|Wednesday, January 19, 2000,
crisis hits policing
Punjabs economic pulse
Tribune sub-office opened
Calendar, a technical matter:
Badal to decide on Ravi Inder
CM launches campaign for Kariha
Hearing on Bachans plea on
Jethumajara is BSP nominee
Chief Secretary holds talks with
Militants house a centre for
Army Day celebrated
Workshop on child rights today
Punishment needed to implement
Patiala faces garbage problem as
dustbins get stolen
Plea to arrange film shows
4 held for attempt to loot bank
Rush for roadside garments
Consumer awareness drive launched
Fiscal crisis hits policing
CHANDIGARH, Jan 18 The fiscal crisis in Punjab is hampering efficient policing. It has also hit anti-terrorist operations and efforts of the police to check cross-border terrorism, senior officers here woefully admit. They are sad that the fine apparatus created over the years is now underutilised, leading to the fear that it would just rust.
"Given the security scenario in the country, the hard efforts by several militant organistions to rekindle the fires, it is nightmarish to think that the senior political leadership and officers would be so insensitive to the basic needs of the police", at least three senior officers here bemoaned.
Some irrefutable facts culled from letters which the Director-General of Police has shot to the Home and Finance Department tell their own tale.
* Out of a total 4675 vehicles, over 900 are immobilised. Reason: a heavy cut on petrol and lubricants. Seven hundred vehicles have been condemned and there is no replacement. The Punjab police has 70,000 cops and 15,000 special police officials, besides 300 gazetted officers from Inspector to Director-General level. Officers at the senior level have been told to pool cars and use these. "Working of the police is different. It is not normal as emergency calls come all the time", explained senior officers.
* There is no sufficient petrol to run the 200-odd vehicles at the headquarters.
* The police wireless system is under great strain. There is no money to replace the batteries, what to say of much needed spares. Teleprinter lines have been shut.
* Arms and ammunition worth Rs 50 lakh could not be taken from the Central Government stores as there was no money.
* Bills for several purchases, including petrol, and rent, remain unpaid. This leads to bad blood and mauled reputation. "Already we are at the receiving end as far as the public is concerned. Imagine senior officers using other means to get petrol. We know in certain cases complainants are asked to pay for the petrol", another officer here said.
* There is restriction on the use of telephones. While a Financial Commissioner with an insignificant charge enjoys more number of calls than a busy senior police officer.
* There is not even a paisa in the Special Fund. It was Rs 50 lakh last year. Eight or ten years back, it was Rs 5 crore a year. "We agree that the level of insurgency is not that. But everyone knows that during the last three years, the police has successfully not only solved the bomb blasts and shootouts, but has destroyed a number of ISI sponsored modules. When we are spending Rs 726 crore on salaries and pensions etc, why be so miserly about providing funds to use this vast force effectively. It is a case of being penny wise and pound foolish", an officer posted in the border district said.
* The government has taken away Rs 14 crore meant for police housing. This also means that Rs 34 crore that was to come from the Centre could not be had. Now the government has provided Rs 14 crore and the Centre Rs 18 crore. The Police Housing Corporation was not able to use the manpower for lack of timely funds, but lost Rs 16 crore too.
* Punjab used to match the grant from the Centre to modernise the police. But it stopped that. The Centre too stopped it initially, but later released it. Now it has given Rs 1.85 crore. But this too could be released after great deal of haggling.
Punjabs economic pulse weakening
CHANDIGARH, Jan 18 Punjab, once a vibrant state, has lost its rhythm. Its economic development has slowed down; its delivery system of services and facilities is in a shambles; and the level of living of Punjabis has not changed in the past 28 years!
Despite the "green" and "white" revolutions, rural development and urbanisation, coupled with industrialisation, and tall claims of being the "number one state" in the country, Punjab today is gasping for breath; there is a crisis situation, particularly, when viewed from the economic angle.
The politico-administrative structure has become immune to suggestions and recommendations of the "experts". Analysis of the prevailing fiscal crisis, reports and comments of the economists are simply ignored with impunity. Either Punjabs political leadership has lost the "will" to work and resuscitate the states sagging economy or the bureaucrats have "given up". Consequently, the Government, in its wisdom, has totally turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to what the well-meaning research workers and scientists in the states universities have to say on reinventing Punjab.
