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TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

MCB to present its biggest budget tomorrow
Bathinda, March 5
The general house of the Municipal Corporation, Bathinda (MCB), will meet on March 7 to discuss the last and the biggest budget of the first term of the Corporation. The Rs 116.39 crore budget would be presented before the house for consideration.

Two arrested with heroin worth Rs 40 crore, arms seized
IG (Counter Intelligence) Jatinder Jain (left) along with AIG Ajay Maluja addresses mediapersons following the seizure of heroin and weapons, in Bathinda on Tuesday. Bathinda, March 5
The Counter Intelligence Wing, Bathinda, today arrested a father-son duo with eight kg of heroin worth nearly Rs 40 crore in the international market.

IG (Counter Intelligence) Jatinder Jain (left) along with AIG Ajay Maluja addresses mediapersons following the seizure of heroin and weapons, in Bathinda on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma


EARLIER STORIES



F&CC meet sets eyes on MCB polls
Bathinda, March 5
A meeting of the finance and contract committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation, Bathinda (MCB), would be held on March 7 wherein 47 items on agenda would come up for consideration. Headed by Mayor Baljit Singh Birbehman, the committee will take financial decisions on allotting developmental works related to metallic roads, sewerages, drinking water supply and parks.

Bathinda consumer to get refund from Delhi firm
Bathinda, March 5
The Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed a Delhi-based firm to pay Rs 6,199 to a resident of Bathinda for selling a faulty electronic tablet. The president of the Forum Vikramjit Kaur Soni and members Amarjeet Paul and Sukhwinder Kaur announced the decision in the favour of the complainant, Narinder Verma. The complainant's counsel Sanjeev Narowal said the complaint was filed under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act.

Fruit ripening plant coming up
Bathinda, March 5
Bathinda will get fruits free from toxicity with the setting up of an ethylene-based ripening chamber at the local vegetable market. The Punjab Mandi Board is constructing a pack house at the local vegetable market behind Government Rajindra College where the fruits will be ripened without using the toxic calcium carbide, known as "masala" amongst the fruit vendors.

Bathinda is a major market for bananas. The fruit will now be ripened in the pack house coming up at the vegetable market in the city. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

PRTC driver booked for rash driving
Bathinda, March 5
The driver of a PRTC bus has been booked for rash driving and injuring a woman from Dulewala village. In a complaint to the police, Harinder Singh said he was on his way to the bus stand from a private hospital on a rickshaw along with his wife when the bus hit the rickshaw from the rear. The unidentified driver fled leaving behind the bus.


Desi tadka: Students shake a leg during a farewell organised at Khalsa College for Girls in Bathinda on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Govt Polytechnic College lifts overall trophy
Bathinda, March 5
Government Polytechnic College, Bathinda, lifted the overall trophy at the state-level inter-polytechnic youth fest held recently. In a press statement issued here today, principal Yadwinder Singh stated that in the folk song contest, Lakhvir Singh, a student of the college, secured the first place with his song "Bol Mitti Deya Baweya". The college's choreography team also secured the first place with the item "Watna Nu Wapsi".

Cultural items lend colour to Adesh University fest
Bathinda, March 5
Cultural competitions were held at the Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (AIMSR) today. Different batches c0ompeted in events like duet dance, playing musical instruments and bhangra.

Six arrested for online gambling
Bathinda, March 5
Police has arrested six persons for online gambling by conducting raids at different places in the city. Apart from the seizure of six computers and related apparatus, the police also sealed two shops.

Normal functioning hit in govt departments
Most of the employees stayed off work at the DC office on Tuesday. Bathinda, March 5
Normal functioning of government offices was hit as employees of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, observed a two-day pen-down strike. Around 125 employees of tehsils, sub-tehsils, sub-divisions and DC office stayed off work on the final day of the strike today.

Most of the employees stayed off work at the DC office on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Woman commits suicide
Bathinda, March 5
A woman today committed suicide by hanging herself near Namdev Nagar. The deceased has been identified as 23-year- old Gaganpreet Kaur. Police have arrested Gaganpreet's husband, brother-in-law and mother-in-law on the basis of a complaint lodged by her family members.

100 units of blood donated
Bathinda, March 5
Hundred units of blood were collected at the voluntary blood donation camp held at Punjab Technical University Giani Zail Singh campus today.

 

 







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MCB to present its biggest budget tomorrow
The Rs 116-crore budget will be the last of the first term of the civic body; VAT projected as the largest source of income
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 5
The general house of the Municipal Corporation, Bathinda (MCB), will meet on March 7 to discuss the last and the biggest budget of the first term of the Corporation. The Rs 116.39 crore budget would be presented before the house for consideration.

