P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Small farmers may get free power from Aug 15
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 1
Punjab Power Minister Lal Singh today hinted that the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, may announce free power for small farmers on August 15. He stated this while laying the foundation stone of a power grid at Baliawali village here.

The minister said though the ruling party had promised free power to the state’s farmers in its manifesto, but Punjab’s poor economy coupled with loss-making electricity board didn’t allow the state government to fulfil the promise. He said when the Congress came to power the PSEB was running into losses of hundreds of crores and it took the government three years to bring it to a profit earning stage. He said the state government was committed to providing 8-10 hours of power supply to farm sector during the paddy season. He said the state was even purchasing power at the rate of Rs 6 per unit and was providing it to the farmers at a mere 57 paise per unit. He said the state government was giving power subsidy of Rs 1,065 crore to the farmers in the current financial year. He said the farmers were apprehensive about paddy production last year owing to poor monsoon and declining water level in dams. But the state government bought power worth Rs 2,302 crore leading to a bumper crop. Interestingly, the minister also termed the PSEB as No. 1 electricity board in the entire country.

Ruling out privatisation of the board, Mr Lal Singh said the state government was contemplating corporatisation of the board and there was no threat to the jobs of about 80,000 PSEB employees. He said the board was making all efforts to check illegal motor connections and had collected Rs 177 crore as fine in the past three years.

Earlier, the minister laid the foundation stone of a 66 kv power grid at Baliawali village. It would come up at a cost of Rs 2 crore and Rs 58 lakh would be spent on 6 km power line from Lehra Mohabbat plant.

The grid would reduce the workload on six other grids and ease the power scenario in about 12 villages. 


No deadline to abolish octroi
Rs 800 crore for water supply, sewerage
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 1
The Punjab Government has not fixed any time frame yet to abolish octroi in the state because it could not be abolished without finding its alternative as the government earns Rs 750 crore per annum from it.

Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Government, Punjab, stated it at a function organised in connection with the handing over development grants to the municipal councils of Sangrur, Bhawanigarh and Barnala at a marriage palace here today. The function was attended among others by Mr Arvind Khanna, MLA from Sangrur; Mr Jasbir Singh, former Punjab Minister; Mr Subhas Grover, president of the Sangrur District Congress Committee; Mr Parvinder Bajaj, Mr Makhan Sharma and Mr Ranjit Singh Toor, presidents of the Sangrur, Barnala and Bhawanigarh Municipal Councils, respectively.

The minister handed over cheques worth Rs 45 lakh, Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh to the presidents of the Municipal Councils of Barnala, Sangrur and Bhawanigarh, respectively. The minister also announced another development grant of Rs 30 lakh for the Sangrur Municipal Council.

Chaudhary Jagjit Singh told reporters that octroi would be abolished as and when the government found an alternative to income from it. On the fate of octroi contractors after the proposed abolition of octroi in the state, he said the Municipal Councils would make adjustments on their own at that time in this direction, while the permanent octroi staff would remain with the Councils.

With regard to the “dispute” over the resignation of Bholi Ismail from the post of president of the Malerkotla Municipal Council, the minister said an order in this regard would be passed by the Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, in the light of directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He said the case file, of Bholi Ismail’s case, was now with the Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab.

Addressing the function, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh said the Punjab Government had earmarked Rs 800 crore during the current year for improving water supply, sewerage, slum areas in the cities of the state. Meanwhile, seven Municipal Councillors, belonging to the BJP and the SAD, including Mr Jatinder Kalra, Mr Surinder Singh Pappu, Ms Bhagwanti Devi, Mr Amarjit Singh Titu and Ms Jaswinder Kaur, of the local Municipal Council, boycotted the function and the visit of the minister.


Residents allege harassment by octroi collectors
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, July 1
Several instances of alleged high-handedness and harassment by private octroi contractors have come to light here. Hooligans of octroi contractors have allegedly even forced persons to pay octroi on their daily use clothes.

The staff of private octroi contractors allegedly attacked two brothers of Amritsar on June 24. Armed with iron rods, a Gypsy carrying about a dozen octroi staff intercepted their car near Sapror village on the GT Road. They started enquiring about an old washing machine in the car and allegedly assaulted the brothers, Gurjatinderpal Singh and Avtar Singh, with iron rods.

In yet another incident, employees of the private octroi contractors allegedly ransacked a gift shop and attacked its employee on June 28.

The men went to Ghera Gift Centre and decamped with cash and valuables amounting to Rs 92,000 and beat up an employee, Amandeep, who was admitted to the local civil hospital.

In a similar incident Baljit Singh, who was coming from Ludhiana to Jalandhar on Wednesday said, he was mentally tortured by private octroi contractors at Phillaur and at Goraya. When he reached Phagwara, octroi staff signalled him to stop near the Rest House.

The men had a thorough search of his briefcase. He was forced to pay a fine for not paying the octroi fee on the clothes which he was carrying.

The contractors have allegedly employed 75 persons against the sanctioned strength of 22 and most of them are not in uniform.

When contacted Phagwara DSP Lakhwinder Pal Singh Khaira said he had convened a meeting of the contractors on Wednesday and asked them to educate their staff regarding the collection of octroi fee and be cooperative with the public.


Patiala achieves Rs 2,927-cr target in credit plan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1
The achievement of Patiala district has been the highest in the state in the District Credit Plan for the year 2004-05. This was disclosed in the quarterly review meeting of the District Credit Committee, Patiala, held under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tejveer Singh.

Giving details, the district manager stated that Patiala district had recorded an achievement of Rs 2,927 crore against a target of Rs 1,678 crore which was the highest in the state. Similarly, the district had also recorded the highest achievement in absolute terms with Ludhiana district placed at number two position with an achievement of Rs 2,802 crore. The CD ratio had also shown impressive performance with an increase to 85 per cent from 62 per cent last year, the performance of the district credit plan on other parameters was also very good.

Appreciating the combined efforts of all bankers and officers in the district, the Deputy Commissioner stated that this exceptional growth needed to be sustained and the areas of relatively lesser growth needed to be identified and focused upon by drawing credit to dairy farming, SSI and related activities. He expressed hope that the current year’s target would also be surpassed in the same manner with the hard work and dedication shown by bankers and officers.

