P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Jathedar Vedanti eulogises SAD
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 11
Eulogising the glorious history of Shiromani Akali Dal ( SAD), Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar Akal Takht, today said that it had launched morchas (agitations) from Akal Takht against Emergency and injustice from time to time and hence its contribution towards Sikh Panth could not be underestimated.

Jathedar Vedanti was under tremendous pressure from the SGPC chief and SAD leadership to withdraw his statement in which he had asked SAD to drop the word Akali from its name as it has given an undertaking to the Election Commission that the party is secular. He had stated that the SAD was formed under the patronage of Akal Takht and should address aspirations of the Sikh Panth.

It is learnt that a section of the SGPC and SAD had even sought removal of Jathedar Vedanti if he failed to clarify his position on this issue. Hence, after seven days of publication of his statement, Jathedar today gave guarded statement on this vital issue which had earlier opened pandora's box in Sikh circles.

He said his suggestion to drop the word 'Akali' was not aimed at any specific Akali faction. Rather, it was for all Panthic parties and Akali factions .

Jathedar Vedanti said that SAD was formed in the 1920s after the formation of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee as a result of movement to secure Sikh shrines from corrupt priests. So in a sense Akali Dal considers itself as a religio-political party and principal representative of Sikhs.

Jathedar Vedanti said SAD had been in the forefront of all the Sikh movements and it had been endeavouring to preserve the Panthic traditions and safeguarding Sikh values.

However, giving undertaking to Election Commission that it was a secular party was the requirement of the constitution of the country. All the Akali factions who had been contesting elections under the constitution of the country had to fulfill certain requirements which the different factions of SAD had been doing.


Recovery of khair wood raises eyebrows
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 11
The recovery of a large amount of khair wood from a dump-cum-sawing machine in the Pathankot area by the Gurdaspur police has proved large scale illegal felling of trees in the forests of Dhar subdivision.

When a Tribune team visited the site yesterday, a large number of labourers were busy removing bark from the illegally felled trees. Huge heaps of cut trees were lying in the dump that indicated that hundreds of trees had been felled. The labourers were busy removing the bark and cutting trees into pieces. When asked they said that a forest contractor had employed them for the purpose. Though the police is inquiring into the matter, no policeman was present at the dump to guard the felled trees in question.

As per rules, if trees are felled against the permits issued by the Forest Department they have to marked with numbers given by the department. Each log that is transported is numbered after the tree from which it has been cut. However, very few logs lying at the dump had markings of the Forest Department.

The DFO Pathankot when asked about the recovery of huge amount of cut trees from a dump said he had no knowledge about the matter. “We are ready to assist in case the police officials ask for our help to identify the trees or verify the papers,” he said.

As per rules no felling or transportation of cut trees is allowed in summer from April to June. In response to a PIL filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by the former Wildlife Warden, Mr Sukhdeep Singh Bajwa, the Secretary, Forests, has given an undertaking that no permits for felling would be issued till specific orders were issued by the court for the purpose.

However, the felling was still continuing with impunity. The owners of the dump while speaking on the condition of anonymity said they had been issued permits by the Forest Department.

However, it is still a mystery that while all other divisions in the state have not issued any permit, how have the permits been issued by the forest officials of Gurdaspur.


Land for RIL: CPI to stage dharnas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Another political party has raised the banner of protest against the proposed allotment of land to Reliance Industries Limited( RIL) in Punjab. The CPI leader, Dr Joginder Dayal, today said that his party would stage dharnas to protest against the offer made to RIL for the allotment of land at Mohali and other places in the state.

He said the first dharna would be held on May 16 at Mohali, where the Punjab Government had offered 20 acres of prime land to RIL at a throwaway price. Later, dharnas would be held at other places, he added.

Addressing a press conference here, Dr Dayal, who is a member of the National Council of the CPI, said the Amarinder Singh government had no right to allot prime land to private companies at throwaway prices.

He said the land was the property of the people of the state and it could not be allotted to private parties.

He said : " Corruption in the state is more pronounced now as compared to the tenure of the previous Badal government." Corruption was all-pervasive.

He alleged that corrupt politicians and officers were sending money abroad.

