P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Foodwise Lahore Way
Rs 5 cr for food streets in Asr, Jalandhar
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 26
The Central government has planned food streets in Amritsar and Jalandhar on the pattern of those of Lahore, especially for foreigners, at a cost of Rs 5 crore each.

The food streets in Lahore’s Anarkali and Gwalmandi areas offer food known all over the world. The Central government wants similar food facilities in Amritsar and Jalandhar and all types of hygienic food at one place.

As per proposals the Centre will spend 75 per cent of the total Rs 5 crore each to be spent in Amritsar and Jalandhar. It is learnt the secretary, Local Government, has asked local Municipal Commissioner to prepare a project report. Work on the food streets will start after May 22 due to the election code of conduct being in force.

The joint secretary, Food and Processing, Central government, has already written to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to select sites in Amritsar and Jalandhar to develop food streets where people, especially foreigners, can get delicious and hygienic food at affordable prices .

Amritsar is one of the most fascinating cities of the northern India, known for hospitality. People of Amritsar love to eat well and are great hosts. Lahore and Amritsar, which were considered twin cities before Partition, have same culture, language and eating habits .

Amritsar city has the highest consumption of desi ghee and butter in the state. Purees, paranthas and gur da karah, samosas and kachauris,made of desi ghee, are available here. Though this is the city of Verka ghee, yet monthly sale of Amul ghee is said to be about Rs 50 lakh, while its consumption in Ludhiana, which has relatively more population, is much less. 


Lehra Plant
Unit III shut again, this time due to coal problem
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The 250-mw unit III of Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant at Lehra Mohabat had to be shut this afternoon, as its coal bunkers got empty.

The unit never had a smooth sailing since its synchronisation with the grid in January this year.

The unit was dedicated to the state by Punjab Chief Minister on April 14. It was highlighted at that time that apart from many other incomplete functions at the unit, its coal feeding system was not ready and generation from this would not be regular and the board management’s scheme to feed coal to this unit from the existing units of stage I would endanger the generation from the well-performing units.

At the time of the dedication of the unit to people of the state, BHEL, which had constructed the III unit on a turnkey basis, had promised to make the coal feeding plant of this new unit by April 26. However, on the target day, the unit had to be closed due to the starvation of coal.

Experts in the PSEB, at that time, had expressed doubt regarding the fulfilment of the BHEL’s promise. “It will take another one month to make function the coal plant of the new unit, they say.

As the existing arrangement was unable to feed coal to all three units, the generation from unit III was reduced to less than 150 mw yesterday, that, too, with the support of costly furnace oil.

Only 32 lakh units were produced on April 25 instead of its full capacity of 60 lakh units. Sources said extra oil worth Rs 33 lakh was used on a single day along with coal.

Ultimately, the unit had to be closed today. Though it has not been confirmed officially, sources said that about 2200 kilolitre of furnace oil worth Rs 6 crore has been used on the unit III since April 1.

Sources said that not only generation from two units of stage I had to be reduced to as low as 130 mw due to the unavailability of coal but extra oil worth Rs 13 lakh was also used on stage I units yesterday.

Generation from stage I suffered today also as its coal mills are tripping one after the other due to the paucity of coal in bunkers.

Even full generation was not done during peak demand hours. Frequent tripping of mills may lead to furnace blasts, experts say.

Due to the overstretching of existing coal feeding system, its reliability during crucial period of the coming paddy season is bound to suffer. 


Leaders bring up terrorism to gain mileage
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The controversy surrounding allegations of terrorist links of Punjab Congress leaders is getting murkier with political parties and party leaderships, especially among the SAD-BJP, trying to draw political mileage out of the situation. On the other hand, Congress members are trying hard to rebut the allegations and make counter- allegations.

It is for the first time that the BJP has openly attacked former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh with Balbir Punj, Rajya Sabha member and in charge of Punjab Affairs, having fired the salvo.

He has shot off a letter to the Prime Minister demanding a probe by a Central agency, like the CBI, into the role of Congress leaders in perpetuating terrorism.

Punj, in his letter, has quoted a book "Bikhra Painda" written by a slain terrorist’s wife who has alleged that Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Chief Minister and leader of the Opposition, provided shelter to Sikh militants.

In a counterattack, Bhattal said it was Amarinder who had close links with the Babbar Khalsa.

