P U N J A B    S T O R I E S

Badal in generous mood
Reprieve for jail inmates 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
The state government has decided to release jail inmates in the state who have completed their imprisonment and were languishing in jails due to delay in procedural legal wrangles or were likely to complete their term within six months.

The instructions to this effect were given to the state Home Department by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today during his visit to the Amritsar Central Jail here. He was accompanied by MP Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Badal asked his principal secretary D.S. Guru to call the home secretary tomorrow along with the status report of all such pending cases to be disposed of on priority basis. He directed the DIG, Jails, and local SSP Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh to submit the proposals on jail reforms.

Talking to newspersons, the Chief Minister announced that all jails would have basic civic amenities. He also announced that a community hall would be constructed at the jail with latest facilities at an approximate cost of Rs 30 lakh.

Responding to the demands put forth by the women inmates, Badal promised to provide medical facilities to them and asked the jail superintendent to engage the services of a woman doctor from the Health Department in consultation with the Civil Surgeon. He also inspected the kitchen and pantry along with the vocational training centre set up by the Social Welfare Department under the border area development project and study centre.

Sidhu on his part announced Rs 5 lakh grant from his MPLAD fund for the construction of the community centre, besides offering Rs 1 lakh for the purchase of cots for the inmates from his own recourses.


Holds sangat darshan

Amritsar, May 6
Acting promptly on a complaint by the Punjab State Publishers Association, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today ordered an inquiry into the matter of printing of textbooks from outside during the previous regime, contrary to the government policy.

He asked the education secretary to thoroughly look into the matter and place a fresh order with the publishers within the state.

The CM gave an ear to grievances by the public at sangat darshan programme held here at the Circuit House here.

In another significant decision, Badal asked the SSP to withdraw FIRs lodged against unemployed B.Ed teachers by the previous government. — TNS


DC told to work out airport expansion
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 6
Pitching in for upgrading of the Amritsar international airport Parkash Singh Badal along with MP Navjot Singh Sidhu today inspected the facilities there.
Arun Talwar, director, airport, briefed the Chief Minister and Sidhu.

Talwar said initially he had submitted a proposal for the acquisition of 42 acres for meeting the urgent need to expand its operations but added that the government must immediately pursue to acquire 500 to 1,000 acres around the existing structure.

Badal immediately directed the local deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu to work out the modalities to provide 42 acres to the airport authorities for expansion. He also assured Talwar that he would soon take up the other relevant issues with the Ministries of Civil Aviation, Defence, Environment and Forests, Government of India to seek early clearances for the execution of this prestigious project.

Sidhu, while talking to the newspersons, said that he had been instrumental in taking up various proposals with the civil aviation minister for providing better connectivity to the city by allowing more flights from India and abroad.

He added that it was imperative that the Central Government provided adequate funds for the third phase of the expansion plan of the airport.


Wagah to have business centre: Badal
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
The SAD-BJP alliance government will strive to make Punjab a power-surplus state in five years. To achieve this, more thermal plants will be set up so that there is enough power in the summer months.

This was stated by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today.He said for the time being power would be purchased from other states to make up for the shortage.He pointed out that the government would soon come out with a new industry policy to attract investments.

"Three developments boards for large and medium and small-scale industry with members from the trade and industry would be set up to boost industrialisation and economic activity in the state," said Badal.

He regretted that the previous government had dragged its feet on the Guru Gobind Singh refinery at Bathinda resulting in huge losses due to cost escalation.

Badal also declared to give a fillip to trade between India and Pakistan through the Wagah border.The Punjab government had decided to set up a business centre of international standards at Wagah. The centre would be spread over 100 acres and equipped with modern facilities for traders.

He added that the centre as well as the Wagah joint check post check would be connected by a four-lane super highway to be completed in two years.

Earlier,addressing industrialists at the state-level function organised by the Industry and Commerce Department to disburse Rs 16 crore capital subsidy to 221 industrial units, Badal declared a bonanza of Rs 300 crore for industry in the current year.

Industries minister Manoranjan Kalia said the previous government befooled industrialists to its advantage. “Their claims of mega projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore were belied when the records put total investments at merely Rs 10,000 lakh”, asserted Kalia.

