P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


IFFCO to launch telecom project
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 21
The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) has sought permission from the Punjab government for launching its telecom network for providing the benefits of the latest IT technology to farmers. This was stated by IFFCO chairman Surinder Kumar Jakhar here today.

He claimed that the newly-floated company, IFFCO’s Kisan Sanchar Ltd (IKSL), which was recently launched by the parent organisation as a part of its efforts to expand the IT network to the grassroots level, had made encouraging strides in Uttar Pradesh.

Jakhar said the IKSL would explore the existing telecom network and updated technology to pass on the information about modern farming techniques besides dealing with economic, social and legal issues that concern farmers at the village level.

He said farmers’ friendly telecom services communication products and essential services were to be identified for extending the benefit to the farmers through the cooperative societies. This would help in enhancing their living standard and style. Farmers would have the liberty of using mobile phones locally for collecting information on farming and marketing in their respective villages. Training programmes had already been launched and the field staff acquainted with important points, he added.

Cautioning that coming days might be alarming for the farmers and fertiliser industry so far as fertiliser production and supply was concerned, Jakhar sought cooperation from more than 35,000 member cooperative societies spread over different states in meeting the challenges. He added that still IFFCO tried its best to provide fertiliser at government approved rates. “We did a record Rs 10,330 crore business, 3.9 per cent more than the preceding year. Under vision-2010 programme, IFFCO was determined to achieve Rs 10,000 crore target in business by 2010,”he said. IFFCO had beaten its own records in production, marketing and energy conservation during last year. The cooperative earned $ 25.16 million dividend on investments made in Oman Indian Fertiliser Co. last year. About $ 500 million investments was expected in a joint venture with Jordan Phosphates Mines Co. for launching a phosphoric acid plant. Our equity would be 52 per cent, he added.

Jakhar said the IFFCO Kisan Sewa Trust had released funds to the Indian Red Cross Society for providing blood to needy farmers suffering besides organising free medical and eye check-up camps in Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The board of directors had decided to sanction 20 per cent dividend for sixth consecutive year to further strengthen 38,155 member cooperative societies, he added.


Recruitment of doctors hits bottleneck
PPSC blames archaic rules for delay
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala May 21
The government move to recruit 147 specialist doctors through Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) has hit a roadblock. The PPSC authorities here have written to the government to clarify regarding the basic qualifications required for the specialist doctors.

The government, in a communication to the PPSC, had maintained that the basic qualification for specialist doctors should be MD or MS. However, the rules were amended in 2003 and as per the new rules, MBBS is the minimum basic qualification for the post.

The PPSC has requested the government to indicate the basic qualification for specialist doctor under various categories as per the rules. The sources in the PPSC have also indicated that slow bureaucratic process and archaic rules were delaying the recruitment process of medical teachers.

Reacting to the recent statement of minister of medical education Tikshan Sud, who blamed the commission for delay in recruitment, the authorities here said the Punjab government had sent many requisition letters to them for filling 77 posts of assistant professors (now designated as associate professors).

Out of these posts, clarification was sought from the government regarding two posts of professor and assistant professor (clinical pathology). However, the department of medical education and research has not clarified regarding the qualifications for the post despite 11 reminders.

For the remaining 75 posts, 203 applications were received of which 93 candidates were found to be eligible as per the prescribed qualifications. Of these, 78 candidates appeared for the interview and just 29 were selected.

The commission has also recommended that the reserve posts for professor in obstetrics and gynecology and assistant professor in ophthalmology should be de-reserved as no SC candidate was applying for the posts.

The PPSC has also recommended that the upper age limit for the posts of professor and assistant professor should be increased. Presently, the upper age limit for professor in 40 years and for assistant professor 35. Though the government has amended the rules and increased the retirement age, the notification for the implementation is yet to be issued.

The commission was also not finding candidates for posts of professor reserved for the backward classes.

The PPSC has urged the government to change the rules for recruitment pragmatically so that the posts in medical colleges could be filled at the earliest.


