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Vishal Rambani

A special correspondent, Vishal Rambani is the bureau chief at Patiala. He covers politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues, with several investigative stories to his credit.

Articles by Vishal Rambani

Faulty district survey reports delayed environmental clearance for mining, says Punjab mining department report

The mining department says faulty district survey reports (DSRs) were prepared by a private firm which has been blacklisted

The report further said that this caused a huge loss, amounting to crores of rupees in revenue to the state government and stalled the mining work in Pathankot and Ropar for more than one and a half years.
Updated on Feb 27, 2024 07:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Allotment of industrial plots: Punjab govt grants nod to prosecute 6 ex-PSIEC officials

The Punjab government has granted prosecution sanction against six officials of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) into the alleged irregularities in the allotment, regularisation, and bifurcation of industrial plots

The Punjab government has granted prosecution sanction against six officials of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) into the alleged irregularities in the allotment, regularisation, and bifurcation of industrial plots.
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 08:06 AM IST

Eyeing poll dividends AAP government in Punjab goes soft on farmers

As per reports, as the farmers started their mobilisation to Delhi, the Punjab government gave clear instructions to the district administration not to stop them and ease their movement to the border

Farmers during their protest at Shambu Border on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/ HT)
Updated on Feb 15, 2024 09:10 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Four-time Cong MP Preneet Kaur set to join BJP

Preneet Kaur, a prominent face of the Congress in the royal city, is set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) next week. Presently, suspended by the Congress for alleged anti-party activities, Preneet openly supports the saffron party in her stronghold, Patiala.

Four-time Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, a prominent face of the Congress in the royal city, is set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) next week. (ANI File Photo)
Updated on Feb 13, 2024 08:24 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab panchayat elections likely after Lok Sabha polls

As the government is already gearing up for parliamentary polls, the elections for panchayats will be held after the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab. The Panchayati Raj Act also provides a provision for holding elections within six months from the completion of the term of a panchayat.

With the poll bugle for the Lok Sabha elections having been sounded, Punjab is likely to hold general elections for the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) after the parliamentary elections. (HT File Photo)
Updated on Feb 07, 2024 08:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

11 players from Punjab given PCS, PPS jobs

Indian women’s cricket team skipper was appointed as DSP again after she was stripped of the rank in 2018 owing to a fake degree

CM Bhagwant Mann giving appointment letter to Indian women’s cricket team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur in Chandigarh on Sunday. (Sourced)
Updated on Feb 05, 2024 07:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Banwarilal Purohit resigns as Punjab governor, UT administrator; cites ‘personal reasons’

In a short letter to President Droupadi Murmu, Banwarilal Purohit cited personal reasons behind tendering his resignation.

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit at the Parliament House complex during the Budget session in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)
Updated on Feb 04, 2024 08:18 AM IST

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit resigns over personal reasons

In a short letter written to the President of India, Banwarilal Purohit, 83, cited personal reasons behind tendering his resignation

Banwarilal Purohit with Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann. (File Photo)
Updated on Feb 03, 2024 04:10 PM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab Congress suspends Navjot Sidhu’s Moga rally organisers

PPCC president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring had warned of strict action against leaders’ indiscipline several times. However, action has been taken against only the event organisers and not Sidhu, against whom a report had been sent to the party high command too.

Former PPCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu addressing rally in Moga. (HT file)
Updated on Jan 28, 2024 06:34 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

2020 graft case: After 4 yrs VB gets nod to prosecute assistant excise and taxation commissioner Rajesh Bhandari

Assistant excise and taxation commissioner (AETC) Rajesh Bhandari, who was posted at the Shambhu barrier in the excise and taxation department’s (mobile wing), was arrested on January 15, 2020, by the VB sleuths after his driver was caught accepting a bribe on his behalf in Chandigarh.

