P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Lathi charge on villagers, 100 arrested
Demonstration against power cuts
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 11
The police resorted to mild lathi-charge and arrested more than 100 villagers, including women, living in the vicinity of Super Thermal Plant, here today when they made an attempt to gherao PSEB Chairman Y.S. Ratra in protest against 16-hour power cuts being imposed by the board in the area.

Mr Ratra, along with members of the PSEB, had gone to the thermal plant to inaugurate a seminar this morning.

Around 8.30 am, the villagers, including women and children, residing in seven villages — Ghanauli, Nuhan, Rajitpura, Daburiji, Chak, Dehra and Tarf — started protesting in support of round-the-clock power supply to the villages near the thermal plant as per the agreement reached with them in 1987.

The thermal plant officials had agreed to provide regular power supply to the villages falling within 8 km of the thermal plant after their agricultural land had been acquired for the construction of the plant.

It had also been decided to provide one member of each of the affected families a job in the thermal plant, some villagers claimed. But officials failed to keep their promise, they rued.

A posse led by DSP (Detective) Didar Singh and equipped with tear gas shells had been on a standby since morning near the thermal plant to control the protesters.

The situation became tense when villagers blocked traffic on the road at two different places — Ghanauli and Nuhan — and raised slogans against the Chief Minister and Mr Ratra.

The police first arrested a group of villagers, including SGPC member Gurinder Singh Gogi, around 8.30 am. These continued till 12.30 pm.

One 70-year-old woman, Bachchan Kaur, collapsed during the protest.

The protesters included Akali Dal patron Baba Ajit Singh, local Congress leader Jagdish Kanjla and some BJP leaders. They staged a dharna and blocked traffic till 2.30 pm.

Later, a five-member committee of the villagers met Member Distribution (PSEB) J.S Sekhon, and Deputy Chief Engineer Thermal Plant, S.C. Chabba and submitted a memorandum.

Mr Sekhon assured the villagers of providing continuous power supply and fulfilling other demands.

The villagers also raised problems of air and water pollution due to the thermal plant and an Ambuja cement plant.

DSP Didar Singh said they had arrested the protesters as a preventive measure under Sections 107 and 151, CrPC. Those arrested were released in the evening, he added.


Greater Mohali Development Authority approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The Infrastructure Development Committee, which met under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, here today approved the city centre to be set up in Sector 62 at SAS Nagar (Mohali).

The committee had also approved the setting up of the Greater Mohali Development Authority for the development of areas falling in the periphery of Chandigarh within and outside SAS Nagar district. The modalities regarding the setting up of this authority and appointment of chairman and the chief administrator, etc, will be finalised at a subsequent meeting.

The committee also reviewed various ongoing infrastructure development projects. The Chief Minister asked the executing agencies to implement the projects within the stipulated time. Besides Capt Amarinder Singh also directed the Department of Local Government to implement the scheme of 100 percent drinking water and sewerage facilities in 126 municipal towns by March 31, 2007 .

Capt Amarinder Singh reviewed the progress of the scheme of 24 hours urban pattern power supply to all villages at a cost of Rs 284 crore and asked the PSEB to complete this scheme by July 2006. The meeting was told that work on the Chandigarh- Ambala and Jalandhar- Pathankot National Highways was in progress. Work on 13 proposed railway overbridges would begin by August 31 and the strengthening and the repair of state roads would be undertaken by October at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore under the World Bank project. About 800 km of municipal roads would be completed by October at a cost of Rs 109 crore.

Among those present at the meeting Union Tourism and Culture Minister, Ms Ambika Soni, Mrs Preneet Kaur, MP, Rana Gurjit Singh, MP, and Deputy Chief Minister, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

In another decision, the government constituted a technical committee to consider various proposals received from the Farmers Commission and the government departments concerned for the diversification of agriculture in the state.

2 new colleges

The government gave approval for setting up of two government colleges — Government Physical Education College at Patti ( Tarn Taran) and Government Degree College at Gurnekalan in Sangrur district.


SGPC suspends 15 for July 2 clash
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 11
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee today placed Darbar Sahib additional manager Harbans Singh Mallhi, assistant manager Baldev Singh, Sikh priest Shangara Singh and at least 12 members of its task force and other employees under suspension, nine days after a clash between SAD (Badal) and SAD (Amritsar) supporters.