He assured the industrialists and entrepreneurs of investor- friendly industrial policy to usher in an era of industrialisation when agriculture had reached the point of saturation. A dedicated fund for the development of industrial infrastructure and an authority to administer this fund would also be set up.

Information and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia, said the government would fulfill aspirations of the industrialists because they had played a crucial role in the development of the state.

The Chief Minister disbursed cheques of capital subsidy to eligible beneficiaries. Present on the occasion were Rattan Singh Ajnala and Navjot Singh Sidhu (both MPs), health and family welfare minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Harcharan Bains, adviser to the CM, Punjab, Malkiat Singh AR, Raminder Singh Bolaria, Anil Josh (all MLAs), and the senior officers of the district administration. 

Wheat scam a chance revelation
Why biscuits, why not wheat?
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 6
The multi-crore wheat scam unearthed by the Punjab Mandi Board is learnt to be a chance revelation. The board officials led by chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal had reportedly raided the premises of two Ludhiana-based food processing units for their alleged evasion of market fee.

Lakhowal told The Tribune here today that he had got some information that some big food processing units were evading market fee, causing losses to the tune of lakhs of rupees. Interestingly, when he conducted the raids on the premises of the two units, the board officials were initially reluctant to seize the records. When Lakhowal threatened to terminate their services they then seized the records.

It was after thorough scrutiny of the transactions by the two companies that it was revealed that not only had they evaded market fee, which is mandatory for the sale-purchase of wheat, but had also allegedly defrauded the government of crores of rupees.

Lakhowal said the legal wing of the board was considering taking action against the two companies. At the same time the involvement of some officials was not being ruled out. He also clarified that the companies could not sell the wheat they get on subsidised rates in the open market.

Questions are also being raised about the government policy for providing wheat at heavily subsidised prices to companies for manufacturing and supplying biscuits for the poor. The argument sounds too unconvincing as it is believed that this is a clandestine way to provide undue benefits to big companies as it would have been better to provide subsidised wheat directly to the poor than give them biscuits.

Officials looking into the matter said the two companies were trying to confuse the issue. They said the companies might have some separate commitments with the United Nations for its World Food Programme, but the wheat provided by the FCI to them was purely for the people living below poverty line.

The officials did not rule out involvement of some other companies as well. They said there was likelihood of some more companies having availed of the subsidy on purchase of wheat and later sellig it in the open market. The officials were likely to check up with the states where the biscuits were supposed to be sent. 


This minister teaches at one place, studies at another 
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 6
After the cancellation of his Ph.D registration in 2001 by Punjabi University,Patiala, while he was holding the portfolio of higher education minister, Master Mohan Lal Sharma, transport minister, Punjab, has against got embroiled in another controversy.

This time,Mohan Lal Sharma, local MLA, has been accused of having passed his LLB from NM Law College,Hanumangarh, in Ajmer, Rajasthan, while serving as a social studies teacher with Arya Senior Secondary School (Boys), Pathankot, during the same time period.

In a petition filed in a local court by Gurdev Singh, a resident of Sundernagar here, the complainant alleged that Sharma had appeared as a regular student in the Hanumangarh college from 1989 to 1991 as per the collage records. But at the same period he also had been working as a teacher in the Pathankot college and had marked his presence as per the school attendance register.

The complainant also said prior to getting admission in the law college, the ‘minister’ did not seek permission from the Education Department or the school authority, that was mandatory.

In his petition, the complainant had further alleged that Sharma had been withdrawing salaries and other emoluments from the school management.Being a government-aided institution, the school authorities were also involved in misappropriation of funds responsible, he alleged.

The complainant also alleged that Sharma had obtained the degree fraudulently and then got himself enrolled as a member of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council and,subsequently, a member of the Pathankot Bar Council.

He said Sharma had committed a criminal breach of trust, besides embezzling salary from the government-aided school, so a case under Sections 420, 467, 468,471, 408, 409 and 120-B be registered against him.

Taking a note of the allegation levelled by Gurdev Singh, the court had summoned the authorities of NM Law College,Hanumangarh, and Arya Senior Secondary School (Boys), Pathankot, to submit the documents relating the degree of Mohan Lal Sharma in the court. The NM Law College authorities in its previous hearing had submitted the records in the court saying that Sharma was a regular student of law from 1989 to 1991.

