P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Tribune Special
Sarna to send dera chief’s apology to PM
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 25
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief Parmjit Singh Sarna will send the original “fresh apology letter” of Dera Sacha Sauda, along with a forwarding letter, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had reportedly evinced keen interest in resolving the Sikh-Dera Sacha Sauda row, tomorrow mentioning his (Sarna’s) mediation efforts to resolve the deadlock.

Talking to The Tribune today, the DSGMC president claimed that Parkash Singh Badal had “complained” to the Prime Minister and Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that he (Sarna) was creating hurdles in the way of a peaceful solution to the row. He said Dikshit called him (Sarna) in her office and sought his good offices to resolve the row. This was the background that Sarna was nominated convener of the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) to help resolve the Sikh-Dera impasse.

Sarna said he was first approached by three dera functionaries, headed by Ram Karn Singh, and offered mediation on May 17. He accepted the mediation on the pre-condition of a clear-cut apology by Dera Sacha Sauda to the Sikh Sangat. However, for many days there was no word from the dera due to the strict pre-conditions. Later, a new panel of dera functionaries approached the DSGMC chief on June 11 and a meeting was arranged at the residence of a rich Sikh industrialist of New Delhi, who is close to both Badal and Sarna, in the presence of Harminder Singh Jassi, a Congress MLA from Bathinda anb close relative of Dera Sacha Sauda chief.

Sarna claimed that he took Baba Sukhchain Singh and Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, former Jathedar of Akal Takht, and some senior members of the KAC into confidence before giving any word to the dera functionaries. However, he said after lot of efforts he was succeeded in getting the draft of apology approved in which the dera apologised to Guru Gobind Singh and the Sikh Panth for its alleged blasphemous act. Sarna claimed that SGPC chief Avtar Singh, too, appreciated his mediation efforts and approved the draft.

Now, the fresh apology on the official letter-head of the dera would be opened at a meeting of Sikh high priests who would meet here on June 27. However, it would be practically difficult for the Jathedars to accept the fresh apology in toto since the 14-member KAC, comprising Sikh hardliners, would assemble at the Akal Takht secretariat to compel the Sikh clergy to implement its own directive of May 20 in which they had called upon the Sikh masses to help in uprooting the cult of Dera Sacha Sauda.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the KAC has been convened at Jalandhar for June 29 to discuss the role of Sarna.


Raninder fears arrest, humiliation
Ex-minister skips date with vigilance
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, June 25
Former minister Jagjit Singh, one of the accused in the multi-crore Ludhiana City Centre scam, did not appear before the Vigilance Bureau today citing ill-health while Raninder Singh, son of Capt Amarinder Singh, told the Vigilance that he won’t appear before it tomorrow fearing arrest like in the case of B.I.S. Chahal.

Chaudhry Jagjit’s counsel, in a letter to the Vigilance, claimed that he had been informed by sources that the former minister was suffering from a ailment and could not move. The counsel sought at least 10 days’ time for him to appear before the authority.

Raninder had not appeared before the Vigilance on June 22 amidst speculation that he might be apprehended in a false case. Today, he aired his fears officially in a letter to SSP, Vigilance Bureau, K. S. Sandhu to seek a date after July 4, when the vacations in the Punjab and Haryana High Court would end.

He said he was granted bail by the High Court in the City Centre case. But, keeping in view the attitude adopted by bureau officials, he apprehended that he would be arrested on his arrival to Ludhiana.

He said calling him to join investigation tomorrow at Ludhiana was an effort to call him to a particular location, to register a false case by the bureau or through some other agency to arrest him.

The letter says that he fears his arrest and torture, harassment and humiliation at the hands of the police with a view to settling personal scores and because of political vendetta.

Raninder has alleged that statements of Chetan Gupta, a New Delhi-based businessman, were obtained under suspected use of narco-substances. 


Prez poll: Farmer to file papers for 7th time
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Nihal Singhwala (Moga), June 25
With a dream in his eyes to become the President of India, small-time farmer Mit Singh of Sahejra village in Barnala district will file his nomination papers for the post for a seventh time tomorrow.

The Sky’s Limit

Mit Singh stood against UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in the byelection to the Rae Bareli seat in 2006 and was polled 2,200 votes. He had contested against her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi from Chikmangloor in Karnatka in 1978 and secured nearly 2,000 votes.

