P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Maya woos poor upper castes
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The poor people belonging to upper castes and religious minorities in Punjab, in particular, need to wake up and join hands with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and change the tides of power enjoyed by the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and allies since Independence.

The parties have done nothing except paying back the financial dues they incurred on account of funds they took from the rich industrialists and the influential during elections and other party activities.

This was stated by Mayawati, the national president of the BSP and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, while addressing a rally here today. She was addressing hundreds of party workers from all over the state at her first rally in the state.

The UP Chief Minister repeatedly appealed to the upper caste and the minorities religious groups in the state to see how the respective governments, had exploited them, even in the name of caste. Mayawati said, “Interestingly, the Congress and the BJP at different podia are calling us a party for the backward classes only in a new effort to wean away a section of voters. How can the public forget that they shared with power with us in UP at different points of time. The recent results in UP have shown the share we had given to the forward classes in our group. They are made ministers also.”

Avtaar Singh Kareempuri, president of the Punjab unit of the party, welcoming her, said the BSP was the future of the country as the number of brahmins, jatts and khatris besides others who had joined the party today revealed.

The Chief Minister said, “There is no denying the fact that the scheduled caste and the other backward classes categories have been the most oppressed and suppressed lot since Independence. They have been exploited in social, educational and economical sectors. At the same time, for even a large number of poor upper caste rich and religious minorities the times have not changed over the years under same governments in different garbs. It is a time for a reawakening and recognising the correct leaders.”

Mayawati said the BSP had a simple straight forward agenda to remove poverty, help employment and make government functioning simplest. “UP has taken an initiative in making reservation for the poor upper caste rich in private jobs and will follow the same at the national level in case voted to power,” she said.

Mayawati also made a mention of how a population of more than 15 lakh have been benefited in UP because the government gave three acres of land to poor farmers for farming out of government land lying unutilised.


700 Most-wanted Criminals
Police to approach Interpol, CBI
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 17
Director-general of police N.P.S. Aulakh today said the Punjab Police had decided to approach Interpol for the arrest of 700 most-wanted criminals who had escaped abroad. He said the CBI would be approached for this purpose.

The DGP was here to examine the crime graph and discuss problems being faced by police personnel and people in general. He also denied any J&K-type incident of suicide and fratricide by personnel of the state police.

He said during his tenure in the BSF a study into the incidents of fratricide by the troops in J&K revealed that such an extreme step was being taken under stress by the jawans who were serving far away from their families. The working conditions of the police personnel in Punjab were better as most of the lower-rung officials were posted in their home districts and as such were in a position to take care of the day-to-day problems of their household.

He appreciated the physical fitness programme launched by the SSP here but parried questions about any special programme to check corruption in the department. Admitting prevalence of corruption in the force, the DGP, however, said whenever a complaint was received, action had been taken.

Aulakh told mediapersons that he held a detailed meeting with top officials, including deputy inspector-general, Faridkot Range, Jatinder Jain and SSP, Bathinda, Naunihal Singh.

Denying that senior police officials wanted to get transferred from the district and surrounding districts in Malwa belt due to political pressure, he said there was no political interference in the functioning of the department. On the issue of shortage of police staff, he said 1,800 policemen recruited last year were under training. But he added that even after their deployment, 1,500 more would be needed. To counter shortage in the force, he said the idea of moral policing was under consideration. Replying to a question about the investigations in the Moga sex scandal, he said one accused had been arrested.

The DGP also ordered the SSP and other senior officers to keep a regular tab on the crime graph and identify all snatchers and smugglers.


8 unrecognised nursing colleges allowed admissions
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 17
Seats in many recognised nursing colleges of the state are lying vacant after counselling for admissions ended yesterday.

Despite that, in a controversial decision, the state government has allowed eight unrecognised nursing colleges to admit students by a notification issued on November 7, 2007. These institutes are the Mata Sahib Kaur College of Nursing, Mohali, Shiv Shakti College of Nursing, Mansa, Bengal Institute of Health Sciences, Raikot, Mai Bhago College of Nursing, Tarn Taran, Baba Farid Educational and Medical Research Society, Faridkot, Rattan Professional Educational Society Mohali, Kular Medical Education and Research Society, Ludhiana, and Dr Sham Lal Thapar College of Physiotherapy, Moga, to admit students.

The notification said colleges do not have recognition from the Indian Nursing Council. The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences cannot give them regular affiliation till it is recognised by the council.

