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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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Fog disrupts train, flight services
Amritsar, December 29
Fog disrupted the schedule of trains and flights in this border district here today. The arrival of Shan-e-Punjab and Jaipur Express and the departure of Shan-e-Punjab was cancelled.
Amritsar railway station witnessed a huge rush of passengers on Wednesday as dense fog enveloped the region, throwing train schedules out of gear. Amritsar railway station witnessed a huge rush of passengers on Wednesday as dense fog enveloped the region, throwing train schedules out of gear. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Getting AIEEE form tough task for students
Jalandhar, December 29
Thousands of engineering aspirants have been forced to wait for hours to get the examination form of the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). The reason: The CBSE has notified only four branches of Syndicate Bank - Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bathinda and Patiala — for the sale of forms. Students from other districts also have to travel to these branches.
Youths queue up in front of Syndicate Bank to get AIEEE forms on chilling day, in Jalandhar on Wednesday. Youths queue up in front of Syndicate Bank to get AIEEE forms on chilling day, in Jalandhar on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh







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EARLIER STORIES



’84 RIOTS OR GENOCIDE?
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh felicitates Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal, in Amritsar on Wednesday. Canadian MP to support ‘Sikhs for Justice’
Amritsar, December 29
Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal, who hogged the limelight this year for filing a petition in Canadian Parliament to recognise the 1984 riots as genocide, today said he would support Sikhs for Justice, a New York-based human rights advocacy group, in filing a similar petition with the UNO.


Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh felicitates Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal, in Amritsar on Wednesday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

HARIKE BIRD SANCTUARY
Discovery channel makes documentary

Harike (Ferozepur), December 29
The Discovery channel, known for its exploration on subjects like science, history, space, technology and wildlife, has started making a documentary film on Harike bird sanctuary, which has also been declared as the Ramsar site and is known for its biodiversity across the globe.





POLITICS

Manpreet Badal Manpreet favours double subsidies for farmers, poor
Bathinda, December 29
To hold discussions on the issue whether his group will contest the ensuing SGPC elections, former Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal has convened a meeting of his close associates and supporters after the Maghi Mela, to be held in mid-January in Muktsar.


                                                                                              Manpreet Badal

BJP hogs credit for urban growth
‘SAD-BJP govt has spent more than Cong’
Chandigarh, December 29
The BJP today positioned itself to take credit for development in urban areas, besides announcing further accelerated development in the next one year with Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia releasing figures to establish that the SAD-BJP government had spent much more than the earlier Congress regime on urban infrastructure. Addressing a press conference here, along with Local Bodies Secretary SS Channy and Director SK Sharma, Kalia claimed that the government had spent Rs 2,432 crore in the past four years on urban infrastructure and was set to spend another Rs 1,100 crore in the next one year.

COMMUNITY

Bhajji’s IPL earnings under scanner
Ludhiana, December 29
The earnings of Team India spinner Harbhajan Singh from the Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons I and II have come under scanner of the Central Excise Department, which has started investigations into the non-payment of service tax.

Porters load red chillies in a Pakistan-bound goods train, in Amritsar on Wednesday. Goods train to Pak to resume services today
Amritsar, December 29
With the Pakistan High Commission issuing visas to Indian drivers, the goods train between India and Pakistan will make its first trip tomorrow after a gap of over a week. The train had made its last trip on December 22.

Porters load red chillies in a Pakistan-bound goods train, in Amritsar on Wednesday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Pak youth crosses over to India
Fazilka, December 29
Mohamad Imran, a Pakistan national, who crossed over to the Indian territory late last evening, was caught by the alert jawans of the BSF, who were patrolling the area falling in the Fazilka sector.

YEARENDER      Malwa
Thermal plants get Chinese imprint
Bathinda, December 29
The Malwa region has during the year witnessed for the first time Chinese footprints at thermal power plants that are coming up in a big way here. These projects have started creating economic transformation in the area that had so far remained neglected by the successive governments.

