Thursday, October 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S
  • Neglect of Himachal’s heritage
  • IT chief stalls building of house
  • He gets work done like a bulldozer

ALLEGATION : The district unit of the Ambedkar wing of the Lok Bhalai Party has alleged that the authorities concerned had not started courses for girls at the ITI in Nathana, although announcement to this effect was made about five years ago. Mr Major Singh Khalsa, president, district unit, said on Tuesday that the announcement was made on March 14, 1996, during the rule of the Congress, but nothing concrete had been done so far.

CAMP ON DRUG ABUSE: An awareness camp against drug abuse was organised on Tuesday at Government Senior Secondary School at Bhokra village of the district by the local Red Cross De-addiction Centre. Dr Mehboob Saran, project director of the centre, presided over the camp. He told students about the ill effects of drugs.

BOOK RELEASED: Dr J.S. Anand, a professor at DAV College, in a press note issued here said a book entitled ‘Arakshan ki Rajniti’ authored by a lawyer, Mr Surinder Sethia, was released on Tuesday at a function organised in Malout by the Literary Association of Malout. Mr Anand further said the book dealt with the reservation policy of the government.

MEDICAL CAMP: The Dost Welfare Society, a local NGO, organised a free medical check-up camp at a religious fair in Maiserkhana village of the district on Monday. As many as 1,000 persons were examined by a team of doctors under the supervision of the SMO, Talwandi Sabo. Patients were also given medicines free of cost.

DHARNA: The non-teaching employees of the local Guru Nanak National College staged a dharna on Wednesday in protest against the dilly-dallying attitude of the government regarding their pending demands. A call in this regard was given by the Private Colleges’ Non-Teaching Employees’ Union, Punjab and Chandigarh, According to Mr Sohan Singh Malhans, president of Doraha unit of the union, “Our demands include the payment of arrears of revision of scale from January, 1996, to March, 1999, in one instalment, implementation of Anomalies Committee Report, House Rent Allowance for the employees of rural private colleges as per the recommendations of Fourth Punjab Pay Commission, pension and gratuity at par with the government employees and payment of minimum wages to the employees not getting any service benefits.” 

TWO KILLED: Two women were killed and 13 others including 10 women and three men, injured when a tractor-trailor skidded on the Fazilka-Ferozepore road, 7 km from here near Chandmari village, on Monday when they were returning from Dera Beas. While Vidya Devi (45), a resident of Kouni village of Sriganganagar, died on the spot, Lakshmi Bai (45), succumbed to her injuries later on. The injured were taken to the local Civil Hospital.

RALLY HELD: The telecom employees of Mullanpur, Raikot and Jagraon held a rally in front of the telephone exchange here today, demanding cancellation of the FIR lodged against M.S. Dhaliwal, DET, at the instance of Ms Manpreet Kaur, wife of Darshan Singh, SDE. Manpreet had accused the DET of passing humiliating remarks against her husband, and a case under Section 3(1) 10 of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, was registered. Addressing the rally, the leaders of employees’ union appreciated Dhaliwal for his efficiency and honesty, and denounced the SDE’s style of working. They also demanded registration of a case against the latter under Section 182 of the IPC for giving false information to the police.

ART COMPETITION: A regional-level exhibition and visual art competition was held at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Farour, near here, on Tuesday. This function was inaugurated by village sarpanch and SDM, Khamano, Mr Nirbhai Singh. Students from the four clusters participated in different competitions like painting, terracota, science exhibition, special science, models, debate, declamation, solo song, and solo dance. In this competition Punjab, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir bagged first positions in solo song, models and science exhibition, respectively. Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioners, who was the chief guest, gave away the prizes to the winners. On the demand of principal he sanctioned a grant of Rs 25,000 for water cooler for the vidyalaya and also promised to install solar heater in the hostel.

MEDICAL CAMP: A free medical camp was organised by Prerna Kendra International Society at Gayatri Gyan Mandir, Haibowal. The camp was inaugurated by Mr Amreesh jain, Deputy Commissioner, Customs. About 100 patients were examined during this camp. Medicines were also supplied to the needy free of cost. A homoeopathy camp was also organised by Dr J.K. Jain.

