P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


DFO told to provide information under Act
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, August 23
The state Information Commission has directed DFO, Hoshiarpur-cum-public Information Officer Hoshiarpur RR Kakkar to supply the information sought by former wildlife warden Gunraj Singh Saini. In an order passed today Chief Information Commissioner Rajan Kashyap has directed the DFO to deliver whatever information was identified and demanded by complainant Gunraj Singh.

The Commissioner has also directed Mr Saini to visit the office of the DFO on any working day to seek the information.

Mr Gunraj Singh had filed a complaint before the state Information Commissioner after the DFO, Hoshiarpur sought the salary of his staff from him for providing the information sought under the Act.

The DFO had asked Mr Gunraj Singh to pay Rs 2220, Rs 7400 and Rs 5920, respectively, for various questions asked in three different communications under the right to information.

The said amount sought according to the DFO Hoshiarpur was the salary of his for the number of days they put in compiling the information.

The Chief Information Commissioner, had, however, held that the government officials cannot asked for the salary of employees engaged in compiling the information from the person seeking information under the Act. The officials can just ask for the xerox charges of the papers at a maximum rate of Rs 2 per page.

The present order has settled the issue that government officials cannot ask any other charges from citizens except the xerox charges.

Another information demanded by Mr Gunraj Singh related to an investigation in the case of poaching registered against him. The DFO Hoshiarpur had denied him the said information on the plea that this was the subject matter of criminal proceedings. The supply of information will hamper investigation in the case.

The Chief Information Commissioner has stated on the issue that in cases where the specific orders of information officer have been made denying the information on any ground, the complainant is free to appeal under Section 19 of the Right to Information Act to the appellate authority. In the present case the appeal would lie before the conservator of forests and complainant may file an appeal before him.


State a poor 29th in implementing schemes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The Union Ministry on Programme Implementation has said Punjab has been placed at a low 29th rank — second from the bottom— among all states in India as far as the implementation of some programmes for the rural areas, the poor and the Scheduled Castes is concerned.

The state was found lagging behind badly on drinking water supply in villages, providing assistance to families of the Scheduled Castes and in building houses for the economically weaker sections, among other aspects monitored by the Government of India between April, 2005, and March, 2006. A report in this regard has been received here, said top officials , adding that the state government last week started its own exercise to find out how the state lagged behind while one of its neighbours, Himachal Pradesh, secured the first rank and Haryana the 15th.

The Centre has praised Punjab for achieving "very good" results in the immunisation of children against DPT, polio and BCG , for managing its integrated child development scheme and for operational anganwadis.

Only Manipur has been placed behind Punjab at the 30th rank while states like UP, Bihar and Orissa, along with newly carved out states like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, have raced ahead and met their targets.

Sources in the government said the departments where the performance had been adjudged as "very poor" by the Central Government have been asked to give detailed replies within the next few days. The reasons for non-implementation could be that funds were not released in time or the beneficiaries as in the case of families of the SCs could not be identified. It is possible that the departments also did not seek the release of funds. The details will be known only when the departments get back to the government with their version on the matter.

Punjab was given eight schemes to follow and targets were fixed. These included the provision of drinking water in 800 villages or clusters. The state managed to do it only in 417 villages or clusters. About 59,000 SC families were to be assisted while the state did so only in the case of 19,241 families. No house was constructed for the economically weaker sections and also for persons in the lower income group. The target was 2,850 and 1,800 houses, respectively, under the two categories. Under the Indira Awas Yojana the state was to construct 11,081 houses. However, it achieved 61 per cent of the target and constructed 6,730 houses.

The state was also given a target of installing 40,000 pumpsets, but it installed only 17,421. It is possible that the state thought it imprudent to install so many pumpsets as the water table was falling. Also, the state could provide 336 biogas plants against a target of 500 plants, says the report and adds that in the sphere of the plantation of forests the target was not met. The state planted only 1,471 hectares of forests as against the target of 25,000 hectares.

Even though the report has set the alarm bells ringing in the bureaucracy, Punjab fared badly last year also when it was 27th on the list. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were placed at the ninth and first positions, respectively, last year.


