Thursday, April 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

  • A pond forgotten by time
  • A true servant of the people
  • Dr Khush leaves IRRI for US post

MEDICAL CAMP: The local Guru Ravidass Welfare Club organised a medical check-up camp here on Tuesday to mark the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Around 200 patients were examined and medicines were given free of cost.

PROTEST RALLY: More than 500 employees owing allegiance to the Punjab Subordinate Services Federation marched through the local bazars on Tuesday and demanded the ouster of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. They impressed upon the Centre to give protection to the minorities in the country.

GATE RALLY: Municipal employees, led by Mr Kulwant Singh Saini, general secretary of the Punjab Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangthan, staged a gate rally in front of their office here on Wednesday to protest against the non-acceptance of their demands by the state government.

CONGRESSMEN PROTEST: Congress workers staged a dharna on the Kapurthala-Jalandhar road here on Tuesday to protest against the failure of the Gujarat government to protect the minorities and to press for its dismissal.

TWO ARRESTED: The police on Tuesday arrested two robbers for looting a cyclist near Ramgarh village on April 13. They were identified as Manav Singh and Rajesh.

MAN KILLS WIFE: Neena Parveen (31) of the local Madeena Basti was allegedly murdered by her husband Salim Khan on Monday night. They body was recovered by the police from her house. Following a minor altercation, Salim Khan allegedly stabbed his wife with a knife and surrendered before the police.

POWER SUPPLY: Resident of Peer Sohana, Simble Majra, Bajheri, Sacrulapur, Bibipur, Roda, Batta, Sil, Garangan, Sotal, Kheri and Himmatpur villages, who get electricity supply from 132 kva Garangan feeder, are agitated because of erratic power supply. They blocked traffic on the road outside the PSEB office. According to a press note issued by sarpanches of the villages, the PSEB was imposing long power cuts during day and night.

FELICITATED: Prominent educationist and social worker of the city, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, who is the national president of the Bharat Ekta Council, was felicitated at the national convention of Akhil Bharatiya Aggarwal Sammelan, which was held at Kurukshetra in Haryana. The two-day convention was attended, among others, by the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, the Union Minister, Mr Vijay Goyal, a former Chief Minister, Mr Banarsi Das Gupta, and a former MP, Mr Ram Kishan Gupta. Mr Pradeep Mittal, president, Akhil Bharatiya Aggarwal Sammelan, lauded the efforts of Mr Aggarwal. He nominated him as the president of the Punjab state unit of the body. Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Kewal Aggarwal, Vice-President, Akhil Bharatiya Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha, and Mr Ved Gupta, general secretary, Aggarwal Pratinidhi Sabha, Punjab.

COMMERCIAL DAIRY FARMING: The Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension, College of Veterinary Sciences, Punjab Agricultural University, will hold a week long course on commercial dairy farming till April 22. Giving details, the department head said the course would cover management aspects of dairy farming, nutrition, breeding, fodder production and conservation. He said the farmers would be oriented regarding prevention of diseases and importance of regular deworming and vaccination. The economic viability of dairy farming, preparation of different milk products and their marketing would also be imparted, he said.

TRAINING CAMP: The Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension, PAU, organised a training programme at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Rauni, recently. As many as 26 dairy farmers were given training in which they were told about management practices to be adopted for a healthy dairy entrepreneurship. They were told about timely vaccination, deworming and mastitis control measures. The importance of artificial insemination was also told to them.

TRAINING COURSE: A training course on integrated pest management of cotton crop was organised jointly by the Departments of Extension Education and Entomology of Punjab Agricultural University on Tuesday. Presiding over at inaugural session, Dr Joginder Singh, Head of the Department of Entomology, said adoption of integrated pest management was a must for revival of cotton crop which has faced decline in production during the past few years. He said excessive use of cotton damaged the crop and made in unacceptable in international market. Dr G.S. Momi, Head of the Extension Department, said with the approval of Bt cotton by the Central Government, control of American bollworm would be possible. As many as 20 agricultural officers from Bathinda, Moga, Faridkot, Muktsar, Mansa and Ferozepore attended the course.

