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Surinder Kumar Goyal presented state award

Chandigarh, September 12, 2008

Mr. Surinder Kumar Goyal, Chief Engineer (Retd.) was today presented the state award by Mr. Suresh Kumar, Secretary, Irrigation and Power Punjab as Mr. Goyal was unable to reach at the State level function held at Ludhiana on Independence Day.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mr. Goyal has worked in the Department of Irrigation Punjab for over 36 years. He has worked relentlessly in protecting the water rights of people of Punjab. After his superannuation, he has been engaged as Consultant to advise the Government in matters concerning Inter-State River Waters. His techno-legal submissions and advice has largely and effectively enabled the State in protecting its river waters.

Mr. Goyal played a pivotal role in preparing the Punjab Termination of Agreements Act, 2004 and thereafter the submissions of State Government before the Supreme Court of India in defending the Act and the State against other conceited acts of our neighbouring States to deny Punjab its legitimate water in the Supreme Court of India.


Sukhbir fires flurry of posers to Amarinder

Chandigarh September 12, 2008

The Shiromani Akali Dal president Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal today unleashed a barrage of discomforting questions against the "tainted and disgraced ex-leader of the Congress , Captain Amarinder Singh, and said that the former Chief Minister should come clean on the facts revealed in the House Committee report on the Rs 360 crore corruption deal instead of taking shelter behind litigatory hair-splitting.

Mr. Badal also chided the former Chief Minister for "roaring like a circus tiger on his willingness to face jail and yet shrieking like decrepit an old fox and scurrying from one lawyer to another to secure anticipatory bail." It is sad to see the brave Captain fleeing the country within hours of any crises he faces. We wish he had the courage of Sardar Parkash Singh Badal who refused to come out of jail on bail even when his daughter was getting married," said Sukhbir.

The Akali leader fired a series of hard hitting questions at Captain Singh about the latter's indictment on charges of massive Rs. 360 crore corruption in the Amritsar Improve Trust (AIT) land scandal.

Expressing "utter amazement on the Congress leader's plea that 'corruption committed during the life of the previous legislature could not be probed by the present House', Mr. Badal asked, "Does murder or rape or an act of corruption cease to be that merely because there had been a change of government or a new assembly is in place ? Is it Amarinder's case that a Vidhan Sabha can act only when his own party happened to be in a majority? The Constitution of India may well have to be amended to accommodate Amarinder's royal views on politics. Is he really so sublimely unaware of the expulsion of the Members of the Parliament in the 'cash for query' case with the Congress led UPA in power at the centre? The Maharaja indeed has a selective memory," said Sukhbir.

Continuing his barrage of pointed queries, Mr. Badal asked Amarinder to come clean whether or not the agenda regarding the (REPEAT agenda regarding the) the Amritsar Improvement Trust was tampered with to carry out the Rs 360 crore land sell out? If it was tampered with, then who did it, at whose instance and who was the principal beneficiary? Was the state of Punjab not robbed of over Rs 400 crore in the entire deal? If it was, then whose pockets were lined with this money?

Mr. Badal also asked Amarinder to clarify whether or not the previous Vidhan Sabha had decided to set up a House Committee to inquire into allegations of corruption in the case? Did the then speaker not announce the setting up of this Committee on the floor of the House in the presence of Amarinder himself? If that was the case, then why and under whose pressure was the decision unconstitutionally shelved by tampering with the record of the most august and highest seat of democratic authority? Who ordered the tampering, with what aim and for whose benefit? Mr. Sukhbir Singh wanted Amarinder to tell the people of Punjab.

Mr. Badal also wanted Amarinder Singh to reply categorically to the People of Punjab whether or not the former Chief Minister had violated the policy laid down by his own government to give exemption to 32.10 acres of land in the controversial deal? "Did you not persistently and consistently over-rule the logical and legal objections by officials at every stage and at every level in this deal? Why was this done? Asked Sukhbir

The SAD president asked whether or not the decision to set up a committee was taken unanimously by the present House in the presence of Leader of the Opposition and Amarinder himself ?"Did the Congress party not nominate its members to the Committee and did these members not take active part in the proceedings of the Committee during the investigation? Did they at any stage raise any objections about the validity and constitutionality or even fairness of the Committee? If not, then what really is the hue and cry now about?

