20
The Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) has held the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) responsible for the failure of its rehabilitation scheme to revive the sick public sector unit, Electronics Systems Punjab Limited (ESPL). After trying its best to help revive the unit, BIFR, recently ordered the winding up of the company, based in Mohali.

The company's closure has led to over 200 persons losing their jobs and work orders worth Rs 7 crore commissioned to the company by the Punjab State Election Commission also stand cancelled. The company was making voter I-cards for the commission and was the only PSU in the state which was doing Information Technology work for the government.

The BIFR, in its winding up orders of May 24, 2004, stated that the PSIDC had failed to carry through the revival plan sanctioned in 2001. As a result of which, BIFR had no option but to wind up the company. ‘‘In consideration of the fact of the case...the Bench (BIFR) has come to the conclusion that the promoters (PSIDC) are not serious in rehabilitating the company, nor were they resourceful enough to mobilize the funds required for the purpose. As such there is no rehabilitation proposal with means of finance fully tied up for consideration of the board despite sufficient time and ample opportunities having been given to all concerned. Under the circumstances, the Bench confirms its prima-facie opinion that the sick industrial unit-ESPL, is not likely to make its net worth exceed its accumulated losses within a reasonable time while meeting all its financial obligations and that the company as a result thereof is not likely to become viable in the future. Hence it is just, equitable and in public interest that it should be wound up...’’ stated the BIFR orders.

ESPL, a wholly owned subsidiary of the PSIDC had started work in April, 1983, for the manufacture and supply of computer systems, software development etc. In the mid-80s, ESPL emerged as one of the top computer manufacturers in the country. The company's performance and financial health deteriorated during the 90s, due to gross mismanagement and misappropriation of funds, allegedly by the then company heads.

The June, 1997, balance sheet showed that the company had accumulated losses of Rs.23.77 crore resulting in complete erosion of the company's net worth and consequently, the company's case was set to BIFR and the company was declared as a sick unit.

A rehabilitation plan was, however, proposed for the company. In August, 2001, the PSIDC agreed to advance a bridge loan of Rs 5 crore to begin its revival. Based on PSIDC's promise, BIFR sanctioned a rehabilitation scheme for the company in February, 2002. The cost of the scheme was over Rs 6 crore. While the PSIDC was to pay Rs 5 crore, the rest of the amount was to be arranged by the company by selling off its additional properties in New Delhi and Mohali. Two years hence, the PSIDC neither gave Rs 5 crore loan to the company as promised, nor sold off the company's properties to help ease the situation.


Selloff will spark joblessness: CPI
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, June 20
Flaying the Punjab Government for its proposal to dismantle various corporations and boards, the general secretary of the Faridkot district unit of the CPI, Mr Pawanpreet, has said such a move will aggravate the unemployment situation and hit the weaker sections of society.

The proposal to dismantle 26 corporations and boards like Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC), Punjab State Tubewell Corporation (PSTC), Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) and Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) under the guise of disinvestment would bring hardships to thousands of people, he said yesterday.

He added that already the unemployment scene in the state was alarming, with about 45 lakh people jobless. Any move to disinvest would compound the problem.

Hailing the UFA Government led by Dr Manmohan Singh for adopting positive steps for the development of the country, Mr Pawanpreet urged the Punjab Government to follow suit.


Traders resent sign boards
Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepore, June 20
The Army authorities have placed “out of bound area” boards at various places in the cantonment causing much concern to a section of local traders. According to the information, the authorities have placed such sign boards in front of some Old Grant Bungalows and shops located at Jhoke Road, Church Road, Sadar Bazar Road, Wazir Ali Building and near Adda Lal Kurti. When contacted the officials at Station Headquarters while justifying the move said these boards had been erected on the directions issued by the command headquarters. The boards had been placed only at those places which were being commercially exploited by a section of local residents. The Army authorities said that some residents despite the warnings issued by the local Cantonment Board and Station Headquarters were indulging in unlawful constructions thereby violating cantonment laws.

The authorities also said there were some reports of commercial activities being carried out from the Old Grant bungalows situated on the government land. Army officials said that in one case, a person had allegedly cut down three trees in order to execute construction work, which was a grave offence but the police had not initiated any action despite a complaint lodged by the Army authorities at the cantonment police station.

The Army has also placed such boards in front of some junk dealer shops in order to prevent jawans from selling scrap or damaged military equipment. Last year in July, discarded imported scrap was traced in Sukhbar nallah, a sewerage channel near the shop of one of junk dealers in the cantonment area. The Army authorities had constituted a team of experts to discover how these 28 live and six dead mortar shells had made its way to the sewerage gutter.

Sources in the Army also revealed that certain traders in the cantonment area were exploiting Army jawans by providing them soft loans for the purchase of electronic goods and other household items and used to keep a copy of their official identity card for their record. There have been reports that some immoral activities are also going on near the cantonment area. The Army authorities have also taken a serious view of this matter.

However, Mr Ravi Soi, a former member of the Cantonment Board, condemned the Army move to put up these boards. He said that the Army could install these boards only at places which posed health hazards or if some immoral activities were reported from that area.

Meanwhile, a section of concerned traders has constituted a public welfare committee to deal with the situation arising out of this development. Mr Harish Ahula, president of this newly constituted committee, said major chunk of their business was generated due to the Army personnel as jawans and their families were their main customers but now due to these boards near their shops, more than 200 small-time traders feel that their businesses have been hit. He said that he committee had submitted a memorandum to Col S.P. Singh, Admn Commandant, Station Headquarters, assuring that in future no authorised construction would take place on the premises of Old Grant Bungalows. These traders also met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ranjit Singh, in this regards.


15-day ultimatum to vends on highways in Punjab
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 20
Though two liquor vends-cum-ahatas on the Kharar-Kurali stretch of the national highway, which the PWD authorities claimed were located on their land, have been relocated but their new makeshift premises continue to be in violation of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995.

