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Centre preparing contingency plan to deal with drought
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
As almost the entire country, except a few coastal states such as Maharashtra, Orissa and Gujarat, is reeling under drought-like conditions, the Union Government is busy finalising a contingency plan to deal with the situation.

A senior officer of the Union Agriculture Ministry told The Tribune today that a meeting of the top brass of the ministry would be held later this week to approve the plan. He said that kharif crops in most of the states had suffered a big loss because of the drought-like conditions.

Crops have suffered damage in the range of 20 to 50 per cent and the loss would amount to several hundred crores of rupees.

“We are planning a strategy to suggest to the farmers alternative short duration crops such as pulses, legumes and oilseeds in the areas where the already sown crop has either withered away or has suffered major damage”, he said.

The growth rate in the agricultural sector is expected to be far below than projected for the current year. Even the yield during the Rabi crop, especially of wheat, was well below than projected.

“As cropping patterns vary from region to region, the recommendations with regard to alternative crops will also differ accordingly,” he added. The package that would be offered to drought-hit states by the Union Government is not yet known.

“Unfortunately, the media has highlighted the reports of floods in a few coastal states and no one has bothered to highlight the prevailing drought-like conditions in other parts of the country seriously,” he said.

Giving figures of the rainfall in various parts of the country, he said that rainfall is down by 30 per cent or more than normal in as many as 18 districts of the Uttar Pradesh till date. In the Jhansi area of UP, rainfall was deficient by 52 per cent.

In Uttaranchal as many as six districts had got less rainfall by 30 per cent or more than normal. In Pithoragarh district of Uttaranachal, the rainfall was less by 79 per cent, he added.

In Jharkhand, rainfall was down by 30 per cent in four districts. In Bihar, as many as 13 districts were rain-deficient.

In Assam and Meghalaya, rainfall is down by 90 per cent in as many as 11 districts. As many as four districts in West Bengal have got less rain by 30 per cent or more. In Tamil Nadu, the rainfall was deficient in 25 districts.

Punjab and Haryana were among the hardest hit states in terms of deficient rainfall. Though most part of Himachal Pradesh got good rainfall, the Lahaul Spiti region got less rainfall by 89 per cent.

In the plains, the Nasik area of Maharashtra was perhaps the wettest in the country till date. It had got rainfall in excess by 258 per cent. Certain regions of Gujarat had excess rainfall by 150 per cent.

 

Punjab to seek pension for farmers
National Commission team arrives tomorrow
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Punjab Government will ask the National Farmers Commission to recommend a pension scheme for farmers beyond 65 years of age when a team of the National Commission arrives here on August 24.

Also, the state would seek that crop diversification be formally suggested for Punjab in the forthcoming policy announcement as the plantation of paddy was “ruining” the natural resources and the economy of the state.

A team of the National Commission comprising Dr Y.C. Nanda and Dr R.B. Singh, will reach here for a meeting with Punjab officials and farmers on August 24.

The teams shall also have senior functionaries of the government who were attached with the four-member commission that was formed a couple of months ago. The same team will also meet Haryana officials the next day.

The Punjab Government has invited a few progressive farmers, a couple of women farmers and some vocal NGO’s, including the Kheti Virasaat Mission, the Institute of Development and Communication and the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development. A few factions of Kisan Unions are also on the list of invitees to discuss matters with the National Commission.

Sources in the state government said the Punjab team would impress upon the commission that its overall national policy must have some region-specific guidelines within the main policy. These should be based of geological and geographical disparities in the country.

Officials said though the Central Government wants the farmers in Punjab to grow paddy to maintain a certain basic level of the food grain stock, crop diversification is on top of Punjab’s agenda followed by getting good remuneration for the paddy crop.

The state will also highlight its fast depleting underground water resources and the huge financial strain caused to the exchequer by the buying of power from outside sources.

Among the other demands that would be raised by the state is to have a pension scheme similar to the one offered to employees.

The idea is to ensure some pension to the farmers after 65 years of age. This is aimed at meeting the long term financial security of the farmer.

The state would also raise the matter of having a modified crop insurance scheme for farmers. The existing crop insurance scheme does not benefit farmers in case the crop in a small area is damaged or destroyed.

Another issue on the agenda is to set the criteria of fixing the minimum support price. This will include the inclusion of farm inputs like cost of diesel and pesticides.

