P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Vigilance faux pas, DC booked!
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 9
In a major faux pas, the Vigilance Bureau inadvertently mentioned the name of Deputy Commissioner Kirandip Singh Bhullar in a FIR, which may give benefit to the accused Tehsildar, Naib Tehsildar and other revenue officials who were booked on the charge of signing a “bogus land deed.”

Interestingly, Mr Bhullar was shown as Kanugo (a revenue official) in the FIR. The investigations point out that there is no Kanugo in the name of Mr Kirandip Singh Bhullar in the district. However, the Vigilance Bureau has booked Mr Rajesh Sharma, Tehsildar- II, Mohinder Singh Sidhu, Naib Tehildar, Ashok Kumar, Kanugo, Harbans Singh, Patwari, Om Parkash, Palwinder Singh, Lakhwinder Singh and other officials of the Revenue Department.

Mr Sharma said he was also wrongly booked since the area under which the controversial land worth crores of rupees fell was not under his jurisdiction. He said he would move the appropriate authorities for quashing the FIR.

It may be mentioned here that a two kanal and one marla prime land with a market value of Rs 10 crore was transferred to one Om Parkash through a “bogus conveyance deed,” allegedly with the connivance of the Tehsildar, Kanugo Ashok Kumar and Patwari Harbans Singh Bhullar. Om Parkash allegedly connived with the revenue officials and got the prime land at the Sultanwind locality in the city near the Amritsar-Jalandhar Road transferred in his name.


Science city Phase-II to open to public in March 2008
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 9
Second phase of the Pushpa Gujral Science City (PGSC) in Kapurthala, would be completed soon and opened to public by March 2008 said Dr R.S. Khandpur, Director-General while talking to reporters here on Tuesday.

Mr Khandpur said of the Rs 100 crore to be spent on the second phase Rs 70 crore had already been spent on the project. Major construction work had been completed and equipment was expected to arrive from Kolkata soon. The PGSC is for entertainment and learning as five lakh people have visited the city in the past one-year. He said students of the region had visited the city. The gallery, tells the story of the human evolution from the primates living at the end of the dinosaur age to civilisation of modern times was being upgraded.

The Director-General said exhibit galleries under construction, would house four new galleries, the Science of Sports, Ecology and Environment, heath and biotechnology, and Emerging technologies. He said besides this work on the design and fabrication of the exhibits was on.

The PGSC Chief said the science city was also going to start HIV/AIDS awareness programme in 100 colleges of Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Kapurthala and Gurdaspur districts in the first phase. He said for this the PGSC in collaboration with the Punjab State AIDS Control Society, would start control initiative under the ‘Red Ribbon Club’ to be launched in colleges of the state. A gallery was also being set up in the science city to bring public awareness on the deadly syndrome. Main aim of the programme was to prepare the youth as peer educators and agents of change by developing their skills in leadership and team building, he added.

He said the assortment in exhibits spanning various disciplines in the science city were basically incubators of scientific knowledge and emphasis was more on hands-on exploratory learning than format text-based approach. He said though innovative science exhibits, which stress aspects of everyday life and other developments relevant to a nation, the PGSC was ideally poised to play an important role in nation-building.


DC’s order fails to stop illegal mining
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, November 9
The district administration has been finding it difficult to stop illegal mining in common land of Manwal village. Despite orders from Deputy Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh to stop mining influential persons doing mining from the area cover under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) have not stopped mining.

After the matter was reported in these columns the Deputy Commissioner had directed the local SDM and the BDO to get the mining stopped. On the Deputy Commissioner’s orders officials visited the spot twice to get the mining stopped.

However, it proved eyewash. Once officials moved from the spot mining again started. When The Tribune team visited the spot mining from the common land for making bricks was going on. Villagers alleged the mining never stopped thanks to alleged intervention of local politicians. They egged illegal miners on to continue mining irrespective of what the district authorities said.

Illegal mining in common land of village started after the panchayat illegally leased the land to a brick kiln owner. The kiln owner showing scant regard for the small area allotted to him felled trees and cleared large area for mining earth.

As per rules nature of the village common land covered under the PLPA Act cannot be changed. No commercial activity or mining can be carried on it without permission from the Department of Forests. However, neither the Department of Forest nor the district administration has proved to effective in getting the illegal mining stopped.

The Deputy Commissioner had also ordered an inquiry into the illegal resolution adopted by the panchayat to lease the land to the District Development and Panchayats Officer (DDPO). The inquiry remains inconclusive but the mining is on to the chagrin of residents of the area.