He said Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and his father,Mr Parkash Singh Badal, were playing a clever game on the issue of land to RIL.They were not saying that they would cancel the land allotment if their party came to power.They were merely saying that they would only review such allotment of land to various companies. " The two were not adopting a clear stand on the land issue because they also wanted to arm- twist big industrial houses for their vested interests", said Dr Dayal.

Dr Dayal said the CPI was opposed to the pro-WTO policies followed by the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre and the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab. " It is time to learn a lesson for the ruling Congress at the Centre and in Punjab. The Congress lost the elections badly in Kerala today because it was pursuing anti-poor policies in that state.

It also got a drubbing in West Bengal because of its pro-rich policies at the national level", said Dr Dayal, adding that the same thing would happen in Punjab in February next year when the Assembly elections would be held.


CM favours promotion of Punjabi, English
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, yesterday said he was committed to give due recognition and status to Punjabi language but at the same time he also underscored the need to promote English as a link language to enable the youth to compete globally .

Presiding the annual function of Wishav Varta, the first Punjabi news service, Capt Amarinder Singh said his elders did a lot to promote Punjabi. He said his grandfather, Maharaja Bhupindra Singh, had introduced Punjabi as an official language in the erstwhile Pepsu state .

Justifying the promotion of English language, Capt Amarinder Singh, said China had recently employed 2,40,000 English-speaking teachers to train their students to speak and write English from Class I.

Capt Amarinder Singh urged the journalists to do objective reporting and develop a mechanism to sift between the element of truth and negative factor highlighted by the politicians just to gain popularity, which gave a backward push to the developmental activities.

Capt Amarinder Singh announced to extend the facility of free bus travel to the recognised correspondents on the pattern of accredited ones. He also authorised the committee to make recommendations for the promotion and development of Punjabi language.

Capt Amarinder Singh, along with Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Adviser B.I.S. Chahal, released the souvenir of Wishav Varta.

Earlier, Director of Wishav Varta Davinderjit Singh Darshi highlighted the demands of the working journalists and urged the state government to allot land for the press clubs at the district headquarters at the earliest.

In his address, the former Assistant Editor, Punjabi Tribune, Mr Karamjit Singh, stressed on the need to upgrade the level of Punjabi news agency.

On the occasion, Capt Amarinder Singh honoured Punjabi Tribune Editor Shingara Singh Bhullar, Editor of Akali Patrikar Ratnesh Singh Sodhi, Editor of Chardi Kala Jagjit Singh Dardi, Editor of Aaj di Awaz Gurdip Singh, Acting Editor of Aaj di Awaz Baljit Singh Brar, Editor of Nawan Zamana Jagjit Singh Anand, Editor of Apna Punjab, New York, Gurmit Singh, and Editor of Daily Ranjit Gurcharan Singh Mani.


Squall leaves trail of losses for PSEB
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 11
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has suffered losses to the tune of crores of rupees on account of damage to distribution transformers, tower of 220 KV lines and uprooting of high tension and low tension poles after a dust storm followed by rain and squall hit the state on the night of May 8.

Not only this, the PSEB has also suffered revenue loss to the tune of crores of rupees due to the non-sale of power by it to its different consumers after its distribution system was badly hit by the storm and squall.

Official sources said PSEB authorities could not sell the 4300 MWs to its consumer as the load came down to 700 MW on May 8 after distribution lines were disturbed despite the fact that load was more than 5000 MW on May 7.

Though the PSEB authorities had been working out the loss which it had suffered on account of non-sale of 4300 MW electric power to the consumers, the loss, which it had suffered due to the damage caused to 550 distribution transformer, 3904 LT poles, 2500 HT poles, two towers of 220 KV lines from Jamsher to Ropar and Jamsher to Goraya was estimated around Rs 4 crore.

Mr Y.S Ratra, Chairman, PSEB, today said PSEB had started erecting new towers on Jamsher-Ropar and Jamsher-Goraya routes. It would take about 15 days to complete the work.

He said in other areas, where there was grid disturbance after distribution lines were affected, alternate sources were used to restore the electric power supply to those areas. He added that field force of PSEB had worked round-the-clock to restore electricity supply for the customers.