The Congress leaders have, on the other hand, come out in defence of both Bhattal and Amarinder by suggesting that the Akali Dal has repeatedly made election promises of appointing commissions of inquiry to establish the reasons of terrorism and point out those responsible for violence in Punjab. But every time the SAD came to power, it retracted from its poll promise on the issue.

Qila Raipur legislator Jassi Khangura has taken on SAD president Sukhbir Badal on the issue and said he had no right to speak on the issue as “during Punjab’s dark period, Sukhbir was happily observing Punjab's bloodshed from the safe environs of sunny California”.

Khangura had said, “As a person who is set to become the next Chief Minister, it is sad that Sukhbir cannot rise above blatant opportunism.”

He added, “Sukhbir is not short of media coverage; indeed his every utterance is reported and analysed in full. If he is seriously interested in identifying persons complicit in militancy, he need look no further than the ranks of Akali MLAs that he will soon lead.”

Information and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia has questioned the Congress president for ignoring the allegations. He has said that by merely initiating the so-called truce between Amarinder and Bhattal, Sonia Gandhi cannot sweep the serious revelations of their aiding and abetting terrorism in Punjab. Majithia too has demanded that the Union government should set up a Special Inquiry Commission headed by a sitting Supreme Court judge to probe the Congress’ role in fomenting terrorism for petty political gains.

He further demanded that Amarinder be booked for sedition and also for compromising the security and sovereignty of the country by “aiding and facilitating the task of an alleged ISI agent Aroosa Alam”.

Calling upon defence minister A.K. Antony, he has asked him to make public “the report of Secret Internal Inquiry conducted by Western Command on the visit of Aroosa”.


Fire devours crop on 374 acres
Residents of 5 villages suffer losses
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 26
Residents of five villages of Ajnala subdivision in this border district suffered major losses with wheat crop on more than 374 acres being destroyed in a fire late last night.

However, timely action by the district administration prevented the fire from spreading to a larger area. It took the fire brigade two hours to control the fire. Villagers helped the brigade in fire fighting operations.

Narinder Singh, a farmer of Abusaid village, said at about 9.30 pm there was sparking in one of the transformers in the area and crop in a field caught fire. It spread like a wild fire damaging wheat crop on more than 300 acres.

Abusaid and Nanoke villages suffered major damage. Amarjit Singh, Rajwinder Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Surjit Singh, Tejinder Singh, Satwinder Singh, Balbir Singh, Hardeep Singh, Sohan Singh, Rattan Singh, Gian Singh, Harjap Singh, Swarn Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Pal Singh, Jagir Singh, Mangal Singh, Satnam Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Bhagat Singh, Balwinder Singh, Jaswant Singh, Lakha Singh and Balkar Singh suffered huge losses.

Local SAD MLA Amarpal Singh Boney, additional deputy commissioner Parveen Kumar, DSP Tilak Raj today visited the spot. They assured the farmers of compensation.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said raging winds led to a quick spread fire. He said wheat crop on 45 acres in Abusaid village, 200 acres in Nanoke, 60 acres in Vichova, 60 acres in Mohan Bhandari and nine acres in Loharka village were damaged.

Pannu said the report of initial assessment of the loss had been forwarded to the government for compensation to the affected farmers.


Bypoll: Cong fields Goldi
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 26
Even as the Congress high command today allocated ticket to Navdeep Singh Goldi, a councillor, for the Amritsar (South) Assembly seat, where elections are slated for May 22, certain former party MLAs held a “secret meeting” here to discuss denial of ticket to former MLA Harjinder Singh Thekedar. They termed Goldi a “greenhorn”
in politics.

Ex-MLA faces disciplinary action

According to PPCC sources, disciplinary action will be initiated against former MLA Harjinder Singh Thekedar for his allegation that members of the election committee of the Congress demanded Rs 4 crore from him for the allocation of ticket

Among those who attended the “secret meeting” were Om Parkash Sony, a Congress MLA, Prof Darbari Lal, Jugal Kumar Sharma and Harjinder Singh Thekedar, all former MLAs, and certain councillors and senior Congress leaders from Amritsar, loyal to former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

However, when contacted, Sony refused to divulge details of the meeting. He, however, said being “loyal sepoys” of Congress, they had decided to support the party candidate in the byelection.

However, the All-India Congress Committee has decided to depute its two senior office-bearers, including a former Chief Minister, as observers who would be camping here till May 22. They would ensure that animosity between PPCC president Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Capt Amarinder Singh did not harm the prospects of the party candidate.

