P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


Govt fined for non-reply to promotion pleas
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
The state’s failure to file reply in a promotion matter has left two PPS officers richer by Rs 5,000 each.

In an order that comes as an embarrassment to the state, the Delhi High Court has asked Punjab to pay the amount to Jatinder Singh Aulakh and Ranbir Singh Khatra for causing inconvenience to them.

The order is exceptional in the sense cost imposed on the state for delay or failure to file reply is seldom handed over to both petitioner and the respondent. This could very well be the beginning of a new trend in the legal profession.

In a detailed two-page order on Aulakh’s petition, Division Bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Suresh Kait ruled: “It is stated that a reply has not yet been filed by the State of Punjab because the concerned secretary is unwell. Further time is sought to file a reply. Since the State of Punjab has caused inconvenience to both petitioner as well as Ranbir Singh Khatra, the State of Punjab will pay costs of Rs 5,000 to both of them”. The case will now come up for further hearing on January 29.

The plea challenging Khatra’s promotion that was filed before the CAT in Chandigarh was earlier transferred to its principal Bench in New Delhi. The matter eventually reached the high court after Aulakh knocked its doors.

Four PPS officers - Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, Jatinder Singh Aulakh, Arun Mittal and Gurpreet Singh Gill - had moved CAT challenging the Punjab government’s order dated October 18, 2007, recommending PPS officer Khatra’s name for induction in the Indian Police Service (IPS).

On the other hand, Khatra had filed a petition before the CAT’s principal Bench seeking directions to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to hold a review select committee meeting over the issue.

Though the state had decided to grant Khatra the benefit of army service rendered by him, the UPSC had expressed its inability to hold a review select committee meeting.


Lotus chowks draw flak
Saffronisation of Amritsar-Lahore road alleged
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 8
The alleged saffronisation of the Amritsar-Lahore road by constructing “lotus chowks” (the election symbol of the BJP) drew flak from various quarters here today.

The controversial chowks have been inaugurated by BJP MP Navjot Sidhu and Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Shavet Malik at a time when parliamentary elections are around the corner.

These chowks have been set up near Guru Nanak Dev University and Khalsa College. Meanwhile, Sidhu feigned ignorance about the “lotus” when he was confronted with the fact.

Patron of the Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) Charnjit Singh Gumtala said the manch would file a public interest litigation if the chowks were not removed immediately. He said it was shocking that these chowks were being set up on the international Amritsar-Lahore road while old chowks were being replaced with traffic lights. Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwarpal Singh said the state government should take immediate steps to remove the controversial chowks for maintaining political harmony in the city.

Earlier, eyebrows were raised over the changing of colour of the historical Hall gate from pink to yellow (the favourite colour of the Shiromani Akali Dal) before the Amritsar (South) byelection last year. Later, the original colour of Hall Gate was restored.

The manch has also objected to a number of hoardings, relating to political parties, including the BJP, SAD and the Congress, put up on main roads terming those as eyesores.

According to the manch: “These hoardings malign the face of the city and should be pulled down immediately.” The big hoardings have come up despite a ban by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Lashing out at his critics accused him of saffronising the roads and chowks, senior BJP leaders claimed that the “lotus chowks” were constructed as part a beautification plan for the city. They said the accusations were misplaced as modernisation of the city was the top priority of the ruling SAD-BJP combine.


2 Canadian ministers coming
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Recognising India as one of its major source for meeting its new immigrant targets and for further strengthening bilateral relations, especially in areas of agriculture and food processing, two federal ministers of Canada will be visiting India this month.

Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney will be visiting India from January 10. Both ministers will hold parleys with their counterparts in the union capital besides visiting a few other destinations.

Jason Kenney, who will arrive on January 11, has also included Amritsar and Chandigarh on his itinerary.

Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz, during his four-day visit starting January 10, will meet among others Union Minister for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Sharad Pawar. An MoU may also be signed during the meeting between the two ministers.

The proposed MoU is to promote exchange of knowledge in agricultural marketing, animal development and emerging agricultural technologies. Canada’s top agricultural exports to India in 2007 were pulses and wheat. Canada is also actively developing the Indian market for canola oil, livestock genetics and value-added food products.