The Arya Senior Secondary School management in the court said Sharma was serving as a social studies teacher with their school from 1989 to 1991. The court has asked the school management to produce the attendance register of the school.

The case now will come up for hearing on May 9.


Katara case
Paramjeet’s agent flees 
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, May 6
In what may be termed as a setback to the ongoing investigation of the Katara case, Paramjeet Kaur’s agent Joginder Singh reportedly fled to Canada a few days ago.

According to intelligence sources, he first went to Nepal by road and from there, he flew to Toronto in Canada where his wife Manjeet Kaur has already been living for the past several years. Joginder Singh reportedly also has his own house in Canada.

A resident of Fatehpur Seikri village of Bholath subdivision in Kapurthala district, Joginder had reportedly struck a deal for Rs 30 crore with in-laws of Paramjeet Kaur and took Rs 1.1 lakh as advance for sending her to Toronto safely.

However, she was caught at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on April 18 along with BJP MP Babubhai Katara, who was trying to take her and Amarjeet Singh of Hoshiarpur district to Toronto on his wife and son’s diplomatic passports, respectively.

Meanwhile,SSP Rakesh Agarwal said he had not yet received any intelligence report of Joginder fleeing to Canada.

He said the district police had already issued a lookout circular to all airports of the country and if Joginder had reached Canada by using the Nepal escape route,the district police would get it verified from the airports of that country and the process of extraditing him would start.

Earlier,the district police has failed to nab him though the SSP had claimed in a press conference on April 27 that Joginder would soon be nabbed.

The Kapurthala police had registered an FIR against agent Joginder Singh on the statement of Paramjeet’s father Baldev Singh under Sections 406 and 420, IPC, at the Bholath police station on April 19.
















8 ex-MLAs join Bhinder against Ashwani
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, May 6
Rivalry between the groups of Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder and Ashwani Kumar has come to the forefront again.

Eight former MLAs from Gurdaspur district held a secret meeting near Pathankot recently to chalk out their action plan against the rival group. They lodged their protest against Ashwani at the meeting.

Highly placed sources revealed that senior Congress leaders and former MLAs, including Rumal Chand (Narot-Mehra), Sukhjinder Randhawa (Fatehgarh Churian), Raman Bhalla (Pathankot), Raghunath Sahay Puri (Sujanpur), Aruna Chaudhary (Dina Nagar), Tripat Bajwa (Qadian) and Pritam Singh Bhinder (Gurdaspur), attended the meeting. Sitting Congress MLA from Kahnuwan and former PWD minister Pratap Singh Bajwa also joined them.

The sources said former MLAs and the Bhinder group would raise objections if the Congress high command gives ticket to Ashwani for contesting parliamentary elections from Gurdaspur. They added that the Bhinder group had been proposing Raman Bhalla as a contender from the seat.

The infighting between both groups had started when Ashwani had reportedly helped Ashok Kumar, a former MLA from Pathankot in getting ticket for Pathankot Assembly election. Since Raman was also an aspirant for the ticket so the Bhinder group did not accepted the high command decision.


SAD to re-open office in Amritsar 
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
In a significant development today the SAD decided to re-open its office in the holy city after a gap of two decades following demands made by senior SGPC members and Youth Akali Dal and SAD workers.

An announcement to this effect was made by party supremo Parkash Singh Badal while addressing a joint meeting of the SGPC, SAD and Youth Akali Dal workers at the local Gurdas Hall.

The SGPC complex used to be a hub of political activities even after the infamous Operation Bluestar.But after taking over as SAD chief, Badal preferred to mostly operate from different stations, other than Amritsar during the peak of militancy.After Operation Bluestar,the SGPC demolished offices of different Akali factions in a phased manner. The last SAD office, led by Simranjit Singh Mann, was demolished in 1999 when Bibi Jagir Kaur was the SGPC chief amid protests.

Addressing the joint meeting, Badal said the party had decided to form a joint coordination committee of the SAD, SGPC members and Youth Akali leaders which would work as bridge between the party workers and the state government.

Senior SGPC member Manjit Singh Calcutta welcomed the SAD decision to re-open its office in Amritsar. However, he said, Badal must have taken this decision following the erosion of his Panthic base.

