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World Bank blows hot, blows cold at state functioning
Chandigarh, August 5
A World Bank team today presented top bureaucrats with a graphic account of Punjab's economic development slowdown and possible crash-landing, if the state did not move from policy to implementation on administrative, financial and social sector and farm industry plans.

Interest on loans to terror victims waived
Chandigarh, August 5
While the Punjab Council of Ministers here today confirmed the status of Cabinet Minister granted to Mrs Jaswant Kaur, widow of the late Mr Beant Singh, Chief Minister, it waived the principal interest and penal interest on the loans advanced by the Punjab Finance Corporation to the persons affected by terrorist violence, riot victims and misguided youth.

CM conducts aerial survey of flood-hit villages

A villager makes his way through water with a bucketful of rotis at Lachhru Khurd village in Patiala

Khanauri (Sangrur), August 5
Before landing here around 6 pm today, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected villages in the Khanauri and Moonak areas.

SAD MP for relief to flood-hit farmers

Admn sends food for people of Ghanaur area

A villager makes his way through water with a bucketful of rotis at Lachhru Khurd village in Patiala on Thursday. — Photo by
Rajesh Sachar




Malwa farmers cry for water despite rain
Ludhiana, August 5
Despite a heavy downpour and floods in Patiala and Ropar and some other parts of Punjab, farmers in the Malwa belt, who largely depend on canals for irrigation, will continue to face an acute water scarcity.

2 weeks needed to plug Narwana breaches
Chandigarh, August 5
While the Punjab Irrigation Department authorities today invited their counterparts from Haryana for a joint inspection of the breaches, which occurred in the Narwana branch of the Bhakra mainline canal on August 3 owing to floods, Irrigation officials concerned say that it would take at least two weeks time to plug the breaches provided the sky remains clear.

For a change, media taken for a ride
Chandigarh, August 5
The phone calls from the Punjab Information and Public Relations Department to accredited correspondents and photographers this morning created excitement when invited to join Chief Minister Amarinder Singh aboard a bus to visit some flood-affected villages in Sangrur and Patiala districts. The assembly point was Punjab Bhavan. Time 11.30 a.m.

Illegal fishing by Bangladeshi nationals
HARIKE (Amritsar), August 5
Despite a blanket ban, a large-scale illegal fishing in Rajasthan Feeder, near Harike barrage, is being done, especially by Bangladeshi nationals, in alleged connivance with officials concerned.

Doctors, cops helped me escape, says gangster
Amritsar, August 5
Satnam Singh, alias Satta, a notorious gangster facing a number of criminal charges, who had fled from the local government hospital, today confessed to the involvement of doctors of Amritsar Central Jail here and policemen guarding him in his escape. He had given Rs 8,000 to them for this.

Scouts leave for England, land in Korea!
Jaito, August 5
In a goof-up of sorts, eight scouts from Punjab had left some to take part in international scouting jamboree, to be held in England but four of them returned home while the rest landed in Korea.

Punjabi novelist teaches English to Canadians
Chandigarh, August 5
For Mr Iqbal Ramoowalia, his first novel in English -- The Death of a Passport -- is a dream fulfilled. Settled in Canada since 1975, Mr Ramoowalia has a come long way not only to become a teacher of English on an alien land but also to get a special grant from Canadian Art Council to promote his first novel in India.


Plans to celebrate 400th anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib
Amritsar, August 5
A high-level meeting, chaired by the Principal-Secretary, Mr D.S. Jaspal, charted out a beautification and infrastructural plan to mark the 400th anniversary celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib here on Tuesday.

Restore traditional Takht ‘maryada’, says jatha
Chandigarh, August 5
The Akhand Kirtani Jatha International (Prabandhki Pehchan) today at a meeting appealed to the Akal Takht to restore the old, traditional “maryada’’. This requires that bhog of the akhand path at Akal Takht must end with shabad of "Mundavani", and not at "Ragmala", as the practice was for quite some time now.

Cops fail to arrest BKU men booked on judge’s complaint
Bathinda, August 5
The police has failed to arrest some members of a kisan union despite the fact that a case was registered against them in Kot Fathe police station on June 24, 2004, on charges of beating up of the bidders (mostly commission agents) at the auction of a piece of land held at Chathhewala village on June 16, threat to gherao the revenue officials and snatching of camera of videographer.

Needle removed from woman’s lungs
Jalandhar, August 5
In a rare four-hour-long ‘operation’ — sans surgery — about two-inch-long needle, which had got stuck in the middle of two airways of lungs of Kamlesh Rani, a housewife hailing from Panam village of Hoshiarpur district, was successfully removed manually with the help of broncoscope at a local private hospital today.

90,000 await pension in Gurdaspur
Gurdaspur, August 5
Rajeshwar a septuagenarian resident of Ram Nagar village near here is being forced to eke out a living by breaking stones on roadside. He has been forced to do so at this age as the Punjab government has failed to pay him the old-age pension, his only source of livelihood for the past two years.

Localities sans water pipeline, roads, streetlights
Baghapurana (Moga), August 5
They have been given voters’ identity cards, but are deprived of basic amenities like drinking water, roads, sewage line, and streetlights. The residents of Avtar Nagar, Hargobind Nagar and the slum area on the Mudki road in Baghapurana are a harried lot, especially in the wake of three diarrhoea deaths in the neighbouring Mari Mustafa village last week.