POETIC SYMPOSIUM: The local Punjabi Sahit Sabha, in a meeting chaired by Mr Maher Singh Raiawal here on Tuesday, decided to organise the 11th Annual Sahitik Samagam at the local Government Senior Secondary School on November 4. The Sabha also decided to honour Mr Jagjit Singh Chaman, a freedom fighter, and Mr Gurmukh Singh Gill Jabomajra, a writer, during the function. It would be inaugurated by Mr Isher Singh Passi and presided over by Mr Dharam Singh Dhaliwal. Mr Harminder Singh Dhindsa, Assistant Registrar, Malerkotla, would be the chief guest on the occasion.

SPORTS TOURNEY: The Naujawan Sports Club will organise three-day Dasehra sports tournament at Chanarthal Kalan from October 25 to 27. This was stated by Mr Lal Singh Rajwara, a local Akali leader, in a press note issued here on Tuesday. He added that the sports ‘mela’ would be inaugurated by Mr Balwant Singh Shahpur, the local MLA, and would include ‘kabaddi’ competitions for both boys and girls. A cultural programme would be held daily in the evening, and Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, would distribute prizes to the winners on the last day, he said.

CONDEMNED: The ‘bhog’ of akhand path was performed by Mr Ajit Singh, Mukh Sewadar of Gurdwara Baba Zorawar Singh Baba Fateh Singh, at Majri village, one km from here, on Monday. The ‘bhog’ was last in the series of six akhand path ‘bhogs’ held as a way of expressing remorse over the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib Birs. Addressing the gathering, Mr Pritam Singh, president of Gurdwara Committee; Mr Gurlal Singh, sarpanch of the village; and Mr Jaspal Singh, former sarpanch; condemned Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawala. 

FUNCTION: Students of Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town, were given prizes for their performance in academic and cultural activities at an annual function held here on Wednesday. Toppers from each class were given awards of honour. These included Ashpreet Singh from Class I, Supriya Kashyap from Class II, Amrinder Kaur from Class III, Harpreet Kaur from Class IV, Prem Kanwal Singh and Parminder Kaur from Class V, Manpreet Kaur from Class VI, Harpreet Singh from Class VII, Harjot Kaur from Class VIII and Vaneet Kaur from Class IX. Besides, toppers of the CBSE matriculation, including Gaganpreet Kaur, who scored 88.2 per cent marks, Gurveen Kaur and Kamaldeep Kaur, who scored 85.6 per cent marks, and Mandeep Singh Bhatia for scoring 84.6 per cent marks, were honoured. Three teachers were also honoured. Mr Gurbir Singh Sarna, general secretary of the management, Ms Paramjit Kahlon, director, Mr Harbhajan Singh, manager, and Ms B. Gulati, Principal, attended the programme, among others.

PROBE ORDERED: Mr S.C.Chaudhary, Chief General Manager, Punjab telecom circle, has ordered a probe into the functioning of the Pathankot telecom district. According to information, in the past six months the department had released only about 150 connections to subscribers, reportedly du to lack of coordination between the department and the local municipal council.

ARTS FORUM: The following have been elected office-bearers of Madhuban, an arts forum established in the memory of renowned artist Ashwani Mahajan: president — Mr Vinod Mahajan; vice-president — Mr Suresh Oberoi; project chairman — Mr Surinder Chopra; convener — Mr Satish Mohindru; and general secretary — Mr Vijay Diwan.

ANNUAL SATKAL LECTURE: Prof P.B. Mangla, Delhi University, will deliver the Annual Satkal Lecture on the theme “Library and Information Science Education in India for the new millennium: trends and issues”. Giving this information, the university librarian and organising secretary of the function, Ms Devinder Kaur, informed that the lecture would be delivered on the occasion of annual function of Satinder Kaur Memorial Trust for the advancement of librarianship. She said the Vice-Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, will preside over the function while Dr Amrik Singh, former VC will inaugurate the function.

ARTHIAS DISAPPOINTED: Activists of the Federation of Arhtias Associations of Punjab alleged on Wednesday that no payment of the paddy procurement has been made to the arthias since October 11 while huge amounts were outstanding against other agencies. In a statement, general secretary of the federation, Swaran Singh said if the payment of paddy was not made on time, farmers would be directly effected as they would get late in sowing the rabi crop. The federation leaders demanded the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, to intervene in the matter and make arrangements to make the payments at the earliest.

RALLY: Vice-President of the FCI Employees Unions S.P. Sood said on Wednesday that the staff members of Food Corporation of India led out a protest rally against the dismissal of FCI staff for alleged shortages in transit in the absence of any norms. Issuing a press release, Mr Sood said the rally was attended by all the trade unions in the district office of the FCI. 