Border with Haryana sealed
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 21
The Punjab-Haryana inter-state border falling in Bathinda, Mansa and Muktsar districts of the state have virtually been sealed. Paramilitary forces, Punjab Armed Police (PAP), Punjab Police Commandos and Punjab Police personnel have been deployed.

The Haryana government has also deployed its own police personnel apart from men from paramilitary forces on its border touching Punjab. Police sources said the Punjab Police authorities had deployed nine companies of the BSF and Rapid Action Force (RAF) in Bathinda and Mansa district alone.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that deputy commissioner of Sirsa district in Haryana along with senior police officials held a meeting with senior police officials of Bathinda and Muktsar districts late in the evening for better coordination.

Jatinder Jain, DIG, Faridkot range, added that no body would be allowed to brandish weapons. He pointed out that peace committees had been formed at village level and policemen up to the rank of constable had been directed to be in touch with prominent persons of their area for maintaining peace.

Meanwhile, district magistrate Rahul Bhandari ordered the closure of all schools and colleges dotting this district on May 22. 


Sec 144 extended in Abohar; schools closed today
Tribune Reporters

Abohar, May 21
District magistrate Bhawani Singh Detha in Sriganganagar area has extended prohibitory orders u/s Section 144 CrPC to May 23. The security has further been beefed up and armed guards deployed at all sensitive places, including gurdwaras and Naam Charcha Ghars of Dera Sacha Sauda. Satsang was cancelled at the Naam Charcha Ghars that wore a deserted look today.

Sikh volunteers were seen visiting villages pursuing “premis” to desert the Baba.

The Chamber of Commerce today organised a havan yajna at Mahavir Dal Mandir Sriganganagar. 
: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur has asked the government to register a sedition case against Dera Sacha Sauda head Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim. Bhaur while talking with newspersons here on Monday appealed to the Sikh sangat to maintain peace, harmony and brotherhood to fail the designs of the dera chief. He said the SGPC had summoned an emergency meeting of the executive on May 23 in Amritsar to finalise the next strategy. Bhaur added a delegation of the SGPC would soon meet the President and the Prime Minister in this regard.

TARN TARAN: Deputy Commissioner Karam Singh has issued orders here today to close all government and private educational institutions on Tuesday, keeping in view the bandh call.

The DC also presided over a meeting of the district peace committee.

PATIALA: The RSS has supported the bandh call given by Akal Takht. National secretary of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat Rulda Singh said the edict of Akal Takht was binding on all residents of the state. All wings of the sangat and BJP would adhere to the edict. Meanwhile, the district administration organised a meeting of various political parties and social leaders in connection with the bandh. Deputy commissioner D.S. Grewal said no procession would be allowed.

BARNALA: Activists of the Bharti Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrahan) are taking out marches in the town, projecting the need of peace in the state.

HOSHIARPUR: Activists of the Khalsa Panchayat, SAD and SAD (1920) assembled at Gurdwara Tilkuji, Garhshankar, 40 km from here, on Monday and demonstrated against Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim.

Deputy commissioner D.K. Tiwari said keeping in view the proposed bandh, he had order the closure of all government and private schools and colleges in the district tomorrow.


Joshi made BJP youth wing member
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Vineet Joshi has been made member of the national executive of the BJP youth wing for the third consecutive term. The announcement in this regard was made by the BJP youth wing national president Amit Thakkar here today.

His re-nomination is being widely seen as a yet another feather in the cap of this energetic face of the party. Son of former president of the BJP’s Chandigarh unit Jai Ram Joshi, Vineet has had an impressive track record within the party fold with numerous prestigious assignments up his sleeves earlier also. Prior to his stint as BJYM executive member Vineet, who began his career with the ABVP in 1987 rose to become the president of Chandigarh unit of the ABVP. He has also been in charge of a few media campaigns and assignments for the BJP. Having been a co-convener of Sadbhavana Vikas Yatra in December 2001, Joshi was entrusted with media coordination for party in 2002 Assembly poll of Punjab and 2003 Assembly poll of Himachal Pradesh.