He came to this tiny town, about 15 km from Moga, to seek support of the MLAs residing here today. However, he could not meet any of them. An ebullient Mit (63) said, “He has been filing nomination papers for the presidential post since 1977”.

He said he had been nurturing the dream of becoming President and would try to achieve it as long as possible.

He had unsuccessfully contested from the Barnala Assembly seat and the Sangrur parliamentary seat for six times each. He stood against UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in the byelection to the Rae Bareli seat in 2006 and was polled 2,200 votes. He had contested against her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi from Chikmangloor in Karnatka in 1978 and secured nearly 2,000 votes.

He claimed to be the only living person to have contested for a maximum number of elections in the country. He contested from seven separate seats in 1989.

He has fought various elections as an independent candidate and never runs after a party to beg ticket.


Baba Farid University
Ministry stays election of MCI member
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 25
The union ministry of health and family welfare has restrained Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, from holding election of member to the Medical Council of India (MCI) from the university and its affiliated colleges. The election was scheduled for June 28.

The ministry has directed the university to put the election in abeyance till disposal of a representation of Dr U.S. Dhaliwal, director-principal, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar.

Dr Dhaliwal told The Tribune here today that the university on March 22, 2007, had written to the ministry seeking permission for conducting the election of a member to the MCI from the university allegedly giving wrong facts about his suspension. He said he was suspended by the chairman of the institute on January 31, 2006, on the basis of false allegations levelled against him. He was reinstated on May 7 this year absolving him of all charges.

Dr Dhaliwal in a representation to the secretary of the ministry on May 17 had sought to immediately restrain the university from holding the election. He had alleged that the university had committed an error by interpreting his suspension order as termination of his services.

He said he was only refrained from acting as the director-principal of the institute due to his suspension and was not removed from the office. Hence he remained as the member of the MCI. His tenure as the member of the council was to expire on December 30 next year.

He alleged that at the past meeting of the senate no proper procedure was followed in inviting nominations for the membership of the MCI. Members at the meeting proposed the name of the vice-chancellor for the membership of the MCI, which was against the Medical Council Act, 1956, he claimed.

He said earlier too he was removed from the membership of the council by the university citing that his election was just for one year. This claim of the university was later refuted by the ministry, which stated that he had been elected member the council for a tenure of five years.


Seek sanction for N-power plant from Centre, Badal urged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
A Canada-based Punjabi nuclear scientist, Tarsem Singh Purewal, who is also president of the international energy and environment associates, has urged the Badal Government to approach the Central government and seek sanction for a 500 MW nuclear power plant to be built in the state during the five year plan 2007-2012.

Purewal, who has extensive experience with the nuclear power regulation, public safety, design optimisation and economic analysis of competing electrical power sources, including renewable energy (e.g. wind, solar, low head hydro, and hydrogen cells for automotive power sources), has written a letter in this connection to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

In the letter, the copy of which has been sent to The Tribune, Purewal has stated “you are aware that the Union Government is negotiating an agreement with the U.S. government to obtain nuclear power production technology based on enriched uranium fuel and light water as coolant and moderator. The current experience in Indian nuclear power production is primarily with natural uranium and heavy water designs pioneered and successfully operated by the Canadian industry, particularly in the province of Ontario.

“Your negotiation with the central government and the Planning Commission may not be definitive on the type of nuclear power technology but on the grounds that Punjab lacks indigenous fuels to effectively exploit and deploy the fossil fuels for electric power production. The fuel (coal) has to be transported long distances with high cost at the point of delivery in Punjab”, says the letter to Badal.

To add to this high economic penalty, there is high level of deleterious pollution created from this relatively poor quality coal containing pollutants e.g. sulphur and emitting high amounts of carbon dioxide which is of great concern in the world because of its negative impact on geo temperature increases and potential serious consequences for human safety and loss of productive land in many parts of the world.

There are other measures and programmes that Punjab should take to improve its productive capacity for electric power, including: energy conservation for industry, farming and other human activities, production of liquid fuels from agricultural products and wastes and improve electric transmission grid in Punjab as a cost effective measure to cut transmission losses.