The visit of Jason Kenney to Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Mumbai between January 11 to 18 assumes significance following some changes in the immigration policies that were sequel to passing of C-50 Bill by House of Commons last year.

Jason Kenney will review Canada’s immigration and visa operations in India and meet with Indian counterparts and business and education leaders.


Punjabi youth shot in Manila
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 8
A youth from Jalandhar city has been shot dead in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Over 100 Punjabis have already been killed in the Philippines in the past six years, three-fourth of whom belonged to Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur in the Doaba region. Fifteen persons from Kapurthala district alone have been killed in the country in the past two years.

Dharmendra Singh, a resident of the Green Avenue locality on the Kala Sanghia road here, had been living in Manila for the past 10 years. He was running a general store there and was also reportedly in the money-lending business. He had been shot dead by miscreants on December 29. The family came to know about the murder when one of Dharmendra’s friends rang them up from Manila.

Meanwhile, his cremation took place at his native place on Thursday.


Black flows Chitti Bein
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 8
Awash with untreated sewage, highly toxic chemicals, metals and bacteria, the black waters of Chitti Bein, also known as East Bein, bring diseases and other sufferings to lakhs of people settled in the villages alongside it on about 100-km stretch.

The stream, which originates near Bhairon Majra village, 5 km from Nawanshahr, flows into the Sutlej at Mundi Kalan village, a few kilometres upstream from Harike, an international acclaimed wetland known for attracting rare species of migratory birds.

“If the Sutlej is highly polluted near Harike, it is because of Chitti Bein,” says Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, a renowned environmentalist. Besides Chitti Bein, Budha Nala, near Ludhiana, is another major source of pollution of in the Sutlej. “There is a high incidence of cancer cases in the Jalandhar region because of the toxic waters of Chitti Bein,” adds Sant Seechewal.

Several cities and towns of Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Kapurthala and Jalandhar districts discharge filth into this water body and thus make life virtually a hell for those living in the villages alongside it.

“As the stench emerging from Chitti Bein wafts into our houses, we feel suffocated,” says Bhinder of Issewal village, near Malsian, 50 km from here. Among the villages that have to suffer because of the obnoxious smell coming out from Chitti Bein are Kasupur, Maridwala, Namajipur, Maida, Nawan Pind, Turne, Gidder Pind, Dhande, Sehowal, Jahangil, Malliwal, Boparai, Mehmowal and Panche, near Malsian. The stream was named Chitti Bein because its water used to be clean and transparent. In sunlight, its water used to be white. However, its white water has become absolutely black because of discharge of domestic and industrial effluents directly and indirectly into it.

“Such is the level of deadly chemicals and other toxic pollutants in it that neither flora nor fauna of any sort can survive in it,” says a senior official of the Punjab Pollution Control Board. The main sources of its pollution include Nasrala, Nariala, Rajni Devi and Targarh choes, Kail Nullah and Nawanshahr, Pathlawa, Phagwara, Jandiala , Sodian and Kala Sangha drains. Through the Kala Sangha choe flow domestic and industrial effluents into the stream. In fact, a major source of toxic chemicals in it is the Kala Sangha choe. Heavy metals such as chrome and nickel have been found beyond permissible limit in sediments of the Bein and in areas where its water is used for irrigation.

“Obviously, such chemicals will be finding their way into food grains,” says the official. Faecal bacteria have been detected in plenty in the water samples of this stream.

“Last year, we had planned to stop the flow of the Kala Sangha drain into Chitti Bein. However, the government authorities had sought time to set things right. But as nothing has changed, we are now determined to stop the flow of the drain into Chitti Bein,” said Sant Seechewal. “We can’t see people suffering because of the highly polluted Chitti Bein,” said Sant Seechewal, who had earlier cleansed the historical Kali Bein.



Harsimrat dares Amarinder
Tribune Reporters

Bathinda, January 8
Harsimrat Kaur Badal today challenged former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Bathinda instead of pushing the name of his son Raninder Singh.

She was addressing a series of public meetings during her two-day mass contact campaign that started today. This is the second round of her campaign.

