CABINET APPROVES ACQUISITION PACKAGE FOR MOHALI
CHANDIGARH MARCH 20, 2008
The Mohali International Airport today moved closer to realization
as the Punjab Government announced major across the board compensation
to the farmers whose land would be acquired for the purpose.
The farmers would not only be paid a lump sum of Rs.1.5 crore
per acre inclusive of 30% solatium plus 10% no litigation benefit
to the owners but also a waiver of registration fee and stamp
duty on the land that they buy in the state with the compensation
money they received in lieu of the land acquired for the Mohali
International Airport within two years. In addition they would
also be entitled for the facility of a power connection for the
tubewell on priority anywhere in Punjab where they choose to buy
Disclosing this here today, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr.Harcharan
Bains said that a decision to this effect was taken in meeting
of Punjab Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister
Mr. Parkash Singh Badal. He said that the total land to be acquired
was 306 acres and 18 marlas and the financial liability involved
in the entire acquisition process was approximately Rs.460 crore.
The full amount of the compensation would be paid to all the eligible
owners whose land was being acquisitioned positively by 31st March
PUNJAB TO GO FOR PERFORMANCE BASED CONTRACTS FOR
PHASE-II WORLD BANK ROAD PROJECTS- DHINDSA
Chandigarh, March 20: The Punjab Government had decided to implement
performance based contract on 600 Km of its road network in Phase-2
of the World Bank funded Punjab State Road Sector Project.
Speaking in the concluding function of Seminar on Road Asset
Management held by PIARC with the support of Indian Roads Congress
and Govt. of Punjab held at CII today the Punjab PWD Minister
Mr. Parminder Singh Dhindsa said that in growing economy of India
must opt for scientific methods to manage road assets. He said
that the Road Asset Management must involve management of assets
covering use, operation, maintenance and development through continuous
supervision and maintenance of existing road network.
The minister regretted that expensive assets roads were not
being managed properly due to lack of scientific knowledge. He
said that the public authorities responsible for incredibly expensive
and vital assets of the State, must embark upon a plan to build
a Road Asset Management System. The Minister revealed that the
replacement cost of the Punjab Road network was pegged at more
than Rs. 250 billion by conservative estimates and the State must
measure the outcome of this asset by proper asset portfolio.
Mr. Dhindsa said that the main criterion was to maintain a definite
level of service keeping the road user in mind. The options, the
Minister said, should be exercised in such a way that maintenance
levels and the improvements were carried out with ultimate aim
of maintaining the assets for that period. He said that this would
be in contrast with the conventional method of contracting where
the improvements were made to the asset based on the specific
design requirements and the funding was planned/arranged thereafter.
The Minister said that Road Asset Management of a network was
a continuous process and even after the expiry of the contract
period, the network should return to the client with pre-agreed
residual value of the assets.
The PWD Minister said that Road maintaining agencies should treat
these assets in the same manner as private companies treated their
business assets & liabilities and report to government in
a corporate accounting format.
He said that time has come road agencies must transform themselves
in how they go about doing their business. They needed to start
implementing performance based contracts for the construction,
maintenance and upkeep of the roads.
Mr Dhindsa said that the participation of more than 250 participants
from 22 different countries all over the world including USA,
UK, France, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Nigeria, Botswana,
Cape Verde, New Zealand, South Africa, Zambia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka,
Bhutan, Bangladesh Hungary and Israel has provided different facet
to the crucial aspect of road asset management. Earlier Secretary
PWD (B&R) Mr. K A Singh gave a detailed presentation about
STATE ELECTION COMMISSION, PUNJAB
Government of Punjab, Department of Rural Development and Panchayats,
has conveyed vide Memo No.3964 dated 20th March 2008 that Punjab
Vidhan Sabha has unanimously resolved on 19.03.2008 that elections
to Panchayati Raj Institutions be postponed in view of the fact
that election period coincides with the school exams and wheat
harvesting/ marketing. It has been stated that due to weather
conditions, the wheat crop is ripe for harvesting and is likely
to arrive in some markets latest by the beginning of April and
school examinations are also going on. It is further stated State
Election Commission has announced that elections to these Panchayati
Raj Institutions shall be held on 07.04.2008. It is further stated
that General Elections to Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and
Zila Parishads may be postponed and held by 15th May, 2008 in
amendment of the notification dated 27.02.2008.