Joshi was made the media in charge en route to the Bharat Suraksha Yatra by BJP national president Rajnath Singh in 2006. However, Joshi’s accomplishments had just begun as the youthful leader was taken into the BJYM way back in 2004 and given an additional charge of the organisation in Jammu and Kashmir. Joshi was brain behind the BJP’s several agitations in this region. 


Dera Issue
SAD used Akal Takht, says Mann group
Tribune Reporters

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 21
The Mann group today accused the SAD (B) of using the Akal Takht to fulfill its political motives. Ranjit Singh Cheema, official spokesman of SAD (A), in a press release strongly criticised the SAD (B) for using the Akal Takht for its benefit on the Dera Sacha Sauda conflict issue. Cheema said jathedar Akal Takht should not have ordered the closure of all the deras of Sacha Sauda in the state. President of SGPC Avtar Singh Makkar should have made this call after consulting all Sikh organisations in the state, Cheema said. He added that the Akal Takht should have stick only to their decision to boycott the baba and his followers. Cheema said the SAD (B) used the jathedar Akal Takht because the top leadership of the party, including Badal and his wife are regular visitors to the dera.

Meanwhile, all schools here will be closed tomorrow, keeping in view the Punjab bandh call made by jathedar Akal Takht. The carrying of weapons, firearms, swords and other weapons are also banned till July 17.

Ambala: Haryana Akali Dal leaders, in a meeting today, called for all shops in Ambala to be closed tomorrow in view of a protest march they will be taking out through Ambala City tomorrow.

The meeting was held at Manji Sahib Gurdwara today. Meanwhile, Ambala deputy commissioner R.P. Bharadwaj said no procession or rally would be allowed in Ambala.

He said to keep the situation under control, six additional forces have been requisitioned, three of which have already reached Ambala.


Kandi canal: Plugging of breach starts
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Talwara, May 21
The authorities have started plugging the breach that developed in the Kandi canal (stage-I) at Datarpur village, near here, yesterday morning with the help of JCB machines and labourers. The water discharge has been stopped at a few places and earthwork was going on at the site.

Superintending engineer of Kandi canal (state-I) S.K. Sadana and executive engineer Ashwani Kumar today visited the site and oversaw the work for plugging of the breach that was allocated to contractor Vijay Kumar.

Talking to The Tribune, Ashwani Kumar said the leakage at the regulatory end of the Mukerian Hydal project caused the breach in the canal. There was a leakage of about 4 cusecs of water at the regulatory end of the Mukerian project that was sufficient for breaching the canal, he reveled.

Arrangements have been made for stopping the water discharge from the main stream to the canal. Efforts are being made to tighten the gates of Mukerian hydal project so that the leakage gets completely stopped, he added.

A sample of the soil without sand and gravel has been taken and plugging of the breach would be completed in a day or two. The plugging is being done by using two layers (zones) of the loose soil. The plugging of the inner layer (zone I) is done with the help soil while that of the zone-II would be done by gravels, Sharma claimed.

“The water discharge will be restored after plugging the breach on priority basis as there is a great demand of water by the farmers. The brick work on walls of the canal will be done when the water is not required by farmers,” he claimed.

Yesterday, hundred of acres at Datarpur and its surrounding villages were flooded following the breach that developed in the canal. Farmers of the affected villages, however, alleged today that the work for plugging the breach had been going at a snail pace. Only a few tractor-trolleys of soil had been dumped at the site even after 36 hours of the breach.


SAD calls for peaceful bandh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The working president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Sukhbir Singh Badal, today asked party workers across the state to remain vigilant and ensure that the Punjab bandh tomorrow passes off" peacefully".

Badal appealed to the rank and file of the youth Akali Dal to ensure that the directive of the Akal Takht about observing total peace and resisting any provocation during the bandh is implemented.

Meanwhile, SAD senior vice-president Gurdev Singh Badal, secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and general secretary Balwinder Singh Bhunder demanded a high-level probe by the CBI into the antecedents of the those dictating the decisions of the dera.