The AGM, NABARD, Mr J.P.S. Bindra, stated that the district rural industries project (DRIP) started by Nabard in 2004 in Patiala district had shown good results in the first year with an achievement of Rs 357 crore against a target of Rs 317 crore. Employment for about 29,000 persons had been generated with this investment.

He said by 2008-09 under the DRIP scheme, a total of Rs 1,900 crore would be advanced as credit to generate employment for almost 1.70 lakh persons in the district.

Mr Tejveer Singh suggested that NABARD should organise a one day seminar in collaboration with NIFT, Delhi, to promote awareness about phulkari among leading designers and to bring modern design and marketing inputs into the phulkari work being done in and around Patiala.


Amarinder reviews status of NCR projects
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1
A meeting of the Patiala Urban Town Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) was held under the chairman of the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh here today in which the status of the two major NCR Planning Board projects pertaining to the water supply, sewerage augmentation project and integrated township at Baran were reviewed.

The Managing Director of the Sewerage Board brought it to the notice of the Chief Minister that till date 95 per cent of the water supply lines to be laid as part of the project had been completed. Similarly, progress on sewerage work was also on schedule and almost Rs 25 crores expenditure had been incurred under the NCR project.

The MD added that work on covering of Ganda Nallah would also commence soon the work had already been allotted to a contractor. The Chief Minister stated that special funds would be provided to the Municipal Corporation and PWD to restore the roads damaged on the account of the digging during the project. He issued directions that all attempts should be made to complete the project work by the summer of 2006.

In view of the keen interest evinced by private groups for the development of world-class infrastructure at Baran township, PUDA had decided to engage the services of a consultant to suggest modalities and transparent procedure for selecting private partners. Progress of Baradari Project was also reviewed and Chief Minister expressed a desire that work should be completed by the end of this calendar year.

Mr Amarinder Singh also reviewed the new bus stand project, Managing Director of the PRTC assured him that it would be completed within the next 10 months. It was also decided that the existing road from the bus stand to Patiala Nadi would be widened in view of the shifting of the bus stand. Chief Minister urged the PIDB and the PWD (B&R) Departments to ensure expeditiously the four-laning of the Nabha and Sangrur roads upto Bhakra Main Line canal.

He also reviewed the progress made on the shifting of Kabari Market, Sabzi Mandi as well as setting up of an urban hut behind the Mohindra Kothi and directed the departments concerned to ensure quick implementation. The Chief Minister also directed PUDA to speed up work on the conversation of the old DC office into the state archives so that the Rajindra Kothi Heritage Hotel project could expedited.

Prominent among those who were present were Principal Secretary Tourism, D.S. Kalha, Principal Secretary to CM , Suresh Kumar, Secretary (PWD), R.S. Sandhu, Secretary (Housing), K.B.S Sidhu, Chief Administrator of PUDA A.S. Chhatwal, Secretary (Mandi Board), Ms Seema Jain, Mayor, Vishnu Sharma, Chairman, PRTC V.P. Gupta and Chairman Improvement Trust K.K. Sharma.


Notes of dissent sent to Bibi Jagir Kaur
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 1
The functioning of the SGPC today came under a scanner following alleged ‘tampering’ of the proceedings of the executive meetings.

An SGPC executive today expressed surprise and anguish over the inclusion of certain items, including reinstatement of the sacked secretary, in the proceedings which were not even on the agenda of the meeting. In a letter to the SGPC chief, Mr Gurvinder Singh Shampura today dissociated himself from such a decision. Mr Shampura said he was shocked to read in the columns of the newspapers that Mr Harbeant Singh who was sacked as secretary for getting job on the basis of a “fake certificate” had been passed by the Executive body. Mr Shampura claimed that this item did not figure during the meeting held on May 27 as he himself was present at the meeting. He said such a decision was violation of the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, and lowered the prestige of the SGPC.

Mr Shampura also criticised the promotion of Mr Joginder Singh as additional secretary by ignoring the dissenting voices. Dissociating himself from this decision too, he described it as hasty. He alleged that such decisions amounted to indiscipline.

Highlighting yet another significant point, Mr Shampura said the dossier on Harmander Sahib was rejected without taking SGPC members into confidence. He said the report of the SGPC’s sub-committee was not circulated among the members before rejecting the dossier. He urged the SGPC chief to record his note of dissent in the proceedings.

Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, a senior member of the SGPC, had also sent an open letter to Bibi Jagir Kaur, pointing out mismanagement of the SGPC during “Ghalughara divas”.

Meanwhile, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur, another executive member also submitted a written note of dissent for rejecting the dossier on flimsy grounds. She also asked the SGPC chief to ensure recording her dissenting note in the proceedings.


Jagir Kaur asked to seek bail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
A local court today asked the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, to seek bail on July 30 in a defamation case.

It is learnt that the Judge asked the SGPC chief to appear before the court and get bail in the case. She had allegedly been ignoring the court summons for the past about four years and had been applying for personal exemption.

A defamation suit was filed against Bibi Jagir Kaur in 2000 by Ms Kulbir Kaur Dhami, who runs Guru Asra Trust for the children of the slain militants in Mohali.

Ms Dhami had alleged that during her earlier tenure as the SGPC chief in 1999-2000, Bibi Jagir Kaur had make certain defamation remarks about the trust in a section of the Press and defamed it in the public eye.


Fire destroys 16 illegal structures near PUDA colony
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, July 1
Fire ravaged 16 illegal shops built by encroachers outside the PUDA colony on the Pathankot bypass today.

The fire started in one shop allegedly due to short-circuiting at 1 am and spread to the adjoining shops.

Fire tenders from the Pathankot Municipal Council, Indian Air Force and the Army took three hours to douse the fire. Owners of the shops claimed loss of lakhs in the fire.

The fire has again brought to the fore the threat illegal shops posed in the area. Almost the entire PUDA colony has been encroached upon. Original allottees of the colony have been fighting court cases to get possession of their houses, but illegal occupants beside the houses have also encroached on land inside and outside the colony.

The Punjab Human Rights Commission on a petition filed by an original allottee Ram Murti had directed the PUDA authorities to remove the illegal occupants from the colony. However, despite the commissioner’s orders, PUDA has failed to take action against the illegal occupants.