Highly placed sources here said the authorities directed to admit nursing students for nursing colleges have took precautionary measures to save their skin. They have taken affidavits from students taking admissions in unrecognised colleges, stating that they would be responsible for their own fate. The students have been forced to admit under oath that they know that the colleges are not recognised by the Indian Nursing Council and Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.

However, it is a mystery that when seats in recognised colleges are lying vacant why is government was putting at risk the career of students by allowing unrecognised colleges to carry out admissions.

This year, admissions to the nursing colleges as per schedule, was to be carried out in July. However, it has got delayed to late November. The authorities concerned declined to comment on the issue.

The sources said due to vacant seats in many nursing colleges, the government has decided to allow them to admit students on their own.



Council to probe
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 17
The Indian Nursing Council (INC) has decided to launch a high-level probe into the admissions to these colleges.

On the other hand, the future of about 300 students admitted to these ‘selected’ colleges seems to be heading towards a dark patch as the students would not be able to practise anywhere outside Punjab, cautions T. Dalip Kumar, president of the INC.

“The norm is that any degree-level nursing college has to be recognised by the INC, and then by the PNRC. After this, comes the university affiliation. How can they admit students without following the norms?” questions T. Dalip Kumar.

The norms were allegedly ‘relaxed’ by the state government to accommodate the colleges under ‘heavy political’ pressure.

The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences vice-chancellor, Dr Ravinder Singh, said the admission was being done as per the government notification.


Bio-fuel soon: Capt
Tribune News Service

Batala, November 17
The government is likely to manufacture bio-fuel (ethanol) from cane sugar at cooperative sugar mills if the trade is found to be more profitable than that of sugar.

The government has chalked out the possibilities and feasibilities in this pretext, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, cooperative minister, while addressing a gathering of cane-sugar growers at a function organised at the Batala Co-operative Sugar Mill here today.

Though the government is committed to operating all cooperative sugar mills in the state and even has earmarked Rs 150 crore for their upgrading, the options for generating electricity and manufacturing bio-fuel and yielding other bi-products have also been left open.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh said the Petroleum Ministry had already made it mandatory for mixing 5 per cent ethanol in per litre of the fuel of a vehicle. The ratio could be raised to 22.5 per cent in near future. The minister, however, claimed that priority would be given to manufacturing sugar at these mills.

To get rid of soft drinks of multinational companies, the minister said Milkfed products would soon replace these soft drinks. He said Milkfed products would soon be sold at cooperative societies at the village level.

The minister also claimed that payments would be made to farmers selling cane to a mill within 48 hours while cane would be unloaded within 4-8 hours at a mill.

The minister claimed that the department had stocked DAP fertilisers at cooperative stores and more was likely to be purchased by the department.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon, former Akali minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Balbir Singh Batth, MLA, Srihargobindpur, Jagdish Raj Sahani, chief parliamentary secretary, Batala, Pritam Singh Kaunta, chairman of Sugarfed.

Interestingly, chairman of Milkfed Gurcharan Singh Babehali kept a distance from the function.


Punjabi taking roots abroad: Rakkar
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 17
Gurcharn Singh Rakkar, who owns 1,100 acres of farmland in the USA, has said after attracting people in Canada and England, Punjabi language is becoming popular in some parts of the USA.

Talking to The Tribune here yesterday, Rakkar said a Mexican girl, studying in Unified School, Kerman City, near California, topped in the optional subject of Punjabi language this year. It was a great achievement on the part of the NRIs that they succeeded in introducing Punjabi language at the high school-level in many schools of the USA.

Giving details of the goodwill gesture of the American police and local administration, he said nobody enforced wearing of helmets for pillion Sikh riders when they take out nagar kirtan to mark the Gurpurbs. He said the classes to give lessons in Punjabi and kirtan (singing of hymns) were being organised in newly opened Gurdwara Anandgarh in Kerman City. The gurdwara, constructed at a cost of about Rs 8 crore, was recently inaugurated by the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti.

The Sikhs have been living in the USA for almost 100 years, and because of their multifarious qualities and open-mindedness, they have earned recognition at their work places. Despite their long and significant stay in that country and the fact that the Sikhs have served the allied forces during World Wars I and II, many people still mistake a Sikh for a person from the Middle-East. However, nagar kirtans help in creating awareness among Americans about the distinct identity of the Sikhs, he said.