Earlier, pursuant to the notification dated 27.02.2008, Government
had directed that elections be conducted by 17.04.2008. Subsequently,
the State Election Commission had announced the poll be held on
07.04.2008. The detailed schedule under section 35 of Punjab State
Election Commission Act, 1994 for making nominations etc. has
been sent to the Deputy Commissioners -cum- District Electoral
Officers and is to be formally notified on 24.03.2008.
Proceedings of Punjab Vidhan Sabha also state that farmers and
those associated with farming shall be involved in the wheat harvesting
during the period of elections. It is a fact that farmers are
a major stakeholder in these elections to PRIs and therefore,
their interest and participation cannot be ignored.
It is relevant to mention that the term of Gram Panchayats is
ending in June, 2008 and it shall still be possible to hold the
polls to Gram Panchayats before the expiry of their term if the
proposal of the Government for postponement is accepted. However,
the term of Panchayat Samities and Zila Parishads has ended in
January, 2008 and thus elections to Panchayat Samitis and Zila
Parishads are to be held immediately. In this context, poll reform
bodies/panels including Administrative Reforms Commission have
suggested simultaneous polls to the elected bodies including Panchayati
Raj Institutions. Therefore, based on the recommendation of the
State Government, the decision to conduct simultaneous polls to
Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads is a positive
step which shall hold good for future also.
General Elections to Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and
Zila Parishads cannot be deferred indefinitely. The process of
General Elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions has been set
in motion with the Government Notification of dated 27.02.2008
for holding the poll by 17th April, 2008. Since the State Government
has communicated vide Memo No. 3964 dated 20th March 2008 to conduct
the General Elections by 15th May 2008, it is to be decided if
the poll announced to be held on 07.04.2008 can be postponed to
a date prior to 15.05.2008.
Accordingly, in exercise of powers vested in the State Election
Commission in term of Article 243K Constitution of India read
with Section 3 of the Punjab State Election Commission Act, 1994,
the General Elections to Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and
Zila Parishads are postponed to a date on or before 15.05.2008.
Exact date of poll shall be announced later and detailed programme
under Section 35 of the Punjab State Election Commission Act,
1994 shall be notified separately. With this postponement, the
Model Code of Conduct shall be no longer in force and shall be
imposed only after the announcement of fresh date of poll to Gram
Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads.
34TH ANNUAL CONVOCATION OF THE GNDU AMRITSAR
PUNJAB GOVERNOR CALLS FOR RESTRUCTURING UNIVERSITIES
BY INTRODUCING INNOVATIVE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES
Amritsar, March 20: The Punjab Governor and Chancellor of Guru
Nanak Dev University, while presiding over the 34th Annual Convocation
of the University here today, strongly advocated the need for
restructuring and reorientation of our Universities and other
Education Institutions by introducing innovative programmes to
enable our students to face the emerging challenges of the future
and meet the needs of the new resurgent India. It is time for
us to have a hard look at existing educational programmes and
policies and to then take corrective measures, in view of the
changing social economic scenario.
The Governor further said that even after 60 years of independence,
we are still following the educational strategies which were evolved
by the British Raj to suit their own needs. We have to help our
youth to develop their potential and to enable them to face the
modern challenges. He said that our academicians and educationists
have an important role to play in the education reform process
and emphasized the need for a constant performance audit and periodical
analysis of our academic missions, to identify short comings and
inadequacies. He appealed to the luminaries and members of academic
councils to act as catalysts and to create new opportunities for
our youth in different disciplines of education, research and
Gen. Rodrigues further said that our country is on the move
and has emerged as one of the leading nations of the world. He
said that our people have the talent, capabilities and capacities
and they have demonstrated their strength in various countries,
in hostile environments. The future belongs to India and vast
opportunities are surfacing. Our Universities therefore have a
special responsibility to equip our youth with the appropriate
skills to come up to the required standard. He said that we must
utilize all resources available at our disposal to explore and
develop the potential of our students by stretching their abilities
through innovative programmes.
