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
Facing public criticism for its failure to fulfill the promise of an uninterrupted power supply during summer months, Punjab State Power Coropration Limited (PSPCL) has laid the blame at the doorsteps of the Northern Grid for power outages in the Punjab.
In what could spell trouble for the Punjab government during the ongoing assembly session, nearly two dozen villagers and at least eight policemen were injured in an exchange of fire and stone- pelting in Balberah village in Patiala district today.
The absence of pre-monsoon rains and slow pace of melting of ice in the mountains has hit the power generation capacity of hydel projects, affecting the power supply situation in north India.
After spending a sleepless night to finalise the results of Punjab State Civil Services Combined Competitive Examination (2009), the entire team of Punjab Public Service Commission is an elated lot.
As the monsoon nears, the controversy over the Hansi-Butana canal has been raked up again. Finding the siphon on the Hansi-Butana canal choked with silt, deputy commissioner GK Singh has written a missive to the Punjab government to take up the matter at the earliest with the Haryana government.
The dismal performance by the Congress party in the civic body elections has put the Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh's future on a sticky wicket.
In a repeat of 2007 polls for the local body, violence and hooliganism of SAD-BJP workers with active support of police personnel marred voting for the Patiala municipal corporation elections today. Akali workers tries to manhandle Punjab congress president Capt Amarinder Singh at Ablowal in ward number 49, where he went to support party candidate who was mercilessly beaten up by rivals and police.
Congress' Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Singh Bittu today flayed Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Badal over the Operation Bluestar memorial and honouring of Balwant Singh Rajoana with 'living martyr' title by the Akal Takht.
Almost two years after the brutal murders of four family members in Nabha, the dirty deals between the investigation officer and the accused are unfolding layer by layer.
Delay in modernisation plans of Bhakra Beas Management Board, which aimed at increasing power generation of left bank units, is going to make matters worse on the power front in the near future. Combined with delayed monsoon and power crunch faced by generation companies does not augur well for the common man.
In an exemplary action, the police have booked retired deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Harbhajan Singh, the investigating officer in the Nabha family murder case, for conducting a shoddy investigation which led to the acquittal of the accused.
For a state that has about 150 engineering colleges with nearly 40,000 seats, Punjab's two power corporations are finding it hard to recruit 700-odd engineers due to lack of quality candidates.
Giving the clean chit to a patwari accused of corruption, an inquiry conducted by Kahan Singh Pannu, special principal secretary to the Punjab chief minister, has indicted six serving and former officers of the state Vigilance Bureau for abuse of power, and recommended the registration of an FIR against them.
Updated on May 15, 2012 11:39 AM IST
Hindustan Times | ByVishal Rambani and Navrajdeep Singh, Patiala
Punjab government today ordered the suspension of IAS officer Vikas Garg, the then deputy commissioner of Patiala, in the land scam, highlighted by HT in an exclusive report on April 20. The government also ordered a vigilance probe apart from departmental action against the accused officers.
Even as chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is yet to clear the file for a vigilance probe into the alleged illegal sale of government land as private property in Patiala, the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) has started an investigation into the scam
A national-level study has pointed out that Punjab draws the maximum groundwater in the country for irrigation in terms of geographical area. The state occupies 1.54% of the country's total area.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to build a memorial to those who were killed in Operation Bluestar in 1984. Militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale's name tops the list of "martyrs" who had lost their lives in the military operation.
Listing major chinks in investigations carried out in Nabha family murder case, deputy inspector general of police LK Yadav has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case afresh and collect evidence against the prime suspect, Amritbir Singh, who was acquitted by a Patiala court on April 28.
In a setback to the Punjab Police that raises serious questions over the force's investigating skills, a Patiala court has acquitted a 26-year-old man accused of killing four members of his family in the district's Nabha town in August 2010.
Updated on May 02, 2012 11:51 AM IST
Hindustan Times | ByVishal Rambani and Navrajdeep Singh, Patiala
Divisional commissioner SR Ladhar, whose inquiry report indicted former Patiala deputy commissioner Vikas Garg and other officials in the Rs 250-crore land scam, has reiterated that the land in question was government property.
After much delay, the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) is expected to declare the results of the Punjab Combined Civil Services Examination (PCS Mains) in a day or two.
Former Patiala deputy commissioner Vikas Garg, indicted in the Rs 250-crore land scam, has termed divisional commissioner SR Ladhar's inquiry report 'incorrect'. He claimed that the revenue staff executed the sale deed as the land was private property.
A member of the erstwhile Patiala royal family has claimed that a prime plot of land, whose sale was allegedly illegal, belongs to him, and refuted government claims that it is the real owner of the land.
The sale of government land by marking it as private property, which has led to Vikas Garg's ouster as Patiala deputy commissioner and indictment of then divisional commissioner GS Grewal and other revenue officials, was carried out on the basis of documents that were not only technically invalid but also clearly carried the remark that the land belonged to the government, it is learnt.
The Punjab government has transferred Vikas Garg from the post of Patiala deputy commissioner after the HT report, 'Officials in the dock over land sale' (April 20), highlighted the indictment of Garg and five others in connection with the illegal sale of government property worth Rs 250 crore.
Patiala deputy commissioner Vikas Garg, former divisional commissioner GS Grewal and four others are in the dock for illegally executing the sale deed of a government property with an estimated market value of Rs 250 crore
Illegal and ecologically-hazardous mining of minor minerals such as sand and gravel is taking place near the Ravi's banks in this border district - right under the administration's nose.
Updated on Apr 16, 2012 11:25 AM IST
Hindustan Times | ByJasdeep Singh Malhotra and Vishal Rambani, Keeri (pathankot)
Reacting to the judgment, Kamajeet Singh, the complainant in the case was happy that finally Bibi Jagir Kaur was behind bars. "However, I am not satisfied with judgment. She must be held guilty under charges of murder of Harpreet and I would approach higher court for that", Kamaljeet told HT.
A special CBI court in Patiala today convicted Punjab cabinet minister Bibi Jagir Kaur in the murder case of her daughter Harpreet Kaur, who died under mysterious circumstances in 2000.
Under fire due to poor performance of the party in the recently concluded assembly elections, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh seems headed for more trouble as some party workers have announced to launch a campaign for his removal from the post.