A Tribune team, which undertook an extensive survey of Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr districts, found that a large number or liquor vends and ahatas continue to dot the national and state highways.

The PWD Minister last week issued express orders to all engineers in the field to get all such vends which were located within road reservation as specified in the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995, removed within 15 days failing which disciplinary action would be taken against them.

“I am not aware that these vends are located on road reservation stipulated under the Punjab Scheduled Roads and Controlled Area Act, 1963, or the 1995 Regional Town Planning and Development Act,” he told The Tribune.

The Punjab Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr D.P. Reddy, denies categorically that the Excise and Taxation Department has ever asked the PWD to allow its licensees to locate their vends.

“We only tell them the area in which they have to find a suitable space for running their vend. We never promise them any particular site what to talk of PWD land covered under road reservation,” said Mr Reddy.

The official position of the PWD and the Excise Department notwithstanding, liquor vends continue to function from edges of the national and state highways throughout Punjab.

For example, in Mohali (SAS Nagar), a planned town, 20 liquor vends, mostly bordering Chandigarh, are located just less than three metres from the state and national highways. One opposite Verka Milk Plant is hardly 50 cm from the edge of the road.

Under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, no structure whatsoever can come up in less than five metres from the edge of the road. But all these liquor vends-cum-ahatas, — makeshift tin structures — are touching the road berms.

Liquor vends at Desumajra, Khanpur, Gharuan, Morinda, Phagwara (adjoining a cremation ground), Dhahan, Banga, Nawanshahr, Tonsa, Balachaur and Kurali and many more are in violation of the Punjab Scheduled Roads and Controlled Area Act. Even the state excise policy prohibits the location of a vend in violation of this 1963 Act.

The major problem has been of enforcement. The PWD and the Excise Department have been passing the buck holding each other responsible for the grave violations that are responsible for increased incidence of fatal accidents at a number of places.

Besides the State Acts, there have been express directions of the courts, including the apex court, on keeping the national and state highways free from liquor vends. The court directions prohibit the location of any vend in road reservation area which extends between 100 and 150 metres of the national and state highways.

Many of these vends, located on the national and state highways away from the abadi areas, do good business. At Tonsa, for example, the main clientele of the vendor comes from truckers who transport goods to and from Asron and Tonsa focal points. Similarly, at Chanalon, liquor vend has been so located on the national highway that no trucker can miss it. The excise policy prohibits the location of vends closer to industrial areas and focal points. But who cares.


Indo-Pak talks focus on return of innocent persons
Our Correspondents

Brig Sakhi Majram (second from left), leader of the Pakistan Rangers delegation, bids farewell to the Indian delegation after the day-long meeting held across the border in Pakistan on Saturday night at the Wagah joint checkpost
Brig Sakhi Majram (second from left), leader of the Pakistan Rangers delegation, bids farewell to the Indian delegation after the day-long meeting held across the border in Pakistan on Saturday night at the Wagah joint checkpost. — Tribune photo by Rajiv Sharma

Wagah (Amritsar), June 20
The Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers decided to accelerate the return of innocent persons and share information about the smuggling of narcotics at the DIG-level talks which began after a gap of three years at the joint checkpost here yesterday.

Earlier, a seven-member team of DIGs, headed by Mr A.K. Surollia, crossed yesterday morning to hold detailed discussions to start a fresh dialogue which had remained stalled for three years due to the terrorist attack on Parliament in December, 2001.

Talking to mediapersons, Brig Sakhi Marjan, Deputy Director-General, Pak Rangers, who headed the Pakistan delegation during the day-long meeting, said the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and both the sides decided to resolve the issues amicably. He said concrete steps should be taken to release citizens of both the countries who inadvertently cross the border and were languishing in jails.

Echoing the sentiments of his counterpart, Mr A. K. Surollia said a number of persons languishing in jails on both sides of the border should be deported on humanitarian grounds to help ease the tension.

On the issue of smuggling of narcotics, they agreed to share information and operational intelligence to combat the menace of drug smuggling on the international border. The delegation also assured that they would take strict action to stop the activities of trans-border criminals who continue to pursue their nefarious activities. The delegation also exchanged the names of smugglers involved in the drug trafficking.

In the joint declaration both countries decided to organise a joint patrolling to plug the loopholes. The heads of delegation also decided to hold flag meeting to discuss urgent matters of concern. They also decided that they would provide prior information before the burning of ‘sarkanda’ (wild grass) to each other so that standing crops are not damaged.

The Indian delegation consisted of seven DIGs from Jammu and Kashmir to Rajasthan sectors, Mr A.K. Surollia, Mr Hemant Purohit, Mr M.L. Lather, Mr P.K. Mishra, Mr K.S. Chauhan, Mr S.S. Chatrath and Mr Rakesh Goyal.


Farmers happy over Indo-Pak thaw
Our Correspondent

Wagah, June 20
The thaw in the relations of the two embittered neighbours India and Pakistan, has had a positive fallout on the farming community living alongside the International Border.

Many farmers, for whom the fields across the fence were a forbidden area for the past three years, have now managed to go full swing into the cultivation of paddy as the BSF has allowed them to work almost round the clock on the field. The BSF decision will help them earn a decent living which has eluded them due to the occupation of their fields and mining of the area during the military build-up in December, 2001.

Talking to newsmen, a farmer Jagir Singh, said the BSF, which had maintained round-the-clock vigil and allowed them a limited access across the fence to cultivate their fields, is now allowing them to do so for a longer durations. The farmers of this area had shifted to safer places along with their families as a large chunk of their land was under the military and was also mined.