Stressing the need for bringing about more transparency accountability
and responsiveness in our administrative systems, Gen. Rodrigues
said that we have to change our vision, mindsets and attitudes
and work hard for the benefit of the society. He said that we
all must work together and put Punjab first, in our endeavour.
The Governor presented Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) degrees
to an eminent educationist of India, Dr. Amrik Singh, former Vice-Chnacellor
of Punjabi University, Patiala and a distinguished Punjabi Novelist,
Mr. Jaswant Singh Kanwal bestowed by the Guru Nanak Dev University.
Dr. Amrik Singh has been awarded the honorary degree of D.Lit.
in recognition of his contribution to the field of education and
literature. Mr. Jaswant Singh Kanwal was conferred the honorary
degree of D.Lit. in recognition of his commendable contribution
in the field of language and literature. He also presented degress
and medals to about 650 students on this occasion.
In his Convocation Address, Dr. Amrik Singh said there has to
be close and creative interaction between the students and their
teachers. No educational system could prosper unless this interaction
takes place consistently. He said there is no educational system
of the world which has flourished without the teachers playing
a decisive role in the formulation and implementation of educational
policies. The biggest weakness of our university system is the
comparative absence of this role by the teachers.
Dr. Amrik Singh Said that a substantial proportion of decision
making at the university level is handled by the administration
and not by the teachers. What was required was to change both
the structure and the mode of educational governance. Meanwhile,
the relentless expansion of numbers has diluted everything with
the result that we are still groping for the right way to function.
He said that the quality of higher education has degenerated.
Higher education is meaningless unless the endeavour is to aim
at a high quality of performance. Every other country in the world,
the attempt is to improve standards of performance as compared
to yesterday but that is not happening in our country. This is
the crisis which we have to resolve and it could be resolved only
by adopting a new approach
He said if the focus is shifted from legal approval to academic
assessment, things would start changing. Since its inception the
NAAC has evaluated the performance of 150 Universities and almost
3,000 Colleges. Most institutions have benefited from undergoing
the exercise of assessment and accreditation. If the existing
methodology continues to be consistently applied and more and
more institutions are brought into its network the outcome is
likely to be much better than it has been so far.
While welcoming the Chancellor and other dignitaries, Prof. Jai
Rup Singh said Guru Nanak Dev University has gained genuine and
remarkable progress in research and teaching in all of its faculties.
This University is internationally recognized for its academics
excellence and research potential. He said besides promoting high-end
technology, the University is also focusing on rural areas and
are proposing special job-oriented programmes for its rural colleges.
The University has diversified, starting from religious studies
to nano technology to provide the Punjab State all the infrastructure
it needs for development.
Professor Jai Rup Singh said new courses in Biomedical Engineering,
Cardiothoracic Physiotherapy, Electronics Communication System,
Medical Jurisprudence and other Self-financing courses are being
started during the new session. This year the University has spent
about Rs. 2 crores for providing Fiber Optic Connectivity and
Wi-Fi Networking on the campus. The facility of Video Conferencing
has also been made functional at the Campus. Keeping in view its
responsibilities for the environmental protection, the University
would soon become the first zero waste-water discharge university
of the State.
Dr. Jaswant Singh Knawal and Dr. Amrik Singh on this occasion
also shared their experiences of their lives with the degree recipients.
They also expressed their gratitude for honoring them on this
More than 650 degrees and medals of various disciplines including
Ph.Ds., M.Phil., MBA, M.Tech., MCA, LL.M., M.Lib., MBE., M.Com.,
M.Sc., M.A., B.Tech., B.Sc., BCA, LL.B., B.Lib. etc. were awarded
at this Convocation. Governor of Punjab and Chancellor awarded
the Post-Graduate degrees while the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Jai Rup
Singh conferred Under-Graduate degrees.