Depleting watertable
Agri Dept declares 6 blocks as dark zones
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Moga, June 25
With a view to erase the blot of having two dark zones, a term used for depleting water table, a local Agriculture Department has declared six blocks of the district as dark zones. Effective remedial measures are required on a war footing.

The district Agriculture Department in collaboration with the Sir Rattan Tata Trust has kicked off an ambitious project for promoting cotton and thereby reducing area under paddy.

Continuous sowing of paddy has dealt a severe blow to the watertable in this predominantly agriculture town. Chief agriculture officer Palwinder Singh Aulakh said under the project 4,000 hectares had been added to cotton, which was tilled on 8,000 hectares till last year.

He informed that the trust was donating Rs 3 lakh for the project’s success. With an aim to reach out more and more farmers, six more villages were brought under the ambit of this project. “These are Jhandiyara Sharki, Chand Nawan, Budh Singh Wala, Shekha Kalan, Kariyal and Machi Ke. Earlier, the project was running only in Khosa Randhir, Khosa Kottan, Bambiha Bhai and Dhilwan villages”, he added.

Besides this, educated unemployed youths of each village have been hired to help farmers in sowing, identifying friendly and harmful pests and taking care of the crops till its harvesting. The person entitled with the job is called scout and each of them is paid a monthly remuneration of Rs 2,500.

However, before being inducted these scouts are trained by experts from the district agriculture office and Punjab Agricultural University. Agriculture experts have identified the Bhaga Purana block in the district for growing cotton. Aulakh said apart from this, farmers were being encouraged to sow paddy only after June 15 as it would save 28 cm to 60 cm ground water.

Efforts are also being made to educate farmers to abandon the practice of transplanting paddy from one place to the other which guzzle a large amount of water and also take long to mature. Instead, direct sowing is being introduced with the help of machines for the first time in the region which would ensure less consumption of water and shorter duration for maturing of paddy.


Cong meeting

Chandigarh, June 25
A meeting of the backward class wing of the Punjab Pradesh Congress committee will be held in Punjab Congress Bhavan here on June 27.

The meeting, which will be presided over by Shamsher Singh Dullo, president, PPCC, will discuss the political scenario and the mobilisation of the backward classes in the state. — TNS


Question hour: Issue of foundation stones discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Who can lay the foundation stone and who can not? There are no guidelines framed by the state government in this regard. The issue of the laying of foundation stones and distribution of cheques of government grants came up for a serious discussion in the Punjab Assembly today.

Raising the issue, SAD MLA Capt Balbir Singh asked PWD minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa whether any minister could lay a foundation stone or inaugurate dozens of works without visiting the site in person. Responding to the question, Dhindsa said no friend or relative of a minister could inaugurate or lay the foundation stone.

Capt Balbir Singh asked Dhindsa what action he would initiate against the person who without even being MLA had laid the foundation stone of several development works. Even the names of officers were inscribed on such foundation stones, he added.

Dhindsa said since there were no guidelines with regard to the laying of foundation stones, no action could be taken. However, he said action could be taken against officers who joined in the laying of such foundation stones. Capt Balbir Singh said the case of impersonation should be registered against a certain politician who had been laying foundation stones by presenting himself as MLA, though he was not one, in Gurdaspur districts.

As the issue was being discussed, the leader of Opposition said guidelines for future should be framed with regard to the laying of foundation stones and the distribution of cheques regarding grants. Similar views were expressed by Bhram Mohindra and Balbir Singh Sidhu, both Congress MLAs. However, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, cooperation minister, said no rule would be framed now in this regard. Congress leaders had been laying foundation stones and now they wanted to stop Akali leaders from doing so, he added.

Responding to a question, health minster Laxmi Kanta Chawla said the Punjab Public Services Commission had been asked to recruit 147 specialist doctors on a regular basis. She said there were 226 vacant posts of doctors in government hospitals and five in civil dispensaries.

Replying to a question asked by Ajit Singh Shant, social security minister, Swarna Ram said representatives of aganwari workers had been invited to discuss their problems and demands.

After discussing all issues with representatives, the government would approach the Union Government to enhance their honorarium, he added.