PSEB to withdraw weekly off days for industry
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 11
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has decided to withdraw the weekly days off imposed on industry in the state from May 7. Mr Y.S. Ratra, Chairman, PSEB, said that this had been done due to the availability of power from other sources and increase in generation of power from PSEB’s own projects.

The Chairman added that the power position in Punjab was likely to remain comfortable during the month of May. Moreover, he added that the PSEB had planned a schedule for the maintenance of various units of power plants, which would be completed by the end of this month.

He informed that by the time paddy transplantation starts in Punjab, all PSEB generating units would be operational except one unit of the Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP), Bathinda, which was under renovation. The board was also trying its best to arrange sufficient power during the paddy season to ensure eight hours uninterrupted supply to the tubewells.

He also said that unit No. 2 of the Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant, Lehra Mohabbat, which was shut down on April 22 for annual maintenance and was due for revival on May 12, had actually been revived on May 6. This had boosted the availability of power in Punjab by 50 lakh units per day.

Mr Ratra added that apart from this, Punjab had also been allocated 7.3 per cent of power out of the Himachal Government equity share from May 6 and the PSEB had started getting 100 lakh units per day from other states in addition to 17 lakh units per day from Jammu and Kashmir under banking arrangements.

Keeping in view the overall shortage of power in the Northern grid and low frequency in the system due to abnormal increase in demand, he appealed to board’s consumers to use electricity judiciously.


Kashyap: Info Act potent tool in hands of public
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
The Right to Information Act is a potent tool in the hands of the public in a democratic nation to highlight social causes and keep a check on the functioning of the government. However, a massive awareness campaign is needed, said the State Information Commissioner, Punjab, Mr Rajan Kashyap, at the inauguration of an independent office of the commission in Sector 17 here today.

The Punjab Governor, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), inaugurated the office. Its website, www.infocommpunjab.com, was also launched on the occasion.

Mr Kashyap quoted an example of a social worker of Nawanshahr, who wanted to know how many raids had been conducted on clinics to keep a check on sex-determination tests. Nawanshahr had the worst male-female sex ratio in the country. Mr Kashyap, who was flanked by the Chief Information Commissioner of India, Mr Wajahat Habibullah, while talking to reporters, said people in Punjab had sought information on varied topics, including why garbage was not being lifted in Ludhiana. Some information seekers wanted to see the accounts of municipal bodies and sought details relating revenue, irrigation and health matters. Interestingly, there had been cases of employees and teachers of Punjabi University and Punjab Agricultural University seeking information about promotions.

He said information on everything would be provided under the Act if it did not come in the way of national interest or security. During the past six months none of the requests related to an issue of national importance. Mr Kashyap said: "We would want more and more people coming forward to seek information at all public offices. In the case of any hindrance, the information seeker can approach this office. A grievance redressal system, at the district level, is being created and the empowerment of panchayats and local bodies will be ensured. All panchayats will be linked through the internet."

Mr Habibullah, while replying to a separate question, clarified that income tax returns and details of bank accounts were private property and could not be revealed under the Act. Only if an inquiry was on by an investigating agency or there was greater public interest involved could details of income tax returns or bank accounts be provided to members of the public. Also, the CIC had the authority to seek the disproportionate assets accounts of anybody if these had been sought by a petitioner, he added.

Mr Habibullah said there was need for creating awareness about this Act so that the maximum number of people could derive benefit. He said the Official Secrets Act would continue to be implemented in its existing form. There had been a few instances when the CIC had denied information to petitioners, keeping in view the provisions of the Act.

Clarifying that there was no legislation as such for the appointment of Chief Information Commissioners in the states, he said such appointments were made with the consent of the Leader of Opposition in the states as per the RTI Act. He said he was impressed with the system for management and disposal of references developed in Punjab. This could become a useful model for Information Commissions in other states.

He said in five cases hearings were initiated against officials who denied information or provided the wrong information. One of them had been fined Rs 25,000.

Mr Kashyap said in Punjab hearings were initiated in 24 cases and the functionaries concerned provided the information. No mala fide was found in the delay. Hence, no action was recommended.


SAD (A) blames SGPC for misguiding Sikhs
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 11
Mr Baldev Singh Sirsa, general secretary, farmers wing of the SAD (A), sent a legal notice to Mr Avtar Singh, president, SGPC, and a number of its other office-bearers for misguiding the Sikh masses about tercentenary Khalsa college.