95 villages identified for sanitation project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The Punjab Government with the assistance of the World Bank would implement a water supply and environmental sanitation project in 6,500 villages across Punjab at a cost of Rs 1,819 crore.

The Public Health Minister, Mr Harnam Das Johar, said that the project work, which would begin this year, would be completed within six years.

To start work on the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, 500 villages would be selected in first phase from all 19 districts of the state. He added that 95 villages had already been identified for inclusion in the first group where implementation of works would start soon.

Preference would be given to those villages which are affected by the problem of poor water quality or are not covered under any water supply scheme or where the existing water supply scheme needs augmentation. Villages where at least 50 to 75 per cent of the households demand private water connections, would also be given preference.

For sanitation works, preference would be given to villages which have been covered with water supply schemes but lack adequate provision for the disposal of waste.

He added that under this project, drainage of street water, sullage water, effluents of septic tank and liquid animal waste flowing from houses in open drains would be disposed through the underground sewerage system.

The sewage water collected in ponds would be treated through low cost bio-techniques and would be used for irrigation or fish farming.

He added that to avail this opportunity the gram panchayats may apply for inclusion of their village in the project by giving a resolution of the gram panchayat confirming their readiness to abide by the concept. The gram panchayats would be fully responsible for its operation and maintenance.


Cong infighting comes to the fore in bank election
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, August 23
The infighting in the Congress has come to the fore on the issue of election to the post of chairman of Gurdaspur Central Cooperative Bank. While one group comprising of Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Mr Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has declared their candidate for the post elected, the other group led by the PWD and Education Minister, Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, was maintaining that the elections were yet to be held.

The informal elections to the post of chairman of cooperative bank were held by five directors belonging to the former group of Congress leaders on August 17. They declared Mr Vijay Pratap, brother of Mr Raghunath Sahi Puri, as chairman of the bank.

However, the candidate supported by Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa group, Mr Ravinder Sharma, said the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, had postponed the elections scheduled on August 17. The registrar had issued the order in this regard on August 14.

The meeting of board of directors cannot be held without the presence of all directors. The other group got its candidate elected with just five directors present at the meeting, he alleged.

Congress leaders in other group on the condition of anonymity said the order for postponing the election was not communicated to the directors. Since the order was not communicated, the election of Mr Vijay Pratap as chairman was valid. If some other person was now declared as elected, their chairman would move to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Meanwhile, sources here said the candidate supported by Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa today met the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. He was expecting the intervention of the Chief Minister in the matter.

The ball was now in the court of the Chief Minister, sources in both the groups told The Tribune.


Kidnapped lambardar abandoned on roadside
Tribune News Service

Pathankot August 23
Mr Prabhat Singh lambardar of Sarna village was kidnapped by some unidentified persons, kept in illegal confinement for two days before he was left near Damtal today.

Mr Prabhat Singh told reporters that on August 21 morning he left his house for tehsil office for routine work. Some persons stopped a vehicle and offered him lift to the tehsil office. On the way they addressed him by name lambardar he took them as his acquaintances. He boarded the vehicle.

However, instead of dropping him near the tehsil office they drove the vehicle further. When he protested and demanded to be dropped near the tehsil office they put cloth on his face after which he became unconscious.

He regained consciousness after a day and noticed four persons surrounding him with three turbans and one clean-shaven. However, when he regained consciousness they forced him to take a drink after which he again lost consciousness.

Yesterday night at 8 pm he found himself lying beside a rural road near Damtal. He signalled an auto rickshaw driver to stop. The autorickshaw driver dropped him near the Chakki bridge from where he, rang up at his house.

The family members of the lambardar came to the spot and took him to a hospital in a semi-conscious state. The doctors later discovered small cuts had been given on the arms and neck of the lambardar allegedly by the kidnappers due to which he had lost blood. His condition is stated to be stable. The police is yet to register a case in the matter.


Talwandi Sabo faces govt apathy
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 23
Even as the state government has announced various development projects for Talwandi Sabo in the wake of the tercentenary celebrations of the compilation of Guru Granth Sahib on August 28-30, the township presents a picture of neglect.

