Sunday, January 20, 2019
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Face-off

Sidhu says no to CM on tenders to single bidder

Seeks written directions to ‘tweak’ norm20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

CHANDIGARH: A defiant Local Bodies Minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, today refused to abide by the directions of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for allowing tenders for development works in cases where there is a single bidder.

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Sidhu says no to CM on tenders to single bidderChief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 19

A defiant Local Bodies Minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, today refused to abide by the directions of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for allowing tenders for development works in cases where there is a single bidder.

A spat took place between the two during a meeting of the Chief Minister and MLAs from the south Malwa region here today. Many MLAs are learnt to have complained that people are unhappy with the government for failing to carry out pending works.

The MLAs have complained that while new works are not being allotted, even projects clears by the previous government have remained unfinished after the tenders were cancelled by the Local Bodies Department, headed by Sidhu.

Sidhu said he would not allot any tenders for works if there was a single bidder. Though the Chief Minister is learnt to have asked Sidhu that there is no legal bar on allotting singe bid tenders, the latter insisted that he would do it “if the CM gives me these directions in writing”. The CM is learnt to have insisted that development works cannot remain in limbo.

Sources say Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar intervened and said the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) was the executing agency for unfinished works started by the previous government, so the issue of restarting these after releasing dues of contractors should be brought before the Board for approval.

The Chief Minister is the chairman of the PIDB. For allotting new works to a single bidder, it was decided to form a committee of four officers, including Chief Principal Secretary, Chief Secretary and top officers in the finance and local bodies departments, who would take a call on how to allot the works.

Among other complaints the MLAs lodged was the growing resentment among Dalits. They said they were unhappy with the Congress for its inability to release the post-matric scholarship funds and due to high power bills.

During the SAD-BJP regime, almost 18 lakh Dalit consumers were getting 200 units free. But in the past two years, there has been a cap. Only those Dalit consumers get this free power whose annual consumption is less than 3,000 units and have a sanctioned power load of only up to 1 kW.


Zira skips meet

MLA Kulbir Singh Zira, who was suspended for indiscipline, did not attend the meeting on Saturday. Though he was at the Punjab Bhawan, where the meeting took place, he reportedly kept sitting with Punjab affairs incharge Asha Kumari in a separate room.


Rs 202-cr grant for Malwa districts

  • The CM announced a development grant of Rs 202.35 crore for strengthening infrastructure in Bathinda, Faridkot, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Moga, Mansa, Sangrur and Muktasar districts.
  • MLAs again raised the issue of Gaurdians of Governance becoming a power unto themselves.

Laddi meets CAPT, seeks apology

  • Congress MLA from Sri Hargobindpur Balwinder Laddi, who stirred a row by saying Partap Bajwa would be the next CM, on Saturday apologised to Capt Amarinder.
  • Sources say Laddi met the CM along with Qadian MLA Fateh Jang Bajwa. He is learnt to have denied that he said anything against the CM.
Kejriwal rally in Barnala today, to sound poll bugle

Kejriwal rally in Barnala today, to sound poll bugle

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

BARNALA: National convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal will harp on development in Delhi as he addresses the party’s first rally ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, in Barnala on Sunday.

Not AAP, Khaira out to harm state’s interests: Sanjay Singh

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

LUDHIANA: Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesman for the AAP Sanjay Singh, while ruling out alliance with the Congress at the national or state level, stated that the AAP would go it alone in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections in four states — Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Goa.

Ex-sarpanch’s son shot dead, Akalis hold protest

Ex-sarpanch’s son shot dead, Akalis hold protest

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

DEREA BABA NANAK: Six assailants allegedly shot dead Rachpal Singh, son of former SAD Sarpanch Gurdeep Singh, at Padde village here. The police have registered a case under Sections 302, 148, 149 IPC and Arms Act against Sukhdev Singh, Lali, Balraj Singh, Harjeet Singh, Sanjampreet Singh and Jasbir Singh.

SC allows deposition of witness in Tank case

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

ABOHAR: The Supreme Court, while disposing of the special leave petition (SLP) filed by slain Dalit youth Bhim Tank’s mother Kaushalya Devi, has directed that the proposed witness Akash and any other witness may be examined within a period of one month from the next date before the trial court (District and Sessions Courts, Fazilka).

Not limo, roadways bus for NRI wedding

Not limo, roadways bus for NRI wedding

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

JALANDHAR: As most couples like to splurge on their weddings to make it a big show, an NRI bride and groom of Nawanshahr has set a unique example of keeping the occasion simple, yet memorable.

30 Sikh bodies to hold drive for ‘apolitical’ SGPC

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

JALANDHAR: Members of the Darbar-e-Khalsa and Alliance of Sikh Organisations today sought the reopening of the 2007 case against convicted head of the Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim, wherein he insulted Sikh sentiments by wearing attire similar to Guru Gobind Singh at an event at his Salabatpura dera.