There was a time when the Akali Dal had launched its Dharm Yudh Morcha in 1982 from the SGPC complex and party president Sant Harchand Singh Longowal stayed there till Operation Bluestar. It was the then SAD president Jagdev Singh Talwandi, who had opened the party's office in the 1970s. However, after the Akali Dal split, Sant Longowal and Talwandi started functioning from two separate offices within the SGPC complex itself. The time came when Akali factions split into at least 12 factions. Later, Baba Joginder Singh, father of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale, used the SGPC complex for carrying out the activities of the United Akal Dal for some time when a few senior party leaders were in jail.

Surjit Singh Barnala had also stopped using the SAD office in the SGPC complex after becoming the Chief Minister.

When Badal was made president of the separate SAD faction in 1986 after entry of the police into the Golden Temple complex in 1986 during the Barnala rule, he did not show any interest in running the Akali Dal office since then.

However, the decision to re-open the SAD office has earned accolades from the Panthic circles. 


Kangar rally
Dullo, Bhattal not to attend 
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 6
Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Shamsher Singh Dullo and leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) Rajinder Kaur Bhattal are not likely to attend a public rally being organised at Rampura Phul on May 9 by Congress MLA Gurpreet Singh Kangar.

Rather, both have taken strong exception to the reported statements that both of them are going to take part in the rally along with former Capt Amarinder Singh, who is likely to participate in the rally, sources in the Congress revealed.

“I have no programme to go to the Rampura Phul rally being organised by Kangar. No person has any right to issue any statements about my participation. Nobody will be allowed to create indiscipline and if anybody tries to indulge in indiscipline we will set the things right,” asserted Dullo.

Similarly, Bhattal, sources close to her pointed out, was planning to go to New Delhi and was not likely to turn up at the rally. Both Dullo and Bhattal agreed on one point that the party discipline should not be allowed to be targeted in any case.

Dullo said no party MLA or leader would be allowed to organise any public function without the PPCC’s prior permission. “Individually, any person can do anything, but if it is a matter of party or is a public function, party MLAs or leaders should take the PPCC into confidence and take prior permission,” he added.








Keshopur-Miani community reserve on cards
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 6
A silent revolution has been underway in Punjab in the field of wildlife conservation. The state is poised to be the first in the country to constitute wildlife community reserves.

Under Section 36-C of the Wildlife Protection Act, a community reserve can be constituted by the state government only when the community volunteers are ready to conserve wildlife and its habitat on private and community land.

This silent revolution is all about the initiative of the state that will not only help in making local communities active partners in managing man-animal conflicts, but also check the otherwise rapidly depleting biodiversity.

“In the past one year we have been able to formulate a number of proposals for increasing the protected area network in the state, especially in the vicinity of the Shivaliks, and forward them to the state government for declaring such areas as community reserves and new wildlife sanctuaries,” says Kuldip Singh, chief conservator of forests and chief wildlife warden.

B.C. Bala, principal chief conservator of forests, is, however, optimistic that initiatives taken by the department to declare the community reserves and a sanctuary in Gurdaspur district are likely to be decided shortly.

“This will help to bring more representative ecosystem types under the protected area network,” he informs.

In the past one year, the department has been finalising proposal for the Keshopur-Miani community reserve after a series of dialogues with the community and local stakeholders. The government is now considering to declare 840 acres in Miani, Keshopur, Matwa, Dalla and Magarmudian villages in Gurdaspur district as the community reserve.

“The impetus for protecting this nearly-extinct shallow wetland ecosystem came from the Governor himself,” says Jitendra Sharma, chief conservator of forests and in charge of the Shivalik hills wild circle,who has been working to bring more areas under the protected area network.

“The strong community mobilisation and social engineering skills of the forest team have been key in fostering new relationships with the community, which have helped us to jointly visualise win-win situations for the community as well as ecosystem conservation in these areas,”says Sharma.

He says the Keshopur area is rich in avifauna. During the survey conducted in February with a team of the Bombay Natural History Society, comprising Vibhu Prakash, nearly 45 migratory species were recorded there.


Global body on gurdwaras soon
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 6
Various Sikh bodies associated with gurdwaras in the UK, USA and Canada have decided to set up an international body of gurdwaras.

Jasdev Singh Rai, director, Sikh Human Rights Group, in a press note here today said the decision had been taken after the initial agreement between gurdwaras of the UK, USA and Canada during the recent Baisakhi celebrations in Toronto. He said that a working group would also be announced within two weeks.