With the house tax making an exit from the local taxes, the property tax will fill the coffers of the MCB. City denizens would be burdened with the property tax, from which the MCB expects to earn 80 per cent more revenue than the house tax collected last year.

While city residents will bear the burden of Rs 5.61-crore property tax, amount to be spent on developmental works have been lessened by Rs 12.03 crore as compared to the previous year.

Funds to the tune of Rs 63.71 crore (55 per cent of the budget) have been earmarked for developmental works, which was Rs 75.57 crore last year. Rs 35.14 crore will be spent on committed expenses, including water supply, sewerage, repayment of loan and maintenance of street lights. Rs 28.57 crore have been reserved for non-committed expenditure.

The MCB employees will have reasons to cheer with an increased salary and pension allowances.

Close to 410 new recruitments would be made, including 200 sweepers and 210 other employees. A total of Rs 50.24 crore will be spent on employees, including Rs 40.63 crore on salaries, Rs 5.65 crore in pension contribution and Rs 3.69 crore on new recruitments.

While the Punjab Government has abolished octroi on diesel and petrol, the income from octroi will be nil.

This fiscal year, Rs 93.29 lakh were collected as change of land usage from different pockets. However, the MCB will cease to get the benefit following the orders of the Punjab Government that charges would be deposited directly in the government treasury and the MCB will not use the same.

At Rs 60.95 crore, VAT collection will remain the main source of revenue followed by house and property tax. Collections from fire cess are pegged at Rs 67.32 lakh. However, the same will not be charged from the NFL, the GNDTP and oil companies, as they their have own fire brigades.

For getting a building plan passed, the water supply charges have been revised from Rs 250 per sq yard to Rs 450. The MCB expects to collect Rs 50 lakh from the service.

The ban imposed on passing building plans of new constructions in 67 colonies declared unauthorised has hit the MCB too.

Development charges (charged for developing areas under the MCB) collected in 2011-12 stood at Rs 131.92 lakh. During the current financial year till January 31, Rs 255.17 lakh have already been earned.

The plans of properties in unauthorised colonies, which cover a large portion of the city, are not being passed due to the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Resultantly, developmental charges collected from the area will decrease. Keeping this in view, the MCB has aimed at collecting merely Rs 1 crore in 2013-2014.

The income from house and property tax during the current fiscal year is Rs 556.30 lakh. Of this, cases of taxes worth Rs 268.54 lakh are pending in different courts. Besides, Rs 31.83 lakh is pending with sick units. The city has around 65,000 units 55,000 residential units and 1,000 commercial units. In the eight zones earmarked for the purpose of property tax, around Rs 684.28 lakh would be collected from residential units while collections from commercial units would be Rs 1,050.25 lakh.

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Two arrested with heroin worth Rs 40 crore, arms seized
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 5
The Counter Intelligence Wing, Bathinda, today arrested a father-son duo with eight kg of heroin worth nearly Rs 40 crore in the international market. A .30-bore Chinese pistol, one .32 bore German revolver and two magazines with 52 live cartridges, Rs 1 lakh in cash, two mobile SIM cards of Pakistan and two mobile phones were also recovered from the possession of the alleged smugglers. Further, the police impounded the jeep that the accused were travelling in.

The accused were identified as Ghuggar Singh and Swaran Singh of Fattuwala village falling under Jalalabad Sadar area. Their accomplices, who are at large, were identified as Germal Singh and Kirpal Singh of Jalalabad.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Inspector-General of the Counter Intelligence Jatinder Jain said efforts were on to nab Germal and Kirpal. He said the drugs were smuggled from Pakistan through the Ferozepur border.

A case under Sections 21, 29, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused at the Jalalabad Sadar police station.

During interrogation, the accused revealed that they were in touch with a Pakistan-based smuggler, Bodi alias Chacha, for the past few years. They admitted to have smuggled eight packets of heroin a few days ago and were on the way to Fattuana village in a jeep when they were intercepted by a team of the Counter Intelligence.

The police said the accused were into smuggling drugs for the past five years. So far, they had brought in from Pakistan as many as 70 packets in five consignments worth nearly Rs 350 crore in the international market.

The police said Germal Singh was booked in 2010 for carrying 58 kg of heroin and was declared a proclaimed offender.

Assistant Inspector-General, Counter Intelligence, Ajay Maluja supervised the operation.