He stated in the notice that the college was started as a tribute on the occasion of 300th year of birth of Khalsa Panth in 1999 but it has been functioning from the building of a school.

He claimed that the SGPC earmarked Rs 1 crore each in the budget of 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, respectively but no work had started towards it. He added that in the current budget Rs 50 lakh had been kept aside for the project.

Mr Sirsa named several other Shiromani Committee officials, including Mr Dalmegh Singh, secretary, Mr Harbeant Singh, secretary, Mr Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, general secretary, Ms Kiranjot Kaur, former general secretary, Mr Hardalbir Singh Shah, former general secretary, Mr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, former secretary and Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar, former president.


Third front possible only under SAD (A) leadership, says Mann
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, May 11
The formation of third front in the forthcoming Assembly elections to contest against the SAD and the Congress is possible only under the leadership of SAD (A). The SAD (A) has been the only party that has taken up the issues relating to people and is opposing the ruling parties for their misdeeds. ‘‘The writing is on the wall that the third front in Punjab was not possible without the leadership of SAD (A)’’.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the SAD (A), stated this while responding to the queries of mediapersons regarding the possibility of the formation of third front for the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state.

He flayed the decision of the state government to give prime land of Mandi Board to the Reliance company. The company was just proposing to create marketing facility for fruits and vegetables from the state. For this there was no need to hand over the prime property to the company. The state stands to lose Rs 1,000 crore directly by handing over the prime land to the company. If the company is really serious about bringing up marketing operations in Punjab it should be given in any of the industrial areas of the state that were lying unoccupied.

While responding to another query he condemned the SAD president , Mr Prakash Singh Badal, for double standards. While Mr Badal has been demanding the disqualification of Congress MLAs on the office-of-profit issue, he was silent about his own colleagues. Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, SAD MP, has also been holding the office-of-profit. Besides being an MP Mr Dhindsa was also the chairman of Sant Attar Singh Mastwana Trust. He should also resign from Parliament.

Mr Mann was here to console the victims of a fire tragedy in which 45 kiosks had been destroyed. He lamented that neither the Deputy Commissioner nor any ruling party politician had come to the spot to sympathise with the victims of the fire tragedy.

‘‘Poor owners of the kiosks have lost most of their belongings in the fire and the government should provide compensation to them on humanitarian grounds’’, he said.


Pension not paid to ex-staff of dam
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 11
Over 500 workers who have retired from the Shahpur Kandi dam since February 2005 have not been issued pension till date. Besides, over 3,000 pensioners who have retired since 1996 face recoveries from pensions.

The workers retiring since 2005 are not being issued pensions due to the failure of the Finance Department to take firm decision on a controversial issue trapped between politics and rules. The issue involves the fixation of the basic pay of workers at the time their services were regularised at the dam. The work-charge employees at the time of the construction of the dam were awarded special increments by the official for good performance. When their services were regularised, the special increments were to be withdrawn and their basic pay was to be fixed as per the cadre against which they were absorbed.

However, the officials concerned protected the special increments of the work-charge employees in their basic pay. This increased the basic pay of the workers in violation of the Punjab Civil Service rules. The Finance Department later detected the anomaly and ordered recoveries from the salaries of all employees.

There are over 10000 workers and pensioners at the Shahpur kandi dam. This creates a strong voting bank in the Sujanpur constituency that any politician cannot afford to annoy.

Due to the pressure exerted by the Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, the Finance Department has now taken a strange decision.

It has now decided to effect recoveries from the pensioners and let the serving employees enjoy increased salary. As per the decision taken recently, the Finance Department has directed the dam authorities to release the pension of the employees after deducting the extra increments granted to them.

Besides, it has ordered recovery from the pension of those employees who have retired since 1996 and were enjoying increased pensions.

The Financial Advisor at the dam, Mr S.L. Sharma, when contacted, admitted that the above said directions had been received from the Finance Department. He, however, added that no clear directions had been issued as to how the recoveries would be effected from the pensions of the retired employees.

