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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Motor vehicle inspector suspended for graft
Bathinda, August 9
Bathinda MLA Sarup Chand Singla interacts with a student of Government Senior Secondary School at Paras Ram Nagar in Bathinda on Thursday. Bathinda (Urban) MLA Sarup Chand Singla today conducted surprise checks at the Suvidha Centre in the District Administrative Complex as well as the Government Senior Secondary School at Paras Ram Nagar.

Bathinda MLA Sarup Chand Singla interacts with a student of Government Senior Secondary School at Paras Ram Nagar in Bathinda on Thursday. Photo: Bhupinder Dhillon

Tender bid at half the estimated cost for covering solid waste
Bathinda, August 9
The members of the finance and contract committee (F&CC) of the local Municipal Corporation (MCB) have raised objections over the rates quoted for covering the solid waste dumped at the site in Ward No. 29, during a meeting of the committee held here today.



EARLIER STORIES



Owners yet to get possession of industrial plots bought in Dec í11
President of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bathinda, Raman Watts (right), at the site where possession of industrial plots have not been given. Bathinda, August 9
The industrialists today opposed a proposal of the Industries Department to fix six years as the lock-in period on the transfer of industrial plots from one party to another.


President of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bathinda, Raman Watts (right), at the site where possession of industrial plots have not been given. A Tribune photograph

Deadline for registration of shops extended
Bathinda, August 9
The Punjab Government has extended the deadline for registration under the Food Safety and Standards Act of India (FSSAI) bringing a much-needed relief to the health authorities as well as the businessmen concerned.

Sale of govt school land opposed
Bathinda, August 9
Former Congress MLA Harminder Singh Jassi today opposed the sale of the government elementary school situated on the Mall Road. In a press release issued here, Jassi said his party would oppose tooth and nail the sale of the government school land where children from all walks of life are studying. He said no government property would be allowed to be sold at the behest of a handful of people eyeing public property. Jassi said if need be he would move the court against the sale of government land.

Arrangements for I-Day function reviewed
Bathinda, August 9
NCC cadets take part in a rehearsal for the Independence Day parade in Bathinda on Thursday. Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Mohammad Tayab today took stock of the arrangements for the Independence Day function on August 15. The ADC instructed the officials of various departments to take care of the tasks assigned to them. He asked the officials to execute the work in connection with the preparations and resolve problems, if any.

NCC cadets take part in a rehearsal for the Independence Day parade in Bathinda on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Two more cases of motorbike theft reported
Bathinda, August 9
A doctor working at Delhi Heart Hospital located on Namdev Marg complained that some unidentified person had stolen his motorcycle. In a complaint to the police, Dr Neeraj Grover said his bike was parked in Pukhraj Colony from where it was stolen. He claimed the bike was worth Rs 20,000. Police have registered a case under section 379 of the IPC at the Civil Lines police station.

Seminar dispels myths on motherís milk
Bathinda, August 9
The department of paediatrics at the Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, in collaboration with the Bathinda Academy of Paediatrics, organized a seminar to observe the World Breast Feeding Week.

 

An artist gives finishing touches to his creation ahead of Janmashtami in Bathinda on Thursday.
An artist gives finishing touches to his creation ahead of Janmashtami in Bathinda on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma







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Motor vehicle inspector suspended for graft
The official and a clerk in the District Transport Office accused of corruption; to face departmental inquiries
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 9
Bathinda (Urban) MLA Sarup Chand Singla today conducted surprise checks at the Suvidha Centre in the District Administrative Complex as well as the Government Senior Secondary School at Paras Ram Nagar.

At the Suvidha Centre, people waiting to get their works done complained to him that the motor vehicle inspector, Ravinder Singh Gil, and a clerk from the District Transport Office, Kamal Kishore, were allegedly indulging in corrupt activities.

An SDO with the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), Pritpal Singh, and a Bathinda resident, Lakhwinder Singh, gave in writing that Kamal Kishore was not issuing them some documents on time. They also accused Kamal Kishore of corrupt practices.

SAD spokesperson Om Parkash Sharma, who was accompanying Singla, said Singla had also got a complaint against Ravinder Gill from Chandigarh.

Gill was suspended. Departmental inquiries were marked against Gill and Kamal Kishore, Sharma added.