This year, the Counter Intelligence wing of the Punjab Police seized 22 kg of heroin, four kg of opium, a .30 bore Chinese pistol, a .32 bore German revolver, two magazines with 52 live cartridges and seven vehicles. It also arrested as many as 19 international drug smugglers during the period.

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F&CC meet sets eyes on MCB polls
The meeting will take financial decisions pertaining to development works
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 5
A meeting of the finance and contract committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation, Bathinda (MCB), would be held on March 7 wherein 47 items on agenda would come up for consideration. Headed by Mayor Baljit Singh Birbehman, the committee will take financial decisions on allotting developmental works related to metallic roads, sewerages, drinking water supply and parks.

The items on the agenda seem to be more of a populist move to ensure victory for SAD candidates in the forthcoming MCB elections.

In the days to come, the city will see hectic developmental activity with a number of roads to be laid anew. New roads are being laid in almost every ward.

A proposal has been made to debar the Bathinda Co-op LC Society Limited from responding to the tenders of the MCB for at least one year. The company has neither developed parks allotted at the Teachers' Colony, the Bank Colony and the Gagan Colony nor did it respond to repeated reminders.

It has also been proposed to forfeit the earnest money that the company had deposited with the MCB and to recall the tenders for the same work.

The MCB will be outsourcing 150 sweepers to carry out cleanliness work in the city. While 50 sweepers will be hired for the purpose of maintaining cleanliness in the city, 50 will be hired for cleaning the area trans-railway lines and another 50 will be hired for the purpose of cleaning the main roads. The three sets of sweepers will be hired at the contract of Rs 7.5 lakh each. Also, labour will be hired at the cost of Rs 9.95 lakh for maintenance of plantation in the city.

The work on numbering the properties in city would be undertaken for which the Data World and the Map My India have applied. The Map My India, which gave the lowest bid, has been invited for negotiations.

Besides, Rs 9.94 lakh have been earmarked for replacing the branch sewer line in the Housing Board colony at the Model Town here.

A sludge carrier would be repaired at the cost of Rs 5.64 lakh and de-silted at Rs 3.26 lakh.

Further, Rs 11.35 lakh have been earmarked for developing a park in the industrial area on the Mansa road. Flooring would be done in the parking area along the Aggrasen Park on the Amrik Singh road at the cost of Rs 2.01 lakh.

Roads will be laid in the Ajit road area, Ward no. 35 and 36 and the Gurukul road area. Premix will be laid in Ajit road street numbers 5, 18 and 19 and the Civil Station area (Children Park road). Premix will also be laid in parts of Amarpura Basti at the cost of Rs 28.20 lakh; Shakti Vihar streets 2, 2A and 5 at Rs 19.94 lakh; streets of ward number 24; and on the Parasram Nagar main road at Rs 37.60 lakh.

Besides, work on roads in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Amarpur Basti, Lal Singh Basti, Mehna Basti etc will also be taken up.

A merry-go-round is to be bought for Rose Garden at Rs 3.33 lakh and Rs 4.42 lakh will be spent on laying footpath in a newly-developed park at the Rose Garden.

To deal with the problem of power breakdown during monsoon, a Rs 320-KVA genset will be bought as a backup for the main disposal. The genset would cost Rs 22.14 lakh.

Fact file

  • A meeting of the finance and contract committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation, Bathinda (MCB), will be held on March 7 wherein 47 items on agenda will come up for consideration.
  • The items on the agenda seem to be more of a populist move to ensure victory for SAD candidates in the forthcoming MCB elections.
  • The MCB will be outsourcing 150 sweepers to carry out cleanliness work in the city.
  • A merry-go-round is to be bought for Rose Garden for Rs 3.33 lakh and Rs 4.42 lakh will be spent on laying footpath in a newly-developed park at the Rose Garden.

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Consumer forum
Bathinda consumer to get refund from Delhi firm
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 5
The Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed a Delhi-based firm to pay Rs 6,199 to a resident of Bathinda for selling a faulty electronic tablet. The president of the Forum Vikramjit Kaur Soni and members Amarjeet Paul and Sukhwinder Kaur announced the decision in the favour of the complainant, Narinder Verma. The complainant's counsel Sanjeev Narowal said the complaint was filed under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act.

Verma stated that he had ordered an electronic tablet after watching an advertisement on TV in August last year. After receiving the product, the complainant paid a sum of Rs 6,199, including Rs 5,999 as the cost of the tablet and Rs 200 as delivery and handling charges, to the Today Retail Network Private Limited, FPB, Bhati village, New Delhi.

The company assured him that the product would be replaced in case of any defect and that the amount would be refunded in case the product does not work properly or was not liked by the customer.

