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Protesters set two vehicles on fire
Kapurthala, November 27
The situation in the city became tense this evening as some youths reportedly forced an Amritdhari Sikh to drink liquor as the bus he was driving hit a motor cycle parked outside a shop located near Old Hospital on the Amritsar-Kapurthala road.

Rainwater down the drain in Punjab
Jalandhar, November 27
Most of the water harvesting pilot projects constructed by the Chandigarh-based Central Ground Water Board in various towns of Punjab are lying defunct.

Skin ailments on rise in Wariana
Wariana (Jalandhar), November 27
Every second patient coming to Subsidiary Health Centre being run by the government at Wariana village is suffering from skin ailments.

Parliamentary Secy lays foundation stone
Nawanshahr, November 27
Mr Parkash Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, today laid the foundation stone of Rajiv Gandhi Nagar to be set up by the Improvement Trust at Mohalla Pandora here in order to realise the dream of middle-class people of owning a house in the nagar having modern basic civic amenities.


EARLIER STORIES



Members of the BJP SC Morcha burn an effigy of Greg Chappell, coach of Indian cricket team, in Jalandhar on Monday.
Members of the BJP SC Morcha burn an effigy of Greg Chappell, coach of Indian cricket team, in Jalandhar on Monday. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Apology sought from Mayor Datti
Amritsar, November 27
Mr S.S. Sharma, a social activist and resident of Katra Parja, today served a legal notice to the Mayor, Mr Sunil Datti, for calling him “blackmailer” in the finance and contract committee meeting of the Municipal Corporation held on November 21.

Seechewal opens Veda workshop
Hoshiarpur, November 27
Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal inaugurated Maharishi Vishvamiter Ved Vedanga workshop at Vishveshvaranand Vishva Bandu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, Department of Panjab University at Sadhu Ashram, here today.

Aided-school teachers hold protest
Members of the Punjab State Aided-School Teachers and Other Employees Union hold a protest, demanding regular release of grants in Jalandhar on Monday. Jalandhar, November 27
Demanding regular release of grant-in-aid and various allowances, teachers from aided schools of the district held a rally at Company Bagh here today. The teachers and non-teaching employees today took mass casual leave, held black flag demonstration and dharnas.

Members of the Punjab State Aided-School Teachers and Other Employees Union hold a protest, demanding regular release of grants in Jalandhar on Monday. — A Tribune photo

CM’s effigy burnt
Amritsar, November 27
The Sarv Sanjhi Party burnt the effigy of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at Hall Gate here today. They demanded pension for widows, physically challenged and senior citizens of the city.

Employee held on bribery charge
Jalandhar, November 27
The district Vigilance Bureau today held Jasvir Singh, an employee with the Excise Department at Mehatpur, for accepting Rs 2,000 from a resident of Sangowal village by threatening him of lodging a false complaint against him for manufacturing illicit liquor.

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Protesters set two vehicles on fire
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 27
The situation in the city became tense this evening as some youths reportedly forced an Amritdhari Sikh to drink liquor as the bus he was driving hit a motor cycle parked outside a shop located near Old Hospital on the Amritsar-Kapurthala road.

Surprisingly, the situation was tense but senior police officers, including the SSP, Mr Rajiv Ahir, and the SP (Detective), Mr Bachan Singh Randhawa, were on leave.

The SSP’s mobile was switched off. When The Tribune rang at his residence, it was told that he was on leave and asked to contact the SP (D). Interestingly, when contacted over his mobile, the SP (D) was unaware of the tension and told The Tribune that he was also on leave and asked to contact the SP (Headquarters), Mr Charanjit Kumar.

When contacted after an hour, Mr Kumar said he would be able to say about the situation after 10 minutes as he was leaving for the spot right now.

However, he said guilty would not be spared at all and legal action would be taken against whoever would be found guilty.

Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 agitated persons blocked the road and set two motor cycles on fire. They were raising slogans against the police and demanded action against the culprits.

According to eyewitnesses, the driver of the Jalandhar-bound A.P.J. College bus, Veer Singh, was coming from Amritsar when the bus reportedly hit the parked motor cycle at around 7.45 pm.

Agitated over the collision, some youths dragged him out of the bus and allegedly beat him up. Subsequently, he was also forced to drink liquor.

Veer Singh admitted to the Civil Hospital. The police recorded his statement.

However, according to unconfirmed reports, some religious organisations gave a call of Kapurthala band tomorrow. At the filing of this report the situation was tense. To disperse the mob, the police lathicharged them.

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Rainwater down the drain in Punjab
Vishal Gulati
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 27
Most of the water harvesting pilot projects constructed by the Chandigarh-based Central Ground Water Board in various towns of Punjab are lying defunct.

The funds for constructing the projects were provided by the Ministry of Water Resources. The board had constructed 20 projects at a cost of about Rs 5 crore. These included at Channia village in Kapurthala district, Kala Sanghia village in Jalandhar district and Issru village in Ludhiana district. In these villages the pond water is used to harvest groundwater.

After constructing the 20 projects, the board handed over these to the departments concerned, who further handed over the maintenance of some of the projects to panchayats.