Mr Jagir Singh hoped the cordial relations would continue thus allowing them to tend to their farms without any fear and tension. He lauded the role of the BSF which had supported them in reclaiming their fields, which remained out of bounds for more than three years. The farmers of the area were expecting a bumper crop with expectations of good monsoons and improved power supply.


Jatha leaves for Pak today
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 20
A 500-member Sikh jatha would leave for Pakistan on June 21 to mark the 165th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The SGPC, in a press note here yesterday said Mr Nirvair Singh Arshi, eminent poet, writer, author of ‘Gurmati Parkash’, would head the jatha .

The jatha would visit Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Panja Sahib and reach Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore, on June 29 and return on June 30.

As many as 19 persons on the list have been denied visas by Pakistan. The pilgrims have been told to collect their passports from the SGPC office on any working day.


Amarinder intervening in SGPC poll: Badal
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 20
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is trying to intervene in the SGPC elections, alleged former Chief Minister and SAD President Parkash Singh Badal while addressing an election meeting at Malout today. Earlier, he inaugurated an election office of SAD candidate from Malout Dayal Singh Kolianwali, who has recently been exonerated by the Muktsar police from a murder charge.

Mr Badal alleged that the candidatures of three prominent SAD leaders, Alwinder Pal Singh Pakhoke, Sucha Singh Langah and Sewa Singh Sekhwan, had been cancelled only because of the pressure of the Congress government on the bureaucracy. There was no legal ground under which their papers could have been cancelled, he added.

The SAD president said Amarinder Singh had also tried to intervene in the Sikh affairs three years ago during the election of SGPC chief when SAD members had to be kept in Balasar in Haryana. He alleged that the Congress had been trying to take control of Sikh institutions including the SGPC and Akal Takht, since Independence but the Sikhs had not let them succeed in its plans.

Expressing hope that Sikhs will treat the Congress in the same manner as it had done in the past, he reminded them of Operation Blue Star and 1984 anti-Sikh riots and held the Congress responsible for all this.

Badal also reacted sharply on the alleged failure of Amarinder Singh-led Punjab Government in presenting state’s case in the Supreme court on the SYL. He said if the case was pursued properly, the decision would have not been against Punjab. The residents of Punjab, especially those of Malwa region, will have to bear a huge loss due to the SC decision on the SYL, he added.

Among others, former MP Gurdas Singh Badal and Dayal Singh Kolianwali also spoke on the occasion.


Iman vows to free gurdwaras from the corrupt
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 20
Mr Iman Singh Mann, who has lodged an FIR against two SAD SGPC candidates from Fatehgarh Sahib and their supporters for allegedly attempting to murder him, has pledged that his party, SAD (A), will continue to fight against the corrupt and the criminal, who wanted to grab control over gurdwaras by using unfair means.

In a press note issued here today, he said all five accused in the FIR, who had been granted interim bail by a court, had criminal background. He said SAD (B) candidate Didar Singh Bhatti was involved in land-grab cases. Mr Jagdeep Singh Cheema, another candidate, had committed a fraud on the government by selling its rice worth crores. Mr Manmohan Singh was facing trial on the charge of preparing fake documents to commit fraud on banks. Mr Makhan Singh was facing charges under Section 420 of the IPC in connection with fake immigration. The fifth accused, Mr Bawa Singh, had been booked on the charge of attempting to murder a Dalit during the 2002 Assembly elections.

He said it was unfortunate that the court had granted interim stay on their arrest. “As all five accused have criminal background, they would definitely interfere in the police investigation,” he alleged. They had tried their best to eliminate him, but it was only due to the blessings of the God that he survived, he further said.

He alleged such candidates wanted to rule gurdwaras by becoming SGPC members. He said his party had always exposed the misdeeds of SGPC members, who looted “Guru Ghar” and “Guru Golak”. He said his party had filed cases with the Sikh Judicial Commission against Mr Jaswant Singh Tann, another SAD candidate, who allegedly got his sons employed with the SGPC.

Similarly, due to the efforts of his party, the Sikh Education Society had to deposit Rs 32.63 lakh with the SGPC as his party won the case filed against the society. He said all Panthic Morcha candidates having clean image were getting overwhelming response. He said his party would continue to fight against anti-Panthic, corrupt and criminal forces.


SGPC poll: BKU leaves seat for SAD
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 20
The BKU candidate for the SGPC elections from the Muktsar general seat, Mr Gurmit Singh, will withdraw his nomination papers on Monday. The decision was taken at a meeting of the BKU, held here today, under its state president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal.

Mr Lakhowal said the BKU would support SAD candidate Sarup Singh Sibia on this seat.

There would be a direct contest between Mr Sibia and Panthic Morcha candidate Gurdev Singh Lubanowali.

SAD candidates on three of the six seats of the district are all set to be elected unopposed.

They are Ms Manjeet Kaur Chrewan from Muktsar (women reserved), Mr Navtej Singh Kauni from Doda (general) and Ms Mukhtiar Kaur from Doda (SC) seat.


Atwal supports CEC idea of negative voting
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, June 20
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal today supported the suggestion of Chief Election Commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy for voters’ right to reject a candidate by choosing “none of the above” option. Mr Atwal said he would even go a step further by suggesting that the people should have the right to recall those representatives who were not performing as per their expectations. He said the people were supreme in democracy and they should have the right to recommend or recall the elected representatives.

He opposed entry of criminals into politics and asked all political parties to screen their candidates before giving them tickets in order to check them at the initial stage. However, he refused to comment on the current controversy of “tainted” ministers in the Union Cabinet.

On ban on turban in France, Mr Atwal hoped that since Sikhs were now occupying high offices in India, the Sikh identity would be recognised in a better way in the world and it would also have a positive effect in France.

Mr Atwal said he would give top priority to development projects in his constituency. The road overbridge at Satnampura railway crossing in Phagwara, would be completed at a faster pace, added Mr Atwal.