Most of them have been transferred to far-flung areas of Haryana, including Dhamdhan, Jind and Kurukshetra. The suspended assistant manager is believed to be a confidant of Baba Ram Singh, a chief of breakaway faction of Damdami Taksal, who had supported SAD (A) after the clash on July 2.

Earlier, the SGPC had transferred two Darbar Sahib secretaries and a manager to comparatively “insignificant posts” after holding them responsible for the clash at Gurdwara Manji Sahib.

Meanwhile, in less than 24 hours, the SGPC today decided to review its resolution taken at Gurdwara Alamgir (Ludhiana) barring Baba Jagtar Singh from performing “kar seva”. The SGPC had cited anti-SGPC activities as the reason for barring the two from performing “kar seva”.

However, assistant secretary Daljit Singh Bedi today told The Tribune that the SGPC had now decided to review the decision of the executive body in the wake of the “great services” rendered by Baba Jagtar Singh while carrying out “kar seva” in various Sikh shrines in India and abroad.


Tribune Special
New canal: Haryana stakes claim
on alignment, Punjab says no
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The issue of linking Haryana’s new canal dominated the proceedings at an important meeting of partner states of the Bhakra Beas Management Board here today. Haryana today formally presented its case to link the under-construction Hansi-Buttana canal to the Bhakra Main Line (BML) near Samana (Patiala) to draw some portion of its own share of water.

The meeting was attended by all partner states — Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana — which share the waters of the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej in a pre-decided ratio. The power generated from some of the dams on these rivers is also shared by these states and the BBMB is the controlling body. It is for the first time that the matter actually came up at a board meeting of the BBMB. The Central Water Commission had directed Haryana to obtain the “concurrence” of Punjab and Rajasthan for puncturing the BML.

Separately, the Punjab Chief Minister, while talking to reporters, today said: “Let Haryana build the canal. We will not agree to its alignment”. In the past Punjab, reacting to reports of the new canal, had protested even as Haryana had clarified that it was just planning to divert a part of the water from the existing Narwana branch through the proposed Hansi-Buttana canal.

The canal is a dream project of the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is seeking the equitable distribution of Haryana’s share across the parched southern districts of the state. Work on the Rs 250 crore 109 km canal has started and Mr Hooda has asked the engineers to complete it by the end of this year. Sources in the irrigation sector said questions had been raised about the available natural gradient that would allow for flow in canal. The available gradient is said to be “low”: and would slow down the water flow.

Near Samana, the BML passes through Haryana territory and at this point Haryana wants to link it to the existing canal system. Punjab has already said the proposed canal would harm the interest of farmers of Patiala and Sangrur.

Meanwhile, sources in Punjab said irrigation officials had said that the flow of water in the channels that orginated from the BML downstream of Samana and catered to farmers of Patiala, Sangrur and Mansa districts would be adversely affected because of the construction of the new canal that would have a capacity to carry 2,000 cusecs of water .

The BML at the suggested off-take location carries 6,975 cusecs of water of which 85 per cent flow is for Haryana, 10 per cent for areas of Rajasthan and the remaining 5 per cent for Punjab areas falling downstream from the off-take point near Samana.

Another important point discussed in the board meeting was of setting up of small hydro power systems across various canals in Punjab. The matter will be taken up later. In the past Punjab had said since the canals were passing through its territory it should get the right to set up power generating systems. The other partner states had then protested.


CM to give promotional scale to employees
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Various Assembly poll related political issues were discussed at the an unscheduled meeting of the Punjab council of ministers held here today. The notice of an informal urgent meeting was sent to all the ministers late last evening. There was no formal agenda of the meeting, it is learnt.

The issue of farmer loans, promotional scale to employees, distribution of development grants in rural and urban areas came up during the meeting.

The Chief Minister cleared the proposal to give promotional scale on completing four, nine and 14 years of service. Officers concerned briefed him about the financial burden that the state exchequer would have to bear for its implementation. As financial burden will be in a manageable limit, the Chief Minister said he would implement it at the earliest. " In fact, this decision should have been implemented much earlier," told certain ministers to the Chief Minister at the meeting.

The Chief Minister said the thinking in the government at present is that at least small and marginal farmers should be given relief immediately. The government's estimate is that by arranging Rs 5,000 crore, it can give relief to substantial number of debt ridden farmers of the state.