The complainant said the tablet was found defective as its WiFi system and the front camera were not functioning. When the seller was apprised of the problems, the complainant was told to approach the service provider - Fujezone, Nakamichi Techno Private Limited, Sultan Sadan, Westend Marg, Saidulajab, New Delhi.

He contacted the service provider and as advised, deposited the faulty product with it on September 22. He was given September 25 as the tentative date of delivery. However, the tab was neither repaired nor returned to the complainant even after one and a half months. In the meantime, he sent a legal notice to the firm on October 16 but to no avail.

Finally, he lodged a complaint with the Consumer Forum seeking directions to the opposite party to refund the amount that he had paid besides compensation.

The opposite party was summoned through registered post but despite receiving the summons, it failed to appear before the Forum following which ex-parte proceedings were taken against them.

The Forum observed that there was deficiency in providing service to the complainant. It directed the opposite party to refund Rs 6,199, the amount received from the complainant, along with Rs 5,000 as cost and compensation.

It further directed the opposite party to comply with the order within 45 days of the receipt of a copy of the order. Any delay in complying with the order would attract interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum on the amount of Rs 6,199, the Forum said.

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Fruit ripening plant coming up
Ethylene-based plant in vegetable market will ensure fruits are free from toxicity
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 5
Bathinda will get fruits free from toxicity with the setting up of an ethylene-based ripening chamber at the local vegetable market. The Punjab Mandi Board is constructing a pack house at the local vegetable market behind Government Rajindra College where the fruits will be ripened without using the toxic calcium carbide, known as "masala" amongst the fruit vendors.

The project is being set up at a cost of Rs 1.20 crore and is expected to bring health benefits not only to the consumers but to the farmers as well.

"The pack house will have eight lighting (ripening) chambers of 10 tonne capacity each and two cold rooms of 50 metric tonne capacity each," said the District Mandi Board Officer Gursewak Singh. He added that the pack house would be ready over a period of next six months.

As per a rough estimate, the per day consumption of bananas alone in the district is around 180 tonne. Currently, fruits like mango, banana, sapota and papaya are ripened using calcium carbide. The chemical is wrapped in a newspaper and kept under the fruits. On reacting with the moisture in the fruits, it starts ripening them and releases toxic gases.

Though the use of calcium carbide is banned, under Section 44-A of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and many states like Delhi and Gujarat have effectively implemented the ban, the practice finds its adherents in Punjab. In Delhi and Gujarat, the use of calcium carbide also attracts punitive action.

In chambers coming up at the Bathinda vegetable market, ethylene gas will be used for ripening the fruits. It is close to ripening fruit naturally as ethylene gas has been declared safe by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Already the centre is being run in Ludhiana and has been a huge success. The fruits ripened in these chambers not only have better taste and look fresh but are also sold at a higher price in Ludhiana.

Besides being beneficial for the consumers, it will be a boon for the farmers who can store their additional produce in the cold rooms. Jagtar Singh Brar, afarmer from Goniana, said the cold stores would be used by the farmers to store their additional produce.

"The Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) runs a similar post-harvesting infrastructure of Rs 100 crore at Panipat, which is highly beneficial for the farmers. Having a similar centre at Bathinda will enable us to sell produce at far off places," he said.

Gursewak Singh said once the pack house is set up, the Mandi Board will come out with rates for the cold store as well as the ripening chambers.

It may be mentioned that eating of fruits ripened by calcium carbide can have adverse effects on human health. It can affect the functioning of the liver and kidney, cause vomiting and diarrhea. It is especially harmful for the expectant mothers.

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PRTC driver booked for rash driving
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 5
The driver of a PRTC bus has been booked for rash driving and injuring a woman from Dulewala village. In a complaint to the police, Harinder Singh said he was on his way to the bus stand from a private hospital on a rickshaw along with his wife when the bus hit the rickshaw from the rear. The unidentified driver fled leaving behind the bus.

The complainant said his wife received serious head injuries in the accident and was taken to the hospital by some passerby.

She is receiving medical attention and her condition has been described by the doctors as serious but stable. A case has been registered against the accused bus driver under sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC at the Civil Lines police station. Further investigation in the case is on and the police is likely to seek help from the PRTC authorities too in identifying the driver.

Man booked for instigating girl to elope

A Ferozepur resident has been booked by the police for instigating a girl to elope with him. The accused Karam Singh has been booked following a complaint by Raju of Bhagta Bhaika.

The complainant said the accused instigated his minor daughter to elope on the pretext of marrying her. A case under sections 363 and 366 of the IPC has been registered against the accused at the Nathana police station.