Capt to lay stone of lift irrigation scheme on Jan 24

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

ANANDPUR SAHIB: Local MLA and Speaker Rana KP Singh today said thousands of residents living in nearly two dozen villages in the Changar area near Anandpur Sahib are likely to get major relief as the Chief Minister is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the lift irrigation scheme for the area on January 24.

Livestock contest put off post disease ‘outbreak’

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

CHANDIGARH: After six suspected cases of foot-and-mouth disease among animals were reported, the state government has postponed the 11th National Livestock Championship for an indefinite period.

Amritsar to Doon flight from today

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

AMRITSAR: With the commencement of the daily Amritsar-Dehradun flight by SpiceJet from Sunday, domestic connectivity from Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport is all set to increase.

Briefly

Majithia distributes uniform to students

20 Jan 2019 | 6:40 AM

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Former SAD minister Bikram Singh Majithia has launched a drive of the Youth Akali Dal of distributing uniforms and shoes to needy students of government schools in the state.

Cold weather continues to prevail in Punjab, Haryana

Cold weather continues to prevail in Punjab, Haryana

19 Jan 2019 | 1:39 PM

CHANDIGARH: Cold weather conditions continued to prevail in most parts of Punjab and Haryana on Saturday. However, the night temperatures rose a few degrees above normal in several parts.

Cong trying to divide SAD: Majithia

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

AMRITSAR: Senior SAD leader Bikram Majithia today alleged that the Punjabi Ekta Party and the Aam Aadmi Party were the B team of the Congress.

BRIEFLY

Farmers stage protest

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

Muktsar: A large number of farmers on Friday protested outside the district administrative complex demanding back the blank cheques given to commission agents and banks.

State to recommend 9 names for DGP post

State to recommend 9 names for DGP post

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: In an apparent move to avoid further controversy on the selection of the Director General of Police (DGP), the state government has decided to send a panel of all nine eligible DGP-rank officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) instead of the requisite panel of five officers.

Youth shoots himself dead

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

ABOHAR: Arvind Bishnoi (28) reportedly shot himself dead at his house in Likhamisar village of Hanumangarh on Thursday.

Gang of extortionists busted in Fazilka

Gang of extortionists busted in Fazilka

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

FAZILKA: With the arrest of three women and two men, the Fazilka police claimed to have busted a gang involved in extortion of money by honey trapping people in Jalalabad subdivision of Fazilka district.

15 cattle die in 5 days in Muktsar

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

MUKTSAR: The death of 15 stray cattle in the last five days at a cattle pound at Ratta Tibba village in Malout has raised questions over the functioning of the authorities.

2 killed, 9 hurt in mishaps due to fog

2 killed, 9 hurt in mishaps due to fog

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

ABOHAR: As fog engulfed the region for the second consecutive day, two drivers, one from Bathinda and the other one from Malout, were killed, and nine persons were injured, in road accidents on Friday.

De-addicted youth offers help to nab peddlers

De-addicted youth offers help to nab peddlers

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

SANGRUR: Having wasted lakhs of rupees on ‘chitta’ (heroin) and opium in the last nine and a half years, a 29-year-old de-addicted youth has offered to help anti-drug authorities of the state in arresting drug smugglers.

Varsity staffer accused of sexual harassment

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

AMRITSAR: An assistant professor of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) has alleged sexual harassment by her colleague.

Kartarpur corridor access mode undecided: Centre

Kartarpur corridor access mode undecided: Centre

19 Jan 2019 | 11:10 AM

NEW DELHI: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the mode of access for Indian devotees headed for Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan was yet to be decided by the two countries.

HC notice to medical varsity VC on contempt petition

HC notice to medical varsity VC on contempt petition

19 Jan 2019 | 11:12 AM

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice to Baba Farid University of Health Sciences Vice-Chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur and two other respondents.

Farmers seek full debt waiver

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

SANGRUR: Demanding a complete debt waiver, seven farm organisations on Friday protested in front of the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner’s office.

After 8 yrs, man acquitted in grandson’s murder case

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: Eight years after a maternal grandfather was convicted and sentenced to life for murdering his one-and-a-half-year-old grandson, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has reversed the trial court’s judgment.

68% teachers opt for regular jobs

68% teachers opt for regular jobs

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

PATIALA: With the ongoing tussle between the Education Department and the Sanjha Adhyapak Morcha, the latter seems to be losing the ground as 68 per cent SSA/RMSA teachers have already accepted the government’s offer of regularisation.

