P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


113 IAS, PCS officers transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Punjab Government tonight ordered a major reshuffle in the posting of 18 IAS officers, including two Deputy Commissioners, and 95 PCS officers.

Among those transferred is Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Patiala, who had a running feud with Mayor Vishnu Sharma. He has been posted Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs, while Dr Jaswant Singh will be the new Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Patiala. These transfers are considered to have been done with an eye on the next Vidhan Sabha elections in the state, which are expected to be held in February.

Mr R.C. Nayyar, Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs, who was holding additional charge of Secretary, Revenue and Director, Disaster Management, has been given full-fledged charge of Secretary, Revenue. He will continue to hold additional charge of Director, Disaster Management.

Mr Dharam Vir, Secretary, Punjab State Human Rights Commission, will be the new Secretary, Freedom Fighters, vice Mr B. Sarkar, who will take Mr Dharam Vir's place as Secretary, Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

Mr R. Venkat Ratnam, Secretary, School Education will be Secretary, Technical Education & Industrial Training.

Dr Arvinder Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepore, has been shifted as DC, Moga, in place of Mr V.K. Meena, who goes as Director, Welfare of SCs/BCs, relieving Mr Raj Kamal Chaudhuri of the additional charge. Mr Bhagwant Singh, ACA, PUDA, Jalandhar, will be the new DC, Ferozepur, while Mr Rahul Tiwari, ADC (General), Ferozepur, has been posted ADC (Development), Ferozepur vice Mr Gurnam Singh Gill, who goes as A.D.C. (General), Faridkot.

The services of Mr Ashok Kumar Singla, Additional Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs have been placed at the disposal of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for appointment as ACA, PUDA, Bathinda vice Mr Ajaib Singh Bhatti. Mr Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, ADC (Dev), Bathinda, will be the new ADC (Dev), Patiala, against a vacant post, while services of Ms Manisha Trighatia, SDM, Bassi Pathana, have been placed at the disposal of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for appointment as ACA, PUDA, Jalandhar. Mr Vijay Namdeorao Zade, SDM, Sardulgarh, has been appointed ADC (Dev), Bathinda, while Mr Kamal Kishor Yadav, SDM, Talwandi Sabo, has been shifted as SDM, Ferozepur, vice Mr Bhupinder Singh-I, who goes as A.D.C. (General), Tarn Taran.

Mr Rajat Agarwal, SDM, Khadoor Sahib, has been posted as SDM, Tarn Taran, vice Mr Birpal Singh, who has been posted as DTO, Ferozepur, while Mr Arshdeep Singh Thind, SDM, Amloh, has been posted as SDM, Balachaur, vice Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi. Mr Shahi has been appointed SDM, Khanna. Mr Varun Roojam, SDM, Fazilka, will be the new SDM, Khadoor Sahib.

The other PCS officers along with the place of their new appointments are Mr Kulwant Singh, ADC (Dev), Tarn Taran, Mr Balwinder Singh, ADC (General), Kapurthala, Mr Amrit Lal Garg, Secretary, Punjab State Vigilance Commission, Mr Parveen Kumar, ADC (Dev), Nawanshahr, Mr Baljit Singh, ADC (General), Amritsar, Mr Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Additional Secretary, School Education, Mr Gurnam Singh Gill, ADC (General), Faridkot, Mr Harjeet Singh, ADC, Moga, Mr Bhupinder Singh-I, ADC (General), Tarn Taran, Mr Kulbir Singh, ADC (Dev), Jalandhar, Mr Inder Yash Bhatti, ADC (General), Bathinda, Mr Praneet, SLAC, Amritsar, Mr Ajmer Singh-I, ADC (Dev), Amritsar, Mr S.M. Sharma, SDM, Pathankot, Mr Rajinder Pal Singh, SDM, Talwandi Sabo, Mr Gagandeep Singh, Additional Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Mr Amarjit Paul, SDM, Mukerian, Mr Prem Chand, SDM, Nihal Singh Wala, Mr Nirbhai Singh, Land Acquisition Collector in the office of Director, Industries & Commerce, Mr Narinder Singh Bath, ADC and ADC (Dev), Muktsar, Mr A.K. Sikka, SDM, Moonak, Mr Gurtej Singh, SDM, Nabha, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, Baghapurana, Mr Harcharan Singh Sandhu, SDM, Barnala, Mr Gurwaryam Singh, DTO, Ludhiana, Mrs Indu Malhotra, SDM, Ludhiana (West), Mr Gurlovleen Singh, AETC, Ludhiana, Mr Ashwani Kumar, SDM, Nawanshahr, Mr Ravinder Singh, SDM, Amloh, Mr G.S. Ghuman, Joint Secretary, Irrigation, Mr Malwinder Singh Jaggi, AC (Grievances), Moga, Mr Parminder Singh Gill, SDM, Roopnagar, Mr Manpreet Singh, SDM, Amritsar-II and EO, PUDA, Amritsar, Mr Sanjay Popli, Secretary, RTA, Ferozepur, Mr Kuldip Singh, A.C.(Grievances), Jalandhar, Mr Bhupinder Singh-II, EM, Amritsar, Mr Jaskiran Singh, SDM, Malerkotla, Mr D.P.S. Kaharbanda, SDM, Jalandhar-II, Mr Rajiv Prashar, SDM, Fazilka, Mr Mohinder Pal, services placed at the disposal of the Department of Local Government for appointment as Joint Commissioner, M.C., Ludhiana.