Harsimrat said her candidature for the Bathinda seat was just a speculation and the party would decide on the candidate for the seat.

She accused Amarinder of having meted out a step-motherly treatment to the Malwa region, particularly Bathinda, when he was the Chief Minister. “Let him tell how many times had he visited the area here during his tenure and which projects were initiated in the area by his government?” she alleges.

Harsimrat urged the people of the region to keep in mind the level of development that was taking place here and vote for the SAD nominee.

Centre misleading people: Sukhbir

Smadh Bhai (Moga): SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal has announced that its alliance political group NDA would reduce the prices of petrol by at least Rs 15 and that of diesel by Rs 10 per litre, if voted to power. He was addressing a public gathering here today.

Sukhbir said the reduction in petrol and diesel prices by the UPA government was eyewash as it was much less than the expectations of the common man and transporters.

Lashing out at the UPA, he said the government was misleading the people on the issue as crude prices had decreased from $ 147 to $ 50 per barrel. He also alleged that no relief had been provided in case of LPG and kerosene prices.

Badal was of the view that during this critical time when the country was facing economic crisis, the Centre could control inflation and boost the economy by reducing the oil prices.

He distributed cheques worth Rs 3 crore and Rs 1.28 crore to 44 panchayats of Panjgraeen and 20 panchayats of the Baghapurana assembly constituency, respectively. He also gave a cheque for Rs 2 crore for the development of Baghapurana town.


Chandumajra kicks off campaign
Our Correspondent

Nabha, January 8
SAD-BJP candidate for the Patiala seat Prem Singh Chandumajra has said the alliance would contest the parliamentary elections on the development and performance agenda. He claimed the development in the Patiala parliamentary segment in the past two years was hundred times more than that done in the tenure of present MP Preneet Kaur.

After paying obeisance at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib and the Kali Mata temple here, he said he was starting his campaign from Nabha, the town where he had spent a number of years as a student leader. He said the love and affection bestowed upon him by the people of the area would make up much more than the loss of exclusion of Lehragagga and Moonak subdivisions from the segment. Under the leadership of area in charge, zila parishad member Maninder Singh Mani, he was hopeful of getting the highest number of votes from the subdivision.


Cong ready to accept dissidents
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 8
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) is preparing for the homecoming of scores of dissidents who have expressed their willingness to return to their parent party.

This issue, among others, was debated at a meeting of the party coordination committee held in Delhi on January 5 that was presided over by Mohsina Kidwai, in charge of Punjab affairs. Those present in the meeting were of the view that many of the dissidents had the clout to make or mar many a contest in the parliamentary polls.

PPCC chief Mohinder Singh Kaypee said he had received feelers from many such persons who wanted to rejoin the party. We are not averse to this and the persons desirous to come back must submit the same in writing to us, he added.

Commenting on the meeting, he said Kidwai urged them to sink their differences and work as a team ahead of the polls. All senior leaders of the party, including Capt Amarinder Singh and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, would share the dais at the Maghi conference at Muktsar on January 13. Another rally would be held at Takhtupura the next day.

The PCC chief said a selection committee would be constituted in the coming days to shortlist the candidates for the polls. The list would be sent to the party high command for a final decision. He also claimed that many disgruntled Akali leaders were in touch with them and would join them once the polls are announced.

Reacting to his absence and that of Bhattal at the mass contact programme of campaign committee chairman Amarinder Singh, he said they had been asked to campaign for the party candidates at Jammu at that time.

The date of the resumption of party mass contact programme in other parts of the state would be finalised after the Maghi conference. Rallies would be held at Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ludhiana and Jalandhar in the second round.


Centre not discriminating against Punjab: Preneet
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 8
Denying allegations of discrimination against Punjab, Preneet Kaur, MP from Patiala, said the UPA government had being giving more financial aid to the Badal government as compared to the previous government.

Speaking informally to newsmen here yesterday, she said Chief Minister Badal’s allegations of discrimination were unfortunate and politically motivated. Preneet Kaur said she would contest the parliamentary elections if nominated by the party high command.

