18042017-TTC-01.qxd 4/18/2017 1:08 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 tuesday,april 18, 2017 chandigarh | gurgaon | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 1 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Centre flip-flop on guard of honour Capt:Power at ~5 per unit to all No Punjab minister to accompany Sajjan Month in office, says promises will be met Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 17 All power consumers in Punjab — industrial, domestic and commercial — will get power at Rs 5 per unit. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has made it clear that no category of consumers will have to pay more than Rs 5 per unit as tariff. The decision comes despite the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) seeking a hike in tariff and the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission recommending the same. The government does not have resources to subsidise the state’s power utilities. Nor can it burden the utilities by lowering the power rates. Hence, to fulfil its election promise of providing cheaper power, it is likely to resort to purchasing more power from private players. Talking to The Tribune, the CM said that by providing cheap power at Rs 5 per unit, Punjab would become the second cheapest power provider in the country after Himachal Pradesh. “The Mahindras are willing to provide power at Rs 1.50 per unit and Reliance Power at Rs 1.75 per unit. We will revisit all power purchase agreements and buy power at the cheapest rate possible. Isn’t it strange that the PSPCL sells surplus power at the power grid at Rs 3.40 per unit, but supplies power to the industry at Rs 8.60 ROADMAP FOR PUNJAB ■ Govt to slash expenditure drastically; plug loopholes in tax collections ■ Goods and Services Tax to lend buoyancy to revenue collections ■ Leading telecom operator to provide smartphones to jobless youth ■ 5 lakh youth to get jobs in next five years via Uber and Ola taxi services ■ ICICI to provide finance for these cars; Mahindra group to give electric cars ■ Mini bus permits for unemployed youth; 25,000 to get tractors for custom farming Students clash with security forces near a college in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Monday. Internet services have been blocked in Valley. AFP Students protest across Valley 60 hurt in clashes; colleges, varsities, high schools to remain closed today Rifat Mohidin Tribune News Service per unit,” he remarked. As of now, the power tariff across various sections of consumers varies between Rs 5.53 per unit to Rs 8.60. Capt Amarinder, who completes one month in office tomorrow, said he had been trying to resurrect the state’s economy. “We have to cut down on government expenditure drastically. The Expenditure and Governance Reforms Commission will suggest how to go about it. Meanwhile, we have already embarked on our journey to boost revenue receipts. For this, I have met industry captains who have continued on page 7 Srinagar, April 17 There were demonstrations in colleges and universities across the Kashmir valley today with students clashing with the police in Srinagar, Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kupwara, Kulgam and Shopian districts. At least 60 students and several security personnel were injured in the clashes that began early morning and continued through the day. The students were protesting against a police raid on a college in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district last week following clashes with security forces over the setting up of a checkpoint near Government Degree College (Boys), in which 50 students were injured. Angered over the incident, the students today gathered outside their colleges. Their attempts to hold protests were foiled by the police, leading to clashes. In Srinagar, the police fired tear gas shells as students from two colleges, including a girls’ college, tried to march towards Lal Chowk, the city’s commercial hub. The state government has ordered that all universities, colleges and higher secondary schools in the Valley will remain closed tomorrow (Tuesday). “We condemn all kind of violence. Students have the right to protest peacefully within the college premises,” said Altaf Bukhari, Education Minister. He said he had held a meeting on the Pulwama incident and the college principal had filed an FIR for trespass. “The forces are not allowed to go inside educational institutions. We have told the principals to talk to the students and the police to exercise utmost restraint,” the minister said. The police today reportedly barged into colleges in South Kashmir’s Kulgam and Shopian districts as well as Srinagar’s SP College, where the protests first began. Students of SP College blocked the Maulana Azad road. The police used tear gas shells to disperse them. The students resorted to stone-pelting, resulting in injuries to the Station House Officer of the Kothibagh police station and his two guards. The students kept regrouping to engage the police on the streets. Girls from a women’s college in Srinagar also joined the protests as the police battled to tackle the situation. The University of Kashmir has postponed all exams scheduled for tomorrow. With videos and pictures of