P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



PM calls for another Green Revolution
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, today asserted the need for a second Green Revolution in the country. For this, he said, Punjab could provide the lead once again. He said the people of Punjab took pride in their contribution towards every facet of Indian life. Be it the freedom struggle, the defence of the country or the economic or industrial development, the Punjabis had always led from the front.

Proposals for Ludhiana

* Seeks plan to make it a model city. Assures 50 pc Central financial aid

* Moots mass transport system

* For ring road in town

Addressing party workers at a function organised by the urban and rural units of the District Congress Committee (DCC) here today, the Prime Minister said only the Congress could guide the country towards such a revolution and set in a wave of all-round progress.

The Prime Minister addressed the workers in Punjabi. He said the Congress alone could ensure proper development of the country. He asked the party workers to prepare for the elections which are due in one and a half-years and ensure that the party returned to power for another five-year term.


It has become a regular feature to see Mayor Nahar Singh Gill looking around for a chair at many important social functions in the city in the past and today was no exception. It seems that he is the Mayor of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and not the First Citizen of the city.

At today’s function, he looked around for a chair in the VVIP enclosure but no one offered him a chair although one could see the son of a local Cabinet minister, a prominent Congress leader and hotelier, his son and partner, sitting in the front rows.

Not able to digest this affront, he quietly walked out of the function before the PM started his address. Again no one stopped him as he walked out with Improvement Trust Chairman Paramjit Singh Sibia, who too could not find a seat.

* * * 

A couple of prominent industrialists too could be seen looking around for chairs. When they could not find any in the VVIP enclosure, they were invited by some mediapersons and sat through the function in the media enclosure.

* * * 

Foolproof security arrangements marked the visit of the PM to the city today. The road in front of Satguru Partap Singh Apollo Hospital, which also happens to be the National Highway 22, had been out of bound for commuters since yesterday. Even the journalists were taken to the venue in buses and had to make do without their mobiles for nearly two hours. As one journalist put it: It is nice to travel in a bus for a change but one seems incomplete without the cellphone, which had to be left behind due to security reasons. 

He asserted that the Congress had and would always think about the country’s progress. He urged the voters to strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, to ensure the progress of the state.

Referring to Ludhiana, he said he always felt that the city was the industrial and financial capital of Punjab. He felt that Ludhiana needed a good infrastructure to develop into a model city. He asked the state government to submit the proposal for the model city for which the Government of India would provide 50 per cent grant, the financial institutions 30 per cent and the remaining 20 per cent would be provided by the state.

Dr Manmohan Singh said Ludhiana needed a mass transportation system. He suggested to the state government to come forward with a proposal for it and the Central Government would be generous with aid for this project. He said Ludhiana also needed a ring road, for which again, the Central Government would provide substantial financial assistance.

The Prime Minister, accompanied by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the All-India Congress Committee general secretary, Ms Ambika Soni, and the PCC president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, spoke for five minutes only. He stayed at the venue for just 10 minutes.

Amid unprecedented security arrangements, several senior Congress leaders, including the ministers like Mr Harnam Dass Johar and Mr Avtar Henry, had a tough time reaching the Prime Minister. There were only four seats on the dais. These were reserved for the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, the PCC president and Ms Soni. One chair meant for the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, was removed at the last minute, since she could not make it to the venue.

No other leader except urban and rural unit presidents of the DCC, Mr Jagmohan Sharma and Mr Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, could manage their presence on the stage, as they were the joint hosts. The MLA, Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha, conducted the stage.


Tubewell corpn scam to fore
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Garhshankar, September 23
A scam in the Punjab State Tubewell Corporation in which a huge amount was allegedly being swindled has come to fore. The tubewell corporation had recently ordered the commissioning of eight deep tubewells in the ‘beet’ area of Garhshankar, Hoshiarpur district.

As per the conditions in the tender, the contractors were to use percussion machines for digging as the areas in which tubewells were being commissioned were hilly and other machines were not viable there.

The rate for digging the tubewells was fixed at an all-time high Rs 8,500 per metre as digging by percussion machine requires a lot of labour. However, the contractors allegedly in connivance with the officials were using reverse rotary machines for digging. The market rate of digging with reverse rotary machines is just about Rs 3,000 per metre. This way, contractors and officials of the tubewell corporation were allegedly swindling about Rs 5,000 per metre.

The Tribune team visited three sites in Garhshankar where the corporation was commissioning tubewells. In Mahendwani, Habowal, and Kalewal villages, the contractors were using reverse rotary machines for digging.

The sources said the rates fixed by the tubewell corporation were higher than those charged in difficult areas of Himachal and Punjab. In Punjab, the Department of Public Health recently hired percussion machines for digging in hilly areas near Pathankot at the rate of just Rs 4,800 per metre. In even the hilly terrains of Himachal, it costs Rs 5,000 per metre for digging by percussion machines and the rates of digging by rotary machines range between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000 per metre.

By paying an extra amount of about Rs 5,000 per metre for digging with reverse rotary machines, the corporation was allegedly paying an extra amount of Rs 15 lakh per tubewell.

In the recent past, the Department of Soil Conservation had commissioned deep tubewells in the Kandi area. The commissioning costs of these tubewells ranged between Rs 15 and Rs 20 lakh. However, the cost of most of the deep tubewells being commissioned by the tubewell corporation would range between Rs 25 and Rs 30 lakh.

The Managing Director of the Punjab State Tubewell Corporation, Mr M.S. Sobti, admitted that the rate of Rs 8,500 per metre was being paid for digging in the Garhshankar area. When asked that the public health departments of Punjab and Himachal were paying just Rs 5,000 per metre for digging by percussion machines, he said Garhshankar was different from the other areas.

About the use of rotary machines by the contractor instead of percussion machines for digging, the MD said that they are not concerned with what machines the contractors use.

However, sources say that if the department was not concerned about the kind of machines being used by contractor then why was it paying Rs 5,000 extra on plea that percussion machines would be used. 


Multi-crore land scam given quiet burial
Ravi Bhushan Puri

Pathankot, September 23
Multi-crore fake-payment scam, of Karoli village here being investigated by the CBI has been given quiet burial. The CBI after a thorough probe had on January 20, 1997 registered an FIR against senior government functionaries, including officials of horticulture and revenue departments and some beneficiaries who had manipulated fake payments for the acquired land at Karoli village here on the basis of tampered records.

A case under Sections 420-467-468-471 of the IPC read with Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was reportedly registered against the accused allegedly responsible for causing losses to the state exchequer.