A VB official, who did not wish to be named, said the bureau after completing the investigation wrote to the financial commissioner taxation, on March 13, 2020, seeking permission for prosecution
Updated on Jan 17, 2024 08:50 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

ED arrests Punjab ex-minister Dharamsot in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday arrested Congress leader and former Punjab forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot from Jalandhar under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in an investigation linked to an alleged forest scam

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday arrested Congress leader and former Punjab forest minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot from Jalandhar under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in an investigation linked to an alleged forest scam.
Updated on Jan 16, 2024 06:26 AM IST

PM Modi security breach: Mann gives clean chit to state’s former chief secy

The breach took place when the Charanjit Singh Channi-led Congress government was governing the state

A panel headed by retired Supreme Court justice Indu Malhotra had indicted Tiwari for not deputing any officer to travel with the Prime Minister’s motorcade (HT)
Updated on Jan 13, 2024 01:01 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab taps solar power to bring down purchase cost

Punjab State Power Corporation Limited signs ninth PPA in two years for 2,800MW of solar power at an average cost of ₹2.51/unit

The Punjab State Power Corporation will buy 300 MW from Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) for an economical <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2.43/unit. (HT file photo)
Updated on Jan 10, 2024 09:04 AM IST

Punjab: Troubles mount for DIG Inderbir as co-accused suspended DSP moves plea to turn approver in drugs and graft case

The suspended DSP has recorded his statement under section 164 of the CrPC (confession before a magistrate) in the Tarn Taran court recently, stating that he had handed over the bribe money to then DIG Ferozepur range Inderbir. The matter is pending before the Tarn Taran court

DIG Inderbir Singh said his name has been falsely dragged in both the cases.
Updated on Jan 08, 2024 06:54 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab: Ahead of LS polls, SAD ramps up efforts to galvanise Panthic factions, splinter groups

Ever since the SAD government, which was in power in Punjab in 2015 , was accused of mishandling the sacrilege incidents, its political image has taken a hit in the state

Punjab: Ahead of LS polls, SAD ramps up efforts to galvanise Panthic factions, splinter groups
Updated on Jan 03, 2024 08:34 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

VB to probe all PPAs signed during SAD-BJP regime: Govt

Probing PPAs is one of the main poll promises of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and CM Bhagwant Mann-led government after getting assent to the bill scrapping the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Repeal Bill, on October 25 ordered VB to start the probe afresh

Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann
Updated on Jan 02, 2024 08:32 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

PSERC rejects state Powercom proposal to buy solar power from SGEL at 2.55 per unit

Though the power rate offered by SGEL to the PSPCL is much less, still PSERC observed that it is not as par with the power tariff finalised by both entities in 2022, when the upper ceiling limit was ₹2.44 per unit.

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC), has rejected the proposal of the state power corporation to buy 500 MW of solar power from Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Green Energy Limited (SGEL) at a rate of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2.55/kWh for next 25 years.
Updated on Dec 26, 2023 08:08 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Merger with Shiromani Akali Dal: Dhindsa faction to form panel

Sources said most of the leaders supported the merger move and the SAD (S) decided to form a panel, which will take feedback from the district units of the party to submit a report to Dhindsa on the possibility of merger and other modalities.

Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (File)
Updated on Dec 24, 2023 07:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Congress vs Congress: War of words erupts between Bajwa, Sidhu

Bajwa, taking aim at Sidhu, has criticised the recent rally, while Sidhu has hit back, attacking the LoP and sharing the post of his aides on X (formerly Twitter)

Sidhu hit back by posting a joint statement released by former MLAs Nazar Singh Manshaiah, Kaka Rajinder Singh, Maheshinder Singh, Raminder Awla, Jagdev Singh Kamalu and others (HT File)
Updated on Dec 21, 2023 08:22 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

2008-09 medical officers’ recruitment: Punjab VB books PPSC ex-chairman, 5 members, one held

Probe agencies spokesperson said PPSC member Dr Satwant Singh Mohi, an ex-MLA from Shatrana, has been arrested while raids are on to arrest the remaining accused