The body of Gurbhajan Singh (inset) being taken for the funeral in Patiala on Wednesday. Locked up for 5 years, Gurbhajan dies three months after being freed
Patiala, December 29
Gurbhajan Singh (80), who was caged by his son in a house in Mooran Wali Gali in Patiala for five years and was rescued after The Tribune, highlighted the matter in its September 21, 2010 issue, the Octogenarian died at an Old Age Home in Sangrur today.


The body of Gurbhajan Singh (inset) being taken for the funeral in Patiala on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Rajesh Sachar

Nagarjuna S, head, Mission10X (left), Prof Rajneesh Arora, Vice-Chancellor, PTU, show the MoU at the SAS Institute of Information Technology and Research, Mohali on Wednesday.PTU, Mission10X ink pact
Mohali, December 29
The Punjab Technical University (PTU) and Mission10X today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the Mission10X initiatives across Punjab at the SAS Institute of Information Technology and Research.


Nagarjuna S, head, Mission10X (left), Prof Rajneesh Arora, Vice-Chancellor, PTU, show the MoU at the SAS Institute of Information Technology and Research, Mohali on Wednesday. 
Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

TRIBUNE IMPACT
Co-op societies to get urea on priority

Patiala, December 29
Taking cognisance of the report published in these columns that some fertiliser dealers have started hoarding urea, Patiala District Magistrate (DM) Dipinder Singh has issued orders that urea should be supplied to the farmers on priority and it should be sold to the private firms only after making sure that requirement of the farmers is met.

34 years on, their battle for land possession continues
Patiala, December 29
Even after pursuing a legal battle for three decades and despite orders by the district administration that two separate properties in Patiala’s Anand Nagar B belongs to HS Gill and Benaras Singh, the respective owners are yet to get possession of land, as unscrupulous elements have established illegal possession on their land. According to the owners, the police is not giving any assistance to the officials, so that they can get the land vacated.

Millers hold up milling process in Punjab
Fatehgarh Sahib, Dec 29
Waiting relaxation in the specifications of milling paddy, 3,200 rice millers of Punjab have hold up the process of milling. So far only seven per cent milling of paddy has been done in the past three months.

Kharar-Landran road awaits completion
Kharar, December 29
Having crossed the deadline thrice, the Kharar-Landran road, a World Bank project, awaits completion. The 39.530-km stretch is being widened to accommodate the growing heavy vehicular traffic moving towards Ambala and Delhi.


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Fog disrupts train, flight services
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 29
Fog disrupted the schedule of trains and flights in this border district here today. The arrival of Shan-e-Punjab and Jaipur Express and the departure of Shan-e-Punjab was cancelled.

Golden Temple Express (12903) arrived seven hours late, Katihar Express (15707) reached nearly four hours late after its scheduled time and Swarn Shatabdi (12029) was nearly 45 minutes late.

Cancellation and delay in the arrival of trains left many passengers high and dry. Surjit Singh of Raipur (Chhattisgarh) had come here to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple and was to catch a train to Delhi to enjoy a couple of days with his relatives. He rued that due to the the cancellation of Shan-e-Punjab, they would have to reschedule the itinerary as they could not extend their holidays.

Air India’s Delhi-Amritsar flight also landed one hour and 20 minutes behind schedule. Meanwhile, Air India has already cancelled its Delhi-Amritsar-Delhi (639) flight from December 27 to January 4.

Besides, a number of buses were also running behind schedule.

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Getting AIEEE form tough task for students
Amaninder Pal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 29
Thousands of engineering aspirants have been forced to wait for hours to get the examination form of the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). The reason: The CBSE has notified only four branches of Syndicate Bank - Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bathinda and Patiala — for the sale of forms. Students from other districts also have to travel to these branches.

Even after eight days since the forms were made available at these branches, the queues of students are getting longer with each passing day. Certain book stores are also allegedly selling these forms on the black market.

Though the form is also available online, most of the students are either unaware of it or do not have access to the Internet to download the form.

“We are standing in the queue for the past three hours. We have already enquired about the availability of the form from nearby branches, but to no avail. Jalandhar is the nearest branch where forms are available,” said Varun Kumar and Vishal Sarangal from Gurdaspur. Students have also come from Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Tarn Taran and Nawanshahr districts.

