SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Every Wednesday and Friday

Deadly stretch
Roads are facilitators of easy travel. Better the road, lesser the time taken to reach destination. Sometimes, on some roads some people never reach the intended destination. Victims of such ‘killer roads’ are the innocents as well as reckless drivers.

Mangled remains of vehicles on the killer stretch can only partially tell the tragic tale of the occupants whose lives were cut short. These three vehicles rammed into each other near Kala Bakra village, Bhogpur, on April 30, 2005. Eight persons lost their lives in the accident while 11 were injured. Mangled remains of vehicles on the killer stretch can only partially tell the tragic tale of the occupants whose lives were cut short. These three vehicles rammed into each other near Kala Bakra village, Bhogpur, on April 30, 2005. Eight persons lost their lives in the accident while 11 were injured.

Cable TV issue hangs fire
The issue of uniformity in subscription charges of cable TV connections in various colonies of the city was left unresolved even on Wednesday evening as the cable TV owners asked for time before giving a reply on the issue.

 




EARLIER EDITIONS

Swinging celebration
Decked in finery, members of the Gymkhana Officers’ Wives Club get together in a joyous mood at the Gymkhana Club, Jalandhar, to celebrate Teej.
Decked in finery, members of the Gymkhana Officers’ Wives Club get together in a joyous mood at the Gymkhana Club, Jalandhar, to celebrate Teej. — Tribune photo

Budding scientists return to rousing welcome
Eleven students from Apeejay School and one from Army Public School who had won an International Space Settlement Design Competition held at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre, Texas, were given a rousing welcome as they disembarked from Shatabdi Express around noon at the Jalandhar Railway Station.

In times of calamity, everyone is on the same side
The world is truly flat. As Israeli fighter jets flatten Lebanon looking for Hijbullah, Doaba natives are retracing their path back home. Nearly 13 of them, doing small jobs on contract in the politically volatile Arab nation, returned to their towns and villages on Saturday, leaving behind years of toil to build a secure life, now almost gone.

Latest version of the Wagon R being unveiled in Jalandhar on Thursday.
Latest version of the Wagon R being unveiled in Jalandhar on Thursday. — Tribune photo

Young World
Junior ambassador returns from peace mission

Navreet Kaur, a Class VII student of Apeejay School, came back today after attending the 18th Asia-Pacific Children’s Convention held at Fukuoka, Japan, from July 12 to 25. She was among eight students (four boys and four girls) selected as junior ambassadors to represent India.

Seminar on education abroad
PRG Global Services on Wednesday held a seminar for providing information on higher education in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Singapore and other countries. The company officials also gave legal advice the visitors for immigration to the UK.

Water World
A flooded courtyard of a house on the Chauharwali Chungi road in Kapurthala on Tuesday. The helpless family seem mesmerised by the watery experience.
Courtyard flood: A flooded courtyard of a house on the Chauharwali Chungi road in Kapurthala on Tuesday. The helpless family seem mesmerised by the watery experience.
A man follows the directions of his father as he scoops out water from his house in Adarsh Nagar in Kapurthala on Tuesday.
Cold feet: A man follows the directions of his father as he scoops out water from his house in Adarsh Nagar in Kapurthala on Tuesday. — Tribune photos



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Deadly stretch
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Strewn books of young boys lie forlorn after they were crushed by a truck on their way to school last Wednesday.
Strewn books of young boys lie forlorn after they were crushed by a truck on their way to school last Wednesday. 
— Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Roads are facilitators of easy travel. Better the road, lesser the time taken to reach destination. Sometimes, on some roads some people never reach the intended destination. Victims of such ‘killer roads’ are the innocents as well as reckless drivers.

The Jalandhar-Pathankot Road is a deserving candidate for the unlucky sobriquet. The figures of fatal accidents on this stretch are nerve chilling. In the past year and a half more than 58 persons have been crushed to death while 47 persons suffered serious injuries in 53 cases of accidents.

The figures from Bhogpur, Sadar and Kartarpur police stations were registered on the highway. Fatalities outnumber the injury cases, a pointer towards the highway being a ‘deadly’ stretch.

The statistics reveal that most accidents take place on the highway in the Bhogpur area, from Beas to Chollang villages. Last year 34 persons died and 32 were injured in 27 separate accidents. This year accidents have already claimed 12 lives with as many injured in 12 accidents.