Earlier, Singla visited the Government Senior Secondary School at Paras Ram Nagar where he conducted surprise checking. He inspected the school building as well as interacted with the students there. During the interaction, he posed few questions to the students. Not satisfied with their replies, he directed teachers to teach their students in a better manner. Teachers were also told to counsel students on various aspects of life.

The RO plant installed in the school for staff and students was found out of order. The management of the Pyare Lal Karnail Singh Charitable Trust was directed to provide the basic infrastructure to the school.

DEO finds irregularities at girlsí school on Mall road

The District Education Officer (Secondary), Hardeep Singh Taggar, on Wednesday conducted a surprise checking at the Government Senior Secondary School for Girls on the Mall Road. Assistant DEO Amarjit Kaur and District Science Supervisor were also present.

During the checking, the cleanliness at the school was found to be lacking. It was also found that teachers' leave records were not properly maintained. Even the service books of the teachers were found to be incomplete.

"The school does not maintain proper discipline and many of the teachers were found to be coming late. Chemicals and salts at the laboratories were not properly labelled," Taggar said.

Strangely enough, the oven meant for usage in science laboratories was found being used for warming the meals of school teachers. Strict directions were given to make an apt use of the equipment provided.

Many of the students were found having guide books of various subjects instead of the required textbooks. The attendance of students was not taken during the morning assembly.

Irregularities were also found in the records of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA). Of the 60 to 65 teachers working at the school, only seven could show teacher's diary, which is mandatory to be maintained for lesson plans etc.

The inspecting team found that toilets in the school were unclean. School authorities have been directed to bring reforms as per the directions of the Education Department.

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Tender bid at half the estimated cost for covering solid waste
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 9
The members of the finance and contract committee (F&CC) of the local Municipal Corporation (MCB) have raised objections over the rates quoted for covering the solid waste dumped at the site in Ward No. 29, during a meeting of the committee held here today.

The MCB had invited tenders of Rs 33.48 lakh for laying nine-inch thick mud in the area where the solid waste of the city is dumped.

Four contractors evinced interest in the job and quoted the rates for the same. One of the contractors quoted a rate which is 52.10 per cent less than the estimated cost of Rs 33.48 lakh.

Observing a huge difference between the rate proposed and the bid received, the committee members raised their doubts. A municipal councillor, Daljit Singh Brar, pointed out that it was not possible to execute the work at less than 50 per cent price as quoted by a contractor.

Senior deputy mayor Tarsem Goyal and others demanded that the entire procedure of laying the mud blanket be videographed in order to assess if the work had been done effectively and correctly.

The debate, however, stirred a controversy raising doubts over the estimates prepared. "Either the estimate of this project is exaggerated or the contractor would do a shabby job by completing the work in mere Rs 16 lakh," said one of the committee members while talking to TNS after the meeting.

He pointed out that the bid also raised doubts over the efficiency of the officials of the Municipal Corporation, Bathinda, in preparing estimates for works and revealed the extent to which these estimates were inflated.

Covering the garbage collected with earth is mandatory as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) till the time a garbage treatment plant is not granted approval and does not start functioning.

Approval for three projects

The committee passed three more projects that included buying of around 1,000 tree guards for the saplings to be planted in the city, for supply of saplings worth Rs 6,97,250 and for repairing the low-lying area of Ward No. 17 municipal councillor's lane as well as doing some patch work of Ghanaiya Nagar.

For the works in Ward No. 17 and the minor patch work, only one contractor Riyasti Singh bid for the tenders floated at three per cent lesser rate.

Keeping in view the urgency of situation and monsoon season, the corporation officials said no tender was called the second time and requested that the work be awarded.

The committee unanimously passed it.

Prominent among those present at the meeting included Mayor Baljit Singh Beerbehman, municipal commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta, assistant commissioner Kamal Kant, municipal councillors Harmandar Singh and Daljit Brar, and executive engineer (XEN) Tirath Ram.

F&CC Meeting

Members of the finance and contract committee of the MCB discuss the rates quoted for convering the solid waste dumped at the site in Ward No. 29.

The MCB had invited tenders of Rs 33.48 lakh for laying nine-inch thick mud in the area where the solid waste of the city is dumped.