A delegation of the residents of area also met the Deputy Commissioner to get mining stopped.


No presiding officers at labour courts
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 9
Karamjit Singh of Mahalpur village in Hoshiarpur district is suffering as his case against the illegal termination of his services from the Hoshiarpur Express Transport Company has been pending in the Jalandhar labour court since 1998.

Moreover, there is no likelihood of any decision in the case in the near future as the post of the presiding officer at the court has been lying vacant since March. His case was to be taken up today, but it was again adjourned till January 29.

In fact, his case is not an isolated one. More than 16,000 litigants from 10 districts of Punjab are sailing in the same boat. Around 8,000 cases are pending in the Jalandhar, Bathinda and Patiala labour courts. The posts of presiding officers in these courts have been lying vacant since March.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court withdrew the services of three Additional District and Sessions Judges from the posts of presiding officers at these places as the Punjab Labour and Employment Department failed to provide them required facilities and staff to run labour courts there, said Mr Ravi Wadhawan, president of the Bar Association Labour Court, Jalandhar.

Interestingly, the Labour Act says that the cases filed in a labour court should be decided in three months.

Moreover, it becomes very difficult for the poor workers to go on pursuing their cases for such a long time. “Unable to pursue their cases because of financial constraints, they generally arrive at unjust settlements with their employers,” Mr Wadhawan said.


From tomorrow, you can’t be listed as voter
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
Tomorrow is the last day for accepting the claims of residents of Punjab seeking inclusion in the voters’ list for the coming Assembly elections. Also, it will be the last day for filing objections, if any, against inclusion or non-inclusion of names in the list.

Claims and objections can be filed at the offices of the respective Electoral Registration Officers in each subdivision. The draft poll rolls were prepared on October 23. These had been pasted in all Assembly constituencies and objections were invited.

The Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Sundaram Krishna, told The Tribune that persons born on or before January 1, 1989, would be eligible to be included in the list. A person had to be 18 years of age or more as on January 1, 2007, to be eligible. Those who would turn 18 in November or December this year could also file their claims by tomorrow. They would have to provide the relevant proof of age like a certificate issued by the municipality or a certificate issued during the Class X or Class XII examination which mentioned the age.

These changes would be reflected in the final poll rolls that would be published on January 3 next year, he added.

According to the draft rolls, there are about 1.67 crore voters in Punjab.

Mr Krishna said the last voters’ list was published in September this year and had 1.69 crore voters. This was based on enumeration done in December last year. A revision was carried out. It was found that nearly 90,000 persons had died since then and a large number had shifted their place of residence following marriage or transfer.

The checking of the list was carried out using software called “de-duplication” developed for the Election Commission. It shows all matching names and addresses. These can be then verified physically. Double entries are removed for persons who have migrated from villages to cities.

Meanwhile, orders have been issued to the Deputy Commissioners and Subdivisional Magistrates to ensure that all 15,649 polling stations have access through a ramp for use by the disabled.

Also, the CEO has ordered an additional 2,000 electronic voting machines. These will be a back-up for the main machines.


Auction of single-digit vehicle numbers introduced
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 9
In the first-ever auction of vehicle number 0001 of a new series, PB-10BW, the Punjab Transport Department has earned Rs 4.70 lakh. The auction was held in Ludhiana. The buyer of the number was Mr Kulbir Singh of Model Town in Ludhiana.

The State Transport Commissioner, Mr Iqbal Singh, today said that there were eight bidders for the number. The second highest bid was of Rs 4.60 lakh.

Earlier, the Punjab Government had fixed Rs 50,000 as the price of the first number of the series.

It was allotted on a first come, first served basis. The state government had also fixed the price of other single-digit numbers.

Mr Iqbal Singh said that henceforth in other districts also, the first number of a series would be auctioned. “ Our first attempt has paid rich dividends.

We got nine times the price fixed for the first number”, he added. “ And I have sent a proposal for approval to the government to also auction other single-digit numbers from 2 to 9”, he said.

Meanwhile, in special checking of illegal operation of private buses in the state, the Transport Department has challaned 206 buses.

Of these, 39 were impounded and offences compounded on the spot in the case of 120 buses. A sum of Rs 4,76,700 was recovered as fine from those plying the buses illegally.

“ I have asked the district transport officers, regional transport authorities and other officers concerned to launch special checking”, said Mr Iqbal Singh.


2 buried alive in Fazilka
Our Correspondent

Fazilka, November 9
Two persons were buried alive in a motor well as earth caved in at Mouzam village, 4 km from here last evening.