The matter of rural indebtedness among farmers and the related incidents of suicides would also be highlighted before the commission, said a source.

 

Tribune Impact
Crucial Beant memorial meeting on August 29
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Senior officials of the Punjab Government and the UT Administration held an emergency meeting today morning to discuss the undue delay in the completion of the Beant Singh memorial and Chandigarh centre for the performing and visual arts, Sector 42. Following deliberations a meeting of the governing body of the Beant Singh Memorial Society has been fixed for August 29.

The 16-member Beant Singh Memorial Society is headed by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, and the other members include Punjab's Chief Minister, Finance Minister, Principal Secretary to the Punjab Chief Minister, Finance Secretary, Chief Architect, Punjab, Adviser to UT Administrator, Chief Architect, U.T Administration, Home and Finance Secretary, Chandigarh Administration. The family of Beant Singh is represented by his daughter Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur.

The Beant Singh Memorial Society is a trust that was formed in 1996, a year after the late Chief Minister's death for the construction of the Beant Singh Memorial in Chandigarh. Though, the work on the memorial started in 1997, inordinate delay has resulted in failure to complete the project within the stipulated 18 months period, causing a lot of resentment among the family members and supporters of the slain Congress leader.

The proposed meeting to be held on August 29 will discuss the major issues pertaining to the slowing down of the project, financial obligations of the Punjab Government and the UT Administration, besides other issues pertaining to the plan and commissioning of work.

The move to hold a meeting of the Beant Singh Memorial Society has been welcomed by the supporters of the late chief minister. Due to delay the cost of the project has escalated from around Rs 12.26 crore to over Rs 21.96 crore The Punjab Government is keen to speed up work now to prevent any possible backlash during the forthcoming Punjab elections from Beant Singh loyalists within the party. The project was partly delayed when the Shiromni Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP regime on the plea that it had no money to spare.

 

A home for kids without one
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Talwandi Khurd (Ludhiana), August 22
One-and-a-half-year-old Meenu was allegedly sold off by her biological parents to a childless couple for a few thousands rupees.

Soon she lost her foster mother to some illness and her father gave her away to another couple. Her third mother also died and she was left to the mercy of her foster father who wanted to get rid of her.

A neighbour could not see her plight, and he reported the matter to SGB Children’s Home at Dham Talwandi Khurd near Jagraon. A team from the home rescued Meenu.

Now, she lives in the home amid 43 other children, several of whom have hair-raising tales to tell at tender ages. The story of another 11-year-old girl, Gurnoor (named changed), is no less tragic.

Her mother and her paramour allegedly killed her father in their village. She was sentenced to imprisonment and the girl had no one to look after her except her old grandfather. Certain villagers, taking advantage of her condition, tried to misbehave with her. The Sarpanch of the village intervened and she was brought to the home.

Mr Jagdeep Singh, the brain behind SGB Children’s Home, said all children living there had a horrific past which was buried the moment a child entered the home.

“Started on the lines of SOS Children’s Home at Rajpura, it was the effort of Swami Shankeranand Bhuriwale, who gave land on lease and is providing money to run the home through the Swami Ganganand Bhuriwale Trust. He was the one who motivated me to start the project in this village which finally saw the light of day in February 2001,” said Mr Jagdeep Singh.

He added that most of the children had found their way to the home after theywere either abandoned or were surrendered by their parents. The home was a licensed agency of the Government of Punjab for providing shelter to such destitute children. He appealed to people to contact him if they came across any such child needing immediate help.

Already having four family houses the trust is constructing more houses. Every house has a “home mother”, who looks after the children as her own, feeds them, cooks for them, washes their clothes and helps them study.

“Selecting a ‘home mother’ is a difficult task. We want a woman who is free from any domestic responsibility, has motherly instincts, can inculcate values, character and above all has all qualities of a woman,” said Mr Jagdeep Singh.

A “home mother”, Dr Jasbir Kaur, is a qualified doctor and being a disciple of the Swami has decided to work for such children in her life. She stays in the home itself throughout the day. The homes are identical, well-furnished houses with a drawing-cum-dining room, three bedrooms, a kitchen and multiple toilets.

“We want these children to be accepted by society and their friends at school,” adds Mr Jagdeep, who is an MBA and has left various jobs to work for the children.

 

Author refuses to appear before Akal Takht
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 22
Dubai-based writer Jaswinder Singh, author of controversial book “Dasam Granth da Likhari Kaun” (Who is author of Dasam Granth), has refused to appear before the Sikh high priests who recite the “Bani” of Dasam Granth.