One of the contractors quoted a rate which is 52.10 per cent less than the estimated cost of Rs 33.48 lakh.

Observing a huge difference between the rate proposed and the bid received, the committee members raised their doubts.

Senior deputy mayor Tarsem Goyal and others demanded that the entire procedure of laying the mud blanket be videographed in order to assess if the work had been done effectively and correctly.

The bid also raised doubts over the efficiency of the MCB officials in preparing estimates for works and revealed the extent to which these estimates were inflated.

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Owners yet to get possession of industrial plots bought in Dec í11
Oppose the proposal for fixing six years as lock-in period for transfer of plots
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 9
The industrialists today opposed a proposal of the Industries Department to fix six years as the lock-in period on the transfer of industrial plots from one party to another.

They said in view of the lackadaisical approach of the government, the traders and the business class in the state were being met with injustice.

"The government is yet to give us the possession of industrial plots bought in December 2011. Most of the industrialists had purchased these plots by taking loans and in absence of the land, they have been unable to start their projects and are paying for the loan installments from their pockets," said the president of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bathinda, Raman Watts.

In Bathinda, 110 industrial plots were allotted in December 2011, of which 60 industrialists are yet to get the possession of their land even as they have paid the price of the land. The Punjab State Industry and Export Corporation (PSIEC), which had sold these plots, has not handed over the possession of plots despite repeated requests.

Some of the industrialists, who could not afford further delay in their projects, transferred their plots in the name of other industrialists.

"In a way, the bigger industrialist bailed out another. Imposing six years of lock-in period would be the greatest injustice done to the industrial sector, which is already running in losses, in the state," said an industrialist who bought a transferred land.

Industrialists said they have repeatedly visited the PSIEC headquarters at Udyog Bhawan Chandigarh, but in vain. "The department has no written directions from the ministry or

its head to hold back giving the possession of plots. The issue even figured during the meeting with the Industry Minister Anil Joshi on Wednesday, wherein it was found that there were no official orders in this context," added one of the industrialists.

Meanwhile, the managing director of the PSIEC, M P Arora, said there was no legal hitch in handing over the possession of land. "The Industry Minister discussed the issue with industrialists on Wednesday and assured that the plots would be allotted in a month. The state is framing a new industrial policy, which also has nuances about allotment of industrial plots. Industrialists need not worry about it," he asserted.

 

Fact file
  • It was after a period of five years that the state government sold industrial plots in 2011. Plots of sizes 110 sq yards, 250 sq yards, 500 sq yards, 1,000 sq yards, 2,500 sq yards and 5,000 sq yards were sold in December 2011.
  • Around 60 owners of plots sized 250 sq yards, 500 sq yards and 1,000 sq yards are awaiting the possession of their land to start the projects they had conceived.
  • Industrialists objected to the government's decision to withhold giving the possession of plots without giving any valid reason.

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Deadline for registration of shops extended
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 9
The Punjab Government has extended the deadline for registration under the Food Safety and Standards Act of India (FSSAI) bringing a much-needed relief to the health authorities as well as the businessmen concerned.

District Health Officer Dr R S Randhawa, the designated officer in-charge, said there are around 60,000 people who are covered under the Act. "Those dealing in any kind of food item are required to be registered under the Act, be it a vegetable vendor, tea stall owner or hotelier," he said.

Earlier, the deadline for the registration was August 3, which has now been extended by six months to February 3. The move meant to give enough time to people to get registered.

"The extension in the deadline actually acted as a dampener. Earlier, people were in a rush to get themselves registered but now the number of applications has trickled down. So far, only 1,500 applications have come up for registration," said sources in the health department.

Health authorities fear that people may start turning up in hordes again in January next year, the way it happened in the end of July this year. The department has held series of meetings with various unions of traders, dairy owners, dhaba owners, hotel owners, restaurant owners and others informing them the benefits of the Act.

Earlier, there was the Food Safety Act, which was very stringent as people had to deal with long legal battles when their food samples faced laboratory tests.

However, the new legislation has different provisions of penalisation.

In view of a food product being declared not injurious to human health or not life threatening, or has been mislabelled or misbranded, the case would be forwarded to the court of additional deputy commissioner ADC (Development), who has been designated as the adjudicator under the new Act.