Two booked for assault

Police has registered a case against two persons for assaulting a resident of Beant Nagar. In a complaint to the police, Kameshwar Sahni said he used to sell fish in the market near Dhobiana Basti and asked him not to enter the market. Police has booked Ram Singh and Pran Singh under sections 325, 323 and 34 of the IPC at the Cantonment police station. Further investigation in the case is on.

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Govt Polytechnic College lifts overall trophy
Tribune News Service


Students of Government Polytechnic College, Bathinda, present bhangra at the youth festival. A Tribune photograph

Bathinda, March 5
Government Polytechnic College, Bathinda, lifted the overall trophy at the state-level inter-polytechnic youth fest held recently. In a press statement issued here today, principal Yadwinder Singh stated that in the folk song contest, Lakhvir Singh, a student of the college, secured the first place with his song "Bol Mitti Deya Baweya". The college's choreography team also secured the first place with the item "Watna Nu Wapsi".

Mohit, another student of the college, secured the first place in the fancy dress contest on the theme malnutrition. In the bhangra competition too, the college team secured the first place.

Principal Yadwinder Singh congratulated the winners and the teachers in charge of these groups on their grand success.

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Cultural items lend colour to Adesh University fest
Tribune News Service


Students present a duet dance at the cultural festival organised at Adesh University on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Bathinda, March 5
Cultural competitions were held at the Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (AIMSR) today. Different batches c0ompeted in events like duet dance, playing musical instruments and bhangra.

Principal, AIMSR, Harkiran Kaur congratulated the students for holding the function.

Vice-chancellor of Adesh University Dr GPI Singh, registrar Dr Paramjeet Singh, vice-principal Dr SS Dhaliwal and medical superintendent (administration) Dr Gurpreet Singh Gill were also present at the function. Professor in pathology, Dr VK Dubey, presented classical vocal music. In duet dance, Steffy and Jasmine from the 2009 batch were declared the winners.

The university authorities said that the medical students should also acquire other skills so as to have a integrated personality that will not only help them in their profession but in life as well.

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Six arrested for online gambling
Tribune News Service


Policemen with the accused nabbed during the raid at a gambling den in Bathinda on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Bathinda, March 5
Police has arrested six persons for online gambling by conducting raids at different places in the city. Apart from the seizure of six computers and related apparatus, the police also sealed two shops.

A team from the Civil Lines police station raided the shops adjoining the Fauji Chowk. Police got a tip-off about the claims of doubling the money being made by the owners of the online gambling den.

Police said the accused were cheating the people by making such false claims.

While one shop was locked from the outside, the police arrested six persons from the other shop. A case was being registered at the Civil Lines police station in this regard when the report was last being filed.

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Staff on Pen-down strike
Normal functioning hit in govt departments
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 5
Normal functioning of government offices was hit as employees of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, observed a two-day pen-down strike. Around 125 employees of tehsils, sub-tehsils, sub-divisions and DC office stayed off work on the final day of the strike today.

The agitating employees demanded that the post of superintendent Grade-II in the office of SDMs, should be upgraded.

The finance department had given its nod to upgrade the post of steno-typist to junior scale stenographer, which lies pending since 1989. They also demanded recruitment of ministerial staff at the DC offices in Muktsar, Moga and Nawanshahr as per the nod given in the year 1995. The protesters will participate in a convention to be held at Moga on March 6.

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Woman commits suicide

Bathinda, March 5
A woman today committed suicide by hanging herself near Namdev Nagar. The deceased has been identified as 23-year- old Gaganpreet Kaur. Police have arrested Gaganpreet's husband, brother-in-law and mother-in-law on the basis of a complaint lodged by her family members.

The daughter of Nachhattar Singh of Kotsukhia village in Faridkot, Gaganpreet Kaur was married to Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Amreek Singh road area. The marriage was solemnized a year back. The girl's family members said she was in the family way. The husband repaired sewing machines while her elder brother was a tailor. The family members said she was upset ever since her marriage. Police said further action would be initiated as per the law. TNS

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100 units of blood donated

Bathinda, March 5
Hundred units of blood were collected at the voluntary blood donation camp held at Punjab Technical University Giani Zail Singh campus today.

The NSS unit of the institute, in collaboration with Aasra Welfare Society, organized the camp where the blood bank team of the Civil Hospital, Bathinda collected the units.

Aasra Welfare Society and the District Red Cross Society presented the donors with mementos and refreshments. Blood Transfusion Officer at the Civil Hospital, Dr Inderdeep Singh Sran, told the donors that each unit donated can save three lives. TNS

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