While Sikhs have suffered due to many cases of ‘mistaken identity’ after the 9/11 attack on twin towers, the scene of turban-tying session by Englishmen in America definitely came as a pleasant surprise to the community. American girls did not lag behind. They also evinced keen interest in wearing turbans.

However, Rakkar lamented that the Punjab government was not helping NRIs to serve their native country in a big way. He alleged that hurdles were being created by bureaucrats to clear projects of NRIs in Punjab. His family had opened a big college for women in his native village Mazari, Nawanshahr.

However, despite a number of visits to Chandigarh, senior leaders of the ruling party and top officials showed indifference in granting affiliation.

Rakkar said the UC University of California in Davis City was ready to invite students of Mazri village under an exchange programme, but for the formalities of the education department.


False cases registered: Probe
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
In a severe indictment of “political interference” in the Punjab Police, an inquiry by an SSP-level officer has found that false cases have been registered in the state.

About a month ago, a few Congress leaders had met the Governor of Punjab, Gen S.F Rodrigues (retd), and demanded that cases of alleged vendetta be looked into.

A list of such cases was submitted to the Governor and 30 such cases were from Kapurthala district and all from the constituency of Bholath where Congressman Sukhpal Khaira had defeated Akali heavyweight Bibi Jagir Kaur.

Now an inquiry conducted by SSP, Kapurthala, Rakesh Aggarwal, says 10 out of 30 cases mentioned by Khaira were registered on false grounds.

In another seven cases, the FIR was found to be correct, but the wrong person had been implicated or detained in the matter. Only six cases were found to be registered correctly and against right persons.

In three cases a compromise was reached while the inquiry has been still underway in the remaining four cases referred by Khaira. A secret report on the subject was forwarded by police headquarters to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for further action.

Sources in the police said the inquiry report was very clear on how the lower-level police officials were registering baseless cases.

It may be mentioned here that last month, after having faced allegations of registering police cases to target leaders of opposition parties, the Punjab Police had appointed a DIG-level official to look into all such complaints.


Plea seeking info on SGPC ads filed
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 17
A local leader, Baldev Singh Sirsa, has again filed an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI), this time seeking information from the SGPC about the newspaper advertisements given by it in the past 10 years.

He has also asked the SGPC whether any tenders or quotations were called through newspapers for allotment of the advertisement and, if so, what were the names of the agencies which applied.

In the application Sirsa has said, “I require this information from the SGPC for my knowledge as someone interested in its better management and administration.”

Sirsa had earlier created a stir by seeking detailed information about the foreign trips made by Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti.

President of the SGPC Avtar Singh said the SGPC would get legal opinion on the matter. He, however, said filing such applications was definitely not a constructive exercise. He added that this case was different from the earlier application involving Vedanti.

Balancing Act
Mayor seeks to please councillors
Adjusts 46 of them in 11 committees
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 17
Apparently bowing to the political pulls and pressures, Patiala mayor Ajit Singh Kohli has sought to perform a balancing act. He has adjusted as many as 46 of the total of 50 municipal councillors in the newly-formed committees and sub-committees of the civic body.

Four councillors, who owe their allegiance to the Congress, are the only ones who have been kept out of the committees, 11 of which were nominated by the mayor here yesterday.

Whether the arrangement works or not is to be seen, yet Kohli has made a bid to silence his critics by adjusting all the municipal councillors belonging to the three ‘warring’ Akali groups led by his father former minister Surjit Singh Kohli, NRI Sabha, Punjab patron Surjit Singh Rakhra and district SAD president Inder Mohan Bajaj.

Bajaj’s son Amarinder Bajaj who represents ward No. 45, has been nominated as member of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CCC Committee). Mayor Ajit Singh Kohli, deputy mayor Anil Bajaj, commissioner M.P. Arora and Narinder Chandok are the other members of the committee.

The mayor has sought to get about 10 MCs, who are said to be very close to Rakhra, adjusted in the committees one way or the other. Sources close to Kohli said this had been done to make sure that “justice be done to everybody”.

Interestingly, SAD leader Jaspal Singh representing ward No. 39, who was pushed by Rakhra for the coveted position of the mayor of Patiala, has been nominated as member of two committees. Likewise, Anil Bajaj has also been nominated for two committees.

The new initiative, taken at the behest of the mayor, will not only be taken as a sign of “political maturity” but in all probability it is likely to subside the internal fissures of the SAD in Patiala to some extent.