It is widely believed that action of the accused might have caused government losses of more than Rs 5 crores.

According to sources, the government had proposed acquisition of about 972 acres of land of Karoli village along with land in nine villages in Pathankot for defence purposes in 1991.

Mr Kulwant Singh, Special Land Acquisition Collector, decided on March 15, 1993, fixed the compensation amount for Karoli village and other villages. The total land value for Karoli village was assessed as Rs 1,70,12,393 with other benefits permissible under law.

The value of the trees, including fruit and non-fruit trees, was assessed as Rs 8,21,15,932.

When hue and cry was raised by locals, government had abandoned the entire scheme. Sources revealed that about 80 per cent of the compensation was disbursed to the effected land owners of Karoli village in a haphazard manner.

The matter was brought to the notice of the CBI, which opened a Pandora’s box. The CBI probed the entire scam. Sources revealed that a largescale financial irregularities were committed by some of the beneficiaries in active connivance with the officials concerned. The number of trees planted on the acquired lands were shown much higher than the actual existing at the spot.

The inquiry conducted by the CBI reportedly also revealed that the accused had tempered the records pertaining to trees and land. On the recommendation of the CBI, a case was registered against the erring officials and others.

Even after eight years of the registration of criminal case, further investigation of the alleged multi-crore scam had swept under carpet, said the sources. If the case is thoroughly probed, many heads may roll in the scam, in which, defence authorities were cheated by hatching a conspiracy.

SP, CBI, was not available for comments. Meanwhile, the local SDM has started recovery proceedings from the effected villagers of Karoli.


Mann seeks probe into encounter
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 23
The president of the SAD (A), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has demanded a judicial inquiry into the Pathankot encounter in which the police killed two alleged kidnappers yesterday.

While talking to The Tribune, Mr Mann alleged that the story of encounter seemed to be concocted by the police. The police had maintained that the encounter took place for about 45 minutes. However, looking at the weapons of the kidnappers it did not seem possible that they could carry a 45-minute encounter.

The kidnappers also seemed to be amateurs. They kidnapped the contractor and immediately called his father to a place near Pathankot. Then they brought the kidnapped contractor to the place where ransom was to be paid. While two kidnappers were killed, the contractor who was in their custody escaped unhurt. Moreover, just one policeman received minor injuries in the encounter.

From all these circumstances it seemed that the encounter was fake. A judicial inquiry should be conducted by at least a sitting District and Sessions Judge into the case, he said.


Undo injustice to Punjab, says Kumedan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Mr Pritam Singh Kumedan, who has been a member of all official committees which presented Punjab’s case before various commissions since 1966 to settle the issue of the transfer of Chandigarh and Punjabi-speaking areas, today urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to undo the injustice done to Punjab by declaring Chandigarh a Union Territory.

Speaking to mediapersons, he said Chandigarh should be immediately transferred to Punjab to undo the injustice that was done in 1996 by the Union Government. By playing a big demographic and statistical fraud on Punjab, Chandigarh was “snatched from the state”. He said the controversial census of 1961 was taken as the base by the Punjab Reorganisation Commission. Even Jawaharlal Nehru had declared the 1961 census in Punjab as false.

The Union Government had set up the reorganisation commission on April 23, 1966, with Justice J.C. Shah as its Chairman. Its other members were Mr S. Datt and Mr M.M. Philip. The commission submitted its report to the Union Government on May 31, 1966. Two members of the commission, Justice Shah and Mr Philip, recommended that the whole of Kharar tehsil, including the Chandigarh capital project, should go to Haryana. The third member, Mr Datt gave a dissenting note and recommended that this tehsil, including the Chandigarh capital project, should go to Punjab. The first two members relied on the data of the 1961 census.

However, Mr Datt in his dissenting note was more convincing. He argued that migratory labour, which was engaged in building Chandigarh at that time, should not be taken into account while deciding the fate of the city. He had stated that “ with the exclusion of the migratory labour, Kharar tehsil, including Chandigarh, becomes a Punjabi-speaking majority tehsil and should therefore go to Punjab”, claimed Mr Kumedan. Owing to the difference of opinion among the members of the commission, the Union Government made Chandigarh a Union Territory, he added.

While reorganising all other states in the country, the data of all censuses starting from 1881 was taken into account. However, while reorganising Punjab, the data of the disputed census of 1961 was taken into consideration.

Mr Kumedan said that in the 1961 census, members of various communities recorded their mother tongue before census officials on a communal basis. He said Dr Manmohan Singh should get the data of all censuses verified and analysed to reach a just conclusion.

Mr Kumedan said Chandigarh should be transferred to Punjab and Haryana should be asked to build its own capital. Haryana could earn several hundred crores of rupees by building its new capital on the Karnal-Delhi road.


Encroachers do not spare even power towers
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, September 23
Land belonging to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has been encroached upon in the area. These encroachments are posing a threat to the residents of the area.

Due to alleged connivance and apathy of the local officials, even towers supporting 132 KV lines have been encroached upon.

In some cases residents have taken the 132 KV towers inside the boundaries of houses. Marriage palaces and business establishments have been brought under these 132 KV towers. In some places even the towers supporting the 132 KV lines have been taken inside buildings of marriage palaces.

The wedding parties are being held under high-tension lines posing a threat to life of residents.

The sources said land on which the towers had been erected had been acquired by the PSEB. The authorities are indifferent to the encroachments on the board’s land. The 132 KV lines passing through Pathankot town are linked with the other vital project in Joginder Nagar. The sources here said the line was vital as it was being used to feed the Joginder Nagar project in case of system failure.

Despite vital nature of the line encroachments have come up under it. As per electricity rules at least 20 feet’s clearance was required for raising any construction under the 132 KV power line.

However, in many areas of Pathankot distance between construction and 132 KV line was just five feet. Every year power lines claim several lives in the buildings constructed under them. But even this seems to have not roused the authorities to take action against encroachers.

The ‘involvement’ of certain PSEB officials in encroachments becomes obvious from the fact that they have recommended the shifting of 132 KV power lines on the applications from the encroachers. Interestingly, the cases had been recommended despite the fact that it was very difficult and expensive to shift the said lines.

The Executive Engineer in charge of the area, Mr Sandeep, said the 132 KV line passing through Pathankot was erected here before Partition. All constructions in the area had come up just in the past two decades. It is not possible for the PSEB to shift the line as it would involve an expenditure of crores. Moreover, the system would also have to be stopped that was not feasible.