Nevertheless, though viewed as a cry in wilderness, what some recent studies have highlighted merits attention and action. Should Punjab wait for a knee-jerk reaction rather than making correctives now? The TNS has come across two recent studies on Punjab: one on the "Economic disparities" by Dr A.S. Sethi of Punjab School of Economics at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and the second on "Level of living in Punjab" by Dr Sharnjit Singh Dhillon of the same institution. These form part of a volume titled "Punjab economy emerging issues", edited by the universitys professors of economics, Dr R.S. Bawa and Dr P.S. Raikhy.
In the Punjab there exist disparities in the level of living in various districts (17 in all). In terms of determining the "level" three indicators were taken into account education, health and medical education, general services and facilities. All three, particularly, the first two are inter-related. The period covered for the study is from 1969-70 to 1997-98. In these past 28 years the study concluded "the situation has not changed and asks for more attention".
Composite ranking of the districts on general services and facilities shows that Nawanshahr, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Ropar have remained "ahead", whereas, Mansa, Ferozepore, Faridkot and Sangrur remained "backward" in respect of level of living amongst the districts of Punjab. Unless infrastructural facilities are provided on priority inter-district disparities will further widen and social tensions will increase. Equitable distribution of social services, education, health and medical education is imperative. Sector approach should be applied.
Judging the 12 districts (this figure includes the five new districts carved out after 1992) in respect of agriculture, industry, infrastructure, the conclusion drawn is as follows:
Developed districts: Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Kapurthala;
Less-developed: Patiala, Gurdaspur, Ropar and Hoshiarpur and
Least developed: Sangrur, Ferozepore, Faridkot and Bathinda.
One way of bringing down inter-district disparities or regional imbalances is making suitable policy steps in respect of the three listed indicators: agriculture, industry and infrastructure. "Increased emphasis on rural industrialisation, education and training (especially in the least developed districts) may prove beneficial".
Educationwise, the performance of the past 28 years shows Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur and Kapurthala have remained at the top; Nawanshahr, Patiala and Amritsar led in health and medical facilities, and in terms of general services and facilities Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Ropar are ahead.
Faridkot, Mansa, Bathinda and Sangrur remained backward in terms of educational facilities; Ferozepore, Hoshiarpur, Mansa and Sangrur lacked in health and medical facilities, while, in terms of general services and facilities Mansa, Muktsar, Ferozepore and Sangrur lag behind; these are Punjabs backwater.
In fact Dr Sucha Singh
Gill, professor and head of the Economics Department at
Punjabi University, Patiala, has been one of the most
vociferous of all to give out timely advice, suggestions
and warnings on how to overcome the "crisis of
Punjab economy". He is of the firm view that what is
needed in Punjab is to raise the "capability"
of the government so that it can perform the expected
role in the crisis situation.
Tribune sub-office opened
BATHINDA, Jan 18 Mr S.D. Bhambri, General Manager, The Tribune, today said that the real ownership of The Tribune vested in its readers.
Addressing a function organised in connection with the opening of The Tribune sub-office here, Mr Bhambri said that all readers of The Tribune were members of The Tribune family.
He added that all readers of The Tribune group of publications were its owners morally, ethically and spiritually. He pointed out that The Tribune had no parallel in the country as it was playing a leading role in the field of ethical journalism.
Lauding the efforts of the Founder of The Tribune Trust, Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, Mr Bhambri claimed that The Tribune publications were serving the people and the country with the same vision and commitment which the founder had envisaged.
The staff of The Tribune Trust were fully committed to the values of ethical journalism and working in a manner which had made them a near model in society.
Mr Bhambri announced that the trust was setting up a printing centre in the city and within four months, The Tribune would be published from here.
Mr O.P. Arora, Additional General Manager (AGM), said that The Tribune had made progress in the northern region with the patronage of the people to qualitative journalism. He pointed out that the main aim of The Tribune Trust was to be a mouthpiece of the public and not a profit-making venture.
Mr Jaspal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, said that one could learn a lot from The Tribune as it was known for its impartially, truthfulness and genuineness. He appreciated the positive role being played by The Tribune in nation building.