Humiliation to senior Indian
Forest Service Officer by Hoshiarpur Police
The Indian Forest Service Association, Punjab called on Sh. Tikshan
Sood, Minister of Forests & Wildlife Preservation to apprise
him about a conspiracy in which Sh. Harbhajan Singh, IFS, Conservator
of Forests, Shiwalik Circle, Punjab was harassed in presence of
his subordinates by Hoshiarpur Police.
Earlier, it was brought to the notice of Association that a senior
IFS officer Sh. Harbhajan Singh; Conservator of Forests, Shiwalik
Circle, Punjab, Chandigarh has been meted out with a uncalled
for harassment amounting to raiding his official car and carrying
thorough searching in the presence of his subordinates while performing
his official duty on 14.3.2008. To the knowledge of Association,
all this was done when he had doing annual inspection of his subordinate
offices in Hoshiarpur district as per planned and approved tour
programme. The informed sources have revealed that merely on the
basis of a frivolous complaint made by some disgruntled elements,
police ASI Sh. Paramjit Singh of Garhiwala Police Station pursued
the official car of the Conservator of Forests to Dholbaha Rest
House where he searched it while the officer was inspecting Dholbaha
Range office. Whereas the identity of the officer was evident
in the presence of his subordinates. The identity of the official
car was made known to the ASI showing proper papers, even then
it failed to pacify the police party who searched each and every
part of the vehicle and the personal belongings sparing not even
the engine of the vehicle. The sources point out the police party
was working on the theory of a hawala racket and living in a in
a fools’ paradise. The Association strongly believes that
there was a conspiracy to frame the officer in some false case,
however, the presence of mind of the forest officer failed their
attempt. This kind of highhandedness of the police is known to
the public, but this type of treatment to a high rank officer
is hitherto unknown.
The Association wanted to know what were the prima facie behind
the scene to search the officer’s car and his personal belongings.
The Association has also come to know that no proper orders were
obtained by the searching party as per rules. The Association
therefore demanded stringest of disciplinary action against he
erring police officers for crossing the limits of decency, civility
and causing humiliation to the officer. The Association strongly
condemned it is unfortunate incident and further demanded to take
appropriate measures so as not to sabotage the freedom of the
Forest Officers in future as they are engaged in the silent and
pious work of protecting trees and saving environment.
Sh. Teekshan Sood Forest Minister accepted the demand of the Association
and further agreed to provide security to all the forest officers
on duty on the pattern of Excise and Taxation Department. The
Hon’ble Minister also assured that an enquiry into this
unfortunate incident shall be made and the culprit brought to
book so that such incidents do not happen in the future.
19.3.2008 (R.K.Luna) I.F.S.
President, I.F.S. Association (Punjab Chapter)
Chief Conservator of Forests,
Working Plan, M&E. and Research,
Senior Superintendent of Police,
Subject: Details of the incident of Police raid on the official
vehicle (Regd. No. CH-01-G-1718) of the Conservator of Forests,
Shiwalik Circle, Punjab Chandigarh during the Official Annual
Inspection of Dholbaha range of Hoshiarpur Forest Division.
A very unfortunate incident of sudden and uncalled for police
raid on the official vehicle of the Conservator of Forests, Shiwalik
circle, Punjab, Chandigarh took place during annual official inspection
at the Dholbaha Forest Rest House- where the official vehicle
of Conservator of Forests, Shiwalik Circle, Punjab was parked
in the Hoshiarpur Forest division on 14th March, 2008. The chronological
details of the incident are as under:
1. An official inspection of the Dholbaha Forest Range, under
the charge of Paramjeet Singh, Range Officer, was scheduled to
be held on 14th March, 2008. The decision regarding this inspection
was communicated at around 3:30 pm on 13th March, 2008 during
the Divisional Inspection of the Hoshiarpur Forest Division. It
is worth mentioning that the requisite official documents of the
Dholbaha Forest Range were not available at the Divisional headquarters
during the annual office inspection.