DE-ADDICTION CAMP: A drug de-addiction camp was held at Borstal Jail and Women Jail here on Tuesday under the guidance of the Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur. The camp was presided over by Dr A.S. Chawla. According to a press release, Mr S.P. Khanna and Ms Jagit Kaur, Jail Superintendents, appreciated the efforts being taken by the Health Department for the eradication of drug addiction. The jail superintendents said they had been trying hard to tell the addicts that any kind of addiction like cigarette, alcohol, smack, heroin was harmful for the body. Mr Khanna said they try to make the jail inmates busy, so that they could not indulge in such activities.

DHARNA BY CONGRESS: The District Congress Committee, Mansa, staged a dharna on Wednesday to press for the removal of the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The party workers also began a chain fast.

GRANT RELEASED: The Punjab Government has released a grant of Rs 45 lakh for the completion of the building of Government Nehru Memorial Postgraduate College here. This was disclosed by Mr Alok Shekhar, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday.

THREE INJURED: Three occupants of a car were seriously injured when their car skidded and hit a tree near Mullanpore village on the Moga-Ludhiana road on Tuesday night. 

CAMP FOR FARMERS: The local Agriculture Department organised a district-level farmers’ training camp and seminar on oil-seed here on Tuesday. Mr Ashok Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated the camp and Mr Parkash Singh, MLA, was the chief guest. About 2000 farmers attended the camp.

BLOOD DONATION CAMP: The Gurdwara Committee of Naura and the local Blood Donors Council organised a blood donation camp at the ETT Training Centre, Naura, about 12 km from here, on Tuesday to commemorate the memory of Sant Baba Sewa Singh. Mr Kartar Singh, president of the committee, inaugurated the camp, in which 75 ETT students donated blood.

AWARDED: Mr Baldev Nayyar, district chairman (environment), Lions Club, district 321-D, a resident of Banga, has been awarded the ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ in recognition of his social services. Mr J. Frank Moore, president, Lions Club International, gave him the award at the district conference ‘Sheetal-2002’ at Manali from April 13 to 15.

EX-JUDGE KILLED: A retired District and Sessions Judge, Gurinderjit Singh (58), was hit by a car on GT Road on the outskirts of the town on Tuesday. He died on the spot.

APPOINTED: Mr Joga Singh has been appointed president of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kapurthala.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the staff club of the BBMB: president — Mr Sunil Sahni; vice-president — Mr B S Kalra; general secretary — Mr Shalinder Kumar and joint secretary — Mr Anil Kumar.

NEW SDM: Just after assuming the charge as SDM, Samrala, Mr Jaspal Singh Jassi checked the offices in Samrala subdivision including the Tehsildar Court here on Wednesday. While talking to mediapersons, Mr Jassi said he has warned all the officers concerned to be present in their offices and give timely justice to the public. He has also appealed to the public fear co-operation. Earlier, Mr Jaspal Singh Jassi was posted as SDM, Moga. 

SMALL SAVINGS: The Sangrur district has topped in small savings in the state by collecting more than Rs 201 crore in the financial year 2001-2002. Mr Sarvjit Singh, Deputy Commissioner, said this here on Tuesday.

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Class IV Government Employees Union, Punjab: president — Mr Dukh Haran; senior vice-president — Mr Balkar Singh; vice-president — Mr Ajit Singh; secretary — Mr Surat Singh and treasurer — Mr Sawinder Singh.



LIONS CLUB: Mr Daljit Singh Kohli has been elected president of the Lions Club Chandigarh Vishal for 2002-2003. Mr Ashok nanda has been nominated secretary for the second term.

PROCESSION: “Palki Utsav” of Shirdi Sai Baba will be organised by the Shirdi Sai Samaj on April 21. The procession will start at 7 am from the Shirdi Sai temple in Sector 29 and pass through Tribune Colony, Sector 28, Sector 19, Sector 18, Sector 27, Manimajra and reach Panchkula. After “bhandara” at Sector 6 in Panchkula, the procession will move to Sector 40, Sector 41, Sector 37 and Sector 38. The “bhandara” will again be offered in Sector 44. According to the president of the samaj, Mr Vijay Kumar, the Ram Navmi utsav will be celebrated in the Sector 29 temple on April 25.



TWO KILLED: Two persons, a boy and a girl, were run over by a train this afternoon. The incident took place between Ambala Cantt and Mohra section on the down line. Both of them were residents of Gobind Nagar in Ambala Cantt. While the girl was a college student, the boy was reportedly studying for CA. A case has been registered.
The police is not ruling out the possibility of the suicide in the case.