Mr Balbir Singh Jhandu, President, The Tribune Employees Union, said that this was the fifth sub-office of the institution in Punjab. He added that one of the main factors of The Tribunes progress was its working environment.
Mr Jatinder K. Jain, SSP, Dr Arun Oran, SSP, Faridkot, Mr Yurinder Singh, SSP, Mansa, leading industrialists of the region, top income tax officials, social workers, retired Army officers, trade associations representatives and other dignitaries attended the ceremony. Media persons of the region were also present.
AMRITSAR, Jan 18 Dr Kharak Singh, founder secretary, Institute of Sikh Studies and member of the Dharm Parchar Committee, who was nominated convener of the 11-member sub-committee on the controversial Nanakshahi calendar by the five Sikh high priests and the SGPC executive, has said the "jantri" (calendar) was neither a religious nor political issue, but a highly technical and scientific matter.
Dr Kharak Singh, who is supporter of the solar calendar, while talking to TNS here yesterday said both Nanakshahi and Bikrami calendars had technical problems which needed to be removed at the earliest. "Those who have been raising a hue and cry on this issue are either ignorant of the subject or are mischievous elements who want to take some political mileage out of it. Nobody should try to complicate this issue," he said.
The newly appointed convener said the Government of India too had made corrections in the Bikrami calendar though "silently". The introduction of the Saka calendar along with the Bikrami calendar was an attempt made by the central government to follow the solar calendar which was being adopted all over the world nowadays.
Dr Kharak Singh clarified that the Nanakshahi calendar was not an attempt to modify the "jantri," but was based on the Bikrami calendar. It made the birth of Guru Nanak Dev (1469) as its base. This was why the technical problems of the Bikrami calendar crept in. He said the sun completes its circle around the earth in 365 days, five hours, 46 minutes and some seconds. With this all seasonal festivals and days would be disturbed if the solar calendar was not adopted. By adopting the Bikrami calendar as such, Baisakhi, Holi and other festivals would fall in the months of June, July or even August within a few years.
He said, however, the common festivals of the Hindus and the Sikhs should not be changed. Divali would defenitely be on the same day as it falls on "Amavas.
Dr Kharak Singh further said the months, which were the means of measuring time were manmade.
These could be changed according to the convenience of people. The introduction of the leap year was made on this theory only. "The attempt of the sub-committee on the Nanakshahi calendar would be to rationalise the jantri", he added.
To yet another question, Dr Kharak Singh said by adopting the Bikrami calendar the seasonal festival Baisakhi which was on March 27 in the year 1469 was extended to April 14. Hence, there was a dire need to remove technical problems in the prevailing calendar.
Dr Kharak Singh said he
would add four more members to the panel on the
Nanakshahi calendar. They would be strictly subject
experts. But before inducting the four members in the
sub-committee, consent would be sought from Bibi Jagir
Kaur, SGPC chief, and the Sikh high priests, he added.
Badal to decide on Ravi Inder
CHANDIGARH Jan 18 The appeal of Punjab MLA Ravi Inder Singh could not make any headway today after counsel for Shiromani Akali Dal president Parkash Singh Badal stated that the court would be informed tomorrow regarding the possibility of not expelling the appellant during the pendency of the main suit.
Replying to a query by UT District and Sessions Judge, Mr B.S. Bedi, regarding the likelihood of not expelling the appellant and giving a 15-day notice before taking any action against him, counsel stated that it was not possible for him to make any statement today itself without seeking instructions. He added that a statement would be made by him tomorrow at 11 a.m.
After hearing counsel, the Sessions Judge observed in the open court that counsel for the parties, at the beginning of the arguments, submitted that there was a possibility of compromise "so far as the application for injunction at interim was concerned".
Permitting counsel to "seek instructions from their clients", the Sessions Judge directed that the arguments on the appeal would be heard if the compromise did not materialise.
Mr Ravi Inder Singh, in his appeal against the dismissal of an application seeking a stay on his expulsion from the SAD had sought directions for restraining the defendants from taking steps against him on account of the impugned order passed on December 15.
The expulsion, the counsel for Mr Ravi Inder Singh had stated, "would cause irreparable loss and injury which could not be compensated in terms of money but would also lead to multiplicity of litigation.
