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37 youths missing on way to Spain
Kapurthala, June 26
As many as 37 youths from different villages in Kapurthala district have been missing since November, 2004, after they left for Spain.

Windmills to generate power for PSEB
Phagwara, June 26
The power-starved Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) may get an energy boost, as the government is considering utilisation of wind energy to generate electricity. Three international companies have already shown willingness to set up plants in the state.

Angry computer teachers stop trains
Jalandhar, June 26
Over 200 agitating members of the Computer Teachers’ Union (contractual), Punjab, lodged their protest against the government by blocking trains chugging out of the Jalandhar Railway Station near Damoria Bridge here around noon.
Members of Computer Teachers’ Union protesting against the state government on the railway tracks near Damoriya Bridge in Jalandhar on Monday. A Tribune photo Members of Computer Teachers’ Union protesting against the state government on the railway tracks near Damoriya Bridge in Jalandhar




 



PTU reappear students hold protest 
Jalandhar, June 26
Students of the Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, today held a protest at the varsity campus, demanding setting up of more centres for their reappear examination. These Students, of the 1997 to 2001 batches, have been given a special chance to complete their B.Tech, BB, BCA, MBA or MCA courses in eight years time, instead of the scheduled six years.

Students of Punjab Technical University stage a protest at the varsity campus in Jalandhar on Monday. Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma
Students of Punjab Technical University stage a protest at the varsity campus in Jalandhar on Monday

Bus operators oppose diesel price hike
Jalandhar, June 26
Bus operators with permits have demanded government intervention to help them with economic losses resulting from the recent increase in the price of diesel.

Tharoor finds no favour with Mann
Jalandhar, June 26
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has opposed the candidature of Mr Shashi Tharoor for the post of the UN General-Secretary. He said his party would launch a campaign against Mr Tharoor and approach High Commissions of all countries to call for a vote against him.

One held
Kapurthala, June 26
The district police arrested one Amar Singh for allegedly being involved in the inter-state smuggling of poppy-husk, here last night.

 

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37 youths missing on way to Spain  
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 26
As many as 37 youths from different villages in Kapurthala district have been missing since November, 2004, after they left for Spain.

According of Balkar Singh, a resident of Bhadsa village, his son Lakhwinder Singh, along with 35 other youths from different villages, had paid Rs 6 lakh each to a travel agent, Niranjan Singh Phauji from Naurang village. The travel agent had promised the youths that he would send them to Spain.

On November 23, 2004, the youths were flown to Maldives from where they were allegedly made to reach Morocco illegally after crossing several countries, Balkar Singh said.

A few days after their departure, Lakhwinder had contacted his family from Morocco and had informed that they would leave for Spain the next day, Balkar Singh said.

Lakhwinder had not made any other call since then, his father said.

When the whereabouts of the youths could not be known, a panchayat in this regard was held in Bhadsa village in December, 2004, Balkar Singh added.

The travel agent, Niranjan Singh Phauji, assured the panchayat that all the youths would reach Spain within a few days and he would soon arrange their talks with their family members.

Balkar Singh added that the travel agent had also told the panchayat that if he failed to do so, he would pay thrice the amount he had taken from the youths.

However, instead of keeping his promise, the travel agent and her married sister Gurmeet Kaur left the village along with their families the next day.

Since then, the families were running from pillar to post to know the whereabouts of their sons, he added.

Balkar Singh said that Amardeep Singh from the same village, Gurpreet Singh Babbu from Lubana village and Manjeet Singh from Maksudpur village were among the missing 36 youths.

Meanwhile, one Jaswinder Singh from Mansoorwal village said that his brother Avtar had also been missing for the past two years after he left for Spain.

He said that they had paid Rs 6 lakh each to two travel agents, Satnam Singh from Lakhan De Padde village and Major Singh, a resident of Mugal Chak for the purpose. 

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Windmills to generate power for PSEB
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, June 26
The power-starved Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) may get an energy boost, as the government is considering utilisation of wind energy to generate electricity. Three international companies have already shown willingness to set up plants in the state.

If everything goes fine, windmills will be set up in the state for the first time.

Sources say the project has been planned in two phases. In the first phase, the potential of the wind speed will be gauged, and in the second phase, turbines will be installed to generate electricity. Nawanshahr, Gurdaspur, Ropar and Hoshiarpur are the four districts short listed for the project.

The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) is the facilitating agency of the project. The PEDA Chairman, Mr Vijay Inder Singla, confirmed the developments. The government was looking at modalities to finalise the MoU, he said.

Earlier too Punjab governments had tried to install windmills but in vain. “Now the technology has improved a lot. Therefore, we can use wind energy more efficiently,” says Singla. The proposed windmills would be installed at a height of at least 50 metres.