Mr Lal Singh,chairman of the sub-committee of ministers set up to discuss the issue of debt relief, informed that the tackling of loans advanced by money lenders and commission agents to farmers was the most difficult and dicey one. The biggest issue is of regulating the payment of loan by money lenders, which can only be done if the payment is made through legally approved channels such as cheque, draft.

The prevailing system of giving loans through promissory note and receipt system is considered the most exploitative one.

The issue of grants to various Assembly constituencies also came up at the meeting. The government had promised to give Rs 5 crore to each of the Congress MLAs and others supporting the ruling party.

Already, Rs 3.5 crore had been released to each such MLA. However, a senior officer pointed out that the officers concerned had got the utilisation certificate for only 5 per cent of the funds released. The officer told the Chief Minister that he had information that certain MLAs were moving about in their constituencies with cheques in their pockets and not handing over the same to village panchayats and others concerned in the countryside.

Other issue weighing on the mind of the Chief Minister was whether Assembly elections should be held on the basis of new demarcation of Assembly segments made by the National Delimitation Commission or on the basis of the existing pattern. Sources said the Chief Minster had asked all senior party MLAs to give their views on the issue.

They had been told to meet people in their respective areas to find out whether the existing Assembly segments would suit the ruling party or it should opt for the new Assembly segments. 


CM denies plan for Cabinet reshuffle
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said he had no plan to reshuffle the Council of Ministers. “There is no such move and I have not spoken to anyone in Delhi in this regard”, the Chief Minister said.

These are media reports only, he said, clarifying that the visit of the Union Tourism Minister, Ms Ambika Soni, to Chandigarh was not related to impending changes in the Cabinet.

He, however, admitted that the Congress could field new faces in the coming Assembly elections in the state. The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, “may have his own list. I will have my own list and these will discussed and assessed when the time comes.” The Chief Minister also denied that his son, Mr Raninder Singh would contest the coming elections.

He also rubbished Mr Badal’s claim that the Akalis would waive the debt of Rs 26,000 crore of farmers in Punjab. “How will he do it?” he asked. “Let him explain. Where is this huge sum available? He can only sell Punjab to write off this debt”, said the Chief Minister.


Cong MLA blamed for tampering with voters’ lists
Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, July 11
Mr Virsa Singh Valtoha, a member of the working committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal said on the behest of a Congress leader, Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Former Irrigation Minister, names of a large number of voters were deleted and names of bogus voters added in the electoral list prepared on January 1, 2006.

He stressed the voters deleted from the list were known to be supporters of the SAD (B). He said similarly addresses of so called voters who have filled in form number six for addition of votes in the existing electoral list were also bogus.

He alleged some of the voters shown in form number six for addition in the voters list were school-going minor children in the age of 13-14 years. Most surprisingly, 150 bogus forms submitted for addition in existing voter list had been shown to be belonging to Mahmoodpura village (booth number 65-66) the same village to which Mr Bhullar, sitting MLA, belongs. He claimed, some of the voters whose names are shown in form number seven for deletion from the list are those who have been residing permanently in their villages and had shifted temporarily to some other nearby place, which is against the provisions of the People’s Representation act 1950. He rued the scrutiny committees appointed by the electoral officer, 27 Valtoha Vidhan sabha constituency had till today not visited the families of the voters whose names were mentioned in form number seven.

He informed 3079 voters would be deleted from the list while 1910 would be added to the genuine voters’ list.


Badal: Cong getting bogus voters registered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The Shiromani Akali Dal President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today alleged that the Congress was trying to get thousands of bogus voters registered in various Assembly constituencies of Punjab on the pretext of revision of the electoral rolls.

In addition, pressure was being exerted on the official machinery to delete the names of thousands of voters of the SAD from the electoral rolls. But the SAD was keeping a close watch on these developments and would not allow this to happen. He directed party leaders to bring all such cases to the notice of the Election Commission of India.

Giving details of these “illegalities” to the Press at the party head office here, the SAD secretary, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, alleged that according to reports this was happening in the whole state. However, some Assembly constituencies like Beas, Kahnuwan, Jalandhar North, Jalandhar Cantonment and Valtoha needed special mention in this regard.

