Chandigarh, January 3: Though people dining in city beautiful were no longer paying service charge, the restaurants and hotels were charging hefty amounts in adjoining cities. Customers felt cheated when they were forced to shell out money, especially for the service that was not up to their satisfaction.
The recent notification by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution that “the service charge should be levied based on the discretion of the customer and that this is not a mandatory payment”, is a great relief for many. This will also force restaurants to improve the service. Service charge up to 20% in addition to other taxes makes dining pinch a lot when it is time to pay.
Chandigarh is always a better place as compared to it neighbors. The administration here is more responsive to its residents. The elective governments in Punjab and Haryana are not sympathetic to its residents. Residents of Mohali and Panchkula should make their voice heard and take Chandigarh as an example to force their elected representatives to make resident friendly policies.
Chandigarh, July 27: Punjab today achieved the unique milestone of offering the lowest power tariff in the country to existing small scale industry as well as new industry by fixing a power tariff of Rs 4.99 per unit for both these categories. It also gave a major concession to heavy industry by waiving off peak load restrictions besides reducing power tariff of all other industrial categories.
Announcing this bonanza today, the deputy chief minister said the State government had decided to reduce power tariff of the small industrial sector even beyond that recommended by the State regulatory commission and that the tariff had been reduced from Rs 5.85 per unit to Rs 4.99 per unit. He said the State had decided to provide a subsidy of Rs 50 crore to ensure relief to the small industry.
Similarly Mr Badal said the medium scale industry would get power at Rs. 5.99 per unit while earlier it was Rs. 6.38 per unit and the large scale industry would get power at Rs. 6.35 per unit whereas earlier it was Rs. 6.46 resulting in reduction by 36 and 11 paisa per unit respectively.
Announcing a major initiative, the Deputy Chief Minister said the peak load hours restrictions surcharge was earlier being levied at Rs. 2 per unit on the industry but now this charge has been waived off thereby giving a relief of Rs. 200 crore per month to the industry. He also said this would also reduce the use of generators leading to decrease in the environmental pollution in the state also.
Coming to the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, the Deputy Chief Minister expressed strong hope that these losses would be reduced from the present 14 percent to the level of 10 percent during the course of next 5 years resulting in saving of Rs. 1000 crore approximately of the state exchequer which would in turn lead to Punjab occupying numero uno spot in comparison to the other states.
Disclosing more, S. Badal said before 2007, the state power sector reeled from the inadequate generation capacity leading to long power cuts and weekly off days on industry, overloaded transmission and distribution system, inadequate power supply, high T&D losses, no IT intervention for consumer services besides financial crunch. But this gloomy scenario changed for the better with the SAD-BJP government taking over in 2007.
Giving details he said the SAD-BJP government had commissioned 3 ultra modern power plants having installed capacity of 3920 MW at a cost of more than Rs. 23000 crore besides increasing total availability from little more than 7000 MW to nearly 13000 MW. He also said that with the persistent efforts of the SAD-BJP government the additional allocation of 2272.13 MW power from 6 ultra mega power projects was made.
Giving more details, the Deputy Chief Minister said an ultra modern critical thermal power plant to generate 2400 MW power at Rupnagar would be setup by replacing the old plant. Besides, another thermal power project near Hazipur in Mukerian (Hoshiarpur) has been planned with 1320 MW (2X660 MW) capacity.
Highlighting transmission and distribution as one of the high performing sectors, the Deputy Chief Minister said transmission capacity had increased from 16000 MVA to nearly 28000 MVA and T&D losses have been reduced from 24 percent to nearly 14 percent. He also said SAD-BJP tenure has seen investment of more than 4000 crore in the transmission system besides Punjab becoming the first state to have 400 KV ring main for intra state transmission system. Besides, the PSPCL had commissioned 177 new 66KV grid sub-stations and augmented 256, 66 KV grid sub stations.
Providing more insights, the Deputy Chief Minister said all the farmers holding less than 2.5 acres of land were being given tubewell connections and the target is to release 1.50 lakh more connections. He also said that 6500 dera/dhanies would be provided 24×7 power supply by the end of this year while the 2100 dera/dhanies had already been connected with UPS feeders.