The PUDA authorities when contacted said they had written to the district administration providing police help to remove the illegal occupants. The police help was not provided and encroachments could not be removed.

The original allottees, however, allege that the authorities were not serious about removing the illegal occupants and just taking the unavailability of police help as an excuse for in-action.

Most of the illegal occupants of the colony also do not have proper power connections. They resort to ‘kundis’ from live wires for power that allegedly led to today’s fire.

Besides the illegal occupation of the colony, the encroachers have raised illegal structures right on the national highway. Though the local administration removed a few such encroachments a few days ago, many of these have been turned into cemented structures.


Not a smooth ride for ‘Sikh’ students
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 1
If you consider yourself a Sikh and thought getting admission to the two engineering colleges run by the SGPC was a cake walk, you may be wrong. The authorities of the religious body have become all-time strict regarding compliance of the norms laid down in Sikhism.

This at least seemed so in the CET counselling for seats under 50 per cent Sikh minority quota being conducted by Punjab Technical University here. Two colleges have set up their counters in an eligibility centre, especially for screening candidates who do not abide by the principles of Sikhism, at least as regards their physical appearance.

The applications of many candidates who appeared for their eligibility test prior to their admission were rejected on this condition. The faculty of the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur College of Engineering and Technology declared certain candidates ineligible on the condition that few of them wore a turban but had their hair cut. They had been growing beard, keeping in view the counselling, but the members of the team were able to spot such candidates.

The team members even eliminated the names of candidates who came turbaned today, but their photographs pasted on the application forms showed them with their hair cut.

Similarly, the faculty of Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana, struck off the names of girls from the list of those applying under the Sikh minority quota as they said that few girls coming to them had their hair trimmed while others were getting their eyebrows threaded.

In yet more interesting cases, the applications of many students were rejected as they were not using “Singh” or “Kaur” after their first names as prescribed in Sikhism. Those who had got a public notice published regarding the change in their name, got through while others had to bear the brunt.

There were scores of students from Sikh families presenting their case before the grievances cell of the university demanding that their applications be considered under the Sikh minority quota as they had passed a written test on Sikhism conducted by the SGPC. The university authorities, however, rejected the plea of all such students.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of the SGPC, said the committee had taken a strong stand as it felt that only the rightful candidates be allowed to take admission. She said the Sikh body had taken the permission for 50 per cent quota after much effort and it now wanted that the admissions be given only to those adhering to the norms strictly.


Badal seeks probe into CM’s Dubai visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
SAD President Parkash Singh Badal today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress President Sonia Gandhi to come clean on the mystery and the motives behind Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s ‘hush-hush’ visit to Dubai.

“In addition to being a huge internal security embarrassment to the country, Amarinder’s latest act has suspect motives written all over it. This can no longer be shrugged off.”

The Akali leader demanded the immediate sack of the Chief Minister and a high level inquiry by a central agency into the reasons that forced him to keep his visit to a foreign country a closely guarded secret even from his colleagues in the party and the government.

The SAD leader said quite apart from the diplomatic and security embarrassment that it must cause to the country, Amarinder Singh’s conduct in recent weeks rendered it imperative that the trip be investigated from various angles, including a possible tying up of hawala transactions, indulgence in unethical pursuit of leisure and pleasure, and a possible tie-up between the Congress and some radical outfits to disturb peace in the state on the eve of Assembly elections to stop non-governance from becoming a poll issue.

The suspicion on sponsored militancy , he said, gained substance from a sudden spurt in militant activity in the state following the Chief Minister’s visit to Dixie gurdwara controlled by radicals.

Turning to charges of an attempt to “spruce up” financial books of the Chief Minister, the Akali leader said that the presence of liquor baron Ponty Chadha during the trip could not be a mere coincidence in this highly conspiratorial undertaking.

It is the strangest of developments in which it is a liquor baron and not the Cabinet, the state administration or even the National Security Guards who knows about and has control over the programmes and movements of the state Chief Minister.

“ This by itself speaks of the financial considerations behind making the trip. Still, this is hardly amazing considering that the multi-crore Punjab Intranet money laundering scam involving CM’s son Raninder Singh still hangs out there asking to be probed seriously”.

The Akali leader also wanted to know what was the deal behind the CM allowing Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, DSGMC chief, to meet the entire expenses of the trip, including those for his security officer who was entitled to officially sponsored trip for security cover. “If the CM had, as he claims, gone there only to attend a wedding in the Sarna family, where was the need to hide it from his government and party colleagues and the people of the country, except if he really finds Sarna’s company a matter for public disgrace for him,” asked Mr Badal in a hard-hitting statement here.


BJP seeks CM’s resignation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
The recent reported visit of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to Dubai has once again exposed the irresponsible behaviour of the head of the state and also his liaison with people having dubious links. Stating this in a joint statement, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, president of the Punjab unit of the BJP and Mr Vineet Joshi, member, National Executive, of the BJP’s youth wing, said it was high time the Chief Minister quit this august office in public interest.

Mr Khanna said Capt Amarinder Singh never took the Indian Government in to confidence before making a visit to Dubai. It was his moral duty to inform in advance due to security reasons, he said.


Clean sweep by SAD (B) nominees
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 1
Ruling Congress suffered a big jolt in the district as SAD(Badal) candidates won all six seats of the Primary Agricultural Development Bank in the elections held today by defeating Congress candidates by big margins on every seat.

Both the Chief Parliamentary Secretary Dr Harbans Lal, and Parliamentary Secretary Sadhu Singh, from the district campaigned for Congress candidates vigorously but their labour did not yield any result.

On the other hand all factions of SAD(B) Bhatti , Libra and Cheema group joined hands and fielded one candidate.

On Sirhind seat, the home town constituency of Dr Harbans Lal, Mr Ranjit Singh of the SAD(B) polled 509 votes. He defeated Congress Candidate Nirbhai Singh, who polled 182 votes. In Mulepur Mr Harmash Singh of the SAD(B) got 505 votes. He defeated Mr Atma Singh of the Congress, who polled 423 votes. In Bhamarsi one-time strong hold of the Congress SAD(B) candidate, Mr Hardev Singh polled 427 Votes. SAD(Longowal) candidate Surinder Singh got 328 votes, where as Congress candidate Sukhjit Singh stood third by getting 186 votes. In Chanarthal zone, SAD(B) candidate Bhagh Singh was declared elected unopposed. In Brass SAD(B) candidate, Gurmeet Singh won the election. In Sadhugarh, SAD(B) candidate Mohinderjit Singh was declared winner.


