CM’s gift to 7 Kandi villages
Kangar (Ropar), November 11
Anything, including school, hospital or roads, asked for was sanctioned on the spot and cheques were delivered to villages by the Chief Minister. He distributed a grant of over Rs 2 crore among the villagers today and promised much more.
The sudden attention and benevolence of Badal towards the seven villages, Sandhoa, Barari, Chandpur Asmani, Basauli, Kangar, Jhandia and Balewal, surrounding the newly developed controversial Kikar Resort in the area raised many questions in political circles.
When asked, the Chief Minister, however, said he came on a visit to Kikar Resort once. After visiting it he decided to approach the villagers in surrounding areas. He found that the people here were economically very poor. “I discussed the matter with my officials and decided to launch a pilot project for rural development and economic regeneration in the area. The project was conceived by G.S. Kalkat, chairman, Punjab Farmers Commission.
After the implementation of the project here it will also be implemented in the border, Bet and water logged areas of the state.
Under the project, besides development of basic infrastructure, schemes have also been launched to improve the income of people. The citrus council has been directed to help willing farmers of the area to bring their land under horticulture. Under the scheme the farmers entering a contract with the council will be paid Rs 10,000 per acre for the first six years. After that the produce would be shared on 50 per cent basis by the council and farmers for the next six years. After 12 years the farmers would become owners of their orchards, Badal said.
Soft loans were also extended to farmers and unemployed youth interested in dairy farming or agro-forestry. Among the major grants issued by the Chief Minister today was Rs 1.70 crore for the construction of a 10-bed hospital and primary health centre at Chandpur Asmani village, Rs 21.45 lakh for the strengthening of roads at Basali village and Rs 50 lakh for upgrading the infrastructure at an existing school at Kangar village.
Though Badal was willing to meet anybody, the over-cautious district administration stopped people from coming anywhere near him. The program was managed in such a way that only the handpicked sarpanches and panches of the area could interact with Badal.
Two villagers Bhem Sen and Atma Ram wanted to complain to the Chief Minister against the demolition of their shops at Chandpur Asmani village. However, they were denied an audience by policemen. Many of the villagers also wanted to complain against the Kikar Resort owners. They alleged that as per the high court order the forest on which the resort was operating was their village common land. The court had allowed us the use of land for community programmes. However, the influential owners were allegedly not allowing them to use the land.
Hoshiarpur MP Avinash Rai Khanna, Anandpur Sahib MLA Sant Ajit Singh, former ministers Madan Mohan Mittal and Tara Singh Ladal were among others present on the occasion.
Decision on action against drunken doctors today
Amritsar, November 11
Talking to The Tribune here today, Chawla said she had received a number of complaints against certain doctors who were found under influence of liquor during duty hours. They were also indicted by the civil surgeon concerned or senior health officers who were asked to personally attend the complaints immediately.
“This is a serious lapse on the part of medical officers who have a great responsibility towards society,” she said.
The minister, however, appreciated the medical fraternity in general who had been doing a great service to society. She said such good doctors, who are rendering selfless service would be short-listed so that they are rewarded at an appropriate occasion.
She said the Health Department would suggest strict action against the “erring medical staff” during the meeting to be held in Chandigarh tomorrow.
On the complaints of absenteeism among medical staff, Chawla said discipline would be maintained in the department at all costs. She said tomorrow’s meeting would also suggest guidelines for taking strict action against the medical staff, including doctors, found absent from duty in future.
She said the finance department had cleared 147 posts of doctor, including specialists, following Cabinet nod. However, after filling these vacancies, the government dispensaries and hospitals would need about 400 doctors more to streamline the functioning of the health department.
Giving details of raids on substandard milk, milk products and sweet shops, Chawla said the employees of the health department worked round the clock to cut the supply from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan etc. The on-the-spot sampling helped in curtailing the production and sale of substandard sweetmeats on the occasion of Diwali.