Listing other achievements, S. Badal said free power up to 200 units every month is being provided to every SC/BPL households along with free electricity to all the tubewells and subsidized tariff for fishery, goatry, piggery and mushroom growers to encourage crop diversification.
He also said that in view of the above mentioned milestones, the PSPCL has been awarded with A+ rating by the Union Government besides being conferred “Best performing power utility in the country” award by the Central board of Irrigation & Power.
Cautioning the AAP and Congress parties to desist from defaming the state, he challenged them to spell out their developmental agenda and compete with the SAD-BJP government on the plank of progress and development instead of leveling baseless allegations and bringing disrepute to the state.
Taking to task those responsible for branding Punjab as a drug haven, the Deputy Chief Minister said as per the union government’s reply in the Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra State leads in maximum number of deaths related to the usage of drugs. He said in 2014 a total of 3647 suicides were reported throughout the country due to drug problem out of which Maharashtra alone accounted for 1372 while Tamil Nadu reported 552, Kerala 475 and Madhya Pradesh 305 whereas Punjab accounted for just 38 deaths which comes around to 1 percent of the total deaths. “With these figures Punjab stands at 12th position and the data refutes the malicious propaganda of opposition parties which are resorting to defame the state”, he said.
On the occasion, industry minister Madan Mohan Mittal, rural development & panchayats minister Sikander Singh Maluka, CPS Sarup Chand Singla, media advisor to the Deputy CM Jangveer Singh, Secretary power A. Venu Parsad, special principal secretary to the Deputy CM Rahul Tewari and Ajay Mahajan and chairman PSPCL K.D. Chaudhari were also present.
Barnala, Jul 29 (PTI) On a day Arvind Kejriwal attacked Punjab’s ruling Akali Dal on the drug issue, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today hit back saying the Delhi chief minister was a “frustrated man” unaware of the dignity of his chair.
Badal said it doesn’t behove of a chief minister to issue statements as given by Kejriwal against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and even against the Akali leadership.
Interacting with the mediapersons on the sidelines of his ‘Sangat Darshan’ programme in Bhadaur assembly segment here, he said the irrational and baseless allegations levelled by Kejriwal – without any proof – reflect his hollow personality.
“Throughout my life I have been a votary of morality and I firmly believe that Kejriwal must desist from issuing such statements just for sake of scoring brownie points,” he said.
Kejriwal, AAP’s national convenor, earlier today attacked the Punjab government after getting bail in a defamation case filed by the state Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia.
Renewing his allegations against Majithia, brother-in-law of SAD chief and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Kejriwal said Punjab was in a “bad state” due to the drug issue.
Badal claimed that due to its pro-people policies the SAD-BJP alliance would return to power in the state.
“Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh and Kejriwal must stop dreaming about coming to power in the state as people will repose their faith in growth and welfare oriented policies of alliance,” Badal asserted.
On a query regarding possibility of former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu joining the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the chief minister said it would hardly have any effect.
He reiterated that people of the state have a strong dislike for “political opportunists and turncoats” and the people would teach a lesson to Sidhu for deceiving the BJP.
Earlier addressing the public gatherings during Sangat Darshan programme in Shehna, Jangiana and Bhaduar, the chief minister, while assailing the state Congress Chief Captain Amarinder Singh for “misleading” the people on Sutlej Yamuna Link canal issue, said that distortion of facts by Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar could not absolve him or his party from the sin of hatching the conspiracy to rob the waters of state.
Mumbai, Jul 29 (PTI) Actor Sanjay Dutt, who celebrates his 57th birthday on Friday, has been finalised to play the lead in director Mahesh Manjrekar’s next, which is a remake of 2008 superhit Marathi film “De Dhakka”.
Manjrekar and Dutt have earlier collaborated in films like “Vaastav”, “Kurukshetra”, “Hathyar” and “Rakht”.
“I met Sanju after a long while and I realised he has matured a lot, looked fresh and fit. Initially, I was contemplating working with him on something different, that would surprise the audience,” the filmmaker said in a statement.
