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Tota Singh raps PAU, 2 shunted out

Dr B S Dhillon was rebuked by Agriculture Minister Tota Singh for ‘loopholes’ on the inaugural day of Kisan Mela.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana | Published: September 15, 2014 3:26 pm
A research field near gate no. 4. ( Source: Express photo by Gurmeet Singh ) A research field near gate no. 4. ( Source: Express photo by Gurmeet Singh )

Heavy rains and weeds in the fields proved to be a deadly combination for Punjab Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor Dr B S Dhillon, who was repeatedly rebuked by Agricultural Minister Tota Singh for the ‘loopholes’ on the inaugural day of the Kisan Mela on Friday.

A closed-door meeting followed Tota’s Singh departure, after which a furious Dhillon ordered the transfer of two scientists from the Agricultural Meteorology department, who were reportedly responsible for maintaining fields near Gate Number 4, a spot specifically pointed out by the minister. Sources present during the meeting said the ‘VC questioned why fields near the gate were not maintained’.

Those transferred include assistant agronomist Sandeep Singh Sandhu and agro-meteorologist Ritu. Dr B S Dhillon did not respond to calls and messages, but R S Sidhu, registrar, confirmed the transfer. “I cannot comment on the reason, but orders of transfer have been issued,” he said. Warning letters have also been issued to some scientists from agro met department, said sources.

S S Sandhu, meanwhile, confirmed his transfer but refused to comment on the reasons. Tota Singh was reportedly upset after the waterproof pandal failed to save him from the rains, shortly after he began his address, causing him to wind up early.

As part of his address, he announced ‘he will give funds for building a shelter on open auditorium of PAU.’ He also taunted the V-C that ‘PAU was not able to go by its own weather forecast, which said it will rain on Friday.’

Talking to The Indian Express, Tota Singh confirmed that ‘he was unhappy with presentation of fields near Gate Number 4’. “I was passing from that gate and someone told me morning walkers also come in from here. The cotton, maize, mustard and green manure fields were poorly maintained with wild grass and weeds in abundance. I am also a farmer and I cannot see my fields in such bad shape. I told the V-C to maintain them,” the minister told The Indian Express.

Sources said that twice Singh pointed out the poorly maintained fields. “On one hand we put up Kisan Mela and on the other hand we have poor fields. This is not acceptable,” Tota Singh added. However, he added ‘his intention was not to get any scientist transferred from PAU.’

He added that ‘he told the V-C to check the weather forecast in advance’ before organising such melas. “It is the farmers and small vendors who know what losses are after the mela was washed out,” said Singh.

“The agro met department was the target during the meeting. We sent the forecast on September 11 that thundershowers are expected in and around Ludhiana in the next 24 hours. But it is not our mistake if the university did not go by them,” said a professor from the Agro Met department.

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  1. J
    Jul 20, 2015 at 8:26 am
    oh , What if tota got wet . He did not get mad for other people's sake , he got mad because he did not get to make a perfect speech , low life Indian politicians .
    1. J
      Sep 16, 2014 at 2:53 am
      I agree with minister VC should have looked into these issue.
      1. Joginder Singh Kular
        Sep 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm
        If the Punjab Agricultural University had forecast rains/thunder showers on the day the Kisan Mela was to be held, some alternative/appropriate arrangements for the Inaugural function should have been made and also the venders should have been given the warning. The immediate reaction of the Minister towards the V C was not appropriate nor the V C should have immediately reacted and ordered the transfer abruptly, which could have been done after the Mela on the next working day.
        1. L
          Lakesh Sharma
          Sep 16, 2014 at 12:32 am
          by transferring few scientist wont make any sense. its the work culture at PAU which needs to be corrected and then things will come in place.