Though there has been no external fight but the internal differences in the three groups are known to one and all.

The committees are: F&CCC Committee, Q&Q Control Sub-committee, House Tax Sub-committee (Patiala), House Tax Sub-committee (Samana), Anti-encroachment sub-committee (Patiala), Anti-encroachment sub-committee (Samana), Building Sub-committee, Water Supply and Sewerage sub-committee, Street Light Sub-committee, Park Maintenance sub-committee, Library sub-committee.


Orkut sos
Help pours in for the disabled
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 17
Help has come for the Universal Disabled Caretaker Society, Padiala, after The Tribune highlighted the plight of the society in dealing with government norms.

People from various quarters have poured in to help the society. Birinder Singh Lehri, an SDO with the BSNL, donated Rs 1,500. “He came across the news report while on his way to Chandigarh and paid us a visit. He has promised to help us in the construction and designing of the ashram,” the president of the society, Shamsher Singh, said.

Even the Orkut community, wherein the society had posted an appeal, has responded with enthusiasm. “We are flooded with help and messages,” he said. Gurvinder Singh, a website master, contacted the society authorities and offered free services to manage and update their website. He has also extended help in putting links of the society’s website on other links.

Gurpreet Singh, moderator of the India-Pakistan Friendship Club, too, has forwarded the appeal of the society to all its 94,000 members.


Infiltration from Pak continues: General
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 17
The Pakistan emergency has had no effect on infiltration of militants in the trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir. It is continuing as earlier.

Lieut-Gen Amarjit Singh Sekhon, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 15 Corps, stated this while talking to a section of mediapersons at Sainik School here today. An alumnus of Sainik School, Sekhon came here to attend the 47th Old Boys Association Meet.

He said the exact impact of Pak emergency on infiltration would be felt only after a couple of months.

The Lieut-General said, “Militant camps across border are still intact, if Pakistan decides to force militants to close their camps near Indian border, infiltration may increase in the times to come.”

Sekhon, who is joining his new post as Director-General Military Operations (DGMO) in New Delhi on November 27, said most of the allegations of human rights violations against Armymen were found to be fictitious.


Kidney Removal Case
Report says girl died of disease
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 17
The pathologist report of Sonia, a four-year-old girl child whose kidney was allegedly removed without her parents’ consent, confirms that the cause of her death was a situation resulting from nephroblastoma, a disease sufficient to cause death.

The report, which has been sent to the Police Department, adds that no abnormality has been found in the piece of kidney sent for examination.

J.P.K.Shergill, principal of Government Medical College, who was placed under suspension, said the girl died due to spread of cancer.


Protest against police inaction
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 17
A large number of farmers today protested in front of the Majitha police station against the alleged failure of the police to take action against a commission agent who had grabbed the mortgaged land of a farmer of Vandala village.

The farmers resolved that they would not allow the commission agent to take harvest the paddy.

Dhanwant Singh Khatrai Kalan, state committee member of the Kirti Kisan Union, an offshoot of the All-India Kisan Maha Sabha, alleged that despite the fact that Rup Singh, the farmer who had mortgaged his land to commission agent returned the money in the presence of village responsible persons, the agent grabbed his land by forging documents.

He alleged that the farmers had lodged a complaint to SSP Amritsar Rural who appointed the DSP and SHO of the police station to inquire into the matter. However, no action was taken against the accused under political pressure, he alleged.

While demanding the registration of a cheating case against commission agent, he said the responsibility would lie with the police and district administration if the case was not resolved without delay.


Doctors seek cadre review
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A delegation of specialist doctors of the Punjab civil medical services association yesterday met Punjab health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla and demanded that a cadre review be carried out and that retirement age be enhanced among other issues.

Shayam Lal Mahajan, state president of the association, said the demands included PCMS cadre review, pay parity on par with central health services, enhancement of retirement age of doctors, regularisation of ad hoc specialists and increase in non- practicing allowance etc.

The association stated that the concerns and needs of PCMS doctors had been utterly neglected by successive governments.


Villagers get mobile dispensary
Tribune News Service

Dina Nagar, November 17
Giving a fillip to its healthcare programmes, the Bisnouli Sarvodaya Gramodyog Sewa Sanstha, a Delhi-based NGO, launched a mobile dispensary here to cater to villagers of the block.

Gurdaspur SSP Lok Nath Angra flagged off the facility and appriciated the initiative of the NGO.

