Thursday, December 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India




National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

REGIONAL POTPOURRI
  • A monument cries for attention
  • Serving suffering humanity his mission
PUNJAB

AMRITSAR
SHOPS AUCTIONED: As many as 20 shops went under the hammer by the Improvement Trust here on Tuesday. These shops located at the Nehru Shopping Complex garnered Rs 3.11 crore. The auction was presided over by the Trust chairman, Mr Bakshi Ram Arora.

ELECTED: The Punjab Medical Representative’s Association has elected Mr Varinder Bhardwaj as president; Mr Rajiv Kalia and Mr Naresh Pal as vice-presidents; Mr A S Bindra, Mr Sushil Gupta as joint secretaries and Mr Ajay Aggarwal as the cashier. This was informed by Mr Satish Sharma, unit secretary here on Tuesday.

AFFILIATION WITHDRAWN: The Meter Readers Association, Punjab, has withdrawn its affiliation from the Mulajim Dal, led by Mr Dal Singh Sandhu. This was informed by Mr Gian Singh Pannu, general secretary of the association, here on Tuesday.

TWO ARRESTED: The Islamabad police has arrested Surinderjeet Kaur, a resident of Guru Ramdas Colony for reportedly indulging in flesh trade. Rani Kaur, a resident of Wariam Singh Colony reportedly acted as a pimp. However, she managed to escape. Sanjay Kapoor, a resident of Ranjit Avenue was also arrested. A case has been registered under Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Immoral Trafficking Act.

ONE KILLED: An unidentified person was crushed to death by a speeding truck near the city bus stand on Monday night. The deceased died on the spot. And the truck coming from Jalandhar reportedly went away. A case has been registered under Section 304-A of the IPC.

WOMAN BURNT: Kuldeep Kaur, a resident of Rayya Khurad was allegedly burnt by her in-laws. Her husband Baldev Singh and her mother-in-law Manjit Kaur allegedly sprinkled kerosene on her and then torched her. A case has been registered under Sections 307, 498-A and 34 of the IPC.

ABDUCTED: Rajinder Singh of Pakharpur village was allegedly abducted by Kuljit Singh of the same area. The accused, including Kuljit Singh, his three sons and 12 others were allegedly equipped with pistols and ‘kirpans’. A land dispute was reported to be the cause of the incident. A case has been registered under Sections 368, 452, 506, 148, 149 of the IPC and 25, 27, 54,59 of the Arms Act.

WORKSHOP: A workshop on retail banking was organised by the Canara Bank here on Tuesday. While the Chief Manager, Mr T K Sahu, presided over workshop . It was inaugurated by Mr Bakshi Ram Arora, chairman of the Improvement Trust. A sum of Rs 25 lakh was dispersed as loans.

BARNALA
ANNUAL FUNCTION: Manpreet Singh Badal, MLA, from the Gidderbaha constituency was the chief guest at the annual prize distribution function of S.D. College Barnala, here on Tuesday. He gave away prizes to the students who excelled in academics, sports and extra curricular activities. Mr H.S. Attri, Principal of the college, presented the annual report. Rakesh Kumar Makkra was conferred the special honour for topping the Punjab School Education Board Plus Two (Medical) examination. Kompal Grover was given a special award for topping the PGDCA Examination of Punjabi University.

DEMONSTRATION: Punjab Students Union (PSU) activists staged a demonstration here on Tuesday to protest against the detention of Aman Sekha, Punjab Students Union activist and some of his associates. They were demanding the withdrawal of cases against them. Later, the PSU activists staged a rally in front of the office of SDM and submitted a memorandum to him.

CYCLIST KILLED: A cyclist was killed here on Tuesday morning. He was hit by a private bus near Ajaib cinema on the Bathinda-Goniana road, when he was going to his place of work. He died on the spot. The deceased has been identified as Mohammad Palanoo, a migrant labourer. A case has been registered against the driver of the bus, who absconded after the accident. The police has impounded the bus.

BATHINDA
RESENTMENT: Employees working in District Rural Development Agencies ( DRDA) have said that a high-level committee set up for making recommendations for their induction into the state government. One month has passed since the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal issued an order in this regard, but no recommendations have been made by the committee.

TSU’s THREAT: Resentment prevailed among members of the Technical Services Union ( TSU) against the non-implementation of the agreement reached between them and the Punjab Power Minister a few months ago. Mr Randhir Singh and Mr Jugraj Singh, president and secretary, respectively, of the city circle of the union, said in a press note here on Tuesday that they would hold a dharna in front of the office of the XEN ( city circle) on December 21, if the agreement was not implemented till that date.