CM launches campaign for
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 18 Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, after announcing the name of Mr Jatinder Singh Kariha, an old warhorse, as the party candidate for the Nawanshahr assembly byelection today, formally launched the election campaign here.
Mr Badal addressed public meetings in different municipal wards here. He also addressed meetings at the local Truck Union office, Baba Deep Singh Gurdwara, S.D. Senior Secondary School, Kushat Ashram and Fateh Nagar. He also tried to pacify the supporters of the local SAD leaders Mr Mohinder Singh Hussainpuri, Mr Hardev Singh Kahma and Mr Resham Singh Thiara who had staked their claim for the SAD ticket.
Besides lambasting the Congress, Mr Badal made the development of the constituency his main election plank.
During the past three months, Mr Badal has laid the foundation stones of a number of projects in the constituencies and organised a number of panchayat durbars.
Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, Cabinet Minister and in charge of this election, told this correspondent that he had been camping in the constituency for the past couple of weeks. He said that during the Lok Sabha polls, the SAD-BJP had suffered a setback as the urban voters were disillusioned with the state government owing to certain anti-traders policies like auction of octroi posts and provision of imprisonment of traders for violating ST rules. He claimed the government had regained the confidence of the traders by deciding not to auction octroi posts and scrapping the enforcement wing of the Sales Tax Department.
He said that the Bahujan Samaj Morcha President, Mr Satnam Kainth, who remained a SAD-BJP ally during the previous two Lok Sabha elections, would be persuaded to support the party nominee.
Mr Kariha, who won the assembly elections in 1977, claimed that he would win over his rival contenders for the SAD ticket as there was no groupism in the party.
Hearing on Bachans plea on
AMRITSAR, Jan 18 The three-member Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission did not take up today the application moved by the Secretary SGPC, Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, for vacation of ad interim injunction, which restrained him from functioning, but preponed the date for hearing of the application from February 7 to January 24.
The secretary had moved this application on January 14 praying for fixing an early date. The matter required immediate hearing since the working of the SGPC was being affected, the counsel prayed.
The counsel for the petitioner, however, opposing the application said the order passed by the court was legally sound and valid and it could not be revised or reviewed. He further argued that the SGPC secretary had not been restrained by the court on some "misleading" facts given to the court.
The petition moved by Mr Jaspal Singh Dhillon, Secretary, Sarab Hind Youth Akali Dal (Urban), had challenged the appointment of the secretary since it was mandatory for the SGPC to advertise all posts in newspapers. As such appointment of the secretary at the very face of it was void.
The respondent had also sought removal of the SGPC President, Bibi Jagir Kaur, from the executive committee and her disqualification as member for five years for bringing in Dr Bachan from the "back door entry".
Jethumajara is BSP nominee
NAWANSHAHR, Jan 18 The Bahujan Samaj Party today formally announced its decision to contest the Nawanshahr assembly byelection and fielded Mr Darshan Lal Jethumajara as its nominee. He will file his nomination papers on January 25.
This was announced by Dr Mohan Singh Phallianwala, convener of the BSPs state unit at a party workers meeting here.
The meeting was also attended by Mr Jethumajara, Mr Avtar Singh Karimpuri, Mr Hargopal Singh, both former BSP MLAs, Mr Dinkar, Mr Gurdial, Mr Gurmail Saini, President of the BSPs district unit, Mr Mann Singh Manhera, Ms Hardev Kaur and Ms Ramesh Rani, president and vice-president, respectively, of the mahila wing of the state BSP.
The decision of the BSP to contest the byelection and the announcement of its nominee is a severe jolt to the efforts of the SHSAD to form a third front for the poll. The BSP, which had contested recently concluded Lok Sabha poll as an ally of the SHSAD, could not get any benefit from the alliance, Dr Mohan Singh claimed, while talking to mediapersons after the meeting.
Sodhi summons meeting on Jan
PHILLAUR, Jan 18 After the Gosain and Sahni episode, the Punjab BJP President, Mr Daya Singh Sodhi, has summoned a meeting of important office-bearers of the party on January 20 at Pathankot.