The PSEB keeps issuing notices to the encroachers or those raising illegal constructions under high-tension power lines. However, people do not desist from making encroachments.


Industrialists seek removal of slums
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, September 23
To say that Industrial Area here is a picture of neglect would be no exaggeration. Thanks to Phagwara Nagar Council apathy, it is increasingly looking like a slum.

Alleging step-motherly treatment being given to the Industrial Area and industrialists, the Phagwara Industrialists Association (FIA) has demanded the removal of slums from the area adjoining the Industrial Area.

Located on the outskirts of the city, there is almost no indication that the council has anything to do with this place. There is no proper approach road to the Industrial Area. Stagnating water, huge potholes and garbage dumps greet industrialists from other states and their clients from abroad which take with them the bad impression of the Punjab industry.

“The industrial area, which once was declared a focal point, has remained a small-scale industrial town due to change of governments in the state and non-implementation of VAT despite assurances from Punjab Finance Minister and Excise and Taxation Department.

“We are suffering huge losses due to indifferent attitude of the state government,” said a renowned industrialist.

The situation in this industrial hub, which has six export houses, 35 medium and small units and has a turnover of exports worth Rs 560 crore annually from here. Diesel engine pump sets, tractor spare parts etc are produced here, but the area turns from bad to worse during rainy season when, in the absence of proper drainage system, roads are virtually covered with water pools.

“We really face a lot of problems during the rains and incur losses of lakhs as rainwater inundates our units and submerge our produce,” said an exporter.

“It’s impossible even to negotiate your way across roads. “For years now, we have heard assurances that roads will be repaired and garbage will be removed. But I am yet to see any concrete action having been taken,” says Inder Singh, a small scale unit holder. Industrialists have approached councillor Sushil Maini also a number of times. Despite his efforts, council authorities have done nothing in this regard. Sewerage is the major problem here.

“We are living in uncivilised conditions. Imagine, polluted sewerage water has entered our industrial units and we have no choice but to live in that condition,” says Sudesh Sharma, President, Federation of Phagwara SSI Association.

A council official claims that the entire look of the Industrial Area will change very soon. 


Dhindsa opposes Centre’s bid to stall UT’s transfer
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
The SAD has taken serious note of what it describes as a “subtle move of the Union Government to develop Chandigarh as a state with the objective of denying its transfer to Punjab”.

The secretary-general of the SAD, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, told The Tribune that efforts had been made for some years to develop Chandigarh on such a pattern so that it could be given the status of a state on the pattern of Delhi and Mizoram.

He said the SAD, which had been fighting for several years for the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, was keeping a close watch on developments with regard to City Beautiful and would soon come out with a programme to seek its transfer. “Without consulting the Punjab Government, which was a principal stakeholder in Chandigarh, the Chandigarh Administration and the Union Government should not take any major decision with regard to the city”, said Mr Dhindsa.

He said the developing of the big IT park in Chandigarh was another step to give the city the status of a state. Earlier, Mrs Sushma Swaraj had suggested the grant of that to Chandigarh, he added.

“I urge the Punjab Government to take up the issue with the Union Government as Chandigarh has started competing with Punjab even in the setting up of IT parks”, said Mr Dhindsa. The Centre should not create hurdles in the development of Punjab by giving a big boost to areas in its neighbourhood. “Obviously, the setting up of such a park will hit Punjab hard”.

Already, Punjab’s industrial and other development had been hit because of the tax benefits given to certain hill states. The development of Chandigarh as a centre of “soft industry” would further affect Punjab’s development, he added.

None of the major IT companies would like to set up shop in Mohali and other parts of Punjab once they got an opportunity to set up their units in Chadigarh, he added. There were reports that certain IT industry bosses were asking to set up residential colonies for their employees in Mohali while they wanted to invest in Chandigarh’s IT park.

It would have been better if Chandigarh had played a role in the development of Punjab. Unfortunately, it had impeded the development of towns such as Kharar, Kurali, Morinda, Khamano, Banur, Rajpura, Dera Bassi and Lalru.

Overshadowed by Chandigarh, these towns could not emerge as modern cities. Most of the residents of these towns had been coming to Chandigarh to buy consumer goods because of the low tax rates fixed by the Union Government.

Mr Umrao Singh, a former Punjab Minister, said that it was unfortunate that Chandigarh had started competing with Punjab.

He said as Chandigarh was built for administering Punjab. It should have complemented the development of the state.


Students burn effigies of Boparai
Submit charter of demands to CM
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 23
Student protests in Punjabi University, Patiala, spread to other towns as students burnt effigies of the university Vice-Chancellor, Mr Swaran Singh Boparai, at about 75 places in the state. Protesting students of Punjabi University, Patiala, held a complete strike today on the call given by the Punjabi University Students Confederation (PUSC) and eight other student organisations and submitted a 10-point charter of demands to the state Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, asking for his intervention on the issue. 

Students’ demands

* Stopping to internal assessment to put an end to exploitation of students

* Reinstatement of expelled students

* Hostel facility for Ph.D, M.Phil and post-graduation students

* Regular recruitment of teachers for all vacant posts so that students can take options of their choice

* Libraries in all departments

* Library to be digital, on-line and reading room to be functional 24 hours reading rooms in girls hostels

* Scholarships for research students

* Modern and up-to-date infrastructure for science labs

* Refund of Rs 1620, the extra fees charged from LLB-II students.

According to the confederation, students from all over the state participated the strike. It was led by student leaders Swaranjit Singh Dalio of the Students Federation of India, Raminder Singh Patiala of the Punjab Students Union, Manpreet Singh of the Punjab Students Union Shaheed Randhawa, Gurbakshish Singh of the Internationalist Democratic Students Front, Manjit Singh Kotra of All India Democratic Students organisation, Balkaran Singh of All India Students Association, Paramjit Dhamba of the All India Students Federation and Sanjiv Kumar of the Punjab Radical Students Union.

According to Ravinder Dhaliwal, the strike was complete in the university and other major colleges in the district. Students held demonstrations at Nabha, Samana, Patran and Rajpura while a protest march was held in Patiala after which the charter of demands was handed over to SDM Punamdeep Kaur.

The university, contradicting the students claim, said today’s “protest call of the PUSC miserably failed to evoke any response from the student community. All the departments in the varsity functioned normally. Internal assessment exams were held in all the major departments on schedule.”