Among other postings are Mr Gurpreet Singh Khera, SDM, Jagraon, Mr Birpal Singh, DTO, Ferozepur, Mrs Surinder Kaur Riar, AETC, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, Patiala, Mr M.L. Sharma, Executive Director, BACKFINCO, Mr Zora Singh, SDM, Abohar, Mr Ajmer Singh-II, SDM, Zira, Mr Avtar Chand Sharma, SDM, Mr Mukand Singh Sandhu, SDM, Raikot, Mr Satish Kumar Singla, SDM, Samana, Mr Navtej Singh, SDM, Sunam, Mr T.P.S. Phoolka’s services placed at the disposal of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for appointment as ACA, PUDA, Patiala, Mr Arvind Pal Singh Sandhu, Joint Secretary, Pensions & Grievances, Mr Vimal Kumar Setia, SDM, Amritsar-I, Mr Surinder Kumar, SDM, Sultanpur Lodhi, Mr Devinder Singh, SDM, Khamano, Mr Jasbir Singh, DD, ULB, Patiala, Mr Gurpal Singh Chahal, SDM, Dhuri, Mr Ravinder Kumar, DTO, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Tarlochan Singh Bhatti, SDM, Patti, Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi, SDM, Khanna, Mr Gurmit Singh, A.C. (General), Muktsar, Mr Harbir Singh, services placed at the disposal of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for appointment as Estate Officer, PUDA, Jalandhar, Mrs Poonamdip Kaur, SDM, Bassi Pathana, Mr Uma Shankar, DTO, Gurdaspur, Mr Sandeep Rishi, SDM, Batala, Mr Rajesh Tripathi, AC (General), Bathinda, Mr Upkar Singh, AC (General), Nawanshahr, Mr Karnail Singh, SDM, Kapurthala, Mr Rajiv Kumar Gupta, AC (General), Ludhiana, Mr Ajay Kumar Sood, SDM, Nakodar, Mr Jagwinderjit Singh Grewal, SDM, Phillaur, Mr Pushpinder Singh Kailey, DTO, SAS Nagar, Mr Rahul Chaba, SDM, Dasuya, Mr Subash Chander, AC (General), Gurdaspur, Mrs Anupam Kaler, EM, Ludhiana, Mr Paramjit Singh-II, DTO, Amritsar, Mr Rishi Pal Singh, SDM, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mrs Vimmi Sohal, AC (General), Amritsar, Mrs Daljit Kaur, DTO, Kapurthala, Mr Sukhjeet Pal Singh, DTO, Tarn Taran, Mr Gurjit Singh, SDM, Budhlada, Mr vice J.K. Jain, SDM, Jaito, Mr Karanbir Singh Mann, AC (Grievances), Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Tejinder Pal Singh, SDM, Gurdaspur, Mr Sukhmander Singh, DTO, Jalandhar, Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Walia, DTO, Patiala, Mr Jagdish Chander Bhatia, DTO, Roopnagar, Mr Kuldip Singh Chandi, SDM, Baba Bakala, Mr Lakhmir Singh, AC (General), Faridkot, Mr Balbir Singh, DTO, Muktsar, Mr Sukhdev Singh, AC (General), Ferozepur, Mr Anil Kumar Garg, SDM, Bathinda and Dr Paramjit Singh Padda, AC (General), Tarn Taran.


CM all set for 38-day road show
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
At the receiving end of SAD criticism for the past several weeks, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has decided to launch a counter political attack on former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son, Mr Sukhbir Singh through a 38-day road show in the countryside in a few days from now. He intends to cover all 117 Vidhan Sabha constituencies by December.