They claimed that some party observers had visited Amritsar to get feedback about victory chances of the candidate. On the basis of their “first-hand information” collected by the observers, the ticket was denied to Thekedar, who had unsuccessfully contested the previous Assembly election from this constituency.

However, senior party leaders, pleading anonymity, said Thekedar was denied ticket due to his being close to Capt Amarinder Singh. During his previous visit to Amritsar, Capt Amarinder Singh had breakfast at the residence of Thekedar.

Highly placed sources in the PPCC, however, pointed out that disciplinary action would be initiated against Thekedar for his allegation that members of the election committee of the Congress had demanded Rs 4 crore from him for the allocation of ticket. However, former chairman of the Improvement Trust Manjinder Singh Heera, who had appeared before the election committee for seeking ticket, denied that any of the members had laid such a condition. Heera said he would fully support Goldi.

The SAD is likely to announce its candidate within a couple of days.


AISAD seeks support of BSP, JP
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 26
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD) has sought the support of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Janata Party (JP) and Panthic organisations to defeat SAD(B) and Congress candidates in byelections to the Amritsar (South) constituency to be held on May 22.

Jaswant Singh Mann, president, AISAD, stated this in his address to party workers while inaugurating a party office near Jallianwala Bagh, which will also work as an election office of party candidate Satnam Singh Kanda.

Mann said the failure of the state government on all fronts, family rule and involvement of SAD(B) leaders in the drug trafficking in the state would be some of the issues which the party would bring to the notice of the masses. He said besides Harinder Singh Sarna of the DSGMC, Balwant Singh Khera, chairman, Malta Boat Tragedy Sufferers, who has filed a petition with the Election Commission of India seeking de-recognition of the SAD(B), had also decided to support the party. He claimed that members of the Swarankar Society, said to be in majority in the area, had announced support to the party.

He said Talib Singh Sandhu, ex-MLA, Darshan Singh Issapur, former general secretary, SGPC, Principal Harinder Singh Bal and Gurbachan Singh Kalsi, general secretary and secretary, respectively, of the party were among the present on the occasion.


Sukhbir to decide on candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
As usual, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the SAD today authorised party president Sukhbir Singh Badal to decide on candidates for the Amritsar (South) Vidhan Sabha byelection and zila parishad and block samiti elections. Earlier, when Parkash Singh Badal was president of the SAD, the PAC used to give similar authorisation to him.

At a meeting of the PAC held here last evening, a decision was taken to hold a march here on May 9 to protest the rising prices of essential commodities.

The Chief Minister and other senior leaders of the SAD were present at the meeting.


Remarks on Beant
Cong leader wants Badal to clarify
Tribune News Service

Patiala, April, 26
Tej Parkash Singh, former minister and son of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, has ridiculed the statement of senior Akali leader and SAD PAC member U.S. Sekhwan who has alleged that the former Chief Minister had links with terrorists.

In a press note, Tej has claimed that SAD patron and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the BJP high command should clarify their stand on the assertion of Sekhwan regarding the allegation levelled by him against Beant Singh.


Ramoowalia claims role in reunion of family
Tribune News Service

Sunam, April 26
Rajinder Singh, a granthi from Talbal village in Mansa district, was today reunited with his only son and three daughters, thanks to the efforts of Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) chief Balwant Singh Ramoowalia and its vice-president Jodha Singh Mann.

The children were rescued from the custody of a West Bengal gang, which had allegedly kidnapped them some months ago.

Rajinder, along with his son Avtar Singh (9) and daughter Sandeep Kaur (13), was produced before mediapersons by Ramoowalia at the Rest House here today. According to Ramoowalia, persistent pressure of the LBP made the police rescue Rajinder’s children from the West Bengal gang.

Rajinder said gang members even fixed the marriage of his daughter Sandip Kaur with a 35-year-old man. He had lodged a complaint about the kidnapping of his children with the Boha police. However, his repeated visits to the police station had failed to yield results. Then he contacted the LBP leaders.

Meanwhile, Ramoowalia also produced before the media Jaswinder Kaur (26) from Kaleka village (Moga), Gurnam Singh of Harera village in Sunam, and 10 boys who had allegedly been duped by travel agents.

Ramoowalia said the main aim of the LBP was to save society from corruption and provide good health care and education to people.


246 mothers of girl children honoured
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, April 26
As many as 246 women, each having two daughters, were honoured at a function held to sensitise people to gender bias here today. These women, along with 154 sportswomen, were also honoured.