Similar projects were also constructed in Amritsar (Krishi Bhavan and the Golden Temple) and the Beas Doab Canal System in Noormahal, Jalandhar district.

“The threat to the projects is posed by the callousness of the authorities concerned towards their maintenance,” says a senior officer of the board.

“With the passage of time, weeds and silt choke the mouth of the recharge wells, which reduces their intake capacity. In order to maintain the structures, periodic cleaning of catchment area is required. It is the duty of the authorities concerned to look after its maintenance so that optimum benefits can be taken. Our duty is only to construct the project in order to popularise the concept of water harvesting.”

Studies conducted by the board reveal that the water table in the state is depleting due to over-use and urbanisation. This results in more stress on groundwater and decline in the water levels, particularly of deeper aquifers, which sustain tubewell discharge.

However, there is improvement in the water table in some areas in the state due to the success of some projects.

An impact assessment study undertaken by the Ministry of Water Resources revealed that rooftop harvesting projects have led to increase in the water table by 0.32 to 0.70 m on an average in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Amritsar districts.

Rooftop rainwater harvesting has been made compulsory in some states, including Haryana, New Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, for specific categories of buildings but Punjab is yet to move in this regard.

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Skin ailments on rise in Wariana
Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

A garbage dump in front of the Subsidiary Health Centre at Wariana village.
A garbage dump in front of the Subsidiary Health Centre at Wariana village. — A Tribune photograph

Wariana (Jalandhar), November 27
Every second patient coming to Subsidiary Health Centre being run by the government at Wariana village is suffering from skin ailments.

Garbage dumps, overflowing drains coupled with unhygienic living conditions, lack of awareness and poverty seem to be the cause of these fungal infections, mostly caused by scabies, athlete’s foot and Pityrosporum characterised by skin lesions and patches.

Even the health centre is surrounded on two sides by garbage dumps and the third side by a drain.

Since the garbage dumps have blocked the passages in the entire village, the residents have to pass over these huge mounds of dumps to reach the destination due to which they contract infections and find it extremely difficult to get rid of these.

Employees of the health centre said even as they were getting a sufficient supply of anti-scabies medicine quarterly in a year, they still were getting out of stock at the end of the period. They said the patients came to them only when the condition became too uneasy for them. They added that it was reoccurring in most of the cases as proper hygiene was not being maintained after taking treatment.

Even today when The Tribune team visited the centre, the dispensary had registered five cases of skin ailments out of the 12 patients. But shockingly, two of these patients were newborn.

The staff of the dispensary said the cases of infection came in throughout the year.

The gynaecological examination section of the centre was full of swarms of mosquitoes.

Mr Rachhpal Singh, sarpanch of the village, said there was no space in the village where waste could be dumped. He said the old space earmarked for the purpose had been encroached by villagers. He said there was no means of income for the villagers which could bring in revenue for ensuring cleanliness.

He fumed that even the passage leading to panchayat ghar was also blocked by a garbage dump and the panchayat meetings had to be organised at some other place.

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Parliamentary Secy lays foundation stone
Our Correspondent

Nawanshahr, November 27
Mr Parkash Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, today laid the foundation stone of Rajiv Gandhi Nagar to be set up by the Improvement Trust at Mohalla Pandora here in order to realise the dream of middle-class people of owning a house in the nagar having modern basic civic amenities.

Addressing the gathering, he said he had made efforts to fulfill the dreams of the late minister Dilbagh Singh to make the town as a model district in the state.

Mr Sita Ram Taneja, Chairman, Improvement Trust, while divulging details of the project said the proposed colony would be spread over 3.72 acres. The multi-storey colony would house 128 flats. The estimated cost of construction is Rs 10 crore.

Mr Lalit Mohan Pathak, president, Municipal council, Mr Kartar Singh Sekhon, Mr Prem Bhardwaj, president, Arya Samaj, Mr Surjit Soeta, Mr Subash Soni, executive officer, among others also spoke.

School programme

Mr Parkash Singh laid the foundation stone of a classroom at DNRN SD Senior Secondary School here on Monday. Mr Ved Parkash Mehan, Mr Sham Sunder Sharda, Ms Krishna Joshi, president, manager and principal, respectively, of the school, Mr N.B. Julka, principal, SD College for Women, among others, addressed the gathering. Students presented a cultural programme.

Cheques distributed

Mr Parkash Singh distributed cheques worth Rs 93.50 lakh among 18 primary and 55 upper primary schools for the construction of additional classrooms under Sarv Shikhiya Abhiyan at a function organised at Government Senior Secondary School here on Monday.

Mr Gurmail Singh Sahlon, District Education Officer, Mr Kuldip Rana, district Congress president, and Mr Amrik Singh and Mr Tarlok Singh Phillaura, district officials of Sarv Shikhiya Abhiyan, among others, spoke on the occasion.

Teachers protest

As part of their statewide programme, activists of the district unit of the Government-Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union took out a protest march in the town and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner for submission to the Chief Minister to register their protest for the inordinate delay in the issuance of a notification regarding restoration of retirement benefits, which were withdrawn by the government in 2003.