“My bus is ready and I am fully prepared to take on Mr Badal and company, which has been spreading disinformation against the government in the countryside”, said Capt Amarinder Singh here today. A bullet proof home-on-wheels in the form of a bus has been readied for the Chief Minister for one of the largest public-contact exercise. It will be launched before the formal notification for the Assembly elections.

The Chief Minister will be breaking his journey occasionally to attend his official work at the state headquarters here. Ruling party MLAs, MPs and other senior leaders will be involved in this exercise. In fact, MLAs and other leaders will be asked to bring people on roadside for meeting with the Chief Minister, who would not only hold small gatherings on the roadside but also redress the grievances of people.

The bus route has been planned in such a manner that the Chief Minister will be able to cover all major rural link roads.

The ruling party thinktank will meet soon to decide that who should accompany the Chief Minister on the bus. It is expected that the fiery orator, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, who was declared as best parliamentarian for making good speeches in the state Assembly during the past four and half years, will be part of Capt Amarinder Singh’s road show.

Capt Amarinder Singh will highlight the “achievements” of his government on the development front and bold decisions taken by it on various issues. He will obviously compare the performance of his government with the previous government headed by Mr Badal.

In fact, Capt Amarinder Singh, had prepared hard to take on Mr Badal on this issue in the Assembly in its recent session but he could not do so because the City Centre Scam controversy had put his government in tight corner in the House.

For the past several weeks impression had gone around that the ruling Congress has started yielding to the political attack launched by Mr Badal and his son. Response from the ruling party to Mr Badal’s campaign against the government has been far from adequate and organised.

Asked about the possibility of alliance with any party in the state, Capt Amarinder Singh ruled out the tie-up with the CPI. He said he had a bad experience earlier and would not like to enter into any alliance with this party in the Assembly elections. When asked that CPI leader Joginder Dayal has been claiming that the Congress came to power in Punjab because of the support of his party in the last Assembly elections, Capt Amarinder Singh said Dr Dayal was not telling the truth.

Asked that the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, was in favour of alliance with the CPI, he said, “When I was a president of the PPCC, I was also supporter of alliance and I went for a tie-up with this party. However, after entering into the alliance I came to know from practical experience that it was not a right thing to do”, he added.

He said the BSP was divided in many factions and because of this reason there were no possibility of a tie-up with any faction of it.

Asked about the waiving of farmer loans and framing of Act to regulate the money lending as sought by the BJP leader, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, Capt Amarinder Singh said Mr Sidhu had no knowledge of this issue and he was habitual of making too much noise. He said in the 1930s, the money was advanced mainly by moneylenders to farmers in absence of adequate number of commercial and cooperative banks. At present there was a big network of banks. He was seriously thinking of issuing an Ordinance to give relief to debt-ridden farmers.


PM may announce package for Punjab industry
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Moga, October 6
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, may announce a package for the Punjab industry during his forthcoming visit to the state later this month or in the first week of November.

This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Industries, Dr Ashwani Kumar, while talking to The Tribune soon after attending a function to inaugurate Rajiv Gandhi Auditorium at the Dr Shyam Lal Thapar College of Nursing here on Wednesday.

Dr Kumar said Dr Singh had directed him to prepare an industrial package for Punjab and he had held several meetings in this regard and would submit his report to the Prime Minister soon.

Dr Kumar said the package would concentrate on strengthening the fiscal and industrial infrastructure in the state. He said the industries in Punjab were facing difficulties while special facilities were being provided in neighbouring states. He said the package would be helpful for them as it would ensure 12 to 13 per cent reduction in the cost of their industrial produce.

Dr Kumar said special attention would be paid to food processing, agro-based industries, auto parts, light engineering and leather industries in the package. He had already held a preliminary meeting with the Planning Commission and would hold another in-depth meeting after getting detailed information from the Industries Department.

Asked whether he took views of industrialists before finalising the report, he said industrialists were welcome to bring to his notice their views, which would be considered positively.

Dr Kumar said while the industrial package would be for the entire state, special attention would be paid for the uplift of industries situated in the border district of Amritsar, Ferozepore and Gurdaspur. Dr Kumar claimed that Dr Singh was committed to the economic development of the state.

Earlier, addressing the function, he said he would meet the Union Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, regarding the demand of former Punjab minister Malti Thapar to start a fast train from Ferozepore to Delhi via Moga in the name of Lala Lajpat Rai.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Thapar, chairperson of the Dr Shyam Lal Thapar Foundation, demanded a special package for the industries of Punjab, especially for those in Moga.