“Then ‘De Dhakka’ came and I felt it was the perfect subject. Sanjay will have the family audience and youth rooting.”
The film, which will be a laugh riot blending with an emotional journey of a family, is being produced by “Sarbjit” filmmaker Omung Kumar and Sandeep Singh.
“We are really proud to come into an association with Maheshji as producers and are very confident that De Dhakka’s remake in Hindi will impress the audiences and critics equally as it did in Marathi,” the producer duo said.
Mumbai, Jun 6 (PTI) Bollywood actress Dia Mirza has been named the ambassador for Swachh Bharat Mission’s youth-based ‘Swachh Saathi’ (student internship) programme.
The “Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein” star will take forward the message of the government’s ‘Swachh Saathi’ programme, which she hails as the most important part to realise the dream of a clean country.
“Swachh Bharat is among the most important initiatives taken up by the government and I believe that the Swachh Saathi programme will be an extremely important part of our dream to realise a clean, healthy and environmentally conscious youth and country,” Dia, 34, said in a statement.
Under the Swachh Saathi programme, more than 2,000 interns would be enrolled, who would coordinate with around 10,000 schools across the country and ensure that all students in these schools take the pledge for Clean India, the statement read.
“Dia is a youth icon and has been an active campaigner for Swachh Bharat. We felt that she would be the best person to help us reach out to more youngsters. Our aim is to make it a viral youth led movement,” Swachh Bharat mission director Praveen Prakash said.
As the ambassador, the actress would interact with school and college students from across the country through awareness sessions, community cleaning activities and motivational videos.
“Over the years I have tried to engage as many minds as possible to understand that our planet and our country need the immediate involvement of all its citizens, so that we can take responsibility and make our world a better place to live in,” Dia said.
New York, Jun 2 (PTI) A 47-year-old Sikh gas station owner was shot dead in the US city of Newark and the victim’s family is suspecting a hate crime.
Davinder Singh was shot at the gas station yesterday, a report in NBC New York said.
Singh, of Iselin, was found unresponsive at the gas station and taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Singh’s son, Jatinder Singh, said that he thought his father, who had moved to the US from India 25 years ago may have been targeted because he was Sikh and wore a turban.
There was no struggle, no confrontation, Jatinder said.
“I don’t know what else it could be other than a hate crime,” he said.
Jatinder said that his father was “the best man I ever knew” and that the family had worried about him working in Newark.
He said the his father had been robbed before but had always fought back.
But on Monday afternoon, he didn’t even have a chance.
“My dad came out to get some fresh air and the male came up to my dad, pointed a gun and shot him point-blank,” he said in the report.
Detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Task Force are investigating the shooting.
They didn’t comment as to whether the case is being investigated as a hate crime, according to the report.
New Delhi, Jun 2 (PTI) After batting for change of guard in Congress, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today called for the entry of Priyanka Gandhi into active politics saying she is a “sharp young woman” and should handle party affairs.
“I have always said Priyanka should enter active politics.
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka will both complement each other.
They can decide what roles to play,” he said after emerging from the meeting with Rahul Gandhi on Punjab polls.
Amarinder has batted for a change of guard in Congress, saying Sonia Gandhi can hand over the charge to Rahul if she is feeling tired after having worked as party chief since 1998.
He had yesterday said that time is right for Rahul Gandhi to take over from his mother as Congress President and favoured Priyanka’s entry into active politics.
“Sonia Gandhi is a brilliant leader. I have said that she has been working (as Congress President) for the last 20 years. If she feels that time has come to give it to a new generation, then she should pass it on and we will fully support Rahul (to take over),” he said while replying to a question whether time has come for Congress Vice-President to take over from Sonia Gandhi.
Speculation is rife of a possible elevation of Rahul in the party amid demands by several party leaders for a shake-up and “surgery” in Congress in the wake of party’s drubbings in recent assembly elections.
Amarinder is leading the Congress campaign ahead of crucial 2017 Punjab assembly polls, where the opposition party is eyeing to wrest power from the SAD-BJP combine.