The function held on the theme, “The girl has right to live” was held by the Health Department in association with Hoshiarpur MP Avinash Rai Khanna. The grant for the function was given by the Union Ministry of Health under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) II.

On the occasion, lectures were delivered by women who have carved a place for themselves in society. Dr Inderjeet Kaur, in charge of the Pingalwara Trust, Amritsar, addressed the gathering. She emphasised on equal rights and opportunities for the girl child. She called upon people fight dowry and other evils, which sway people against girls. She favoured simple marriages instead of with fanfare.

Khanna presided over the function. He said the law alone could not curb female foeticide unless one changed attitude to the girl child. Under the NRHM, 126 MPs of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan with skewed sex ratio have been given funds to hold congregations against female foeticide.

The Health Department had identified 246 women from four blocks of Chamkaur Sahib, Nurpur Bedi, Kiratpur Sahib and Anandpur Sahib, who have two daughters each. The organisers encouraged parents-to-be to not go for sex determination or selective abortion.

Civil surgeon Arjan Singh Gill, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Raghbir Singh and Anandpur Sahib MLA Sant Ajit Singh attended the function. 


Pension Woes for PAU Scientists 
State dumps its Green Revolution brigade
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Hundreds of scientists who helped usher in the Green Revolution in Punjab are today on the verge of starvation with their pensions being stopped. It is ironic that the plight of these Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) scientists as well as technicians has become pitiable during the rule of the SAD that claims it to be the representative of the farming community.

What is even more disturbing is that the 2,700-odd scientists, farm educators and technical personnel, who spent their lifetime at the PAU, trusted the Punjab government and voluntarily surrendered the provident fund contributions to form a corpus for their pension fund. Certain scientists even surrendered as much as Rs 15 lakh so that they could get uninterrupted pension.

There are over 600 retired scientists and 2,000 farm technicians and supporting staff, who have been affected by the Punjab government’s fiscal crisis. They suffered their first setback when the pension, started in 1991 with retrospective effect from 1986, was suddenly stopped in October, 2007, by the SAD-BJP government on the plea that it had no money to pay it. A hue and cry by them led to payment of some arrears. But, since February, 2008, these retirees have been without pension.

After spending their youth in laboratories and research farms for developing technologies which provided the base of the Green Revolution during the mid-sixties and afterwards, these people now find themselves dumped. Dr I.K. Garg, president of the PAU Pensioners Confederation, says: “If this injustice continues for a couple of months more it will not be surprising if some of them meet suicidal or starvation deaths. Not only financial constraints, but untold humiliation has also taken toll of more than five lives”.

The confederation argues that the Central and state governments have earmarked funds for grant of pension to all senior citizens who have not contributed a single paise to provident fund. But, the pensioners of the PAU, who surrendered employer’s share of their CPF to the university, are being given such a cruel treatment.

“The role of the PAU in national food security has been acknowledged by none else than Parliament that gave it a special grant of Rs 100 crore in recognition of its contribution to the Green Revolution,” says Dr Garg. Earlier, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the apex body for coordinating agricultural research in the country, had bestowed the Best Institution Award in 1994 on this university in the very first year of the institution of the award.

Unless something is immediately done to correct the wrong, the nation will not only face shortage of new varieties of food grain but also manpower that develops these new varieties.


Promotion of Punjabi
Pragmatic rules can deliver results: Khangura
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Appreciating the efforts being made to promote Punjabi in the state, Congress MLA Jassi Khangura today asserted that implementing of this objective was another issue.

He said only pragmatic rules and guidance on the issue would deliver results. “In the policy being proposed to promote Punjabi, there are deficiencies that needed to be pointed out. The proposal to enforce this policy in the private industrial and commercial sector is objectionable,” he added.

In a rapidly globalising and integrating world with Punjabi-owned companies headquartered in Punjab reaching out to far corners of this country and beyond, is it fair to compromise the performance of our industrial and commercial establishments when the universal language of business, the “lingua franca”, was English?

“How will the junior executive learning his trade in Punjab in Punjabi adapt to the realities of the workplace when he was posted out of Punjab?” asked Khanugra.

“Yes, force the private sector in Punjab to deal with the various arms of the Punjab government in Punjabi, but elsewhere let English be acceptable. Can today’s Punjab school kids really be expected to compete effectively in adult life, especially in the workplace, just with proficiency in Punjabi?” he asked further.

