Ludhiana: Woes of wheat growers refuse to end. First it was bad weather and now when the crop is on the threshold of harvest, heavy rains and the high velocity winds hit the state on Friday.

Besides the inclement weather, the yellow rust has also crashed the state

Until August 2005, Indira Colony was a veritable slum on the outskirts of Hoshiarpur, Punjab. An unplanned locality that came up in 1985 on the low-lying bed of a seasonal rivulet, it was perennially beset with squalid conditions, potholed streets, overflowing drains and garbage.

Dasuya(Hoshiarpur): After pioneering Green Revolution in India, Punjab is ready with the state

Chandigarh: Come December and a rich hue of orange lights up the Punjab villages from Hoshiarpur in the north to the Abohar-Ferozepur belt in the south. The most successful citrus variety to be grown in this part of the country, the humble kinnow has now come into its own.

This year during monsoon, all the North Indian states, except Himachal Pradesh, have already received above-normal rainfall, and the monsoon is still continuing. Due to this heavy downpour, a large area (including urban and agricultural) of Punjab has been flooded. It is a well-known fact that floods are created only when the run-off water does not find any way to drain from the region.

Jalandhar: The actual damage of crop and property may run into hundreds of crores, but the government has estimated that a tentative Rs 70 crore relief fund is required for the flood-affected families in Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur districts.
Meanwhile, a girdawari is still on in both the districts. Kapurthala district also reported heavy losses in the damage assessment report prepared by the district administration.

After dolphins, leopards have taken the state by surprise. Sighted in kandi belt, the wild cat, it was learnt, has made the area its new habitat. Sources say earlier, leopards used to come to Hoshiarpur, Garhshankar, Siswan and Pathankot in winter, from November to February, as the hilly regions became sparse in prey. But they had never made the region their habitat. Leopards have been here for about a year, says Satinder Singh, Siswan range officer, adding, "This is a recent phenomenon. We have seen pugmarks of leopards and a cub.'

To conserve energy in Punjab, which has a shortfall of power, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has decided to launch Bachat Lamp Yojana from May 2011. Under the scheme, every power consumer in the state will get four CFLs at a subsidised rate of Rs 15 each in place of their incandescent lamps.

BASMATI rice company LT Foods Ltd plans to invest 100 crore to diversify into the renewable energy sector with a biomass project, a top company executive said.

The company has identified a plot in Hoshiarpur district in Punjab for the project and expects the plant to be operational by June 2011.

A state government survey says over 76 pc people had to grease the palms of municipal bodies to get basic amenities CHANDIGARH, February 21: It's not a finding the Punjab Government would like to flaunt. A survey sponsored by it has found out that 76.5 per cent of people pay bribes to officials in the various municipal bodies of the state to get their work done. The finding was an outcome of a study conducted by the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) for the Department of Planning, Punjab Government. The study discovered that 76.5 per cent of the respondents had paid bribe on one occasion and most of them (82.3 per cent) had paid it to one person only. Interestingly, 94.1 per cent of the repondents admitted that the persons concerned had asked for money for redressal of their problems regarding basic amenities such as water, sewerage, streetlights and roads. Besides paying bribes, 37.1 per cent of the people also felt the need to approach an influential person to get their complaints redressed. Interestingly, almost half of the respondents were not in favour of paying bribes for any work at the MC level but were forced to do so. The only exception were people at Jalandhar and Nakodar where 80 per cent and 100 per cent of the respondents, respectively, did not mind greasing palms to get their work done at the municipal corporation. However, in many cases, bribe did not prove to be the ideal solution. Nearly 44.1 per cent of the respondents complained about harassment even after paying the bribe. Only 23.5 per cent felt that their work was done immediately after they paid the bribe, said the study. A large number (37.4 per cent) of respondents felt that middle-level officials were most corrupt, and only 8.1 per cent pointed a finger at the councillors. A majority of the complaints (45.2 per cent) were related to poor water supply followed by faulty streetlights, potholed roads (11.3 per cent) and choked sewerage (8.1 per cent). In Hoshiarpur, poor or polluted water supply accounted for half the complaints, while building construction made up for one-fourth of the grouses. In Moga and Amritsar, blockage of sewerage and poor water supply were the major grouses. In a damning indictment of the municipal bodies, the survey showed that 74.9 per cent of the people were dissatisfied with their grievance redressal system. The Jalandhar municipal body fared most poorly with only 2 per cent of the respondents saying that the civic body was prompt in dealing with grievances. The reasons for corruption, according to the study, ranged from poor work culture, faulty management, lack of proper planning, absence of transparency, to ad hoc allocation of resources. The people surveyed suggested transparency and involvement of the locals in grassroots initiatives would improve the delivery system. Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, DS Bains, however, blamed the old urban infrastructure for the corrupt system. "Urban infrastructure is nearing a collapse in the state for want of investment in the last decade and half. Some unscrupulous elements take advantage of people who want better services. The answer lies in massive investment to upgrade the urban services which we are doing this year.' Show 'em the money Of the 76.5 pc people who bribed Punjab civic body officials to get their work done: