M A I N   N E W S

Amarinder disagrees with Chief Secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
Disagreeing with an order issued by the Chief Secretary, Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, to curtail the powers of the Vigilance Bureau, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said: “I have also seen the order and do not agree with it. The powers to investigate cases of corruption and other related aspects will remain with the Chief Director of Vigilance”.

Capt Amarinder Singh said this while responding to a question as to why the wings of the bureau had been clipped. He was speaking at a meet-the-Press programme organised by the Chandigarh Press Club. He said the bureau would have a free hand in all cases referred to it by the special committee that would be set up for the purpose. Once a case was referred to the bureau, it would act on its own and there would be no interference.

During an hour-long interaction, the Chief Minister also replied to a question on the alleged misuse of offerings at gurdwaras to fund the activities of particular political parties. He said this could not be checked by the state government. It should be checked by the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission. The Chief Minister, referring to the Almighty, said: “Someone is watching all this and already several minds among the Akalis are speaking up on this issue.”

He assured the mediapersons that the Deputy Commissioners had been asked to inquire into allegations that false claims were being made for compensation in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

On power shortage in the state the Chief Minister said in the past 20 years nobody had laid stress on building infrastructure in the power sector. The state government had been purchasing power worth Rs 25 crore at Rs 5.80 to Rs 6 per unit to ensure eight to 10 hours’ power supply to the agricultural sector. He said there had been a steep increase in the demand for power from 14.5 lakh units to 17.8 lakh units per day. The state government was making all efforts to augment the existing power supply of 5,700 MW by tapping other sources to create an additional power capacity of 7,200 MW in a phased manner.

The Chief Minister hoped that the Mumbai blasts would have no effect on the Punjab Games (West Punjab and East Punjab) scheduled to be held in October. He was responding to a query on whether the state was planning to cancel the games as the Centre had cancelled the Secretary-level talks. However, he agreed that all friendly overtures should be reciprocated by the Pakistan Government.

The Chief Minister repeated his views on Haryana’s plan for a new canal to draw water from the Bhakra Main Line . ‘’Let them dig as many long or short canals as they want. I will not give a drop of water to them,’’ Capt Amarinder Singh said. 





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