“Should it not be the duty of this government to promote English in our schools, colleges and universities, while simultaneously promoting Punjabi? Only a cock-eyed government can refuse to accept the reality that today’s graduates can only really succeed in the workplace with proficiency in English.

“Surely the bureaucrats and politicians who invariably dispatch their kids to boarding schools outside Punjab, followed by university education overseas, and who are now promoting this poorly researched policy, should look themselves in the mirror. Maybe the Chief Minister and his ministers should start by reviewing how competent their children and grandchildren are in written Punjabi,” he said.

“This government of tall promises and poor delivery should be promoting Punjabi centres of excellence, where in an exclusively Punjabi language environment, students can be taught by our leading Punjabi writers and poets, where media studies in Punjabi can promote Punjabi in journalism, where Punjabi equivalents of the latest English nomenclature in science and technology can be defined, where Punjab’s bureaucrats can be sent for refresher courses in Punjabi, where NRIs keen on graduate and post-graduate studies in Punjabi can send their children,” he added.

“What about adult Punjabi literacy? This government does not have a single initiative to tackle this fundamental issue. Do not go by this government’s published statistics on literacy, for they are based on asking individuals whether they can read and write without any testing. Even Unesco has confirmed that state literacy statistics in India are vastly overstated by as much as 150 per cent. Why is this Chief Minister content to leave millions of adults in Punjab illiterate in Punjabi?” he asked.


Doctors allow Navjot to resume activity from May 1
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP from Amritsar, who was under treatment in Delhi for a month, will resume political activity from May 1.

On phone from Delhi, Sidhu said AIIMS doctors had advised him full rest for 40 days. However, now they had allowed him limited activity. “I have been told to avoid travel by air for a few more days and in case of necessity not more than once a day. Earlier, sometimes I used to travel three even four times in 24 hours, which perhaps caused a sort of flying syndrome,” he said.

He said the problem he was suffering from had the possibility of recurrence in 40 days and could prove fatal. So the doctors had advised him rest.

“Doctors have been conducting blood tests on me every alternate day to check the thickness to rule out the possibility of clot formation. I have been asked to wear a particular ankle cap while travelling to avoid the clot formation in the lower limbs,” he said.

“I have been told by party top brass, including L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley, to be ready for campaigning in Karnataka,” he said.

After campaigning for a few days for the SAD-BJP nominee in the Amritsar (South) Assembly byelection, Sidhu will move to Karnataka. He said in the next few weeks he would start normal political activity, but avoid being hyperactive as advised by the doctors.


Pak inmate in Amritsar jail dies in hospital

Amritsar, April 26
A middle-aged Pakistani national Mohammed Afzal arrested sometime back for entering India by the Samjhauta Express without travel documents, died today in a hospital here after a brief illness.

Afzal was lodged in the Central Jail here after he was arrested by the Punjab police under the Indian Passport Act. He fell ill while in the jail and was admitted by the authorities in the local Civil Hospital, where he died today.

The Pak High Commission has been informed about Afzal’s death and his body will be sent across whenever intimation is received. — UNI


Suspension beyond 180 days not valid
This rule not binding: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held the rule, providing that the suspension of an employee shall remain valid for a period not exceeding 180 days at a time, is only directory in nature and not binding.

The ruling by high court Division Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Mohinder Pal comes on a petition filed by the state of Punjab in Punjab’s former Director-General of Police S.S. Virk’s case.

It is significant as his counsel has all along been the contending that Virk’s suspension stood revoked as the review committee had considered the case much beyond the period of 180 days. The Central Administrative Tribunal had also taken into consideration the issue while passing the orders against Virk’s suspension.

Taking up the matter, the Bench ruled: “The counsel for Virk has pointed out that though the review committee has considered further suspension in its meeting held on June 27, 2007, no order was passed by the competent authority. The next review committee considered his case in its meeting held on January 24, 2008, much beyond the period of 180 days, which expired on December 2, 2007. Therefore, the suspension stood revoked in terms of proviso to Rule 3 (8) (d) of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969.”

The Bench added, on the other hand, “The counsel for the state has relied upon Rule 3 (7) (a) of the Rules, which provide that the order of suspension shall continue to remain in force until it is modified or revoked by the authority competent to do so.”