The situation is similar at the Bathinda branch, which is also is flooded with students from the border district of Rajasthan. “Forms are not available at any bank between Bathinda and Jaipur. Students from Faridkot, Barnala and Ferozpur districts are also rushing to our branch,” said Navneet Gambhir, branch manager, Bathinda.

Aspirants are worst affected at Ludhiana where all 2,600 forms received by the branch have been sold. “All forms have been sold and we have informed the authorities concerned,” said Rakesh Gupta, manager, Ludhiana branch.

TRV Nayyar, General Manager (North), Syndicate Bank, could not be contacted for his comment. Pritam Singh, director of special exams (AIEEE), New Delhi, and RJ Khanderao, regional officer, CBSE, Panchkula, were also not available for comments.

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’84 RIOTS OR GENOCIDE?
Canadian MP to support ‘Sikhs for Justice’
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 29
Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal, who hogged the limelight this year for filing a petition in Canadian Parliament to recognise the 1984 riots as genocide, today said he would support Sikhs for Justice, a New York-based human rights advocacy group, in filing a similar petition with the UNO.

The MP from Newton-North Delta stated this after being felicitated by the SGPC and Akal Takht for filing the petition in Canadian Parliament. Dhaliwal along with Brampton West MP Andrew Kania had presented the petition signed by over 10,000 people to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Committee of Canadian Parliament in this regard on June 10 this year ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to attend the G-20 summit in Toronto.

Talking to The Tribune, Dhaliwal said he had filed the petition on the people’s demand and was willing to do so once again. He said he would extend all help to Sikhs for Justice in its signature campaign for filing a similar petition with the UNO besides creating awareness over the issue. He said India should also recognise the killing of Sikhs in 1984 as genocide and work for the rehabilitation of the victims.

On the issue of turban frisking, Dhaliwal said he along with other Punjabi and like-minded MPs would take up the matter with the Canadian Government and urge it to further pursue the issue with the USA. He said he would also make an effort in this direction at his own level besides taking up the issue during the meeting of Canadian MPs with their US counterparts. He said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, being himself a Sikh, should make an extra effort to raise the issue with the US. “It would only increase the respect for him among Sikhs,” he averred.

Felicitating Dhaliwal, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the MP stayed connected with his roots and did a great job for the community despite living abroad. 

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HARIKE BIRD SANCTUARY
Discovery channel makes documentary
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Harike (Ferozepur), December 29
The Discovery channel, known for its exploration on subjects like science, history, space, technology and wildlife, has started making a documentary film on Harike bird sanctuary, which has also been declared as the Ramsar site and is known for its biodiversity across the globe.

It was learnt that a six-member team of Discovery channel, which had come from Mumbai, had done two-day shooting in the sanctuary area about a few days ago. Another phase of the shooting would be done in the first week of January next year.

As per information, the Department of Wildlife, Punjab, had engaged the channel to make the documentary so that it could be used for the promotion of interest of the people, including students, in the protection and conservation of wildlife.

Every year during the winter season, the sanctuary attracts hundreds of varieties of birds from countries like Siberia. Dolphins are also present in the sanctuary. A variety of water animals are also found in the sanctuary lake. The sanctuary has also been attracting scientists from across the country for its richness in flora and fauna.

Gurbaz Singh, chief wildlife warden, Punjab, said the duration of the documentary would be around 20 minutes. It would include information in connection with the fact that the sanctuary had become a home for winged guests in winter and they were being taken care of well in the sanctuary. The Wildlife Department would pay the expenses being incurred by the crew of the channel on making the documentary, he added.

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Manpreet favours double subsidies for farmers, poor
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 29
To hold discussions on the issue whether his group will contest the ensuing SGPC elections, former Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal has convened a meeting of his close associates and supporters after the Maghi Mela, to be held in mid-January in Muktsar.

In reply to a question, Manpreet said here today that the matter was under his consideration, so he had convened a meeting after the Maghi Mela.

Manpreet also said that he favoured double subsidies for farmers and poor people but the state should have sufficient money for the purpose. He said it was difficult to continue giving subsidies by taking loans. He said the state government had not taken the benefit of the debt-waiver offer of the Centre. Rather it launched a false propaganda against him that he was against subsidies.