A team of The Tribune visited the holy town today amidst the euphoria surrounding the mega event. The town has no proper sewerage system for the past many years. A waterworks on its outskirts caters to the drinking water requirements of only half of its population. People in residential areas around Rori road, Veterinary Hospital-Kothiwala road, Nat road and Lelewala road don't have access to potable water.

In the absence of a sewerage disposal system, the town residents have been diverting their sewage to a couple of “chhapars”, which are hardly half a km from Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. Whenever it rains heavily, sewage water spills over the road passing through the middle of these “chhapars”. Sources said the authorities had dug a bore near the bus stand to dispose of sewage water into it, but that too has now come under a park developed as part of the ongoing kar sewa at the takht.

Garbage dumps dot the town's localities and a foul smell emanates from them. Residents rue that waterlogging around the Takht during rain and choked sewers in localities were a regular feature. Similarly, streets were also in a bad shape.

The health services are no better, with only two doctors, including the SMO, working on a regular basis at the Civil Hospital. The hospital has two other doctors on deputation. It doesn't have a lady doctor. Six posts of doctor are lying vacant, while only three staff nurses were working against the sanctioned posts of seven. The hospital has a daily attendance 250 patients at the OPD, and it caters to health needs of the town's population of 15,000, apart from 15-20 nearby villages.

On the education front, the posts of principal, physics lecturer and chemistry lecturer are lying vacant at the government senior secondary school. Nacchatar Singh, a town resident, said: “The administration has merely laid a layer of premix on a couple of roads in the last two months prior to this historic occasion.” He apprehended that the state government's announcements could remain unfulfilled as the Assembly elections were approaching.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Bhandari said the township had a sewerage system, which is defunct now. He said they had demanded Rs 15.5 lakh for retaining wall of “chappars” and sewage disposal, Rs 1.5 crore for enhancing the capacity of waterworks, Rs 75 lakh for roads and Rs 1.03 crore for streets from the state government. He said he would look into the shortage of staff at the hospital and the school.


No ban on colas in state: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said that there would be no ban on the sale of Coca Cola and other soft drinks in the state. He said that the controversy regarding the presence of pesticides in soft drinks had been kicked off three or four times earlier also.

The state government had nothing to do with the game being played by one soft drinking company against the other, he said. “I have been taking soft drinks since 1955 and nothing is wrong with my health,” he added.

It may be mentioned that the Punjab Health Department had drawn samples of soft drinks from various parts of the state. These had been sent for testing to the Punjab Agricultural University. The results of the tests are awaited.

Capt Amarinder Singh said that the tragedy of the country was the excessive use of pesticides for agricultural purposes. “Pesticides have been found in buffalo milk, in green vegetables, foodgrains and other eatables,” he said. “Everyone is aware of the fact that cauliflowers are washed in certain chemicals to make it more presentable to the customers.”

The sowing of Bt cotton had been introduced in the state to slash the use of pesticides, which had become a big threat to human health in certain areas of Talwandi Sabo from where a large number of cases of cancer had been reported, he said.


Reliance project on track: CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today said that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was not speaking on the issue of the forcible cutting of hair of a Sikh student in Jaipur as the SAD was supporting the BJP which was the party in power in Rajasthan.

He said that the Rajasthan Government failed to take action against the culprits though the victim had brought the matter in the notice of the officers concerned.

He said that Mr Sukhbir Badal was raising a controversy with regard to the Reliance project in Punjab for political reasons. He said that the project was on track and its first hub would start working by the end of October. “Mr Mukesh Ambani is committed to invest Rs 3,500 crore in Punjab on this project,” he added.

He said that Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, should forget that their party would return to power in the state. “The Congress would win the Assembly elections and I would stay in Punjab and not run away to any other country,” he said reacting to Mr Sukhbir Badal’s statement that Capt Amarinder Singh would leave the country after the Assembly elections. “In fact, I would stay in Chandigarh,” he said, adding that he was not afraid of senior and junior Badal.


SAD seeks probe into CM’s Dubai visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The Shiromani Akali Dal today asked the Union Ministry of Finance to initiate a probe into the recent visit of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to Dubai.

A press release of the SAD said that the party’s general secretary, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, had written to the Income Tax Department demanding to know details of the Chief Minister’s spending.