Instant money order scheme for all tehsil headquarters
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Buoyed by the success of the instant money order (IMO) scheme in all head post offices located across the state, the Punjab circle of the Department of Posts and Telegraph will now extend the scheme to all tehsil headquarters in Punjab.

Senior officials in the Punjab circle of the Department of Posts informed TNS here today that the scheme would be initially launched in 20 tehsil headquarters of Punjab and later extended to all tehsil headquarters. The staff at these post offices is being trained to handle the scheme before it is launched.

It is learnt that the Department of Posts and Telegraph has decided to extend this scheme to post offices located in all district headquarters across the country. “With the inclusion of these new destinations, the number of destinations where one can send or receive an IMO, will be 500. Thus, more and more people are likely to avail this facility,” she said.

Under this scheme, remittances to the tune of Rs 1000- 20,000 can be made by cash, while remittances above Rs 20,000 and up to Rs 50,000 can be made through cheque and/ or draft. A person has to deposit the money at the nearest post office, and will be given a 16 digit code. He will have to give this code to the receiver, who can instantly go to the nearest post office in his city, and get the money instantly.

Officials in the Department of Posts admitted that there had been a decline in money orders “but the decline in the number of money orders can be attributed to the increase in number of speed post money orders. In fact, the number of speed post articles has increased from 29. 86 lakh articles in 2003-04, to 39. 84 lakh articles in 2005-06,”said the official.

It may be noted that the IMO scheme was launched in Chandigarh in October last year. Officials said that till date instant money orders had been booked for Rs 2.99 lakh. “This is because till date the IMO service was restricted to a limited number of cities. With the scheme being expanded to other cities across India, we will get more business through this scheme,” said the official.

Besides the IMO, the department is also in the process of extending its e-payment service across the state. This is an Internet based bill collection service, which is being used for collection of telephone bills of BSNL and electricity bills at present. “This service will now be extended for collection of insurance premium of ICICI Prudential through cash or cheque. Through this service, the telecom companies, electricity board and now the insurance companies can also have daily information of number of payments made and amount thereof,” informed a senior official. He said as of now 102 post offices in Punjab had been registered as e-payment collection centres and they were now in the process of giving Internet connection to post offices in rural and semi -urban areas, so as to extend this service there.


Govt aid for Kanwaljit’s family

Sangrur, May 21
In the wake of registration of a case against Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Bathinda, secretary-general of the SAD Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa today asked the head of the dera to join police investigations.

Dhindsa today asked the baba to tender an apology to the entire Sikh community without delay. He also visited the local residence of Kanwaljit Singh (28), who was killed in firing at Sunam on May 17.

He announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh and a government job for the family of Kanwaljit. On behalf of the SGPC, he also announced a job in any SGPC institution for a member of the family. — TNS


Struggle only against dera chief: Bhoma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Making a significant statement, president of the all-India Sikh students federation Manjit Singh Bhoma here today said that those belonging to the Hindu and other communities should not have any fear in the prevailing situation in the state.

He said the Khalsa panth, including the federation, was committed to protecting the lives and property of all Punjabis.

He said that people should not be awed by the brandishing of unsheathed swords. 


Amusement mela or gambling den?
Rajnish Sharma

Nabha, May 21
Gambling is in full swing at an amusement mela being organised at an open space around the lone cinema hall here in the name of Red Cross. The organisers have arranged number of items for children and others to mask their real motive. Surprisingly, the police seems to be shielding them.

This mela started almost a week ago with the variety of items like swings, magic shows and games. But in the name of skill games, organisers are promoting gambling in the presence of the police. For majority of the visitors, mela is nothing more than a safe den for the gamblers.

According to sources, initially stalls of “skill games” were just adjacent to the face wall of the cinema but later two out of the three were shifted to a backside corner. A man who claimed to be close to the organizers, when confronted, said they had received permission to run the mela from the Patiala deputy commissioner and Rs 2 lakh had been deposited in the Red Cross account.