Manpreet was here in connection with a public rally, organised under his ‘Jaago Punjab Yatra’ near the Gol Diggi area. A large number of people attended his rally, which was addressed by him and some other speakers.

With regard to the Sikh high priests’ view over the organisation of political conferences at religious melas, Manpreet said he agreed with the high priests that politics should be kept away from religious fairs. However, he said he was talking about only six issues, including corruption, unemployment, illiteracy and poverty.

On whether he will take the support of any dera in the ensuing Assembly elections, Manpreet said the elections were 14 months away, so he would first think about the support of anyone before elections.

Regarding claims about development in the state by the Badals that they would contest the next Assembly elections on the issue of development in Punjab, Manpreet said it was their illusion as Punjab’s annual GDP growth rate during the past four years had remained only six per cent whereas Bihar’s GDP growth rate had remained about 14 per cent during the past five years.

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BJP hogs credit for urban growth
‘SAD-BJP govt has spent more than Cong’

Chandigarh, December 29
The BJP today positioned itself to take credit for development in urban areas, besides announcing further accelerated development in the next one year with Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia releasing figures to establish that the SAD-BJP government had spent much more than the earlier Congress regime on urban infrastructure. Addressing a press conference here, along with Local Bodies Secretary SS Channy and Director SK Sharma, Kalia claimed that the government had spent Rs 2,432 crore in the past four years on urban infrastructure and was set to spend another Rs 1,100 crore in the next one year.

He said this would take total spending on urban infrastructure by the present government to Rs 3,500 crore by the end of its tenure.

He said in direct contrast, the earlier Congress government had spent only Rs 1,558 crore in urban areas during its five-year tenure from 2002 to 2007.

The Local Bodies Minister said the present government had successfully utilised central funds under the JNURM and UIDSSMT schemes with Rs 365 crore coming in from the Centre under both schemes and Rs 88 crore being spent by the state as part of its share.

He said in direct contrast, the Congress regime had not utilised a single penny under both schemes in 2005 and 2006 resulting in forfeiture of funds to other states.“This happened because no detailed project report was submitted under these schemes for any urban area project,” he said, adding that it was ironic that the Congress was in power in both Centre and the state during this period.

Claiming that urban development would get another push in the coming year, Kalia said the government would start distributing funds from the Rs 1,100-crore Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Fund from January itself. — TNS

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Bhajji’s IPL earnings under scanner
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
The earnings of Team India spinner Harbhajan Singh from the Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons I and II have come under scanner of the Central Excise Department, which has started investigations into the non-payment of service tax.

The service tax division of the central excise here will soon slap a notice on him after investigations into the evasion of service tax by him are completed. Chief Commissioner (Central Excise and Customs) PK Sirohi said Harbhajan Singh’s role in advertisements, rental income and his participation in both seasons was being probed.

A show-cause notice has already been issued to ace batsman Yuvraj Singh for the recovery of Rs 1.5 crore while Harbhajan Singh’s pending service tax amounts to Rs 2.5 crore. Details regarding Harbhajan’s rental income (from Mumbai) and income from advertisements have been asked for from his charted accountant. Similar notices have also been issued to Karan Goyal and Gagandeep Singh, both from Ludhiana, Sarvjit Singh from Jalandhar and T P Singh from Amritsar falling within the range of the Ludhiana commissionerate for having played in the IPL for Kings Xl Punjab and the income received from that.

Officials said prima facie in the case of Harbhajan Singh, an amount of Rs 1. 08 crore as tax is recoverable from him on account of his income from the IPL seasons.

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Goods train to Pak to resume services today
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 29
With the Pakistan High Commission issuing visas to Indian drivers, the goods train between India and Pakistan will make its first trip tomorrow after a gap of over a week. The train had made its last trip on December 22.

Confirming the development, DRM (Ferozepur Division) Vishwesh Chaubey said the train would leave for Pakistan tomorrow. "There is no fixed schedule for the train. As soon as the exporters will finish off with their loading work, the train will chug out of the station," he added.