Sikh scholar and editor of monthly “Sant Sipahi” G.S. Lamba, who recorded the interview of the controversial writer, today urged the Sikh clergy to take action against Jaswinder Singh, who had refused to accept the authority of the Sikh institutions or drop objectionable material from his book.

The author claimed that he had sent the manuscript to Jathedar Akal Takht, who had failed to point out any mistake.

He, however, offered to delete derogatory words against jathedars from his book.

He said he had administered “Amrit” to more than 10,000 persons but never recited “Jap Sahib”, “Sawyas” or “Benti Chaupai” from Dasam Granth at the time of such ceremonies.

Earlier, the Sikh conclave, held in the basement of Akal Takht, had recommended stringent action against the author as per Sikh “maryada” for challenging the authorship of Dasam Granth.

The author had offered a reward of Rs 1 crore for anybody who established that Dasam Granth was authored by Guru Gobind Singh.

Various Sikh organisations, including Nihang factions, Damdami Taksal and jathedars of two Takhts — Hazoor Sahib and Patna Sahib — had also sought strict action against the author for challenging the authenticity of Dasam Granth.

It is pertinent to mention here that the “Bani” of Dasam Granth was being recited at both Takhts outside Punjab.

Some hymns from Dasam Granth are recited in daily “Ardas” and at the time of “Amrit Sanchar”.

 

high court
Notice in Reliance case on SAD’s plea
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 22
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion for September 11 on a PIL filed by some Shiromani Akali Dal MLAs challenging the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Congress Government in Punjab and Reliance Retail Limited, a sister concern of Reliance Industries Limited.

The MoU pertains to Reliance plans to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) in Punjab.

They have also sought setting aside of the letter dated August 7 written by the government listing the concessions promised to the company.

Chief Minister, Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh has been named respondent by name in the PIL.

On August 18, a Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi had referred the PIL to another Bench for hearing.

Today, the Division Bench comprising Mr Justice S.S. Nijjar and Mr Justice S.S. Saron heard preliminary arguments in the matter and issued notice to the respondents.

Punjab order challenged

Senior BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla has filed a PIL in the High Court challenging the order dated August 4 issued by the Punjab Government, by which it had directed that all women inmates, including those who have siblings, should be shifted from Central Jail, Amritsar, to Women Jail, Ludhiana.

In her petition, Ms Chawla has stated that efforts made by some locals in association with Vision India, a NGO formed by IPS officer Kiran Bedi, have already resulted in better facilities for the inmates, including crčche and schooling in the jail complex itself, as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court.

The petitioner has stated that the SC directions included providing better and more congenial atmosphere to the inmates with children.

On Tuesday, a Division Bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi issued notice of motion to the respondents for September 11.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the six female inmates along with their siblings returned to the Central Jail, Amritsar, last evening. This followed requests in this regard by NGOs, Ms Chawla and others.

 

SGPC takes note of cutting of student’s hair
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 22
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) today took a serious not of forcible cutting of hair of a Sikh student in Jaipur by some mischievous students.

The SGPC has formed a three-member committee led by Mr Jaswinder Singh Advocate, member of the Shiromani committee, Mr Daljit Singh, joint secretary and information officer, Mr Kuldip Singh, which would submit its report within two days after investigating the whole incident.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) led by Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna also condemned the incident and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Union Home Minister, the Governor and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan to take stern action against the elements responsible for the incident.

Inderpreet Singh, a plus 2 student of Central School-3, Jaipur saved a girl, who was being molested by some students. He said the boy also brought the matter to the notice of school authorities, including Principal. However, the authorities allegedly failed to take any action against the accused. Taking the advantage of this, those students with their accomplices and forcibly cut hair of Inderpreet.

Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, president, SGPC expressed deep concern over the incident and said the incident had hurt religious sentiments of the Sikhs.

Mr Sarna said the painful incident could have been averted, had the police taken action on the report earlier filed by Inderpreet Singh. On the contrary, he alleged the police had been shielding the bad elements.

Chandigarh (TNS): The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has condemned the Jaipur incident in which a Sikh student was allegedly kidnapped and his hair was forcibly shorn by some miscreants.

 

Ring road to ease Ludhiana traffic
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 21
Traffic woes of Ludhiana could soon be a thing of the past as the state government gets ready to construct a ring road around the industrial capital of the North.