123 cops face criminal or civil cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
A totalof 123 Punjab policemen are facing criminal or civil cases in Punjab. The Punjab Vidhan Sabha was informed today when Capt Balbir Singh Baath, SAD MLA from Sri Har Gobindpur, raised the matter.

Meanwhile, the Vidhan Sabha was informed that two of the cops in Moga were involved in a bank dacoity, while the other 121 faced various offences. Several of them had been suspended, while a few had been sent to the Police Lines.And, shockingly, a couple of them were even on leave.

Most cases were “under investigation”. In the Khanna police district, a couple of accused cops had even escaped and not been arrested.

In a separate case, the Vidhan Sabha was informed that the DGP, NPS Aulakh, had marked a fresh inquiry into the case of a DSP having taken his job on the basis of forged educational certificates. An inquiry was conducted in 2000 by Kunwar Vijay Pratap, the then ASP of Amritsar. He found that DSP Parampal Singh Gandhi did not study in any college in Magadh University, from where he claimed to have graduated, and nor had he appeared in any examination, but somehow he had managed to procure a forged BA degree in connivance with some persons.

Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh had then said in his report that Gandhi mentioned that his registration in Magadh university was in 1987 whereas he passed the Class XII exam in 1989 ! He was also registered as a candidate in Panjab University and even cleared his BA part I examination 1991.

Latter, in October 2001, the then DGP did not agree with the report and had filed the matter, the Vidhan Sabha was informed.


Bhattal blames Akali stirs for state’s economic ills
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 25
Blaming various agitations launched by the Akalis for the economic backwardness and poor fiscal health of the state, leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today advocated the need for lasting peace to accelerate economic growth and development.

Speaking on the budgetary proposals in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, she said it was the lust for power of the Shiromani Akali Dal that compromised the interests of the state and its people and created an economic crisis.

In her nearly 80-minute speech, which was repeatedly interrupted by the treasury benches, including leader of the House Parkash Singh Badal, Bhattal blamed not only the present ruling alliance for all ailments of the state, but also threatened that her party would not hesitate to corner the government if it failed to fulfil the promises it made to people, especially the poor.

She also criticised the “poor or inadequate allocation” in the budgetary proposals for healthcare, the welfare of the weaker sections and the downtrodden and the provision of basic amenities, including potable water.

Holding that the budgetary proposals lacked clarity, Bhattal expressed her shock over singling out “naswar”, a drug of the cottage industry from the hometown of the finance minister, for exemption from VAT, saying that the Akalis, being a party of Sikhs, was going against their own tenets by promoting addiction.

The treasury benches interrupted her saying that it was the Congress which was responsible for terrorism in Punjab. Unperturbed, she held that the Akalis never had the courage to condemn killings, including those of their own leaders.

At this stage the Chief Minister rose to say that the SAD-BJP combine was condemning the Emergency and asked whether she was prepared to say that the Emergency was bad. “I am ready to say that terrorism was bad. Did anybody like the Emergency? Why can’t you say the Emergency was bad?”

Coming to the budgetary proposals, she held that it would have been ideal if the finance minister had both portfolios of expenditure and income. Excise and taxation should have been with the finance minister so that he could have listed some steps for mobilising resources for funding the budgetary proposals.

She also suggested a check on corruption. Referring to the atta-dal scheme, she suggested that the government should raise the minimum wages from Rs 94 to Rs 150 a day and extend the scheme to all poor persons.

Bhattal also assailed the budgetary proposals for not addressing the serious problem of unemployment and said that money earmarked for NRIs’ participation was meagre. A secretariat or a directorate should be set up to facilitate NRI investments by simplifying procedures and providing prospective investors with the information they needed. Areas of expected investment should be clearly earmarked.

The speakers included Sher Singh, Virsa Singh Valtoha and Sheetal Singh (Akali Dal). Virsa Singh criticised the previous Congress government for its failure to keep any of its promises made to the people of the border belt and even the poor.


‘Incomplete’ history books irk mahasangh
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, June 25
The human resources development ministry has failed to properly educate students about the history of great warriors for decades. The ministry has not recounted the complete history of great warriors of the Independence movement, said Capt Vikram Singh, president of the All-India Sanyukat Kashtriya Mahasangh.