He said according to information received from the party’s organising secretary, Mr Manjinder Singh Kang, in the published lists of the Beas constituency, 6,665 new voters were registered and the names of 3,613 voters were deleted. After the opportunity given for filing objections 6,566 new voters had again applied for registration. As many as 3,480 more objections had been filed for the deletion of names from the rolls on the last day of filling objections. So, if under government pressure this was accepted as such, 13,231 new voters would be added and the names of 7,093 voters would be struck off the rolls. He said Bal Sarai Khurd village was shown to have 1,978 votes but in reality no such village existed.


Breach in canal damages crops
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 11
Cotton and other crops in more than 250 acres were feared to have been damaged due to a breach in the Ramsara sub canal here last night.

It was due to the uprooting of a tree by heavy rain, official sources said. Some orchards were also inundated with 3 ft water.

Sources in the Irrigation Department said that most of the breaches during the decade were caused by tree plantation on the banks of the canals and sub canals in the region

The farmers noticed the breach at 5 a.m. after the rain stopped. The Ramsara sub canal had 100 cusecs discharge then. The circle office of the Irrigation Department suspended the water supply at 7.30 a.m. The department hopes to plug the breach by tomorrow.

The farmers lamented they had spent a lot on sowing Bt cotton this time. Kinnow crops had already been affected. The compensation given to the affected farmers after breaches during May was eyewash, they rued.


Demand to frame law on two-child norm
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, July 11
On the pattern of Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the Punjab Government should also enact a law to prevent the persons, having more than two children, from contesting elections to the local bodies, like Zila Parishad, Block Panchayat Samiti, Panchayat, Municipal Council and Municipal Corporation.

This demand has been made in a memorandum, submitted in connection with “World Population Day” to Sunam SDM Ravinder Singh by members of various non-government organisations (NGOs).

In the memorandum, it has also been demanded that the government should make mandatory for all Municipal Councillors to inform the Registrar (Birth-and-death) in writing in a week about the deaths and births in their respective areas as underprivileged and illiterate persons do not get births and deaths in their families registered.

On the occasion of “World Population Day” such a memorandum was also submitted to Mr Gurpreet Singh Thind, Assistant Commissioner (General), by the Population Control Committee, Punjab, an NGO, here today.

The Population Control Committee, Punjab, has urged the Punjab government to form a population control commission. The committee has also asked all political parties not to make those politicians presidents of their respective parties or chief minister, who had more than two children.

The committee has also asked Parliament to enact a law to control the increasing population of the country, as without controlling population development of the country was impossible. It also asked the state government to link population problem with national literacy mission for spreading information about ill-effects of the increasing population. It also asked the Punjab government to honour every year one of the NGOs, involved in checking population, with “population award”.

The committee also asked the government to provide special facilities to all the families, which had only two girls, as this would lead to check population and eradicate female foeticide. Religious leaders should also appeal to have these were small families those were in the interest of the nation.


Govt ignoring WB report on Punjab, says Sidhu
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 11
Local MP Navjot Singh Sidhu today blamed the Congress government in the state for not following the reports of World Bank and State Planning Board on Punjab, which portray grim picture of agriculture and industry in the state.

Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Sidhu furnished data released by the World Bank, which stated that agriculture and industry had witnessed a downward trend of 2.60 per cent and 4.60 per cent in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

Whereas agriculture and industry had grown at 7.40 per cent and 6.80 per cent, respectively, in 1960s. He said the Amarinder Singh government was ignoring the reality and not consulting the data before going ahead with projects.

Quoting the data, he said the per capita debt in Punjab was Rs 13,029 (highest in the country), as compared to Maharashtra at Rs 5,272. It was Rs 4,509 in UP and Rs 4,592 in Bihar.

He felt that in spite of these figures, loans of farmers in Maharashtra were waived and claims of farmers in Punjab ignored.

On power crisis, he said the demand had increased manifold in the past few years whereas no new project had been initiated to meet this.

Nuclear power plant was the only solution to the problem, he quipped. He rubbished the belief that it would pose any security threat. Mr Sidhu also criticised the Prime Minister for not fulfilling the promises made during the celebrations of 400 years of compilation of Guru Granth Sahib to the holy city in 2004. He rued that though the MoU for SEZ was signed seven months ago, no land had been purchased so far.


Amarinder clarifies on N-plant issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today clarified that he had not opposed the setting up of a nuclear power plant in Haryana. “The media had misquoted me,” he said.