The Judges held: “The Rule 3 (7) (a) of the rules contemplates that suspension shall continue to remain in force until it is modified or revoked by the competent authority. The Sub-Rule 8 of Rule 3 of the rules has been introduced by virtue of the amendment in the year 1998.”

“In terms of clause (a) of Sub Rule 8, the order of suspension has been ordered to be extended by the review committee in its meeting held on June 27, 2007. Though the sub clause (a) of Sub-Rule 8 provides that such suspension shall remain valid for further period not exceeding 180 days at a time, but such clause can be said to be only directory in nature keeping in view Rule 3 (7) (a) of the Rules.”

In view of the above, we are of the prima facie opinion that the order of the learned Tribunal is not justified in law. Consequently, we deem it appropriate to stay the operation of the impugned order dated April 3, 2008, passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench.


State empowered to dissolve improvement trusts: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has upheld the constitutional validity of the Section 103 of the Punjab Town Improvement Act, 1922. The Section empowers the state to dissolve improvement trusts, set up to ensure proper and planned development of the cities.

A Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice M.M. Kumar and Mr Justice T.P.S. Mann, has also held that the power exercised in issuing the notification under the Section is “legislative” in nature.

The Bench also dismissed a bunch of nine civil writ petitions filed by chairmen and trustees of improvement trusts dissolved by the previous Congress government.

Challenging the notification dated April 4, 2002, dissolving the trusts issued under Section 103 of the Act, the petitioners had claimed victimisation at the hands of the Congress sovernment as they owed allegiance to the BJP or the SAD.

Counsel for the petition ad argued that Section 103 was liable to be declared ultra vires of Article 14 of the Constitution as it conferred on the state government unbridled and arbitrary power to dissolve an improvement trust.

After hearing the arguments, the Judges held: We uphold the constitution validity of Section 103 of the Trust Act. There is, thus, no room to interfere on that ground.

The Judges also held: When we consider the notification dated April 4, 2002, it emerges that the power exercised under Section 103 of the Act does not contemplate that an order has to be passed in respect of an individual.

The decision has been reached by the government on the basis of a general rule of conduct. The issuance of the notification must be regarded as a legislative function.

Once it has been held that the power exercised in pursuance to Section 104 of the Trust Act is legislative in character, the principles of natural justice would not be available.

The Judges also ruled the argument of counsel for the petitioner that exercise of power is malafide and colourable ha not impressed us because once the exercise of power is regarded as legislative in character, there is no room to accept malice against legislation.


Atta-dal Scheme
Govt to procure 3.18 lakh MTs of wheat 
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Sunam (Sangrur), April 26
The Punjab government has ordered four government procurement agencies to procure 3.18 lakh metric tonnes (MTs) of wheat for the atta-dal scheme during the current wheat procurement season to make wheat available to the poor at cheap rates.

In reply to a question here today, managing director (MD) of Markfed G.S. Grewal said the government had asked Markfed, Punsup, Warehouse Corporation and Punjab Agro to procure 79,500 MTs of wheat each for the atta-dal scheme. Last year only two procurement agencies, Markfed and Punsup, had procured wheat for the atta-dal scheme, he added.

Grewal visited the local grain market today to review the situation of wheat procurement in the district with officers of Markfed and take a round of the grain market to know the ground realities. He also listened to the problems of the arhtiyas.

President of the Punjab Arhtiya Association Ravinder Singh Cheema told the MD about weight loss due to moisture after every filled bag of wheat. He said moisture loss was a natural process so the responsibility of weight loss should not be imposed on the arhtiyas by the government. The MD assured the arhtiyas that he would talk to the director, Food and Supplies, in this regard.

He also said Markfed would procure 23.10 lakh MTs of wheat (23 per cent share of 105 lakh MTs of the target fixed by the state government this season). He said Markfed had procured 14.27 lakh MTs of wheat till the previous day. Regarding the lifting problem in the grain markets, he said it would end in 48 hours.


Stone-crushing units to resume work on minister’s assurance
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, April, 26
After getting assurance from Manoranjan Kalia minister, Local Government, Punjab, members of the Gurdaspur Stone Crushers Union have decided to restart units on tomorrow afternoon. The union took the decision after the minister assured them granting extension for quarrying in different riverbeds. The minister also said the government would draw up lanes to benefit them.

The union, after a meeting at Pathankot yesterday, decided to close stone crushing units following a government move not to grant extension in contracts to owners of stone-crushing units for quarrying at Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Ferozepur districts. 


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