Talking to The Tribune, he said the ministry had not introduced any textbook containing all battles won by our kings and emperors.These incomplete history books have been imparting inaccurate knowledge to students.

He said, “Not even a single book has been published on Maharana Pratap which contains his complete history.The ministry has overlooked the struggles and battles that the Maharana fought and won after the Battle of Haldighati.”

The former Governor of Goa and former union minister Bhanu Prakash Singh said he had been fighting with the government to introduce the complete history of Maharana Pratap Singh. Repeated representation to HRD minister Arjun Singh had failed to yield results, he claimed.

President of the Punjab Rajput Mahasabha Davinder Singh Darshi added that incomplete education about the history of great leaders was proving a major bottleneck for students appearing in various competitive examinations.

Members of the mahasangh said the Kashtriya community was feeling sidelined as the Central and state governments had not given adequate berths to the community.

They expressed gratitude to Prakash Singh Badal for organising a state-level function to celebrate the 468th birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap Singh in Pathankot.


SGPC chief writes to Centre
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 25
SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar has sent a suggestion to the Government of India to celebrate the tercentenary of the ‘Gurgaddi’ (installation) of Guru Granth Sahib at Sri Hazoor Sahib at Nanded in Maharashtra.

Makkar said it had been decided to set up a university dedicated to Guru Granth Sahib at Fatehgarh Sahib. The university would focus on the comparative study of all religions, history, tradition, philosophy, culture and folklore, besides conducting studies on the evolution of the Gurumukhi script.

The SGPC chief suggested that the Central government should celebrate the historic event through proper planning. He said the government should direct its various educational arms and institutions to include Guru Granth Sahib studies in its curriculum.

He urged the government to set up an appropriate memorial at Sri Hazoor Sahib in Maharashtra to commemorate the occasion.


Chair on Bhagat Singh, stamp on Sarabha sought
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 25
The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Naujawan Sabha today urged the state government to set up a chair on the name of martyr Bhagat Singh in one of the universities in Punjab, besides releasing a postage stamp in memory of Kartar Singh Sarabha.

Chaman Lal Darjke, president of the sabha, at a convention organised jointly by the sabha and the Punjab Students Federation here, announced the organisation would hold a rally on the occasion of the first birth centenary of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh to pay tributes to the martyr at his ancestral village Khatkar Kalan on September 28.

Kulwant Singh Sandhu of the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Committee and Pargat Singh Jamarai, state general secretary of the sabha, urged the government to fill 50 lakh posts in various government departments with regular appointees. 


Farmer dies after piles operation; son alleges negligence
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sangrur, June 25
Suba Singh (50) of Janal village at Dirba today died after an operation for piles was conducted on him at a local private hospital situated on the Dhuri road. He is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter.

Talking to The Tribune in front of the mortuary of the local civil hospital, Harnazampreet Singh (22), son of Suba Singh, alleged that his father had died due to “negligence” of the doctor at the time of operation. On the other hand, Dr Parveen Kansal, a specialist in piles operations, said Suba Singh died due to cardiac arrest. He also refuted the charge levelled by Harnazampreet.

Farmer’s son said he, along with his father, came to Dr Kansal’s hospital for his father’s treatment for piles disease. The doctor told them that he would operate upon the patient and took him in the operation theatre. After about 20 minutes, his father was taken out of the operation theatre. He noticed that his face had turned blue. He was shifted to a bed and immediately after that Suba Singh died, the son added.

He also alleged that he immediately called the doctor to see his father but the latter did not respond. However, later, the doctor tried to give artificial breathing, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, SMO of the local civil hospital H.S. Bali formed a panel of three doctors, Sanjiv Jindal, Pritpal Singh and Baljit Singh, for conducting a post-mortem examination of the deceased.

Local city police chowki SHO Kulwant Singh said the police had initiated proceedings in the case under Section 174 of the CrPC. However, it was awaiting the post-mortem report of the deceased to know about the actual reason of his death, he added.


Dept moots state cadre for MC staff
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 25
The department of local bodies has mooted a proposal to create a state cadre for Class III employees of the municipal councils across the state. This would help the government in rationalising the staff of the councils.
The entire budget of small municipal councils goes in paying the salary of the staff and nothing is left for development works.

