Monthly Archives: MARCH 2016

Cabinet decides to introduce the bill on SYL in Punjab Assembly on Monday
11.03.16 - pt team
Cabinet decides to introduce the bill on SYL in Punjab Assembly on Monday

The Punjab Cabinet today decided to introduce "The Punjab Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (Rehabilitation and Re-vesting of Proprietary Rights) Bill, 2016” in the ongoing session of state assembly for rehabilitation of land owners by re-vesting of the proprietary rights on the appointed date, by way of a grant in respect of land acquired by the state government for construction of SYL (Satluj Yamuna Link) Canal to the owners or their successors-in-interest, from whom it was acquired, as the case may be, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in other Act for the time being in vogue.
A decision to this effect was taken in a specially convened meeting of Cabinet chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here at Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh this evening.
Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the record of rights would stand amended and modified to that effect by the concerned Revenue authorities from the date on which this Act was notified. The Cabinet also gave approval to the draft bill, which further stipulated that such land owners or their successors-in-interest, as the case may be, would repay the total amount of compensation along with all statuary benefits accrued to them along with the rate of interest to be notified by the government, in 60 equal instalments starting from the expiry of sixth month from the date of notification, failing which the same would be liable to be recovered as arrears of land revenue.
The bill also envisaged that the provisions of this Act would have overriding effect notwithstanding anything in consistent herewith contained in any Act, Rule, Judgement, Decree, Notification, Order or any other instrument having the effect of law.
It may be recalled that the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had on Thursday moved a resolution of utmost significance, seriousness and sensitivity related to the present and future of the state in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, which was unanimously adopted.
The resolution said that Punjab is primarily an agrarian state and river waters are its lifeline. However, after the partition of the country, Punjab had been subjected to continuous discrimination and injustice. According to the Riparian Principles, Punjab had absolute right over its river waters but through various agreements and decisions it had been robbed of its due share in broad daylight. Despite the owners of river waters, the farmers of Punjab had to rely heavily on tubewells, as 73% of irrigation was being done through them resulting in fast depletion of water table. Now the situation has become extremely grave and to tolerate this injustice would amount to signing a death warrant of Punjab and Punjabis. Punjab didn’t have a single drop of water to share with anyone.
The house resolved not to accept any decision against injustice to river waters of Punjab. Any attempt to divest river waters of Ravi, Beas from Punjab and forcefully implementing the decision to construct SYL on Punjab in defiance to nationally and internationally accepted riparian principles would never be tolerated at any cost.
The Resolution commited all Punjabis and all political parties would safeguard the rights of Punjab in unison, rising above their personal differences.
In the light of this historic resolution, the Chief Minister declared that Punjab government would restore the land which had been acquired for the construction of the controversial Satluj-Yamuna Canal in Punjab to the owners from who it was acquired for the construction of main SYL Canal.

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CM Badal announces to De-notify acquisition of entire SYL land
10.03.16 - pt team
CM Badal announces to De-notify acquisition of entire SYL land

The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today declared that the Punjab government would de-notify the land which had been acquired for the construction of the controversial Satluj-Yamuna Canal in Punjab. The said land measuring 5376 acres would be returned to its original owners.

Making this momentous announcement on the floor of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha here this afternoon, the Chief Minister  also declared that  not a single drop of water would be allowed to flow out of Punjab as  such a decision and action  would be neither  constitutionally nor legally tenable.
"In fact, an extremely critical and dangerous water crisis stares its population in the face. I would rather shed every drop of my blood than allow any drop of Punjab's river waters to flow out in violation of its rights," said Badal.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its ally the BJP were quick to hail the Chief Minister's announcement.  "With a single stroke, Badal has struck down the long and dark legacy of the Congress governments against the people of Punjab.

The decision would go a long way in removing grave threats to the very survival of the people of Punjab. Every Punjabi would be walking taller from this afternoon as Badal's decision would safeguard his dignity and his self esteem," said the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Meanwhile, Senior BJP leader Madan Mohan Mittal also hailed this historic decision, who was also present at the Press Conference and said that BJP being an alliance in the government fully endorsed this pro-farmer and pro-Punjab decision.