Nandita Bakshi, secretary of the NGO, said they had been running similar projects in Kahnuwan. The mobile dispensary would visit different villages daily and provide services at their door-step. On this occasion the NGO organised a free multi-specialty health camp for the benefit villagers.


Residents demand resumption of train service
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 17
Residents of Bassi-Pathana have demanded that the railway authorities should resume train 1 CN that commuted between Ambala and Nangal.

Hindu Organisation, an NGO, stated here yesterday that it would be holding a dharna outside the local railway station to press upon the demand.

Arun Kumar, press secretary of the organisation, said the service on the said route had been called off a few years back. He said this left the residents of Sirhind, Fatehgarh Sahib, Bassi-Pathana and Morinda in a lurch.

He said the organisation had written to the Railways and union ministry for railways. He said they would continue to approach the Railways till the service was resumed.


Lok adalat reunites two couples
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 17
A state-level lok adalat organised at the district court complex here today brought happiness to some couples.

A Bench headed by Civil Judge, junior division, Mandeep Kaur Bedi, succeeded in persuading two couples to end their dispute.

It was a happy day for Sudhir Chawla of New Shimlapuri and his wife Mamta Chawla. They were married in June 2006 and residing separately since May 6. After much persuasion they agreed to live together.

In another case Sukwinder Singh of Hoshiarpur district and his wife Kanta of Mohammad Tayar Block, Ludhiana, who were living separately since March 2004 also united for the future of their minor son.


High Court
‘Encroachment is a penal offence’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that an officer, who ignores encroachments, has to be dealt with severely.

The Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover, ruled, “The duty of an officer is to stop encroachments when it comes to his notice, and if he does not exercise his jurisdiction, that officer has to be dealt with severely”.

The ruling comes on a petition on encroachments in Ludhiana. Directing that the order be termed as a notice to the erring officials, the Bench asked for a complete report by the next date of hearing “otherwise we would be constrained to deal with the official of Municipal Corporation severely.''

After observing that encroachments cannot mushroom without the connivance of the MC officials, the Bench also directed the state of Punjab to give details of action being taken against officials who turned a blind eye in the matter.

The Bench added that such encroachments were a result of lacklustre attitude of the MC officials against whom action should be taken.

“What action has been taken by the Corporation against such officials who turned blind eye to encroachments?” the Bench asked, while expressing dissatisfaction over the affidavit which mentioned that action was being taken against those responsible for encroachments in Ludhiana.

The Judges further observed that challaning and imposing a as fine for such encroachments only helped certain officials to strengthen the nexus.

“Encroachments on public streets and roads, creating nuisance, are penal offences under the IPC. Why have these encroachments not been summarily dealt with under the penal laws?” the Judges asked in the detailed order.

The bench also added in the order, “In view of our utmost displeasure at the stand of the Corporation, we would like an action-taken report to be filed and no encroachment be permitted on public streets which is a subject matter of the writ petition”.


Witnesses depose in judge murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Lawyer K.S. Aggarwal, a witness in the Patiala judge murder case, today stated that the prime accused, Dr Ravdeep Kaur, had abused the deceased in his court and intimidated him in his presence.

The deceased was then posted in Ludhiana as additional and sessions judge.

He claimed that Dr Ravdeep came to the court and started shouting during proceedings.

Aggarwal, who is an advocate in Ludhiana, said: “On September 29, 2003 Dr Ravdeep entered the courtroom of Judge Vijay Singh and abused him publicly in the court. She further abused the judge for getting married to Deepi and ruining her life.”

The statement of three other witnesses was also recorded today in the court of additional and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg. The case has been adjourned to December 1.

The two accused in this case, Manjeet Singh and Dr Ravdeep Kaur, are currently lodged in the Burail Jail here.

Dr Ravdeep had allegedly given Rs 5 lakh to Manjeet Singh, a resident of Sheikhupura village, Patiala, for committing the crime.


3 die in Sirhind mishap
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 17
Three persons were killed and nine sustained serious injuries as four vehicles collided with one another near Adampur village on the Sirhind-Patiala highway, near here, this afternoon.

The accident took place when the driver of a jeep, while overtaking a Scorpio, lost control over the vehicle and collided head-on with a private bus coming from the opposite direction.

The Scorpio and an Esteem car that was tailing the bus also got involved in the accident. Eyewitnesses said Bikar Singh, driver of the bus, and Daljit Singh, who was driving the jeep, died on the spot.