He said he would welcome a move to set up a plant at an adjoining state like Haryana or Rajasthan and Punjab would like to be a partner in such project.

The Chief Minister, however, clarified that his opposition to setting up the nuclear plant in the state stands.


Thermal plant in liquor row
Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 11
A controversy has surfaced here over alleged serving of liquor to senior officials of the PSEB and a delegation from Germany during a lunch hosted for them in the Super Thermal Plant, Ropar, while hundreds of villagers were protesting against power cuts outside the plant.

PSEB Chairman Y.S. Ratra, along with members of the PSEB, had come here to inaugurate a seminar on the control system to be addressed by engineers from Germany.

Hundreds of villagers were taken in custody while they were on the way to gherao the Chairman of the PSEB. As the protest continued, the officials were reportedly having a gala time during a liquor party.

Sources said whisky and beer were served to the officials. Only after 2.30 pm, a member heard the villagers’ grievances and promised to fulfil their demands.

The General Manager of the thermal plant, Mr N.K. Arora, denied that liquor was served to the officials and said senior officials of the PSEB heard the problems of the villagers and assured them all possible help. However, it is an open secret that the thermal plant had made arrangements for liquor keeping in view the visit of the officials.

Highlighting the power problem in the state, Mr Ratra, while addressing the seminar, said there was a huge gap between the demand and generation of power. In the case of Punjab, this gap was above 300 lakh units and was widening by the day. 


Principals' association office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 11
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Association of Principals of Non-Govt. Colleges affiliated to Punjabi University, Patiala, unanimously at a meeting held at Mata Gujri College here yesterday.

President — Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia (MG College Fatehgarh Sahib); gen. secy- Dr Sanjiv Kalia (Desh Bhagat College Dhuri); sr. vice president- Mr D.S. Dhaliwal (Guru Nank College, Budhlada); jr. vice president- Dr M.K. Bansal (SD College Barnala); finance secy. Dr V.K. Sharma (MM Modi College Patiala); secretary- Dr Jarnail Singh; and members executive — Dr I.S. Tiwana and PMN College Rajpura, Dr Harbir Singh (Khalsa College Patiala), Dr G.S. Anand (DAV College Bhatinda), Dr Harjit Kaur (Akal Degree College, Mastuana Sahib), Dr Darshan Sharma (SD Mansa), Dr Bhupinder Singh (Physical Education College, Bhagomajra).


Rs 9.39 lakh looted in daylight bank robbery
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 11
Three unidentified robbers today struck at the State Bank of Patiala branch at Jalal village and decamped with Rs 9.39 lakh in a broad daylight robbery.

According to sources, the robbers entered the bank at about 12.30 p.m. and snatched the rifle from the gunman at pistol point. The gunman reportedly resisted their bid and got injured in the subsequent scuffle.

The robbers snatched mobile phones from everyone present on the bank premises before locking up the entire bank staff and customers in a room.

They fled with about Rs 9.39 lakh. However, they reportedly left behind the mobile phones and the rifle that they had seized. Sources said they had arrived at the bank on a scooter and a motor cycle.

Later, the staff and customers broke open the door and intimated the police about the incident. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Varinder Kumar, The DSP, Mr A.K. Sharma, and other police officials reached the spot. The police had launched a manhunt to nab the culprits.


SI caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 11
Iqbal Singh, a Sub Inspector, who was working as Additional Station House Officer, police station, Bhadaur (Sangrur), was caught red-handed by a team of vigilance bureau led by DSP Mr Roop Singh while he was accepting a bribe from Mr Mohinder Singh for releasing his truck parked in that police station.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Vigilance Bureau, Patiala, told TNS that Iqbal Singh had taken the truck belonging to Mr Mohinder Singh, a resident of Rampura Phul of Bathinda district, into custody illegally and parked the same into Bhadaur police station.

He added that when Mr Mohinder Singh made request for the release of the truck, the accused Iqbal Singh started demanding bribe from him.

Mr Bhullar said that first the accused demanded Rs 5000 as bribe and after some time a deal was struck at Rs 4000.

He said that Iqbal Singh was caught red-handed while taking bribe in his official quarter located in the police station where he was working. Two government witnesses accompanied the vigilance bureau team, which laid the trap.

A case in this connection had been registered and search of house of accused located in Ferozepore district was going on.