Rai said the body had been given a provisional name of the Shiromani Anterrashtriya Gurdwara Sabha. It would establish a network among gurdwaras throughout the world. It would also set up an advisory system to assist Sikhs on issues being faced by them in various countries, he added.


Scribes for transfer of SSP, DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 6
Reacting sharply to the registration of cases against three Jalandhar- based journalists, the Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) and Chandigarh Journalists Association (CJA) have demanded immediate transfer of Jalandhar SSP and deputy commissioner.

In a statement here today, the PUJ said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had announced about 20 days ago that no police case would be registered against a journalist without prior inquiry by at least five gazetted police officers. But the bureaucrats had not bothered to follow the instructions. Rather, cases were registered against the three without prior inquiry.

Terming the Jalandhar incident as a danger to the freedom of the Press, it said, “The officers and others can never be allowed to misuse the law.”

The two bodies have also supported a demand raised by the Jalandhar media fraternity to place under suspension SP (city-I), Jalandhar, for mishandling the case. 


Doctors responsible for Tarak’s death: AFDR
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, May 6
A four-member committee of the Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR) has in its fact-finding report held doctors of the Sunam civil hospital responsible for the death of its state unit president Hari Singh Tarak. He was admitted to the hospital after getting seriously injured in a road accident on the Sunam-Cheema road on April 22.

According to committee member Swaranjit Singh, doctors on duty had not attended Tarak for about 45 minutes after he was admitted to the civil hospital. As there was no blood bank in the hospital, so blood transfusion could not take place though it was urgently required due to excessive bleeding from his ‘crushed’ leg and injuries on other parts of the body. Besides this, attendants of Tarak were also not informed by hospital authorities about its urgent need.

The committee members Balbir Chand Longowal, Jeewan Ram Chotian, Swaranjit Singh and Mandhir Singh, were of the view had blood transfusion taken place on time his life could have been saved, but they kept him for about 45 minutes and later referred him to Sangrur civil hospital. However, he died on the way to Patiala due to excessive bleeding.

The committee has demanded registration of a case against doctors who were allegedly responsible for negligently treating Tarak, for initiating legal proceedings against them.

The committee has also urged the government to pay compensation to Tarak’s family besides posting a few specialist doctors and setting up a blood bank in the Sunam civil hospital.

Sunam Civil Hospital’s SMO Baldev Singh Sahota, however, refuted the allegations levelled against doctors. He added that timely medical aid and best available treatment was given to Tarak at that time.

A staunch supporter of the democratic rights in the past three decades and state president of the AFDR Tarak (69) remained president of the AFDR, Punjab, till his death for 20 years. 


Wakf board 
Probe into irregularities ordered
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla , May 6
Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary-general, Shiromani Akali Dal, said here today that the government had started an inquiry into the alleged irregularities made in the Punjab Wakf Board during the past years. He was addressing a press conference at the local rest house.

He said the government would take appropriate action against the guilty, if any irregularity was found.

It is learnt that the Punjab government had initiated a move to disband the board headed by Congress MLA from Malerkotla Razia Sultana, wife of senior IPS officer Mohammed Mustafa of the Punjab cadre.

Earlier, the state government had reportedly received a written complaint on certain irregularities by the board authorities. The state government had ordered the inquiry on the complaint made by Mohammed Hanif, general secretary of the Patiala(rural) unit of Shiromani Akali Dal.

The government reportedly asked the administrative officer of the board to submit the report on alleged irregularities by the board chairperson.

Meanwhile Mufti Fazal Ur Rehman Hilal Usmani, former Mufti-e-Punjab, submitted a memorandum to Dhindsa regarding the demolition of a mosque and construction of a shopping complex on the land by the Punjab Wakf Board in Amritsar. He demanded immediate stopping of the construction of shopping complex.

Dhindsa assured Mufti that the government would take action in this regard.


Baradari Garden: Zoo birds at whose mercy? 
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 6
The condition of exotic birds being kept at an unauthorised zoo at Baradari Garden is pathetic. About 50 such birds, mostly pheasants, are being kept in enclosures constructed by Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) here in violation of norms.