Mr Badal alleged that the visit was a sponsored trip at the special invitation of a Dubai-based real estate concern.


Relief Act sought for debt-ridden farmers
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 23
The recent decision of the state government to declare a one-time package of Rs 211 crore will not help solve the problem of agricultural indebtedness, which has become very serious in the light of farmers’ suicides.

This has been pointed out by Mr Kashmir Singh Patti, Chairman of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission, in a missive to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

He has emphasised that there is an urgent need for an agricultural indebtedness relief Act.

He has favoured that the Act cover all debts of farmers and include a provision for a debt conciliation board.

According to him, a provision should be made so that creditors are not allowed to get interest more than the principal amount for any agricultural loan.

He has pointed out that creditors are well-to-do agencies and can pay huge amounts to get the best legal aid available to appeal and seek revision up to the Supreme Court.

He has noted that poor debtors cannot afford the best legal aid to defend themselves in higher courts, where fees of lawyers are exorbitant.

He has favoured a provision in the Act making all decisions of the board final and non-challengeable in court.

According to him, violators of the Act should be imprisoned or fined or both and an offence under the Act should be cognisable and non-bailable.

He has opined that the Act will help the government check the exploitation of agricultural debtors by creditors.


MLA-councillors row: MLA refutes charges
Our Correspondent

Nabha, August 23
Local MLA and Punjab Infotech Chairman Kaka Randip Singh yesterday refuted the charges that Municipal Council President Pawan Kumar Garg was denied entry in the council building on Monday at his behest.

Terming the entire episode unfortunate, he denied his involvement. He said following allegation of arbitrary style of working of Mr Garg by fellow councillors, Executive Officer Surjit Singh had asked him to face no confidence motion brought against him by 14 Congress councilors.

He said since it was his party’s internal matter, he wanted to sort it out amicably and for that purpose he had called a meeting at Patiala. He claimed that no one reached the Municipal Council Office in time following which the Executive Officer postponed the meeting.

When asked to comment on heavy deployment of the police at the council building and locking of its gates, he said the civil administration could answer you better on this account.

Mr Randip, who is scheduled to meet PPCC chief Shamsher Singh Dullo over this issue on Wednesday, also refused to comment on the protest dharna staged by his family members, but said it had pained him a lot.


Mann seeks speedy trial in female foeticide cases
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 23
Coming out strongly against the menace of female foeticide, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has said a special court should be set up for the speedy trial of those who indulge in foeticide.

In a nine-page memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, through the Patiala Deputy Commissioner, the SAD (A) chief, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, demanded that the bail of former SGPC chief Jagir Kaur, who is allegedly involved in the murder of her daughter, should be cancelled. He said she should not be given permission to travel abroad.

Mr Mann added that, “Foeticide as genocide is a big issue and we hold the Indian state squarely responsible for the menace daunting Punjab today. We have cogent reasons for doing so”.

Mr Mann asked the Prime Minister to ensure action was taken against erring doctors and hospitals. He also questioned the efforts of the Human Resources Development Ministry and the state Education Ministry to bolster the education of the girl child.

Speaking out against Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on the issue of female foeticide, Mr Mann said the Chief Minister had yet to make a statement on the issue of mass grave of foetuses found in Patran recently. He added “ This conspiracy of silence and impunity has definitely stirred us into action even though the Congress governments both at the state and the Centre continue to lay in deep slumber”.

Mr Mann, in his memorandum, added that, “Every year in Punjab about one lakh girls die before they are born. This is not a figment of alarmist imagination but a levelheaded calculation by a senior Punjab bureaucrat, who has written a book of this subject. Anurag Aggarwal has got his figure from simple mathematics. With a gross birth rate of 3 per cent, Punjab should see 7 lakh births every year - 3.5 lakh females and an equal number of males. But the census shows that one fourth of baby girls go missing, which translates into one lakh girls every year”.


Measures to check female foeticide
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, August 23
To check female foeticide, the district administration has started preparing lists of all women pregnant for three to five months. DC Dr Arvinder Singh, said ward-wise monitoring officers have been deputed in every sub-division of the district, to keep track of pregnant women and an eye on ultra-sound centres in their areas.