protests on the social media stoking public outrage, the Mehbooba Mufti government has ordered that Internet services in the Valley be suspended. New Delhi, April 17 Yes, no, yes. A comedy of errors played out over the ceremonial tri-services guard of honour to welcome Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan at the South Block today. After the faux pas claiming cancellation of the guard of honour, the Ministry of Defence said it would be accorded tomorrow. Late in the night, MoD spokesperson Nitin Wakankar clarified that the advisory on cancellation of the guard of honour was issued erroneously. Sajjan arrived in New Delhi today and shall be going to India Gate tomorrow. When contacted, the Canadian High Commission refused to comment. Earlier in the day, an official invitation was sent to the electronic media for coverage of the event. Sajjan will have wideranging talks with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on a host of bilateral issues, particularly on ramping up defence and security ties. A guard of honour is a ceremonial welcome for dignitaries when troops in full uniform and regalia lower their weapons and the visiting dignitary ‘inspects’ the guard. It ends in a salute. In Chandigarh, meanwhile, carrying forward the tough stance against Sajjan, the Capt Amarinder Singh government has decided that no minister would accompany the dignitary during his visit Dera support: ‘Tankhah’ to 39 Sikh leaders SC puts Aamby Valley on sale GS Paul Tribune News Service Amritsar, April 17 The Akal Takht today pronounced ‘tankhah’ (religious punishment) on 39 Sikh leaders belonging to SAD, Congress and AAP . They had sought political support from the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda just prior to 2017 Assembly elections. However, former SAD MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali from the Dakha Assembly seat was let off after he submitted a clarification before the five High Priests that he was neither part of the Dera congregation nor did he seek its support in any way. After finding no proof against him, he was absolved of all charges. Four leaders — former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal (Congress), Janmeja Singh Sekhon (SAD), Ajaib Singh Bhatti (Congress) and Arjan Badal (Congress) — did not turn up, having submitted reasons for their inability to appear. Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said, “Those who couldn’t come would be called again when the next meeting of the five Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 17 “Nine-year-old sues Indian government on climate change” — the headline was a head-turner. So should be the cause, implores Ridhima Pandey. The class 6 student from Haridwar has been the driving force behind a 52-page petition before the National Green Tribunal on how the government has failed to scientifically tackle climate change, and how environ- ON AGENDA ■ During his trip, Harjit Singh Sajjan will travel to New Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Mumbai ■ In Punjab, Minister Sajjan will visit the Golden Temple and civil society organisations, and in Chandigarh, he will inaugurate the new office of the Consulate-General of Canada ■ In Mumbai, Sajjan will visit the Mumbai Port and meet several business and industry leaders . to various places in the state. Sources said only the DC and SSP concerned of the district would facilitate Sajjan’s visits. The Canadian Defence Minister is scheduled to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple on April 20. He is also expected to visit his native village near Hoshiarpur. — TNS Soon, quick tools to check adulteration in milk, oil Threatens to cancel Subrata’s parole Ravi S Singh Satya Prakash New Delhi, April 17 Soon, quick testing tools will arm the common man to check adulteration of milk, edible oils, water and other consumable items. The clearance for such tools was given today at a meeting of the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC), headed by Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan. The tool with regard to testing of milk and edible oils has been named “Rapid Test Laboratory”. It is a portable, affordable and easy-to-use tool with no maintenance cost. “The department is in touch with firms which can take upon the task of marketing the tool and making people aware about it,” said Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (FASSAI) chief Ashish Bahuguna. With regard to water, a quick testing device is also ready. Village panchayats will be also be involved to popularise it and make it a success. These testing tools will help launch a nationwide campaign against adulteration of edibles and other consumable items, and jack up the country’s food quality and safety to international standards. Paswan said a Consumer Protection Bill was pending with the Cabinet for clearance. The government tried to amend the existing Consumer Protection Act for which the Cabinet had given the green signal, but Parliament referred the Bill to its Standing Committee, which has recommended several changes. Tribune News Service Leaders look towards the Akal Takht gallery as Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh (not in pic) pronounces religious punishment. VISHAL KUMAR TWO TYPES OF ‘SEWA’ ■ 18 Patit leaders will perform sewafor 10 days (one hour each day) at gurdwaras located near constituencies ■ 21 Gursikh leaders have to sweep passage leading to Golden Temple from Gurdwara Saragarhi heading to Darshani Deodi and Ghanta Ghar side entrance to shrine for a day. On another day, they would clean up whole parikrama of Golden Temple High Priests is scheduled.” Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Gurmukh Singh boycotted the meeting. He had contested a closed-door meeting and insisted on holding it at Akal Takht. The ones who decided on the sentence were Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Takht Patna Sahib Jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh, Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Mal Singh, additional Head Granthi of Golden Temple Jagtar Singh and Granthi of Golden Temple Raghbir Singh. As per the directions of the Akal Takht, a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee panel had held 44 leaders guilty of violating the Akal Takht’s 2007 hukumnama. The guilty leaders were classified into two categories — Gursikhs and Patits (those who believe in Guru Granth Sahib but seldom observe the Khalsa code of conduct). The 18 Patit leaders were told to perform sewa for 10 days (one hour each day) at the gurdwaras located near their constituencies for atonement. They include 10 Congress leaders — Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Kushaldeep Singh, Kewal Singh, Karan Kaur, Darshan Singh, Randeep Singh Nabha, Rajinder Singh Samana, Kukhbaaz Singh Jattana and Daman Kaur. continued on page 7 New Delhi, April 17 Angry over his failure to deposit ~5,092 crore as ordered by it in February, the Supreme Court today ordered Sahara chief Subrata Roy to appear before it on April 27 and threatened to cancel his parole. “We are all tired... This man must be on his toes. We will deal with this man (Roy) and his property under Article 142 (SC’s power of contempt),” said the Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra. It appointed the Bombay High Court official liquidator to complete the process of sale of Aamby Valley in Pune district of Maharashtra — estimated to be worth ~34,000 crore — to realise the refund of investors’ money and file a report in 10 days. “I think enough is enough... You can’t say something today and resile tomorrow,” ❝ He who plays truancy with the Majesty of Law invites the wrath and, may, ultimately... suffer the peril. Supreme Court Bench Justice Misra told senior counsel Salman Khurshid, who represented Roy. The top court had sent Roy to Tihar Jail in March 2014 after he failed to appear in response to its summons over non-payment of investors’ money. He has been on parole since May last year after being released for performing his mother’s last rites. Ridhima Pandey, 9, driving force behind climate change petition Seema Sachdeva Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. FACEBOOK ment protection laws continue to be routinely flouted. The NGT, while accepting the petition, has asked the Government of India and the pollution control board to file their replies by May 4. Ridhima was six when floods ravaged Uttarakhand in 2013. The images and stories of the ecological disaster left a profound impact on the young mind. “I was very sad. Everyone around me was suffering. Many people had lost their families. A number of Ridhima Pandey animals were dying. We would discuss at home why this was happening,” says Ridhima. Her father Dinesh Pandey, who has been associated with the Wildlife Trust of India for 16 years, recalls how “even after the calamity was over, she would often ask what had caused this, who all were responsible and why were they not being punished”. With unscientific developmental activities emerging as the key reason for the unprecedented destruction, Ridhima would constantly nudge her father to “do something about it and file a case”. Do something they surely did. Dinesh Pandey says after discussing the issue with his lawyer Rahul Choudhary, “we decided to file a case in Ridhima’s name as it was her idea. More importantly, she is from the generation that would be directly affected by any ecological mistakes our generation has or would be making”. The fiesty nine-year-old, elder of two siblings, points out how “trees are being cut for roads and buildings, increasing traffic and industries are polluting environment, people don’t think before wasting water or electricity”. She is not against development, she says, “but it should be done in a scientific manner”. Mother Vinita Pandey, a beat officer with Haridwar Forest Division, Rajaji Tiger Reserve, finds Ridhima an animal lover to the core. “If she finds an injured dog on the street, she brings it home. Recently, she brought home a kitten abandoned by her mother. Now the wild cat is our pet.” “We talk about development but shut our eyes to its effect on our environment. When we divert forestland for industry or roads, it will inevitably affect our ecology. It is important to understand the kind of world we are leaving for our children,” says Dinesh Pandey. Ridhima can only nod — “well said, Papa.” Tribune News Service
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