SGPC regrets objections
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 20
The SGPC has taken a serious note of the objections raised by German security personnel to turbans worn by some Sikhs travelling aboard aircraft at Munich airport.

In a press note issued here yesterday, the SGPC said the Sikhs had endeavoured to bring prosperity and progress in any country they had settled, but it was regrettable that they were humiliated.

The SGPC would write about this incident to the Prime Minister and the External Affairs Minister.


Atwal prefers walkout to disrupting House proceedings
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 20
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal today said it was better to stage a walkout than to disrupt the proceedings of the House.

Mr Atwal, who was here to pay obeisance at the Dukhniwaran Gurdwara in the city, made this remark in response to a question on the walkout staged by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha yesterday. The SAD members had staged a walkout yesterday on the issue of the television coverage to the state Chief Minister only.

The Deputy Speaker maintained that all members of the state assemblies as well as Parliament could use their democratic rights, including walking out of the House, on their discretion. He said however members should behave with responsibility in the House and ensure there were no unruly scenes.

Mr Atwal when asked about his personal choice of speakers, he said he felt Mr Chander Shekhar, Mr Pranab Mukherjee and Mr P. Chidambaram were the best speakers as far as the ruling coalition was concerned. He said amongst the NDA, he felt former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lal Krishan Advani and Nitesh Kumar were the best speakers.

The Akali leader said he was honoured to be chosen as the Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha. 


Youth Cong plans protest over SYL
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 20
Mr Raminder Awla, president of the Punjab Youth Congress, said State Youth Congress workers would not allow a single drop of water to flow into the SYL canal.

They would start an agitation to pressurise the Central Government to intervene in the water distribution dispute between Punjab and Haryana. They would stage dharnas and go on fast in this regard.

Mr Awla was talking to mediapersons here today. He said that the state body of the Punjab Youth Congress would be constituted within a week. All block Youth Congress units would be strengthened by replacing their office-bearers shortly.

Later, Mr Awla presided over a meeting of all blocks office-bearers of Hoshiarpur district. Mr Arun Dogra, president, District Youth Congress, and Mr Vishwa Nath Bunty, acting president, accompanied Mr Atwal.


Jail inmates have access to drugs, says report
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 20
Now it’s official that opium and other psychotropic substances were easily available to the inmates of the local central jail at a high price.

The SDM-cum-inquiry officer, Mr Mohinder Pal, was entrusted to conduct a probe into clash between the two inmates groups on Wednesday night. In his final report submitted to the District Magistrate, Mr Ashok Gupta maintained that the clash erupted following verbal dual among inmates over the low quality of opium.

The inquiry officer, recorded statements of all the 34 inmates, who were injured in the clash. The jail staff, revealed that psychotropic substances were being made available to the inmates here at a high price.

The report was silent over the role of the jail staff, who was to keep a vigil on such illegal activities.

Mr Gupta, in a press note issued here this evening, said that the inquiry officer also found the dinner boycott call given by one group of inmates as another reason for the clash.

Mr Gupta said that the report suggested preventive measures to avoid such incidents. Other provisions included were requisite amenities in the jail, use of light weight utensils for preparation of food, maintenance of strict vigil on the family members of the inmates, who meet the undertrials from time to time in jail and on the court premises during their appearance in the respective courts to avoid supply of drugs.

No action was recommended against erring jail officials, who failed to break the nexus of inmates and the drug suppliers.


Politicians patronise corrupt: Bir Devinder
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 20
“On account of grabbing 80 per cent money of the state exchequer through corrupt means by politicians, bureaucrats, administrators and managements of various organisations, Punjab is facing financial crisis. Corruption is prevailing in almost all fields and majority of corrupts are holding key positions and there is no check on their activities.

This chaotic situation has ruined the most prosperous state of the country”.

These views were expressed by Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, while addressing a press conference at the local PWD Rest House today.

He said corrupts were holding key posts and were being patronised by politicians whereas honest and dedicated officers were being ignored.

Referring to defeat of the Congress in 11 parliamentary constituencies in Punjab in the recent Lok Sabha poll, he said there was a need to find out the real causes.

This defeat had not only demoralised the Congress workers but had raised a question mark about its future in state.

He said there was a need to reorganise the PPCC and enroll cadre-based workers in the party.

Replying to a question he said that the PPCC should make a strategy for the coming byelections in three assembly constituencies in Punjab. When asked about his induction in state cabinet during proposed reshuffle owing to the decision of Parliament to cut the size of ministry, he said that the Congress high command had to take decision in this regard.

He would strictly follow its decision, however, he would prefer to work in the party to strengthen it instead of remaining the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan 

Referring to the construction of the SYL he said Punjab was already facing water shortage. It could not spare water for other state.

All political parties were united on this issue and would not allow distribution of its water to other state.

He said the state government would demand an extraordinary economic package from the Union Government for which draft was being 


Shop sale puts ZP in dock
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 20
The functioning of the local Zila Parishad has come under cloud as one of its shops in a posh market adjoining the Civil Hospital has been allegedly sold for Rs 10 lakh by its tenant in violation of the terms of the rent agreement.

According to sources, the tenant sold the shop for Rs 10 lakh about six months back. It is alleged that despite receiving complaints in this regard, the authorities concerned had failed to initiate action against the defaulter.

It is learnt that the Zila Parishad authorities were planning to sign a new rent deed of the shop, which is situated at a prime location of the city, with the new incumbent. The move was disapproved by its Chairman, Choudhary Surinder Singh.

Meanwhile, a senior Congress leader, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that a majority of the Congress members of the Zila Parishad had urged Choudhary Surinder Singh to convene an emergency meeting of the parishad to discuss the involvement of the officials, who allegedly connived with the tenant after getting a bribe of lakhs of rupees.