Earlier, the 318th birthday of Maharaja Ala Singh, founder of Patiala, was celebrated with religious fervour in Quila Mubarak. Prominent among those who participated in the celebrations included Prem Krishan Puri, president, DCC (urban), Sharanjit Singh Jogipur, president, district youth Congress (rural), KK Sharma, former chairman, Improvement Trust, Brij Lal Goyal, former chairman, PUNSUP.

Preneet Kaur later paid homage to Baba Ala Singh and Maharaja Yadvinder Singh at the Shahi Samadhan.


Power crisis looms as NTPC units shut down
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Power crisis looms large over North India following the closure of a number of gas-based thermal units due to shortage of gas. Ongoing strike by officers of the Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) has led to the situation.

Fuel shortage resulted in the closure of several NTPC units at its seven gas-based thermal plants today, according to NTPC sources.

Punjab and Haryana are both likely to be affected. In Punjab, there is likely to be a shortfall of 12 to 13 per cent in supply of power from NTPC plants, which will result in a shortfall of 200 MW. In Haryana, power availability from the 430 MW NTPC gas-based power station at Faridabad is likely to be severely affected. While the generation at Faridabad was 297 MW on Tuesday, it went down to 233 MW on Wednesday.

Among the units closed include the 830 MW Dadri gas-based thermal plant. This unit produced 402 MW on Tuesday. Its generation was reduced to 178 MW yesterday. Similarly the Anta thermal plant producing 419 MW was also closed today. Yesterday, it produced only 178 MW of power.

Similarly four units at Dholpur with a capacity of 400 MW and two units at Faridabad with generating capacity of 138 MW were closed yesterday following gas shortage. The 663-MW Oriya thermal is running only at 19 MW only while it generated 387 MW of power on Tuesday.



Minister for tough steps against cheating
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Minister of Education Upinderjit Kaur today stated that cheating in board examinations in the state was a “strong nexus among parents, teachers and students” and stringent measures were required to stem it.

The minister said her department was lending support to the Punjab School Education Board to ensure that no cheating took place during board examinations in the state. She said carrying of mobile phones by teachers had been banned during examinations.

The minister said 14,000 teachers had been recruited in the state in the past one year, but there was still a shortage of over 11,000 teachers and these posts would be filled soon. Though she was personally not in favour of employing teachers on a contract basis, the state’s financial position did not allow regular appointments. “However for contractual teachers there is a provision for regular employment after three years based on the kind of work that they put in till then,” she said

“Over 2,000 computer teachers have been recruited and computer education has been made compulsory for classes VI to XII. Another 3,000 posts of primary and upper primary teachers had been filled under the Sarv Sikhya Abhiyaan programme,” she said.

The minister assured action against those who produced fake certificates during recruitment at Gurdaspur, adding that action would be taken against those candidates from Haryana who produced Punjab domicile certificates to get jobs here. The DPI (Schools) had been instructed to issue joining letters to only those candidates whose certificates and domiciles had been cross-checked.

Her department would not be recruiting any ETT teachers who were trained from universities listed as fake by the University Grants Commission.


Security policy to be submitted to HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Punjab Police chief NPS Aulakh said today that the government would submit the new security policy framed for the use of escort vehicles as security staff to be provided to ministers as well as civil and police officers to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The DGP said the security review had been done based on threat due to position held by key officials as well as threat perception to them. This means that even though escort vehicles will be removed from all Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, all Deputy Commissioners and SSPs will continue to retain them.

Besides ministers, escort vehicles have been earmarked for the Chief Secretary, DGP, Chief of Vigilance Bureau and the Intelligence chief besides the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Principal Secretary, Home, all three IG (Zonals) and six DIGs.

Regarding security personnel, the new policy states that cabinet ministers will get a total of 20 gunmen as before, MPs will get only three security personnel and MLAs will get only four personal security officers (PSOs) as earlier. All officials of the rank of Divisional Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and District and Session Judges will continue to get a security cover of three PSOs and a residential guard of five persons. Similarly, ADCs and SDMs will be eligible for security cover as earlier.

It has also been decided to provide security cover in case of threat perception following a recommendation from the ADGP, Intelligence and SSP concerned.


Now, sugarcane farmers launch stir
Tribune News Service

Morinda, January 8
Sugarcane farmers in and around villages of Morinda went on indefinite strike today demanding immediate payment of their long-standing dues.

Around 200 irate sugarcane-growing farmers blocked the Ludhiana-Morinda road near Panchkoha palace today creating problem for the commuters.

Traffic between Jalandhar and Ludhiana had to be diverted to nearby villages. “We had to take a long and unknown route to reach Chandigarh. Usually it takes an hour to reach Chandigarh from Ludhiana, but today we took an hour just to locate the right route,” said Avneet Singh, a commuter from Ludhiana.

Farmers were demanding immediate release of their pending payments amounting to Rs 6 crore. Farmers said they would not lift dharna unless the government made them the payment.

“We want on-the-spot payments. We won’t accept any assurances or cheques from the government. We want payments through drafts,” they said.



National cleanliness award for this hamlet
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Nain Khurd (Patiala), January 8
This village definitely shows the way to thousands of other Punjab villages which are still wanting on account of cleanliness and proper sanitation as they look towards the authorities for improvement of their lot.

Things are starkly different at this tiny village having a populatin slightly crossing the mark of 300. Not that this village looks clean and good, it also bagged a national prize for being one of the most spruced-up villages and that too with the efforts of villagers themselves.

About 10 km from Nain Khurd is one of 14 villages of Punjab selected by the Ministry of Rural Development and Water Supply for its “Nirmal Gram Puraskar” for its clean sanitary conditions and environs.

And the entire credit for the efforts goes to the panchayat led by sarpanch Balwinder Kaur, panches and residents who make their maximum possible contribution to ensure that their village looked different from rest of more than 12,500 villages of Punjab usually dotted by heaps of unhealthy and disease-inviting combination of cowdung and garbage.

Interestingly, residents were not even aware about the recent visit of a government of India team which adjudged the village as one of the best of the lot.

“We hardly have any income for development works as we have no shamlat land. Similarly, the government grants are scarce. All what has made us stand apart is our collective efforts day and night. Our sole goal was to ensure that our village attained best hygiene levels,” said Balwinder Kaur and panches Mohinder Kaur, Baljinder Singh, Bachan Singh and Billu Singh in unison. Interestingly, the sarpanch and panches did not hesitate in sprucing up the wide open streets, alongwith other residents of the village, whenever they had time for this activity.

The efforts on part of villagers to make their village attain a high degree of cleanliness began in 1992 when the village, which was earlier a part of the neighbouring Nain Kalan, attained the status of an independent village with its own panchayat.

“Our people enjoy what they are doing for themselves and for health of their children and future generations. That is our single most biggest award in itself,” said Balwinder.


HP police raids village Majari
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, January 8
The Himachal Pradesh police raided village Majari on Tuesday at around 12:30 am. A team of around 40 cops, headed by Kuldeep Sharma, SP, Bilaspur, conducted raids in the entire village, which is known to be house to scores of drug peddlers, illicit liquor manufacturers and addicts.

A border village of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Himachal police. Five women were part of the team that conducted the raids from 12:30 am to 5 am, using search lights.

The police confiscated six illicit distilleries and 20 drums filled with “laahan” (illicit liquor). A total of 3.5 lakh ml of liquor was destroyed by the police.

The team also had secret information of around 20 houses in the village involved in peddling of opium and smack. Search operations were conducted at these houses, but nothing much could be gained.

Police officials said villagers had invented a code to alert each other about raids. “At around 3:30 am, several fireworks lit up in the village’s sky. We were quiet surprised and later learned that this was a way to alert all villagers about the ongoing raids," pointed out HP police official.


Inspector clicks trouble
Punjab issues show-cause notice for thrashing boy
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Caught in the camera thrashing a youngster, a Punjab police officer is in trouble. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the state to take the proceedings initiated against the inspector to a logical conclusion, expeditiously.

The state has already shifted inspector Lakhwinder Singh to the police lines. Besides this, a show-cause notice has been issued to the inspector, posted as the station house officer of Sultanpur Lodhi police station.