The Sub National Immunization Day Pulse Polio campaign covering high risk areas of Chandigarh is scheduled on 29th & 30th May 2016. In the two days activity as per the previous rounds, the children upto the age of 5years are given Oral Polio Drops. These doses are in addition to OPV drops and Injectable IPV given in the routine vaccination .The aim is to cover the children in 0-5 years age group, living in slums, construction sites, settled slums and the nomads with the objective to strengthen their immunity against Polio. As a part of this campaign, the Medical Officers are doing direct supervision in their area with the help of the Teams comprising of ASHA, Anganwadi workers, malaria workers, ANMs, Nursing students and the local volunteers. On day One of SNID, the teams have covered 86080 houses and have vaccinated 37561 children
with oral polio drops. Similar activity will continue on day 2 i.e 30th May 2016 to cover the remaining high risk areas & the teams will be going house to house to give oral polio drops to the children.
Ludhiana, May 27:
Punjab Revenue and Public Relations Minister Mr Bikram Singh Majithia today launched a first-of-its-kind mobile application “iREVENUE”, which is specially designed to ensure more transparency in the working of state Revenue department.
The mobile phone application will contain details such as information regarding the Revenue department, collector rates, stamp duty, Right to Service Act, and M-Fard. This is the first of its kind mobile phone application in the state which can be extended to the entire State also.
While speaking on the occasion, Mr Bikram Majithia said in this age of e-governance, this mobile phone application would go a long way in delivering services to the public in a hassle free, fair and transparent manner. He said by using this mobile app one can get details of collector rate of one’s respective area and also calculate the total fee to be paid using a “calculator”, which has been specially incorporated in the app. This app has the collector rates (agricultural, commercial, residential and industrial) of Ludhiana district.
Giving details of the app Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat said the public could even get details such as name, address and phone number of their area Patwari, Naib Tehsildar/Tehsildar and SDM. If any person does not know the revenue area in which his or her property falls, he or she can simply click on the “location” sign and this app would automatically detect the area and would provide all necessary details, he added.
The total amount of stamp duty to be paid at the time of registry is also available in this app and once the total amount is calculated, the applicant would know the exact amount to be paid. This would help in checking corruption/overcharging. Details regarding the number of days in which a particular service is to be provided to the applicant as per the Right to Service Act have also been added in this mobile app “iRevenue”.
Mr Bikram Majithia further said that if any applicant wants to check or get a copy of his “Fard”, he or she can simply click on “M-Fard” icon and by simply entering his khewat number and other such details, the copy of Fard would be available.
Later on interacting with media persons, Mr Majithia described Aam Aadmi Party as a gang of power hungry people, who were diverting the revenue collected from Delhi to other states for their narrow political interests. He said funds amounting to crores of rupees were being spent on AAP’s advertising campaign in Punjab. Mr Majithia said all these funds had been siphoned off from the state exchequer and was clearly a breach of trust. He said instead of misusing these public funds, the AAP should spent them for providing basic facilities of power and water as the residents of Delhi were worst sufferers on these fronts.
While replying to a question related to a protest by Congress party in Ludhiana today, Mr Majithia said the Congress was holding such issueless protests just to save its political existence as it was rapidly losing ground in the State. He said the Congress party had already been rejected twice by the intelligent electorate of the state and few months from now it would be rejected for the third time in a row.
Mr Majithia also said that there was no anti incumbency in the state as people very well know that the SAD-BJP government had focused on overall development and would continue to do so.
Prominent among those present during the function included Advisor to CM Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik, former Minister Mr Hira Singh Gabria, MLAs Mr Ranjit Singh Dhillon, Mr Manpreet Singh Ayali and Mr S R Kler, ADC (D) Miss Apneet Riyait, DRO Mr Mukesh Kumar, Mr Preet Chandok, besides several others.
Chandigarh, May 27:
In order to facilitate the pilgrims of the state longing to visit their religious shrines, the Punjab Government has announced Mukh Mantri Tirath Darshan Yatra Train schedule for the month of June, 2016.