According to sources in the department here, more than 70 per cent of the Sangrur municipal council’s budget goes in paying salaries whereas the total establishment cost of the council at Dera Bassi is very less as it is facing shortage of staff. In some of the councils more than 90 per cent budget goes in paying salaries.

The establishment expenditure of councils has increased as most of the lower staff is recruited on political whims, ignoring the actual staff requirement, the sources said.

The authorities in the local government department have proposed that by absorbing the entire staff of a municipal council in the state cadre, rationalisation of the staff could be done.

At present, the class III and IV staff of the municipal councils cannot be transferred as they are attached to a particular local body that recruits them. Most of the staff have no work to do because of the abolition of octoroi.

Earlier, a proposal to provincialise the staff of the local bodies was mooted, but it was allegedly scuttled by the Opposition.

However, the proposal is once again in the limelight as the abolition of octoroi has rendered many of the councils without funds. However, the government is paying a share from VAT collection to the councils.

According to an earlier proposal, the budget of the councils was to be increased by about 10 per cent every year. However, the government is still paying the VAT share to the councils as per 2005 estimates.

The abolition of the house tax is also hitting the income of the councils. The previous government had waived house tax on 250 yards or the houses built on an area less than that. The Patiala municipal corporation has alone lost Rs 3 crore in revenue due to the abolition of house tax.


At the grass roots, but in high spirits
Farmers threaten to hold up trains
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 25
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta) has threatened to hold up trains for four hours on July 18 if the government does not take any action on their demands, which include adequate compensation for land acquired by a private firm from farmers.

In a statement issued here today, the union has demanded that if due compensation is not paid, the land should be returned to the respective farmers. A rally in this regard was also held outside the office complex of the Deputy Commissioner today.

The statement added that despite assurances from the political leadership at the time of election, no concrete steps have been taken to meet their demands.

Land had been acquired at Dhaula, Sanghera and Fatehgarh Chhanna villages in Barnala district.


Khalsa Chetna marchers booked 
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, June 25
A case has been registered against several persons, who raised anti-national slogans and distributed inflammatory material during the Khalsa Chetna March yesterday.

A case has been registered Sections 124(a) and 153(a) and 153 (b) of the IPC for anti-national activities and instigation against unidentified persons at Talwandi Sabo police station on the complaint of assistant sub -inspector Mohan Singh who was on duty there yesterday.

The peosons will be identified and traced from the video films and photographs of the march, the police said. Though the procession was peaceful, slogans in favour of ‘Khalistan’ and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale were raised, to which the police had objected earlier.


Villagers rue poor condition of roads
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 25
Shortage of funds and apathy of the district administration has deprived the Kotla village residents of proper roads. Even though several development projects have been undertaken in the village, nothing has been done to improve the condition of the roads.

The villagers have now approached the district administration and have even written to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD acting-president Sukhbir Badal, seeking their intervention.

Avtar Singh, a retired government official, stated that the main road in the village was in such a pathetic condition that no vehicle can run on it. He said though the village sarpanch did his best to get the road elevated and re-laid, paucity of funds hindered the efforts.

Avtar said water collected on the road and the condition worsened during the monsoons. He added that the water on the road provided a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, thus posing a health hazard for the villagers.

The stagnating water also generates a foul smell, making the lives of the villagers miserable. Avtar stated that the villagers were ashamed to live in such a place. The retired official said while the state government boasted of several mega projects in the area, nothing had so far been done for the villagers who continue to suffer.

Avtar said repeated requests made to the district administration seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. 


Gill takes charge

Chandigarh, June 25
Newly appointed chairman of the Punjab State Law Commission, Justice Amarbir Singh Gill assumed charge of office here today. — TNS


Another chance for I-cards

Bathinda, June 25
The Punjab Food and Supplies Department has offered a final chance to those affected by the 1984 riots to get their identity cards made. The affected persons, who were left out earlier, can submit their applications to the department concerned by June 30. — TNS


MC finalises Rs 35 crore project for Tarn Taran
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, June 25
The municipal council here today finalised a Rs 35 crore project report of works to be done in the town under the union government’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission scheme (JLNURM).

The meeting was held under the presidentship of Jatinder Kumar Sood, president of the council, and all councillors participated in the meeting.

