Teachers allege bungling of grants by school
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 25
The Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union (ASTOEU) has alleged that a government-aided primary school has embezzled lakhs of rupees by paying less salary to teachers out of grants received from the state government.

Jalwant Singh, president of the ASTOEU, while talking to mediapersons here, alleged that the management of Shri Krishna Primary School (SKPS) in the Bharat Nagar area of the city was harassing the teachers and other staff members of the school by not giving them the actual salary which it received as a grant.

He alleged that though the management was issuing cheques to these teachers but later sought their signatures on bearer cheques and withdrew the whole amount asking them to come to the school the next day to receive the salary.

He alleged that the management had also embezzled the provident fund worth Rs 5 lakh of four teachers and a peon by obtaining their signatures on various documents and threatened them not to raise their voice against the management.

Showing the suspension letters issued to Rekha and Shahi Bala, teacher and peon, respectively, of the school, Jaswant Singh alleged that the management had issued the suspension orders without issuing any show-cause notice.

He said earlier too when one of the teachers Daya had resigned from the school, the management refused to accept the resignation as it had to bear a loss of Rs 8,000 per month. However, when the union asked the management that why was it doing so, it immediately accepted the resignation.

However, Vivek Sharma, secretary of SKPS, refuted the allegation stating that there was transparency in the records and a copy of it had already been submitted to the deputy education officer, which exonerated the management of the charges after holding an enquiry.

He said these teachers had earlier been issued show-cause notices as they were responsible for breaking the school discipline.

He alleged that these teachers on the instigation of union leaders were levelling baseless allegations to defame the school.

He said these teachers had been getting full salary as the management was disbursing their salary through cheques, which was deposited in their respective accounts.

Jalwant Singh said a meeting had been fixed with the education secretary in Chandigarh for May 13 and the union would brief him on the matter besides seeking action against the management.

He urged the education minister to hold a high-level inquiry into the whole episode and initiate steps so as to prevent the managements of these aided schools across the state from harassing the teachers.



Truckloads of waste near grain market irks farmers
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 25
Though procurement of wheat is in full swing at Bhaktanwala Mandi in the holy city, the government and farmers here are concerned over the unhygienic conditions in the grain market.

The reason is MC dumpyard on the back of the grain market which is posing threat to the wheat. Besides, tractor trailers carrying filth to this yard adds to the woes.

Interestingly, Punjab Mandi Board officials supervising operations in the grain market expressed their helplessness.

They said they had brought it to the notice of concerned authorities and urged them to at least divert the route of tractor trailers, but to no avail.

They said the filth would not only affect the crop but also health of public who consumes it.

Jagtar Singh, a farmer from Mahal vllage, said the blowing winds in the area bring this filth and mix it with the crop.

“I have to engage extra labour to remove this dirt from the crop. It not only increases work but also adds to the cost of production,” he added.

Meanwhile, market supervisor Avtar Singh said 1, 56,531 quintals of wheat had arrived in the grain market during the past couple of days.

He said majority of farmers preferred the government agencies to sell their produce as they hope that the government may announce bonus at a later stage.

Giving details of purchase, Avtar Singh said Punsup had purchased 48,925 quintals, while Markfed had bought 46,430 quintals of wheat.

Similarly, Pungram and Food Corporation of India have purchased 13,000 and 31,500 quintals of wheat, respectively, whereas the private agencies had purchased only 16,676 quintals.

However, the procurement process was suspended till 3 pm today after labourers in the market went on a strike over some dispute with a section of arhtiyas.

Sukha Singh of Gumtala village said generally the auction process starts at 12 noon but due to strike he had to wait till evening to lift his crop.

He said he came early morning and engaged three labourers to clean wheat as the buying agencies were not ready to buy the crop until stubble was removed.



Only Akali-BJP combine can ensure true
devp: Majithia

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 25
Giving a clarion call to the people of the region to vote for SAD-BJP candidates in the forthcoming zila parishad and panchyat samiti polls, Bikram Singh Majithia, patron of Youth Akali Dal and a cabinet minister, claimed that the war of words between former CM Amarinder Singh and PPCC chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal proved that ‘terrorism in Punjab was nursed, mothered and sustained by the Congress’.

Addressing a public rally at Kathunangal, in favor of SAD-BJP candidate Surinderbir Kaur Sialka, Majithia said it’s time to prove that people of Punjab will not support those who put at stake the unity and integrity of the state.

“The Congress has brought about an irreparable loss to state and its
people,” he alleged.

Majithia said during the first four years of their regime, the Congress try to befool people by building castles in the air and when the last year of their term comes, they lay few foundation stones of projects, which never see light of the day.

Majithia said his government was committed to ensure an all-round
development of the state.

“Development projects worth Rs 60 crore initiated in Majitha constituency itself speak about welfare-oriented approach of the Akali-BJP alliance,” he claimed.

To ensure that the benefits of various government schemes percolate to the grass-roots level, it’s important to ensure victory of alliance candidates in the ensuing poll, Majithia further added.

Rajmohinder Singh Majitha, member Rajya Sabha, Ranjit Singh Wariyam Nangal, ex-MLA and Santokh Singh Samra, member of SGPC, were among others present during the rally.