The Health Department would continue to check the supply of substandard milk and its products by conducting routine checking.
In a shocking revelation, the minister said “sub-standard” raw material was also found during the checking of “mithai bhandars” ( sweet shops) , being run on a “no-profit, no loss basis” in some religious premises in Amritsar city. Notices might be issued to such shops.
She said intensive raids also revealed that certain branded sweet shops were not maintaining the norms fixed by the state government.
An awareness campaign would be launched to educate the customers so that they can help the health department in curbing the menace of adulteration in eatable items.
Pay Rs 1,200 cr to get 2,200 cr from Centre
Chandigarh, November 11
Though the revenue inflows in Punjab have dropped and the state faces a resource crunch, a decision has been made to provide Rs 1,200 crore meant for development projects. By paying Rs 1,200 crore Punjab will be eligible for getting an additional Rs 2,200 crore of central funds. If Punjab defaults, the central government can hold back the money and hamper development schemes. The payment schedule till September 30 has been adhered to and the next instalment will be released next week, according to sources. Already half of the Punjab share has been paid up.
Since the projects are jointly funded, Punjab puts in a portion and so does the government of India. The ratio of shares varies as per the project. In some cases the central government puts in as much as 90 per cent of the money, in others it is in the ratio of 50:50.
Most of the projects are being implemented in villages and various external agencies like the World Bank or Nabard are on the job.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, on realising the laxity in availing central funds, had made it clear to officers that each rupee of central assistance has to be utilised.
With failing revenues, it seemed that meeting the target would be tough, but the threat of stopping the states share was great. The southern states have already raced ahead and built infrastructure utilising central funds.
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service
Mohali, November 11
While rejecting the proposed alternative scheme for acquiring land to be implemented throughout the state, a cabinet sub-committee has, however, allowed it to be implemented on an experimental basis in two departments of the government.
The cabinet sub-committee had recently met under the chairmanship of minister for local government Manoranjan Kalia to consider the report that suggested Punjab follow land acquisition system of Gujarat.
However, sources said the report was not accepted for the entire state but it was felt that the new method of land acquisition could be “tried on an experimental basis” by the Department of Local Bodies and the Punjab small industries and exports corporation.
The report was prepared by a team that had visited Gujarat and also taken into account the schemes of land acquisition in other states.
The officers also made a presentation before members of the cabinet sub-committee. It was pointed out that in Gujarat, land for public purpose was not acquired under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, but was undertaken by an appropriate authority.
The report also highlighted that planning norms in Gujarat were quiet liberal enabling the landowners to bring in group housing, commercial areas and residential plots.
The cabinet subcommittee was also told that the credibility enjoyed by the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority was high since planning was done following an independent valuation of land.
The system also led to minimum displacement of population and there was participation of each owner.
Certain shortcomings of the scheme were also listed during the meeting. The Gujarat scheme led to the planning of the town being compromised.
Moreover, the scheme was not time bound and it took many years to get the land valued. For infrastructures like airports and sewerage, the regular method of land acquisition was being followed.
The committee felt that there should be no compromise with planning keeping in view the future of the state.
It was decided that the scheme (called the ‘town planning scheme’), as followed in Gujarat, would be implemented only in two departments for the time being.
The minister ordered that since the scheme did not entail the involvement of the Department of Revenue and Rehabilitation, administrative departments on their own should implement it.
Municipal parks lose out to encroachers
Patiala, November 11
The municipal parks in the town have been shrinking and over the years a large number of these have disappeared, as these have yielded to residential structures.
The municipal corporation has been fighting a losing battle, as out of 85 municipal parks, 16 have been encroached upon. Legal proceedings have been initiated to have these vacated.
According to MC sources, the corporation is in a bind as a majority of parks have been encroached upon. In fact, permanent structures have come up on most of these. They say the corporation is now initiating a campaign to have these parks vacated.
However, the chances of this actually happening are remote as some of the unauthorised structures are over two decades old.