FEROZEPORE
ELECTED: The following have been unanimously elected office-bearers of the Sri Aroravansh Sabha: president — Mr Satish Arora; senior vice-president — Rajnish Kalra; vice-president — Om Prakash; general secretary — Mr P.C. Munjal; legal advisor — Mr Ashwani Dhingra; treasurer — Nehru Lal Sapra; store in charge — Bhagwann Dass Arora; and propaganda secretary — Mr Harish Ahuja.

KHARAR
TELEPHONES: The service to three telephone numbers of the Kharar administration was temporarily withdrawn by the Telecom Department here on Wednesday. These numbers are 245204, (Police Station, Kharar) 245385 (Residence of the Kharar, SDM)and 245490 (DSP, Kharar). Non-payment of bills is stated to be the reason behind the action.

LUDHIANA
DRUG DE-ADDICTION CAMP: The Raja Yoga Education and Research Foundation and Brahamkumaris organised the second phase of drug de-addiction camp at Broondi village in Kila Raipur constituency. The camp, which started on Saturday, would conclude on December 20. Dr Hardeep Singh, a volunteer, in a press statement on Wednesday said counselling sessions for drug-addicts were being organised. The addicts were being provided with free homoeopathic medicines by Dr Pushpa Mehta and Dr Yogesh Mehta from Global Hospital, Mount Abu. Over 200 persons from Baroondi, Latala and surrounding villages have been benefited. The first phase of drug de-addiction camp was held at Maherna Kalan village in which Brahmpura and Rashim villages were also covered.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: The Government College Commerce Alumni Association will organise a get together on Saturday. Stating this in a press note, Mr Sunil Aggarwal, general secretary, said that the members would discuss issues regarding assistance to needy students and welfare projects for the commerce department. He said leading industrialists, bureaucrats, former and present professors of the department would attend the function. Besides, old students would be able to interact with their batchmates, participate in cultural programmes, games and dance items.

DECLAMATION CONTEST: Students from over 30 schools will participate in an inter-school declamation contest to be held at Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, on Thursday. Mr R.L. Kalsia, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, will inaugurate the contest which will be held in the memory of the school founder, Mr Dina Nath Sharma.

FUNCTION: Mr M.S.Minhas, Assistant Income Tax Commissioner, appreciated the efforts of the Lions club South for serving the humanity at a function organised at Dr Ambedkar Nagar on Wednesday. Mr Kuldeep Singh Kreer, joint secretary of the club, in a press note on Wednesday said the club had organised various medical camps, seminars at various educational institutions. The function was attended by Mr Ravinder Dhand, Mr Ranjit Singh Bhikhi, Mr Jugraj Singh, Mr Arvind Ratta, Mr Satish Arora, Mr Charanjit Singh, Mr Harbhajan Singh Cheema and Mr Amarjit Singh.

URGED: Mr Sushil Malhotra, president and Dr Shiv Gupta, secretary general of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Social Forum in a joint statement have appealed to the Punjab Health Minister and Chief Minister to issue directions to the district administration to stop the sale of non-ISI marked mineral water in the state. The president said people were being cheated by such substandard companies. The forum members also appealed to the government to fix reasonable rates for per bottle of packed water. The members said the bottles of branded drinks were being sold at Rs 10 or Rs 12 per bottle whereas simple water bottle was also being sold at the same price. They said the government should take effective steps in public interest.

MOGA
PROTEST: Arhtiyas of the district here on Tuesday protested against the failure of the government procuring agencies to make the payments against the paddy procured by them. They have threatened to join the arhtiyas of Bathinda who were on strike. Mr Lila Dhar, member of the Moga District Arhtiyas Association, said the arhtiyas would be forced to launch an agitation if the payments were not made within the next 15 days.

CASES SETTLED: Punjab Education Minister Tota Singh settled as many as 44 cases of panchayats at Badhani Kalan village in Moga district and distributed Rs 1,50,000 for the development of villages falling under that village police station. He also distributed cheques worth Rs 4 lakh among the disabled persons of the area.

CERTIFICATES DISTRIBUTED: President of the Moga Municipal Council, Dr Kuldip Singh Gill, distributed certificates among 300 families of Scheduled Castes of this town on Tuesday. The function was organised by the local Sarv Shakti Social Welfare Club. Ten sewing machines were also distributed among poor women.

NABHA
BODY FOUND: The body of Rajinder Singh Sahni, ex-vice-president, Municipal Committee was extracted from Thuki canal on Tuesday. He had been missing from his house for the past four days. A case has been registered. He was cremated at Alhoran Gate Cremation grounds.

ROTARY CLUB: The local Rotary Club will be organising its coronation ceremony on December 15 at Rotary Bhawan here. The secretary of the club, Dr Charanjit Singh, said the Public Health minister and local MLA, Mr Raja Narinder Singh, will be the chief guest.