Chief Secretary holds talks
CHANDIGARH, Jan 18 The Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr R.S. Mann, today evening held a meeting with representatives of the Secretariat Services and employees of the Financial Commissioners office to resolve the issue of allocation of personal staff to certain Ministers.
While representatives of the Secretariat Services urged the Chief Secretary that there was no rule and tradition of posting staff from the Financial Commissioners office with the Ministers, leaders of employees of the Financial Commissioners office pleading their case said that there was nothing wrong in posting personal staff with Ministers from their cadre.
Informed sources said that the Chief Secretary told representatives of both groups to produce documents in support of their claims.
representatives of the Financial Commissioners
office employees told TNS that in 1992 there were 15
Financial Commissioners in the state and the personal
staff was allocated to them from Financial
Commissioners office establishment. But now only 11
Financial Commissioners were allocated personal staff
from FC establishment. Such an arrangement had adversely
affected their promotional avenues, according to Mr Mehar
Dass Sharma, President of the F.C. Secretariat
Militants house a centre for
MAKHU (Ferozepore), Jan 18 What earlier used to be the house of a militant and later a police post, is now a centre where people come for prayers to seek peace and solace.
The Local Radha Soami Centre, that caters to over 20 villages today, was once known as the "chabara" (house) of a Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) militant, Nishan Singh Makhu, who died in a police encounter in the early 90s. Even as he eluded the police, the cops had occupied his house, that was subsequently turned into a police post. About four years ago, the police had vacated the house that was earlier identified with bloodshed and transformed it into a centre of the Radha Soami sect. Radha Soamis gather here every Sunday for prayers.
The centre, which attracts over 4,000 devotees in the area, is built on a part of the 6.5 acres owned by the family of Nishan Singh Makhu. A visit to the centre revealed that Nishans house still exists at the site. Radha Soamis have enclosed it from four sides, with a congregation site in the centre.
Interestingly, Radha Soami sect leaders had the place vacated from cops on the insistence of Nishan Singhs family after his death, according to the police. Nishan Singhs elder brother, Darbara Singh told TNS that the centre was built up over the years, after it was vacated by the police about four years ago. Himself a follower of the Radha Soami sect, he attributed the development to the influence of the sect leaders. "We were able to reclaim it by virtue of the Radha Soami Guru and later turned it into a centre of the sect."
Darbara Singh said his father Buta Singh and Nishan Singhs widow now camped at Beas, the headquarters of the sect in Amritsar and all family members had become Radha Soamis. Adding that he was the first in the family to join the sect, Darbara Singh remembered that in his teens, Nishan Singh had agreed to follow in his (Darbara Singh) footsteps and had subsequently come into the Radha Soami fold.
Although Sikh fundamentalists differ with Radha Soamis on account of their belief in a living Guru, nobody had questioned Nishan Singh for being a diehard militant, Darbara Singh claimed. He alleged that Nishan had joined the militants ranks primarily due to police high-handedness. "He knew several militants and that was what prompted the police to interrogate him, forcing him to join their ranks", he charged.
Darbara Singh alleges that, the centre was earlier a torture cell of the police, where young boys like Nishan were subjected to inhuman treatment. Later the Nishan Singhs family approached Radha Soami sect leaders to get the house vacated from the police.
The Zira Deputy
Superintendent of Police, Mr Nachattar Singh too said
that the place was temporarily occupied by the cops and
converted into a post to build up pressure on Nishan
Singh. The house, he admitted, was vacated on the
intervention of the Punjab Governor on the demand of
Radha Soami leaders.
Army Day celebrated
JALANDHAR, Jan 18 Army authorities today organised a function to celebrate Army Day at Ferozepore Cantonment today.
On this occasion, "Badges of Sacrifice" were conferred upon next of kin of soldiers, who attained martyrdom while serving the nation. Cash grants out of the Army Central Welfare Fund were also presented to widows and families of disabled soldiers, a defence press note said.
Meanwhile, as a part of its ongoing golden jubilee celebrations, the Vajra Corps will organise a medical camp at Una in Himachal Pradesh from February 9 to 10.
In a press note issued here today, Army authorities said the camp would be inaugurated by Lt Gen Kamal Davar, GOC of the Corps.