2. A thorough inspection of the Hoshiarpur Forest Division was
thus conducted on 13th March 2008 which continued till 9:30 pm.
Thereafter the Conservator of Forests went to the Forest Rest
House, Bassi Jana, Hoshiarpur and stayed there for the night to
take up the inspection of the Dasuya Forest Division on the forenoon
of 14th March, 2008. After completion of the said annual inspection
at Dasuya Forest Division, the Conservator of Forests, Shiwalik
Circle, Punjab started for the Dholbaha Forest Range Office for
its scheduled office inspection.
3. The Conservator of Forests had reached Dholbaha Forest Rest
house in the Dholbaha Range at around 3:40 pm. The Divisional
Forest Officer, Hoshiarpur Sh. Sewa Singh, IFS accompanied by
Sh. Vishal Chauhan, IFS, Dy. Divisional Forest Officer also reached
the Forest Rest House, Dholbaha. In addition to this the staff
of Forest Range Dholbaha i.e., Paramjeet Singh, Range Officer,
Dholbaha, Chaman Lal, Block Officer Dherian Block, Manjeet Singh,
Block Officer Manhota Block, Paramjeet Singh, Block Officer Koi
Block, Parminder Singh Forest Guard, Jaswinder singh Forest Guard,
Surjeet Singh, Forest Guard were also present at the Forest Rest
House Dholbaha during the inspection. After a brief halt at the
Forest Rest House- (which is adjacent to the Forest Range Offices
Dholbaha), the Conservator of Forests accompanied by the Divisional
Forest Officer, Dy. Divisional Forest Officer, Range Officer,
Block Officer Manjeet Singh and Daily wager Patwari Ravinder Kumar
went to the office of the Forest Range Dholbaha to start the scheduled
4. The inspection was started but suddenly (just about after 10
minutes of the start of the inspection) Forest Guard Jaswinder
came running to the Range Office and informed the CF and other
officers present there that a Police Party comprising of 5 members
and headed by ASI Paramjeet of Garhdiwala Police Station, has
come to the Forest Rest House Dholbaha and has gheraod the official
vehicle (Regd. No. CH-01-G-1718. The officers present first took
it lightly as a possible misunderstanding and did not immediately
react to this. But after a few minutes, Forest Guard Jaswinder
again rushed into the Range Office and informed that it seems
to be a serious matter as the ASI Paramjeet Singh was making frantic
calls to his superiors that they have “caught” the
vehicle and are carrying out the further “proceedings”
as required. He immediately searched the vehicle and ordered the
driver of the car to open the Dicki, which was complied by the
driver. They also got opened and checked the suitcase of the Conservator
of Forests, the bag of the Steno Sh. Swaran Singh as well as the
luggage of the driver for any “incrimatory evidence”.
They also thoroughly checked the seats, dash board, water camper,
5. As there seemed to be some serious misunderstanding, the Dy.
Divisional Forest Officer Vishal Chauhan IFS took along the Range
Officer and went to the scene and requested ASI Paramjeet Singh
to inform in detail as to what the matter was? The ASI said that
after thorough checking only he will disclose what the matter
is. He also said that the said car was waived to be stop at the
Dosadka Naka on Dasuya road by the same police party, but the
car did not stop, to which the driver replied that no such signal
to stop the car was given by anyone on the road. The ASI was requested
that full co-operation in the investigation shall be provided
but he has to reveal what the matter was. On being repeatedly
requested he said that the ambassador car with Reg no. CH-01-G-1718
(the official vehicle of the CF), is suspected to be displaying
the no. CH-01-G-1718, which is actually a “fake number”
plate and this is a “fake official car” suspected
to be carrying Hawala Currency. Then a call was also made to the
SSP Hoshiarpur by the Dy. DFO informing him about the unfortunate
incident that a police party under the jurisdiction of Dy. S.P.