Mr. Sukhbir went on to ask why no member of the Congress party had so far contested the findings of the Committee and why had they confined themselves to raising legalistic queries about its jurisdiction. "Not even Amarinder has questioned the basic facts brought out by the Committee. All he is saying that this Committee had no right to unearth his corruption. A funny argument indeed." Mr. Badal asked Captain Amarinder Singh must address himself to details of the corrupt deal instead of trying to prevaricate, evade and confuse the issue through litigatory approach.

13 Engineers of PWD B&R and Mandi Board Suspended for Poor Quality of Roads

Chandigarh, September 12, 2008

In an unprecedented move to ensure quality control in the public utilities, the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today placed under suspension 13 engineers of PWD (B&R) and Punjab Mandi Board for poor quality of roads following an inquiry report submitted by the technical Advisor to the Punjab Government Lt. Gen. (Retd.) B.S Dhaliwal who headed a 3- Member Committee comprising Chief Engineer cum Director (quality control) PWD and Director Quality Control Punjab Mandi Board.

Disclosing this here today Chief Minister's Media Advisor, Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the Chief Minister had directed the committee to thoroughly probe in to the matter and fix accountability of the erring officers/ officials involved in the poor quality of construction of roads. The enquiry committee had recommended to get the Ajnala- Ramdass and Amritsar- Dhandbir Road constructed through the PWD B&R and Naushera Pannuan-Lohe ke kalan through Mandi Board Banga- Garh Shankar road constructed under Pardhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna repaired by the concerned contractors with in two months at their on risk and cost as per the indemnity bond submitted by them at the time of the allotment of work.

Mr. Bains further said the officers / officials placed under suspension included., Executive Engineer Sarbjit Singh, Sub-Divisional Engineer Parmjit Singh & Ajay Kumar, Junior Engineers for the poor quality of surfacing of Ajnala- Ramdass and Amritsar- Dhandbir Road. Likewise Executive Engineer V.K Dhir, Sub- Divisional Engineer Major Singh, Junior Engineer Ashok Kumar and Executive Engineer (Retd.) Ashok Lakanpal of Mandi Board for the poor quality of Naushera Pannuan-Lohe ke kalan road. Similarly Executive Engineer Arun Kumar, Ashdeep Singh, SDO Tarsem Raj and Junior Engineer Rajinder Singh had been place under suspension for the braking of Banga- Garh Shankar road.


Chandigarh September 12, 2008

A Special Lok Adalat would be organised on Saturday 13th September at Ludhiana along with its sub-divisions under the Chairmanship of Sh. Sh. G.K. Rai, District and Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman, District Legal Services Authority, Ludhiana.

Disclosing this here today Mr. G.S.Bakshi Member Secretary, Punjab Legal Services Authority said that in this Special Lok Adalat is being graced by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Mehtab S. Gill -cum-Executive Chairman, Punjab Legal Services Authority.

In this Special Lok Adalat a total no. of 31 Benches/Courts would be set up out of which 27 benches for district Ludhiana, 2 benches for Jagraon, one bench for Samrala and Khanna each would be set up. He further added that in this Special Lok Adalat a total number of 18052 pending and pre-litigative cases would be taken up for disposal.

He added that this Special Lok Adalat is a good opportunity for litigants to dispose of their cases by amicable settlement. The award passed in Lok Adalat is final and no appeal shall lie against these awards. Similar Special Lok Adalats are also being held at various other Districts of Punjab.

Giving schedule of special Lok Adalats to be organized in the various districts, he added that a special Lok Adalat would be held at Patiala 27th September, Amritsar 25th October, Kapurthala 15th November, and Hoshiarpur on 29th November 2008.