The three companies who have shown interest in the venture are — Enercon India Ltd, Suzlon Energy Ltd and another US-based company. Enercon is a leading German group with 40 per cent generation share back home, where as Suzlon Energy is a Minnesota-based company and has a record of windmill business in Maharashtra too.

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Angry computer teachers stop trains  
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 26
Over 200 agitating members of the Computer Teachers’ Union (contractual), Punjab, lodged their protest against the government by blocking trains chugging out of the Jalandhar Railway Station near Damoria Bridge here around noon.

Computer teachers appointed in government high and senior secondary schools from April 1, 2005, have been demanding full-scale salaries like other teachers, as they also share the same workload.

Many work in schools located on the periphery of the district, which was all the more reason for full pay as they spend most of the earning on commuting, they said.

According to the protesters, B.Tech, BCA or MCA qualified computer teachers were being paid Rs 3,960 per month while those with PGDCA qualification were getting only Rs 3,080.

The teachers’ demands included right to all allowances like other staff.

Passengers of the Amritsar-bound Swaran Shatabdi Express were the worst hit.

The train was delayed by nearly 40 minutes, moving out of the station at 12:45 pm instead of at its scheduled time of 12:05 pm.

Members of the union, including 25 girls, carrying banners and red cloth, moved along the railway track towards the station from the Damoria Bridge. At the station they occupied the track and raised slogans against the state government.

After 10 minutes RPF and civil police personnel asked them to leave the place but the protesters refused to budge.

A goods train also had to be stopped at platform No 1.

A shunting train also sought clearance but the protesting faculty refused to giver way.

However, the DSP, Mr Charanjit Singh, who reached the spot, refused to accept that the trains had been delayed.

He said that the Swaran Shatabdi too had not been delayed at the station. “It was already behind schedule”, he added. 

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PTU reappear students hold protest 
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 26
Students of the Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, today held a protest at the varsity campus, demanding setting up of more centres for their reappear examination. These Students, of the 1997 to 2001 batches, have been given a special chance to complete their B.Tech, BB, BCA, MBA or MCA courses in eight years time, instead of the scheduled six years.

Most students from the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, said their own college was the centre for reappear examinations till last year but now they had to come to the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology for the examination. Students, who turned up from Moga, said they had been told to appear at Ferozepore.

The students complained that they would face lodging problems as the examinations were to be conducted in mornings as well as evenings. “We have been putting up in hostels of our college premises from the beginning and would not face any problem in taking exams from there”, they kept on repeating.

The students went to meet the university Registrar, Dr M.S. Grewal, but came out raising slogans against him.

Later, talking to The Tribune, Dr Grewal said four centres had been set up for the nearly 400 students. He ruled out any chance of setting up more centres for the purpose. 

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Bus operators oppose diesel price hike
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 26
Bus operators with permits have demanded government intervention to help them with economic losses resulting from the recent increase in the price of diesel.

The bus fares have remained the same while diesel price has increased substantially; forcing the bus operators to incur losses, according to the Punjab Bus Operators Transport Association president, Mr Amir Chand Shahpuri.

The operators were even facing difficulty in paying taxes because of the financial ill health. Failure to pay taxes leads them to face action by the transport office, he added.

Mr Shahpuri said the chakka jam agitation on July 1 by the Motor Transport Union was against the interest of permit holding bus operators because the Motor Transport Union members were plying buses without permits. He also alleged that the transport authorities were helping illegal plying of buses of certain political bigwigs as they had made a schedule to help them.

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Tharoor finds no favour with Mann
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 26
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has opposed the candidature of Mr Shashi Tharoor for the post of the UN General-Secretary. He said his party would launch a campaign against Mr Tharoor and approach High Commissions of all countries to call for a vote against him.

Terming the candidature of Mr Tharoor as an undemocratic step, Mr Mann criticised the Centre for not building a consensus on the issue. He alleged that Mr Tharoor would not be able to do justice on issues like Jammu and Kashmir. The SAD (A) wanted Thailand to represent Asia, as it had never been under colonial rule.

The SAD (A) chief said due to the atrocities committed by the Indian Government on minorities, Mr Tharoor’s candidature stands rejected by the party and demanded a consensus candidate in his place. The party would ask all members of the UN to vote against Mr Tharoor, he added.

Continuing his tirade against the government, Mr Mann sought a clarification on the territory occupied by China in 1962 on the Ladakh border. Mr Mann demanded that the Union Government come out with the status of the 70,000 sq miles of territory in Ladakh, which was occupied by the Chinese in 1962. 

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One held

Kapurthala, June 26
The district police arrested one Amar Singh for allegedly being involved in the inter-state smuggling of poppy-husk, here last night.

Amar Singh was wanted in connection with the recovery of 22 sacks of poppy husk from Toti village on April 14. — TNS

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