After having invited Expressions of Interest (EOI), the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) is now in the process of financial and technical evaluation of the bidders. The company selected for the project will arrange for finances to construct the ring road, and will be responsible for creating wayside amenities along the carriage-way.

Ludhiana, which is an emerging megapolis, is estimated to have a registered vehicular population of more than one million, and adds over 20,000 vehicles every three months. Besides, thousands of light vehicles from nearby cites, and heavy vehicles for the industry in Ludhiana, also reach / pass by the city daily. Thus, the need to create the ring road was felt for long to decongest the vehicular traffic.

The total length of the ring road will be 62. 5 km and will be constructed on a public-private partnership format. Officials in the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) informed TNS that the Chandigarh road (National Highway (NH) 95), Ambala road (NH 1), Gill road (State Highway (SH) 11), Ferozepore road (NH 95) and the Jalandhar road (NH1) will all converge on the proposed road.

The Sidhwan Canal road, Dhandaran Road, Pakhowal road, Sidhwan Bet road , Tajpur road and Rahon road will be the sub-arterial roads along the proposed road.

This carriageway will be designed for a speed of 100 km per hour. The first 26. 1 km of the carriageway will have six lanes, while the remaining 36. 4 km will have four lanes. The four-lane portion of the ring road will have two-lane service roads on either side of the ring road. The project would cost anything between Rs 1500 crore and Rs 1800 crore.

Officials in the PIDB informed TNS that the top infrastructure companies had submitted their EOI for the project. In race to bag this prestigious project are Reliance Energy, Gammon India, GMR Energy, Larsen and Toubro, DS Constructions-Apollo, Unitech, SPCL-AFCONS, Oberoi Constructions, IVRCL Infrastructure, the Nagarjuna Construction Company, the Hindustan Construction Company, Simplex Infrastructure, Consortium of Infrastructure Leasing and Finance Services, Emaar MGF Land, IL and FS Transportation Network and BSC- SCL-C & C consortium.

 

Ultras were planning attack on Army facilities: SSP
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, August 22
The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants caught from Madhopur two days ago were planning an attack on Army facilities in the Pathankot area. This was revealed by the arrested militants during interrogation in police custody.

Talking with The Tribune, SSP Paramraj Singh Umranangal said the militants disclosed that a woman Rafata, wife of Bilal Ahmad, had spied on the installations of signal regiment at Madhopur.

The regiment has a temple on its premises where general public is allowed to visit once a month.

Rafata allegedly visited the premises on the pretext of paying obeisance at the temple and took photographs of the area using a spy camera.

The militants were planning an attack on the area with the help of another alleged terrorist, Prince.

The information has been forwarded to the Army authorities for them to review the security arrangements of their installations in the area, the SSP said.

He added that arrested militants revealed that they had dispatched two consignments of arms and ammunition to Delhi from Jammu and Kashmir. They were also allegedly involved in narcotics smuggling in and out of the valley.

When asked about the statement of Jammu and Kashmir police reported in a section of media raising doubts over the arrested persons being terrorists of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the SSP said they had doubt regarding just one person, Javed Ahmad Kathwari.

As stated by the Jammu and Kashmir police authorities, Javed was initially arrested by the Punjab Police on charges of vehicle theft.

However, during interrogation he revealed his links with the terrorist organisation. On the information provided by Javed, they arrested three militants from Madhopur and seized arms and ammunition from them.

Another case has now been registered against Javed.

On the police’s failure to arrest Prabhakar, a resident of Pathankot and a partner in Green Valley Transport Company that is accused of ferrying arms, sources here said Prabhakar had not been arrested owing to political pressure.

They added that some police officers were using vehicles recovered from the gang of vehicle thieves, which was headed by arrested policeman Pardeep Kumar.

The SSP admitted that he had received information in this regard and added that an inquiry was being conducted to verify the facts.

 

PSEB employees jam traffic for three hours
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 22
Thousands of activists of different employees unions of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), who jammed traffic for about three hours on Mall Road here today, declared that they would stop the PSEB management from executing its various works through outsourcing by implementing the Electricity Act 2003.

The activists staged the massive dharna in front of the head office of the PSEB despite the fact that a local civil court had ordered in the recent past that no one could hold any protest or dharna within the limits of 200m of the premises of the head office of the PSEB.