He disclosed that since the authority was constituted in February 2008, the PLSA had organized 4797 Lok Adalats up to June, 2008. In these Lok Adalats, 7,04,064 cases were taken up, out of which 3,88,728 cases were settled by way of compromise and the litigant parties were awarded compensation to the tune of Rs. 1135,14,69,756/-.

He further stated that during the period from 1998 to June 2008, the PLSA had also provided free legal aid to 32,200 persons that include 3914 SC/STs, 16302 jail inmates, 4017 women and children and 7967 poor persons.


Chandigarh September 12, 2008

The Union Government had cleared the way for bringing former Chief Director Vigilance Bureau Punjab Mr. A.P.Pandey as Director General at the Centre by clearing the case of his empanelment at PMO level.

According to sources other than Pandey, 13 more IPS officers of 1974 Batch were also empanelled by the Government of India as DGs. There are 67 IPS officers of this batch but only 14 officers were inducted into this panel. Those empanelled included police chiefs of seven states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

Sources said that in a year's time, at least 6 top posts in central forces are likely to get vacant and the above mentioned seven police chiefs, including an Additional Director CBI of Tamilnadu cadre are unlikely to move on central deputation, the later is also superannuating within this year. It is likely that Mr. Pandey could get top post central forces if Punjab Government relieves him from his present posting as DG/VB, PSEB Patiala.


Chandigarh September 12, 2008

S. Bikram Singh Majithia, Science, Technology, Environment & NCES Minister today said that the Punjab Government has embarked upon a ambitious plan to tap the potential of 275 MW Power from the Mini Hydel projects at the canal falls and tail race of existing Hydel channel etc. in the State.

Mr. Majithia was addressing a function after laying the Foundation Stone of five mini hydel projects with total 5.3 MW capacity costing to Rs.57 crore being executed on Abohar branch of Sirhind canal at Khanpur bridge (RD23110), in district Ludhiana today. The five Hydel projects were being executed at bridge-cum-falls of canal at Khanpur (1.1MW capacity) at a cost of Rs. 12.60 crore , Sudhar (1.4 MW capacity) at a cost of Rs. 13.20 crore, Akhara (capacity 1.1 MW) at the cost of Rs. 12.50 crores, Gholian (capacity 0.8 MW) at a cost of Rs. 9.50 crore and Channuwal (capacity of 0.9 MW) costing to Rs. 9.20 crore. M/s Abohar Power Generation Limited, a reputed company in Hydel Power generation promised to complete the execution of the projects within a period of one year positively.

Giving further details of the plan, the Minister informed that out of the total 275 MW capacity at the canal falls and tail race of existing hydel channel etc., 29.55 MW capacity project both in the government and private sector are in operation and many more projects of 34.5 MW capacity are under execution. He explained that so far the hydraulic head upto 1.8 mt has been exploited and most of the remaining sites on the canal falls have ultra low head below 1.5 mt. The technologies are being identified suitable for Ultra Low Head to harness the entire available hydro potential on the canal falls in the State. He said that these projects shall generate lot of direct and indirect employment in the State and improve the quality of power in the rural areas.

Mr. Majithia said that Hydro power is an established technology that can contribute the worldwide demand for an increasing level of power supplied from renewable energy sources and generate power with no emissions. He said that Small Scale Hydro Power projects can provide economically attractive power generation options at many locations with high level availability over a long operating he added.

The Minister said that Mini Hydel projects on Abohar Branch Canal off-takes from Bowani Head works near Doraha designed to carry 90 cusecs of water. Four mini hydel projects at Chupki, Narangwal, Tugal and Dalla of PEDA with total 5.5 MW capacity were already in operation with the World Bank funding. He claimed that during the coming four years the target of generating of 100 MW from hydel projects will be achieved at a cost of Rs. 1000 crore.

Mr. Majithia further said that NRSE Policy-2006 has been formulated by the State Government for providing Fiscal and Financial incentives to the Private Entrepreneurs/ Developers for development of the Renewable Energy Projects in the State, under which PEDA has planned to exploit the Renewable Energy Power potential form Biomass of 350 MW at cost of Rs. 1500 crore, the tenders for which had already been floated.