He said lists of pregnant women would be updated every month. He said all SDMs had been directed to make a list of ultrasound centres and maternity homes under their jurisdiction and crosscheck the ‘F’ forms furnished by these centres on a monthly basis.


Municipal staff oppose abolition of octroi
Tribune News service

Patiala, August 23
The union of municipal employees, who jammed traffic on the local mall road for hours and brunt the effigies of the Punjab Government to lodge their protests against its proposed move to abolish octroi declared that if the state government did not drop the plan, they would stop providing essential services to the people.

The employees union representatives, who held today's agitation under the banner of the Punjab Municipal Workers Struggle Committee, said every time the concerned state government had been abolishing the octroi for their own political benefits and not for extending benefit to any section of society.

Mr Sardari Lal Sharma, president of the committee, alleged that the state Congress government had decided to abolish octroi from September 1, 2006, with the aim to collect election funds as the Assembly elections were approaching near.

He added that the employees demanded a CBI probe to find out the reasons as to why all governments abolished octroi in the last six months of their respective tenures.

He said when the Punjab and Haryana High Court had given the decision that any decision of the state government to abolish octroi was wrong then why the state government was doing the same. He said an appeal had been filed in the Supreme Court by the Punjab Government against the decision of the high court and its was yet to be decided.

Mr Balwinder Singh Sandhu, president, Punjab Karamchari Mahasangh, said if the state government had decided to abolish octroi then it should waive off electricity bills of the municipal councils and the Municipal Corporation, which they were supposed to pay on account of running the street lights.

Mr Ranjit Singh and Mr Rajinder Moga, both leaders of the union, said they were ready to take on the Punjab Government head on if it abolished the octroi. Mr Parkash Chand, president, Safai Majdoor Federation, said they would support the employees in their fight against the state government against abolition of octroi. 


Medicos protest against reservation
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 23
The anti-reservationists today took to the streets once again to revive the agitation after the Union Cabinet gave the green signal to 27 per cent reservation to the OBCs in professional colleges throughout the country from the next academic session.

The medicos raised slogans against the reservation policy and the police high-handedness in Delhi yesterday where peaceful students were lathicharged on their way to the residence of Ms Sonia Gandhi.

They blocked traffic and condemned the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr Arjun Singh.


AWWA week celebrations conclude
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 23
A seminar on “women awareness and empowerment” was organised on the concluding day of the week-long celebrations to commemorate the inception of the AWWA at the military station here today.

Mrs Rattandeep Brar, president, Chetak AWWA, inaugurated the seminar. She, along with a team of women, sensitised families of jawans on topics like stress, adolescence and time management and personality development.

Earlier, a health education programme was held at the Military Hospital on August 21, during which experts delivered lectures on women’s health, breast cancer and healthy 


MC removes encroachment years after court’s verdict
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 23
The Municipal Corporation yesterday finally got removed encroachment on a prime land worth crores on upmarket Mall Road of the city.

According to sources, the MC had earlier had failed to raze the illegal encroachment due to alleged political pressure. It was only after the intervention of Deputy Commissioner Rahul Bhandari, who took up the matter with the top officials of the Local Bodies Department, that the action was taken. He also discussed the issue with Municipal Commissioner N.S. Walia, following which the construction was demolished.

The sources said in 1973, the MC had proposed a 40-feet wide road from Mall Road to Mahavir Dal. At the start of Mall Road, a woman had a plot of 180 sq yds, which the MC had acquired and paid compensation to the owner. But the MC failed to take possession of the land. Later, she filed a case in the court, which she lost. At that time too, the MC failed to take possession due to which the land was further sold off and encroached upon by Amarjeet Mehta and Rajeev Kumar.

The MC again fought a legal battle over it and the court delivered its verdict in the corporation’s favour, but the MC officials reportedly failed to take the land’s possession. SDM S.K. Singla also probed into the matter early this year and had asked the MC to remove the encroachment.