Workshop on child rights today
AMRITSAR, Jan 18 The Punjab State Human Rights Commission in collaboration with the British Council have undertaken a project on the child rights and their protection.
Coordinator the project, Ms Anita Punj, IPS officer, Punjab said its first workshop would be held here tomorrow.
The project entails training 12 teams of three members each for the public education programme. Under the programme, 72 one-day lectures would be organised in 12 districts of the State.
These districts are: Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda, Ferozepore, Faridkot, Muktsar, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Phagwara and Mohali.
Monkey injures civic employee
LUDHIANA, Jan 18 A 37-year-old man received serious injuries on his head and face when a monkey attacked him on the busy Old Courts Road here today.
Shiv Kumar, an employee in the ME branch of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, was standing on the road when the monkey leapt on to him. The monkey then scratched Shiv Kumars face and neck and began digging its teeth in his head.
AMRITSAR, Jan 18 SPICMACAY will open its centre in Punjab. Mrs Navneen Sandhu, state Convener of SPICMACAY, said here today.
The Punjab chapter of SPICMACAY had chalked out a programme to organise "Virasat" shows throughout the state in September.
Mrs Sandhu said within next two months a number of new chapters would be opened in the state, covering almost all major districts. Artistes would perform at various educational institutions.
Punishment needed to implement
PATIALA, Jan 18 Punjab Languages Department Director Madan Lal Hasija today said rules should be framed to punish government servants not using Punjabi in official working .
Speaking at a function organised by the Giani Lal Singh Memorial Trust to honour eminent writer Jaswant Singh Kanwal at the Bhasha Bhawan here, Mr Hasija said it was not possible to implement Punjabi in government functioning in the state unless there was a provision to punish those not doing so.
Mr Hasija said non-usage of Punjabi in official functioning should be made an offence. He said annual confidential reports of all government servants should have a column in which it should clearly be written in yes or no without any ambiguity as to whether the official used Punjabi or not. He said in case an official was found to be not using Punjabi, the same should be recorded in his ACR as a non expungable adverse remark.
Speaking about the efforts made by the Languages Department to to propagate Punjabi after speakers at the function said not enough was being done in this direction, Mr Hasija said the department had got one IAS officer suspended, 82 other senior officers suspended, got 349 employees censured and got 821 employees warned. All efforts were being made to propagate Punjabi in the state but some schemes could not be implemented due to financial problems.
Union Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, while speaking on the occasion said he would take up the issue of punishment for officials not using Punjabi with the state government. Reacting to demands made by trust Vice President Sant Ram Singla to rename the Bhasha Bhawan as Giani Lal Singh Memorial Bhasha Bhawan, he said this would also be recommended to the state government by him.
Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, while addressing the gathering, said Punjabi University would also hold a special memorial lecture in the name of Giani Lal Singh as an annual feature in the university campus. He urged the Punjab Government to also take steps to recognise the late Giani in an appropriate manner.
Noted writer Jaswant
Singh Kanwal, who received a silver plaque and Rs 11,000
from the Union Minister on behalf of the trust, said
Giani Lal Singh had played an instrumental role in making
Punjabi the language of the state.
Jassals varied style on display
PATIALA, Jan 18 A fascinating display of the artists emotions... the style has a lot of variation... we wish him well-deserved recognition. These were the words in praise of Gurinder Jassal, who has put up his first solo exhibition of paintings in the Banasar Art Gallery at Sheesh Mahal, Patiala, which opened today.
These comments were given by YPS Principal AS Jawanda, who was the guest of honour at the exhibition.
Jassals collection were in oil, water colours, prints and pencil sketches. There was immense clarity and freshness, and the colours used in his work ranged from landscapes done in oil to the picture of his own studio in water colour. Jassal holds a masters degree in fine arts and has had group exhibitions put up in places like the Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh, and Thakur Singh Art Museum in Amritsar and even abroad at New College, Telford (England).
Most of the paintings in this exhibition are in oil, depicting clouds, mountains and water. Initially, according to the artist, he used to practice by reproducing what he saw. Now he mostly works with the help of his imagination. About his work on nature, the artist says that he spends some time just observing, and then he paints with the help of the visions he has in his mind. This gives him imense satisfaction.
