P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Avoid legislature, judiciary clash: Atwal
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 14
Controversy between legislatures and judiciary was most unfortunate and not in the interest of democracy in the country. Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha stated this to reporters here yesterday.

Mr Atwal said judiciary, executive and legislatures were the three independent pillars of democracy. All these wings functioned independently helping in smooth functioning of democracy. As many as 14 elections to Parliament had been held in the country so far, which proved that India was the biggest democratic country in the world.

He said eminent persons of the country should in make suggestions to all wings to avoid unnecessary interference in the working of each-other.

Referring to the utility of the MP Local Area Development Fund, Mr Atwal said it had proved very useful for development in rural areas. Major part of the MPLAD Fund should be utilised to improve education and health facilities in remote areas and amount of the MPLAD Fund should be enhanced from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore annually.

On the misuse of this fund by some MPs as reported in a section of the press, Mr Atwal claimed these funds were put to good account in Punjab.

Mr Atwal alleged standard of education in government run institutions in Punjab was abysmal. Even the Sarav Shiksha Abhiyan, a Central Government-sponsored scheme for getting rid of illiteracy had not provided desired results.

Later, he presided over the quarterly meeting of Vigilance Monitoring Committee at mini secretariat to review the progress of ongoing development schemes sponsored by the Government of India.


Cleaning Budda Nullah Herculean task: Baba
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal of Kali Bein fame yesterday visited to inspect Budda Nullah and said cleaning the ‘killer’ drain was a Herculean task and could not be done without the help of government machinery.

The Baba went alongside the nullah, took samples of effluent-laced water for scientists of Punjab Agricultural University said and later his ‘kar sevaks’ would clean the water body once discharge of sewage and industrial effluent was stopped into it.

“It is moral duty of the Municipal Corporation, the Punjab Pollution Control Board, and the Water Supply and Sewerage Board to ensure that pollutants and do not make way into the water body, known as Buddha Darya till some years ago. If Industry cannot discharge effluents into the nullah, even the MC has no right to empty sewers into it,’’ said the Baba to The Tribune on the banks of the nullah.

The Baba joined a team of PAU scientists, PPCB officials, Dayanand hospital doctors and members of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) at Jamalpur today morning. He drove his Scorpio vehicle on the roads lining the nullah and went to different spots starting from outside the MC limits on the Jamalpur side. He stopped at various points including Khasi Khurd, Khasi Kalan, Bhamian Kalan, Jamalpur, dairy complex and Gau Ghat Gurdwara to take stock of pollution at these places.

He said he would mobilise the masses downstream the Sutlej so that they keep hammering the government to take steps to clean Budda Nullah effectively. ‘‘I have learnt that people downstream the Sutlej drink water recharged by the river. They are exposed to diseases caused by polluted water. If we all join to fight the menace there would be no looking back,’’ he said.

Earlier he inspected a printing unit in Khasi Khurd village and found that the water treatment plant was not put to use. Though the owner of the unit — Shri Guru Mata Industries chemical laced water was discharged directly though a different outlet into the nullah. The PAU scientists collected samples from the spot.

Later he held a meeting of members of the committee constituted by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission following a petition by the IHRO. The members, including PAU-VC, Dr K.S. Aulakh, DMC Principal Dr Daljit Singh and former VC of Baba Farid Medical University, Faridkot, Dr L.S. Chawla, discussed outcome of today’s visit. They said the samples would be tested at PAU and the committee would submit its report to the PHRC on December 1.


Forum to expose unfair govt deals
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 14
The Sikh Forum Punjab (SFP) would soon bring out a White Paper on the functioning of the present state government, its MLAs, police and revenue officials.

Stating this to mediapersons here today, Capt Chanan Singh Sidhu, president of the SFP, announced that they would soon meet Mrs Sonia Gandhi, president of the Congress, to bring to her notice the deeds the MLAs who had been indulging in illegal property dealings worth crores of rupees in connivance with police and revenue officials of the state.

He said they would urge Mrs Gandhi to desist from allotting the party ticket to the corrupt MLAs, otherwise they would expose them and would see to it that they were defeated and not elected to the state Vidhan Sabha.

Lashing out at police officials, Capt Sidhu alleged that they had become property dealers. He said despite strict instructions from the DGP, Punjab, from time to time the police officials were openly indulging in property dealings with ‘blessings’ from MLAs.

Capt Sidhu said his forum had received numerous complaints against revenue officials in Ropar, Amritsar and Jalandhar. He said they were collecting the related documents and would also advertise in leading newspapers of the region inviting complaints in this regard. He said soon thereafter they would file a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard.