Choudhary Surinder Singh admitted that such a big scam was not be possible without the involvement of the officials concerned. “We have filed a case in the court against Dr Jyoti for allegedly sub-letting the shop against the terms of the rent agreement. I have asked the ADC (Development), Mr S. S. Bains, to conduct an inquiry into the matter even as strict action will be taken against the erring officials after receipt of a final report in this regard,” he added.


PCMS Assn decries Health Corpn decisions
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 20
The PCMS Association has flayed the recent decisions by the Punjab Health Corporation regarding prescribing medicines in their generic names alone and fixing benchmarks for operative interventions describing these decisions as anti-poor and anti-patient.

The state president of the association, Dr D.S. Gill, in a statement to the press here yesterday stated that as per the directive of the Health Corporation the prescription bearing the generic names of the medicines would leave the patient at the mercy of the retailer who could sell any substandard product to unsuspecting patients to pocket higher profits offered by some medicine manufacturers.

He added that many medicines prescribed these days were combination drugs and it was impractical to write various salts and their dosages on each prescription.

The general secretary of the association, Dr Manjit Singh, stated that the decision in this regard seemed to have been taken in haste without proper technical advice on the subject and that it was liable to do more harm than good to the quality of medicare in state hospitals.

He added that such steps might expose patients to unwarranted health risks and also stated that state hospitals should stock up good quality medicines according to their generic names before launching any such step.

While referring to the decision to fix the benchmarks for operative interventions, the patron of the association, Dr M.S. Randhawa stated, this would create undue pressure resulting in uncalled for surgical intervention carried out on the patient merely to achieve benchmarks to save themselves from threatened departmental action by the Health Corporation.


Panel on illegal allopathy practice
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 20
The state Drugs Advisory Committee has constituted a three-member sub-committee to suggest ways and means to check the practice of allopathy by unauthorised persons. The member of the sub-committee are Dr Dharam Bir Kapoor, chairman, All-India Medicos Society, Hoshiarpur, Dr Surinder Singla, a former state secretary of the Punjab unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), and Mr Ajay Singla, Drugs Inspector, Ferozepore.

Dr Singla, also the chairman of the public relations wing of the Punjab IMA, said here today that the sub-committee would study various aspects of the problem and submit its report in a month.

Dr Singla said to check quackery, the Punjab Government should impose a ban on the sale of drugs by chemists without the prescription of a qualified doctor. He said mere issuing of instructions by the health authorities to Civil Surgeons for checking these chemists would not serve the purpose.

The IMA leader said the association was of the view that allopathic medicines could be prescribed only by those doctors who were enrolled on the state medical register within the purview of the Medical Council of India Act.


Giving hope to hopeless
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, June 20
The polio check up and treatment camp conducted by Dr Ujagar Singh of Rampura Phul came to an end today, with several polio cases being treated. With the help of finances from Rotary Club, Rajpura, about 72 hopeless cases of polio have been treated over the past one year.

The most outstanding of these cases has been that of Sukhwinder Singh from Daman Heri who, until a year ago, used to walk on all fours due to his physical limitations. Present at the conclusion of the camp today, Sukhwinder was only too happy to narrate his tale. After being covered by Roshni Society under its ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation programme, Sukhwinder now walks with the help of crutches. Physically empowered, he now even runs an STD booth.

Apart from Sukhwinder Singh, several other cases of polio from Punjab and Haryana have been treated under the aegis of Rotary, Rajpura and Dr Ujagar Singh, who continues treating the sick at his hospital in Rampura Phul.

BEFORE (above): Polio-ridden Sukhwinder Singh of Daman Heri village in Punjab.

AFTER (below): Sukhwinder has been able to walk with the help of crutches after attending the polio treatment camps organised at Rajpura under the aegis of Rotary Club, Rajpura and Roshni Society.

(BEFORE): Polio-ridden Sukhwinder Singh of Daman Heri village in Punjab.

(AFTER): Sukhwinder has been able to walk with the help of crutches after attending the polio treatment camps organised at Rajpura under the aegis of Rotary Club, Rajpura and Roshni Society.


Free heart check-up camp organised
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 20
As per a report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) by 2015, people of northern states of India particularly from Punjab, Haryana and J&K would be worst sufferers from heart diseases at present 10 per cent Punjabis, above the age of 40, have become heart patients, said Dr Gurpreet Singh Sidhu of Patiala Heart Institute Patiala, while addressing a gathering at a free heart check-up camp organised by Rotary Club, Sirhind, in collaboration with Patiala Heart Institute at Sirhind town today.

He said sedentary life style and change in eating habits were the major culprit of heart attacks.

He suggested regular exercises, brisk morning walk, regular check up, control of blood pressure and diabetes to check health problems.


Two labourers buried alive
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 20
Two labourers were buried alive under the mound of a sand while they were digging a well in Balloh village of this district late last evening.

Sources said the deceased who had been identified as Nachhattar Singh and Gopi Singh, came under the mound of sand which caved in while they were working at the bottom of the well for its deepening. Sources added that the bodies were taken out from the well by the civil and police authorities with the help of the local people. Both bodies were handed over to their kin after a post-mortem.

A case in this connection had been registered.


Nurses want vacant posts to be filled
Our Correspondent

Amritsar June 20
The Punjab Nurses Association has demanded from the DHS the filling of more than 300 vacant posts.

In a press note here yesterday, Ms Jivanpreet Kaur, president and Ms Gurcharan Kaur general secretary of the association stated that the maximum vacancies were recorded in the medical colleges of Patiala and Faridkot.

At a meeting with the DHS, they also demanded Rs 2,000 as special nursing allowance on the pattern of the Central Government. The nurses also demanded that they be allowed to pursue higher studies with pay.


ESI Director visits gastro patients
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, June 20
Dr S.K. Sharna, Director, ESI, Punjab, has visited the local Civil Hospital to check the ongoing treatment of gastroenteritis patients there.