In a press statement, Director, Public Relations, said the university had taken a serious view of the self contradictory statements of the spokesman of the PUSC about the proposed public debate student demands. “It seems the PUSC is not interested in having a constructive dialogue, particularly in front of public and media. Initially they said they were ready to participate. Next day they shifted their stand and put a pre-condition that the Vice-Chancellor should personally participate in the debate and the discussion should be about the entire functioning of the university instead of specific focus on student demands.”

The university spokesperson also questioned the conduct of the PUSC leaders. He alleged that instead of “responding positively to the request of the university for public debate by postponing or calling off their agitation, the confederation resorted to disruptive actions on September, 21and 23. The students had not abandoned their destructive and negative approach, which is a pre-requisite for a healthy dialogue.”

Student leaders Harmandeep Gill (SFI), Gurbakshish Singh (IDSF) and Bakshish Azad (PRSU) said the university authorities were trying to mislead the public about the public debate. They reiterated that the students were ready to have a public debate any time.


Heavy rain causes loss of Rs 3 cr
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 23
A spell of heavy shower yesterday wreaked havoc in the city as it led to a loss of about Rs 3 crore, of which the local Cloth Market alone suffered a damage of about Rs 2 crore.

Scores of people were injured due to house collapse, while various localities remained inundated even after a day of heavy rainfall. The district court was inundated today too and it had to function from Circuit House.

Rainwater remained stagnant in front of the residences of the DC and SSP. In Cloth Market, rainwater made way into about 65 shops damaging their stock to a large extent. The market president, Mr Satpal Goyal, pegged the losses at about Rs 2 crore.

He attributed the losses to lack of water drainage facilities. He said he had met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, and brought the matter to his notice. The shopkeepers at the market today kept their damaged stock in open for drying the same.

Vinod Kumar of Bikram Enterprises said he had suffered a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh. Subhash Chander Ramesh Kumar said their stock worth Rs 10 lakh was damaged.

The Deputy Commissioner and the ADC, Mr Harjeet Singh, visited the market. They held a meeting with insurance firm officials and asked them to assess the damage.

Residents of slum area in Dhobiana Basti were also affected and the district administration extended necessary aid to them. Reports of collapse of six houses were received from Kala Singh Sidhu Colony. Cracks have surfaced in some quarters of Thermal Colony and a wall of Ram Leela Ground has collapsed.

Six houses have also collapsed in Balahar Mehma village. Localities that are still inundated include Agarwal Colony, Model Town, Phase I, Sanguana Basti, Power House Road, Ganesha Basti, etc.

The DC said rainwater had collected due to power failure.


Rain damages paddy in mandis
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, September 23
Harvesting of paddy, which began just a few days back in the city has had farmers worrying sick for their crop. The arrival Paddy, which has begun in the mandis of the district has been seriously affected due to heavy rain in the city today. According to Mandi Board authorities 21,000 quintals paddy had arrived in the mandis of the district till date. Due to delay in the procurement of paddy there was only 6,200 quintals of paddy purchased by various agencies while mandis had received 21,000 quintals of paddy. The city received a record-breaking rainfall on Thursday damaging the paddy lying in the mandis of the district.

The rain has affected the arrival of the paddy in mandis as the soil in the district retains moisture, harvest up through the combines has also been stalled because of the rain. The state government has announced September 25 advance date for the procurement of paddy while the private agencies are buying the paddy.

The rain has led to the grain being broken and its discoloration leading to devaluation of the paddy, as it will be rated below price of unbroken grain. The early harvest has some ray of hope as part of the stock lying in the mandis, which is still green in colour and contains moisture can be saved if it is exposed to sunshine in the coming four to five days, says sources.

Sources add that the rain caught everyone unawares and no decision has been made yet as to how to evaluate the affected paddy. It will be taken care of once the procurement by the government agencies begins, says sources. 


Ex-MC chief shot at
Our Correspondent

Abohar, September 23
Mr Mahesh Periwal, former president of the Sriganganagar Municipal Council, was shot at by some persons who had fixed up an appointment with him impersonating as newsmen on Thursday night.

According to information, these “newspersons” were drinking water. But suddenly one of them took out a pistol, under pretext of a notebook to record the interview and fired at Mr Periwal. It hit his left eye and neck. Mr Periwal sounded an alarm and caught hold of the attacker. Second boy tried to flee but was chased and nabbed by residents of the locality.

They were handed over to the police and identified as Ram Ratan (30), a resident of Mahianwali village, and Ajay Kumar (22), a resident of Bagru village. Mr Periwal was rushed to the Civil Hospital but later referred to Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.


SAD forms poll manifesto committee
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 23
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has constituted a seven-member poll manifesto committee for the preparation of a draft of the manifesto for the ensuing Assembly elections. This committee has been constituted under the presidentship of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Punjab Finance Minister.

Giving this information on Wednesday, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary general of SAD, said the committee would meet farmers, employees, traders, Dalits and other sections of the society to seek their views before preparing the draft manifesto. He said after that the committee would submit its draft manifesto to political affairs committee (PAC) of the SAD, which would finalise the manifesto after holding discussions in its meeting.

Mr Dhindsa said in the SAD rally, to be held in New Delhi on November 4 against the Nanavati Commission report, thousands of Sikhs would take part. He said SAD was dissatisfied with the Nanavati Commission’s report, it wanted justice for the Sikhs, who had been brutally murdered in 1984 in anti-Sikh riots in various parts of the country. He also demanded registration of cases against those held guilty by Nanavati Commission.

With regard to delay in the issuance of White Paper by the SAD against the alleged “misdeeds” of the Amarinder government during the past more than three years, Mr Dhindsa said the committee constituted for the purpose had been receiving complaints from different quarters, due to which there was a delay in the issuance of the White Paper.

Mr Dhindsa also said in the ensuing Assembly elections, winning ability would be the main criteria for the allotment of seats between SAD and the BJP. SAD would contest the Assembly elections under the leadership of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. SAD would also encourage youths at the time of allotment of tickets for the Assembly elections.


Farid Aagman Purab ends
Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 23
Baba Sheikh Farid Aagman Purab concluded here today with a nagar kirtan in which thousands of devotees participated.

The Wadali brothers’ sufi programme and fireworks in the evening brought the curtains down to the five-day event.

Led by Panj Piaras, a 2.5-km long nagar kirtan started from Gurdwara Chilla Baba Farid and passed through the main areas of the city before culminating at Gurdwara Godri Sahib where a religious divan was organised.

After the bhog of akhand path at Gurdwara Chilla Baba Farid, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Alok Shekhar, gave away the Baba Farid Appreciation Award to Punjabi Tribune’s bureau chief Jagtar Singh Sidhu for exposing the PMET paper leak scam in the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences. He was awarded Rs 10,000 cash and a shawl.