The train comprising 51 wagons will primarily take red chillies, chemicals and rubber to Pakistan.

Truckloads of red chilli today made a beeline at the railway’s cargo yard here even as the loading of goods started in the afternoon.

Praveen Kumar, an employee of a local exporter, said the stock was awaiting its supply for the past 10 days, adding that now they had heaved a sigh of relief. He said the train service had never come to halt due to this reason.

Another exporter, Ashok Kumar, said apart from the losses they suffered on account of delay in export, they ended up paying double the cost for transporting their stock to the cargo yard. “Earlier we had to take our stock back and unload it in our godowns as there was no suitable place here to keep it for days. Now, we have again hired trucks to transport our stock to the cargo yard,” he lamented.

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Pak youth crosses over to India
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Fazilka, December 29
Mohamad Imran, a Pakistan national, who crossed over to the Indian territory late last evening, was caught by the alert jawans of the BSF, who were patrolling the area falling in the Fazilka sector.

Official sources said Imran, a resident of Jettupura village of Okara district of Pakistan, when questioned by the BSF authorities, claimed that he had crossed over to India inadvertently.

He said he came to visit his maternal uncle living in Teja Ruhela Ke, located at a stone throw from the Indo-Pak border. When he was roaming in the border area on the Pakistan side, he could not make distinction between territories falling in India and Pakistan, respectively.

GL Meena, Commandant, 51st battalion, BSF, said a mobile phone and Rs 70 in Pakistan currency were found from Imran, who worked as a motor mechanic in Pakistan.

He said though Imran had crossed over to India without any malafide intention from a point located near the border pillar No 246, the BSF authorities had decided to return him to the Pakistan Rangers. He added that Imran would be handed over to the Pakistan Rangers by holding a flag meeting today or tomorrow.

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YEARENDER      Malwa
Thermal plants get Chinese imprint
SP Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 29
The Malwa region has during the year witnessed for the first time Chinese footprints at thermal power plants that are coming up in a big way here. These projects have started creating economic transformation in the area that had so far remained neglected by the successive governments.

Chinese engineers have already arrived in Banawala village of Mansa district for constructing the country’s one of the largest 2,640 MW coal-based supercritical power project. The project is being constructed by the Vedanta group that has further assigned the work to the Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation of China on a turnkey basis. The main components, including the boiler, turbine and generator, are imported from China that has emerged as the leader in this sector.

More than 400 Chinese engineers and administrative staff are supervising the construction of the project by a workforce of about 20,000. A separate colony for the Chinese workforce has been set up within the project area.

Another thermal power project in the area has been assigned to the Indiabulls and work on it is expected to be started soon. Chinese presence is also expected to be seen in the project. A biomass-based thermal power house has already come up in Muktsar with most components imported from China.

With abundant land dotted with sand dunes available in the Malwa region, investors in the power sector prefer to install their units here. Another mega thermal power project has been proposed in Muktsar district.

However, residents of these areas are doubtful about the pollution factor as a huge quantity of coal would be burnt by these units for generating electricity. The government sector thermal power house was playing havoc with the health of residents of Bathinda town by puffing out ash throughout the day.

Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal claims that the new projects would be non-polluting and the Malwa belt was becoming a hub of thermal power generation because land was available here at cheaper rates than elsewhere in Punjab. While the state government was encouraging the setting up of small and medium scale biomass- based thermal projects in the area, the authorities have “failed” to take into account the viability of these mushrooming units that were heading for starvation on account of limited raw material.

The three power projects that have already come up in the private sector have started feeling the pangs of the escalating costs of raw material.

Farmers of the area were earning a handsome money for the agriculture waste that is the raw material for generating electricity in these plants.

Economy of the area is looking up also because of the upcoming Rs 19,000-crore Guru Gobind Singh Refinery near here. The project, jointly being set up by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Lakshmi Narayan Mittal, is expected to be commissioned early next year.

The refinery is the single largest investment and the first oil and gas industry to be set up in Punjab. It is also expected to help industrialisation of the area.