Elaborating the future plans of PEDA Mr. Majithia said that Punjab has become the first state in country by targeting to generate 500 MW solar power. He said that 140MW Cogeneration Projects at different locations in the State are in operation and supplying surplus power to the State Grid. He claimed that total 1000 MW power generation will be added from all the renewable energy resources in the State during the coming four years.

Describing the power sector, as the base requirement for the development, the Minister said that during the next four years, power projects of 8000 MW capacity were being executed approximately at a cost of Rs 50,000/- crore in private sector making the state power surplus. He said that the work on 1st Thermal Power Project of 1980 MW capacity costing to Rs 10000 crore at Talwandi Sabo had been started. He added that the work on three more thermal power projects at Gowindwal Sahib of 600 MW, at Rajpura of 1500 MW capacity and at Giderwaha of 2640 MW capacity was being started shortly.

Sh.T P S Sidhu, Chief Executive, PEDA, Sh. Manpreet Singh Ayali Chairman Zila Parishad, S. Gurmail Singh Sangowal member SGPC, Sh.Balour Singh, Director, PEDA and Sh.Parmodh Arora Executive Director, M/s Abohar Hydro Power also spoke on this occasion.


Chandigarh, September12, 2008

The Punjab Government today constituted a Search Committee for appointment of new Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, as the term of present incumbent Dr. Ravinder Singh is ending on October 23, 2008.

According to Mr. Tikshan Sud, Medical Education & Research Minister a High Level Search Committee, with Prof. J.S. Bajaj, Vice Chairman State Planning Board, Punjab as Chairman and with Chief Secretary Mr. Ramesh Inder Singh, Prof. K.K.Talwar, Director PGI Chandigarh, Prof. P.K.Dave Former Director, AIIMS New Delhi, Dr. K.S. Chugh, Consultant Nephrologists, Dr. P. Ramachandran, President National Academy of Medical Sciences, Lt. Gen (Retd.) H.L Gulati, Armed Forces Medical Sciences, New Delhi and Secretary Medical Education as Members, has been constituted for this purpose.

Mr. Sud said that Registrar, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences would be the Member Secretary of the Search Committee. He said that the Search Committee has been asked to submit a panel of three names arranged alphabetically within one month for final decision of government.



The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today agreed in principle to implement the Reverse Osmosis (RO) Project in 500 more villages by the Naandi Foundation to provide safe drinking water in the rural areas of the state in view of its encouraging response from the people of the Malwa belt.

Presiding over a meeting to review the progress of the Reverse Osmosis scheme here, Mr. Badal complimented the members of the Naandi team for the successfully launching the community based Reverse Osmosis Safe Drinking Water Scheme in Gidderbaha area. He said that the same scheme would be now replicated in other parts of the state to ensure potable drinking water to the people.

Taking part in the deliberations National Director Naandi Gram Organization Amit Jain pointed out that work on the RO system in 60 villages of Muktsar and Bathinda districts would be completed by November end. He said that Naandi Foundation was already working in eight states on public-private partnership basis on issues related to poverty eradication and community development. He also mentioned that the foundation was running a mid-day meal scheme for the school children and business school to impart training to the unemployed youth to enable them to be gainfully employed.

Mr. Badal asked the Naandi foundation to also launch mid-day meal scheme from one block in the state as a pilot project which could be later on implemented in other blocks of the state to cater the need of nourishment to the school children. The Chief Minister also evinced keen interest in the proposal of business school put forth by the Naandi foundation and asked Mr. Jain to launch this scheme from Bathinda. The business school scheme was aimed at imparting skill development training in the fields of Information Technology, Hospitality and Retail Malls.

Prominent amongst others who were present in the meeting included Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru, Secretary Water Supply & Sanitation PS Aujla, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister KJS Cheema, Additional Principal Secretary Gagandeep Brar besides Regional Manager Operations Safe Drinking Water from Naandi foundation Sandeep Kapoor


Daily Punjab press release