Green signal for traffic lights

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has given a green signal for the installation of traffic lights and blinkers on the Pathankot and Amritsar roads. According to the DSP Traffic, the Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar, would install the lights at Chogitti Chowk and Transport Nagar while blinkers would be put at the Maqsudan Bypass. All the three intersections are accident-prone areas, with minor accidents occurring almost every week.

In the Sadar police station area till Raipur village, 10 cases have been registered in the past one years and a half, with seven deaths reported. In Kartarpur area, between Raipur to Beas villages, four accidents have taken place with five deaths and three injury reports.

The most tragic of these was the death of three young boys on their way to school, who were crushed by a truck-trailer while waiting to cross the road. Lives of these students of the Devi Sahai Sanatan Dharam High School, Ballan village, were cut tragically short last Wednesday.

The incident was yet another grim reminder of fatal accidents that have occurred on this road in the recent past. Most accidents have occurred in the early morning hours when the visibility is low and drivers speed up to cover more distance, unmindful of the vehicles coming from the other side.

In most cases, victims were pilgrims from New Delhi or other far off areas, going or coming from Vaishno Devi or other shrines.

Presence of cattle on the highway is another menace, which can result in tragedy. On April 30 last year, eight persons were killed and 11 injured as a Qualis, a Tata Sumo and a truck rammed into each other after the Sumo hit a buffalo, which strayed onto the road at 1 am.

Occupants of the Sumo and Qualis were killed while driver and cleaner of the truck suffered minor injuries. All three vehicles were badly damaged in the road pile up. The Delhi-bound Sumo was on the way from Vaishno Devi while the passengers in the Qualis were going to Cheema Khuddian village in Gurdaspur district for marriage festivities.

On July 9, two devotees, including an 85-year-old woman, were killed and 12 others injured when the tempo-traveller, in which they were commuting, dashed against a tree in the early hours at Raipur village. The accident took place at about 8 a.m.

About 20 devotees, from Dasuya and nearby villages, were heading for Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana district. The driver reportedly lost control and the devotees and the tree bore the brunt of his mistake.

The Pathankot Chowk intersection is also potentially dangerous with heavy vehicles coming from all sides in absence of any speed breakers, traffic lights, direction signboards and warning signals. The pillars of the bridge further add to the problem, as they block the visibility.

On November 25, 2004, five persons were killed and over 30 injured when two Jammu and Kashmir Transport Corporation buses collided at Pathankot Chowk. The accident occurred about 8.30 am when the buses from Delhi to Jammu collided while trying to overtake each other under the Pathankot bypass bridge. Five persons were killed on the spot. As the buses collided, the driver of one of the buses lost control and crushed rickshaw pullers along the road before ramming into a pillar of the bridge.

Earlier in January this year, a motorcyclist was killed in a pile-up near Nurpur Adda village. The accident took place early morning when two buses, three trucks and a tractor-trolley collided. The motorcycle rider was sandwiched between these vehicles. Passengers of the two buses and the drivers of the vehicles also sustained injuries.

The DSP Traffic, Mr Gautam Singal, blames it on engineering defects in the road and roundabouts, unauthorised cuts taken by the commuters in the median, rash driving, absence of signboards and warning signals. He said police personnel patrolled the highway till Bhogpur, with specific instructions not to allow parking of any vehicles on the road.

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Cable TV issue hangs fire
Tribune News Service

The issue of uniformity in subscription charges of cable TV connections in various colonies of the city was left unresolved even on Wednesday evening as the cable TV owners asked for time before giving a reply on the issue.

A meeting of the cable TV subscribers and cable TV owners with the ADC, Mr Sukwinder Pal Singh Marar, was scheduled for the second time on Wednesday. The meeting will be held on July 30 now.

The issue was first raised in the grievances committee meeting on July 7. The members had said both Win and Siti Cable Networks were charging between Rs 100 to Rs 300. The members said they were also flouting the norms of the Cable TV Act.

On July 14, the DC set up a sub-committee under the ADC to look into the complaints.

Meanwhile, subscribers from Urban Estate Phase-II have complained that cable networks had been disconnected by operators even after the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum had ordered a stay in this regard. They complained that the operators were forcing them to pay Rs 300 despite forum’s direction of charging Rs 100 as rental charges till further orders.

The forum had fixed Monday as the date of hearing during which the complainants represented by Mr K.C. Malhotra complained against Jalandhar Siti Cable, Rainbow and Win Cable for initiating action against them under section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, for violating the orders passed by it on July 10 for not disconnecting cable connection of residents of Urban Estate Phase-II.