COACHING: The IAS and Allied Services Training Centre of Punjabi University will start coaching for personality development-cum-interview preparation course on Ocotber 29 for those candidates who have qualified for PCS (Judicial) examinations.

INAUGURATED: Belgium Ambassador Guy Trouveroy inaugurated the newly founded building and workshop of Bosco Institute of Rural Development near Kauli village on the Rajpura road here on Wednesday. The new furniture, machinery and other equipment has been provided by the Belgium Government for giving employment to a number of unemployed youths living in rural areas. The institute will provide teaching in fishery, dairy, poultry along with giving technical training in repairing harvest or combines, tractors, general mechanics, motor mechanics and computer hardware. Deputy Commissioner Jasbir Singh Bir said the RDA has decided to give a financial grant from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh to youths interested in starting their individual profession while Rs 3 lakh would be given to the group starting their own business. He added that subsidy of Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh would be given under the scheme.

UNIFORMS DISTRIBUTED: Baba Sarabjot Singh, a sewadar of Birdh Ashram, Barwali, distributed 36 uniforms to poor girl students of the local Government Senior Secondary Girls School and donated 21 dictionaries to the school library, according to Mr Bachittar Singh Barn, Principal of the school, here on Wednesday. He also presented a bicycle to a girl student who had stood first in the Ludhiana District Games. Mr Gurdev Singh Mushkabad was the special invitee on the occasion.

FOUNDATION STONE: Mr Nachhattar Singh Badeshan, Deputy Director, Social Welfare, Punjab, laid the foundation stone of a Model Anganwadi Centre at Harbanspura village on Wednesday. The centre is being built with the active cooperation of Gram Panchayat members and the village sarpanch, Mr Sarbjit Singh Sandhu. Mr Raschpal Chand, Tehsildar, Samrala, Ms Devinder Kaur, ACDPO, Jathedar Daya Singh, district president of the SAD, Ludhiana, Mr Sikander Singh, chairman of the market committee, and Professor Gurbax Singh Beeja also addressed the gathering.

DHARNA: Employees of Punjab State Land Mortgage Bank have decided to stage a dharna in front of the head office at Chandigarh on Tuesday, according to Mr Gurdev Singh Bondli, president of the employees’ association. They are demanding the acceptance of their demands by the authorities. Mr Romesh Chander, vice-president of the union, has condemned the repressive measures adopted by the authorities. Their demands include promotions and release of medical allowance and house rent allowance etc.




STRIKE: The Federation of UT Employees and Workers, UT Subordinate Services Federation and Subordinate Service Federation, UT, have threatened the UT Administration for four-hour strike on October 30 to the Administration. The federation’s demands include release of four-year bonus in lieu of ex-gratia, promotional scales after 4-9-14 years, treating employees of the MC on deputation, filling of vacant posts, regularisation of daily wage employees and payment of dearness allowance to them as per the Supreme Court directions. The federation alleged that the Chandigarh Administration has been giving false assurances to grant bonus to the UT employees and other demands for the last four to five years and thus causing resentment among the employees.

CAMP: Under the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna Scheme, a motivational camp was held here in which about 50 entrepreneurs took part. An official spokesman said a meeting of Task Force Committee was also convened. The committee conducted interviews and recommended 22 cases to various banks of Raipur Rani and Barwala blocks. The camp was inaugurated by Mr Harsh Vardhan, General Manager of the Panchkula District Industries Centre, and was attended by the Panchkula District Welfare Officer, Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Raipur Rani, BLEO(I), Raipur Rani and branch managers of various banks situated in these blocks. The General Manager explained that this was a second camp in the district.

TELEMEDICINE PROJECT: The telemedicine project funded by the Ministry of Information Technology and being prepared by the Mohali-based Central Electronic Design and Training Institute has been completed and its clinical trials would be finished in six months. This was informed here on Tuesday by the CEDTI Director, Dr R.S. Khandpur, here while talking to Chandigarh Tribune. Dr Khandpur said spread of the telemedine to villages would depend on the will of state governments. In the new project, images and data could be transmitted through ISDN lines and apart from these three institutes, others could approach experts in these top institutions through normal telephone lines.

FAULTY PHONES: Because of faults in one of the racks of 77, 79 level phones, BSNL subscribers faced difficulty in connecting to other exchanges particularly those from Sector 7, Chandigarh . The DET, in charge of the area, Mr S.K. Chopra, said the department has not received any complaint of such nature.