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Locked up for 5 years, Gurbhajan dies three months after being freed
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 29
Gurbhajan Singh (80), who was caged by his son in a house in Mooran Wali Gali in Patiala for five years and was rescued after The Tribune, highlighted the matter in its September 21, 2010 issue, the Octogenarian died at an Old Age Home in Sangrur today. As per the information, after Gurbhajan was taken out from the locked house on September 23 by a team of the district administration, led by Patiala SDM Gurmeet Singh, his daughter Rashmi Saini, came to India from the US and took Gurbhajan to her house in the Urban Estate. After residing in India for few months, recently Rashmi admitted Gurbhajan to an old age home in Sangrur and then left for the US.

Gurbhajan was cremated at cremation ground near the Sanaur Dumping Ground and his elder son Jagpal Singh, who allegedly caged him in the house for five years, lit the pyre. “Gurbhajan’s younger son Jagmohan Singh and daughter Rashmi are in the US presently and hence they couldn’t come to India to attend the cremation. The cause of death is not known but after getting the sad news, Gurbhajan's body was brought to his house in Mooran Wali Gali. We believe that Gurbhajan was feeling lonely ever since his daughter went back to the US,” said Gurbhagat Singh, younger brother of Gurbhajan Singh. Gurbhagat said Rashmi had initiated the process for taking Gurbhajan to the US “The police inquiry was conducted sometime back and few formalities were left but before that Gurbhajan left all of us,” he said.

Notably, The Tribune had highlighted the plight of Gurbhajan in detail, following which Patiala DC Dipinder Singh intervened and ordered an inquiry into the matter.

After getting nod from Dipinder, Kotwali Police Station cops had booked Gurbhajan’s son Jagpal under Section 278 (making atmosphere noxious to health), 325 (punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 346 (wrongful confinement in secret) on December 16. It was alleged that Jagpal had violated the law by keeping his father in inhuman conditions in a locked house for five years.

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PTU, Mission10X ink pact
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 29
The Punjab Technical University (PTU) and Mission10X today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the Mission10X initiatives across Punjab at the SAS Institute of Information Technology and Research.

Talking at the signing ceremony of the MoU, Prof Rajneesh Arora, Vice-Chancellor, PTU, said, “We have always strived to enhance skills and knowledge of students.” Nagarjuna S, head, Mission10X, said, “The signing of the MoU with the PTU is a very significant milestone for our journey, it marks our entry into Punjab and in a sense marks the beginning of the second phase of the Mission10X. As we continue to traverse the length and breadth of this country.”

“We are certain that the PTU will be an ideal partner for us in this state and will play an important role in helping us achieve our goal of empowering 25,000 faculties in this phase,” he added.

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TRIBUNE IMPACT
Co-op societies to get urea on priority
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 29
Taking cognisance of the report published in these columns that some fertiliser dealers have started hoarding urea, Patiala District Magistrate (DM) Dipinder Singh has issued orders that urea should be supplied to the farmers on priority and it should be sold to the private firms only after making sure that requirement of the farmers is met.

The orders have been issued under Section 144 of the CrPc. As per the orders, the DM has announced, “The urea fertiliser of the IPL and the NFL Company arriving in Patiala should be first supplied to the co-operative societies through Markfed and IFFCO, so that farmers can purchase urea as per their requirement without any difficulty. The supply of urea to the private firms should be allowed only after the requirement of the co-operative societies is met.”

The copy of orders has been sent to the DM Markfed and the Deputy Manager of IFFCO and the orders would remain enforced till February 28, 2011. The DM has also stated that orders should be strictly complied with. “It has come to light that urea being supplied to the co-operative societies in Patiala was meager and major chunk of the urea was being provided to private fertiliser dealers. Because of this, farmers were forced to purchase urea from the private dealers at higher rates.

Also, this practice was adversely affecting the co-operative movement,” added Dipinder. Meanwhile, Dipinder has also directed the administrative authorities to take action against those causing damage to Burji (marking pillars) erected after the demarcation of Panchayati land in the villages. 

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34 years on, their battle for land possession continues
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 29
Even after pursuing a legal battle for three decades and despite orders by the district administration that two separate properties in Patiala’s Anand Nagar B belongs to HS Gill and Benaras Singh, the respective owners are yet to get possession of land, as unscrupulous elements have established illegal possession on their land. According to the owners, the police is not giving any assistance to the officials, so that they can get the land vacated.