A former minister and MLA, Mr Tejprakash Singh, and the Director of the foundation, Dr Pawan Thapar, also expressed their views.

Earlier, a cultural programme was presented by students of the college and renowned artistes of the district, including Sufi singer Barkat Sidhu.


Rift between MC chief, Cong leaders
Varinder Walia and Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, October 6
Serious differences have cropped up between Mr K.S. Kang, Commissioner Municipal Corporation, and senior leaders of the ruling party, including an MLA, regarding undertaking new development projects in the city before the next Assembly elections.

While the ruling party leaders want heavy investment in their respective constituencies to show their commitment to the electorate notwithstanding the financial constraints the corporation is having after the abolition of octroi, the commissioner has been insisting to draw out priorities as every constituency should get its due.

Mr Kang left for his hometown Patiala on a two-day leave on the pretext of “pressing domestic commitments” after sending his leave application to the Principal Secretary, Local Government, this morning.

He switched off his official and personal mobile phones. Mr Sunil Dutti, Mayor, denied that Mr Kang had any differences with him. He, however, added that Mr Kang had told him that he wanted to “resign” due to some “domestic problems.”

Mr Dutti said efforts would be made to persuade him to come back.

When contacted on his residential telephone at Patiala, Mr Kang said the rumors of his resigning from the post were “baseless” and he would attend the general house meeting on Wednesday.

However, the people close to Mr Kang said he had already made up his mind to seek premature retirement.

He is retiring on December 31.

It is also learnt that Mr Kang wanted to skip the office since he does not want to be party to the opening of tenders for major development works on October 10.

Mr Jugal Kishore Sharma, MLA and Chairman of the Improvement Trust, also denied having any differences with Mr Kang. He said he had sent a revised list for carrying out development works in his constituency when he (Mr Kang) pointed out that the list was too big.

Mr Sharma said he had “cordial relations” with Mr Kang and would like him to complete his term.

Mr Kang said he had never told anybody that he was “going to resign.” He said he had chalked out some prestigious projects, including construction of the “paradise road” near Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama in Ram Bagh. Another ambitious project for the walled city was installing of close circuit TV monitors for sweeping job.

Mr Kang said the Central Government had already sanctioned Rs 3,150 crore for urban infrastructure and governance of the holy city under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

The MC has drawn a plan envisaging construction of elevated roads, metro or monorail projects, besides addition of more flyovers to ease traffic congestion. The plan has been painstakingly designed to meet the needs of residents in the next 20 years.

The Commissioner said the plan was chalked out keeping in mind the preservation of the heritage. The project would help in developing infrastructure for tourists and pilgrims to the holy city.

It is pertinent to mention that the government initiated the JNNURM last year keeping in view the unprecedented increase in urban population resulting in decay and deterioration of civic amenities.

As per 2001 Census, in all 27.8 per cent population reside in cities. Besides this figure is rising at an alarming rate. It also gave rise to urban poor, the same Census pegged their estimated population at 61.8 million. This has resulted in increase in number of slums.


PU extends date for exam forms
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
Panjab University has extended the last date for receipt of examination forms without late fee from October 18 to 31 from candidates appearing in the university annual examination 2007 in the private capacity.

The university has also declared the result of the M.Phil./ Ph.D entrance tests and posted it on the PU website (http://www.puchd.ac.in).


Dullo warns against clemency to Afzal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, Shamsher Singh Dullo today warned against granting clemency to Afzal Guru, convict in the Parliament attack case. He said, this would convey a wrong signal to enemies of the country threatening its sovereignty and integrity.

Mr Dullo told reporters here today, Guru had been held guilty by the courts after due process of law and he was given full chance to defend himself.


Countdown begins to SGPC chief’s election
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, October 6
The SGPC has been in the focus since Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra passed into history. Each Akali leader picked by Mr Parkash Singh Badal to slip into the shoes of Mr Tohra proved unequal to the task as a result of which the SGPC has suffered a setback. Interestingly not only the presidents, but also the secretaries were handpicked people. Now the SGPC has four secretaries instead of one and quite a number of additional secretaries. It is not known whether all these high posts justify the workload that the institution has to bear. Mr K.S. Badungar did work hard to understand the Sikh traditions and the SGPC administrative set-up. But before he could prove equal to his task, he was replaced. Bibi Jagir Kaur had the acumen and dynamism. But she was not attuned to work in a system being head of a dera. Moreover, she landed herself in a controversy following the death of her daughter.