Secretary, Forest, R.L. Gupta, who had visited the zoo yesterday, expressed concern over the poor upkeep of the birds. Despite extreme heat conditions during the summer, PUDA had not made any arrangement for water at the mini-zoo. The PUDA authorities told the secretary that the drain bringing water to the area had been cut off due to the construction of flyover over the railway crossing No. 21.

Moreover, the birds are being kept in enclosures having fibre sheets at the top. The wildlife authorities accompanying the secretary suggested to PUDA that the fibre sheets be covered with straw to save the birds from sun and heat.

The previous government had directed the Wildlife Department to take over the mini-zoo. However, till date the wildlife authorities had not taken any move to take it over. They were demanding Rs 7 lakh per annum to manage it. Till the budget arrangement was made they added that they would not take it over.

Sources in the Wildlife Department on the condition of anonymity said these pheasants were prone to spreading bird flu if not kept under proper care and observation.

Interestingly, PUDA was maintaining the exotic birds in the zoo instead of the abovesaid department. In the absence of any expertise in this connection they had been forced into it by the previous government.

The sources stated that many birds being kept at the zoo had been shifted from the New Moti Bagh residence of Capt Amarinder Singh. Executive engineer, PUDA, Nirmal Singh Kahlon had admitted that some of these birds had been purchased by a committee constituted by the government.

A non-government organisation has filed a public-interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the poor upkeep of the birds at the zoo.


PHRO deputy chief alleges attack
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 6
Kirpal Singh Randhawa, deputy chairman, Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO), in a press statement issued here today alleged that certain unidentified persons fired at his house late in the evening. He said he immediately informed the control room, and the police reached the spot and started 

Randhawa alleged that it was an attempt to threaten him and was the handiwork of those people who were involved in the killing of innocent youths in fake encounters during the militancy period. He said he would not succumb to any type of pressure and threats and would continue his fight.


Scrap 80-G, says Billa

Amritsar, May 6
Surinder Kumar Billa, president,All-India Hindu Shiv Sena, today urged the government to scrap Section 80-G of Income Tax as it was allegedly being misused by various so-called trusts to turn black money into white.

Billa said he had written to the Finance Department of the Central Government in this regard.However, he added, that the Finance Department, instead to taking it seriously,asked for specific cases of misuse to be mentioned . — TNS


Half kg apples a day keep cholesterol away
Tribune News Service

Patiala May 6
Eating of 400 to 500 gm of apples every day for eight weeks reduces bad fat, that is, low density Liproteins Cholesterol (LDC-C) in young healthy people of the age group 20 to 24 years. The level reduces from 132.50 mg of blood to 110.48 mg/100 ml. Supplementation of apples of the same quantity on the other hand increases good fat by about 30 to 35 per cent.

This has been revealed as a major finding of a study conducted by an Ethopian student of M.Sc. Sports Sciences Tesafe Dessalegn. The study was carried with specialisation in bio-chemistry of exercise and therapeutic nutrition in the Department of Physiotherapy and Sports Sciences under the supervision of Prof. M.S. Sohal. 
While conducting the study, their physical activity was kept to minimum. Later on, the same experiments were repeated on cardiac heart patients and yielded the same results. 


Tackling power shortage
Govt exploring all options: Kanwaljit
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, May 6
Terming the power shortage as the main hurdle in the state’s development, co-operation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh has the Punjab government is exploring the possibility of the establishment of big power plants to cater to the needs of the domestic and industrial sectors.

Several industrial projects have been put on hold on account of the increased power demand in the region, he said while speaking to reporters after a felicitation ceremony here today.

In fact, only 4,300 MW power is being produced in the state and it is getting 800 MW from the central pool, he said, adding that this fared poorly to about 9,000 MW demand in the state.

Underlying the importance of the power generation, the minister said the government was trying to explore all possibilities in power generation, be it nuclear, hydro, gas-based or coal-based power plants. He said neighbouring Himachal Pradesh had the potential to produce 12,000 to 15,000 MW of power by installing hydel projects and Punjab was thinking of exploiting this possibility too.

On the present power scenario, the minister said the government had to purchase power at Rs 9 per unit from other states which was passed on to the consumers at Rs 3.50 per unit. This way the consumers are getting a subsidy of Rs 5.50 per unit, he said, adding that the government had ordered the PSEB to purchase power up to Rs 3000 crore to cater to the needs of farmers for the coming paddy season. The board would ensure 8-hour power supply for the farm sector, he asserted.