When asked whether they were having permission to run gambling stalls, he said “suitable arrangements” had been made locally. He requested this correspondent to ignore that part of the mela by offering free passes.

It is learnt that organisers have roped the leaders of some local organisation for smooth running and these leaders were trying to pacify those who resist the illegal activities going on at the mela.

Prominent citizens of the area have urged the administration to take action against the accused under the Gambling Act.

Meanwhile, SDM Balraj Singh said he was kept in the dark by the organisers while seeking permission. He said he had received complaints against the organisers and in case the allegations leveled were found true, the mela would be stopped immediately and a case would be registered against the accused. 


DTF to hold protest on May 24
Our Correspondent

Barnala, May 21
The state Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) has decided to stage a dharna in front of the office of DPI (secondary), Punjab, in Chandigarh on May 24 to express the resentment against the indifferent attitude and dilly-dallying tactics of the Akali-BJP government

Working president of the DTF Bhupinder Singh Waraich regretted that both the Akalis and the BJP had promised to redress the grievances of the government schoolteachers within one month of coming into power, but nothing had been done so far.

He said both the parties had promised to hand over the Zila Parishad teachers to the education department, implement 4, 9, 14 promotion scales, fill 32,000 vacant posts of teacher and regularise the services of computer teachers. But they have have forgot all the pre-poll promises, he added. 


PSEB staff to strike work on June 6

Patiala, May 21
The Technical Services Union and Employees Joint Forum of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) have decided to observe strike on June 6 to protest against the privatisation of the board.

The unions today served a legal notice to the board authorities in this regard. General secretary of the union Sukhwant Singh Sekhon in a press note issued here today alleged that the present SAD/BJP government was back on its election promise against privatising the PSEB. — TNS


Car camp a big draw

Patiala, May 21
Maruti Udyog has been rated the best in customer satisfaction by J D Power for the 7th time in a row.

To mark the occasion, Maruti Udyog with its dealer Hira Automobiles organised a free car check camp here today for Maruti owners. More than 300 residents turned up.

The State Bank of Patiala offered on-the-spot finance for all Maruti vehicles. A special offer on finance was made for spot bookings with 0.5 per cent reduction in interest rates. — TNS


Social worker honoured
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 21
S.D. Verma, a silent social worker keenly devoted to serving patients at Government Rajindra Hospital, was honoured at a function conducted by the National Theatre Arts Society. The ceremony, held in memory of humanist Dasaudhi Ram, was conducted at the State Bank of Patiala branch of the hospital. Manager of the bank S.P. Maheshwari presented the award to Verma.

Ever since his retirement from government services in 1999, Verma has been working selflessly at the hospital; providing wheelchairs, stretchers and medicines to patients free of cost. He also occasionally provides meals to relatives of the patients.

NTAS director Pran Sabharwal said Dasaudhi Ram, fondly known as ‘Bir ji,’ was a great humanist who established an orphanage, a Pingalwara and other educational institutions. Social worker K.C. Sharma commended Bir ji’s action of performing the last rites of about 35,000 persons belonging to different sections of the society.

NTAS also presented a Punjabi play titled ‘Karam Yogi Bir ji” on the occasion.


Judicial remand for 8 followers

Sangrur, May 21
Eight persons arrested in connection with a case related to the killing of Kanwaljit Singh near Dera Sacha Sauda at Sunam on May 17 were today remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by a Sunam court after the expiry of their police remand.

Those who were today remanded in judicial custody are Megh Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Sadha Singh, Kala Singh, Sat Pal Singh, Jagsir Singh, Kala Singh and Ajaib Singh.

The SHO of Sunam police station said the two other accused in the case, Harnek Singh and Roda, were still on the run. — TNS


Threat to Life
Dera chief’s ex-driver approaches SC
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 21
Khatta Singh, a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda who worked as a driver of its head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for about eight years, has approached the Supreme Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court for the police protection for him and his family members, as they have been apprehending a threat to their lives from the dera functionaries.

Khatta Singh, while talking to TNS on phone, said he along with his family members, had started apprehending threat to their lives after he made a statement before the CBI in connection with the murder of Ranjeet Singh, who was one of the members of 10-member committee of dera.