Similarly, residents of the Vasant Vihar Cooperative House Building Society Ltd also complained to the forum that their cable connections were disconnected on Tuesday at 7:50 pm. The residents, too, had filed a complaint in this regard on June 5 and the forum had fixed Rs 100 as the rent till further orders. The next date of hearing in their case has been fixed for August 4.

The momentum against the cable operators seems to be rising as the residents of the Jyoti Nagar Welfare Society have also given a complaint to the district forum in this regard today. Earlier, the Consumer Protection Council had lodged a similar complaint on behalf of city residents.

Today, the residents of Shankar Garden Colony also told The Tribune that their cable connection had been snapped despite the fact that they had paid Rs 300 as subscription charges. 

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Budding scientists return to rousing welcome
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jubilant members of the team that won the International space settlement Design Competition, arrive at the Jalandhar railway station on Thursday.
Jubilant members of the team that won the International space settlement Design Competition, arrive at the Jalandhar railway station on Thursday. —  Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Eleven students from Apeejay School and one from Army Public School who had won an International Space Settlement Design Competition held at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre, Texas, were given a rousing welcome as they disembarked from Shatabdi Express around noon at the Jalandhar Railway Station.

Members of their families carrying bouquets and school students carrying placards with messages “Welcome budding astro scientists” and “You have made Jalandhar proud” eagerly waited for the train to arrive at the station.

The moment the train chugged in, students of Army Public School started playing their band.

The euphoric students got out of the train sporting medals that they had won.

Dressed in T-shirts that they had worn as members of a space design company representatives at the NASA they flashing victory signs and hugged their families.

The teachers showered flower petals and garlanded each one of them as the students raised the trophy, in the shape of Space Shuttle Atlantis. The students met their principal, Ms Ranjana Sud, who too had arrived at the station for their welcome. Soon, bhangra followed on the beats of dholak. Palpable excitement permeated the air around.

Talking to The Tribune at the station, Sandeep Agarwal, student of Army Public School, said he had a very good learning experience at the NASA centre. He proudly showed a telescope that he had bought from the USA.

Later at a press conference held at the Press Club, the Apeejay students said they were excited after their win. They said they literally had a blast off at Blast Off Auditorium at the NASA Centre, where the name of winner team was announced.

The students said they found good partners in students of Whitney High School, California, as they had an experience of participating in the contest earlier too.

They all had taken their laptops to create a fresh presentation there in 42 hours time on settlement on Mars.

Mohit Thukral, a team member, said they were allowed to take technical help from two Boeing company managers, Mr Richards and Mr Jack, during that time.

“We were given peculiar specifications for preparing a 20-minute presentation, such as preparing fields for growing barley, getting robots to work there and setting 20,000 people at one point of time.”

“We were assigned different works. Members were looking after operations, structuring, recreation, planning and business development so as to work in a planned fashion,” Aseem Handa, another student said.

The students did not forget to share their experience about gazing around real space shuttles and zero gravity chambers at the space centre. “We had simply been designing them in our computers but it was there that we actually saw them closely”, Harleen, one of the two girl members, said.

The members of the team were Harleen Kaur Ahuja, Saurabh Chopra, Hardeep Singh, Ankur Mahajan, Rohan Sardana, Anroop Singh Ahluwalia, Kanika Puri, Arvinder Singh, Ankit Singhal, Mohit Thukral, Aseem Handa, Varun Ahuja and Sandeep Aggarwal.

Kanika had stopped at New Delhi where she was to apply for admission to a college today.

Mr Emmanuel Ratnaraj, physics lecturer, and Mr Neeraj Kohli, a former student, who is now in BE final year at the Jaypee University of Information Technology, Solan, had accompanied the team as technical advisors.

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Week Comment
In times of calamity, everyone is on the same side
Sourabh Gupta
Tribune News Service

The world is truly flat. As Israeli fighter jets flatten Lebanon looking for Hijbullah, Doaba natives are retracing their path back home.

Nearly 13 of them, doing small jobs on contract in the politically volatile Arab nation, returned to their towns and villages on Saturday, leaving behind years of toil to build a secure life, now almost gone. Unconfirmed reports said there were many more Punjabis trapped in the war zone.

It’s ironical.

The government never really helped them leave India. But now it’s going all out to help them return. There is lesson in this. In times of calamity, everybody’s on the same side.

As these expatriates (now we can call them that, can’t we?) move away from the deserts and return to their villages, they are being greeted by lush green fields of nicely growing paddy. It’s the rains.

The air is not only thick with moisture nowadays, but also politics. You can almost touch it, the politics, that is.