Regarding debt-ridden farmers, he said this problem could be solved by a comprehensive income generating scheme for the farmers and this type of scheme was being explored by the government.

Blaming the previous Congress regime for mismanagement on financial front, he said wrong policies of the Amarinder Singh government had placed Punjab at the 6th rank among the states at all-India level.

Raj Khurana, parliamentary secretary and Rajpura MLA, assured the gathering that various pre-poll promises would be fulfilled by the government soon. 


50 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 6
A blood donation camp was organised by the Sewa Mission Youth Club at Dana Mandi here today under the guidance of Rajinder Lard.

As many as 50 persons, including policemen, donated blood. SP (city) Mandeep Singh Sidhu was the chief guest on the occasion.

The camp was organised in the memory of Mohinder Lard. DSP Charanjit Singh and social worker Satinder Kaur were among others present on the occasion.


Ex-serviceman alleges harassment by PSEB
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 6
For the benefit of the ex-servicemen of the state, the Punjab government has been enacting various rules and notifications from time to time like reservation in recruitment in government service and benefits of the past service in pay fixation, seniority and increments after re-employment in civil service, autonomous bodies and boards.

Keeping this in view, the Indian Ex-Services League has decided to approach the government on the issue of alleged harassment and cheating of an ex-serviceman by the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Former sepoy in the Army Bachan Singh, a resident of Hardaspur village in Patiala district, joined as peon in the PSEB on June 10, 1974 and retired on December 31, 1999. He requested the board to grant him the benefits of his past service rendered during the Emergency. But his case was rejected by the authorities, citing reason that he applied for this benefit after a gap of 16 years after joining the service, whereas there was no such condition in the notification.

The Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, has been pursuing the case of Bachan Singh with the PSEB, Patiala, but to no avail.

General secretary of the league Prabhjot Singh said the PSEB had adopted its own way to harass and cheat the ex-servicemen employed with the board. Almost, none of the ex-servicemen got these benefits without engaging in correspondence with the authority for a number of years or seeking the same through the court of law, thus we had decided to take this case with the state government, he added.






















2 synthetic milk units unearthed
Our Correspondent

Barnala, May 6
Within the past 24 hours, the Barnala police has unearthed two synthetic milk-manufacturing units. The success has sent alarming signals to synthetic milk producing units, which is a welcome step to curb this menace.

Getting secret information, the local police raided the premises of Rajwinder Singh at Raisar village, Patiala, and at Tajo ke village.

The police seized 1000 litres of synthetic milk, 30 kg of skimmed milk powder, 5 kg of caustic soda, a large quantity of chemicals and 6 tins of vanaspati ghee used to produce synthetic milk, whereas on Saturday it recovered 300 litres of synthetic milk meant for distribution in the open market.

S.P. (D) Sukhdev Singh Bhatti said a case had been registered in this regard. During interrogation Rajwinder confessed that he was in this business for more than six months.


Petrol station looted at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Sujanpur, May 6
In a highway robbery, three armed robbers struck at a petrol station, bundled its two salesmen and decamped with fuel and cash in the wee hours here today. They looted the salesmen at gunpoint.

The robbers reportedly reached Vimco Petrol Station located on the Pathankot-Jammu highway and approached the salesmen, Ashok Kumar and Arun Kumar, who were asleep inside the office of the station, and requested for fuel for their vehicle.

“Two of them took out their country-made pistols and put them on our temples. They even covered our faces with a piece of cloth and tied our hands behind,” the salesmen said.

While the two kept on guarding us, the third one filled the vehicle tank and an additional tank kept in the vehicle. They also took away five cans containing 20 litres mobile oil, besides a sum of about Rs 2,500 from the cash box, added the salesmen. The robbers then sped away.

A case under Section 380 of the IPC has been registered.








South Asia centre at Punjabi varsity
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 6
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved the setting up of South Asia centre at Punjabi University under the area study programme.

The UGC has sanctioned Rs 5 lakh in addition to the appointment of a project associate and a programme coordinator to undertake this project work for Pakistan and Afghanistan for five years, a spokesman for the university disclosed here yesterday.

The area study programme is meant for the South West Asia study, starting this year.


















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 |