P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Ranjit Sagar Dam spillways tested
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Shahpur Kandi, September 4
Ranjit Sagar Dam attained the highest water level today at 523 metres. This gave the dam authorities an opportunity to test the spillway of the dam. The spillway was tested for the first time since installation about a decade ago.

Gate No 4 of the spillway was opened for the first time at 11.40 am. The water stream flowed out as the gate was opened just 30 cm. It took about half an hour for about 25- feet deep bucket at the bottom of the spillway to fill after the gates were opened.

To test the gates and prevent excess water from spilling over to Pakistan through Madhopur headwork the dam authorities stopped the functioning of two turbines. Just one of four turbines of the dam was kept functional during the testing of the spillway gates.

All seven gates of the dam were tested one by one. As per the dam authorities the gates functioned satisfactorily. During the checking about 16,000 cusecs of water was released down stream.

Out of about 8,000 cusecs was diverted to the Upper Bari Doab canal system, 6000 cusecs to the Madhopur-Beas link canal and rest down stream to Pakistan. A warning was issued to the villagers living down stream as water in the Ravi was set to rise due to excess releases from the dam.

The spillway of the dam was constructed to release flood water downstream. However, since construction the dam never attained the water level that could justify the use of the spillway. Only this year the dam has attained the level at which the spillway could be tested.

With the inflows at the dam still remaining high the dam authorities have planned to allow the water level to rise till 525 metres. The highest level that the dam can attain is 528 metres.


Engineers oppose shifting of meters
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 4
The PSEB Engineers Association has disapproved the decision of the board to abandon the exercise of shifting meters outside consumer's premises on verbal directions of the state government.

According to a PSEB Engineers Association press note issued here, it has been mentioned that this decision was not only an act of “meek surrender of the functional autonomy granted to the board under the law of the land but also a step towards allowing unscrupulous electricity consumers to indulge in power theft at the expense of honest consumers, who are made to pay electricity bills through their nose.”

In the press note signed by Mr H.S.Bedi and Mr H.S. Sarao, president and general secretary of the association respectively, it was further mentioned that the PSEB was losing over Rs1,000 crore annually on account of theft of power.

For the past three years, the board had failed to reduce its transmission and distribution (T&D) losses which were stagnant at 25 per cent despite the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission directive to bring it down to a level of 20.7 per cent.

It was also stated that a massive drive to replace old electro- mechanical meters with electronic meters was initiated by the PSEB by investing over Rs 100 crore but the sale of meters in the state instead had come down from 54.42 per cent in 2002-03 to 53.54 per cent at the end of March, 2006. This was mainly due to the use of artificial and sophisticated means of theft such as magnets and high frequency jammers by power thieves to stop the electronic meters. Such devices are difficult to detect since these are plug in devices which can be easily removed.

The only alternative to check such malpractices was to shift the consumer meter outside premises in pillar-box or outside wall of the consumer's premises. Power theft often takes place at odd hours, it was convenient to check malpractices without bothering honest consumers.

With the shifting of meters outside the consumer's premises, the onus for the safety of the meters has been shifted from consumer to the PSEB. Now the consumer cannot be penalised for any damage or theft of the meter.

The press note added that it was mainly due to the adoption of these electronic meters that the PSEB had reduced its losses by 2.8 per cent in the first 3 months of this financial year as compared to the corresponding period of the past year.


BJP to hold Vande Mataram yatra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 4
To celebrate the centenary of the composition of national song Vande Mataram, the state unit of the BJP today announced to hold a “Vande Mataram Shatabadi Yatra” on Thursday in the state. This was stated by party spokesperson Vijay Sampla.

State BJP president and Member Parliament Avinash Rai Khanna will lead the yatra, which will begin from Hoshiarpur. The yatra will reach its final destination at Sector 17 here the same day.

On the way to Chandigarh, it will pass through Chabewal, Mahilpur, Saila, Garshankar, Samundra, Dhamai, Maunjari, Balachur, Kathgarh, Ropar, Kurali, Kharar and Mohali.

The BJP will distribute 10,000 audio cassettes of the song prepared especially for the centenary celebrations.


SAD (Longowal) protests against cutting of hair
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, September 4
Activists of the SAD (Longowal) here today took to the street in protest against the forcible cutting of hair of a Delhi based Sikh boy.

Addressing the rally, Mr Randhir Singh Rakhra, president of the youth wing of the party, demanded action against the anti social elements. Another youth leader, Mr Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra, said the anti-social elements had hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikhs.


Training programme for govt staff begins

Fatehgarh Sahib, September 4
Ms Jaspreet Talwar, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated a training programme for employees of various district offices that was organised by the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Public Administration (MGPSIPA) here today.

The training programme help improve culture and decrease their stress. Moreover, employees will also feel motivated, she said.

Dr R.K.Sharma, training co-ordinator, said such programmes were being organised in all district headquarters of the state. OC


Dowry death: panel to seek justice
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla, September 4
A meeting of the joint action committee, formed to get justice for dowry death victim Manpreet Kaur, was held at a gurdwara here today.

Mann Singh, an uncle of the victim, said Manpreet Kaur (25), daughter of late Tek Singh of Manakmajra near here, was married to Karamjit Singh son of Darshan Singh, of Ahankheri. Mann Singh alleged that her in-laws were demanding dowry since her marriage and when they did not fulfil their demand. They set Manpreet on fire. He also alleged that when her husband set her afire after sprinkling kerosene oil on her she caught hold him from the waist.

She and her husband were admitted to DMC Hospital in a critical state where Manpreet died. Her husband is still under treatment at the hospital.

The police has registered a case under Sections 304-B and 34 of the IPC against Darshan Singh, her father-in-law, Dalip Kaur, mother-in-law, Karamjit Singh, husband, Manjit Singh a brother-in-law.

Action committee members said they had met Mr Surjit Singh Grewal SP (D), Sangrur, and Mr Rachpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla, but to no avail.

The members threatened that on September 12 they would gherao the police station and the DSP office. They would also block the traffic on the Sangrur road.

When contacted, Mr Rachpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla, said the police had not arrested any person and investigations in this regard were on.


Rs 1.51 lakh stolen from scooter
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, September 4
In a case of theft, unidentified persons stole Rs 1,51,200 which had been kept in the dickey of a scooter parked inside the Tehsil complex here this afternoon.

According to the information, Gurbachan Singh and Gurcharan Singh, both brothers and residents of Basti Nanakpura, had withdrawn Rs 1,51,200 from the Bank of Baroda, Ferozepore city. The two brothers kept the amount in the dickey of their scooter and later parked it inside the Tehsil complex.

After finishing their work, when they came back to the parking to take the scooter, they found that the money was missing as someone had stolen the same. A case has been registered with the Sadar police station.


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