Temperamentally she responded to every situation only politically. It was under these circumstances that Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his cohorts in the Akali Dal were compelled to look around for another person with a clean image. It was in this situation that the name of Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, a first-time member of the SGPC, came to the fore. Mr Makkar was supported by Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and Ludhiana MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. There is no doubt that people had high hopes when Mr Makkar was installed as SGPC chief. But it did not take long when his inexperience and pliability began to hit the administrative set-up of the SGPC. The hasty suspensions and transfers shook the administration and Mr Makkar came to have a team of officials who became inconvenient for him.

The organisation of shatabdis function became a huge task. Mr Parkash Singh Badal getting conscious of the situation began to take interest himself. This created dyarchy in the SGPC administration and the official hierarchy began to look into him (Badal). Moreover, shatabdi functions got totally politicised and the gathering at Tarn Taran neither remained a gathering of devotees nor a religious congregation. It got converted into a political rally.

The developments in the Delhi Sikh politics and victory of the Sarna group in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) created more difficulties for Mr Badal and at times it looked as if the Delhi Akali Dal was stealing the show in so far a religious functions were concerned. The DSGMC organised a two-day international seminar in Delhi in connection with the martyrdom centenary of Guru Arjan Dev and scholars from overseas also participated. The DSGMC published a beautiful souvenir on this occasion which is much superior to the souvenirs published by the SGPC. These developments affected the image of Mr Avtar Singh Makkar adversely. The man behind the seminar was Prof Prithipal Singh Kapur, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University and a renowned Sikh scholar. Mr Avtar Singh Makkar’s brief visit to UK and USA created a new area of influence for him but the diasporic leanings towards various groups did not go well to enhance his image.


Cong may field new faces
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 6
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has got the green signal from the party high command to replace weak candidates with those having better chances to win in the coming Assembly elections.

While interacting with mediapersons here today, Capt Amarinder Singh said he had discussed the matter with the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, during the recent Congress Chief Ministers’ conclave at Nainital.

“We would given tickets to only those candidates who would be having 100 per cent chances to win the Assembly elections and all candidates who have slim chances to get through will not be given party ticket”, he asserted. “We are in the process of evaluating the standing in their respective areas of all prospective candidates for 117 Assembly segments in the state. Only those, who will rated high to win elections will be nominated as party candidates”, he added.

Though the Chief Minister gave no number, it appears that about 40 new faces will enter in the election fray due in February next year. There are chances even some of the ministers, who have been found wanting in their performance, may not be nominated as candidates.

Last time, the Congress had suffered major set backs in the Malwa belt of Bathinda-Faridkot-Moga-Muktsar and Sangrur. However, it had done exceeding well in the Doaba and Majha regions and Ferozepore, Ludhiana and Ropar of the Malwa belt to form a government with a thin majority.


DCC office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Ferozepore, October 6
Mr Gurnaib Singh Brar, DCC president, today released the list of new office-bearers of the district Congress committee which included 16 block presidents, 38 vice-presidents, 38 general secretaries and 43 secretaries.

While addressing party workers at Congress Bhavan here, he said all segments of society had been given due representation in the newly constituted DCC. He said win-ability factor and personal image of the leader would be the main criteria for allotment of party ticket in the coming Vidhan Sabha elections.

He exhorted all party workers, office-bearers and leaders to work together to ensure victory of the Congress in the forthcoming Assembly elections so that it could retains power in the state.

The block presidents include Mr Balbir Singh, Khuiya (Sarvar-I); Dr Jaswant Singh, Khuiya (Sarvar-II); Mr Dharamvir, Abohar (Urban); Mr Tara Chand, Abohar (Rural), Mr Desh Raj, Fazilka (Rural); Mr Roshan Lal Khunger, Fazilka (Urban); Mr Raj Baksh, Jalalabad (Rural); Mr Darshan Singh Watts, Jalalabad (Urban); Mr Satnam Singh, Arniwala; Mr Ramesh Thukral, Makhu; Mr Jarnail Singh Sandhu, Makhu (Rural); Mr Nachattar Singh, Mallanwala); Mr Kimti Lal Jain, Zira; Mr Dharampal, Ferozepore (City); Mr Gobind Ram, Ferozepore (Cantt); Mr Kuldip Singh, Ferozepore (Rural), Mr Roop Lal, Talwandi Bhai; and Mr Mukhtiar Singh, Ghal Khurd.

Mr Amritpal and Mr Arun Malhotra have been appointed press secretaries of the DCC whereas Mr Gurcharan Singh has been made office secretary.

Mr Brar said all former and sitting Congress MPs, MLAs, PPCC office-bearers would be special invitees of the DCC.


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