Thursday, December 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


  • A ray of hope for polio victims
  • A record in rural life insurance
  • He has a nose for finding water

BUFFALOES KILLED: Lightening struck the house of Mr Kessar Singh, at Dhulkote village, near here, on Tuesday night. According to sources, though all members of his family were safe, his two buffaloes died on the spot. Mr Isher Singh, Sarpanch of the village, has demanded compensation for the family.

PHONE CONNECTION: The subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Sangrur, will be able to have another connection without payment of any extra security deposit. They will just be required to fill in a simple form and connection will be provided within a week. The installation charges of Rs 840 will be added in the first bill. This information was provided by Mr B.K. Sharma, in charge of the local exchange. He added that telephone numbers falling under Malerkotla, Dhuri, Moonak and Sunam exchanges would be changed with effect from Saturday. Another digit ‘3’ would now be added before, The old six-digit numbers, and the code for all exchanges in Sangrur district would now be 0167.

PENSIONERS’ DAY: The local unit of the Punjab Government Pensioners’ Association observed the Pensioners’ Day here on Monday. The association welcomed the state government’s decision to release DA installment of two per cent and to increase the pension after the age of 65 and 75 years. It demanded that the pensioners retiring after 33 years of service should be given 0.5 per cent half yearly service benefit, the pensioners above 65 years should be given concession in bus fares, and DA increase equal to that given to the serving employees. Mr Nihal Chand Verma, Mr Mehar Chand Gupta, president and general secretary of the association, respectively, were prominent among others who addressed the gathering.

MINISTER URGED: The Punjab State Ayurvedic Medical Officers Association has urged the Minister for Health, Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, to increase the budget for the dispensaries in the state from a mere Rs 850 to Rs 50,000 as per earlier announcements made by him. Dr Harpal Singh Nijjar, president of the association, in a press note issued here on Monday also urged Dr Chawla to create the post of Deputy Director in addition to the District Ayurvedic or Unani Officer’s post.

THREE HELD: Bahadur Singh of Ghari Matton, Lakhwinder Singh and Ranjeet Singh of Denowal Khurd were arrested when they reached near police check post at Asron. Two bags of poppy husk were seized from their car. A case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act was registered against them on Tuesday. The accused were produced before the Judicial Magistrate here who remanded them in police remand till Thursday.

CONGRESS RALLY: A Congress rally will be organised on Saturday under the presidentship of Gurkirat Singh Kotli, grandson of Late Beant Singh, at Doraha. It is expected to be addressed by state Congress leaders, including Mr Raghunandan Lal Bhatia, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, all former MPs, Mr Varinder Kumar, Chowdhary Jagjit Singh, Mr Tejparkash Singh, Mr Gurmit Singh, Mr Malkit Singh Dakha and others.

LIQUOR SEIZED: The local police has claimed to have arrested Baljinder Singh and Narata Singh of Bhutta village in Dehlon, and recovered 24 bottles of illicit liquor here from their custody. A case has been registered under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

INAUGURATION: A ‘gaushala’, built near Sirhind canal with the efforts of the residents of the area, will be inaugurated here on December 23. According to Mr Anil Parbhat Mehta, president, Gaushala Committee, “Religious organisations were kept out of the project. Rather, the people and the committee members donated a sum of Rs 20 lakh for the ‘gaushala’, which can house 100 cows.” The ‘path’ of Sukhmani Sahib would be held on the occasion, and ‘kirtan’ would be performed.

TAKES CHARGE: Mr Amit Duggal, Drug Inspector of Ropar district, took over as Registrar of the Punjab Pharmacy Council on Tuesday, according to information received here on Wednesday. 

MEETING: A meeting of the Rotary Club, Ludhiana was held here on December 16. The meeting was presided over by the president, Mr Sanjiv Sethi. Mr K.K. Chadda, secretary of the club, in a statement issued on Wednesday said Dr K.S.Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, who was the chief guest on the occasion, talked about India’s problems and options in view of WTO and globalisation. He said though India was number one in producing milk, wheat, mango and rice yet the country was unable to offer subsidy to the farmers to survive whereas the protection to farmers in this regard was given on first priority in the developed countries.

INSTALLATION: The installation Ceremony of Lions Club Ludhiana (North), was held at Malhotra Mahal here. According to a press note, J.P.S. Saluja, the spokesperson for the club, said Mr H.S.Lamba was nominated as the president of the club for the coming year. Mr Darshan Singh, Vice-District Governor of Lions district 321-F installed the new team. Mr D.K. Sood, District Governor of Lions District 321-F was the chief guest on the occasion.

MEETING POSTPONED: The annual general meeting of Lodhi Club which was to be held on December 20, has been postponed due to unavoidable circumstances. Mr B.M.Mahajan, general secretary of the club, in a press note said the meeting would now be held on December 27, on the club premises.

MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED: A deputation of the Punjab Ayurvedic Medical Services Association under the Presidentship of Dr Harmanjit Singh met the Chief Minister, Mr Prakash Singh Badal, on Wednesday and submitted a memorandum of demands regarding pay parity with the PCMS doctors in the state. The deputation also demanded a vigilance inquiry into the tenure of former Director, Ayurveda, Punjab, Mr Sanjay Popli, who has been recently removed from the post.

STONES LAID: The Punjab Tourism Minister, Mr Swarna Ram, laid the foundation stones of water, sewerage, drainage and street projects worth Rs 50 lakh in nine localities here on Monday. He also inaugurated seven link and approach roads in villages of the Phagwara block on Tuesday.

STRIKE: The local Bar Association observed strike on Tuesday in protest against the registration of criminal cases against some advocates of Baretta and Mansa. In a meeting held earlier under the presidentship of Mr Gurdev Singh, they demanded that the cases should be withdrawn immediately otherwise they would be forced to intensify their stir.

DHARNA: The BKU workers, in a meeting held here on Tuesday under the presidentship of Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, national general secretary, decided to sit on dharna at the local civil courts on Saturday in protest against the policies of the Punjab Government. Talking to mediapersons, Mr Rajewal said the government should write off the loans of farmers as they were not in a position to repay loans taken from banks and the cooperative societies. 

PENSIONERS HONOURED: The local unit of the Punjab State Pensioners’ Mahasangh presented mementoes to pensioners and shawls to four of them, who were more than 80 years of age, at the Government Senior Secondary School here on Tuesday. This was stated by Mr Prem Sagar Sharma, president of the organisation.



CITIZENS COUNCIL: The president of the Citizens Council, Ambala cantonment, Dr N.C. Jain, said on Wednesday that there was a need for a composite booking-cum-reservation office near the railway station for which sufficient space was available. Dr Jain said functioning of booking counters and reservation office was far from satisfactory. A large number of passengers could be seen waiting to purchase tickets even up to moments before the departure of the train. He said instead of providing reservation counters near the booking offices, it has been opened far from the railway station, a release said. He said catering services at the railway station, particularly the quality of tea and eatables sold in the trains during their brief halt, were usually sub-standard leaving the passengers at the mercy of the vendors.

APPOINTED: The president of Haryana unit of All-India Anti Terrorist Front, Mr Veeresh Shandilya, has been appointed general secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Brahmin Mahasabha. Mr Veeresh Shandilya has also been given charge of Punjab with the responsibility of appointing the Punjab unit president. A number of people have welcomed his appointment, a release said.

MONETARY ASSISTANCE SOUGHT: Mr Balkar Singh has sought monetary assistance for his six-month-old son who needs to undergo heart operation. Mr Singh said his son has a hole in the heart and a sum of Rs 1.25 lakh would be needed for the operation. He said that he is not able to afford the cost of operation.

ADULTERATION CASE: A case of adulteration has been detected during a surprise checking. The Civil Surgeon, Dr S.L. Kaushik, said inspection was conducted at 16 shops. The test reports of eight shops have come in, out of which one adulteration case has been detected. He said that the shop is located in Barara on Adhoya Road and the turmeric powder was found to be adulterated. Dr Kaushik said action has been initiated against the shopkeeper. On a regular basis, inspections would be carried out by doctors in urban as well as rural areas, he added.

RUCHIKA MOLESTATION CASE: Special Magistrate for CBI cases in Haryana, Mr J.S. Dhanjal, directed on Wednesday that a document in the Ruchika molestation case be kept in a sealed cover. The next date of hearing has been fixed for January 7. Former Director General of Police, Haryana, S.P.S. Rathore, was also present. Mr Rathore’s counsel, Mr Ajay Jain, contended that the document No D-6 should be kept in a sealed cover since some lines have allegedly been added. He pleaded that putting the document concerned in a sealed cover would ensure that no further alterations could be made to the document.

MARTYRDOM DAY: Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom day was observed at Dua Memorial National Model School, Ambala cantonment with respect and devotion. A number of students and teachers spoke on the life and teachings of Guru Tegh Bahadur. Ms Rajni and Ms Sonika recited the shlokas of Gurubani. The school principal, Mr Sujan Singh, highlighted the supreme sacrifices of Guru Teg Bahadur along with his disciples. He said it was the sacrifice made by the Guru that was responsible for the downfall of Aurangzeb. He exhorted the students to follow the teachings of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

SENTENCED: A local court on Tuesday sentenced an accused to seven years imprisonment on the charge of raping a minor. According to the prosecution, Kitab Singh of Matloda village, had raped a 12-year-old girl of the same village last year. The Barwala police had registered a case against him.

SUICIDE: Rajinder Singh (28) of Ladwa village committed suicide by jumping before a train at Jakhod village, near here, on Tuesday. According to the police, he was mentally upset.

BOOKED: The police has arrested Jai Bhagwan of Madanheri village and recovered a .315-bore pistol from him. A case under the Arms Act has been registered against him.