The activists, accompanied by their kin, later held a massive rally and announced that if the management failed to learn any lesson from today's protest held by them under the banner of the Joint Struggle Co-ordination Committee, they would intensify their agitation. The activists were supported by Bharati Kisan Union (Ekta) and Punjab Kisan Sabha.

Various leaders of the employees, while addressing the rally, said the Punjab government had implemented the Electricity Act despite the fact that Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had promised to them at a meeting held on December 2, 2005, that he would not implement the same till March 31, 2007.

They alleged that the PSEB management had imposed a ban on new recruitment and had been facilitating the execution of its different works through outsourcing. Apart from it, the management had not been giving jobs to the kin of its deceased employees on compassionate grounds. The electricity meters of some consumers were being changed from mechanical to electronic ones by dubbing them as “thieves”.

The activists marched towards New Moti Bagh, the residence of Amarinder Singh, and submitted their memorandum.

 

Police post gheraoed
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 22
Hundreds of residents of rural areas of this district today gheraoed the Pasiana police post located near bridge Bhakra Canal on Patiala-Sangrur road to get a murder case registered in connection with the death of a youth, Jeet Khan, who died a few days ago after drowning in the canal under mysterious circumstances.

The residents of rural areas, who jammed the traffic on Patiala-Sangrur road for about half-an-hour, were agitated over the fact that police authorities had registered a case of death due to negligence against some persons after Jeet Khan drowned in the Bhakra Canal under mysterious circumstances about four days ago.

The residents lifted the gherao and traffic jam only after they were given assurance by senior police officials that a murder case would be registered against the accused today itself.

Jameel Khan, resident of Dakala town and father of the deceased youth, alleged that his son had been murdered first and then his dead body was thrown into the Bhakra Canal by the accused to mislead the police.

He added that dead body of Jeet Khan was recovered from Tohana area two days after he reportedly drowned.

Though the police authorities registered a case in connection with the death due to negligence against four persons, including the neighbour of the deceased on the complaint of Jameel Khan, the kin of deceased were not satisfied with the action taken by the police in that connection as they were demanding that a case of murder should be registered against the accused.

Police sources said a case under Section 302 of IPC was registered against Raju, Goldi and Baldev Singh all residents of Dakala area holding them responsible of murder of Jeet Khan.

 

3 killed in mishaps
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, August 22
Three persons were killed in road accidents near here since last night.

In the first accident, Kuldip Singh(40), a resident of the Gobind Colony, was hit by a vehicle when he was on his way to his home last night. He died on his way to the local Civil Hospital.

In another accident, two youths Dogar and Lovely, who were on their way from Ambala to Rajpura, died on the spot when their vehicle was hit by a Canter near the Pachhi Dare bridge.

 

Voters’ cards: SAD objects to clubbing of villages
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has objected to the method of clubbing villages for the preparation of electors’ photo identity cards (EPIC) has demanded that for the convenience of the voters photography teams should visit each and every polling booth of Punjab.

A letter in this regard was sent by the party’s secretary, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, to the Chief Electoral Officer of Punjab today.

In the letter the SAD secretary mentioned that the Election Commission had given an assurance at an all-party meeting held on August 7 that photography teams would visit each and every village of Punjab for the purpose of preparing EPICs.

Giving the example of the Sirhind Assembly constituency in Fatehgarh Sahib district, Dr Cheema wrote that it consisted of 195 villages. But all these villages had been clubbed together into 38 different photography centres.

 

Milkfed: VRS for non-core sector staff sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
Realising that it has surplus staff, Milkfed has asked the Punjab Government to allow a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for its employees in the non-core sector.

Milkfed is identifying crucial posts that will not be covered under the VRS. This will primarily include technical personnel like dairy technologists. Several big private companies like Reliance Retail Limited are offering jobs to employees in Milkfed. in the recent past. Milkfed will require about Rs 32 crore and nearly 700 employees can opt for the VRS. The Government of India has agreed to pay 50 per cent of the cost subject to the Punjab Government paying the rest.

 

Assn seeks PCMS cadre review
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) Association has hailed the decision of the Punjab Government to recruit 141 regular specialist doctors for various government hospitals and has demanded the pay scale of Rs 10,400 for the new recruits. The scale is on a par with Central health service specialist doctors.

The PCMS Association has also demanded a PCMS cadre review along with the creation of a specialist cadre to end stagnation in promotions.