Sood, while talking to mediapersons, said that under the scheme, drinking water, sewerage and street lights would be provided to the entire town. Special arrangements will be made for the drainage of rain water.

He further said that a new bridge on the Kasoor Nullah on the Amritsar road would be built connecting the residents of ward no. 8, 9 and 10 with the residents of 1 and 7.

The Amritsar-Harike road passing through the town will be rebuilt and widened and provision for parking of vehicles will be made.

Homeless families of the town having a plot of 25 yards would be given Rs 80,000 for making a pucca house. The union government will give 80 per cent of the amount while the remaining 20 per cent would be given by the state government and the concerned council.

Sood further said that the project report is being sent to the union government for approval as it has been cleared by the council in its meeting today here.


Murder accused held
Tribune News Service

Moga, June 25
The police has claimed to have solved a double murder case with the arrest of 80-year-old Ajit Singh here today. However, his accomplice is still absconding.

Davinder Singh Garcha, SSP, confirming the arrest said the accused, who is an NRI, had been sentenced to death in a murder case earlier. He said his accomplice had been identified.However, he refused to divulge the identity of the person as it would adversely affect the investigation.


16 shortlisted during campus placement drive
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, June 25
A-1 Technology, a New York-based company, has shortlisted as many as 16 students of RIMT-Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Mandi Gobindgarh, during a campus placement drive today.

Students from computer science engineering department and MCA appeared for the post of trainee software engineers. Dr. S.K.Goyal, principal of the institute, said a technical team of the company that provides offshore software development, software outsourcing, offshore outsourcing, website design and web application development, interacted with the students and selected some of the best among them.

Prof. Harsh Sadawarti, vice-principal of the college, expressed satisfaction over the placement drive. He said that it was a matter of pride that hardcore software development companies were visiting the institute to recruit engineers.


State-level recruitment on June 30

Amritsar, June 25
NIIT, Gurgaon, will conduct joint campus recruitment for positions of technical writers and technical trainers at Guru Nanak Dev University here on June 30. Dr Rajneesh Arora, director, Placements, said the test and interview would be held on the same day.

The pay package of technical writers and technical trainers would be Rs 2.20 lakh and Rs 2 lakh per annum respectively, he added. Students of all colleges of Punjab doing graduation and having diploma in computers, B Tech or M Sc or MCA or M Tech are eligible for this campus recruitment. — OC


Punjabi University sees placement boom
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 25
The increase in placements at Punjabi University during the past few years is unprecedented. Interestingly, the focus of multinational companies this time has been skilled students of various Punjabi University campuses in rural areas.

According to Dr Dham, director, placement cell of the university, the number of placements is expected to increase.

In the engineering streams (BTech, MTech and MCA), 25 companies visited the campuses this year as compared to 10 companies which visited in 2006. 2004 and 2005 witnessed 10 and 15 companies, respectively. The total offers made to engineering students this year exceeded the total of the last three years as 204 students were recruited as compared to 34, 78 and 73 in 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively.

Not only have the number of companies and jobs offered increased significantly, the packages have also witnessed a significant jump. The 2004 batch was offered annual packages between Rs 1.50 lakh to 2.70 lakh, while in 2005, students were offered between Rs 2 lakh to 3.15 lakh. There was no significant increase in 2006 as the packages offered ranged between Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakh. But in 2007, the minimum package offered was Rs 2.60 lakh, while the maximum was Rs 6 lakh.

A large number of management students have also secured jobs in multinational companies as compared to the past two years. While 47 students were placed in 2005 and 118 in the last year, a new record was created this year with 141 management students being placed. These students were offered packages between Rs 1.50 lakh and 9 lakh by 19 companies that visited the campus. Only six companies visited the campus in 2005 offering packages between Rs 1.10 lakh to Rs 3.25 lakh. Though the number of companies and placements increased significantly in 2006 with 14 companies visiting the campus and recruiting 118 students, the package remained nearly unchanged with a minimum of Rs 1.20 lakh and a maximum of Rs 3.30 lakh.


BCA-I result today

Amritsar, June 25
The result of BCA (part I) examination held by Guru Nanak Dev University in April this year will be declared tomorrow and be available on the university website www.gnduonline.org. — TNS


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