Former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had announced a grant of Rs 5 crore for the development of parks here. That the grant has been released is anybody’s guess.
Sources in the corporation also admit that the corporation has no wherewithal for maintenance of its parks.
There is no staff in the horticulture wing of the corporation. The corporation had drafted a plan to build boundary walls around these parks and put up boards for public.
The idea was to ensure that these pieces of land were not encroached upon.
The sources say several parks that were popular with public in the past have since been reduced to small green patches with the construction of drinking water reservoirs and installation of tubewells.
They cited the example of the Arya Samaj park and the Master Tara Singh Park in the busy Anardana Chowk area.
They say only a few parks are in proper shape and a sustained effort is needed to retrieve and maintain these. However, the corporation has no infrastructure for this.
Warm welcome awaits Bhattal
Patiala, November 11
Criticising policies the Badal government, Lal Singh, who was accompanied by local MP Preneet Kaur and legislator from Samana Brahm Mohindra, said the nine- month of the Akali Dal-BJP alliance rule had shown it lacked direction. All sections of people were disenchanted with the policies of the SAD government.
Senior functionaries of the District Congress, including former mayor Vishnu Sharma, president of the DCC (Urban) Prem Krishan Puri and president of the DCC (Rural) Tarsem Bansal were also present on the occasion.
Fazilka, November 11
Talking exclusively to the TNS here today, he said due to this railway line, which existed in the pre-independence era, trade activities extended up to Mynamar, Burma and Liverpool as business flourished along this track.
Businessmen from Britain earned a lot as this railway track proved to be a vital link between the commercial centres of Ludhiana and Karachi via Fazilka, he said, adding that Fazilka was then a major wool and cotton market and its trade activities extended throughout the world.
The Deputy Speaker maintained that revival of this railway track would prove to be a boon for Punjab in general and this border belt in particular.
He said since the relationship between India and Pakistan was improving and the peace process had gained a momentum, he would take up the issue of reviving this railway track with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Atwal, who belongs to Dabwala Kalan village of Fazilka sub-division, was here on a personal visit. In reply to a question, he said since Fazilka was one of the oldest sub-divisions of Punjab, it deserves the district headquarter status and he would support any such move initiated by people in Fazilka.
Declining to comment on political issues, the Deputy Speaker said he was more concerned with the development of the country. He said with his initiative, the NRIs, including Lord Swaraj Paul, Didar Singh Bains, Sant Singh Chatwal and others had adopted 150 primary schools in Punjab for strengthening the infrastructure and providing teachers in schools.
He said he had set a target of getting 1,000 primary schools adopted by the NRIs for improving the education system at the primary level. He pleaded for tax concessions in Punjab for industrial development on the pattern of neighbouring states like Himachal Pardesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir.
He said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was making serious efforts in this direction.
Atwal was accompanied by SDM, Fazilka, Rajiv Parashar, DSP Rachhpal Singh and SGPC executive member Suba Singh.
District BJP vice-president expelled for 6 yrs
Sangrur, November 11
A decision to expel Goyal from the party was taken at a meeting of the office-bearers of the district unit of the party under the presidentship of district president Jatinder Kalra here. However days ago Goyal had reportedly resigned from the party, protesting against the functioning of the district president of the party.
When attention of Jatinder Kalra was drawn towards the resignation from the party by Goyal some days ago, Kalra said he had not received any resignation letter from Goyal till today, so his expulsion from the party was genuine. Kalra warned the workers and leaders not to rush to the Press for making any statement against the party. Anybody found doing so disciplinary action would be taken against him, he added.
