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Over 370 liquor vends allotted
Jalandhar, March 25
All liquor vends in Jalandhar district were allotted to applicants by the Punjab Excise Department by way of lottery system and in accordance with the new excise policy of the state government at the local Milap Bhavan here today.

Defence Ministry notifies change in pension benefits to ex-servicemen 
Jalandhar, March 25
Bringing relief to thousands of ex-servicemen across the country, who had long been demanding “one rank one pension”, the Ministry of Defence has passed a notification for improving the pension benefits of Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR), particularly the three lowest ranks.

MC razes ‘illegal structures’, shopkeepers oppose demolition drive 
Jalandhar, March 25
Irked at the demolition of “illegal structures” by the Municipal Corporation authorities, a large number of shopkeepers not only opposed a demolition drive, but also shouted anti-Municipal Corporation and anti-government slogans in Avtar Nagar here today.




EARLIER STORIES

 

Adampur Primary Health Centre to be upgraded 
Adampur (Jalandhar), March 25
The Punjab Health Minister, Mr Ramesh Dogra, has directed the Punjab Health authorities to upgrade the local Primary Health Centre (PHC) to the Community Health Centre (CHC).

Travel agent held 
Jalandhar, March 25
A travel agent has been arrested by the local police for allegedly duping a youth of Rs 4.66 lakh on pretext of sending him to Italy. The agent, Avatar Singh, a resident of Lalian village, has been booked under Sections 406, 420, and 120 B of the IPC on a complaint by one Dharmpal.

Rs 512.50 lakh for developmental works
Kapurthala, March 25
The Kapurthala Nagar Council has decided to spend Rs 512.50 lakh on various developmental works of the city in its annual budget passed for the financial year 2006-07.

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Over 370 liquor vends allotted
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 25
All liquor vends in Jalandhar district were allotted to applicants by the Punjab Excise Department by way of lottery system and in accordance with the new excise policy of the state government at the local Milap Bhavan here today.

It was for the first time after decades that the Punjab government had effected radical changes in its liquor vend allotment process. Also, it was perhaps for the first time that individuals could also try their luck in the liquor trade, which had virtually remained in tight grip of liquor cartels for years together.

The allotment of all of over 370 liquor vends of Jalandhar district was made in the presence of senior excise officials, including Ms Neelam Chaudhary and Ms Kanchan Chawla. For all 370 liquor vends, falling in rural and urban areas of Jalandhar district, the Excise Department had got over 3,000 applications.

Though the auction of liquor vends in Jalandhar district has invariably remained a bone of contention, and there have been incidents of clashes among various groups in the past, this time everything went off peacefully. The Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta, had invoked Section 144 of the CrPC in and around the allotment venue.

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Defence Ministry notifies change in pension benefits to ex-servicemen 
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 25
Bringing relief to thousands of ex-servicemen across the country, who had long been demanding “one rank one pension”, the Ministry of Defence has passed a notification for improving the pension benefits of Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR), particularly the three lowest ranks.

In a notification sent to the Chiefs of Army Staff, Naval Staff and Air Staff, Mr A.K. Upadhayay, Joint Secretary, Government of India, has stated that “the pension of pre-January 1, 1996 retiree PBORs had been revised with reference to the maximum of post-January 1, 1996, pay scales. In addition, the ‘weightage’ of sepoy, naik and havildar ranks for the past as well as the future retirees has been increased to 10, eight and six years, respectively, subject to a maximum qualifying service of 30 years. The benefit would be given only in respect of service pension”.

A copy of the notification was recently received in the office of the District Sainik Welfare Department.

It has been stated that a group of ministers had been constituted by the government in January, 2005, to look into the demand of ex-servicemen asking for “same pension for the same rank and the length of service, irrespective of date of retirement”.

The notification states that the recommendations had been accepted by the government, and the President had accorded his sanction for the purpose.

The officials of the local department explained that even as the new rule did not mean “one rank one pension” as actually demanded by the ex-servicemen, the pension benefits of the old retirees would be somehow equivalent to that of the new retirees.

The notification specifies that in case a person is already getting more than 30 years qualifying service with the existing ‘weightage’ of five years, he would continue getting that and there would be no enhancement of ‘weightage’ in that case.

It also mentions, “With effect from January 1, 2006, pension of pre-January 1, 1996, retirees in all ranks of PBOR in Army, Navy and Air Force for 33 years of qualifying service shall not be less than 50 per cent of maximum pay in revised scales of pay introduced with effect from January 1, 1996. Such pension shall be reduced pro rata, where the pensioner has less than maximum qualifying service for full pension, that is 33 years.”