After meeting the patients, Dr Sharma held a meeting with Dr Y.C. Markan, Civil Surgeon, and other staff of the hospital.

Five teams had been constituted to provide treatment to gastroenteritis patients at their houses in the city. It was decided to bring only serious patients to the hospital.

As many as 22 fresh cases of gastroenteritis have been reported in the hospital in the past 24 hours.


MLA takes up sewerage issue
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 20
Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA, raised in the Vidhan Sabha the issue of improving the sewerage system of the city in view of the manifold increase in its population.

In a press note issued here today, he sought the four-laning of the highway from Amritsar to Jalandhar and covering of the ‘Gunda Nullah’ in the Sultanwind area.

He also informed the House that they were planning to construct a multi-storeyed parking area near the Golden Temple for the convenience of pilgrims.


Mentally challenged boy missing
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 20
A 15-year-old mentally challenged boy, Sohan, has been missing from the SOS village, at Rajpura since June 15. The child reportedly scaled the boundary wall and ran away in the evening while other children around him were busy playing. By the time the guards were alerted, Sohan was nowhere to be found.

A missing person report had been filed with the police. The caretakers were anxious about the boy's welfare. Sohan is deaf and dumb, besides being mentally challenged. According to assistant village director, Diwakar Pande, the child was a student of the Navjivini School for Special children and had come home to his foster family at the SOS village to spend his summer vacation.

His foster mother felt that separation from his younger brother, also mentally challenged, could be the reason behind Sohan’s running away from home. Sohan’s younger brother had been shifted around 10 days back to the recently opened SOS village for mentally challenged children at Bhopal.


Tribune worker bereaved
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 20
Ms Surjit Kaur (70), mother of Mr Daljit Singh, an operator in Punjabi Tribune, died here this afternoon.

Her cremation will take place on Monday. The funeral procession will begin from Triveni Chowk.

She is survived by two sons and a daughter.


Litchi-producing zone of Punjab
Bharat Bhushan Dogra

Rajiv MahajanPathankot, June 20
Pathankot litchi is in great demands in Gulf and European countries. The export order this season is likely to go up by more than 10 times compared to the order received last year by the local litchi growers.

Mr Rajiv Mahajan, a litchi producer, who is also the president of the Pathankot Fruit and Vegetable Cooperative Society, said that litchi and mango were the two main horticultural crops of the area. These fruits are grown in about 2,000 acres of land each and have been the main source of income. The crops also earn quite a handsome foreign exchange.

Mr Mahajan said this season use of high-quality nursery and timely adequate rains helped increase the produce.

The litchi growers expect more export orders from France, England and Dubai.

Last year only 10 tonnes of litchi was exported and this year over 100 tonnes of litchi was expected to be exported, Mr Mahajan said, the total produce was expected to be 10,000 tonnes this season compared to 7,500 tonnes last year. The produce rate could have gone up had the state government declared the area as litchi zone and provided the sprinkle system of irrigation.

He said late Mr Partap Singh Kairon, former Chief Minister of the undivided Punjab, had declared the area of Pathankot, Dhar block and some parts in Kangra district (now in Himachal Pradesh) as a fruit zone, but after the Punjab was reorganised in 1966, the plans to develop Pathankot into a fruit zone got shelved.

Mr Mahajan said Mr C.L. Bains, Development Commissioner, Punjab, had visited the area some time back to assess the possibilities of the high-yield horticulture produces.

Mr Mahajan claimed the soil in and around Pathankot was very fertile for litchi and mango cultivation because mineral-filled water of the Beas and the Ravi flowed through the town, which is a boon for the litchi crop.


Brar hails decision on farm reforms
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, June 20
Congress leader and former MP, Jagmeet Brar today welcomed the Union Government’s decision to bring massive reforms in agriculture sector and provide relief to the farmers. He was addressing mediapersons at the residence of former minister, Bal Mukand Sharma here. Mr Brar said the farmers were the backbone of the nation but they were ignored by the NDA government.

About the infighting within the party which led to his debacle in the recent Lok Sabha elections, Mr Brar said a detailed report citing the reason behind the poor show put up by the Congress in the state has already been submitted by him to the Congress high command.

He said certain Congress leaders sabotaged his election prospects in a clandestine manner.

In the issue of SYL canal, Mr Brar said if the canal was constructed, the worst sufferer would be the Malwa belt of Punjab and particularly, Ferozepore district.

He said nine lakh acre of land would become barren if water was given to Haryana. He said at present there was 15 MAF water available at the disposal of Punjab which was short of its actual requirement and with the construction of SYL canal, 3.5 MAF water will go to Haryana, which will bring the farmers of the Malwa belt to ruins.

When asked that why the Chief Minister allowed water to flow into Rajasthan when Punjab was already short of its requirement, Mr Brar said additional water was given to Rajasthan on humanitarian grounds in the wake of acute potable water crisis there last year.

Mr Brar said due to shortage of river water, farmers have overutilised the groundwater resources due to which the water-level has gone down.

He said as per riparian principle, Punjab was also entitled to get Yamuna water as it touched Ghaggar at Tajewala head.

Mr Brar said he along with a delegation of people’s representatives from border area would soon meet the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in order to urge him to take necessary steps for the opening of Hussainiwala border, which was the lifeline of the local traders.

He said an awareness drive would soon be initiated in the Malwa belt to bring awareness among the farmers on the SYL issue.


Two robbers nabbed, cash, pistol seized
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 20
Two robbers, allegedly involved in an incident in which motor cycle-borne persons had looted Rs 6 lakh from a ‘munim’ of an ‘arhtiya’ at Dirba village on May 17 last, have been arrested by the district police. The police has recovered Rs 2.50 lakh, a pistol and a motor cycle from them.

Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, today revealed the identity of the arrested robbers as Kabul Singh, alias Fauzi, of Kalwanu village in Patiala district and Satnam Singh, alias Satta of Bakrahan village in Patiala district. He said Kabul Singh, had been discharged by the Army from service due to his alleged links with militants. With the arrest of these two robbers, all the accused involved in the robbery incident, were in the police custody now.

Mr Dhillon further said the police had recovered Rs 1.30 lakh and a pistol from Kabul Singh and Rs 1.20 lakh and a motor cycle from Satnam Singh Satta. He said the recovered amount of Rs 2.50 lakh was a part of the looted amount.

Earlier, in the second week of June the district police had arrested four persons, namely Jaswinder Singh, Hardeep Singh, Maghar Singh and Angrej Singh, all hailing from Kaithal district in Haryana. The police had, then, recovered Rs 1.75 lakh, two pistols along with cartridges and two motor-cycles from them.

They were arrested when the police conducted a raid at a place near the ITI at Banarsi village (Khanauri area) where they were allegedly planning to loot one bank or a petrol station. Fauzi and Satta had managed to flee during that raid.


Executive members of Cosmo Club booked
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 20
Sealing of the Cosmo Club took a new turn on Friday night with all executive members of the club charged under the Excise Act though the club has a valid liqour licence. A copy of the licence is with The Tribune. The Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr Taranjit Singh, confirmed that the club holds a valid liquor licence and has not been a defaulter. No objections have been reported against the club in the past, he added.

In another FIR registered in the same case, six persons were booked under the Gambling Act. Among those who were booked are two councillors.

Incidentally, both FIRs have been reportedly backdated to coincide with the Friday night raid by about 300 personnel and sealing of club premises where 100 persons, including women, were present.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, when contacted confirmed that the both the FIRs were registered.

However, when asked that the club possessed a liquor licence, he said the club executive did not show the licence to the raiding party. Mr Arun Kumar Bittu, club president, said the administration and the police refused to give them any valid reason for the raid and sealing of the club premises.


Scooterist dies in mishap, 4 hurt
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 20
A scooter-driver, identified as Deepak Kumar, was crushed to death and four persons were injured, when a speeding bus hit the victim’s vehicle near Sirsa railway crossing on Bathinda-Dabwali road here last evening.

The police said Deepak Kumar, who was working in the workshop of a car company located at the Focal Point, died on the spot. The driver of the bus, identified as Baldev Singh and three passengers also suffered injuries when the bus hit against an electric pole after hitting the scooter.

Civil hospital sources said Baldev Singh was still under treatment, while the three passengers, left the hospital after first aid.

A case has been registered.


Truckers clash; 13 booked
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 20
The Dirba police registered a case against Darshan Singh, leader of a group of Dirba truck operators union and his 12 supporters under Sections 307 and 452 of the IPC. They allegedly injured Mr Pargat Singh, leader of another group of Dirba truck operators’ union, at Dirba on Friday.

Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, said yesterday that Darshan Singh and his supporters “attacked” Mr Pargat Singh, when he was coming back from Dirba bus stand after leaving his wife there, and injured him seriously.

Later, Mr Pargat Singh’s supporters also reached the spot and a scuffle took place between members of the two groups. Both sides opened fire, he added.

The incident took place over the issue of loading of rice on a special goods train.


Foundation stone of Gurmat Sangeet Bhavan laid
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 20
The Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swarn Singh Boparai and Bibi Jasbir Kaur Khalsa, chairperson, Guru Gyan Parkash Foundation, New Delhi, jointly laid the foundation stone of Gurmat Sangeet Bhavan on the Punjabi University Campus today. Prominent among those present were Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian, Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana and Dr H.K. Manmohan Singh, ex-Vice-Chancellor.

Realising the lapse and neglect of gurmat sangeet as an independent academic discipline at the level of higher studies, Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai last year established Gurmat Sangeet Chair in Punjabi University with the financial support of various religious personalities.

Dr Boparai disclosed that the university had planned to start masters level course in gurmat sangeet apart from some certificate and diploma courses in gurmat sangeet tradition. Another major lapse in Indian philosophy which Mr Boparai pointed out was that till now Guru Nanak is remembered as a saint, mystic and a social reformer only while his position as a philosopher has been ignored in Indian philosophy.

Punjabi University had decided to introduce one paper on philosophy of Guru Nanak in each semester of MA in Philosophy, which again would be a pioneer step of the university, asserted Mr Boparai.

Bibi Jasbir Kaur Khalsa termed the establishment of gurmat sangeet as an academic discipline at the university level as a great step forward in the history of Sikh tradition.

She praised the university for celebrating the 400th year of installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in a big way.

Dr Gurnam Singh who heads the Gurmat Sangeet Chair gave an overview of university’s plans to give a fillip to research activity in the discipline of gurmat sangeet. The construction of multi-storeyed gurmat sangeet bhavan on eight kanal would help preserve the ancient as well as modern traditions within this broad area. Mr Param Bakhshish Singh, Registrar, Punjabi University also spoke at the function.


PTU decision on staff after court verdict
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, June 20
The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Technical University (PTU), Dr S. K. Salwan, yesterday said the university would wait for the court judgment before taking a decision on the regularisation of services of 95 employees, whose recruitment was termed as tainted in the Vigilance Bureau report.

It was stated they were appointed without following the norms of the university.

“Although the procedure for the regularisation of the services of 95 employees has been completed, we will implement the decision of the committee set up in this regard only after getting orders from the court, where the case is still pending,” Dr Salwan told reporters here.