PATHANKOT
ORGANISED: An administration police meeting was organised at the PWD rest house here on Tuesday. Mr Mohan Lal, Minister for Higher Education, presided over it. Mr Lok Nath Angra, SSP, Gurdaspur, Ms Bhawna Garg, SDM, Mr Vijay Sharma, Executive Officer, Municipal Council, and other officials heard problems of representatives of public.

WHISKY SEIZED: The police on Tuesday arrested Rakesh Kumar, local resident, and allegedly seized 48 bottles of whisky. A case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Punjab Excise Act, has been registered.

PATIALA
CULTURAL WORKSHOP: Devindrandranavijivni School of Special Education, in collaboration with the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala, will organise a three-day cultural workshop for mentally challenged children from December 18. According to a press note, about 300 mentally challenged children from Punjab, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh will participate in the workshop.

PHILLAUR
WORKSHOP: A two-day workshop on “drug law enforcement” has commenced at MRS Punjab Police Academy, here in collaboration with the Narcotics Control Bureau. As many as 25 SPs and DSPs from various districts are participating. The course was inaugurated by Mr V.K. Sharma, IRS, Commissioner, Custom and Central Excise Chandigarh on Wednesday.

SAMRALA
PENSIONERS’ DAY: The Retirees’ Welfare Association would observe Pensioners’ Day on Monday. This was stated by Mr Sardara Singh Ghulal, general secretary of the association. He said the Punjab Pensioners’ Confederation had decided on November 26 to observe the day at all district headquarters in the state. A function would be held at Punjabi Bhavan at 11 am to mark the occasion, he said, adding that Mr S. K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, would be the chief guest at the function. Mr Ghulal informed that Mr B.R. Kaushal, president of the PPC, and leaders of various pensioners’ organisations would address the gathering and problems and achievements of the pensioners would be discussed.

BAR ELECTION: The election to the post of president of the local Bar Association would be held on Saturday. Apart from Mr Gurdev Singh and Mr M.G. Prashar, current president and vice-president of the association, Mr Anil Gupta and Mr Uttam Chand are also in the fray. 

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CHANDIGARH

CONGRATULATED: The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Captain Amarinder Singh, congratulated Mr B.B. Bahl, president of the local unit of the Congress, party workers and people of Chandigarh on the party’s victory in the Municipal Corporation elections in Chandigarh. In a joint press statement issued from the party headquarters, Ms Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha and Mr Rana Gruneet Singh Sodhi, general secretary, Mr Lal Singh, vice-president of the PPCC, and Mr Jagjit Singh, leader of the CLP, extended their congratulations on behalf of the PPCC. The leaders said the election results would have bearing on the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections. 

WEBSITE: The website of Lions District 321-f, www. geocities. com/lions/321f/index.htm, was formally launched by the District Governor of the club, Mr D.K. Sood, on Wednesday. The website was created by the committee chairman, Information Technology, Mr K.K. Sharma. Members of the club were present on the occasion.

AWARD: The Indian Chemical Society, Kolkata, has decided to felicitate Prof R.C. Paul, former Vice-Chancellor and Professor Emeritus, Panjab University, at its 38th Annual Convention of Chemists of Indian Chemical Society scheduled to be held from December 26 to 29 at JNV University, Jodhpur. The award will be received by Dr Paul’s daughter, Dr Madhu Paul, and her husband, Mr Kuldeep Paul, according to indisposition of Dr R.C. Paul, according to family sources.

PANCHKULA
WORKSHOP
: A two-day workshop on rural self-employment programme was inaugurated by the Financial Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Panchayat Department, Mr B. D. Dahlia, here on Wednesday. This workshop is being organised by the District Rural Development Agency in association with the State Community Development Centre, Neelokheri. Mr Dahlia said the government was committed towards abolishing poverty in the state. He stressed on providing basic education to all in order to abolish poverty. 

SEMINAR: A seminar on water conservation will be organised by the Panchkula Municipal Council and the Panchkula Journalists Association on Sunday. Mr Ajay Chautala, Member of Parliament, will be the chief guest on the occasion.

SALE OF DRUGS: The District Chemists Association, Panchkula, stated on Wednesday that whole sale and retail chemists following the rules of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and were giving analgesics and anti-depressants only on doctors prescription. In a press note, Mr B.B. Singal, president of the association, said both district drug authorities and the Association were keeping a strict vigil on the sale of prescription drugs. 

MEDICAL CAMP: A two-day medical camp for the staff of the Accountant-General (Audit), Haryana, concluded on Wednesday. The camp was organised by Mr Ashwani Attri, Accountant-General with the courtesy of Civil Surgeon, Panchkula. Two medical officers were deputed. 

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HARYANA

AMBALA
INAUGURATION: The Union Transport Minister, Major B.C. Khandoori (retd) will inaugurate one of the longest bridges of the state built on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway and GT road near Ambala City. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr D.D. Gautam, said Rs 35 crore had been spent on its construction. This bridge had been constructed under a World Bank scheme. This bridge is around 1100 metres in length. Around 40,000 vehicles cross this bridge daily.