Medical service providers rue working conditions
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, August 23
Newly appointed medical service providers (doctors) seem to be a “frustrated” lot in the absence of regular supply of medicines to their dispensaries, poor working conditions in the dispensaries, and non- fulfillment of their demands and promises, reportedly made by Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla to them early this month.

Talking to The Tribune today, Dr Aslam Parvez, state president of the Rural Medical Service Providers Association (RMSPA), said Mr Singla had promised to them that they would be provided 60 per cent quota in the MD/MS entrance examinations in Punjab after the completion of three years of rural service. Their designation would be changed from service provider to medical officer (MO) with immediate effect. Maternity/sickness leaves would be granted to the service providers. However, no notification had been issued in this regard so far, he added.

Dr Parvez also stated that in the absence of regular supply of medicines in adequate quantity to the rural dispensaries, the service providers in their respective dispensaries were facing problems. 


Raje’s assurance to SGPC chief
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 23
Ms Vasundhra Raje, Chief Minister, Rajasthan, has suspended the SHO of the police station concerned in yesterday's Jaipur incident and assured the SGPC president, Mr Avtar Singh, that action would be taken against the culprits in this regard.

Dr Baljit Singh Cheema, secretary, SAD (Badal), here informed that a meeting between SGPC president and Chief Minister Rajasthan today took place in which Mr Gulab Singh Kataria, Home Minister, Mr Jasbir Singh, Agriculture Minister and DGP were present.

He said that the Chief Minister announced to write to the Central Government to take action against the principal of the school. Besides, the case, which was earlier booked under Section 365, had been changed to 367 of the IPC.


56 water samples fail test
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, August 23
Out of 256 water samples collected by the Health Department from various places in this town, 56 samples were not found of the desired standards, revealed Dr Arvinder Singh, Deputy Commissioner, at a meeting of district officials here today.

He instructed officials of the Health Department to mark those water taps and other sources of drinking water with red colour samples of which had failed, so that public did not use the same.

The DC further stated that in future if any complaint regarding contaminated drinking water came to his notice, the Executive Engineer concerned of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board would be held responsible.

The DC also directed the Health Department to monitor quality of eatables provided by street vendors and kiosks especially situated near schools and colleges, if they fail to meet required standards of hygiene and health, the same 
should be destroyed and action initiated against the suppliers.

In the meeting, the DC also directed the SDMs to remove all encroachments on main, link and connecting roads as per directions of the Supreme Court. He said if heaps of garbage were found in any locality or roads, the SDM concerned would be held responsible for the lapse.


Rally for employment
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 23
As many as six organisations of youth held a protest march in order to express their grievances against the Congress government here yesterday.

The organisations were the Shahid Bhagat Singh Naujawan Sabha, Punjab, the Sarb Bharat Naujawan Sabha, the Punjab Students Federation, the All-India Students Federation, the All-India Youth League and the Krantikari Youth Federation.


Boiler blast toll increases

Amritsar, August 23
Vinay Mehta, who was injured in the boiler blast in a textile-finishing factory in the Verka area on August 20, succumbed to his injuries in the hospital here today.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case against the mill owners, Jojo and Kanav Khanna.

Joginder, a migrant labour had died during a blast, while 10 others were injured. — OC


Exhibition on political events
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 23
The Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University inaugurated an exhibition by Gurjind Sandhu here today.

Speaking about Gurjind Sandhu’s creative illustrations of political events and mood swings of politicians, the VC termed his works as “ great artistic perceptions of the political scenario of the north region”.

Sandhu’s exhibition in the Art Gallery of Punjabi University, will be on from August to 23 to 27.


Farmers not to be charged more than 18 pc interest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
The Punjab Commission Agent Association has agreed to charge a maximum of 18 per cent rate of interest from farmers, a statement of the Punjab Government said today.

The Minister for Food and Supply, Mr Lal Singh, had met the President of the Arthiya Association, Mr Bal Krishan Singla, who assured him that strict action would be initiated against erring commission agents who charge more than 18 per cent rate of interest from farmers.

Mr Lal Singh said the association had also agreed to constitute a dispute settlement committee to redress the grievances of the farmers. It was also decided that the dispute settlement committee at market committee-level would be headed by the area SDM.