At Gurdwara Godri Sahib, the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Mr Swaran Singh Boparai, gave the Baba Farid Award for Honesty to Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal, whose father Mr Inderjit Tejpal received the award on his behalf. The award carried Rs 50,000 cash, a shawl and a siropa.

Bhagat Puran Singh Award for Service to Humanity was awarded to Mahant Tirath Singh.

Meanwhile, in the Baba Farid National Punjabi Drama Festival, Government Brijindra College’s ‘Gardish’ got the first prize, while SD College Barnala’s ‘Bas Hun Hor Nahi’ stood second and Creative Theatre and Films’ ‘Gilli Mitti da But’ came third.


Villagers, NRIs pool money to improve sanitary conditions
Tribune News Service

Dhilwan (Kapurthala), September 23
Without waiting for assistance from state government, residents and NRIs from this village have set an example for other villages by investing more than Rs 60 lakh for improving the sanitary conditions in the village and providing sports facilities to its youth.

According to Mr Rashpal Singh, secretary of Dhilwan Development Society, Dhilwan, the residents of village were facing health hazards due to stink emanating from the three ponds in the village as all sewage of area was thrown into these open ponds. which were turning into breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

“We, with the help of Dhilwan Development Society (UK), not only converted these ponds into parks and playgrounds, but also made the arrangement to use this sewage water for irrigation by laying a pipeline to carry this water to a distance of 2 km away from the village. Here a main pond, which is bigger and deeper, is constructed to collect water in addition to demarcating four acres of panchayat land to set up a sewerage water treatment plant at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore in the near future, added Mr Rashpal Singh.

In addition to it, some NRIs and their families were instrumental in setting up a stadium and a health centre unit in the village, said the secretary.

Mr Rashpal Singh revealed that the society had also constructed a mortuary on the Nadala Road where two bodies could be kept at a time and nothing was charged for the service and it was available to all the neighbouring areas.

Asked whether they were seeking any government support in their projects, Mr Rashpal Singh said that a grant of Rs 20 lakh was promised by Mr Jagjit Singh, Local Bodies Minister, recently. However, the grant could not reach the society due to the code of conduct during the elections of the Nagar Panchayat in the area.


Greener pastures turn barren
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 23
Cashing in on the lure for greener pastures among Punjabi youths and alleged police inaction, cunning travel agents across the state have become audacious enough to promise them jobs and desert them in foreign lands to die.

One such travel agent’s men left Angrej Singh of Malooka village to perish in a dense forest of Malaysia when he landed up there after being promised a permanent job. Talking to The Tribune here today, Angrej Singh said though he had eight acres of land he always wanted to migrate to some foreign country and make a quick buck. He came in contact with a Bathinda-based travel agent earlier this year and struck a deal for Malaysia in Rs 1.35 lakh.

He sold off his tractor for Rs 76,000 and borrowed the remaining amount from his acquaintances. He was promised a permanent job with a two-year agreement initially. He boarded a flight to Malaysia on a multiple-entry visa on February 28.

On reaching there his agent’s men received him at the airport and took him to a hotel. But, when he asked about his job, they took him to a dense jungle. They tried to leave him there to die, but he somehow managed to get onto their vehicle.

Infuriated, they locked him along with six other youths in a hotel room. Bikramjit Singh from Raikot, Kulbir Singh from Chandigarh, and four youths from Bihar were with him. Their passports and visas were also seized. He alleged that they were not provided any eatables during their month-long “detainment”. Luckily he had got some money with him with which they would barely manage a plate of rice or some bread for themselves in a whole day.

In India the travel agent had informed his family members that he had got a job there and was fine. On the contrary, the construction firm where the agent promised him a job, didn’t exist at all.

One day they persuaded a Punjabi visitor at the hotel to call up their homes through his mobile phone and narrate their tale to their families.

When Angrej’s family came to know about his condition they approached the agent with the plea of setting him free, but he said, “If you want him back pay Rs 35,000 or let him die there”. His family members arranged the amount from some commission agents to bring their son home.

His ordeal ended on April 1 when he landed in India. Angrej said he had lodged a complaint against the agent with the SSP and the Rampura Phul DSP was asked to probe into the matter in July.

He said though his statement had been recorded, the enquiry had made no headway and the agent was yet to be booked. He sought strict action against the agent and repayment of the amount, he gave to the agent. 


‘Maryada’ issue may further split Panth
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
The Sikh Panth is heading towards yet another division, now over the issue of ‘maryada’, with a section of the Sant Samaj and certain Sikh organisations resorting to confrontational path against the SGPC and Akal Takht .

Though the two outside takhts, Hazoor Sahib and Patna Sahib have not accepted the Nanakshahi Calendar so far, but the meeting of the representatives of some Panthic organisations, including two former Jathedars of Akal Takht, has initiated a fresh discussion in the Panthic circles. The development is considered as a direct challenge to the authority of Akal Takht and the SGPC, which have approved the Nanakshahi Calendar and the Sikh maryada. The most shocking development for the Sikh Panth is a ‘great tamasha’ enacted on the premises of Akal Takht a couple of days ago with warring groups of women raising slogans and counter slogans against each other over the issue of allowing women to perform ‘kirtan’ or ‘seva’ in the sanctum sanctorum of Harmander Sahib and their participation in the ‘ Amrit Sanchar’ ceremony. Neither the SGPC nor the Akal Takht authorities could stop such unsavoury incidents in front of Akal Takht - the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs all over the world.

What worries a common Sikh is that the Sikh Panth has failed to evolve a consensus over the date of the forthcoming tercentenary celebrations of ‘Gurta-Gaddi Divas’ of Guru Granth Sahib, which falls in October 2008. While Akal Takht and the SGPC are determined to celebrate the mega event as per the new Nanakshahi Calendar, a section of Sikh Sants, including Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi, who met at Takht Hazur Sahib, Abchal Nagar, Nander (Maharashtra), recently and opposed the Nanakshahi Calendar approved by Akal Takht and the SGPC.


Bairagis seek Baba Banda Bahadur chair
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 23
The All-India Bairagi Mahan Mandal on Tuesday urged the Punjab Government to set up a chair in the name of Baba Banda Bahadur in a university of the state. It also urged the government to name the Nangal-Garrhi (Gurdaspur)-Delhi road as Baba Banda Bahadur Marg because Baba Banda Bahadur was arrested from Nangal-Garhhi and taken to Delhi by the Mughal forces while torturing him on this route.