Dr Gurmit Singh Sra, Mr Rajinder Sharma, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr Baldev Singh Pabla, among others, while addressing the rally, said though the Chief Minister had been making announcements regarding the restoration of retirement benefits for the employees for the past few months but notification was still awaited.

They urged the government to lift the ban on recruitment and provide facilities on a par with the government schools to the privately-managed government-aided schools.

Badminton meet

The District Badminton Association will organise an open badminton tournament at Indoor Stadium here from December 1 to 3. The entries in different categories (both boys and girls) could be submitted with Mr Jia Lal Sharma, secretary, Mr Ramesh Nayyar (Dana Mandi) and Mr Narinder Kanchan (Geeta Bhawan road) by November 30.

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Apology sought from Mayor Datti
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News service

Amritsar, November 27
Mr S.S. Sharma, a social activist and resident of Katra Parja, today served a legal notice to the Mayor, Mr Sunil Datti, for calling him “blackmailer” in the finance and contract committee meeting of the Municipal Corporation held on November 21.

The notice read: “Mr Datti had defamed Mr Sharma in the presence of public thereby subjecting him to not only physical loss but also socially defaming which could not be compensated in any terms.”

It further said: “Mr Sharma had urged Mr Datti to cancel the unauthorised distribution of tenders of the civil wing by councillor Rajinder Kumar Bhalla as it was against the rules and regulations of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976.”

It further said earlier too when Mr Bhalla had allotted the tenders for which he was not authorised and when Mr Sharma had unearthed this “scandal” then the tenders were cancelled by the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation.

Mr Sharma through the notice has called upon Mr Datti for a written apology failing which he shall be constrained to file a suit for defamation in the court.

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Seechewal opens Veda workshop
Our correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 27
Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal inaugurated Maharishi Vishvamiter Ved Vedanga workshop at Vishveshvaranand Vishva Bandu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, Department of Panjab University at Sadhu Ashram, here today.

Prof Ganesh Bhardwaj, Chairman of the institute, the six-day workshop had been organised to impart training to Sanskrit students in the art of chanting of the Veda mantras with proper accent for the first time.

About 35 students from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana are participating in the workshop. Prof Kamleshwar Singh, Dean, and Prof Upinder Jha, Head, Veda Department of Sanskrit University Darbhanga, Prof Laxmidhar, Dean and Head of Veda Department of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri National Sanskrit University, Prof Hirdya Rajan Sharma, Head of Veda Department of Banaras Hindu University, Prof B. B. Chobey, former Director of the institute, Dr Sunder Narian Jha and Mr Gopal Tripati would impart training to the participants.

Sant Balbir Singh in his inaugural address said Sanskrit was an ancient language in which complete knowledge relating to all spheres was available.

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Aided-school teachers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 27
Demanding regular release of grant-in-aid and various allowances, teachers from aided schools of the district held a rally at Company Bagh here today.

The teachers and non-teaching employees today took mass casual leave, held black flag demonstration and dharnas. They raised slogans against the government and demanded grant of increased medical allowance and interim relief to employees and pensioners from January 11, 2006, onwards on a par with government employees and pensioners. They also asked for step-up after four, nine and 14 years of service and rural area allowance.

Mr Manohar Lal Chopra said all 484 aided schools of the state were closed today and similar protests held in all districts. He said the next state-level rally would be held at Bathinda on November 29 and Patiala on December 1.

He said the members had been demanding from the government a quick implementation of the demands to avoid loss to 6 lakh students studying in these schools.

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CM’s effigy burnt
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 27
The Sarv Sanjhi Party burnt the effigy of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at Hall Gate here today. They demanded pension for widows, physically challenged and senior citizens of the city.

They also demanded to issue kerosene, sugar and wheat on the ration cards. They burnt ration cards and shouted slogans against the Chief Minister.

The president of the party, Mr Avtar Singh Toofan, said they would intensify their agitation, if their demands are not accepted.

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Employee held on bribery charge
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 27
The district Vigilance Bureau today held Jasvir Singh, an employee with the Excise Department at Mehatpur, for accepting Rs 2,000 from a resident of Sangowal village by threatening him of lodging a false complaint against him for manufacturing illicit liquor.

The SSP Vigilance, Mr Lok Nath Angra, said the amount of graft was recovered from Jasvir Singh in the presence of witnesses.

A complaint in this regard was filed by Mr Gurcharan Singh of Sangowal village.

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Amritsar to host medicine meet

Amritsar, November 27
India will host the 12th Asian Federation of Sports Medicine Congress in 2009. The congress will be held in Amritsar. India will host the congress for the first time since the establishment of the International Sports Medicine Association. — TNS

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Fans burn Chappell’s effigy

Jalandhar, November 27
Cricket fans and activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha today held a demonstration and burnt Team India coach Greg Chappell’s effigy in protest against the team’s performance in the ongoing South Africa tour.

The demonstrators carried out a procession and reached the District Collectorate office to burn Chappell’s effigy. — UNI

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