According to information provided by Kulwant Singh, his brother Jaswant Singh (40) and their neighbourer Chann Singh (25), went into a 22-ft-deep well to remove bricks and subsequently fill it up since it had been in disuse for long period. When Jaswant Singh and Chann Singh had removed some bricks, a big portion of earth caved in and buried both of them, resulting in their death on the spot.

In the evening Kaku Singh, a relative of Jaswant Singh, went to give them tea and noticed earth having caved in. He raised the alarm. Soon villagers gathered on the spot and retrieved the bodies of Jaswant Singh and Chann Singh.


Man held with 5 kg heroin

Amritsar, November 9
The Narcotics Cell today arrested Paramjit Singh Pamma and his accomplice and seized 5 kg heroin worth Rs 5 crore from them.

Paramjit, a resident of Havelian village, was wanted in many cases of smuggling of gold biscuits and narcotics. He had relations with KCF chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar and used to work as courier for the KCF to smuggle arms and explosives to terrorists during the militancy period.

Mr Makhan Singh, SSP, Narcotics Cell, said heroin was smuggled from Pakistan. Paramjit got it from Bhola and was to be deliver it to Pandit, alias Bau, in New Delhi.

The arrests were made following a tip-off. The other arrested person was identified as Resham Singh of Kapur Nagar, Sultanwind road. A motorcycle (PB-46-D-8887) and a mobile phone were also seized. Resham Singh was also wanted in a number of cases. — OC


Two held for gold smuggling
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, November 9
The local police today arrested two alleged gold smugglers and seized 486 gm of gold from them.

The duo — Shankar and Manish — were arrested by a police party during a naka in Ghaggar Sarai village, near here, when they were allegedly carrying the gold biscuit from Ambala to Rajpura.

They allegedly evaded VAT and other taxes on the sale of the gold. A case has been registered.


Zonal youth fest ends
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 9
The Inter-College Zonal Youth Festival-2006, an annual event of the Punjab Technical University, being organised at IET, Bhaddal, concluded with a plethora of cultural activity here yesterday. Bhangra performed by the students of the different colleges thrilled the audience.

In different events, the SAS ITT, Mohali, was declared first in bhangra competition while Indo-Global College of Engineering, Abhipur, stood second. In clay modelling, Suchi Bhalla of the Shivalik College of Pharmacy, Nangal, was declared first and Monica Kashyap of the Institute of Engineering Technology, Bhaddal, was declared second. In collage making, Nidhi Rana of the Indo-Global College of Architecture stood first and Sugandha Sharma of the Indo-Global College of Engineering stood second.

In other events, Jasmeet Kaur of the IITT, Pojewal, secured the first prize in poster making competition while the second prize was bagged by Jasleen Kaur of the Institute of Engineering Technology, Bhaddal. In the skit competition, the Shivalik College of Pharmacy, Nangal, won the first prize, while the GJIMT, Mohali, bagged the second prize.

In mime competition, the Shivalik College of Pharmacy, Nangal, secured the first position and the Institute of Engineering Technology, Bhaddal, got the second prize. In mimcry, the Indo-Global College of Engineering, Abhipur, won the first prize while the GJIMT, Mohali, got the second prize.

In quiz, the Institute of Engineering Technology, Bhaddal, won the first prize whereas the GJIMT obtained second position. In elocution competition, the GJIMT secured the first prize while the Institute of Engineering Technology Bhaddal, bagged the second prize.

In on-the-spot painting, the Indo-Global College of Architecture was adjudged first whereas the College of Architecture, Bhaddal, was declared second. In debate competition, GJIMT, Mohali, won first prize and the IITT, Pojewal, won second price.


Another Principal of SGPC-run college resigns
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 9
Dr Kultar Singh Batra has reportedly stepped down as Acting Principal of an SGPC-run medical college without assigning any reason.

Dr Batra, who was appointed to the post after the superannuation of Dr S.S. Walia last week, was reportedly under pressure from high officials of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to carry out certain works which he had refused, according to sources in the SGPC. Despite repeated attempts, Dr Batra did not attend his phone.

However, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, SGPC member, said that it was unfortunate that principals were being removed unceremoniously or they were being compelled to step down.

Earlier on February 3, the SGPC chief, Mr Avtar Singh, had suspended Dr U.S. Dhaliwal, Principal, Guru Ram Dass Medical College.

Dr Batra is the fifth Principal in a row since the inception of the college in 1997 who has been either removed unceremoniously or compelled to resign.

Earlier, Dr Hardyal Singh and Dr Surinder Singh Cheema were not allowed to complete their full terms.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |