P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Singla on foundation stone-laying spree
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 30
With Assembly elections round the corner the Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, seems to be on the foundation stone-laying spree these days. The minister today laid the stones of two railway over bridges, a sewerage system and a 30-bed hospital here.

Interacting with mediapersons, Mr Singla disclosed that two railway over bridges (ROB) and an over bridge on canal would come up in the city within a year. Thirty ROBs and RUBs worth over Rs 500 crore were being built across the state under the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB).

He attributed the delay in construction of these bridges to the involvement of railway ministry and frequent change in their design by RITES Ltd.

He said the major share of funds for constructing bridges would come from the state government. The over bridge on the Bathinda-Goniana road would come up in the next four months.

Regarding the pending MC elections, he said there were differences over demarcation of wards and polls would be held once the Assembly elections were over. Mr Singla also laid the foundation stone of a 30-bed hospital at Paras Ram Nagar and a sewerage system at Mati Das Nagar.

On the row surrounding handing over of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, to Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, he said there would not be any dearth of funds for the hospital till the university came on its own. However, he expressed his inability to throw light on the government's plans to raise infrastructure for the university.

Mr Darbara Singh Guru, Principal Secretary, Health, said Indian Public Health Standard services were being extended to 116 community health centres. A plan before the Centre for building 66 trauma centres on main roads had been put forth.


Jail doc attacked by prisoners
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 30
The doctors have threatened to stop attending the inmates of the Gurdaspur central jail. The doctors took a decision in this regard after Mr Raj Masseih, a doctors attending the prisoners, was attacked by a group of under trail criminals. Dr Raj Masseih said there are a large number of drug addicts in jail. They keep on demanding psychotropic drugs from them.

“Today after I went to examine the prisoners in jail, Vijay, a prisoner facing trail in murder case, asked me to provide psychotropic drugs. I denied him the drugs as he was not suffering from any ailment. At this, he returned with 10 to 12 prisoners and attacked me. They also threatened me with dire consequences in case I did not provide them the drugs.

“I was saved by a few other prisoners who intervened. The jail authorities failed to come to his rescue in time despite message being passed to them on the wireless set.”

He said one constable, who was with him, was incapable of handling the prisoners.

He further alleged that a written complaint was submitted to the superintendent of jail regarding the attack on him by prisoners. However, the superintendent did not register any case. Terming the incident as normal, he marked an inquiry into the case.

Mr Nirmal Chand, the jail superintendent, when contacted, admitted that he has admitted the compliant of the jail doctor. An inquiry has been marked to Assistant Superintendent jail. If anybody was found guilty, a case would be registered against him.

Meanwhile, the doctors held a meeting in the civil hospital and condemned the incident. They said that since the doctor posted in central jail was on leave the doctors from the civil hospital are posted in jail in rotation. However, adequate security was not provided to the doctors attending criminals serving heinous crimes.

If adequate security was not provided, no doctor would attend the prisoners in jail in future, they alleged.


Bhog ceremony of Kanshi Ram observed
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 30
The Kanshi Ram Bachao Sangharsh Committee and SAD(A) jointly organised the bhogh ceremony of Late Babu Kanshi Ram at Diwan Todar Mal Hall Gurudwara here today.

Earlier, they had performed the bhogh cermony of Akhand Path Sahib at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib.

Though the organisers claimed that they had invited all political leaders, who believed in the ideology of Kanshi Ram, but only Simranjit Singh Mann, president, SAD(A), and some leaders of Dalit organisations attended the ceremony.

Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president, SAD(A), paid tributes and appreciated the role of Kanshi Ram in uplifting the living standards of Dalits and making them powerful by bringing them under one banner of the BSP.

He always followed the principles of Guru Granth Sahib and was the main architect of development in the state. He urged the Dalits to adopt Sikh religion. He assured the Dalit community that he would always stand by them.

The speakers at the ceremony lashed out at Ms Mayawati, BSP supremo.

They demanded a CBI enquiry in the death of Kanshi Ram.

Mr Santokh Singh Salana, president of the committee said Kanshi Ram was born in a Sikh family in Hoshiarpur district and he was a massiah of crores of Dalits. He dedicated his life for the cause of the Dalits.

Mr Varinder Pal Singh Dhanaula in his address said he displaced the Congress politically and set up the regime of the BSP in UP. He urged all the Dalit organisations to sink their diffrences and gather on one platform to continue the mission of Kanshi Ram, which would be a real tribute to him. Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Bhai Daljit Singh Bitoo, leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha, the Bahujan Samaj Party (Ambedkar), the Bahujan Kranti Kari Party and other Sikh organisations representatives were also present there.