Teachers unlikely to get exemption

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: Communication from various teachers’ unions to the Chief Electoral Office (CEO) seeking exemption from election duty, with regard to the Lok Sabha polls, is likely to be turned down as the authorities maintain that teachers are the ideal workforce for the conduct of the elections.

Parties okay with draft poll rolls: CEO

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, Dr S Karuna Raju today held a meeting with representatives of various political parties after the completion of special summary revision of electoral rolls.

Cops on extension can’t be on poll duty, says ECI

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

PATIALA: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) in its directions to all states has cleared that “police officers who are on extension of service or have been re-employed in different capacities will not be associated with election-related work”.

LS polls ahead, expedite works: MLAs to Amarinder

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Local Bodies Department came under fire from Congress MLAs representing urban areas at the Chief Minister’s pre-budget consultation meeting with legislators from the Malwa region.

Collegium rules out Justice Jain’s transfer

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: Nearly four years after Justice Ramendra Jain was appointed Additional Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Supreme Court collegium has ruled out his transfer.

SC remits names of 7 advocates for elevation

19 Jan 2019 | 11:12 AM

CHANDIGARH: More than a year after the Punjab and Haryana High Court Collegium recommended the names of advocates for elevation as HC judges, the Supreme Court Collegium has remitted seven names back to the HC.

Zira meets top brass, wants action undone

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: Three days after Zira MLA Kulbir Singh Zira was suspended for indiscipline, senior Congress leaders today stepped in to get his suspension revoked.

MLA creates flutter, says Bajwa to replace Capt

MLA creates flutter, says Bajwa to replace Capt

19 Jan 2019 | 7:08 AM

GURDASPUR: Balwinder Laddi, Congress MLA from Sri Hargobindpur, publicly claimed that “Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa will become the Chief Minister of Punjab after four months”.

Amarinder announces Rs 208 cr grant for Malwa region

Amarinder announces Rs 208 cr grant for Malwa region

18 Jan 2019 | 10:04 PM

CHANDIGARH: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday announced a development grant of Rs 208.40 crore for funding various infrastructure works in rural and urban areas of several districts in Malwa region.

Congress MLA pitches Partap Bajwa’s name for Punjab CM

Congress MLA pitches Partap Bajwa’s name for Punjab CM

18 Jan 2019 | 7:06 PM

CHANDIGARH: Days after an MLA left the Congress embarrassed with a public outburst, another Punjab legislator has pitched Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa’s name for the chief minister’s post, according to a video clip on social media.

Cold weather conditions continue in Punjab, Haryana

Cold weather conditions continue in Punjab, Haryana

18 Jan 2019 | 12:33 PM

CHANDIGARH: Cold weather conditions continued unabated in Punjab and Haryana on Friday, with night temperatures dropping to several degrees below normal in most parts.

On poll eve, Punjab all set to regularise 37,000 employees

On poll eve, Punjab all set to regularise 37,000 employees

18 Jan 2019 | 2:15 PM

CHANDIGARH:Ahead of the General Election, the Punjab Government is set to regularise the services of 37,000 ad hoc, daily-wage, temporary, work-charged and outsourced employees, who have been on the warpath.

Extension to DGP Arora has govt in fix

Extension to DGP Arora has govt in fix

18 Jan 2019 | 1:49 PM

CHANDIGARH:A day after the Centre allowed eight-month extension in service to Punjab DGP Suresh Arora, he has expressed unwillingness to continue even as the state government has asked the Home Department to set up a panel of five officers to be sent to the Centre for approval as per Supreme Court orders.

Isolation wards for flu patients in govt hospitals

18 Jan 2019 | 7:11 AM

CHANDIGARH: Health Minister Brahm Mohindra in a high-level meeting on Thursday said in the wake of high incidents of H1N1 influenza, separate isolation wards had been established at three government medical colleges, 22 district hospitals and 41 sub-divisional hospitals of the state.

BRIEFLY

Core committee of YAD constituted

18 Jan 2019 | 7:11 AM

Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday formed a core committee of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD).

Firm employee robbed of Rs 58,000

18 Jan 2019 | 7:11 AM

FAZILKA: Two motorcycle-borne miscreants reportedly snatched Rs 58,000 in cash and a tablet from an employee of a finance company at a Fazilka village.

Marriage of minor girl averted

18 Jan 2019 | 7:11 AM

Ropar: The Ropar Childline averted the marriage of a minor girl at Bhatton village near here.

Self-styled godman booked for fraud

18 Jan 2019 | 7:11 AM

KHARAR: Kharar: The Kharar police have registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC against Budh Singh of Mehndipur on the charge of committing a fraud.

Fill vacancies in subordinate courts by Feb-end, says SC

18 Jan 2019 | 7:11 AM

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Punjab and Haryana High Court to fill all vacancies in subordinate courts in the two states by February 28.

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