He said though he had been provided with one gunman by the Haryana police, he had approached SAD secretary-general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa in this regard.

He said after he made this statement, he was harassed by dera followers and made to sign the blank papers. He alleged that dera followers had used those blank papers carrying his signature against him before the CBI and in the relevant court of law.

Meanwhile, Pawan Kumar, a spokesperson of Dera Sacha Sauda, denied all allegations levelled by Khatta Singh.


Chahal files anticipatory bail plea
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
B.I.S Chahal, the media adviser to former Punjab chief minister, filed a petition seeking anticipatory bail in the Punjab and Haryana High Court today.

Sources informed that Chahal, who is currently in Scotland, United Kingdom, filed an application under Section 438 CrPC seeking directions to the arresting authority to release the petitioner on bail forthwith in the event of his arrest in the case registered under FIR Number (5.

The said FIR (dated March 23, 2007) regitered under Sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B, IPC, read with Section 13 (2) (14) of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered at the police station, Vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana, and pertains to the Ludhiana city centre case.

The former media adviser has pleaded in the petition that there is no good or cogent reason for depriving the petitioner of liberty as many accused in the said case had already been granted interim relief by the court.

Chahal has further stated that since he was not even named in the FIR, his case is on better footing and thus anticipatory bail should be granted to him. He has further stated that even Capt Amarinder Singh has been granted interim protection against the arrest by the high court.

Chahal has expressed fear in the petition that since some news reports had mentioned that Jatinder Singh and Chetan Gupta, both accused in City Centre case, had named him, he feared arrest as and when he would visit India.

The petition is likely to be taken up soon by the high court. 


High Court
Dimpa’s bail plea dismissed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Jasbir Singh Dimpa, former Congress MLA from Beas constituency.

On January 29, 2007, SGPC member Jagir Singh, had lodged an FIR against Dimpa alleging that he had shot dead an Akali activist, Dilbagh Singh, while the canvassing was on for Assembly elections due in February.

During previous hearings, Dimpa had taken the plea that in supplementary statement to the police, complainant Jagir Singh had not named him but one Jaimal Singh as the person who fired the shot which fatally injured the activist.

However, Dimpa’s contention was vehemently refuted by senior deputy advocate-general of Punjab, I.P.S. Sidhu, who averred that as the accused was the sitting MLA at the time of the said incident of shooting, the police was trying to save him. In fact, the supplementary statement had not even been signed by complainant Jagir Singh.

PIL on halting of buses

The High Court on Monday issued notice to Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and others on a PIL seeking action against illegal halting of buses by drivers of roadways of the aforesaid states.

It was submitted in the petition that bus drivers of various roadways were illegally halting buses at some dhabas to enjoy free meals.

The common halting points were Rajpura, Samrala, Samana near Kurukshetra, Madhopur near Pathankot etc, the petitioner asserted.

It was also submitted that most of the buses were unclean and uncomfortable with broken seats (except Haryana Roadways) and did not display the chart relating to the age of children up to which charges for half-ticket could be charged.

The petitioner sought that instructions be issued to the authorities concerned to boldly display in the buses the names of bus-stands where the bus would halt for more than five minutes.

Also, mobile or telephone number, e-mail etc, where one could contact authorities to lodge a complaint, should also be displayed.

The next date of hearing is September 24.

Notice to Ludhiana MC

The High Court on Monday issued notice to Punjab, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the Punjab Pollution Control Board on a petition seeking directions to stop the running of autorickshaws plying without permit and on adulterated kerosene oil.

The petitioner, Lt Col Naresh Ghai, also pleaded that laws relating to environmental pollution and Motor Vehicles Act should be enforced and measures should be taken to impound autorickshaws violating these laws for not keeping valid PUC certificate and for using adulterated oil.

The petitioner further sought that auto-stands should be constructed at appropriate places so that flow of traffic was not hindered.

The next date of hearing is September 24.



34 officers transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The Punjab government today ordered the postings of five IAS and 29 PCS officers.

R.L. Mehta has been made the new additional registrar, cooperative societies. V.K. Meena has been posted as deputy commissioner, Faridkot, while Rakhee Gupta Bhandari becomes director, social security, women and children development. B. Purushartha goes as ADC, Roopnagar, and Kavita Mohan Singh Chauhan becomes the SDM, Roopnagar.

M.R. Aggarwal is the new ADC, Fatehgarh Sahib; Arunjit Singh Miglani becomes director, tourism and cultural affairs; and Darshan Singh-I goes as deputy director, urban local bodies, Ferozepur. Paramjit Singh has been posted as ADC, Amritsar.

Harjeet Singh goes as ACA, PUDA, Bathinda, while Praneet has been posted as ADC, (development), Amritsar. Narinder Singh Bath is the new ADC, Tarn Taran; A.K. Sikka becomes ADC (development), Jalandhar ; and Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu will be the new joint director (administration), DPI (colleges).

Indu Malhotra is the new ADC, Sangrur; Ashwani Kumar becomes deputy director, urban local bodies, Patiala; Pardeep Kumar goes as AC(grievances), Amritsar; Gurpreet Kaur Sapra has been posted as secretary, Punjab public service commission, Patiala; and A.P.S. Virk becomes ADC, Patiala.

Jaskiran Singh is the new ADC, Ferozepore; Vinay Bublani has been posted as deputy director, urban local bodies, Jalandhar; Upjit Singh Brar goes as ADC, Bathinda; Ajmer Singh-II becomes SDM, Mukerian; Mukand Singh Sandhu is the new SDM, Zira; and Sarojini Gautam Sharda has been posted as registrar, Punjab technical university, Jalandhar.

Amarjit Singh Shahi goes as DTO, Muktsar; Amandeep Bansal is the new AC (general), Sangrur; Pushpinder Singh Kailey becomes SDM, Barnala; Subash Chander has been posted as AC(general), Tarn Taran; and Vimmi Sohal will be the new AC (general), Patiala.

Iqbal Singh Sandhu is the new SDM, Gurdaspur; Tejinder Pal Singh becomes SDM, Ajnala; Ravinder Pal Singh goes as AC (general), Muktsar; and Jagdish Chander Bhatia has been posted as estate officer, PUDA, Patiala.


Woman kills husband’s paramour
Tribune News Service

Bhadson, May 21
Daljit Kaur, wife of Malkiat Singh of Tedan village, today shot dead Rani, the alleged paramour of her husband.

Police sources said Rani was a maid in the house of Malkiat Singh and he allegedly developed illicit relations with Rani, which was objected to by his wife.

When Malkiat Singh was not at home today, Daljit Kaur called Rani at her place. After entering into an argument with her, she allegedly shot her dead with the .12 bore rifle of her husband. Daljit Kaur fired four bullets from the rifle.

The police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC against Daljit Kaur.


Nursing home owner arrested
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, May 21
A team of doctors led by Dr Vijay Gupta, senior medical officer of Primary Health Centre, Budda Bar, raided Bedi Nursing Home, Naya Bhangala, last evening and found medicines and apparatus needed for abortion.

On the complaint of Dr Gupta, the Mukerian police has arrested owner of the aforesaid nursing home, Dr Sonali Devi, under Section 312 of the IPC and under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, for her alleged involvement in an illegal abortion of Veena Devi, wife of Ranjit Singh of Garhi.

According to sources, a nurse, Nindi, had made a written complaint to the Hoshiarpur civil surgeon yesterday in which she stated that Dr Sonali Devi sacked her after doing an illegal abortion of Veena Devi at her nursing home. After aborting, she allegedly chopped the foetus and put it into a bag and later flushed it in the sewerage, she added.


Gang of 12 loots Rs 14,000

Sangrur, May 21
A gang of 12 robbers looted a family of Rs 14,000 and two tolas of gold near Lehragaga, 40 km from here. They also injured five members of the family, namely Pala Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Gurcharan Singh, Harbans Kaur and Labh Kaur. All injured persons have been admitted to Sunam Civil Hospital for treatment.