To unveil statues of Maharaja’s generals
Badrakhun (Sangrur), November 11
The statues of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa were built in 2001 by an artist from Jaimal Singh Wala village (near Tapa) Jarnail Singh and the unveiling ceremony of these statues was performed in November 2001 by the then Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The statues of Sham Singh Attari and Akali Phulla Singh were built by an artist from Sunam Ajit Singh Saron last year. The finishing touches (paintwork) of these two statues is in progress even as the unveiling ceremony of these statues will be performed this time also by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on November 13 when he visits this village to participate in a state-level function to mark the birth anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Talking to The Tribune today, the patron of the Yadgar Gurdwara Maharaja Ranjit Singh Badrukhan, Jathedar Sukhdev Singh, said all four statues had been built at a cost of Rs 3 lakh. He also opposed the proposed installation of a statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the Sangrur-Barnala main road in Badrukhan village, saying that the installation of a statue of the Maharaja on the road would lower his dignity. He also asked the Chief Minister to construct a big gate in the village in memory of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in place of the proposed statue of the Maharaja on the Sangrur-Barnala road.
Chandan trees from Bathinda to be reproduced
Bathinda, November 11
Chandan trees, famous for their fragrance will soon be reproduced and planted in other parts of the state by the State Forests Department from their nursery at the Deer Park.
The tree is recognisable from its rough and dark grey bark having shallow yet prominent vertical fissures.
Chandan occurs naturally in areas between 300 m and 1000 m above sea level with about 50 cm to 160 cm of annual rainfall. It thus occurs naturally in peninsular India. It comes up well in common loamy, well-drained soil, rich in iron. Such trees in Bathinda are certainly a rarity and the city residents should take full advantage of it.
The Deer Park in Bathinda not only has chandan (Sanatalum album) trees, but almost 15,000 trees of 52 other varieties as well. These include sagwan (Tectona grandis), silver oak (Gravillea robusta), Jand (Prosopis cineraria) and many more.
Trees have always been a part of Punjabi folklore as well as the Sikh religion. So deep is the relation of trees with religion that some Sikh shrines are hallowed by their association with the names of native species of trees.
Even the holiest shrine, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth place at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, and Gurdwara Takht Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, where the Khalsa order was created, are known for their sacred association with the trees.
As many as 48 historic shrines related to different periods of the evolution of the Sikh faith have been named after 17 species of trees, among which beri (zizyphus jujuba), tahli (shisham) and jand (prosopis spicigera) are the most popular. The famous Mirza-Sahiban Punjabi folklore is associated with the jand tree.
According to data collected from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in Punjab, 203 species of forest trees have been recorded, out of which 15 species are used for both commercial and floriculture purposes and 28 species are fruit trees.
As many as 116 species of trees are used for landscaping in the state. These include eight drought-resistant trees, 29 trees resistant to air and water pollution, 32 trees suitable for growing in dust-prone areas and 30 trees are suitable for growing in industrial and sewerage water.
Major cremated with military honours
Jalandhar, November 11
While Lieut-Gen S.S. Kumar, GOC, 11 Corps, laid a wreath to pay homage to the officer at his residence, Brig B.B. Patil, along with other officers and jawans of the Vajra Corps, paid tributes to Major Sandhu.
Ajit Singh Pannu, DC, Arpit Shukla, SSP, Jagbir Brar, MLA, and deputy director, Sainik Welfare, Col Manmohan Singh were also present at the crematorium.
Major Varinder, along with four jawans, died in an anti-insurgency operation in Pattan in Jammu and Kashmir on November 9.
Born in 1976, Varinder had done his schooling from Chennai and Pune, said his younger brother Harinder Sandhu, adding that he was commissioned in the Army in December 2000. He was fond of painting and landscaping. Harinder said he met him last a month back in Chanidgarh when he had come on leave.
Dismissed SGPC secy honoured
Amritsar, November 11
The honouring of the dismissed secretary by one of the five Takhts of the Sikhs amounts to “absolving” him of the serious charges levelled against him at the time of his dismissal by the SGPC executive on May 4 this year.
Giani Iqbal Singh is one of the five high priests who participated in the meetings of Akal Takht. Hence, honouring of Raghbir Singh would put the SGPC in a piquant situation. Moreover, the award presented to him is named after great Sikh warrior Hari Singh Nalua.