DEMAND: The General Merchants Association has requested the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, not to implement new system of VAT to be implemented from April 1, 2002. The secretary of the association, Mr R.P. Gupta, said there were harsh laws under proposal envisaging penalty of Rs 50,000 or one year imprisonment or both. “All such dictatorial sections in new proposals must be immediately deleted. Small traders and retailers were unable to maintain such complicated accounts,” he said. “All traders whose sales are upto one crore be kept out of this law and purview otherwise this system shall bring lot of hardships”, he added.

COP BOOKED: A head constable has been booked for alleged fraud. Goods worth several thousands were found missing during his tenure as in-charge of “mal khana” ( custody room). Among the missing things are gold and silver jewellery, about 500 kg of aluminium items, some fire arms and over Rs 50,000. The district police chief, Mr Ranbir Sharma, has ordered a probe into the case.

DRIVE LAUNCHED: The district police launched a drive for traffic safety at Rattia town on Tuesday. The Lions Club Central, Rattia, in coordinating with the police. Florescent stickers also being pasted on tractor trailers so that they get reflected at night. The SP, Mr Hanif Qureshi, told mediapersons that the drive was aimed at preventing accidents. A board indicating traffic signals has also been displayed.

DHARNA: Students of the local Government Postgraduate College staged a dharna in front of the college here on Tuesday in support of their demands. The students are demanding election to the Students Union, withdrawal of the new system of re-evaluation, buses for rural areas and recruitment in government jobs on merit basis.

PULIANI DEAD: Ishwar Chand Puliani, president of the Arya Samaj, died on Tuesday. He was 85. He served as president of the Arya Samaj, Narnaul, for over 40 years.

STD CODES: The district remained cut off for several hours owing to the sudden change of STD codes for neighbouring areas . The worst affected areas were Singhana Khetri Chirawa, Jhunjnu, Nawalgarh and Bisaw. According to Telephone Department sources, the STD codes of areas connected to Kurukshetra had been changed.

CAMP FOR COPS: More than 350 police personnel were examined at a medical check-up camp organised by the Rotary Club, Sirsa Mid Town, in the Police Line area here. The IGP, Hisar, Mr John V George, was the chief guest during the concluding session. According to Dr G.K. Aggarwal and Dr Parveen Garg, presidents of the club, blood sugar test, ECG and stress test of the policemen were carried out. A yoga and meditation session and a health awareness exhibition were also organised.

STRANGULATED: Jagbir, alias Jaggu, was reportedly strangulated to death by his associates after consuming liquor at Rohna village, 25 km from here, on Tuesday evening. The Kharkhauda police has arrested one of the three suspects and a hunt is on to apprehend the remaining two who are at large. A case of murder has been registered.

SUICIDE ATTEMPT: Santosh, a housewife, allegedly attempted to commit suicide by hanging herself at her house in Khewra village, 13 km from here, on Tuesday. Her in-laws took her to the local Civil Hospital from where she was shifted to a Delhi hospital. The police has registered a case and a police party has been sent to Delhi for recording her statement.

TWO INJURED: Two persons, including a woman, sustained serious injuries when they were hit by a vehicle on the G.T. Road near Bahalgarh Chowk, 12 km from here, on Tuesday. They have been identified as Ms Sushila and Mr Ved Pal of Bad Malik village. The police has registered a case.



MAHAYAJNA ENDS: A mahayajna, which had commenced at the local Dayananda Math on April 16 last year, concluded here on Monday. Swami Sarvananda, founder of the math, presided over the function. The Himachal Industries Minister, Mr Kishori Lal, and the State Ayurveda Minister, Mr Mohan Lal, were present at the function.

TRAFFIC BLOCKED: The Kalka-Shimla national highway No 22 near Parwanoo barrier remained blocked for hours on Tuesday when a loaded truck (HR-46 6185) overturned on the bridge near the barrier at about 5 a.m. Most of the daily commuters coming from Chandigarh, Pinjore and Kalka reached at their place of work very late. As there is no alternative route from Parwanoo to Pinjore available, there was no way out till the truck was removed from the site, the Kalka administration and police arranged two cranes to remove the vehicle. 



Neglect of Himachal’s heritage

Amongst the lesser known temples dotting the Kangra valley, Maa Bagla Mukhi, dating back to the Treta era, needs mention. There are only two Treta era temples in the state, including the Shiva temple at Baijnath.