Out of all the displays, the one Jassal likes for himself are Burning Emotions and Boat in a Storm. Burning Emotions is abstract art, and it portrays the emotional turmoil man goes through. According to Jassal, it depicts his own ambition, and his need to reach higher goals. Boat in a Storm was Jassals first abstract painting, and it symbolises mans struggle against obstacles in life.
Patiala faces garbage problem as
PATIALA, Jan 18 While residents in several parts of the city continuously demand garbage dumping dustbins from the Municipal Corporation, the corporation finds itself in a quandary as a large number of such bins provided but it have been stolen in the recent past.
At present the corporation records show 22 garbage containers, 25 large bins and 100 small bins installed at various places in the city and, according to records, more than 50 are reported missing. An estimated loss of Rs 50,000 has been suffered by the corporation.
Sources say that small bins are high on the stolen list because of relative ease vis-a-vis the large ones in lifting them away. There are a few cases of vanishing of the large ones too. Ironically while the MC has been suffering losses, no formal complaint has been lodged with the police, neither has anyone seen somebody lifting away the bin, nor has any stolen property ever recovered.
Municipal Corporation Executive Officer J.S. Punia, when contacted confirmed the stealing incidents. Incharge of the citys sanitation, Mr Punia said though no official record is available on the thefts, the number is safely more than 50, he said the corporations blacksmith makes the bin and they are placed at sites preferred by the residents. However, after a few weeks residents of several localities again demanded the bin as the earlier one had vanished.
Mr Punia said on an average the corporation spends Rs 1000 on one bin. Since 1997 when he assumed the office about 300 have been installed. Out of these about 150 remain. Nearly 100 have been condemned as they had been damaged. The needle of suspicion falls on rag pickers or small thieves. As the corporation has no provision to provide round-the-clock security of the bins and the resident, too, cannot keep vigil all the time, it is very easy for someone to steal the bins and then sell it some kabaari.
Mr Punia disclosed theft of small bins is a normal procedure and incidents of large bins being stolen had also come to light. Mr Punia admitted that no formal complaint had been lodged with the police. Initially the MC used to complain to the police who demanded that the suspects should be named and then only a case can be registered. Later on when our complaints fell on on deaf ears, we stopped complaining, he said.
Mr Punia felt that residents can help immensely in preventing such crime. Every colony has a private chowkidar who keeps vigil during the night, when most of the thefts take place .
While the MC looks for ways to combat the stealing incidents, demands of residents of more garbage bins continue to pile up. Mr Tarlok Singh, president, Punjabi Bagh Welfare Society, said there was only one garbage container for several colonies around Punjabi Bagh.
Similarly Mr J.C. Wadhwa of the Guru Nanak Nagar Welfare Society said there were very few garbage containers and bins in their colony due to which residents were facing difficulty in disposing of the waste. Residents into outer colonies are the worst sufferers as in the absence of garbage bins, vacant plots are being used to dump waste material.
A survey of a few sites
where garbage bins have been placed shows that they are
of little use. Garbage and litter was seen less in the
bin and more on the space around it. While the residents
allege that the MC has failed to remove the garbage
dumped in the bin the MC blames rag-pickers and says the
residents are careless and do not cooperate. Mr Punia
said even though the MC had placed the bins in the
locality, people carelessly threw polythene bags around
Plea to arrange film shows
PATIALA, Jan 18 Pran Sabharwal, a noted theatre personality and an actor in Raj Babbars Punjabi film Shaheed Udham Singh, produced by Iqbal Dhillon and directed by Chitrarth Singh, has urged Mr jasbir Singh Bir, DC, Patiala, art and social organisations and Principals of all schools and colleges in the state to arrange special shows of the film to instil a spirit of patriotism, selfless service and nationalism among people.
Sabharwal was speaking at the conclusion of the five-day Red Cross Kargil Shaheedi Mela here on Sunday.
The films Jalianwala episode which makes young Udham Singh take a pledge to shoot Micheal ODwyer, stars Sabharwal, delivering a patriotic speech in the role of a freedom fighter who succumbs to British bullets.
Sabharwal said coinciding with events like birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, Maghi Mela and Red Cross Kargil Shaheedi Mela, the exhibition of the film has assumed special significance for the people of Punjab.