Sharma said had been registered under Sections 458, 380 and 342 of the IPC against the looters and the case was being investigated. — TNS


Guru Nanak varsity postpones exams
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
Guru Nanak Dev University here has postponed all theory and practical examinations scheduled for May 22 citing administrative reasons.

Prof B.R. Batra, in charge (examinations), in a press note said the examinations of MA-I (Punjabi, geography and English) scheduled for tomorrow have been postponed to May 29 (Tuesday) while the examinations of B.A./B.Sc-II have been rescheduled for June 11 (Monday).

Professor Batra added that the new dates of the rest of the examinations scheduled for tomorrow would be intimated to the head of the department/principal of the college concerned later.


Pbi exams put off
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 21
The examinations of Punjabi University, Patiala, scheduled for tomorrow on the campus and affiliated colleges have been postponed.

The new dates for the same will be available with the centre superintendent. The venue and timings will remain the same, a spokesman of the university said. 


2 coal-based thermal plants on the anvil
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Big players in the power generation sector have shown interest in setting up two coal- based super thermal plants in Punjab. The two plants, each of 1,200 MW, will be set up at Banawala near Talwandi Sabo in Mansa district and at Nabha, respectively, through the project developers on build, own and operate (BOO) basis under the tariff-based international competitive bidding.

An open discussion on qualifying requirements in this regard was organised here today at the bidders’ conference. A few companies which took part in the bidders’ conference were-NTPC,Tata Power, Reliance Energy, L and T, Lanco Infratech, Nagarjuna Construction, CESC Ltd, KSK Electricity Financing India Private Ltd, Emirate Trading Agency, D.S.Construction, Bhilwara Energy, GMR Energy, Suez Energy, Dheeru Power Generation promoted by Ranhill Berlad of Malaysia, Chambal Infrastructure and CLP Construction Co.

Based on the feedback received at the bidders’ conference, the (request for qualification) documents would be finalized. Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC), New Delhi, has been appointed as “consultant” to guide the Punjab state electricity board (PSEB) in this process.

In his keynote address during the bidders’ conference, chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh said the entire power of 1,200 MW generated from each project would be utilized by the PSEB. Since the size of these projects was large, they were expected to meet the power requirements of the state. This government initiative assumes significance as it aims to encourage private investment in the power sector.

He further added that in order to enhance investors’ confidence, reduce risk perception and to ensure good response to competitive bidding, two special purpose vehicles namely, Talwandi Sabo power ltd (TSPL) and Nabha power ltd (NPL) have been set up under the Companies Act as wholly-owned companies of the PSEB. The special purpose vehicles would acquire land for the projects, ensure linkages for coal, water and undertake studies for the transportation, hydrological, topographical for preparing detailed project report.

He assured that the state government and the PSEB would ensure proper security mechanism for the private developers in form of letter of credit, and default escrow mechanism.

The site for the proposed projects has been cleared by the central electricity authority. About 1,300 acres for each project has been identified and the process of its acquisition is on, he said.

The conference was attended among others by PSEB chairman Y. S. Ratra, secretary, power, Suresh Kumar and secretary expenditure A. S. Chhatwal.



Dera row hits tourist inflow
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 21
At least 30 per cent decline in the tourist flow to Amritsar has been recorded following dera-Sikh conflict in the state. Most of the hotels have been receiving frantic calls from the tourists who wish to visit the holy city to pay their obeisance at the Harmandar Sahib, to know the current situation in the state.

This has been disclosed by A.P.S. Chatha, general secretary, Amritsar Hotel Association (Civil Lines), while talking to The Tribune here today. He said the tourists who were already in Amritsar have started leaving the city by cutting short their visit due to the proposed bandh tomorrow.

Chatha said as per the information collected from city hotels, many tourists have cancelled their bookings. The percentage of those who are getting their bookings cancelled may go up to 70 per cent in the coming days if normalcy was not returned, he added



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