Raghbir Singh was dismissed by the SGPC executive due to alleged “irregularities” committed by him, apart from carrying out false propaganda against the SGPC and contesting the Assembly elections against the rules of the committee.
To throw a challenge to Parkash Singh Badal during the last assembly elections, Raghbir Singh had also floated the Shiromani Akali Dal (Majha) and contested the recently held Assembly election from Rajasansi as "rebel candidate". Raghbir Singh had levelled serious charges against Badal and SGPC chief Avtar Singh. He had also filed a number of cases in the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission and high court.
In his citation, Jathedar Takht Patna Sahib said he (Raghbir Singh) was instrumental in getting a large chunk of Shiromani Committee land vacated by risking his life.
4,000 Sikhs to visit Pak on Gurpurb
Islamabad, November 11 The ETPB, organisations like the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbhanbak Committee and the local administration have made arrangements for the board and lodging of the pilgrims. They will be accommodated in several gurdwaras, where langar will be served to them. The pilgrims will arrive on November 25 to participate in religious rituals being held at Gurdwara Punja Sahib. Abbas said some 100 pilgrims each from Afghanistan and Dubai and 80 from Iran are also expected to join the rituals.
Islamabad, November 11
The ETPB, organisations like the Pakistan Gurdwara Parbhanbak Committee and the local administration have made arrangements for the board and lodging of the pilgrims. They will be accommodated in several gurdwaras, where langar will be served to them. The pilgrims will arrive on November 25 to participate in religious rituals being held at Gurdwara Punja Sahib. Abbas said some 100 pilgrims each from Afghanistan and Dubai and 80 from Iran are also expected to join the rituals. — PTI
Complexes on police land
Moga, November 11 These complexes will be sold and the money thus generated will be utilised on various police welfare schemes, according to police sources here. According to sources, Suresh Arora, IG, police headquarters, has asked all IGs local and DIGs police ranges to identitfy these unutilised plots of land attached with the department within a month.
Moga, November 11
These complexes will be sold and the money thus generated will be utilised on various police welfare schemes, according to police sources here.
According to sources, Suresh Arora, IG, police headquarters, has asked all IGs local and DIGs police ranges to identitfy these unutilised plots of land attached with the department within a month. — UNI
Rs 1,000 cr for paddy purchase
Chandigarh, November 11 Stating this here today, an official spokesman said the six government procuring agencies had procured 17.29 lakh metric tonne (MT) of paddy so far out of the total of 33.55 lakh MT of paddy which arrived in 179 mandis of the state so far this year. He said 24.96 lakh MT paddy would attract levies while 8.57 lakh MT paddy was outside the purview of levies. Out of total paddy under levies, 73 per cent was purchased by the government agencies and the rest was purchased by millers. HAFED had procured 7 lakh MT of paddy, the food and supplies department 5.49 lakh MT, the Agro Industries Corporation 2.17 lakh MT, Confed 1.94 lakh MT, the Haryana Warehousing Corporation 57,732 MT and the Food Corporation of India procured 8,919 MT of paddy. The spokesman said Kurukshetra district topped the state with 6.59 lakh MT of paddy, followed by Karnal (5.64 lakh MT), Fatehabad (4.61 lakh MT), Kaithal (3.90 lakh MT), Ambala (2.89 lakh MT), Yamunanagar (2.07 lakh MT) and Sirsa (1.56 MT), Faridabad (1.29 lakh MT) and Panchkula (44,247 MT).
Chandigarh, November 11
Stating this here today, an official spokesman said the six government procuring agencies had procured 17.29 lakh metric tonne (MT) of paddy so far out of the total of 33.55 lakh MT of paddy which arrived in 179 mandis of the state so far this year.
He said 24.96 lakh MT paddy would attract levies while 8.57 lakh MT paddy was outside the purview of levies. Out of total paddy under levies, 73 per cent was purchased by the government agencies and the rest was purchased by millers.