Think twice before lending cellphone
Bathinda, August 5
Watch out while lending your mobile phone to friends lest its chip gets stolen or the programme gets tampered with. This is what has happened to a local resident, Mr Pankaj Goyal, who lent his Samsung mobile phone activated on a Reliance chip to his friend Pali few months ago.

Dream of Canada cost her dear
Moga, August 5
The police has arrested a person for duping a farmer of Rs 16 lakh under the pretext of sending his daughter to Canada. Police parties have been sent to various parts of the state to arrest other persons involved in the case.

PSEB engineers protest sell-off move
Bathinda, August 5
Members of the Council of Junior Engineers of the Punjab State Electricity Board today held a rally to protest against the move to privatise the PSEB. Mr Baldev Singh, secretary of the Council, said the Council had come to know that the PSEB management was contemplating privatisation of the board once the paddy season was over.

Breast-feeding ‘benefits’ child as well as mother
Sangrur, August 5
Breast-feeding babies up to six months and then up to two years with complementary foods reduce and childhood morbidity (disease) and mortality. Dr Surinder Singla, president of the Lions Club, here stated this at seminar on “Breast Feeding” at Kanjhla village about 10 km from here yesterday.

Diploma engineers stage dharna
Chandigarh, August 5
Supported by various organisations of employees, the Diploma Engineers Association of the Irrigation Department today staged a dharna here to urge the Punjab Government authorities concerned to withdraw the “ false” criminal case registered against Jagdev Singh Bhatti, junior engineer of the Irrigation Department posted at Gidderbaha.

Kanshi family’s charges baseless
Jalandhar, August 5
Terming the allegations of the family members of the BSP’s leader Kanshi Ram against Ms Mayawati as baseless, the national general secretary of the BSP, Mr Narinder Kashyap, today alleged that the former was playing in the hands of UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to defame Ms Mayawati.

IG visits slain Dalits’ families
Sangrur, August 5
The Inspector General of Police, Zone-1, Patiala, Mr Rajinder Singh today visited the families of two Dalits, Gurjant Singh and Harminder Singh, who were shot dead allegedly by a group of landlords at Kamalpur village on August 3, in village Kamalpur village near Dirba, and expressed his sympathies with the bereaved families. He also met 10 injured persons at the health centre at Kohrian village.

Dalits seek Vedanti’s intervention


Challan presented against ex-Cong minister
Bathinda, August 5
The police has presented a challan in a local court here against a former Congress minister, Mr Harbans Singh Sidhu and others in a criminal case registered against them in the city police station on August 20, 2002.

Notice served on Transport Department
Chandigarh, August 5
Taking a serious note of the poor transport services in the state, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has served a notice on the Transport Department.

High Court
Arrest stayed
Chandigarh, August 5
The High Court on Thursday stayed the arrest of former Punjab minister Nirmal Singh Kahlon in a case registered on May 11 by the Gurdaspur police.


Bhatti seeks CBI probe into wireless scam
Chandigarh, August 5
Adding a twist to the controversy pertaining to the purchase of wireless sets by the Punjab Police, Additional Director-General of Police D.R. Bhatti has sought probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the matter. Mr Bhatti and Superintendent of Police Malwinder Singh Sidhu were recently issued chargesheets by the Punjab Home Department in the matter.

Pepsu staff threaten stir against GM
Bathinda, August 5
Four different unions of workers of Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation, Bathinda Depot, while condemning the discrimination being done to the employees by the general manager, Mr S. S. Mander, said that they would launch an agitation to protest against it.


Woman burns minor daughter to death
Kapurthala, August 5
In a bizarre incident, a mother allegedly burnt her 16-year-old daughter to death by throwing acid on her. The deceased, Manpreet Kaur, was a resident of Santpura colony, The mother of the victim, Harminder Kaur, was making a brisk business by running a flesh trade racket.

Cousin held for murder
Sangrur, August 5
The police today claimed to have solved a blind murder case by arresting a prime suspect and recovering a sharp-edged weapon, allegedly used in the crime. The arrested person is a cousin of the deceased.

Woman strangled, gold, cash looted
Kapurthala, August 5
A 58-year-old woman was strangled and jewellery and Rs 30,000 was looted from her residence near Markfed Chowk here today. Veena Rani, the victim, was alone at her home as her husband, Mr Charan Das, had gone out.

Two held for inter-state sale of pesticide
Muktsar, August 5
The district police today seized about 10 quintals of pesticides being used for cotton plants, which was being transported to New Delhi from Muktsar by a local business firm without having permission for carrying out the inter-state transactions of the same.

Five held for forgery
Patiala, August 5
The CIA staff has arrested a gang of four allegedly involved in forgery of documents of a piece of a land here today. Naseb Singh, a resident of Alipur Jattan village, Sukhdev Singh of Khuddan, Joginder Singh of Alipur Jattan and Dilbagh Singh of Nangava have been arrested. Another member, Gursharan Singh of Khuddan, had absconded.


Schools or cattlesheds?
Gurdaspur, August 5
Seventeen out of 50 primary schools of the Dhar block, the most backward area of the district, have been closed down due to the lack of staff. Most of these schools have been closed down during 2000 to 2004.


Singla lays stress on self-employment
Chandigarh, August 5
Emphasising on the need to become self-reliant, the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, urged people, especially youth and women, to develop resources within themselves and pick up skills and training for self employment.

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