Reacting on the VB’s letter to the then Vice-Chancellor, Mr Y.S. Rajan, recommending the termination of the services of 95 employees, appointed during the tenure of the former VC, Dr H.S. Gurm, Dr Salwan said “since the PTU is an autonomous body, it is not bound to accept the recommendation of the VB, which can only advise us on such 

Mr A.P. Pandey, ADGP-cum-Chief Director of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, had written a letter to Mr Rajan stating that as the cases against Mr Gurm, the then Director (Outreach), Mr A.S. Grewal, and a former Technical Education Minister, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, were registered in the October last, in which one of main contentions was that since 95 employees were recruited illegally by the senior officials, the services of the said employees should be terminated.


PTU to hold placement fair
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 20
Punjab Technical University (PTU) will hold a three-day placement fair at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall here from July 9 to 11.

Stating this, Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice Chancellor, PTU, said students from various streams, including engineering, management, information technology and pharmaceutical sciences, could choose an option from various opportunities. He said most of the companies would hold on-the-spot recruitment.

Dr Salwan said workshops would also be organised to help students prepare their resume and use technical jargon. They would be given tips on presenting themselves for the interview. A seminar to motivate the students and provide them valuable motivational tools for success in a corporate world would also be held.

The Vice-Chancellor said the efforts were being made to ensure that top companies attended the fair.


Lovely Institute students excel
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 20
Students of the Lovely Institute of Technology have brought laurels to the institute by attaining top positions in Punjab Technical University this year.

Davinder Singh has stood first in BTech (IT), Neha Mahajan second in BTech (computer sciences) and Abhineet Kaur sixth in BTech (electronics and communications).

Amandeep Kaur has stood first in the PTU in (MCA) V semester. Sandeep Bhardwaj second in (MCA) I semester and Deepika Thakur sixth in (MCA) VI semester.

Students of the Institute have attained eight out of the top 10 ranks in Guru Nanak Dev University in I semester of LLB five years programme.

Pallavi has stood first , Manav second, Rajwinder Singh fourth, Upesh Khatter sixth and Isha seventh, while Kunal Guglani, Manish Bansal and Mohit Kapoor have attained eighth, ninth and tenth ranks.

In the I semester of three-year LLB course, Bharti Sharma has stood second, while Meenu and Sumit Sabharwal have shared the seventh position.


Rahul Sharma tops plus 2 (arts) exam
Our Correspondent

Rahul Sharma, who has topped Patiala in the Class XII (arts) examination of the Punjab School Education Board, being greeted by his mother, Meena Sharma
Rahul Sharma, who has topped Patiala in the Class XII (arts) examination of the Punjab School Education Board, being greeted by his mother, Meena Sharma, on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Patiala, June 20
Rahul Sharma, a student of the local S.D.S.G Senior Secondary School has topped in the city with 86 per cent marks in the 10+2 (Arts) examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board.

His mother Meena Sharma is a Municipal Councillor and his father Vinod Sharma is running an IAS coaching centre in the city. Giving credit of his success to his parents and teachers he says that hard work pays in the end. Rahul has also cleared the NDA examination . His ultimate goal is to become an IAS officer.


Staff of govt aided schools denied salary
Our Correspondent

Batala, June 20
Resentment prevailed amongst the teaching and non-teaching staff of govt-aided schools of Gurdaspur district due to non-payment of their salaries since January, 2004.

Mr Amar Singh Goraya, president of the Government Aided School Teachers’ Union, Gurdaspur, and Mr Darshan Singh, secretary Government Aided School Teachers’ Union, Batala block, said earlier they used to receive their grant-in-aid in April every year. Both the leaders urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Education Minister, Mr Khushal Behl, to look into the matter.


School Alumni Association set up
Our Correspondent

Patiala, June 20
A meeting of the former students of SDSE Senior Secondary School, Patiala, was held yesterday in the school premises to constitute an organisation of the old students of the school. The following have been elected office bearers of the SDSE School Alumni Association, Patiala. president — Dr B.K. Kapoor, senior vice-president — Mr Lal Chand Jindal, vice-president — Dr Sohan Lal Gupta; secretary — Mr Vijay Mohan Gupta and joint secretary — Mr Vinod Sharma.


UGC conducts NET

Amritsar, June 20
The NET examination conducted by the UGC concluded peacefully at nine centres here today.

As many as 2,500 candidates appeared for the examination in various subjects. For the first time, centre-wise question papers were provided to plug any leakage of papers, the coordinator, Mr Satish Verma, informed.


B.Sc. results

Amritsar, June 20
The result of B.Sc. (IT) Part I and Part II examination of Guru Nanak Dev University held in April/May this year would be declared tomorrow. The results can be accessed from the University website at www.gnduonline.org.


PSEB to install electronic meters
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 20
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) will install electronic meters on the premises of all three-phase connection holders, besides six to seven lakh such meters in one-phase connections all over the state by March 31, 2005.

The Board had earlier gone in for the installation of 1,000 three-phase electronic meters on an experimental basis, which had resulted in a 20 per cent increase in revenue generation in the specific area. Buoyed by the success, the Board has decided to install electronic meters in the entire state. As many as two lakh three-phase electronic meters have been installed in the state till yet.

Mr B.K. Bindal, Chief Engineer, Metering, said that 1.30 lakh connections were pending, which would be installed in the current financial year. The Board had also decided to go in for installing single-phase connections all over the state, he added.

He said there were a total of 42 lakh single-phase connection holders in the state, out of which 10.5 lakh consumers had been covered under the electronic meter drive. The Board had decided to ensure the installation of six to seven lakh single-phase electronic meters every year in this category. All these meters would be installed in iron boxes, which would be sealed to ensure against theft of power.

Meanwhile, the Board has registered an increase in revenue at all places where it has installed electronic meters. This is because many magnetic meters are nearly 25 years old and are not functioning properly. Besides, it is easy to manipulate magnetic meters.

The PSEB expects an improvement in revenue with more electronic meters being installed in the state. As of now, the Board estimates that 13 per cent of its power generation is lost due to theft.

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