NTAS, who is also international coordinator for the World
Punjabi Theatre movement, said the actors of his latest
stage production Odak Sach Rahi, a Punjabi musical,
depicting Guru Gobind Singhs life from his
childhood to the birth of Khalsa, paid obeisance at the
local Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib at Maghi Mela.
National seminar on English
PATIALA, Jan 18 The Department of English, Punjabi University, will organise a national seminar on Interrogating post-condition: theory, texts and contests on January 20-21 under the millennium multi-faculty series of seminars and lectures.
Dr Manjit Inder Singh, seminar coordinator, said the seminar will focus on post-modernism, post-colonialism, nation and its theories, diasporic writing, feminist theory and post-modernist Marxism, among other significant thrust areas.
Blood donation camp
PATIALA, Jan 18 The Lions Club Patiala Quila Mubarak organised a blood donation camp in coordination with the State Bank of Patiala (ADB) branch and Shri Santan Dharam Sabha at S.D.S.E. Senior Secondary School on Sunday.
Mr B.S. Rattan, Additional Commissioner, Income Tax, inaugurated the camp.
4 held for attempt to loot
LUDHIANA, Jan 18 With the arrest of four persons, the local police has solved a case of an attempt to loot the Punjab and Sind Bank branch in Motinagar in November last year.
A police team led by the SHO, Focal Point, Mr Paramjit Singh, arrested Suresh Kumar, Naresh Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Manoj Kumar, the SSP, Mr Kuldeep Singh said.
Rush for roadside garments
BATHINDA: Even as fog and chilly conditions in the region have thrown normal life out of gear, it has given a unprecedented boost to the sale of winter garments here.
The plummeting temperatures in this region have made people rush to buy woollen garments which are selling like hot cakes. To cash in on the situation, a number of roadside garment stalls have come up in this town.
As the garments in these roadside stalls are cheap and people can haggle over the price, there is a beeline at such stalls every day.
As the sky is overcast and the region enveloped in a thick blanket of fog for many days, these roadside stalls are doing roaring business as they attract a large number of people.
On the other hand, the main woollen shops in this city are facing shortage of buyers as there is a disparity in the rate of garments being sold by the stalls and by them.
Since the beginning of this month, all foot-paths on the Mall Road and the site of the abandoned milk plant and other sites in the town have been occupied by these seasonal traders of woollen garments.
Unmindful of paying sales tax on the garments sold, these traders are selling thousands of garments including cardigans, sweaters, pullovers and jackets daily. The traders are selling garments worth thousands of rupees daily and earning a handsome profit as they are having negligible overhead charges.
Most of the customers, who usually frequent these stalls, belong to the poor and lower middle classes. These stalls also cater to labourers. Even the upper middle classes are tempted by these stall owners owing to the rock-bottom prices and wide variety of designs.
A stall owner said he and many others were bringing their stuff from Ludhiana from hosiery manufacturers in bulk quantity. All the pieces were being sorted out first and their prices fixed. They were having an edge over garment shops in the town, who were having their established clientele, due to low prices and the huge range of designs.
Some of the stall owners said they had been dealing in the summer and winter garments permanently for the many years and carried out their business by setting up roadside stalls in different cities of Punjab.
These roadside stall
owners were also evading sales tax and income tax to the
tune of lakh of rupees even though the Punjab Government
has been making efforts to meet the target of collection
of sales tax revenue of Rs 2000 crore in 1999-2000.
Consumer awareness drive launched
LUDHIANA, Jan 18 The National Consumer Awareness Group (NCAG) launched a consumers rights drive here today.
Lt Col (retd) P.J.S. Mehta while inaugurating the drive said consumers must know how to protect themselves from the unscrupulous sections in trade and industry.
Mr Anil Gupta, an activist, said the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 provided right to be protected against the marketing of hazardous goods, besides, right to be informed about the quality of the product.
Mr Rajinder Singh, General Secretary of the NCAG, Gurdaspur district, appealed to the consumers to exercise their rights.
People taking part in
the function raised their voice against marketing of
tobacco related products as large number of vends that
had come up in the city were luring people to become
tobacco addicts. The function was largely attended.
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