Former MP assails Punjab govt
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 1
Mr Kamal Chowdhary, former Member Parliament, who have recently joined the Nationalist Congress Party, today criticised the Punjab Government alleging that the state government had failed at every front so far.

He urged the Central and State Government to take necessary steps to curb the emergence of militancy in the Punjab.

He said he had joined the NCP, as he was convinced with policies of the NCP president, Mr Sharad Pawar.


Compensation for Gulf war victims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
A detailed report is being prepared on Punjab residents who lost their lives during the 1991 Gulf war. This is to properly compensate their dependants.

The Punjab Government has directed all Deputy Commissioners, SSPs and also the ADGP (Intelligence) to prepare the report of claimants within a fortnight. A spokesperson of the Punjab Government said Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had taken up the issue with the Ministry of External Affairs to compensate Gulf war victims belonging to Punjab.

A team of the MEA had visited Geneva last month to discuss the issue with the United Nations Compensation Commission. The Commission said that 8,615 Indians had lost their lives and were untraceable during this war. They have been declared as untraced, and undisbursed funds of $ 30 million were laying with the international commission for disbursement.

To settle the claims of war victims, a meeting has been fixed in September this year at Geneva and the Union Government has asked Punjab to furnish the list of dependents.

A special cell has been created in the state Home Department to interact with the MEA as well as the field authorities so that pending claims of Punjabi victims could be settled expeditiously, said the spokesperson.


Batala MC chief goes on forced leave
Our Correspondent

Batala, July 1
The infighting among the majority group of the Congress Municipal Councillors of Batala which led to a revolt in the group has forced the president of the MC Mr Subash Sekhri, to go on forced leave for two months by the dissident group led by Mr Pawan Kumar Pamma, whose wife is an elected councillor. The group comprises 14 Congress members along with one Independent and six opposition members. The total strength of the council is 33.

The charge of presidentship of the Municipal Council, Batala, was taken over today by Mrs Adarshdeep Kaur of ward No 25, vice president of the council.

Mr Sekhri was a relation and confidant of Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, and is an elected MLA from Batala. He tried to assuage the dissident group but the revolting group refused to visit his house when he called them for rapprochement. Mr Subash Sekhri has been sent on two months leave and during this period Mr Ashwani Sekhri is supposed to persuade the dissident group, failing which Mr Subash Sekhri will be removed from the presidentship.

The vociferous group has been further strengthened by the presence of Mr Harinder Singh, Mrs Sunita Manna, Mr Tarlochan Chanda, Mrs Manorma Khullar, Mr Sukhdip Singh Teja and Mr Darshan. It was disclosed by Mr Harinder Singh that all members of the group had vowed to remove Mr Subash Sekhri.


Police claim on ‘human bomb’ rebutted
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 1
The fact-finding committee of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) today claimed that the suspect Babbar Khalsa human bomb, Satnam Singh, who belongs to Ghariali village in this district, never stayed in Gurdwara Majnu Tilla as claimed by the Crime Branch of New Delhi.

The committee, comprising Thekedar Surjit Singh , Mr Waryam Singh and Mr Sarn Singh, which screened the visitors’ register, apart from interviewing the manager and staff members of the gurdwara, reached a conclusion that the alleged human bomb, a handicapped person, was never seen around the Sikh shrine.

The DSGMC chief, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna, who met the Minister of Union Home Ministry in his office today, said the Delhi police was allegedly defaming the gurdwara management. Mr Sarna claimed that the Union Home Minister had assured the deputation of the DSGMC to order an inquiry into the episode.


Apartment sale: SDM to settle disputes
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 1
The Punjab Apartment Ownership Act, 1995 allows property owners in the state to sell their real estate on a floor-wise basis is a secondary benefit. The basic premise of the Act is to regularise ownership rights of those buying apartments. This act makes an apartment buyer the owner of the apartment. He can transfer and bequeath it. Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, said this there today.

According to a set of fresh notifications issued by the Secretary today, the SDM has been appointed as the competent authority to deal with disputes arising in the buying and selling of apartments under the Act.

“It was realised that the other urban development Acts that have been adopted by the state are silent on the issue of disputes in cases of apartment deals. This Act addresses this problem effectively.

All disputes arising between the apartment owner and the proprietor of the building who had sold the apartment would be settled by the SDM”, said Mr Sidhu adding that the zonal additional chief administrators of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) would be the appellate authority in such cases.

A copy of the notification of the Act is now being circulated to various departments of the government. Registries under the Act would begin once the modalities for the implementation of the Act are laid down and made available to the tehsil offices in the state.

Building plans for such apartments would be sanctioned by the local bodies and the town planners. “Building byelaws as laid down by the local bodies or PUDA whichever is applicable in the area in accordance with the Act would have to be complied with”, said Mr Sidhu.

The Punjab Apartment Ownership Act, 1995, formulated as part of the three major Punjab urban development Acts that came into being in 1995, is one of the more consumer friendly of these Acts, but had been held in abeyance for various reasons for the past 10 years. The other two acts — The Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995 and The Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 1995 — were implemented immediately while this Act was notified by the Secretary on June 20.

“Ten years ago the demand for flats was not high. Now the situation is different. We had been considering the enforcement of this Act for the past six months. The file was given the nod by the Chief Minister after due discussions with the Chief Secretary” pointed out Mr Sidhu.


Challenged by transfers
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Mrs Gurmeet Kaur can’t board a bus because her right side has been paralysed by polio. She was posted as District Employment Officer at Patiala. She has been transferred to Fatehgarh Sahib.

Last year, she was transferred from Patiala to Fatehgarh Sahib and then to Ludhiana in a period of 10 days. However, on the intervention of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, her transfer was cancelled .

This is her fourth transfer in the past nine years. She was transferred from Patiala to Ropar in 2000. She served there till 2002. She has been made to serve at almost all district headquarters and other places in the Malwa region. Besides, Patiala, she has served at Rajpura, Ropar, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib and Bathinda.

She is married to Mr Shingara Singh, also a physically challenged person. He is posted at Punjabi University. With both legs paralysed he can’t move without a support.

Mr Shingara Singh says, “The transfer of my wife has disturbed our family life. I can’t take care of my school-going child because of my limitations”.

He said: “The government should be more considerate because we are a physically challenged couple. Moreover, ours is a couple case”.

He has requested the Chief Minister to transfer his wife back to Patiala.


Minting money in name of servants
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 1
Have you ever seen a millionaire working as a cook in somebody’s house or delivering LPG cylinders to people? All this is happening in Bathinda, courtesy land mafia that has innovated a smart way of tax evasion.

A number of land mafia groups here have bought land in the name of their servants. Sources said the real estate boom in the city had witnessed a whopping investment of about Rs 1,000 crore by land mafia and carving out of over 80 illegal colonies in the past few years.

Sources said illegal colonies were carved out in 500 acres in Gill Patti, 150 acres in the Dabwali road area, 100 acres on the Mansa road, and 80 acres on the Malout road. Sources said a handful of city residents had turned millionaires overnight by investing money in the real estate business and they were using their servants for owning benami property worth crores.

These servants were paid a little more in lieu of using their name for purchasing property and some mafia groups had employed people for this purpose only. Though these employees had property worth crores in their names, they continued to serve as servants, drivers, and waiters.

According to sources, one such employee of a mafia group had about 60 registries in his name and he “sold off” over 36,000 yards of land worth around Rs 55 lakh in the past few years. Which led to tax evasion worth lakhs. He also changed his father’s name and his address in some of the registries, sources said. Another servant of a mafia group “sold off” about 45,000 yards of land worth around Rs 39 lakh through 77 registries.

Sources said a PSEB lineman had also struck gold in real estate boom and become millionaire overnight. He was not attending his duty for the past three years. Some LPG delivery boys also had property worth lakhs in their names. Land mafia had also been evading stamp duty by mentioning lower rates of land at the time of registries, sources said.


Water released in canal under reconstruction
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 1
The irrigation authorities in the district gave another rude shock to their counterparts in Rajasthan today by releasing water in the Gang canal, which was being reconstructed at a cost of Rs 472 crore, sources said.

Only a day before yesterday, Mr Surinderpal Singh, a member of the Rajasthan Cabinet, had assured the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti that water would be released after July 10 after a joint inspection of the remodelling work by engineers from Rajasthan and Punjab.

Residents of Bakainwala village said three-foot-deep water was flowing in the canal across the inter-state border this morning. The officials of the Irrigation Department, who have been assigned supervision of the work, could not ascertain the reason for releasing water.

The bundh in the canal at Salamewala village had developed a breach, sources said.

The Irrigation Department, Punjab, had demanded an additional payment of Rs 75 lakh from the Rajasthan Government for removing waste material from the canal bed. The Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and some officials of Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts had opposed the proposal saying it was the responsibility of the contractors to clean the bed after completing the construction work. The samiti had released CDs showing that the waste material was burnt on the spot and demand for additional amount was factitious.

Even then, the Rajasthan Government last month agreed to pay Rs 25 lakh more to Punjab on this account. Meanwhile, some portion of the recently constructed canal bed was damaged early this week when the contractors made a ramp for cranes to replace a small bridge on the rail track near Kotha Pucci village on the Abohar — Sriganganagar rail section.

A spokesman of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti expressed shock over the release of water the described it as a mischievous step to halt joint inspection by engineers of both states that could have exposed malpractices in the construction work. The samiti, as per directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, had recently given a memorandum to the Punjab Government highlighting anomalies in the remodelling work and demanded that officers of the Irrigation Department and contractors responsible for the bungling be sacked. 


Once a talented actor, now a poet-bureaucrat
Nirupama Dutt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Poetry can lurk in corridors of power and nestle in piles of files. Given half a chance it will take wing. Such has been the case with Usha R. Sharma, a Special Secretary with the Punjab Government.

Her muse made news recently when she was given the Balraj Sahni National Award by the All-India Artists Association recently. And this is not the first award, for among other honours, she has also received an award by the Punjab Languages Department a couple of years ago for the best book in Hindi.

"Writing gives one immense satisfaction and when it is appreciated, it gives you a happy feeling," says Usha in an interview, "I had been writing for a long time but it was in 1996 at Mussoorie where I went for induction into the IAS from the PCS that I wrote regularly. I had never thought of publishing them but I met some poets in Chandigarh who encouraged me to publish them." Her first book of verse was published in 1997 and since then she has published five more anthologies of poetry and one collection of short stories.

Not many would know but Usha was acknowledged as one of the most talented actors the city has seen. It was in the mid-seventies that she rose as leading lady to reckon with in the role of Mallika in Mohan Rakesh's play, 'Ashadh ka Ek Din'. Still considered one of the landmarks of Hindi theatre in the city, it was staged several times in a short span of two years with Usha as Mallika and Atulvir Arora as Vilom in this play based on the life of Kalidas.

Other plays that highlighted her talent were 'Saari Raat', 'Baqi Itihas', 'Paon tale ki Zamin' and 'Udhvast Dharamsala.' In fact, the admirers of her acting talent were disappointed when she took up the job of a probationary officer in a bank and it was goodbye to theatre. After that she moved onto the PCS and then to IAS but the actor in her seemed lost forever. Why did she not opt for a career in acting? To this question,

Usha's reply is: "Acting had just happened by chance. I was doing my MA in philosophy when Dr Virendra Mehndiratta of the Abhinet theatre group saw me in the coffee house. The group was in search of a 'Mallika' and I seemed to fit the bill. My pronunciation of Hindi was good as my father was in the Army and I did my schooling in Uttar Pradesh. My brothers were wary but my father encouraged me. But I felt I wanted to make a more serious career."

She lives with her ex-army officer husband Suresh and two children Avantika and Abhimanyu in Chandigarh and devotes what time she gets off work to her writing.

Usha says, "My poetry is intense and personal but my stories address the system that I work in and often politicians have figured in them." Her latest book of poetry is in English. Called 'Heart to Heart', the inspiration for it has been the SMS messages she has been exchanging with her dear ones. 


Residents discuss issues with PUDA official
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1
Representatives of the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of Urban State (Phase III) here today met Mr Manvesh Singh Sidhu, Additional Chief Administrator of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), to acquaint him about the problems being faced by the residents of the area. Mr Sidhu assured the representatives that their problems would be solved on a priority basis.

A delegation led by Mr Manmohan Arora, president of the association, briefed Mr Sidhu about the problems of the area which include construction of roads, development of parks, removal of grass and weeds, plantation and a proper drainage facility in the area. Mr Sidhu who has recently took over charge as the Additional Chief Administrator gave a patient hearing to the members of the association and issued instructions on the spot for an early solution to the problems.


Tehsildars to clear mutation cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
Tehsildars in Punjab will now personally visit villages for early and on-the-spot disposal of pending mutation cases. This will be to asses the exact position where cases of division of land are pending.

Punjab Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister Amarjit Singh Samra has made this announcement. He was presiding over a meeting of experts of revenue affairs to discuss the issues relating to mutations, girdawris and division of land as well as the required amendments to be made in the existing revenue laws and rules.

During the meeting, Mr Samra categorically said that in cases of mutation and division of land no laxity on the part of Tehsildars would be tolerated. The present process was not only lengthy but tiresome also.

Mr Samra said that the state government would accord top priority to complete the computerisation of revenue records at the earliest.


PSEB staff panel
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1
Mr Kulwinder Singh Dhillon has been elected president of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Employees Co-operative Society at an election held here today.

Mr Ashok Sharma was elected vice-president and Mr Paramjit Singh secretary.


Service Club poll on July 10
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 1
The annual elections of Service Club, which had not been held since 1994, would now be conducted on July 10. The nominations for the elections would be filed on July 4.

This was the outcome of the extraordinary meeting of the club held here today. The date was announced amidst tight security arrangements made during the meeting of the club situated in Ram Bagh here.

The district administration had made tight security arrangements. 


Suspended DGP Malik moves CAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
A former Director General of Police (DGP)/OSD(Rules), Haryana, Mr M.S. Malik, who was recently placed under suspension, today moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) alleging that he had been made a victim of political vendetta by the ruling Congress government in the state.

In his plea before the tribunal, Mr Malik stated that he had been suspended at the behest of Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, a Cabinet minister in the Hooda government and Mr Dharam Pal Mailk, a senior Congress leader. He claimed that he had been suspended because his wife, Mrs Krishna Malik, who had contested elections from the Sonepat parliamentary seat on an Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) ticket, had harmed the political interests of Mr Surjewala and Mr Mailk.

After hearing the plea of the applicant, Mr L.M.Goyal and Mr Jasbir S.Dhaliwal, Vice-Chairman and Member (Judicial), respectively, of the tribunal issued a notice to the Union Government, Financial Commissioner, Haryana and Principal Secretary to the Government of Haryana, for July 5.

The applicant pleaded that during his tenure as DGP from December 2000 to April 2004 and from June 2004 to January 2005 and as Head of State Vigilance Bureau from June 2003 to March 2005, he was duty bound to perform his official duty. Many cases were registered against political leaders and senior bureaucrats on the charges of misappropriation of government funds, cheating and misuse of power, he said.

In his plea, he pointed out that during 2000, a case was registered against Mr Surjewala on a complaint made by Mr Krishan Kumar at Narwana. He further pointed out that his wife had campaigned for the INLD chief from Narwana, during the last Assembly elections.

After the Congress party came to power, he was asked to proceed on leave and on March 17, 2005, he was posted as OSD (Rules), a post which was not equivalent to the rank of DGP. The former DGP quoted a previous judgment of the CAT in which the new DGP, Haryana, Mr Nirmal Singh, had been posted as OSD (Rules) by the Bansi Lal government.

He said the suspension was in violation of Provisions of Rules 3 of All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969. He further pointed out that before the outcome of commission of inquiry into the recruitment for Haryana State Industrial Security Force, he had been selectively suspended. A number of other persons were involved in the recruitment process, he maintained.


High Court
Reversion of police officials upheld
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 1
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed a bunch of petitions challenging the reversion of hundreds of police officials who were promoted from the rank of constable. They were promoted under Rule 13.82 of the Punjab Police Rules and under the Sports quota.

But, following a High Court order of 1997, which said these out-of-turn promotions could not exceed 10 per cent of the total cadre strength, the department ordered reversion of the officials so promoted.

However, the constables had filed a review petition in the High Court, saying that the 10 per cent figure was 10 per cent of the total vacancies and not the total cadre strength.

They also asked if the sports quota of 5 per cent for such promotions was an integral part of this quota. They said that in the judgement, the word vacancy should have been used instead of cadre.

But, the High Court Bench dismissed the petitions as withdrawn. It, however, ordered status quo, which was later vacated by another Bench on February 19, 2004.

Still later, the Bench said that all such officials, who had not been reverted so far, must not be reverted till further orders.

During hearing of the petitions, Mr N.S. Boparai, Senior Additional Advocate General, appearing for the Punjab Government, informed the Bench that the Government had issued reversion orders of the promoted officers and the same had been communicated to them.

But, in many cases, the reverted officials refused to follow the reversion orders and refused to work on their original posts.

Some other petitioners, whose reversion had been ordered, were those who had been promoted after relaxation of rules by the DGP. These officials had stated that they could not have been reverted as the rules had been relaxed in their favour.

However, the counsel for the Punjab Government defended the stand of the government and stated that all orders had been issued following directions of the High Court.

In its order, the Bench of Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Ms Justice Nirmal Yadav held that there was no merit in the petitions and hence they were dismissed.

Mann seeks bail

Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann) President and former Lok Sabha MP Simranjit Singh Mann has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking bail in a case of sedition registered against him by the Ropar police on June 8.

Mr Mann is presently in jail in connection with the case. He and his followers have been accused of having raised the demand for Khalistan and pro-Khalistan slogans on June 4.

In his petition, Mr Mann has alleged that the case was the result of pressure exerted on the police by his political opponents, particularly former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur.

He has claimed that mere raising of slogans or demanding Khalistan could not be construed as sedition. He has also stated that the FIR does not contain any specific charge against him.

Poll petition

The High Court has dismissed the petition challenging the election of Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Gagan Ajit Singh Barnala from the Dhuri constituency in the 2002 Punjab Assembly poll.