The pensioners have, however, termed the Finance Department decision as unfortunate. They alleged that the department was adopting double parameters for serving and retired employees. While the serving employees were being allowed to enjoy increased salary, the pensioners were facing recoveries. The policy of the Finance Department was aimed at harassing the senior citizens, who have given the prime of their youth for the construction of Ranjit Sagar Dam.


Patwaris told to issue farad on same day
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 11
The Tehsildar of the Kharar subdivision has directed all patwaris to issue farad to persons on the same day they ask for the document.

The directions were given by Mr Barjinder Singh, Tehsildar, at a meeting with held with revenue officials in the tehsil complex here today. He told the patwaris that the Deputy Commissioner of Mohali, Mr Tejveer Singh, wanted that people should not face any difficulties in acquiring a copy of any document and efforts should be made to make the required document available on the day it had been asked for. And if some problems arose in giving a copy of the document on the same day, it should be done in the maximum time limit of 24 hours.

People were asked to contact the Tehsildar directly in case they faced some problem. And in case the Tehsildar was not available Mrs Baljit Kaur, senior assistant, could be contacted who had been made the nodal officer in this regard.

He said that the work relating to mutations, which was lying pending, would be cleared within one month. He said that the Deputy Commissioner wanted that the people should start feeling that there was in improvement on office work after Mohali was made a district.

In order to make the work of demarcation easier for people, it had been decided that the Circle Revenue Officer would be clearing the applications regarding demarcations at his own level before sending these to the Kanungo so that people of Majri subtehsil did not have to come to Kharar for getting their applications cleared.


Concern over elevated road
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 11
Mr Rawal Aulakh of Guru Ramdas School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University, in a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has expressed apprehensions over construction of the elevated road in the medieval religious town of Amritsar.

He felt that the proposal was not just suitable as it would disturb the character of the walled city. Citing the example of the walled city of Delhi, Mr Aulakh said the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) was trying to restore the character of the city. But what kind of restoration technique was being used for this city, he said and added that it was already under threat of losing its original fabric with the addition of high-tech systems.

He added that construction of the elevated road would create havoc with the physical planning of the walled city. He said no doubt the elevated road would add to the convenience of the pilgrims visiting Harmandar Sahib but could not this end on the periphery of the walled city, where parking facilities could be provided.

He opined that the amount to be spent on construction of the elevated road could be used for conserving the heritage of the city. He said there should be some mechanism to rope in local experts before starting projects of such magnitude. “Experts from Guru Ram Das School of Planning could be of great help”, he added.


Theatre society battles female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 11
The National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS), in collaboration with the Punjab Pollution Control Board, launched an ‘Awareness Theatre Week’ against pollution and female foeticide at the auditorium of the Government Ayurvedic College.

The inaugural function was addressed by, among others, Mr Malvinder Singh, Member Secretary, Punjab Pollution Control Board , philanthropist Mahant Atma Ram ji, and Dr Dharampal Rajanpal, Principal, Government Ayurvedic College.

Mr R.K. Chopra, Manager, Oriental Bank of Commerce (A-Tank Branch), was the guest of honour.

Rotarian S.K.Girdhar, the project convener, Mr Shyam Lal Gupta, Navyug chief coordinator, and Mr A.P. Dubey, advisor, made a strong plea to end foeticide and obsolete customs and notions.

Impressed by the performance of anti-foeticide Punjab musical play ‘Daairey’, Mahant Atma Ram announced a cash award of Rs 500 each for the participants, besides a cash award of Rs 11000 for the NTAS.

He asserted that only theatre lovers and affluent people could help keep the theatre movement alive.


Goyal warns habitual absentee doctors
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 11
The Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, Dr G.L. Goyal, addressed a meeting of all senior medical officers and district programme officers of the district in the office of the Civil Surgeon here today.

Dr Goyal exhorted the doctors to whole-heartedly cooperate with the administration in implementing alternative health care delivery systems with the help of zila parishads. He warned habitual absentees and doctors indulging in private practice that they either desist from such unlawful activities or face the music.

He evaluated the action plan for the anti-malaria month to be held in June . Dr Goyal visited the Civil Hospital, Nabha.


Building gutted in fire
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, May 11
A tragedy was averted yesterday when a building on the G.T. Road here was gutted in a fire caused due to a short-circuit.