In a press note issued here, Dr Hardeep Singh and Dr Ajay Bagga said that the stagnation was caused by the fact that there were only 43 promotional posts of SMO. They said several PCMS doctors had to retire on the entry post of medical officer. The association has demanded the re-designation of existing posts.

 

Health service providers to be doubled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Punjab Government will be extending the newly introduced scheme of rural health service providers to extensively cover villages across the state. The plan is to have one service provider for a cluster five villages instead of the present ratio of one provider for 10 villages.

At present 1,300 service providers are functioning and this move will double their number in the state.

The Group of Ministers, formed to deal with the subject, has cleared the scheme and it will be presented for approval by the Punjab Council of Ministers at its meeting scheduled at the end of this month.

 

NGOs instal pump in Central Jail
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 22
The Golden Youth Club in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra and the International Bhau Bhaichara International, a voluntary social organisation, installed a submersible pump in the premises of the Patiala Central Jail here today.

The submersible pump, which has been installed at a cost of Rs 26000 in the jail hospital, was inaugurated by Mr Neelabh Kishore, SSP (Jails), while the function was presided over by Mr Balwinder Singh Saifdipur, president of the International Bhau Bhaichara.

Prominent among those who were present were Mr Rajan Kapur, DIG (Jails) and Mr G.S. Sidhu, Jail Superintendent.

The pump was jointly financed by Mr B.S. Saifdipur, who donated Rs 21,000 and Mahant Atma Ram, who gave Rs 5000 for the project.

 

Ordinance to cut petro prices today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 22
The Punjab Government will promulgate an ordinance tomorrow to reduce the price of petrol and diesel. The draft of the ordinance was approved in the last meeting of the Council of Ministers.

It is learnt that a notification to slash the price of petrol by 93 paise per litre and diesel by 21 paise per litre would be issued immediately after the signing of the ordinance by the Punjab Governor tomorrow.

 

Workers stop shifting of machines

Abohar, August 22
Hundreds of retrenched workers of Shree Bhawani Cotton Mills and Industries staged a dharna at its main gate today demanding payment of their dues. The workers including women and children prevented the shifting of the old machinery of the mill by its new owners.

The wages and other benefits had only been partially distributed among the retrenched workers after the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the liquidator to sell immovable property of the mill to pay dues of the workers. — TNS

 

HC Judge Amar Dutt retires
Our High Court Correspondent

Justice Amar Dutt
Justice Amar Dutt

Chandigarh, August 22
The Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, Mr Justice Amar Dutt, attained superannuation today.

On this occasion, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association organised a get-together to bid him farewell. The Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Acting Chief Justice Mr Justice H.S. Bedi, other Judges of the High Court, members of the subordinate judiciary, senior advocates and lawyers were present.

 

Woman dies of suspected poisoning
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 22
A young woman died under mysterious circumstances here today. According to reports, Sukhwinder Kaur (24) fell unconscious near the quila market here. She was taken to the local Civil Hospital where she is reported to have died after some time.

It is suspected to be a case of poisoning as the body had turned blue.

Her uncle reached Kharar after getting to know about the incident and told the police that Sukhwinder used to remain under stress because she suffered from some medical ailment.

A postmortem would be conducted tomorrow. The police has initiated proceedings under Section 174, CrPc.

 

PSEB JE nabbed taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Moga, August 22
The Vigilance Bureau has nabbed an PSEB JE, Subash Chander, red-handed while taking Rs 2,000 as bribe from a farmer of Ajitwal village here today.

According to Vigilance sources, the JE had raided the fields of the farmer, Jarnail Singh, a few days ago and found the motor installed there illegal.

The JE allegedly asked the farmer to give him Rs 4,000 as bribe, otherwise he would have to pay Rs 7,500 as fine and an FIR would also be lodged against him.

Following which, the farmer contacted the Vigilance Bureau. Subsequently, the farmer handed over Rs 2,000 as bribe to the JE at Ajitwal bus stand and a Vigilance team nabbed him red-handed.

 

Multani is Pbi varsity dept head
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 22
Narinder Kaur Multani has joined as new Head of the Department of Physiotherapy and Sports Sciences at Punjabi University. Dr Multani is basically physiotherapist specialised in the area of sports.

According to a press note issued here today, Dr Multani has published more than 15 research papers in national and international journal of repute. She has been honoured with the Jewel of India Award by the International Institute of Education and Management.

 





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