In his impassioned address to the Vidhan Sabha, the Chief declared that "under no circumstances would any decision to construct SYL in violation of the Riparian Principle be accepted.

Badal's declaration came as climax of a bitter and intense face off between the SAD and the opposition Congress in the Vidhan Sabha. The CM declared that he was prepared to walk the high road to sacrifice to safeguard the interests of the people of his state. "I would not hesitate to make any supreme sacrifice to protect every drop of water in order to safeguard the rights of Punjabis. He said his government would not agree to any decision in defiance of riparian principles.

Mr. Badal gave a detailed account of how the successive union and state governments of the Congress party had systematically robbed Punjab of all its vital interests, most especially on the issue of river waters. He backed his arguments and claims with irrefutable records and documents from official files and from the media. He also placed on the table of house copies of relevant letters, communication and other documents.

Mr. Badal said that the issue of river waters does not concern or affect the interests of the farmers alone, in fact every Punjabi faces death and devastation in the event of Punjab’s river waters being constantly denied to it, regardless of whether he was a shopkeeper, trader, businessmen, Arthiya, student, sports person, house wife or from any other sphere, "Any compromise on river waters would amount to signing the death warrant of every Punjabi. This must be confronted, fought and defeated. Anything is precisely what we are totally committed to achieving,” saidBadal.

Dwelling on the injustice done by Congress led Centre and State governments to Punjab, the Chief Minister gave a brief account of first betrayal in terms of interstate Ministerial meeting in 1955 which was presided by the then Union Water Resources Minister Gulzari Lal Nanda and was attended by the Irrigation Ministers of Rajasthan, PEPSU and J&K. The allocation of 15.85 MAF of Ravi, Beas surplus water was distributed amongst Punjab (5.9 MAF), PEPSU (1.3 MAF), J & K (0.65 MAF) and Rajasthan (8 MAF). Internationally accepted Riparian Principle was blatantly violated as Rajasthan neither was nor is a Riparian State. Rajasthan was given 8 MAF, which was more than the combined allocation of 3 Riparian States.

Punjab was meted out discrimination for second time in terms of Indus Water Treaty of 1960, under which distribution of six rivers between India and Pakistan was done. Jhelum, Chenab and Indus went to Pakistan while Sutlej, Ravi and Beas to India. Distribution was allotted to Pakistan with 136 MAF (80%) and Punjab (India) with 34 MAF (20%) under this treaty.

In the Reorganization Act of 1966, Badal lamented that the discrimination continued against Punjab unabatedly. After creation of Haryana, Government of India using Section 78 of the Reorganization Act, 1966 allocated 50% (3.5 MAF) water to Haryana from the share that Punjab (including PEPSU) was given in 1955. He said the use of Section 78 of the Reorganization Act by Government of India was unconstitutional as the only legal remedy for sharing of river waters lies in the Inter State River Water Dispute Act 1956. The Government of India blatantly bypassed the Act of 1956 which provides for the constitution of a Tribunal to adjudicate between two states in case of dispute on water issues. The decision on sharing of river waters was to be taken by Tribunal and not by Government of India.

Referring to the issue of SYL, Mr. Badal said that it was started in 1976 and first mention about its construction was made in 1981 agreement. But surprisingly much before that the Congress Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab had already decided on it. Badal mentioned that Rs. 1 crore was received by Punjab from Haryana on November 18, 1976. The then Chief Minister of Punjab Giani Zail Singh wrote a D.O. letter on November 26, 1976 to his Haryana counterpart Banarsi Dass Gupta seeking consent to carry out the works for construction of SYL Punjab Portion out of the Rs. 1 crore which was so kindly offered by Haryana. Subsequently, in January 1, 1977 the Punjab government under Giani Zail Singh Singh accorded the most important Administrative approval to construct SYL Punjab portion. The conspiracy to rob Punjab of its river waters was abundantly clear in this correspondence.