Stating this here, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the mandal, further said the state government should also allot a piece of land to the Bairagi Mandal at Ludhiana for the construction of Baba Banda Bahadur Bhavan. He also urged the government to have a chapter in the schoolbooks about the life of Baba Banda Bahadur.

Mr Bawa urged the Union Government to issue a postage stamp on Baba Banda Bahadur, besides raising a suitable memorial to him in Mehrauli (Delhi).

Mr Bawa said that the All-India Bairagi Mahan Mandal would celebrate the birthday of Baba Banda Bahadur on October 16 at Nanded Sahib in Maharashtra. He said a 101-member jatha of Bairagis from Punjab would participate in the birthday celebrations.


Protest against flesh trade
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, September 23
of Budhinagar village today protested against the prostitution racket allegedly going in their area in connivance with the local police.

The incident took place this afternoon. The villagers, including a large number of women, surrounded a shop in which the alleged prostitution racket was going on and caught a woman and a soldier redhanded. They also clicked the photos of the two and informed the police.

The villagers alleged that instead of arresting the woman the police officials helped her flee. The military police was also called from the adjoining cantonment and the soldier was handed over to them.

The military police carried the soldier to the nearby military hospital and got his medical examination conducted.

The SHO, Sujanpur, also reached the spot this evening. He tried to pacify the protesters saying that a case would be registered against the woman involved in the incident. However, till the filing of this report no case had been registered.

The villagers said they had complained many times to the SSP, Gurdaspur, and the Deputy Commissioner regarding the alleged sex racket going on in the area. However, nothing had been done in the matter.


PSEB staff stage dharna against privatisation
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 23
Thousands of activists of the PSEB Employees Struggle Committee today stage a dharna in front of the head office of the PSEB here to lodge their protest against the board’s move to hand over the generation and distribution of power into private hands.

Mr Karam Chand Bhardwaj, leader of the struggle committee, in a press note issued here, said the dharna was also staged to mobilise the support for the countrywide strike to be held on September 29 to lodge their protest against Central government policies of corporatisation and privatisation of government departments. Apart from it, the strike would also be a protest against its anti-employee policies.

Mr Bhardwaj said the struggle committee was of the view that due to its policies, the Central government had enacted the Electricity Act-2003. Now, a move had been initiated under the Act to hand over its certain functions into private hands.

Not only this, some of the specific functions of the electricity boards, were being executed by the management through outsourcing. Instead of filling the existing vacancies to lessen the huge workload on employees, the board management had been abolishing more posts.

He said the PSEB management was refusing to give employment to the kin of its deceased employees on a priority basis. Even the management was to implement those demands of the employees, which had been met by it. The ongoing pension scheme for the employees was being closed. Public sector units were being sold off.


Parashar is Brahmin Sabha president
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 23
Residents of Mandi Gobindgarh and members of the Brahmin Sabha today accorded a warm reception to Mr Devi Dayal Parashar on his being elected the president of Shri Brahmin Sabha, Punjab, unanimously.

Mr Parashar, who belongs to the town, was elected to the post for two years at a meeting in which presidents of the sabha from all 17 districts participated.

Mr Charan Dass Shastri, outgoing president of the sabha, proposed the name of Mr Parashar and all district presidents seconded.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Parashar said he would continue to work for the uplift of Brahmin samaj.


BKU protest to disrupt traffic
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, September 23
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ekta will disrupt road and rail traffic across the state between 1and 3 pm on September 29 in protest of government’s ‘anti-people’ policies. The BKU general secretary Mr Sukhdev Singh Kokri, said the farming community would be given a call to launch a stir against the government “favouring WTO and FDI”. 


Five get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Barnala, September 23
The local court of Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Fatehdeep Singh, has awarded life imprisonment to five persons, including two women, in a murder case.

The court awarded life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 12,000 each to the convicts. In case of non-payment of fine, the imprisonment would be extended by one year. The accused includes Chindar Kaur, Paramjeet Kaur, Gurdeep Singh, Chotta Singh and Gurdev Singh.

As per the court proceedings, Amar Singh, a resident of Lohgarh village, died a few years ago leaving behind his wife Chindar Kaur, two sons Balbeer Singh and Gurdeep Singh and one married daughter Paramjeet Kaur. Soon after his death his son-in-law also died. Chindar Kaur called her daughter Paramjeet Kaur back home. Paramjeet started living with her mother and two brothers.

Meanwhile, both mother and daughter developed illicit relations with two person named Gurdev Singh and Chotta Singh. Chindar’s elder son Balbeer Singh objected to the illicit relations of his mother and his sister.

Notwithstanding the objections of his son, Chindar Kaur hatched a conspiracy with her daughter and others to kill him. Chindar Kaur along with her daughter and one son and two paramour killed Balbeer Singh on September 9, 2003.

The court held the five guilty of murder and awarded life imprisonment to them.


High Court
Costs imposed
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 23
The High Court on Friday imposed costs of Rs 50,000 on the Punjab government for illegally and wrongfully denying admission to a student in the MD course at Government Medical College, Patiala.

The Bench of Mr Justice J.S. Khehar and Mr Justice S.N. Aggarwal, which was hearing the petition filed by Ms Amandeep Jaiswal of Amritsar, also directed that out of the total amount, half would be recoverable from the chairman/members of the selection committee as they had ignored the rightful claim of the petitioner and had exercised power vested in them arbitrarily.

The petitioner had challenged the denial of admission to him as being against the law and merit in the entrance test. She had submitted that though she was higher in merit, her claim was ignored.

PSIEC plots

The High Court on Friday declined to give any relief to the 79 petitioners, who had been allotted plots on the PSIEC land in Sector VIII, Industrial Focal Point, Mohali.

The petitioners were among the 280 who had been issued allotment letters on March 31, 2004. However, later, the PSIEC, on the orders of the Punjab government, withdrew the scheme.

In its order, the Division Bench of Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Saron has held that mere holding of draw of lots did not give the petitioners a right to get plots. Besides, no concluding contract had come into existence between the parties, which the petitioners can enforce by way of a writ petition, the Bench has held.


Nayagaon rape case: ex-SHO gets bail

Ropar, September 23
Former SHO, Nayagaon, Amarpreet Singh, who has been arrested for allegedly helping the accused involved in the infamous Nayagaon rape case and mishandling the case was today ordered to be released on bail by a local court. The accused was directed to furnish Rs 1 lakh personal security bond and a similar amount surety from other persons. The police had registered a case of rape against several persons after a minor delivered a child in the PGI on March 5, 2003, after she was subjected to gangrape. TNS


Use of solar operated tubewells increasing
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
Nothwithstanding the free power announcement by the government for farmers, demand for solar-operated tubewells in the state continues to rise. This is mainly due to the fact that the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has a long list of pending applications for power connections for tubewells.

Sources in Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) maintain that shortage of power and an increase in the price of diesel is also making farmers opt for these tubewells running on solar energy. To meet the growing demand of the farmers, PEDA has already implemented various schemes to increase the use of solar energy. The process of installing 700 new solar tubewells has already begun and these will become operational by the year end. On the other hand, PSEB may take another five to 10 years to give power connections and clear the backlog even as the security stands deposited for the same.

A senior official in PEDA told TNS that substantial subsidy is provided by the Centre and State Government for putting solar tubewells. The Centre has already approved a subsidy amount of Rs 12.60 crore for setting up 700 new solar tubewells. The Punjab Government has also sanctioned a sum of Rs 75 lakh for installing 150 such tubewells, while a balance amount of Rs 2.75 crore for the remaining 550 pumps is likely to be sanctioned.

The Director of PEDA, Mr S.S. Sekhon, said the cost of installing one solar tubewell is Rs 3.25 lakh. Out of this, the Centre gives a subsidy of Rs 1.80 lakh and the state government gives Rs 50,000, while the remaining amount is to be spent by the farmer.

He said the constant increase in the price of diesel has also led to an increase in the operational costs of running tubewells on diesel gensets, thereby leading to an increase in demand for solar tubewells. All a farmer needs to pay is a one-time cost of Rs 95,000 and after that there are no power bills to pay or maintenance costs to bear.

Mr Sekhon said majority of these pumps were being installed by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), and maintenance of these pumps would be made available free of cost for five years. These pumps have a two horse power motor. Since, states like Punjab have ample sunshine on at least 341 days out of the 365 days, hence the farmers can operate these tubewells round the year without any power bills.

Nearly, 1,700 tubewells are already in operation in the state.


3 held with tanker of adulterated oil
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, September 23
The district police today allegedly recovered about 12,000 litres of adulterated oil from four chambers of a truck tanker and arrested three occupants of the tanker.

In a press note issued here on Thursday, Mr Kapil Dev, SSP, said that on getting the tipoff, a police party led by Inspector Gurdarshan Singh, SHO, Sangat police station, laid a naka near Nandgarh bus stand.

As per the information, a truck tanker owned by Mr Rajinderpal, a resident of Ferozepore and owner of Khanna Motors, Rajpura, was carrying huge quantities of adulterated oil. The adulterated oil, which was a mixture of kerosene and diesel, was being transported to Khanna Motors petrol station located at Rajpura.

In the presence of Mr Amritlal Garg, officer, food supply, Bathinda, the police recovered 12,000 litres of adulterated oil from the tanker and arrested driver Paramjit Singh, Surinder Singh and Nirmal Singh.

A case under Section 420 was registered.


Man killed by brother
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, September 23
property dispute between two brothers led to the murder of one of them at Mohalla Tibba Sahib here today.

According to police sources, Rajesh Singh (35), a junk dealer, son of Walayati Ram, of Tibba Sahib, was allegedly murdered by his brother, Veer Singh, at his residence this morning. Sources said that Rajesh Singh, who was doing temporary business at Ambala, had come here to settle a property dispute with his brother.

While discussing the matter, Veer Singh became irritated and assaulted his brother with a sword. Rajesh Singh received grievous injuries and died on the spot.


Impersonators arrested
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 23
The police has arrested two persons from a Jalandhar hotel in case of cheating people impersonating as the officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and seized incriminating documents from them, including an identity card issued by the ministry and embassy papers, related to the people of the area living abroad.

According to the police Avtar Singh a resident of Kapurthala, impersonating as Rajiv Khanna an official of MEA reached the house of Mr Charan Singh an NRI at Kala Sanghia village on Wednesday and told his mother and sister that he was inquiring a case against Charan Singh marked to the MEA by the British embassy and in case he was not paid Rs 1 lakh he would show the NRI as a proclaimed offender in his report.

Ms Kulwinder Kaur, sister of Charan Singh, reported the matter to the police the police arrested the accused with his accomplice Balbir Singh, a resident of Kala Sanghia village from a hotel in Jalandhar last night. Case under Sections 419, 420, 465, 468, 471, 384 and 120 B of IPC has been registered.


One booked for youth’s death
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, September 23
Jagdev Singh Randhawa, alias Sukhdev Singh Randhawa, allegedly responsible for the death of a youth has been booked under Section 302 of the IPC by the city police. The youth Harjit Singh Prince, died under mysterious circumstances about five months ago. The police sent viscera for chemical examination to Patiala.

Ms Daljit Kaur, mother of the deceased, had alleged a foul play in the death of her son. The police had registered a complaint under 174 Cr PC on May 25, 2005 the day Prince died.

Ms Daljit in her complaint to the police alleged Jagdev gave her son Rs 50 to bring wine from a shop. After that Jagdev Singh left him at his house where his condition became serious and he died soon. She alleged that her son was given some poisonous substance by mixing it in the wine.

To know the cause on death the police sent viscera for chemical examination at Patiala. The report of the chemical examination revealed that Prince was given some poisonous substance. The police got legal opinion and registered a case against the accused.


Supari killing traced
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 23
The Jalandhar police has solved the mystery of the murder of a youth.

According to Mr S.K. Kalia, SP, Minto, a youth was murdered and his body thrown on the rail line two year ago and the incident was taken as a suicide by the railway police authorities.

But the Jalandhar police had got suspicious and registered a case on the basis of which two persons, Deba and Deepa, were arrested.

Further investigations revealed that Minto had given Rs 65,000 to Deepa for going abroad, but Deepa did not send him and this had become a flashpoint between the two. Meanwhile, Jarnail Singh, who was allegedly jealous with Minto over some issue, contacted Deepa and Deba and instigated them to do away with Minto. Subsequently, both of them called Minto a secluded place in September 2003, near DAV College — kidnapped him.

Later, they took Minto to Hazara village where Minto was killed by them with a baseball bat.

Both accused have been remanded in police custody, said Mr Kalia.


ETO attacked

Malerkotla, September 23
The local Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO), Mr R.K. Sharma, was attacked by the manager of a magic show company here today. The ETO had gone to the site of the magic show to check the permission for running the show by the company. — OC


6 hurt in clash at engineering college

Ropar, September 23
Six students of the Engineering College, Bhaddal, sustained injuries in a clash between two groups of students on the campus of the college this morning.