Buta Singh, a resident of Jandali village, died on his way to hospital.

Some of the injured have been identified as Soni and Prem Kumar of Fatehgarh Sahib, Ranjit Singh and Amarjit Singh of Sanour, Gurmeet Singh of Patiala, Kulwinder Singh of Ludhiana and Jaswant Singh of Nangal.

Residents from nearby villages initiated a rescue operation. Senior officials of the district civil and police administration also reached the spot to take stock of the situation. The injured were taken to the civil hospital at Fatehgarh Sahib from where two were referred to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala and two to the PGI.


2 quintal poppy husk seized
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 17
The Kharar Sadar police confiscated two quintals of poppy husk during a special naka put up at Kharar-Banur highway on Friday late evening.

Acting on a tip-off, the police laid a special naka wherein a Scorpio car (HR 61 5781) was stopped. The two youths in the car fled leaving behind their vehicle. Two quintals of poppy husk was recovered from the vehicle. The vehicle and poppy husk were then confiscated.

The police got information that Vikramjit Singh alias Rinku, a resident of Manak Majra village, was involved in smuggling of narcotics and was to pass from Kharar-Banur highway with a consignment.

The police suspects that one of the two youths, who escaped, was Vikramjit Singh.

A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of of the NDPS Act was registered.


Green house technology best suited for Punjab
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Punjab is a fit place to grow high quality coloured capsicum, vegetables, flowers tomato and etal around the year under controlled temperature conditions.

Bitman, an Israeli expert told The Tribune after visiting various parts of the state and interacting with the senior officers and farm experts.

Bitman had come here on the invitation of Mohammad Mushtaq, a farm expert engaged in promoting green house farming in Himachal Pradesh and Rajiv Roy, a Banglore based promoter of green house technology.

“The soil conditions are good. Water quality is fine. Best quality vegetables which fetch high value in the national and international market can be grown in Punjab for 10 months in a year,” said Bitman.

Sowing of vegetables and plantation of flowers could be adjusted keeping in mind the prevailing climatic conditions, he added. Two months-June and July- when temperature remains very high are not conducive for vegetables etal having softer plants.

As Punjab has been trying hard for diversification, growing high value vegetables and flowers is the best option for it.

Sarup Singh Dhillon, secretary, Agriculture, Punjab, Dr G.S. Kalkat, chairman, Farmers Commission and cooperation minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh has urged Mushtaq and Roy to give the detailed report on the economics of growing vegetables, flowers etal and expenditure involved on the green house technology.

Under the National Horticulture Mission, Punjab had sanctioned Rs 178 crore to promote horticulture in the state. Under the mission proposals, there was a special scheme to promote green house technology. Roy, who was in Israel to gain expertise in green house technology, says green house can be established on 4000 square meter area with an approximate cost of Rs 35 lakh.

It includes plantation of vegetables also. However, for growing flowers, it cost Rs 40 lakh. In a year, one can recover the cost of green house, he adds.

Mushtaq says farmers in Himachal Pradesh have adopted the green house technology in a successful way.


Muktsar SSP shifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Bringing about a minor change the Punjab Government today shifted the IG of Patiala zone and the SSP of Muktsar, Chief Minister’s home district. Both the officers, IG M.K. Tewari and SSP Pramod Ban had sought transfers citing “family reasons”.

CSR Reddy replaces Tewari who has been posted as IG, IRB, Punjab, Chandigarh in addition to MD of the Punjab police housing corporation. The post of SSP, Muktsar, has been kept vacant. Apart from this, the government reshuffled portfolios of five IAS officers, including the important work of secretary, rural development and panchayats. G.S. Sandhu will be the new principal secretary rural development and panchayats. S.S. Channy becomes principal secretary, defence services welfare while N.S. Kalsi goes as secretary, employment generation and in addition secretary, technical education and industrial training. P Ram has been posted as principal secretary labour.

Satish Chandra will be the new secretary, programme implementation in addition to his existing work as secretary planning and special economic package.