Nanded to be developed as tourist destination
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, October 30
The confrontation between the SGPC and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has started boomeranging as the image of the SGPC is being affected adversely. An impression has gone that the SGPC operates as a big brother ignoring the local realities so far as the religious organisations situated in states other than Punjab are concerned. In Delhi, people think that the Akali Dal (Badal) plays politics in Delhi which helps them in Punjab ignoring the interests of the Sikhs settled in Delhi. Next to DSGMC, there are two other statutory committees managing gurdwaras in Patna and Nanded.

These days, the Nanded Sikh Gurdwara Committee is headed by Mr P.S. Pasricha, Director-General of Police, Maharashtra. As a Sikh he genuinely wants to take such measures which might be remembered even after the elected President takes over. He has prepared a masterplan for the development of city of Nanded as a tourist destination and a cultural centre. The Maharashtra Government has since accepted this plan. He has also prepared a plan to improve the infrastructure with Sachkhand Hazur Sahib complex and providing proper drainage is his top priority. He is also engaged in consulting the Sikh gurdwara committees all over regarding the celebration of tercentenary of installation of Guru Granth Sahib as eternal guru of the Sikhs. It is an occasion which is remembered by the Sikhs because Guru Gobind Singh declared Guru Granth Sahib as the eternal guru.

Mr Pasricha contacted the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna, who convened a meeting of important Sikhs in Delhi. Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta and Prof Prithipal Singh Kapur, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, and a renowned Sikh scholar also participated in the meeting. Mr Pasricha wanted suggestions for celebrations and declared that the main function would be held at Hazur Sahib in 2008. Mr Pasricha unfolded his plans regarding arrangements that he was making to accommodate five lakh Sikhs from all over the world.

Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna offered to organize the first function in this regard as kirtan darbar at Hazur Sahib.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, president, Delhi State Akali Dal, suggested that the pandal may be named after Maharashtra Saint Namdev whose hymns are included in the Guru Granth Sahib. Mr Pasricha also wanted to organize an international seminar on this occasion in order to highlight the principle of Guru Granth-Guru Panth in the Sikh religions scheme. Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta suggested that some good publications should be given out on Guru Granth Sahib on this occasion and eminent scholars should be invited for the same. Mr Pasricha said he would also visit Amritsar and consult the SGPC and solicit its cooperation.


Poor health services in villages flayed
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 30
Flaying the state government for “neglecting” health services in rural areas, Bathinda MP Bibi Paramjeet Kaur Gulshan yesterday alleged government dispensaries in villages didn’t have adequate staff and medicines to deliver quality medical care to people.

Inaugurating a free ortho and plastic surgery camp organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad here, she said people in different pockets of Bathinda, Muktsar and Mansa districts were suffering from dreaded diseases like cancer and “dying without treatment due to lack of health services”. Lauding the parishad for the camp, she said NGOs could also play a vital role in curbing social evils like drug addiction and female foeticide. AGM of Punjab National Bank, Ajit Kumar Jaitley, said their bank was ready to extend a loan of Rs 2 lakh to drug addicts willing to join the mainstream of society so as to help them start business and contribute to the country’s development.

A team of doctors comprising Dr Avtar Singh and Dr Ravi Mahajan from Amandeep Hospital Amritsar examined 500 patients today, of which 200 were chosen for surgery for various ailments. The camp would also facilitate free surgery of children having cleft lip. SAD leader S.S. Bhinder, Oriental Bank of Commerce AGM T.S. Bagga, parishad president Rakesh Garg, secretary G.G. Dev and treasurer Romesh Goyal were also present.


A unique gesture against foeticide
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 30
In a unique gesture to fight against foeticide and give message to all pregnant women not to go for killing of unborn daughters by carrying out abortions, a local resident yesterday delivered fifth daughter in a local government hospital.

The baptised woman, who delivered fifth daughter, told doctors that she always considered male and female equal in the society.

Dr M.S. Randhawa, Senior Medical Officer (SMO) of the hospital, said Amarjeet Kaur had set an example which would go a long way to curb the evil of foeticide which had caused disturbance in the male-female ratio in the country, and in Punjab particularly.

He added that a new hope against foeticide in the prevailing situation in the state was generated after Amarjeet Kaur delivered her fifth female baby.

He said Dr D.S. Gill, Medical Superintendent, and Dr Madhurima felicitated the mother on behalf of the hospital staff.

Dr Randhawa said Amarjeet Kaur disclosed that she was suggested during her pregnancies to abort the foetus, since every pregnancy resulted into the birth of another female child, but her family members understood that it was against the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

He said the doctors might recommend her name for a suitable felicitation by the state government for promoting the acceptance of female babies.