Ludhiana resident HS Gill said he purchased plot number 36 and 37 in Patiala’s Anand Nagar B way in 1976. “The possession of plots was taken by me immediately after the execution of sale deeds and mutation number of the property in revenue record was registered as 1210. In 1985, I got to know that both plots have been grabbed by Didar Singh, following which matter went to the court,” he said, while alleging that since Didar Singh also established illegal possession on plots number 42 and 44 owned by Benaras Singh of Patiala, latter also filed suit against him.

Gill said from the trial court in Patiala to the Supreme Court, the verdict was in his favour. “While the court cases were on, Didar Singh died and his son Surjeet Singh pursued the matter. But after three decades, on January 25, 2006, the apex court dismissed the appeals in the case. But due to official apathy, it took four years to get the mutation of the property restored from the administration,” he stated.

Gill added that after restoration of mutation in March 2010, fard was issued to him and the administration ordered the demarcation of the property, which was conducted on December 14, 2010. “But since Surjeet had fraudulently sold our plots, they removed the Burjis and have again established illegal possession on my and Benaras Singh’s plots ,” he alleged in a complaint sent to the DC’s office.

Showing the copies of letter sent by DC Dipinder Singh to the Patiala SSP, Gill said, “The letter mentioned that the police must ensure that as per the demarcation, the boundary wall of the plot number 36/37 and 42/44 should be erected without any physical confrontation.” Patiala SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill said for last three days the police in large number had gone to Fatehgarh Sahib for Jor Mela. “We would provide help, so that owner of the plots can get the possession of their land,” he assured.

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Millers hold up milling process in Punjab
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, Dec 29
Waiting relaxation in the specifications of milling paddy, 3,200 rice millers of Punjab have hold up the process of milling. So far only seven per cent milling of paddy has been done in the past three months.

The FCI has stored 125-lakh metric tonne paddy in various rice mills of Punjab this season. The millers convert this paddy into rice and then return the same to the FCI under fixed specifications. Millers get Rs 15 per quintal in lieu of converting paddy into rice. As per norms they should return 67 % rice of the total paddy stored in their mills to the FCI meant for the central pool.

Millers who failed to store the government’s fixed quantity of paddy in their mills have to deposit Rs 5 lakh as security. The security amount is returned after the milling season. Press secretary of the Punjab Rice Miller Association Nakesh Jindal said: “Millers seek relaxation of 4 %due to introduction of new hybrid varieties in which percentage of damage is very high.” Also, the adverse climactic condition during maturity of paddy plants this season has lead to more damage in paddy grains.

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Kharar-Landran road awaits completion
Tribune News Service

Kharar, December 29
Having crossed the deadline thrice, the Kharar-Landran road, a World Bank project, awaits completion. The 39.530-km stretch is being widened to accommodate the growing heavy vehicular traffic moving towards Ambala and Delhi.

The Punjab Road and Bridges Development Board, as a part of the World Bank project, is widening the Kharar-Landran-Banur-Tepla road.

The bottleneck in the streach is the Kharar city zone, where work has been going on for the past more than four months.

In Kharar, the worst-hit area is near the Randhawa road with frequent jams. “The traffic is so bad that there is no place to move and neither there is any traffic cop to navigate the traffic,” pointed out Nitin Garg, a commuter.

The contract for the project was signed on August 20, 2007, and was scheduled for completion in 851 days.

Since its inception, the project deadline has been extended thrice. Earlier, the project was to be completed around July 30 and then by October 30. Now the deadline has again been extended to December 30.

Earlier in September, the Public Works Department (PWD) officials had claimed that 85 per cent of the project was complete and the road work would be complete by October.

On condition of anonymity the PWD officials said as per agreement, they were supervising the work. “It’s the World Bank appointed engineer that is actually working on the project. We have no say in the technical aspect. No authority to expedite the work lies with us,” they said.

Meanwhile, XEN Gurmukh Singh (PWD) said the work was expected to complete in next two months.

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