In the police Pramod Ban will be the new commandant of the 3rd IRB, Ludhiana, while M.F. Farooqui goes as SSP, Mansa. Davinder Singh has been posted as AIG, security wing and Tejinderpal Singh as AIG, Intelligence, Chandigarh. Baljot Singh Rathore is the commandant of the Ist commando battalion, Bahadurgarh. Gurpreet Singh Gill becomes SP, headquarters, Muktsar, while Satpal Joshi becomes SP, detective, Muktsar, Davinder Singh has been posted as the staff officer to the IG, Patiala while Ashok Bath goes as SP, headquarters, Moga. Vijay Kumar has been posted as SP, detective, Ludhiana (rural) and Paramdeep Singh is the new SP, headquarters, Ropar. The post of SSP, Moga, is also lying vacant.


Badal reviews functioning of school education
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 17
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today directed the school education department to implement Rs 132 crore NABARD-assisted scheme for upgradation of infrastructure in government senior secondary schools with science stream in true spirit.

Presiding over a high-level meeting at his residence, Badal said under the scheme Rs 112 crore would be NABARD's share and Rs 20 crore contributed by the state government as a matching grant.

Badal also directed the department to immediately complete formalities to fill 15,000 vacant posts of teachers in primary and high schools. It was informed at the meeting that the department had received 2.27 lakh applications against these posts and the process of scrutiny was on. He asked the secretary, school education, to bring a detailed agenda at the next cabinet meeting for finalising the selection procedure.

Badal also directed the department to extend the scheme of mid-day meal to upper primary classes.


Tech fest at Rayat gets off to flying start
Tribune News Service

Ropar, November 17
‘Minerva - The Legend 2007’, the annual two-day techno-cultural extravaganza of Rayat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology, got off to a flying start here today at Rayat Technology Campus, Railmajra.

As many as 1,500 students from science and technology streams of over 100 colleges and institutes from across the country participated in the event.

The event began with some outstanding presentations and competitions and was inaugurates by Dr R.N. Sarwade, director, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Chandigarh.

Others present on the occasion were Gurvinder Singh Bahra, vice-chairman, Rayat and Bahra Group of Institutes, along with Prof C.M. Behl, MD of the group and Dr R.P.S. Sukerchakia, director, RIEIT.

The event, which is being organised for the third time in succession at the RIEIT, puts to test, virtually all the aspects of participants including personality, reasoning, logic, spontaneity, IQ, EQ, comprehension to creativity and imagination. The first day of the show saw technical and cultural events.

Events like lord of words, bizz analytica involving mock case study competition for young CEOs and tech scribe aimed to evaluate the soft skills of participants turned out to be the main attractions. Events as Quizzy Quiz, Aptimaster-brain Twister and Young Turks further made the fest more competitive.


ABS to adopt two CAT toppers
Tribune News Service

Kharar, November 17
Aryans Business School (ABS) has launched scholarships for CAT students. Christened as Late M.R. Kataria Memorial Scholarship, the scheme aims at providing financial support to those who have merit but lack resources. Students from Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, HP and J and K will be eligible for it.

On November 18, more than 2.25 lakh candidates will appear in this exam across the country.

Anshu Kataria, chairman, ABS, said there would be students who would perform extremely well, but would not be able to join MBA/PGDM because of financial constraints.

The candidates who would be among top 100 CAT scorers from the above states, can apply for scholarship. Finally, two candidates with top scores among the applicants would be adopted by ABS for free MBA/PGDM. 


Rs 100-cr subsidy for industry in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 17
Manoranjan Kalia, minister of industries, Punjab, announced a subsidy of Rs 100 crore for industries in the state.

Addressing 500 industrialists at a function organised by the Patiala Focal Point Industries Association last night, Kalia said the Punjab Government had already disbursed a subsidy worth Rs 100 crore for the industries in Punjab.

The minister assured the industrialists that the state government was aware of the problems being faced by the industrialists and a series of incentives were to be made available for promotion of industries in the state.

He further said the Badal government had succeeded in getting Rs 35,000 crore Bathinda refinery project back to the state which had slipped out during the tenure of the Congress government. He expressed optimism that the refinery project would give a fillip to the industries in the state in general and the Bathinda region in particular, besides generating employment avenues for the youth.

Kalia gave a clarion call to the people settled abroad to invest in Punjab to boost industry which would not only lead to overall development of the state but also create more employment avenues. He cited the example of Gujarat, where Gujaratis settled abroad had invested heavily in their own state which had brought prosperity to Gujarat.

Bharatinder Singh Teja, president of the association, said the association had taken the lead by organising the first ever interface between the minister and the industrialists.

On the occasion, the representatives of the Focal Point Industries Association demanded scrapping of house tax and immediate issuance of the subsidy.


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