YC leader attacked

Amritsar, November 14
Certain unidentified persons attacked Mr Sunil Sharma, secretary, Punjab Pradesh Youth Congress, at Canady Avenue here late last evening when he had gone to meet some persons.

Mr Sunil Sharma alleged that the accused first shot at him and then attacked with sharpedged weapons. However, he escaped after entering into a nearby diagnostic centre. — OC


Water shortage in Nabha

Nabha, November 14
The town has been facing water shortage for the past five years but the Municipal Council authorities have paid no attention to the problem. The situation becomes bad equally in summer as well as winter.

The worst affected are the areas around Railway Station, bus stand and the Cinema Road, Circular Road, Mehs Gate, Boran Gate areas. Tubewell, near rest house, has been out of order for the past two years. According to Executive Officer of the MC, the board had left a technical fault in the boring process as the motor of the tubewell got burnt six times. He said he had written to the board several times to rectify the problem but nothing had been done. — OC


2 die in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Barnala, November 14
At least two persons were killed and three injured in a tractor-Canter collision near Tapa this morning. As per the information available, a laden tractor-trailer was parked near Guru Nanak Public Firm. A Canter (PB-13A-6502), heading towards Barnala from Bathinda, hit the tractor.

Canter driver Rajinder Singh (20) of Dhuri and Rajinder Kumar (33) died on the spot, while Kala Singh, Ashok Kumar and Karma, who were also travelling in the Canter, got injured in the accident. The bodies of the deceased have been handed over to the families after the post-mortem examination. A case has been registered.


Lathi charge: DC orders probe
Tribune News Service

Nangal, November 14
The Deputy Commissioner of Ropar, Mr Alok Shekhar, today ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident in which 14 children of Dayanand Public School, Naya Nangal, were hurt when the police resorted to a mild lathi charge to disperse them yesterday during their protest against the school management. The SDM, Anandpur Sahib, Mr Balraj Singh Shekhon, has been asked to conduct the inquiry. Meanwhile, the chairman of the management committee of the school, Mr K.D. Bali, resigned from the post today.

The students along with the staff members and others had yesterday resorted to protest against the chairman of the management committee against the sacking of Ms Pushpa Mittal as school principal without any reason.


Headmaster harassing me over pension, says former teacher
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, November 14
Ms Kamla Aggarwal, a retired domestic science teacher from Tapa, has accused the Headmaster of Shanti Devi Memorial Government Girls High School, Tapa, of harassing her by way of intentionally not sending her revised pension case to the Accountant-General (AG), Punjab.

However, Mr Hari Singh, Headmaster of the school, rebutted the charge, stating that rather she had been harassing him for the past several months by filing false complaints against him. He further said he had given all dues to her in time in the past.

He said he would not create any hurdle in the revised pension case of Ms Aggarwal and would send it to the AG if she produced the circular entitling her the benefit of revised pension. In a representation to the District Education Officer (Secondary), Sangrur, with a copy to Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Secretary, Education Department, Punjab, Ms Aggarwal has stated that she retired as domestic science teacher on December 31, 2003.

“On my request, the Headmaster of the school sent my pension case from August 7, 1973, to the AG, but the latter returned it, saying that my break in service is more than 30 days,” she said.

Ms Aggarwal said she again requested the Headmaster to send her case to the AG in light of a Punjab Government's letter dated March 19, 1963, but the latter refused to do so. She then presented her case before the Deputy Commissioner at a Lok Adalat, who also rejected her case on similar grounds.

In light of a circular of the Punjab Government dated May 29, 2006, she met the Headmaster and asked him to send her revised pension case to the AG, but to no avail. She then produced herself at a Lok Adalat of the AG in Bathinda. On her request, the AG vide its letter dated September 12, 2006, asked the authorities to send her case. She then went to the office of the DEO (Secondary) which sent her case to the Headmaster on October 18, 2006.

She met the Headmaster who again declined to send her case to the AG.

She said she had received a letter dated November 10, 2006, from the Headmaster in which he had sought a copy of the decision of the District Magistrate though it had no link with her case.

Sources said after receiving a representation from Ms Aggarwal, the DEO (Secondary), Sangrur, had written a letter on November 13 to the Headmaster of the school stating that he had not been sending the revised pension case by counting Ms Aggarwal's ad hoc service though the Punjab Government had issued clear instructions vide its letter dated May 29, 2006, to count the ad hoc service, despite break in service, for pension.


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