The incident took place when the turban of a second year student was removed by a third year student at about 10 am. Outsiders were also involved in the clash. The police was called to control the situation. Chairman of the college Gurcharan Kaur said there was a minor dispute between the students. She said no case was registered as students involved in the clash apologised for the incident. TNS


PTU gets AICTE nod to start pharmacology course
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 23
The Punjab Technical University (PTU) has got approval from the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for starting post-graduation in pharmacology in one of its affiliated colleges from this session.

Information to this effect is available on the official website of the council where it has been mentioned that Indo-Soviet College of Pharmacy, Ghal Kalan, Moga, could take eight students in M. Pharmacology from this session. Dr M.S. Grewal, Registrar, PTU, confirmed the approval and said that the university received a communiqué in this regard last evening.

The Registrar said that the university even received a notification from the Punjab government to hold admissions to the course yesterday and the process of admissions would begin soon. The admission will not be based on an entrance test and the applicants securing higher marks in B. Pharmacy would qualify for eight seats, the authorities told

Earlier, at least four of the 17 colleges of pharmacy affiliated with the PTU had shown interest in starting the course, only three were declared eligible as per AICTE norms according to which at least two batches of B. Pharmacy should have passed out from a college. The three colleges included Indo-Soviet College of Pharmacy, Moga, Amar Shaheed Baba Ajit Singh Jhujjar Memorial College, Bela, Ropar, and Baba Isher Singh Pharmacy College, Kot Ise Khan, Ferozepur.

A three-member committee comprising Dr R.K. Khar of Hamdard University, Delhi, Dr Lazar Mathew, Director of St Francis Institute of Medical Sciences, Ajmer, and Dr Alka Mehta, former Deputy Director (academics), PTU, had been set up to formulate rules and regulations, and syllabus for the course.

The committee had proposed that either of the two specialised fields including pharmaceutics and pharmacology would be taken up in the first batch. The committee had suggested that a regional Centre be set up in one or two pharmacy colleges so that they could be upgrade as postgraduate colleges.

The university later even set up a Regional Centre Coordination Committee headed by Mr A.S. Bains, adviser to the university, to check infrastructure and qualification of the staff in the colleges that had applied for approvals. Later, the PTU and AICTE officials had held joint inspection of the colleges and sent recommendations regarding it.

Dr S.K. Salwan, Vice-Chancellor, said that the need of starting postgraduation in the course was being felt for long, seeing pharmacy market in the state. He said that now all formalities had been over, the process of admission could start.


Bungling in selection of docs alleged
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 23
The PCMS Association today criticised the reported bungling in the selection of Senior Residents for government medical colleges at Amritsar and Patiala.

In a press note issued here yesterday, the association alleged that eight faculty members were denied promotions and the selection was done in an unethical manner.

The senior vice-president of the association, Dr Ranjit Singh Butter, said Dr Samira Sharma, who had been selected as Senior Resident (Surgery) in the first list, was later shifted to the Department of Plastic Surgery, flaunting all the laid down norms although she held higher merit that the candidate selected in her place.

The association alleged that the computer record was altered by the Department of Research and Medical Science Education.


DAV College gets A+ grade
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 23
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore yesterday accredited DAV college with the highest A+ grade.

The Principal of the college Mr Dhani Ram, addressing a press conference said the assessment team headed by the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatama Gandhi Kanshi Vidaya Peeth, Dr Surinder Singh, had said, “this is one of the best institution in India”.

Giving details of the two-day visit of the NAAC team which visited the college campus from September 17 to 19 he said the team members had interacted with students, parents and faculty and the alumni of the college to get the first hand information about the infrastructure, curriculum and other academic facilities available in the college.

The team also visited various classrooms, computer and science laboratory and international standard biotechnology departments besides visiting the nuclear labs of Physics Department.

The Principal said the team lauded the role of the blood bank which was providing regular blood to the needy around the year.


Society on ICT education to be constituted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 23
For removing constraints and empowering the institutions to take initiatives for imparting information and communication technology ( ICT) education in colleges, an umbrella society is being constituted at the state level under the chairpersonship of the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

While speaking at a one-day information and communication technology workshop, Mrs Bhattal said today that to manage day-to-day ICT infrastructure in each institution, societies would be formed at the college level which would be headed by the local principals and represented by the Parent-Teacher Associations, alumini, NGOs and eminent educationists to provide guidance and inspire the students.

The local societies would arrange the teaching faculty, software etc for providing ICT education in the field of business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledges process outsourcing (KPO).

Senior officers , vice- chancellors and eminent educationists would be taken on the society as its members. Mrs Bhattal reminded all college heads that they were the key resource persons for the implementation of ICT education at the college level. 


Students hold protest
Our Correspondent

Kharar, September 23
Students of the Government Polytechnic, Khoonimajra, continued their protest here today against the failure of the government to provide adequate facilities at the institute.

They said that the institute did not have adequate staff and other facilities were also lacking. As such their studies were being adversely affected.

They said that they would boycott classes till their demands were fulfilled.

The students had started the protest yesterday in support of their demand.


Sunam traders begin non-cooperation move against SDM
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, September 23
At a meeting of the Sunam Beopar Mandal held under the chairmanship of Mr Rajesh Aggarwal, president of the mandal at Sunam today, it was decided that traders and businessmen would boycott all functions in which the Sunam SDM, Mr Ravinder Singh, participates, till he is transferred from Sunam.

Mr Ravinder Singh Cheema, secretary of the Punjab Arhtiya Association, said about one and a half months ago, arhtiyas of Sunam had protested for seven days against the SDM for “insulting” an arhtiya in his (SDM) office. They held dharnas and rallies, demanding his transfer, but the SDM had not yet been transferred. They had now been compelled to boycott the SDM, he added.

Mr Cheema informed that the arhtiya associations of Sunam, Cheema, Sulargharat and Dirba did not take part in the SDM’s meeting, as a part of the boycott programme.


Biotech ventures discussed

Chandigarh, September 23
A Canadian delegation yesterday met Indian industrialists keen on ventures in the sphere of biotechnology.

The interaction was arranged by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology. Mrs Romila Dubey, Principal Secretary, Science and Technology Department, gave an overview of the facilities coming up in the state in the biotechnology sector to the Canadian visitors. A biotech park is being set up in Behra village, near Dera Bassi. — TNS

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