Throwing light on the issue of acceptance of Rs.1 crore in respect of government change in 1977, Badal referred the first payment to the tune of Rs.1 crore was received by the then Chief Minister Giani Zail Singh. Only Rs. 1 Crore out of Rs.242 Crore came as departmental routine during his tenure and nothing at the level of Chief Minister. Remaining Rs.241 Crore received by others.

Referring to the legal battle over the issue, the Chief Minister Haryana filed a suit in Supreme Court on April 30, 1979 for seeking a direction to construct SYL. Badal said his government filed a suit in Supreme Court challenging Section 78 of Reorganization Act in July 11, 1979. Constitutional experts were of the view that Punjab had a very strong case. Badal pointed out that only option for Haryana was that Punjab should withdraw this suit and the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi dismissed his government in Punjab during 1980. This was one of the reasons a suit was filed by Punjab.

With regard to agreement of 1981, Badal mentioned that this agreement was signed by Chief Minister of Punjab Giani Zail Singh, Haryana CM Bhajan Lal and Rajasthan CM Shiv Charan Mathur in presence of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on December 31, 1981 for the construction of SYL and withdrawal of suits by Punjab and Haryana. Subsequently, the suit was withdrawn by the then Punjab Chief Minister Darbara Singh on February 12, 1982. Digging of SYL was started by Indira Gandhi at Kapoori on April 8, 1982. Capt. Amrinder Singh gave advertisements with his photograph welcoming Indira Gandhi and the Shiromani Akali Dal launched a Morcha against digging of SYL and several Akalis were arrested and I led the first Jatha, added Badal.

Referring to the Punjab Settlement Rajiv-Longowal Accord, Badal said it was signed on July 24, 1985 to decide share of river waters of Punjab and construct SYL canal. The main emphasis of the accord was only on SYL. As per accord neither Army recruitment on merit was done and nor Chandigarh was transferred to Punjab as promised by GoI. None of any commission was set up to transfer Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab. SYL construction was started without determining whether Haryana was to get any water or not. It was a situation just putting a cart before the horse. Subsequently, Eradi Tribunal was constituted on April 2, 1986.

Mentioning about the suit filed by Haryana in the Supreme Court in 1996 for the completion of SYL, Badal said that the Supreme Court directed the Punjab government in its judgment on January 15, 2002 to either construct SYL within a year or hand over the work to GoI. Termination of Agreement Act 2004 was passed on July 12, 2004, which was supported by SAD in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. The Congress led GoI filed a Presidential Reference in Supreme Court within 10 days on July 22, 2004.

Badal said that his SAD-BJP alliance government filed a suit in Supreme Court challenging Section 78 of Reorganization Act, which was still pending. The Presidential Reference should be taken up only after the decision on the suit filed by me.

Badal referred to Punjab Termination of Agreements Act 2004, which Congressmen claimed as their major contribution. Badal said that all the Agreements which were terminated through this Act, were done by the Congress governments. Thus the Act was a mere admission of guilt by the Congress government headed by Amarinder Singh. This Termination Act terminated nothing but the agreements signed by the Congress governments alone themselves. He said the passage of this agreement was in fact an unintentional admission of guilt by the Congress government.

Badal dared the Congress leadership to explain whether any of the decisions, including the allocation of water to the non-riparian Rajasthan state by the GoI in contravention of National and International accepted Principles, to allocation of water to Haryana under Section 78 by the Government of India instead of a tribunal  under Inter State Water Dispute Act, 1956, construction of SYL on the basis of written promise with Haryana government prior to any formal agreement or decision, starting the practice of taking funds from Haryana for the construction of this canal, subsequently, the agreement of 1981, which was signed by Chief Minister of Punjab Giani Zail Singh, Haryana CM Bhajan Lal and Rajasthan CM Shiv Charan Mathur in presence of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981 and giving administrative approval for the construction of SYL prior to this agreement was ever taken by any government led by him. Are all these issues were true or not?