Dasuya led by ASI Paramjeet of Garhdiwala Police Station had gheraod
and checked the official vehicle of the Conservator of Forests,
Shiwalik Circle, Punjab suspecting that it was not an “official
vehicle”, but a vehicle displaying fake number plate no.
CH-01-G-1718 and carrying Hawala Currency. SSP Hoshiarpur after
being seized of the entire matter opined that it seems that a
fake and mischievous complaint which has been lodged by some one
with the Police Control Room.
6. The police team headed by ASI withdrew from the scene only
after the ASI had made a thorough search and communicated with
7. The inspection of the Dholbaha Forest range was completed.
The Conservator of Forests then left Dholbaha at around 5:15 pm
and around 5:25 pm, the CF’s car was again stopped about
5 km short of Hariana near Kandi Canal by another police party,
headed by an ASI. The DFO’s Official Gypsy also reached
the scene and again the police party was explained about the vehicle
checking incident by another police party at Dholbaha. He talked
to his superiors about the matter to satisfy himself before letting
the vehicle proceed further. It is apparent that some criminal
and mischivious elements have deliberately given false information
to the police with a design to browbeat senior forest officials
so that desist from visiting field.
I have to therefore request you to register an FIR and have this
case investigated so that designs of these criminal elements can
be exposed and they can be brought to book.
Divisional Forest Officer,
Hoshiarpur Forest Division,
Endst. No. Dated:
A copy of above is forwarded to following for immediate necessary
1. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Punjab, Chandigarh.
2. Chief Conservator of Forests (Hills) Punjab, Chandigarh.
3. Conservator of Forests, Shiwalik Circle, Punjab, Chandigarh.
4. District Magistrate, Hoshiarpur.
Divisional Forest Officer,
Hoshiarpur Forest Division,
The Financial Commissioner and Secretary,
Forests & Wildlife Preservation Department,
(Through proper channel)
Subject: Humiliation of senior Indian Forest Service Officer
by Hoshiarpur police.
* * *
It is brought to your kind notice that on 14.03.2008 when the
undersigned was doing the annual office inspection of Dholbaha
Forest Range at about 3.40 pm in the presence of DFO Hoshiarpur
and his subordinate officials, a very unfortunate incident happened
which had perturbed me immensely. After my arrival at Dholbaha,
as I immediately started office inspection, after a while, it
was reported through a subordinate that my official car CH-OI-G-1718
was being searched by a police party needed by ASI Sh. Paramjit
Singh of Gardiwala Police Station. On being questioned the ASI
replied that he will reveal the position only after the thorough
checking. At the same time telephonic inquiry made by Sh. Vishal
Chauhan, IFS from SSP Hoshiarpur revealed that the same car was
suspected to be displaying the fake number as well as carrying
Hawala currency and therefore the checking. The police party kept
on checking each and every space of the vehicle including dicky,
engine and personal belongings for quite a long time. The police
party withdrew from the scene only after ASI had made a thorough
search and communicated the result to his superiors. After the
completion of the office inspection, when I was returning to Chandigarh,
my car was again stopped near Kandi Canal 5 km short of Hariana.
Here another police party wanted to search the vehicle. On being
told about its earlier search by ASI Gardiwala, this party
relented only after telephonically cross checking about the checking
and only then allowed the vehicle to go. All this incident points
out that some very deep rooted criminal conspiracy was being hatched
out to involve me in some false case on the basis of some frivolous
complaint to the police by vested interests. It is also apparent
that some mischievous persons with criminal intentions were working
behind the scene to dissuade me from making proper office inspection.
These kind of incidents give support to the disgruntled and mischievous
persons whereas they cause humiliation and harassment to officers
trying to safeguard public interest instead of bowing to the mischievous
elements within the Forest Department. These elements need to
curbed and weeded out to make the working safe and honest.
I therefore humbly request you to use your good offices and request
the D.G.P. to thoroughly probe the conspiracy behind the scene
and as also to take action against the erring police officers
involved in the incident and causing undue harassment and humiliation