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Punjab Govt
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 land.

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 2008.



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 the seminar.


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.



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 developmental programmes.

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 august occasion.

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,
Punjab, Chandigarh.

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 office inspection.
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, bonnet etc.
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 his superiors.
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 action please:
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,
Punjab, Chandigarh.

(Through proper channel)

Subject: Humiliation of senior Indian Forest Service Officer by Hoshiarpur police.

* * *
Respected Sir,

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 to me.

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