The Chief Minister clearly stated that Punjab didn’t have single drop of water to spare for any state rather it was passing through a severe water crisis. He said our opposition had been often accusing Akali Dal for raking up these issues to safeguard the interests of Punjab only while outside the government. He said in or out of government, their stand on pro-Punjab issues including SYL was consistent and would never be compromised. To corroborate the fact, Badal said he was the Chief Minister at a point of time when the Supreme Court gave direction on January 15, 2002 on the construction of SYL, he cited a news report from a section of press," Punjab does not have a drop of water to spare for any other State. We will not implement the Supreme Court Order at any cost even if I have to go to Jail for it. I would rather shed every drop of my blood than allow even a single drop of water to flow out of my state in defiance of the Riparian Principle." He said at that time we were not in opposition rather I was the Chief Minister. 

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Accused in Abohar incident will not be spared at any cost : Sukhbir
10.03.16 - pt team
Accused in Abohar incident will not be spared at any cost : Sukhbir

Describing the incident of murder of a Dalit in Abohar as a gruesome act, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today categorically said the State government had taken all possible steps in the case and assured that the culprits would not be spared at any cost.

Speaking in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today during zero hour, the Deputy CM, who also holds the home portfolio, informed the house that after registration of FIR to arrest the accused a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was also constituted to investigate the cruel and unheard incident thoroughly.

Assuring all help to the affected people and a fair trial in this regard, he said as many as 24-25 accused were named as anonymous in the case but police had succeeded in nabbing all 26 culprits who had been put behind the bars. Badal further added that polygraph tests have also been conducted on the two conspirators on the orders of court and state police would not show any leniency towards any accused and guilty would be dealt with as per the law of the land.

Denouncing the allegations of Congress legislator Sunil Jakhar, who had raised the issue, Badal clarified that alleged Shiv Lal Doda, named as accused, was never halqa incharge of SAD and he had  contested the assembly election against the SAD-BJP coalition in the past.

Deputy CM asserted that the state police had been directed to complete the enquiry at the earliest and file the challan in the court without any delay. He assured the house that guilty in the Abohar incident would not be spared at any cost.

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At last, Shiromani award 'Distribution' ceremony to be held on March 12
09.03.16 - pt team
At last, Shiromani award 'Distribution' ceremony to be held on March 12

Chandigarh : After making them wait for five long years Punjab government has finally decided to honour Shiromani awardees this month.
The press release issued by the state government states "The Shiromani Awards to the selected literary, art and culture personalities for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 would be conferred on March 12 at Punjabi University Patiala. The award ‘distribution’ ceremony (sic) would be organised in Guru The Bahadur Hall of Punjabi University in which Jathedar Avtar Singh, President, SGPC would be the chief guest. Mr. Surjit Singh Rakhra, Minister for Higher Education & Language would preside the function while Dr. Jaspal Singh, Vice Chancellor, Punjabi University Patiala would grace the occasion as guest of honour.”
The statement further mentioned that one award in each category is to be given for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 under which 3 winners have been named. Punjabi Sahit Rattan award has been bestowed on Kirpal Singh Kasel, Ajmer Aulakh and Niranjan Singh Tasneem. These eminent personalities would be awarded with the prize money of Rs. 10 Lakh each.
According to the statement besides these, winners of 17 other categories would be given prize money of Rs. 5 Lakh each. List of awardees in various categories as follow
Shiromani Punjabi Sahitkar Award: (Mohan Bhandari, Baldev Singh Sadaknama and Avtar Singh Bling)
Shiromani Hindi Sahitkar: (Mahesh Patialavi, Mohd. Iqbal and Renu Behal)
Shiromani Sanskrit Sahitkar: (Shashidhar Sharma, Bhushan Lal Sharma and Lekh Raj Parwana)
Shiromani Punjabi Poet Award: (Jaswinder (Gazalgo), Gurbhajan Gill and Kulwant Singh Grewal)
Shiromani Punjabi Critic/Research Sahitkar: (Dr Surjit Singh Bhatti, Dr Balkar Singh and Dr Tejwant Gill)
Shiromani Punjabi Gyan Sahitkar: (Balwant Singh Kotha Guru, Dr Kirpal Singh and Prof Aschru Singh)
Shiromani Punjabi Sahitkar (foreign): (Kesar Singh Neer, Gurbhaksh Singh Bhandal and Ajit Singh Rahi)
Shiromani Punjabi Sahitkar (Out of Punjab): (Chandan Negi, Rashpinder Rashim and Khalid Hussain)
Shiromani Punjabi Bal Sahit Writer: (Santosh Sahni, Aatma Singh Chitti and Amrik Singh Talwandi)
Shiromani Punjabi Patarkar Award: (Amar Singh Bhuller, Harjinder Singh Lal and Bhushan Sood)
Shiromani Punjabi Sahitak Patarkar: (Niranjan Singh Sathi, Susheel Dosanjh and Varinder Walia)
Shiromani Ragi Award: (Bhai Hari Singh, Prof Kartar Singh and Bhai Jaswant Singh)
Shiromani Dhadhi/Kavishar: (Brij Lal Dhaula, Mohinder Singh Sibea and Des Raj Lachkani)
Shiromani Punjabi Television/Radio/Film Purskar: (Buta Singh Shad, Satish Kaul and Baldev Gill)
Shiromani Punjabi Natak/Theatre Purskar: (Devinder Daman, Gurcharan Channi and Pali Bhupinder)
Shiromani Punjabi Singer/Sangeetkat: (Mohd. Sadeeq, Gurdas Mann and Surinder Shinda)
The spokesperson said that 6 prominent personalities would be conferred for special awards. He said that Devinder Singh Chitarkar and Raghbir Singh Bains will get Rs 1.50 lakh each while Pandit Rao Thairesanwar, Ranjit Rana, Malkit Singh Guara and Bachan Singh Saral will get Rs 1 lakh each.