4 ARRESTED: The police on Tuesday arrested four persons from different villages and seized 40 kg of poppy husk from their possession. They have been identified as Hanuman Prasad, Jagga Singh, Kulvinder Singh and Dharamvir.



TREES FELLED: As many as 13 trees planted at Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry here by the Department of Silviculture about 15 years back have been felled without taking any formal permission from the concerned authorities. Mr Ajay Sharma and Mr Virendra Dhiman, president and secretary, respectively, of the Environment, Sports and Cultural Club of the university, brought this incident of ‘illicit’ felling to the notice of the local mediapersons here on Monday. They alleged that the trees were felled “as these stopped the sunlight from reaching certain rooms of the girls hostel on the campus”.



A ray of hope for polio victims

Polio victims of various types, some of them crawling while others limping, mostly from the rural areas of Rajpura, Jagadhri, Ropar and Jalandhar, assembled recently at Rotary Bhavan, Rajpura, in the hope of correcting their handicap.

Dr Ujagar Singh, the well-known orthopaedist of Rampura Phul, explained to the 100-odd participants how to take steps to prevent the deadly disease. Displaying charts of several acute polio victims who had been treated by the magical touch of his surgical knife, instilled hope in several patients whose cure had been written off.

Of the 65 cases examined, 38 were selected for corrective surgery free of cost by him and are to be operated upon by the month-end.

Rotarian Shamlal Anand, President of the Rotary Club, Rajpura, flagged off the first batch of eight polio victims to Rampura Phul accompanied by Mr G.K. Chowdhri, ex-president, the inspiration for this noble venture, and Mr Passey, ex-Secretary (see photo).

Mr Anand and his fellow Rotarians deserve a word of appreciation for arranging the camp and meeting the cost of treatment, including transport of the patients, for a meaningful celebration of World Disability Week.

Fr Thomas K.J., President of Roshni Society for the Handicapped, who provided support for getting cases from various places, has requested Rotarians from various places in Punjab to come forward, like their Rajpura counterparts, and lend a helping hand to bring hope to the hundreds of polio victims who are forced to lead a life of misery in rural areas.

A record in rural life insurance

Ms Manisha Bansal, Sr Superintendent of Post Offices, Karnal Division, has achieved a unique feat. Her division (including Karnal, Panipat and Jind districts) has set a national record in subscribing for rural postal life insurance. She procured business totalling Rs 1,12,25,000 in a single day at an insurance camp which she organised in a village, Ratauli, in Jind district on October 12. It is a national record since so much business has never been done in a single day.

The Assistant Superintendent of Post Offices (Jind), Mr A.J. Kalia, and the village branch postmaster, Mr Pawan Kumar Sharma, worked hard to make this camp a resounding success. Ms Manisha Bansal has decided to honour both these officials and also to recommend their names for the Medhdoot Award.

What is unique about this achievement is that Ratauli is a small village. Just 172 persons from this village came forward to go for life insurance. It speaks volumes about its benefits and also the ability of Ms Bansal and the postmaster to convince the people about the profitability of this scheme.

Ms Bansal feels that this type of insurance is very beneficial for villagers. It is convenient for the villagers since they can deposit the premium at the village post office. As there are no agents involved in this scheme unlike other insurance schemes like LIC, the entire profit goes to the customer.

She says that it is her aim to take the benefits of this scheme to every nook and corner of the country.

He has a nose for finding water

Over 600 borewells and none of them dry. This is not a miracle: it is a combination of miraculous accuracy and meticulous judgement. And yet the name behind is unknown and unsung. “Water, water everywhere, and every drop to drink” is the adapted version of the Coleridgean verse which Rakesh Kumar often recites when he is in the field exploring various locations and deciding sites for borewells.

Employed at IRH, Palampur, Rakesh has an uncanny interest in the Changar area of Kangra (Changar literally means water scarce). The young hydrologist has so far got 600 borewells drilled after selecting sites, and none of them has turned to be dry. The people of Changar, the politicians of their respective areas and the administration are always looking forward to this young man.

As the exercise of finding suitable sites involves rigorous travelling, Rakesh is not satisfied with the facilities provided by the government. The young scientist, who did his post-graduation in geomorphology from Kurukshetra University, suggests that the government should encourage research and development (R&D) in water management. He looks on water as the biggest challenge of the 21st century.

When asked about water management, Rakesh proposes that an integrated and holistic approach is mandatory. For sustainable management, he says, landslides, floods, drought, etc, have to be covered under R&D.

“Owing to geomorphological and hydrological conditions where there are less chances of making deep bores, small seepages of the order of 0.5 to 1 litre occur in the hills. These can be lifted by Mark-II handpumps as done in Almora (UP)”, he points out.

Regarding dead springs he says from experience: “ It is possible to rejuvenate a dead spring system by enclosing micro-catchment, preventing grazing and allowing grass to grow, thus increasing infiltration”.

Contributed by TNS, K.G. Dutt, and Suman Sachar. 


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