Cops recover abducted girl from UP village
Our Correspondent

Abohar, July 11
The police has recovered Suman (15) daughter of Chander Bhan. She was kidnapped on May 28.

Senior Superintendent of Police Arpit Shukla said this morning a case under Sections 363, 366-A of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Dhani Ram son of Chhote Lal Kumhar of Parmola village under Bilgram police station of Hardoi district in UP. He had migrated to this subdivision and worked as a migrant.

A police party was sent to Uttar Pradesh. Constable Balwinder Kaur, a constable and two Home Guards left Abohar on June 7. They found that all members of the family of the accused were missing from their house. Residents of the village including the block president of the RJD told the police that they had reprimanded Chhote Lal and his son for this act. On their tip-off the police raided houses of the relatives of the accused at villages Tunawali, Malawa, Aliapur, Katiari, Navacha, Garhi and Masit in Hardoi and Muzaffarabad. The police recovered the girl held captive in a jungle near Sashanpur. The accused could not be nabbed.

The 1991 born girl Suman of Dhani Roshan Lal Jain located on the outskirts of the subdivisional town, could not explain, how Chander Bhan abducted her. She regained consciousness only after reaching Hardoi district.

The police said a leading Hindi-Daily newspaper published from Kanpur published a big news item to instigate people against the Punjab police. This showed the influence the family of the accused enjoyed. But residents of Parmola village were very cooperative. They said some elements were bringing bad name to the migrants who go to seek work in Punjab by indulging in kidnapping and other crimes. There have been scores of similar incidents in the region some which have remained untraced.


Sadhu found murdered
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, July 11
A young sadhu was allegedly done to death at his dera at Rao Majra village last night.

The body of baba Puran Dass (25), chief of Dera Baba Kaul Dass, was found this morning.The neck of the deceased bore injury marks inflicted by sharp-edged weapons, the police said. The incident came to light when a migrant labourer noticed that the baba had not come out of his room. He called villagers who found him murdered.


Diploma engineers begin protest
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 11
Hundreds of members of the Diploma Engineers Association (Water Supply and Sanitation Department) began “work to rule” agitation after passing a resolution at a state-level rally held in front of the office of the Chief Engineer (South) here today in protest against the denial of promotion.

The members also staged a dharna which was addressed by senior leaders of the association, including Mr Satnam Singh Dhanoa and Mr Gurdip Singh Sodhi, state president and state general secretary of the association, respectively.

They alleged that while senior officials had been giving ad hoc promotions to their favourite Junior Engineers by violating norms, the same were being denied to deserving candidates.

The association representatives also alleged that corrupt officials of the department, had been abolishing low-ranking posts from the department but at the same time, they had been creating a number of high ranking posts.

JEs were not being given promotions even after 24 and 32 years of service, despite the fact that they were entitled to the same under the Assured Career Promotion scheme. 


Revised schedule stuns re-appear candidates
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 11
The re-appear candidates of matriculation and class XII classes were today taken aback when they came to know that the last date to submit their application forms had been advanced and they would now have to pay Rs 500 as late fee.

Scores of candidates who converged at the Punjab School Text Book Depot here to submit their forms were clueless as to why they were being asked to pay late fee when July 13 was mentioned as the last date to submit their forms in the prospectus. On the other hand, the authorities at the depot said a notice regarding change in the last date was published in various newspapers, as per which the last date was advanced to July 7. A candidate would now have to pay Rs 500 as late fee till July 14, Rs 1,000 as late fee till July 21 and Rs 2,000 with the permission of the board chairman till July 24. However, Ranjeet Singh, a candidate who had to submit re-appear form for English paper, said: "I didn't come across any such notice in any of the newspapers that I read."

Gurjeet Singh and Dimple Rani weren't ready to hear anything. "The last date is July 13 and we're here a couple of days before it so why are we being asked to pay Rs 500 as late fee," they wondered.

On the other hand, Mr Harmanjeet Singh, District Manager, Punjab School Text Book Depot, said the prospectus of re-appear exams got published much before the examination process began. He said the Punjab School Education Board had made some changes in the schedule mentioned in the prospectus and the revised schedule was published in newspapers about 15-20 days back. He said the board had also decided not to accept forms with late fee at its depots. However, keeping in mind the convenience of candidates, the board issued fresh orders last evening directing the depots to accept re-appear forms till July 14.


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