Congress leaders are touching base almost everyday, trying to score points with some mudslinging. In the erstwhile princely state, where no royalty has political ambitions, the Congress is trying to break even in Akali territory. Even the Akalis know that it’s a level playing field. Coming up: Uma Bharti.

The news of gastroenteritis cases suddenly seems to have died down. Since the outbreak was blamed on contaminated water supply, it’s amazing that suddenly the water got cleaned up.

There is no dearth of glamour in Jalandhar. Some of it is outsourced. Like Amruta Patki, who came second in the India-famous Femina Miss India.

Sadly, some days later, her senior Neha Kapoor tumbled out of the Miss Universe contest, for those who still care about who wins the crown. Amruta is going to Chile (next to Argentina, if you remember the World Cup) to clinch the crown. Wonder if people still watch the Miss World contest?

Amruta was brought to the city by an airhostess’ training academy named after a feline species to bring in more students.

The same day, it was found, again, that one Lt-Colonel here has been misusing Army facilities.

But a tragedy bigger than the world-famous Prince episode was the death of three schoolboys in Samastpur. Hardeep, Sukhdev and Sandeep were crushed by a truck while they were on their way to school on bicycles.

Again, in this calamity, everybody was on the same side.

But some of them were pretending. Like the administration and the policemen.

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Young World
Junior ambassador returns from peace mission
Tribune News Service

Navreet Kaur
Navreet Kaur

Navreet Kaur, a Class VII student of Apeejay School, came back today after attending the 18th Asia-Pacific Children’s Convention held at Fukuoka, Japan, from July 12 to 25. She was among eight students (four boys and four girls) selected as junior ambassadors to represent India. During the 14-day visit, she stayed in a camp at Marine House along with 450 children from 43 countries. The main thrust of the convention was to promote cultural exchange, understand lifestyles and inculcatinge the spirit of universal brotherhood.

Navreet stayed with a Japanese family at their home for eight days and tried to follow their lifestyle and culture. She also interacted with many Japanese dignitaries, including the Governor of Fukuoka.

For two days, she visited a school in Japan and interacted with the students and teachers to learn about their education system. During a cultural programme, she exhibited her skills in Indian dance and singing styles. It was a memorable experience of her life.

Investiture ceremony

An investiture ceremony was held at Ambika Modern School on Monday to announce the formation of prefectorial board. Nitin Srana was chosen as head boy and Tanvi Mehndiratta was as the head girl. Four captains, vice-captains and sports captains also took oath during the ceremony. Educationist Dr D.R. Vij was the chief guest. Principal, Ms Navita Puri, and chairperson, Mr Mankaran Bhandari, were also present on the occasion. New principal

Ms Rupali Saini took over as the new principal of the GDR Convent School, Hoshiarpur Road, Phagwara. The members of the GDR Educational Society, teachers, Principal Sarita Sood of GDR Day Boarding Public School, Phagwara, and the teachers and non-teaching members hailed her appointment. Earlier, Ms Saini was working with St. Xavier’s High School, Nagpur.

Recitation contest

An inter-house Punjabi recitation competition was organised at Delhi Public School. Most poems recited during the contest carried a social message or delved on environmental issues. The children left everyone spellbound with their clear, emphatic and perfect recitals. Their expression, intonation and confidence were commendable. Orchids House was adjudged the winner. Mr B. Banerjee, Principal, congratulated the winners and expressed his happiness in making efforts to carry the Punjabi tradition

Special prayer

Students and staff of GDR Convent School, Phagwara, on Monday got together for a special prayer held to congratulate little hero from Kurukshetra, Prince, who won a real life battle and was brought out safe from the 57-metre deep bore with the help of Army personnel. The students were asked to keep courage and faith in God in odd situations.

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Market Buzz
Seminar on education abroad
Tribune News Service

PRG Global Services on Wednesday held a seminar for providing information on higher education in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Singapore and other countries. The company officials also gave legal advice the visitors for immigration to the UK.

Wagon R Duo launched

Maruti Udyog Limited on Wednesday launched Wagon R Duo, which can be run on petrol as well as LPG. The company officials said the running cost of the vehicle is about 33 per cent less than that of a petrol vehicle in the same category. They said the LPG kit in the car has been approved by the Department of Explosives and tested and certified by Automotive Research Association of India, testing and certifying authority for automobiles in the country.

New branch

M.S. Randhawa was recently appointed the new deputy general manager of the Oriental Bank of Commerce (Jalandhar region). The bank will open a new branch at Master Complex in Rama Mandi on July 29.

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