ďAt the adjudicator's court, the matter would be resolved in less than a year which would result in saving businessmen from long legal hassles," the health officials said.

Fact file
  • The FSSAI aims at ensuring that people are given clean and hygienic food to eat. The Act has provisions of creating healthy habits amongst those who deal in food. For instance a juice vendor would be directed to keep a covered bin for the waste; serve juices in glasses cleaned with detergent and water; and to cover his set up with net or mesh to prevent flies from contaminating the edibles.
  • Under the Act, a small time trader will have to pay Rs 1,000 as registration fees while those with a turnover of more than Rs 12 lakh per annum will have to obtain licences.

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Sale of govt school land opposed
Cong ex-MLA says his party does not approve of it, may move court if the authorities persist
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 9
Former Congress MLA Harminder Singh Jassi today opposed the sale of the government elementary school situated on the Mall Road.
In a press release issued here, Jassi said his party would oppose tooth and nail the sale of the government school land where children from all walks of life are studying. He said no government property would be allowed to be sold at the behest of a handful of people eyeing public property. Jassi said if need be he would move the court against the sale of government land.

It may be mentioned that the BDA plans to convert 1.5 acres of the school land into a multi-level parking lot to solve the parking woes of the city. A feasibility report of the project has already been prepared under which 50 per cent area would be used for commercial purposes and the remaining area for parking purposes. The entire project will be given on build-operate-transfer basis. (BOT)

The BDA plans to shift the elementary school to the Government Girls' Senior Secondary School, which is situated opposite to it. A decade back, the AC market too was carved out of the school's land. The school was earlier run as middle school for girls in a building situated near the present Arya Girls' School.

Till 1956, before the Government Rajindra College shifted to its present building, it was being run from the premises of this school

The move to sell the school land has also drawn flak from various teacher unions.

Meanwhile, press secretary of the district Congress unit Rupinder Bindra has demanded that the old bills of sewerage and water of the poor should be waived. Snapping the water connections of the poor and issuing of warning to them was also strongly criticised by the local unit of the Congress.

In another instance, local Congress leaders and workers today took out a "prabhat pheri" to remember the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation. Members of the district Congress Bathinda (urban) were among those who participated in the "prabhat pheri".

The members also observed two-minute silence after taking a round of the city.

Former Punjab minister Chiranji Lal Garg, Chhote Lal, Master Baldev Krishan, Nand Lal Singla. Ashok Bhola, Rajinder Baghla, Bhagwan Das, Jagmeet, Jagtar, Niranjan and others were also present.

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Arrangements for I-Day function reviewed
Public convenience a priority as ADC asks departments to take care of the tasks assigned to them
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 9
Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Mohammad Tayab today took stock of the arrangements for the Independence Day function on August 15.
The ADC instructed the officials of various departments to take care of the tasks assigned to them. He asked the officials to execute the work in connection with the preparations and resolve problems, if any.

Officials of the police and civil administration were present at the meeting. They were told to make arrangements in such a way that members of the public and the participants do not face any problems.

The ADC issued instructions for making arrangements to provide basic facilities during the function and asked the officials to adopt a pro-active approach to successfully organize the function. 

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Two more cases of motorbike theft reported
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 9
A doctor working at Delhi Heart Hospital located on Namdev Marg complained that some unidentified person had stolen his motorcycle. In a complaint to the police, Dr Neeraj Grover said his bike was parked in Pukhraj Colony from where it was stolen. He claimed the bike was worth Rs 20,000. Police have registered a case under section 379 of the IPC at the Civil Lines police station.

In another case of bike theft, Puneet Kumar of Baba Farid Nagar complained that his bike parked outside his temporary office in Model Town phase-II was stolen. He said the bike, worth nearly Rs 15,000, was parked near his office. A case has been registered under section 379 of the IPC at the Cantonment police station.

Two from Ferozepur booked for cheating

Police have booked two brothers from Ferozepur for cheating a resident of Bathinda. The accused have been identified as Kulwinder Singh and Parminder Singh, residents of Ghall Kalan, Ferozepur. In a complaint to the police, Baldev Singh of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, said the accused promised to send him abroad.

He said the accused pocketed Rs 1.5 lakhs and neither returned the money nor sent him abroad.