The election of Mr Barnala, whose father, Mr S.S. Barnala, is the Governor of Tamil Nadu, was challenged by his opponent, Mr Iqbal Singh of the All India Shiromani Akali Dal (Tohra).

The petitioner had alleged that Mr Barnala distributed cash among jhuggi-dwellers in order to get their votes. He had also accused him of large-scale electoral malpractices.

However, Mr Justice S.K. Mittal dismissed the petition.


New MD of sewerage board
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1
Mr H.G. Arora has been appointed as Managing Director of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB).

Mr Arora, who has a wide experience in the planning, design and execution of water projects. He is associated with the project of extension of water supply and sewerage system of Patiala. The project is coming up at a cost of Rs 60 crores with the assistance of the National Capital Region Planning Board.

Mr Arora is also responsible for the construction of sewage treatment plants at Ludhiana, Phillaur, Sultanpur Lodhi and Kapurthala.


Murdered man’s remains found after 10 yrs
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, July 1
In a sensational case, skeletal remains of an allegedly murdered man were recovered from the open area of his house at Sheron village, 8 km from here, after 10 years.

The body of Sarbajit Singh, alias Shabba, aged about 28 years, was found buried in the front yard of the house.

On a tip-off, the police today raided the premises of Pritam Singh, father of the deceased, and dug up the place to discover the skeletal remains of the youth. The place had been brick laid after the burial.

According to SSP Parmajit Singh Grewal, the deceased was allegedly murdered by his brother Rajinder Singh, who later buried the body. He said the accused had confessed that he killed his brother, a truck cleaner and an addict, over a minor tiff over his marriage.

The accused has been arrested and a case under Sections 302 and 301 of the IPC of murder and elimination of evidence has been registered at the Sadar police station.


Terrorist held with arms
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1
The anti-terrorist operation launched by the district police achieved a major success when one of its teams managed to arrest a terrorist, identified as Gurbaz Singh, and recovered three AK-47 rifles and one general purpose machinegun (GPM) with drum magazine from him in the Rajpura area today.

Though the Patiala SSP, Mr A.S. Rai, denied the arrest of any person involved in militancy-related activities, reliable sources and Gurbaz Singh, an accomplice of Gurpreet Alampur, who facilitated the escape of Jagtar Singh Hawara, alleged assassin of the late Beant Singh, from the high security Burail jail, Chandigarh, last year, was taken into custody by the police and arms had been recovered from him. However, his formal arrest was yet to be made.

The sources said the police was trying to arrest all others working with Gurbaz Singh to revive militancy in the state. The police was interrogating Gurbaz Singh so that it could arrest Gurpreet Alampur.

Though rumours were doing the rounds in the area since morning that Paramjit Singh Peora, one of the escapees from the Burail jail, was arrested by the police while he was travelling on the Sangrur-Patiala road, Mr Rai denied it.

He said the police had received inputs which suggested that Hawara was targeting unemployed youths and those who were willing to go abroad to initiate them into terrorism. He added that Hawara was also motivating people to act as human bombs.

Meanwhile, the local court has remanded Baljit Singh Bha, one of the accomplices of Hawara, in police custody for four days.


Sirhind CIA staff arrests 2 hardcore terrorists
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 1
The CIA staff, Sirhind, has arrested two hardcore terrorists who were proclaimed offenders and wanted by the police in more than a dozen cases as well as for providing shelter to one Gurdeep Singh alias Rana, who helped Jagtar Singh Hawara and two of his accomplices in escaping from Burail jail. The police has recovered a TVS Victor motor cycle (PB-52-9845), a magazine of AK 47 rifle and 10 cartridges. The police has registered cases u/s 212,216 IPC and 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act.

Mr Varinder Kumar, SSP, told The Tribune today that Mr Gurmeet Singh, Inspector, CIA, had put up a naka at the canal bridge near Tarkhan Majra. He signalled the motor cyclists to stop. But they tried to flee. However, the police succeeded in nabbing them. He said during interrogation they revealed their identity as Jagtar Singh, resident of the Shivdasspur village and Gurbachan Singh, resident of Neelpur village. He said that both were working as close aides of Jagtar Singh Hawara and used to deliver messages and weapons. He said they were on a mission of hiding ammunition given to them by aides of Hawara. Already six cases had been registered against Gurbachan Singh under various Acts and he is proclaimed offender.


Dismissed cop terrorising family!
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 1
A dismissed police constable is virtually terrorising a family of a village in Ajnala tehsil. But what is worse is the reluctance of the police in taking action against him due to alleged political patronage, alleged Narinder Singh of Bhure Gill village in Ajnala at a press conference here today.

He alleged that the accused, Bhupinder Singh, who was dismissed in a murder case in which he had allegedly killed a person in a fake encounter during the militancy days, along with 40 persons attacked his house earlier this month. He said women were beaten up in the house. He said Bhupinder then came to his shop at Chamiari village under Ajnala police station and beat up his brother and ransacked the shop. Narinder said he escaped the attack by hiding himself in a chamber.

He added that the case was brought to the knowledge of the police. But instead of registering any case against Bhupinder, the police booked him and his family in a false case. Narinder alleged that the Ramdass police caught his father Gurdial Singh, brother Bhupinder Singh, cousin Paramjit Singh and aunt Amar Kaur.

He said they had tried to mediate between Bhupinder and his brother Rajinder Singh in an alteraction about one year back. Narinder said in December last year too the former had attacked his house and beaten up his father who was alone in the house at that time.

He said they were not allowed to meet the district police chief Majitha, Ms Vibhu Raj in this connection.

Narinder urged the Chief Minister and police authorities concerned to provide him justice and take action against Bhupinder.

Meanwhile, Ms Vibhu Raj expressed ignorance over the case. She has given an assurance to look into the matter and take necessary action.


Father held for raping daughter
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, July 1
In a bizarre incident, the district police arrested a father for allegedly raping his minor daughter at his house in Santpura Colony here.

The accused, Parmeshwar Singh, was arrested on the charge of raping his 13-year-old daughter last week. The victim is the eldest of the three daughters. In a statement recorded by the police, the daughter has said that her mother, Navdeep Kaur, and one of her sisters had gone to the market. The youngest sister, who was at home, was sent by her father to fetch milk.