PPCB engineer attends workshop in Taipei
Tribune News service

Patiala, October 30
Mr Krunesh Garg, Environmental Engineer of Punjab Pollution Control Board, attended a workshop on “Green procurement and green supply chains” which was organised by the Asian Productivity Organisation, Tokyo, in associations with the China Productivity Centre and Taiwan Environment and Management Association from October 24 to October 27, at Taipei, Taiwan.

Mr Garg was selected by the Asian Productivity Organisation through the Government of India to represent the country, along with two other participant, in that workshop.

According to a press note issued here today, Mr Garg presented a paper during the workshop on the status of green procurement and green supply chain in India. It was emphasised during the workshop that a consolidated policy framework should be put in place by the government to make the Green Supply Chain movement more strong and should help the entrepreneurs with financial assistance/ technology transfer issues who wished to promote cleaner technologies in production.

Issues relating to waste electrical and electronic equipments (WEEE) regulations and restriction on hazardous substances (ROHS) by the European Union and its impact on the world trade and environment protection were also discussed.

He stated that the current trend of environmental degradation indicated a need for a change in manufacturing philosophy. There must be a fundamental shift in the way production systems operate. There must be a move towards sustainability, achieved through vast reductions in resource use and waste generation, and a move away from one-time use and product disposal. The first step in such a move was to extend the structure of the current one-way supply chain to a closed loop, including supply chain operations designed for end-of-life product and packaging recovery, collection, and re-use, in the forms of recycling and/or remanufacturing.


Akali leaders to take up Bhullar’s case with Kalam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
A joint delegation of the SGPC, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and leaders of Akali factions is expected to meet the President and the Prime Minister to get the death sentence of Prof Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar commuted.

Mr Surinder Singh Kishanpura, senior leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), said he met Professor Bhullar here today.

Mr Kishanpura said a few days ago, he had handed over a letter to the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, written by Professor Bhullar. As a sequel to the letter, the Jathedar had decided to send a high-level delegation to meet the Prime Minister and the President to take up the case of Professor Bhullar with them.


Subhas foundation rebuts Lalji’s claim
Tribune News Service

Ropar, October 30
The Chairman of the Netaji Subhas Foundation, Mr V.P. Saini, today rebutted the claim of an elderly person, who died on October 27, of being Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as the news appeared in some newspapers.

He told a press conference that he had received claims from dozens of people that Netaji lived in their villages and died there. Such claims, without any substantial evidence or support were motivated by desire to get publicity or to create confusion about the real story of Netaji, he added.

Mr Saini said it was not appropriate to accept that Lalji Baba of Saiji village had disclosed to former sarpanch that he was Netaji. Photographs of the Baba, as appeared in some newspapers, had no resemblance with Netaji. Even otherwise, there was no reason or justification that Netaji lived in that area for over 50 years silently.

He said it was a part of conspiracy to prove that Netaji had died somewhere else because the Justice mukherjee Commission had categorically declared that Netaji did not die in the claimed air crash at Taihoku.


Staff to protest against CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Employees of various government departments will hold a “ protest road show” against the Amarinder Singh Government at Anandpur Sahib in the first week of November. Mr Ranbir Singh Dhillon, convener of the Punjab Mulazam Sangarsh Committee, said here today that on November 3, employees would hold demonstrations in front of offices of Deputy Commissioners. From November 9 to 16, employees would hold flag marches in the state. On November 17, a protest rally at Bathinda would be organised.

He said the state government had ditched employees on the issue of giving promotional scale on completion of 4, 9 and 14 years of service.


11 jhuggis gutted
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, October 30
Fire broke out in jhuggis of migrant labourers at Sainchan village, about 5 km from here, today. As many as 11 jhuggis were gutted.

Mr Raheem, a farm labourer from Badaun (UP), who was head of the contract migrant labourers, said that all of them, including women, had gone for work in the fields in connection with the sowing of potato. He said that Rs 20000 received by him from the owner of a farm for distribution among the labourers, was also reduced to ashes.

No loss of life has been reported. The cause of fire has yet to be ascertained.


Farmers to protest against land acquisition
Our Correspondent

Barnala, October 30
Nine unions of farmers have reiterated their demand of scrapping of the Punjab Government notification pertaining to forcible acquisition of farmers’ land in Punjab before November 8.

Giving this information here today, Mr Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ekta Ugrahan, disclosed that under the stewardship of Mr Joginder Singh Ugrahaan, preparations for marches, rallies and meetings for the November 8 programme of sowing of wheat by farmers whose land had been forcibly acquired by the Punjab Government in Fatehgarh Chhanna, Dhaula and Sanghera villages of newly carved out Barnala district were on.