Easy Approach
Shift cantt board office outside restricted
area: Residents
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, April 25
Cantonment residents have urged the cantonment board (CB) authorities to shift the board office outside the restricted area so that the civilians could approach the authorities without any hassle to make their grievances heard.

Swarnjit Singh, a resident of the cantonment area, in a communique to the cantonment authorities, including GOC-in-chief, Western Command, director, defence estate, ministry of defence and president, cantonment board, and raised certain issues pertaining to people residing in the cantonment area and cantonment board.

Raising the issues, he said the CB office was situated inside the army area where a civilian found it virtually impossible or very difficult to approach the authorities due to army barriers and entering formalities, which also consumed a lot of time.

While suggesting, he said there had been bungalows lying vacant for many years where the office could be shifted easily.

He said in the absence of proper supervision, the area painted a poor picture with broken roads and poor sanitation arrangements while people caring a little for parking signs as trucks, buses and cars could be seen parked anywhere.

Though there was provision of fine under the cantonment board law, there was no one to implement these.

Swarnjit said the cantonment board in order to qualify for the highest grade of cantonments under the ministry of defence to claim extra budget had added Canal Colony and Railway Colony to the cantonment.

He said these colonies were being taken care of by their respective departments such as the Punjab government and ministry of railways as these had been transferred to them many years ago.

He said there was no involvement of the local board for maintaining these colonies and hence the number of constituencies should be decreased from seven to five.



Super-size book attracts crowd
Tribune News Service

Students of Shri Ram Ashram School pose with their creation.
Students of Shri Ram Ashram School pose with their creation. — A Tribune photograph

Amritsar, April 25
On the occasion of World Book Day, the students of Shri Ram Ashram Public School created a seven-feet high book to motivate people to develop reading habits.

The special book was toured to different parts of the holy city, including Mall Road and Hall Market, to enlighten public about importance of reading.

The students accompanying the mobile van distributed books to the public encouraging them to adopt reading.

They also displayed big banners with inspiring quotes like “books are your best friend,” “dreams come true with knowledge,” “life without books is like a room without windows,” and “books are like a small garden contained in the pocket”.

Students presented two plays one showcasing books as a lighthouse of knowledge in the sea of time and another highlighting illiteracy in India.

The aim behind the plays was to spread message that socio-economic problems could be solved through literacy.

Principal Preeti Sharad, while flagging off the mobile van, said it was important to inculcate reading habits amongst youngsters.

She said the young generation was drifting away from the world of books and were hooking to activities like computer games.



Problems galore for Tarn Taran animal husbandry staff
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, April 25
Even after achieving the district status two years back, Tarn Taran has failed to get a district headquarters of the animal husbandry department, Punjab, till date.

Interestingly, the department has about 30 veterinary officers, 70 vet pharmacists and around 200 class IV employees functioning in the district under it.

The employees are forced to visit Amritsar office for their salaries and other departmental works.

According to the information, the department has given an additional charge of Tarn Taran deputy director to Ludhiana deputy director Dr Pawan Gandhi.

Dr Gandhi said the department had neither provided staff nor office to him. “There is only one clerk for this district-level office. This clerk performs dual duty that is two days in Jalandhar and three days in Tarn Taran,” he added.

Dr Gandhi said he comes to the district just to attend meetings called by the deputy commissioner or during visit of some minister.

Talking to The Tribune, municipal councillor Dr S.S. Lauhka said there was no point in deputing a Ludhiana-based official when there were six districts nearer than Ludhiana.

He said it was not only causing a financial loss to the department but affecting their performance too. This is not the condition in one department.

There are several other departments in the district where the government has not sanctioned any staff and these offices are running on ad hoc basis.



World Veterinary Day
‘Vets have vital role to play in urban society’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 25
The Punjab department of animal husbandry in association with the Punjab Veterinary Council and Punjab Veterinary Officers’ Association will observe World Veterinary Day here tomorrow.

Gulzar Singh Ranike, minister for Animal husbandry, fisheries, dairy development, youth welfare and sports, will be the chief guest.

A free anti-rabies vaccination camp for dogs will be organised by the Veterinary Officers’ Association, which will be inaugurated by Dr V.K. Gupta, registrar, Punjab Veterinary Council, at civil veterinary hospital, Hathi Gate, near Durgiana temple.

A spokesman for the association said the last Saturday of April was observed as World Veterinary Day and on this day veterinarians exhibited the vast contribution they made to the health and welfare of both people and animals. “Vets have a vital role to play in the urban society, “ he added.

State finance commissioner (animal husbandry, fisheries, dairy development) S.C. Aggarwala, secretary, deparment of animal husbandry, Usha R. Sharma, director, animal husbandry, Punjab, Dr B.S. Sidhu, registrar, Punjab Veterinary Council, Dr V.K. Gupta and veterinarians from all over Punjab are likely to participate in the function.



Hepatitis-B camp held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 25
Royal society for education and environment and rural health care, an NGO, organised a Hepatitis-B vaccination camp at the Golden Temple colony recently.

Giving details, Dr Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi, in charge of the camp and SMO Satellite Hospital said more than 500 persons, including children between the age groups of one and 12 years, were administered the first dose of the vaccine. He said another two dozes of vaccines would be given after a gap of a month.

Dr PS Jassi former director health and family welfare, Punjab and chief adviser RSEERHC, said the NGO is planning a similar camp at Bhaktanwala, one of the biggest slums of the city.



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