HAFED had procured 7 lakh MT of paddy, the food and supplies department 5.49 lakh MT, the Agro Industries Corporation 2.17 lakh MT, Confed 1.94 lakh MT, the Haryana Warehousing Corporation 57,732 MT and the Food Corporation of India procured 8,919 MT of paddy.
The spokesman said Kurukshetra district topped the state with 6.59 lakh MT of paddy, followed by Karnal (5.64 lakh MT), Fatehabad (4.61 lakh MT), Kaithal (3.90 lakh MT), Ambala (2.89 lakh MT), Yamunanagar (2.07 lakh MT) and Sirsa (1.56 MT), Faridabad (1.29 lakh MT) and Panchkula (44,247 MT).
VB registers few cases in Bathinda
Bathinda, November 11
Since 1997, a total of 364 cases of corruption have been filed in Bathinda range.
But during these 11 years, only six cases of corruption were filed against officials of the transport department. In Bathinda, the percentage of cases against transport department officials is less than 2 per cent of the total filed cases.
The Vigilance Bureau has filed only 27 cases in these 11 years. Interestingly, during these 11 years, there was a period when no case was filed against the department. For Bathinda district, this period was of six years, for Faridkot and Mansa districts, this period was of eight years.
The revenue department appears to be the worst affected. Records available show that a total of 68 cases were framed against officials of the department. In between, there were periods when only one or two cases were filed during the whole year.
Also, in Faridkot district, six years passed when no case was registered by the bureau while in Mansa district, three years passed without a case being registered against officials of the revenue department. But in Bathinda, cases were registered every year against officials of the department.
Regarding the transport department, not even a single case was registered in seven years. In the remaining four years also, just one or two cases were filed on an average.
SSP Vigilance, Bathinda, Mukhtiar Singh Dahiya said, “The point is that a complainant is needed to initiate the proceedings.”
Tribune News Service
Moga, November 11
Meanwhile, sources said the women disclosed that the racket involved Rs 4 crore. They said the two accused had disclosed Rs 1.80 crore was extorted through them from persons named in the case of forcible joining of flesh trade registered on the complaint of Manpreet.
However, the conduct of police officials came under scanner. Later, Amarjit Singh, SHO, was arrested and a case of extortion and corruption was registered against him on October 24. Subsequently, Raman Kumar, SHO, was dismissed.
Rumours are rife that son of a former minister and a senior police official were involved in the case besides the dismissal of an SHO and suspension of another SHO.
Manpreet had named 46 persons in her complaint. Most of them belonged to prosperous families. After a few days of her complaint the list of names of accused was brought down to only 10.
Two killed in road mishaps
Jagraon, November 11
The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304-A, 337 and 338 of the IPC. The tractor driver has been arrested.
Motor cycle rams into median, 1 dead
Kharar, November 11 Rajinder Singh (27) and his colleague Deen Mohammad were going on a motor cycle when it rammed into a road divider. Balongi police post in-charge Dalip Singh said while Rajinder died on his way to the hospital, Deen Mohammad received injuries and was admitted to the local civil hospital. He has sustained fractures on the face, besides head injuries. Rajinder hailed from Jaipur (Rajasthan), while Deen is a resident of Gurna Khedi village in Banur. The police has informed the family of the deceased in
Jaipur. None of his relatives has so far come to claim the body, police officials added.
Kharar, November 11
Rajinder Singh (27) and his colleague Deen Mohammad were going on a motor cycle when it rammed into a road divider.
Balongi police post in-charge Dalip Singh said while Rajinder died on his way to the hospital, Deen Mohammad received injuries and was admitted to the local civil hospital.
He has sustained fractures on the face, besides head injuries.
Rajinder hailed from Jaipur (Rajasthan), while Deen is a resident of Gurna Khedi village in Banur.
The police has informed the family of the deceased in Jaipur. None of his relatives has so far come to claim the body, police officials added.