Nearly 100 farmers have turned down the Collector’s award, discarding the government notification, and are not accepting a single penny.

He said now even the Union Government had instructed the state governments not to acquire fertile and productive land of farmers for mega-projects, special economic zones and industries.

He informed nine farmers’ unions had chalked out an action programme of staging protest dharnas in front of the office of the Amritsar Deputy Commissioner and at some other district headquarters on November 8 to press the government to scrap its notification pertaining to the acquisition of 1218 acres fertile land of farmers of seven villages on the Amritsar-Delhi national highway for a private company DLF’s special economic zone in Amritsar.


Inside Babudom
IPS officers seek DPC meeting
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 30
Six months after the process was initiated to promote five ADGPs to the rank of DGP, the issue has become an irritant between the IAS and IPS cadres in the state.

With the Departmental Promotion Committee meeting for IPS officers having being postponed at least six times in the past few months, IPS officers have now urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to ensure time-bound conduct of the DPC meeting within the next few days. They have also hinted to the Chief Minister that the DPC could be held by circulating the agenda papers amongst its members. Within the cadre, IPS officers say the bureaucracy is stalling their promotions.

Top sources in the government told The Tribune today that the bureaucracy was of the opinion that the Government of India had not empanelled any IPS officer after the 1972 batch for promotion as DGP.

In July the Chief Minister had asked officials to “immediately convene” a DPC meeting. Since then the bureaucracy has taken the stand that there could be no more than two DGPs in the state while four persons were at present holding the rank of DGP. They are Mr S.S. Virk, Mr K.K. Attri, Mr G.S. Aujla and Mr P. Lal. The last officer will retire in November.

The five officers in line are Mr N.P. S Aulakh, Mr R.S. Gill, Mr A.P.Pandey, Mr Mohd Izhar Alam and Mr Anil Kaushik. While Mr Aulakh is a 1972 batch officer and is at present on deputation with the Border Security Force (BSF), the others are serving in the state. A couple of weeks ago he was promoted as Special DGP in the BSF. Mr Gill is from the 1973 batch while Mr Pandey and Mr Alam are from the 1974 batch. Mr Kaushik is from the 1975 batch.

Officialdom has also pointed out various directives of the Union Government against having a top-heavy police administration.

The latest reports of the Auditor-General of Punjab have said that there has been an excess and wrong creation of ex-cadre posts for the IPS cadre in the state. This is part of the report on “Manpower management of the Police Department”.

The reports say the IPS (Cadre) Rules, 1954, provide no restriction on the state government on the creation of ex-cadre posts at the levels of ADGP, IGP, DIGP and SP. However, these ex-cadre posts have to be kept within the prescribed state deputation reserve which is 19 in the case of Punjab. At the level of DGP, one ex-cadre post can be created in Punjab. The number of ex-cadre posts can only exceed the prescribed statutory limit with the approval of the Central Government.

Punjab has a cadre strength of 144 IPS officers that was fixed in November, 2003, by the Central Government. The breakdown is: 79 senior posts of IPS officers, 31 posts of Central deputation reserve, 19 posts of state deputation reserve, 13 posts of leave reserve and junior posts reserve and two posts of training reserve.


2 killed, 2 hurt in road mishaps
Our Correspondent

Phillaur October 30
Two persons, including a child, were killed and two others injured in two different road mishaps here last evening.

According to reports received here today, Rajmeil Singh along with his family was going from Gurdaspur to Chandigarh in a car and had a brief halt to drink water. When he and his son, Lashman Singh, were going to fetch water from a nearby hand pump near Khalwara village they were hit by two cars which collided and overturned.

Lashman Singh died on the spot, while two occupants of one of the cars involved in the collision sustained injuries. They were admitted to the local Civil Hospital.

In second incident, a cyclist, Mandip Singh, of nearby Chachoki village was killed on the spot when the cycle he was riding was hit by a heavy vehicle near Phagwara on national highway last evening. The vehicle driver sped away, the police said. The police has sent both the bodies for a post-mortem examination to the Civil Hospital.


Impersonator held

Phillaur October 30
The police has arrested Bachittar Singh of Adampur impersonating as “labour inspector” and threatening factory owners. The arrested person was identified as retired Army man, the police said.

He usually threatened to factory owners to grab money from them. He went to nearby Khangura village and threatened a factory owner. — OC


NCC organises blood donation camp
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 30
In a long-awaited move to bring uniformity in the activities of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) all the units in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh were asked to organise blood donation camps today. This emerged as a major welfare project, sources said.

The Directorate had appointed observers to monitor the camps within their respective regions to ensure fairness in performance, besides plugging the bottlenecks, if any. Earlier the NCC units had been taking up such activities in a scattered manner.


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