Nestling 11 and 22 km, respectively, from Dehra and Jwalamukhi, on the Dehra-Dharamsala road, devotees throng this seat of worship to have the heads of their wards shaved off or invoke blessings of the goddess when a wedding takes place in the household, which is a family tradition.

Maa Bagla Mukhi is believed to have emerged out of a lotus at a critical juncture when the evil forces had let loose a reign of terror on the good forces. With a view of doing away with the evil forces and re-establishing the rule of right eousness, Lord Vishnu sat here in a trance for aeons during the Satyuga era, according to a legend.

In the vicinity of the temple of Maa Bagla Mukhi, are the temples devoted to Lord Shiva, Radha-Krishna, and Hanumaan. An icon of Maa Bagla Mukhi adorns the sanctum sanctorum, with two life-sized images of lions guarding the entrance. Ruins of some other dilapidated structures dating back to the same era stand mute witness to their poor upkeep.

It is matter of concern that this ancient temple suffers neglect. The non-availability of basic amenities, like the provision of drinking water, board and lodging arrangements for visiting devotees, streetlight and, of course, the parking lot. A nullah that flows nearby stinks. The temple priest Mahant Devi Giri says that a serai is being built here.

IT chief stalls building of house

Irked over the allotment of a commercial plot in the local timber market in an auction to a bidder other than his close confidant, the chairman of Pathankot’s Improvement Trust focribly stalled construction work on the plot.

The victim of the wrath of the trust chairman is Mr Sita Ram Mahajan, chief patron of the All-India Freedom Fighters Successors Organisation and general secretary of the Punjab Non-Gazetted Officers Association, who purchased the plot through auction making a bid of Rs 7.11 lakh. The trust chairman wanted to allot the plot to one of his close confidant’s, he alleged.

Mr Mahajan pointed out that trust officials in order to implement the orders of the chairman not only threw the building material had bought into a ditch but also manhandled him.

In a complaint to the Chief Minister and the Local Bodies Minister, he has sought an inquiry into the chairman’s actions by an independent agency.

This is the second consecutive case within a month in which the aggrieved parties approached the Chief Minister and Local Bodies Minister against the misuse of official power by the trust chairman.

Earlier, it was Mr Ravinder Talwar who approached the chairman for an allotment of a plot in lieu of a land property of his father, which had been acquired by the trust under a development scheme.

He gets work done like a bulldozer

The Public Works Department of Himachal Pradesh has made tremendous progress in the construction of roads. The total length of the roads constructed is 22,367 km and 1068 bridges. This includes the highest road in the world at Kibber village of Kinnaur and the tallest bridge in Asia at Kandror in Bilaspur district.

To achieve all this, massive manpower and as many as 157 bulldozers were involved. The average weight of a bulldozer is 12 to 18 tonnes. But the most fascinating talked thing is the new addition — the 157th “bulldozer”. Interestingly, this is a light feather-weight “bulldozer”, because it weights only 85 kg. Interestingly “it” thinks, breathes, talks, eats and sleeps also.

This is no jigsaw puzzle on a private TV channel. This stormy bulldozer is none other than Mr Surender Kumar Sood, HP’s Financial Commissioner-cum-Secretary, PWD, Housing and Urban Development. He has thus earned the encomium ‘‘bulldozer’’. The symbol of bulldozer in the hills stand for progress and hard work and it matches him. The profile of the “bulldozer” is stormy and colourful because he was born and brought up in a village in Jawalamukhi, famous for Mata Jawalaji temple. His late father, Major S.L. Sood, was a decorated officer of the British Indian Army.

As Deputy Commissioner, Hamirpur, he broke all records in the family planning programme. As Director of Industries, he added 50 industries, which included a variety of large, medium and small industries in Baddi and Nalagarh industrial areas.

In Himachal Pradesh there are thousands of hand-pumps which have solved the drinking problem. As Tourism Secretary, he also was responsible for drawing up a tourism policy in 1991. As Transport Secretary he gave a nod to induction of private buses in the state.

Mr Sood has served in the Ministry of Commerce and Chemicals and Petro-chemicals and his stints there as Joint Chief Controller of Imports and Exports and Joint Secretary have been with distinction.

As Financial Commissioner, his major contribution has been that he has made a calendar and a code for works, administration, transfers and promotions. And he makes surprise checks and can reach Lahaul and Spiti without the slightest hesitation.

Contributed by Ramesh Dhiman, Bharat Bhushan Dogra and Ravi Bali

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