Goods worth Rs 1 crore were damaged.

The family living on the first floor had a miraculous escape as passersby rescued them.

The building in which wood was used extensively was immediately reduced to ashes. Seven fire engines were pressed into service and they took a couple of hours to control the fire.

Mr Birpal Singh, SDM, said according to preliminary investigations the fire broke out due to the short-circuit.

He said the departments concerned had been directed to access the damage.

The building housed two cycle shops, one PCO, one welding shop and one electric appliances shop.


Water leakage leaves village dry
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 11
Residents of Ahmedpur village, about 7 km from here, have been facing acute water shortage for the past one month due to leakage in the pipes supplying water here. In the absence of proper water supply, the villagers have to cover 2 km distance to fetch water from a tank of Health Department in a village. Besides, the conditions of children studying in the primary school was worsen due to unavailability of water in the school.

Sarpanch of the village Inderjit Singh said despite the fact that he had submitted a number of complaints to the department regarding the poor supply of water in the village, no one took note of our problem.


Wage war against drugs: DIG
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, May 11
The DIG of the Patiala Range, Mr H.S. Randhawa, today called upon to people to wage a war against drug abuse.

Addressing a seminar on traffic management here, Mr Randhawa said tackling the drug menace in the state should be the top priority of various agencies as an important section of society, the youth, was falling a prey to this.

Urging the people to cooperate with the police in regulating traffic and controlling the number of road accidents, the DIG said the general public could play a vital role in the management of traffic.

Earlier,Mr Randhawa flagged off two ambulances provided by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) from the Gagan Chowk.


Self-immolation threatened
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 11
Mr Mohinder Ram, president of the Bajigar community, has threatened self-immolation before the Mini Secretariat on May 16 if justice was not done to his community in respect of shifting of their crematorium from the present site located on the periphery of the city on the Hoshiarpur-Chandigarh road to the panchayat land of Shergarh village.

Talking to mediapersons here yesterday Mr Mohinder Ram said due to pressure by local Congress leaders and the district administration, representatives of the community agreed to shift their graveyard and cremation ground from land belonging to the family of Ms Ambika Soni.

He alleged that despite the stay order by the Additional Civil Judge Hoshiarpur, the district administration at the behest of the Congress leader, demolished the structure at the graveyard and cremation ground and when members of the community tried to oppose the move they were severely beaten up by the police.


high court
Nod to mobile towers only in non-residential areas: HC
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 11
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today said that permission to various mobile telephony companies to erect towers could be granted only in non-residential areas and that too only with the approval of the competent authority and as per the policy.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi and Mr Justice R.S. Randhawa made this observation while adjourning sine die the petitions filed by various mobile phone companies, challenging the notices sent to them to remove their towers from residential areas.

Noting that a similar matter was pending in the Supreme Court, the Bench said it would not be possible for it to adjudicate the matter.

The companies, including leading mobile telecom company Hutch, had challenged the notices issued by the UT Administration, asking them to pull down their towers in residential areas.

However, no show-cause was issued to them, they had claimed.

Sometime back, the High Court had stayed the demolition of towers erected by Hutch. It had also impleaded Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as party in the matter.

A policy framed the then Finance Secretary-cum-Chief Administrator, Chandigarh, regarding erection of such towers had also been submitted in the court.

In the policy, the Chandigarh Administration had permitted Hutch on some conditions. As per the policy, the mobile telephony service providing company - Hutch in this case - was required to submit structural design of each site to the Chief Architect, Chandigarh, for examination and clearance.


Farmers meet CM on registration fee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
A deputation of farmers from the Barnala area yesterday met the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to seek his intervention for the withdrawal of the exorbitant increase in the registration fee ranging from 15 per cent to 200 per cent, depending on the location of the land, which was causing a great loss to buyers.

Capt Amarinder Singh assured the deputation that he would soon take up the matter with the Financial Commissioner (Revenue).

He said he would also ensure the rationalisation and simplification of the procedure of registration to mitigate the hardships faced by people.


Five appointed PSSWB members
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 11
The Central Social Welfare Board, New Delhi, has nominated five new members on the Punjab State Social Welfare Board (PSSWB) to help voluntary welfare organisations to improve the programmes. Mrs Ratna is the chairperson of the board.