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Punjab Government said that the train for Payal Constituency would depart from Doraha on 1st June for Nanded Sahib, For Ferozepur City train would depart from Ferozepur on 3rd June, For Dakha constituency train would depart from Mullanpur on 8th June, For Jalalabad Constituency train would leave from Jalalabad on 11th June, For Sri Hargobindpur Constituency train would depart from Beas on 15th June, For Shahkot train would leave from Shahkot Malsian on 18th June, For Mohali train would leave from Mohali on 22th June, For Faridkot train would leave Faridkot on 25th June.
The spokesman further said that for Nawan Shahar constituency, train would depart from Nawan Shahar on 13th June and from Hoshiarpur on 27th June for devotees of Chhabewal constituency.
Kolkata, May 25 (PTI) Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin, who is playing the role of an Anglo-Indian woman in Konkona Sensharma’s directorial debut, has picked up a little bit of Bengali for her character.
“I had to learn some Bengali for the film as I am playing a woman who is half Bengali. There are some Bengali words in the film,” Kalki told PTI.
Konkona is making her directorial debut with “A Death In The Gunj”, which also stars Kalki, Ranvir Shorey, Vikrant Massey, Om Puri and Tanuja.
The film traces the journey of five individuals who are on a holiday.
It was shot extensively in McCluskieganj town, near Ranchi, which was once famous for its considerable population of Anglo-Indian community, but has gradually dwindled in numbers after the sixties.
“There is one scene in the film where everyone is singing the famous Bengali song ‘Dhitang dhitang bole’. I had to learn it by heart. It was fun and interesting. Bengal has such a rich culture,” Kalki said.
Born to French parents in Puducherry, which was once a French colony, the actress who is playing a 34-year-old woman called Mitali, said she could relate to her character because of the French connect.
The shooting of the film is over and it is now on the editing table.
Kalki, who has done critically acclaimed films like “Margarita with a Straw”, “Dev D”, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” and “That Girl in Yellow Boots” will now be seen in a comedy drama film “Waiting” alongside Naseeruddin Shah.
Melbourne, May 25 (PTI) Two Indian-origin sisters were killed when their car collided with a truck in north-east Australia.
Anjumol, 23, and Asha Mathew, 18, were returning home when their car rammed into a truck at Peaks Crossing in Queensland on Monday.
A missing complaint was lodged by their family friends Ranjeet Vadassery and Anish Mathew when the sisters did not return home.
The police confirmed the death of the duo on late Monday.
“They were wonderful young people, and it’s a very big loss for all of us personally,” Vadassery said.
“We both hail from Kerala and it’s a small close knit community in Toowoomba. Since then a lot of friends have got together on many occasions while we were students with church and cultural activities,” he said.
A student of University of Southern Queensland, Anjumol was a nurse at Lourdes home and her sister was following her sister’s footsteps and studying nursing at the same varsity.
The sisters and other relatives of the deceased are working out modalities with the Indian embassy to bring the bodies to India for cremation. Their parents still live in India.
London, May 22 (PTI) Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri attended their elder son Aryan’s graduation ceremony here
Aryan, 18, graduated from Sevenoaks School in London.
Besides Aryan, his sister Suhana also turned 16 today.
Proud father Shah Rukh tweeted, “Today the only negative is that my kids have grown up… Now to wait till they start believing in fairy tales again…”
Mother Gauri took to Instagram to share a picture of her son’s graduation occasion.
Other celebrity kids from the school are Amitabh Bachchan’s granddaughter Navya Naveli Nanda and Sushmita Sen’s elder daughter Rene.
New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today gave his best wishes to Kiran Bedi for her new assignment as the Lt Governor of Puducherry.
“My best wishes to Kiran Didi for this new role,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Bedi was today appointed as Lt Governor of Puducherry.
Kejriwal and Bedi, both former civil servants and one-time friends, were part of social activist Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement.
While Kejriwal went to form the Aam Aadmi Party, Bedi later joined the BJP. She was declared the chief ministerial candidate of the party to take on Kejriwal. The former IPS officer was, however, defeated in Delhi Assembly polls 2015 while the AAP chief secured a stupendous victory in the national capital.