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Tohra most dedicated leader to Panth after Master Tara Singh : Dr Grewal
08.03.16 - pt team
Tohra most dedicated leader to Panth after Master Tara Singh : Dr Grewal

Chandigarh: Akali stalwart Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra who lorded over the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee for more than quarter of a century was a leader who was the most dedicated to the Panth after Master Tara Singh. This tribute was paid to him by eminent historian and former Guru Nanak Dev University vice-chancellor Dr J S Grewal at Gurcharan Singh Tohra Memorial Function organised by the Sikh Education Society (SES) at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College here today.
He said the single point agenda of these two leaders was to work for the advancement of the Sikh religio-political affairs while hammering exclusive and separate Sikh identity.Dr Grewal said Tohra ensured that both the SGPC and the Akali Dal did not  digress from  their well-defined path.
Eminent Punjabi writer Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana and English magazine ‘The Sikh Review’ were honoured with Panth Rattan Gurcharan Singh Tohra Memorial Award. Dr Tiwana was honoured for her contribution to Punjabi language and literature and The Sikh Review for making effective intervention in Sikh religious discourse.
Dr Grewal traced the origin of Punjabi language, literature and culture and said this language had developed fully by the time of Baba Farid. He rejected the propaganda that was resorted to by the opponents of Punjabi Suba demand in the mid-fifties that Punjabi was not even a language and if any all it was so, there was nothing like Punjabi literature. He stressed that language is always the basis of identity of a community or people living in a region and because of the richness of Punjabi language, the Punjabi and Sikh identity are deep rooted. Literature of high quality has been written in Punjabi and continues to be written.
Speaking on ‘Sikh, Sikhism and Sikh youth-situation and direction’, Dr Gulzar Singh Kang, Director, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Study Centre, GNDU said the present crisis had its genesis in the alienation of the Sikhs from the very doctrine. He called for pragmatic approach to check this trend among the youth.
Senior journalist Karamjit Singh said there were no two opinions on the need for start campaign on Sikh awareness but said it would serve its purpose only if it was also linked to political consciousness otherwise it would end up just as a reform movement.However, Dr Gurmukh Singh of Punjabi university did not agree that the Sikh youth had gone astray and said the new generation was laying down its own framework.
SES President Gurdev Singh proposed the vote of thanks while Col. (Retd.) JS Bala welcomed the audience in the outset of the function.

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