It was then that her father raped her, she said. The victim said that she was threatened with dire consequences in case she told anything to her mother. After being suppressed for over a week, she said that she finally gathered some courage and told her mother about the matter who took her to the police station to get the case reported.

Sources in the police said that since the father was working as a quack and was also selling some medicines, it was most likely that he could be under the influence of some stimulants when the incident occurred. 


In-laws booked in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, July 1
A case of burning to death of a young wife by her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law for more dowry in Sadhowal village was reported to the Garhshankar police yesterday.

According to the police, Hari Ram of Jatpur village, father of deceased Jaswinder Kaur, stated in his complaint that he had married his daughter to Balbir Singh, a son of Mohinder Pal of Sadhowal village in 2001. Balbir Singh, his father Mohinder Pal and mother Gurbaxo used to torture Jaswinder Kaur for bringing more dowry from her parents.

Hari Ram alleged that on the night of June 29 the accused sprinkled kerosene on Jaswinder Kaur and set her ablaze. She received burns. She was taken to the Civil Hospital, Garhshankar, from where she was referred to the DMCH, Ludhiana. On the way to Ludhiana she succumbed to her burn injuries.


Report sought on PMET racket
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 1
Following report of the PMET racket being run in the city in the columns of The Tribune, the Department of Medical Education and Research, Punjab, has demanded that the police should launch an immediate crackdown on such unscrupulous elements and take exemplary action against them.

In a written communiqué, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Secretary, Medical Education and Research, has demanded that the SSP, Jalandhar, should take strict action against those involved in the racket. He has also written to the Jalandhar range, IG, and the DIG, asking them to report the entire matter for his information.

Mr Kaushal said it appeared to him that some unscrupulous elements had been attempting to entice the susceptible candidates and their parents for the purpose of duping them. He has said that possibility of such a crime could not be ruled out in the prevailing atmosphere vitiated by the PMET paper leak held earlier by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences on June 5.

The secretary has said that even though Sarabjeet, accused arrested in the case, had said that she had some links with the department for getting a rank assured in the result, the department was nowhere involved in the conduct of the PMET, including paper setting, invigilation or evaluation, as the task had been assigned to Guru Nanak Dev University.

Meanwhile, DSP Harkamal said he had asked Reliance Infocom to give details of the telephone calls received or made by Sarabjeet during the past 15 days. He said the police was also trying to nab Delhi-based Deepak on the clues given by the accused. The accused has reportedly said that she had met Deepak twice or thrice in local colleges where she struck a deal with him.


Evaluation of PMET papers starts
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 1
The evaluation of the Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET)-2005 started in morning in the presence of two senior state government officials besides the Vice-Chancellor, Dr S.P. Singh and the Registrar, Dr R.S. Bawa, on the Guru Nanak Dev University campus.

Earlier, the Punjab Government had appointed Mr Narinderjit Singh, Director, Technical Education, Punjab, and Mr Harkesh Singh Sidhu, Additional Secretary, Punjab, as observers during the evaluation work of the PMET examination.

The work of evaluation, including the opening of sealed strong room, breaking of sealed packets and scanning of OMR sheets, was done in the presence of the observers. Before the start of the evaluation work, the videography of the whole evaluation process was also undertaken in their presence.


Entrance test for law on July 3
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 1
Arrangements have been made to hold the state-level entrance test for admission to law courses in Punjab on July 3.

As many as 2600 candidates would appear in the examination from Abohar, Amritsar, Bathinda, Chandigarh, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Muktsar, Patiala, Ropar and Sangrur.

The test is for entry to five-year courses of BA LLB and BA LLB (Hons), besides three-year course of LLB for academic session 2005-06 in institutions and colleges in Punjab and affiliated to Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Panjab University, Chandigarh. 


Hotel management institute to start diploma courses
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, July 1
The Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition here will start short-term diploma courses for local students. The institute is being run under the aegis of the National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology.

Principal of the institute C.M. Bhan while talking to The Tribune said the local students had not been able to draw benefit from the institute. Till date national-level test was held for admission to various graduation courses of the institute due to which very few local students managed to get admission, he added.

Mr Bhan said the management had decided to run diploma courses for the benefit of the local students. The admissions would start from next academic session.

He said the institute had also submitted a proposal to the state government and the district administration to develop the tourism potential of the Gurdaspur area. About 60 lakh tourists visit Vaishno Devi shrine every year and if the hoteliers with the help of the district administration manage to keep even 10 per cent of the tourists at Pathankot, it could boost the economy of the area, Mr Bhan said.

For this the institute had proposed that a tourist reception centre should be brought up at Pathankot railway station.


Nursing school’s demand for extra fee hurts parents
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 1
In a letter to the Registrar, Punjab Nurses Training Council (PNTC), Mohali, parents of students of Guru Teg Bahadur Nursing School have alleged that unjustified extra fee is being demanded by the institute from its students.

The complainants told The Tribune that they had deposited Rs 35,000 at the time of admission as the proprietor of the college had shown them a circular according to which the college could charge Rs 35,000 per year from a student as admission fee, which included monthly fee. He said Dr Hardeep Singh Jammu had assured that no extra fee would be charged from them except the hostel fee.

The complainants said now after about 10 months, Dr Jammu had asked them to deposit a fee of Rs 1,500 per month and also deposit Rs 15,000 for the past 10 months. They alleged that students were being threatened that if they failed to deposit the fee, they would neither be allowed to attend the school nor would be given 25 marks as internal assessment.

The complainants alleged that when they asked Dr Jammu to show the letter from the PNTC demanding the extra fee, Dr Jammu’s behaviour was very rude towards them. They said instead of showing the letter, Dr Jammu said he knew how to get the money from them. They said Dr Jammu had allegedly threatened the students to deposit the fee from the back date otherwise he would dismiss them.

The complainants said fearing action, some students had deposited Rs 15,000 as the fee for the past 10 months but they were not issued any receipt. They have requested the Registrar to restrain Dr Jammu from working in a dictatorial attitude.

Dr Jammu accepted that he had asked the students to deposit Rs 1,500 per month for the whole year as was done by other institutes. He clarified that he had not received any communique from the government. However, if the government did not increase the fee, he would adjust the amount.

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