The secretary, market committee, Assistant Food and Supply Officer, a member of the Arthiya Association, elected representatives of the area and selected farmers would be other members of the committee.

Similarly, at the district-level, the dispute settlement committee shall have the Deputy Commissioner as its head while the District Mandi Officer, DFSO, President of District Arthiya Association and the elected representatives would be the other members of the committee.


Two Markfed officials suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 23
Two officials of Markfed, Mr Charanjit Singh and Mr Laxmi Narayan, have been suspended, said a press note issued today by Mr G.S. Grewal, Managing Director.

The officials were posted at the branch office, Fazilka, where there was a shortage of 632 bags of wheat.

The officials had been charge-sheeted earlier also for causing damage to wheat stocks.

An FIR has been registered against them at Ferozepore under Sections 409 and 120 of the IPC.


Grant released for five MCs
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 23
The state government has released Rs 393.60 lakh for five Municipal Councils of the district.

The Sirhind Fatehgarh Sahib Council has been given a grant of Rs 123 lakh, Mandi Gobindgarh Rs 185.58 lakh, Bassi Pathana Council Rs 55.73 lakh, the Amloh Council Rs 21.66 Lakh and Khamano Rs 7.63 lakh.

The cheques have been handed over to the respective councils today, said Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner. She said with the release of the grant a new era of development would usher in the district. The grant has been given particularly for strengthening and widening of inner roads, construction of footpaths and beautification of the towns. In Fatehgarh Sahib footpaths will be constructed from the district Administrative Complex to Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib and to Bachat 

Similarly, in Sirhind town footpaths from Bassi Road to the town and in Bassi Pathana from the ITI to the hospital.

Though the government is making efforts for the development of the district headquarters town Sirhind and has been releasing funds regularly, but the development is not visible due to the mismanagement in the council office.

Mr R.N. Sharma, president, Citizen's Welfare Council, has demanded that the money released by the government should be properly utilised so that the town may get a facelift and the residents may get all basic necessities.


Punjab Govt revives education journal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 23
The Punjab Government has revived a 30-year-old journal of higher education. The journal 'Punjab Education' was started by the Department of Higher Education in the early 1970s but went out of print after a few years. The Directorate of Public Instructions (DPI), Colleges, is now reviving the journal re-naming it as 'Education Punjab'

The first issue of the new journal would be released within this fortnight. The journal would be published twice a year and would be a referred journal of the Education Department of Punjab.

"The first volume of the journal has over 20 research papers in English, Punjabi and Hindi. These articles have been received from all over the state. Academics were asked to contribute their research papers for publication for the first volume," said Mr Kanwarjit Singh, DPI (Colleges), Punjab.

The DPI pointed out that the journal would not limit itself to articles written by researchers in Punjab but from across the country.

"The whole idea is to choose the best from the lot. Also we intend to promote research at the level of college teachers," he said.

The articles would be reviewed by an Editorial Board which would be selecting them for publication. While the publisher and printer would be the DPI himself the Secretary, Higher Education, Punjab, would be the patron of the journal.

Initially 500 copies of the journal would be printed. These would be made available to the libraries across the state and also would be available for subscription from the DPI's office.

The first volume has articles in all the three languages and since it is the introductory volume, most of these are dealing with the various aspects of education in the state.


Punjabi journalists from Canada attend seminar
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 23
The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Punjabi University, organised a seminar on “‘Punjabi journalism abroad” here today.

Mr Amar Singh Bhullar, Editor , Parvasi Hamdard and Quomantry Pardesi, both Canada-based papers, was the chief guest while Dr Pishora Singh, a Sikh scholar from Canada, and Mr Baltej Pannu, former Editor of Nagara, a weekly paper from Vancouver, were among the other guests.

Dr H.P.S. Walia of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, said : “Journalists working abroad have to manage their livelihood as well as work for society and also survive the competition in this field.”

Mr Bhullar said, “Punjabi journalism has developed a lot in foreign countries, particularly Canada. Punjabis there are keen to know about the news of Punjab just as we are keen to know about the happenings there.”

Dr Pishora Singh said Punjabis had established themselves abroad and because of their efforts, Punjabi had become the third most important language after English and French.


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