A public interest litigation was filed in the matter by an NGO, World Human Rights Protection Council, after the beating up of the youngster, Surinder Shinda, was clicked by a journalist.

Taking up the matter, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Hemant Gupta took on record an affidavit filed into the incident by the state director-general of police. He was asked by the high court to hold preliminary inquiry into the incident recorded on a compact disc.

The inquiry officer, deputed by the DGP, concluded Shinda was caught red handed, while stealing the mortal remains of a Kapurthala district resident. The police officer was beating him up in full public view to recover the same.

The affidavit said departmental action was also initiated against the inspector and he was transferred to the police lines. A show cause notice, asking him why punishment of forfeiting two years of approved service be not initiated against him, was served on the inspector.

The inquiry was conducted by Kapurthala superintendent of police (detective) Sukhwinder Singh.

Apparently satisfied with the action so far initiated by the state, the Bench observed: All that we need to say is that the departmental proceedings against delinquent inspector Lakhwinder Singh shall be taken to its logical conclusion by the competent authority expeditiously, but not later than two months from the date of the order.


Waste Retrieval
PSEB takes up ‘re-engineering’
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 8
Apparently fed up with wastage of material, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has finally adopted ‘re-engineering’ process in its distribution system which led to huge savings of more than Rs 8 crore in terms of material.

During his tour of various PSEB zones in Punjab, HS Brar, board’s member, (distribution), had observed that some of the material from each zone could be spared by adopting best of available engineering practices.

Accordingly, he passed on instructions to each zone. As a result, as many as, 12,547 poles, 220 tower rails, channels, GI Pins, X arms, top hampers, disc insulators, GO switch, stay sets, stay wires, shackle insulators, egg insulators, and D-Straps worth Rs 8 crore were spared without spending even a single penny from the board’s funds.

He further added that only 50 per cent of material had so far been identified and spared and by continuing the efforts, the board would be able to save another Rs 8 crore.

With the availability of this additional material, PSEB could be able to release all 35,000 tubewell connections, for which test reports had been issued. He said about 17,000 applications for tubewell (AP) connections were pending till December 31, 2008. In December 2008 only, about 3,000 nos. AP connections had been released.

On energy saving front, he said he had passed on the necessary instructions to each zone and about 150 villages had already achieved 100 per cent CFL status in the state. The work for converting another 500 villages into 100 per cent CFL villages was on.

He said due to the ongoing efforts, the PSEB had been able to rope in big institutions in this campaign to save power. Educational institution like RIMT Gobindgarh, Lovely University, Jalandhar, had shown keen interest and were replacing all GLS bulbs by CFLs.

The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Gurdwara Sahib in Muktsar, Khanna Mandi have become trendsetters in this move. He said by March 31, there would be no GLS bulb in PSEB offices and colonies. “More than 1,250 GLS bulbs have been changed and same number of CFL bulbs have been installed at the Golden Temple. The process is still on,” said Brar.


Model schools for Punjab on anvil
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 8
Punjab is likely have its own “model schools” on the pattern of Kendriya Vidyalayas. A proposal to this effect is being sent to the government of India for approval, revealed Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Minister of Education, Punjab, here today.

“These model schools are different from the adarsh schools,” said an officer, adding that there were 21 identified blocks and each block would have at least one such model school.

In case the proposal is approved by the Union Ministry of HRD, construction of these schools may begin this year. The blocks identified include Sangat, Talwandi Sabo and Maur in Bathinda, Abohar, Khuian Sarber, Ferozepur, Mamdot, Jalalabad, Fazilka in district Ferozepur, Bhikhi, Mansa, Budhlada, Jhunir, Sardulgarh in Mansa, Muktsar and Lambi in Muktsar, Samana in Patiala, Valtoha in Tarn Taran and Sunam, Lehra Gaga and Andana in Sangrur. The government of India would pay Rs 3 crore each for the construction of the school building after which Rs 75 lakh per annum would be given to the state as recurring amount. The state would have to give 25 per cent share of the grants given by the Centre in the scheme.


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