After detailed investigations by the police, a case under sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered by the police in this connection at the Thermal police station.

Couple, sons booked for demanding dowry

Police have booked a couple and their two sons for demanding dowry and harassing their daughter-in-law. A complaint was lodged by Sarika Rani who complained that her in-laws are demanding more dowry from her and are harassing her on one pretext or the other. Despite intervention by the prominent citizens and family members, the in-laws continued to harass the daughter-in-law and a complaint was finally lodged with the police.

The matter was investigated by the women's cell and a case was registered against the accused under sections 498-A and 406 of the IPC at the women's cell police station.

The accused include Virakesh Kumar, son of Chiman Lal, Kamla Rani, wife of Chiman Lal, Mukesh Garg, son of Chiman Lal and Chiman Lal himself, all residents of 100 feet road, near Ghore Wala Chowk. No arrests have been made so far.

Two arrested with fake currency near bus stand

Police have arrested two persons with Rs 4,27, 800 in fake currency. Balwant Singh, deployed with the narcotics cell, Bathinda, said the accused were found carrying the fake currency near the bus stand.

Those arrested by the police have been identified as Natha Singh and Dharminder Singh. Police said that apart from the two arrested persons, two others, including Jaswinder Singh and Hardeep Singh of Nachhattar Nagar, Bathinda, are also wanted in the case and will be arrested soon.

A case under sections 420, 489-A, 489-B, 489-C, 489-D and 489-E of the IPC has been registered against the accused at the Sadar police station.

Eight booked for beating

Police have booked eight persons for beating up a resident of Bathinda.

A complaint was lodged with the police in this connection by Jaswinder Singh who complained that the accused attacked him and inflicted serious injuries following dispute over a trivial issue.

Jaswinder Singh also said that the accused pointed a pistol at him and threatened to kill him.

Police have booked Kuldeep Singh, Chhindu Singh, Simra, Candy, Sunny and three unidentified persons. A case under sections 32, 341, 506, 148, 49 and 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused at the Nehianwala police station.

One held with illicit liquor

Police have arrested a resident of Khokhar village with bottles of illicit liquor bottles. The accused, Ajaib Singh, was later released on bail. A case under sections 61, 1, 14 of the Excise Act has been registered against the accused at the Diyalpura police station.

In a similar incident, police have arrested Lakhvir Singh of Diyalpura Bhaika village with 5 litres of illicit liquor and 50 kg of lahan from near his village. A case has been registered against him under sections 61, 1, 14 of the Excise Act at Diyalpura police station.

One arrested with 10 kg poppy husk

Police have arrested a resident of Bajak village with 10 kg of poppy husk. The accused was arrested from near his village with the contraband on the basis of a tip-off. A case under sections 15, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered at the Nandgarh police station.

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Seminar dispels myths on motherís milk
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 9
The department of paediatrics at the Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, in collaboration with the Bathinda Academy of Paediatrics, organized a seminar to observe the World Breast Feeding Week.

The slogan for this year is "Babies need mom-made and not man-made food". The importance of breast feeding was discussed at the seminar and myths were unravelled.

Topics discussed at the seminar included the physiology and benefits of breast feeding and HIV +ve mother's breast feeding. Dr Prabhat Shobha, head of the department of paediatrics and Dr Amit Aggarwal, secretary, Bathinda Academy of Paediatrics, were the chairpersons.

Dr Shobha Prabhat said of the 2.6 crore children born every year, more than 2 crore are not being breastfed for the first six months of life. Also, there are myths attached to giving colostrum, which is the first milk after delivery, to the newborn. "It is a totally wrong conception. Colostrum is rich in vitamins, minerals and provides immunity to the newborn in fighting against the diseases," she said.

Assistant professor Dr Rahul Gandhi said in Punjab, only 36 per cent babies are fed on mother's milk while only 13 per cent newborns are breast fed within an hour of their birth to gain the advantage of colostrum.

Dr Amit Aggarwal highlighted the myths attached with breast feeding. It is a misconception that breast feeding disfigures the shape of breasts. Instead, it helps in maintaining it, he informed.

First year MBBS students, nursing students, interns and the faculty members attended the seminar. Dr Gurpreet Singh Gill and Dr AS Bansal were the chief guests while Dr Parmod Goyal anchored the seminar.

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