The SIT was formed on a petition filed by late DGP KPS Gill, who had filed a writ in HC over the alleged wrongdoings in PPSC.
Updated on Dec 20, 2023 06:56 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab governor gives assent to scrapping state vigilance commission

Punjab State Vigilance Commission Repeal Bill was pending with Raj Bhawan for assent for past one year

Governor Banwarilal Purohit gave his assent to the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Repeal Bill a year after chief minister Bhagwant Mann tabled it and it was passed by the state assembly. (HT file photo)
Published on Dec 19, 2023 02:36 PM IST

Punjab sees increase in feeders with power thefts

As per the PSPCL, though the quantum of power theft has dipped, the number of feeders from which the theft is taking place has increased.

While the Punjab government is spending thousands of crores to provide 300 units of free electricity to consumers, it has not rid the state of the problem of power thefts. (HT File)
Updated on Dec 19, 2023 07:42 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Recruitments stalled as PPSC headless since September

The commission, which recruits the class-1 officers, has been without a regular chairman since March 2023, when the last incumbent Jagbans Singh Powar retired

Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC)
Updated on Dec 17, 2023 07:26 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Purab apartments project: VB recommends FIR against IAS officer for causing loss to exchequer

Sarvjit was the then chief administrator of GMADA. Besides him, the then estate officer of GMADA, Mahesh Bansal, is among officials, against whom approval has been sought for registration of an FIR

On the basis of an inquiry, the VB has moved the file to the chief minister, who also holds the portfolio of the housing and urban department, and also to the competent authority to move ahead in a case against IAS and PCS officers.
Updated on Dec 08, 2023 08:20 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab CM hikes sugarcane price by 11 a quintal to 391

Bhagwant Mann says new rate is highest in country, but farmers, who are demanding a hike from ₹380 to ₹450 a quintal, termed the revised state agreed price (SAP) insufficient

Supporters of farmer organisations holding a sit-in protest over sugarcane prices on the Jalandhar-Phagwara highway in Jalandhar last week. Farmer leaders have rejected the price hike, terming it insufficient. (ANI Photo)
Updated on Dec 01, 2023 08:26 PM IST

Forest scam: ED raids former Punjab ministers Dharamsot, Gilzian

14 locations being searched by Enforcement Directorate team in connection with the forest scam-linked money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday raided multiple locations in Punjab, including the properties of former Punjab minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, in connection with the forest scam-linked money laundering case. (HT file photo)
Updated on Nov 30, 2023 01:01 PM IST

BJP says Mann govt indifferent to Punjab’s issues

Speaking during the zero hour, Ashwani first raised the issue of mining mafia in his constituency and termed the government’s attitude “insensitive”.

BJP MLA from Pathankot and the party’s former state unit chief, Ashwani Sharma led the attack on the government and accused it of being indifferent towards public issues. (HT File)
Updated on Nov 30, 2023 08:46 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Over 540-km roads only on paper, revised estimates saved state Rs160 crore: CM Mann

Mann said by using the technology, the state government has saved ₹163.26 crore merely in estimates of roads and it has been found that 540 km of roads do not even exist

Chief minister Bhagwant Mann during the Punjab Vidhan Sabha session in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Updated on Nov 29, 2023 07:36 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Meet Hayer loses 4 portfolios in latest Punjab cabinet rejig

In the Tuesday reshuffle, minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra was the major gainer as he was allocated mines and geology, water resources and conservation of land and water – which were earlier with Hayer. Mann will keep the fourth department — science, technology and environment.

Punjab cabinet minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer (File)
Updated on Nov 22, 2023 09:18 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Hiring on hold as Punjab Public Service Commission without head for 7 months

Amid strained ties, Bhagwant Mann-led AAP govt yet to recommend panel of three names for Punjab Public Service Commission chairperson to governor Banwarilal Purohit to pick

The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), which recruits Class-1 officers in the state, has been without a chairperson for the past seven months, leading to a delay in appointments. (Representational photo)
Updated on Nov 21, 2023 04:54 PM IST
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