Those who were inducted into the PSSWB include Mrs Harinder Chopra of Amritsar, Mrs Balwinder Kaur Bhattal of Sangrur, Mrs Veena Sobti and Mrs Sheela Masih of Ludhiana and Mrs Rajhans of Hoshiarpur.


Three SHOs transferred
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 11
Mr Sudhanshu Srivastav, SSP, yesterday shifted the SHOs of three police stations after the sensational snatching of Rs 1.86 lakh by two unidentified motorcycle borne youths near Sangam Cinema on Tuesday.

Mr Sudhanshu Srivastav shifted Mr Nirlep Singh, Mr Jaspal Singh, SHOs of Rambagh and B-division police stations respectively. The SSP also transferred the SHO of Sultanwind police station.


4 killed as buses collide head on
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 11
Four persons, including two women, died on the spot and about 12 more suffered multiple injuries following a head-on collision between two buses near Malla Hedi village on the Patiala- Sirhind road, 15 km from here today.

Information gathered by the TNS revealed that out of 12 injured, the condition of five persons, who were admitted in the local Rajindra Hospital, was serious. The other seven injured person were admitted to a hospital at Fatehgarh Sahib for treatment.

Information revealed that those, who succumbed to their injuries on the spot, had been identified as Gurnam Singh, Mukhtiar Kaur and Rajbir Kaur. The five injured persons, who were getting treatment in local Rajindra Hospital are Amarjit Kaur, Reena, Surinder Kaur, Chinder Kaur and Surjit Singh.

Police sources said a bus belonging to Pepsu Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) was going to Naina Devi from Barnala while the other bus belonging to the PRTC was coming from Amritsar to Patiala.

The accident took place when the bus coming from Amritsar to Patiala collided with the bus going towards Naina Devi from Barnala in opposite direction near village Malla Hedi. Both the buses were badly damaged and pieces of flesh were lying scattered in one of the buses.

The sources added drivers of both the buses fled after the accident. A large number of people residing in nearby villages gathered at the site of accidents and helped in shifting the injured to the hospital. A case has been registered.


Man kills only son
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, May 11
A father allegedly killed his only son on Wednesday night at 9 pm in border Gulaba Bhaini village of this subdivision. According to an FIR lodged with Sadar Police Fazilka by Guran Bai, her husband Om Parkash (26), had heated exchange with his father Jangir Singh on a issue. Enraged Jangir Singh who allegedly was drunk hit his son with a baton resulted in his death. Om Parkash married Guran Bai five years ago and had two children.

Mrs Bai mother of the deceased tried to intervene but she was pushed back. According to villagers Guran Bai also had to flee to save herself and her children. Due to a dispute Jangir Singh with Guran Bai her husband Om Parkash had been living with her parents at Mauzewala village for two years.

For one and a half-years both had returned to Gulaba Bhaini village to live with Jangir Singh following an intervention by the Panchayat. There could not be any truce between the father and the son. Sadar police Fazilka had registered case under Section 302 of the IPC against Jangir Singh.


Man stabbed to death
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 11
Surjit Singh, a resident of Chatiwind Gate, was stabbed to death by one Guravtar Singh and his two accomplices, Harvinder Singh and Davinder Singh, of the same area early in the morning today.

Surjit Singh was going to bring milk when the accused stabbed him. He died on the spot. The police has registered a case. However, no arrest has been made.


2 cops suspended for harassment to woman
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 11
Two policemen have been suspended for harassing a woman principal of a public school at Jalalabad West. SSP Arpit Shukla said head constable Mohinder Singh and his colleague have also been booked under Sections 354, 509 and 34 of the IPC.

The principal had complained that the policemen seated on the back seat of a Punjab Roadways bus by which she was coming from Jalalabad West to Abohar started making indecent remarks. Problem aggravated when she tried to pull them up for indecency.

She used her mobile phone to record their faces.

They became furious but fearing administrative trouble both the cops step down the bus at a rural bus stop.

She dared to suspend her journey and went to the police station at Ghubaya village. The official identified the culprits when shown their faces on the mobile phone camera. The head constable was very much posted there and abstained from duty.

Mr Shukla has asked the gazetted officers in the police to deal firmly with eve-teasing.


Patiala boy gets 204th rank in UPSC
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 11
Gurkaran Singh Bains, who has attained 204th rank in the UPSC (Main) examination, the results of which were declared on May 8, has done the city proud making into the elite services in his second attempt.

Gurkaran, who was inspired by his uncle, a former IAS officer Mr G.S Bains, to take the examination, has done his schooling from the Yadvindra Public School (YPS) and went on to do his BE in Mechanical Engineering from Baba Banda Bahadur Singh College of Engineering, Fatehgarh Sahib.

Gurkaran, who is the son of former Member-Secretary of Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Mr Gurjit Singh Bains, has cleared the exam in his second attempt after taking coaching classes from a New Delhi based academy. At present Gurkaran, who had English and geography as his optional subjects, was working as a Assistant Commanding Officer (under training) with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).


Medical college alumnus’ gesture
Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, May 11
Dr Gurdev Singh Gill, an alumnus of Government Medical College here, donated C-Arm Mobile Image Intensifier worth Rs 10 lakh to the Department of Orthopaedics, Traumatology and Arthroscopy of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. The machine was commissioned today.

Based in the USA Dr Gill, an Orthopaedician, is in touch with his alma mater through the Amritsar Medical and Dental Alumni Association of North America (AMDANA).

Dr R.P.S Boparai, Head of Orthopaedics Department, said with the help of the gadget fractures could be fixed with 100 per cent precision without much dissection. Besides it would save money, reduce healing time, minimize surgical exposure and operating time.

He said the government provided the department with advanced equipment non-invasive shock wave therapy worth Rs 30 lakh. He informed the machine would help in acute/chronic cases of arthritis and other joint problems. He said that cost-wise patients would have to spend just Rs 5000 for an operation which would otherwise cost Rs 50,000 in private hospitals.


Jobless teachers protest against government
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 11
Members of the Unemployment Elementary Teachers Union today protested against the state government for its inability to provide jobs to the hundreds of youths in the state who have done elementary teachers training.

The members of unions staged dharna in front of the Institute of Elementary Training here.

They also held a rally and raised slogans against the government.

While addressing gathering, the leaders of the union, including Harjit Singh and Parminder Singh said that despite the fact that many members of their union had been observing an indefinite fast in Chandigarh, the state government had failed to take note of their problems.


Workshop on AIDS for school kids
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 11
As many as 720 persons, including teachers and students of 180 schools of the district, participated in 16-day workshop on AIDS awareness. It concluded in the Khalsa Senior Secondary School here today.

Two teachers one male and one female and two students one girl and one boy from each school were trained to spread awareness against AIDS in their schools among other students the workshop was organised by the Punjab Education Department.


Vacation schedule

Amritsar, May 11
Guru Nanak Dev University released the vacation schedule to be observed by the departments and its regional campuses at Jalandhar and Gurdaspur during 2006-07.

Summer vacation would be observed from May 22 to June 30 while winter holidays would begin from December 18 to January 5, 2007. — OC


Course postponed

Amritsar, May 11
The Academic Staff College of Guru Nanak Dev-university postponed the three-week refresher course in Chemistry to May 24.

Dr S.K. Bhatia, Director, Academic Staff College, said the course was scheduled to begin on May 17. — OC


Industrialists await capital subsidy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 11
Border area industrialists are waiting for capital subsidy for the past three years in spite of promises made from time to time.

According to the honorary general secretary of the association, Mr H.S. Makhni, they have been fighting for the cause of the border area industry after the government had announced capital subsidy under the new industrial policy of 2003.

Mr Makhni said industries in the border zone had suffered immensely during militancy and in spite of all the hardships they managed to muster courage to set up new enterprises in the wake on the new industrial policy of 2003. He pointed out that the government had made budgetary allocation of Rs 25 crore annually for the disbursal of the subsidy. The association regretted that the instead of providing the subsidy the government sat over the budgetary allocation without releasing the funds to the entrepreneurs.

According to details available, there are 71 cases of the subsidy lying pending with the government.

The Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, has assured the association that he would take up the matter with the Chief Minister.

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