ONE KILLED: One person was killed and another injured in a road accident on the Ambala-Jagadhri road near Khudda village on Wednesday. According to information, Inder Singh and Bhupinder Singh were coming on their motorcycle towards Ambala when a truck hit their vehicle. One of them succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital while the other was admitted to hospital. The police has registered a case in this regard.

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HIMACHAL PRADESH

BILASPUR
DEMONSTRATION HELD: Led by the district president, Mr Hoshiyar Singh Thakur and State delegate, Mr Dilaram Dhiman, a large number of Congressmen staged a demonstration at Jhandutta, 45 km from here on Monday evening and presented a six-point demand charter to the tehsildar for forwarding it to Himachal Governor.

DECISION LAUDED: The HP State Head-Masters Cadre officers Association has lauded the government’s decision to upgrade the post of District Education Officers as Deputy Directors of Education and also creating the posts of Head Masters in senior secondary schools. The district unit president, Mr Prem lal Sharma, and the general secretary, Mr Hardyal Singh, have demanded the regularisation of those promoted on the adhoc basis as most of them were due for retirement.

DALHOUSIE
SANCTIONED: The Himachal Government has recently sanctioned Rs 24 lakh for the development of tourism in the hill station. Ms Renu Chadha, president of the Dalhousie Municipal Council and a prominent BJP leader of this area, said these funds would be utilised in a phased manner. She thanked the Himachal Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, for sanctioning the money.

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REGIONAL POTPOURRI

A monument cries for attention

Batala, one of the oldest towns in Punjab, still has as many as 14 monuments of religious and historical importance. Of these, five are mosques, two temples, two gurdwaras and three related to Sikh history and two with the Mughal period.

Jal Mahal stands just in the middle of a big tank built during the reign of Jalalludin Mohammed Akbar.

This palace was built by Maharaja Sher Singh and is now on lease to the Baring Union Christian College, where its administrative offices are housed. The building is maintained by the college authorities.

Jal Mahal is said to be under the control of the Archeological Survey of India. The mahal and the Maharaja’s palace were connected through an underground tunnel which could be seen till 1950. It is said the Maharaja used to hold secret meetings there.

Jal Mahal consists of eight rooms in the lower portion and four on the upper storey . The inner walls have ornate art glass carvings and wall paintings. Some of the art work, though faded, is still visible.

Till early 1980, the tank used to be filled with water drawn from a tubewell of the Municipal Council. The motor of the tubewell is missing.

Over the years several schemes for beautification of this monument were drawn up but none put into action. One was to convert Jal Mahal into a restaurant connected by a bridge. Later an effort was made during the term of Mr Gopal Krishan Chatrath, MLA, but was abandoned when he ceased to hold office. At present the building is in a dilapidated condition and the time is not far off when this relic of Sikh history would pass into oblivion.

No repair seems to have been carried out by the ASI. A part of the upper storey on southern side has collapsed, and wild grass is seen inside the building. The tank being dry has grass which attracts stray cattle. The state government has shown no inclination nor allocated funds for its preservation.

Several prominent citizens have urged the ASI to repair this monument and convert it into a tourist attraction, thereby earning enough funds to meet the cost of repair.

Serving suffering humanity his mission

Mr Rajinder Rana, hailing from Patlander village in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh, is a unique person whose passion for serving suffering humanity remains unyielding. Wedded to the humanitarian cause, Mr Rana serves those in need, especially widows and children of soldiers who laid down their lives while guarding the frontiers of this country.

Bitten by the “jan seva” bug, Mr Rana devotes the lion’s share of his leisure time and whatever he can save from his livelihood in developing real estate and poultry farming and contributes to the marriage of daughters of those who attained martyrdom in Army operations. Recognising the work done by this 35-year-old social activist in rehabilitating war widows, helping children; and even arranging marriages of their daughters, the HP Ex-Servicemen Corporation, Hamirpur, presented him with the best social worker medal, recently. Earlier Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, the DC and the SP of Hamirpur and certain other NGOs honoured this ambassador of courage, compassion, and love for the havenots.

Mr Rana has greatly contributed to the uplift of the downtrodden. Armed with uncanny agility and undying urge to serve, he is ever ready to reach out to these children of the lesser god for help — indeed an endeavour to make them self-reliant.

He strongly holds out that serving mankind is service to God. With his mission well defined, Mr Rana’s experiment with charity goes on with gusto. But he feels he still has a long way to go.

On being asked about what really inspired him to launch this unique charity mission, he says in all humility: “The sole inspiration flows from God: and whatever I do gives me a great sense of satisfaction — an endeavour to repay for the great sacrifices made by jawans.

Contributed by Balraj Mahajan and Ramesh Dhiman

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