The orders specified that benefit would be only in respect of service pension, including invalid pension, service element of disability pension and war injury pension.

The orders have been made effective from January 1, 2006. It has been mentioned that no arrears would be given to any pensioner.

Reacting to the news, Subedar Mohan Singh from Jandu Singha said that his pension was nearly Rs 1,800 and a fresh retiree of same rank and same service was getting almost double the amount, which was not fair.

He added that he was happy now that a notification to this effect had come and his pension would almost be on a par with new retirees. 

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MC razes ‘illegal structures’, shopkeepers oppose demolition drive 
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 25
Irked at the demolition of “illegal structures” by the Municipal Corporation authorities, a large number of shopkeepers not only opposed a demolition drive, but also shouted anti-Municipal Corporation and anti-government slogans in Avtar Nagar here today.

Despite opposition of residents and shopkeepers, the demolition team, comprising officials of the Building and Tehbazaari branches of the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation, was able to remove a large number of “encroachments”.

Though everything went ahead smoothly in the initial phase of the demolition drive in the morning, problem surfaced when the MC team started confiscating goods and sheds of those shopkeepers, who were not coming forward to remove these on their own.

Sources, however, said that what irked the shopkeepers was that the MC officials tried to demolish even those structures from where sheds were removed voluntarily by the shopkeepers. At this point, the shopkeepers started raising anti-MC and anti-government slogans. Repeated pleas and arguments by the MC staff failed to pacify the shopkeepers and residents for a long time. The MC officials, however, maintained that efforts were made to raze only those structures, which had been raised “illegally” and which were not removed by the shopkeepers despite persuasion.

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Adampur Primary Health Centre to be upgraded 
Tribune News Service

Adampur (Jalandhar), March 25
The Punjab Health Minister, Mr Ramesh Dogra, has directed the Punjab Health authorities to upgrade the local Primary Health Centre (PHC) to the Community Health Centre (CHC).

This was announced by Mr Dogra, who was here today to inaugurate a Lok Suvidha camp. Announcing the upgradation of the PHC, the minister also said that for the purpose, the PHC would be getting a grant of Rs 20 lakh from the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, and another grant of Rs 10 lakh from the Punjab government.

“The Punjab government is already busy in strengthening the basic infrastructure of the state, and the upgradation and the improvement of health facilities is part of the process,” said Mr Dogra.

Talking about the objectives of the Lok Suvidha camps in the district, he said that such camps were aimed at tackling problems and grievances of people on priority basis and at their doorstep.

According to Mr Ashok Gupta, the Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner, the Lok Suvidha camps were proving to be a big attraction among the people of the district, and thousands of people participate in each of such camps.

Mr Kanwaljit Singh Lalli, the Chairman of Sugarfed, said the Lok Suvidha camps were resulting in an increase in the degree of the people’s faith in the government and these were working towards the implementation of the idea of “government at people’s doorstep”. 

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Travel agent held 
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 25
A travel agent has been arrested by the local police for allegedly duping a youth of Rs 4.66 lakh on pretext of sending him to Italy. The agent, Avatar Singh, a resident of Lalian village, has been booked under Sections 406, 420, and 120 B of the IPC on a complaint by one Dharmpal.

The complainant has accused the travel agent of having taken Rs 4.66 lakh, and the passport of his son Paramjit for sending the latter to Italy. The accused had allegedly Paramjit sent him to Thailand instead. The travel agent had claimed that Paramjit would be sent to Italy from Thailand. However, Paramjit returned to the country after facing harassment in Thailand, according to SHO Lambra Pritam Singh.

Meanwhile, the police has arrested two chemists on charges of drug peddling in Khabran village situated on the Jalandhar-Nakodar Road. The chemists, Kulwinder Singh and Gurmeet Singh, were arrested when they were allegedly selling drugs in the village.

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Rs 512.50 lakh for developmental works
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, March 25
The Kapurthala Nagar Council has decided to spend Rs 512.50 lakh on various developmental works of the city in its annual budget passed for the financial year 2006-07.

Mr Raj Kumar Mittal, Executive Officer, disclosed here, “Out of this, Rs 60 lakh will be spent on the construction of roads, Rs 60 lakh on streets, Rs 10 lakh on drains, Rs 72 lakh for installation of new street lights, Rs 12 lakh for slum area improvements, Rs 16 lakh on landscaping and parks, Rs 30 lakh for purchasing of new machinery, and Rs 234 lakh would be used to install five new tube-wells and to improve the water supply and sewerage lines.”

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