WORKSHOP HELD: An orientation programme was held at DAV Public School, Ambala Cantonment. Mr J.R. Prashar, former Principal of Apeejay Public School, Noida, conducted the workshop which included creative interaction, group discussion and positive interaction among participants. Among others, the Director, Dr J.C. Handa, attended the workshop.

RAILWAY WEEK: The annual railway week function was held in the office complex of the Chief Project Manager, Railway Electrification, Ambala Cantonment. The Chief Project Manager, Mr Man Singh, presided over the function. He said against the target of 429 km, the department had been able to electrify 603 km of route. Later, he gave away prizes to staff for meritorious service during the last financial year in different fields.

RAILWAY UNION: The president of the Northern Railway Men’s Union, Mr Shiv Gopal Mishra, and Chief Personnel Officer came here on Wednesday to resolve the deadlock over the issue of compassionate ground appointments. The divisional secretary of the union, Mr C.S. Bajwal, said there was a deadlock between the union and the DRM, Ambala, over review of compassionate ground appointments and transfer of union officials.

CONG PROTEST: Activists of District Congress Committee (urban), Ambala Cantonment, led by Mr Ashok Jain today sat on a symbolic fast to demand the removal of Modi government in Gujarat. Among others, Mr Hira Lal Yadav, Mr Darshan Lal Dua, Mr Ashok Dua, Mr Virendra Gandhi, Mr Randhir Chaudhary, Mr Shyam Manchanda, Mr Narendra Pal Shera, Mr Suresh Trehan, Mr Santosh Kashyap, Mr Ghanshyam Das, Mr Sudhir Jaiswal, Mr R.N. Samrat, Mr Sunil Thakur and Mr Kuldeep Saxena participated in the dharna.

ELECTED: To redress the religious and social problems and for all-round development of the Brahmin community, a sabha under the name of Shri Brahmin Sabha has been constituted. The following were elected office-bearers of the sabha: chairman — Mr Krishan Kaushik; president — Mr Yashpal Shandily; chief secretary — Mr Onkar Nath Shastri; cashier — Mr Mangu Ram Kaushik; auditor — Dr Rajinder Pal Sharma; secretary — Mr Jagdish Chand Sharma and propaganda secretary — Mr Satish Kumar Kaushik.

RELIGIOUS FUNCTION: A “Vishal Bhagwati Jagran” will be organised by the Sri Sanatan Dharam Sabha at Shri Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Sector 23-B, here on April 19, according to Mr Om Parkash Malhotra, president of the sabha. The jagran will start at 10 pm. Renowned mandali of Bhushan Lal Ji Jakhmi will conduct the jagran.



REPS’ DEMONSTRATION: Medical representatives of different pharmaceutical companies of Kangra zone held a demonstration here on Wednesday and raised slogans against the failure of the Centre to implement the 27-point charter of demands submitted by the Federation of Medical Representatives Association of India.

ELECTED: Mr Ratan Singh has been elected vice-president and Mr Joga Singh general secretary of the local Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee.

THEFT: Goods worth about Rs 1,15,000 have been stolen from the house of Dr Rakesh Dhiman. He is working at the local Civil Hospital.



A pond forgotten by time

REWARI can boast of many ancient and historic buildings. But because of lack of proper maintenance, such models of art and craftmanship are turning into heaps of rubble. The structures, which are part of the national heritage, are witness to events of the hoary past.

Nandsagar of Rewari, known as Chhota Talab, is in a pitiable state. It was constructed under the patronage of Raja Rao Nand Ram, hence the name Nandsagar.

It was built to provide drinking water to the area. The minarets standing at the corner of the pond are crumbling. This pool has been dry for many years.

Swami Dayanand preached on the bank of this pond during his stay at Rewari. The first ‘‘cowshed’’ was constructed under his guidance.

The administration must pay attention to the upkeep of these buildings of national heritage, otherwise these will not remain for posterity.

A true servant of the people

The Regional Transport Officer, Mandi region, Mr B R Kaundal is a public servant with a difference. His dedication and devotion to duty is inborn. He has a passion to do something for the people. He could not fulfil his urge to serve the people as a bank officer and left the job nine years ago to join as Tehsildar in 1986 when his salary was one-third of what he was getting from the bank, but he found job satisfaction.

It was an irony that he qualified for the IAS twice, but was not selected in the interview.

He worked with missionary zeal and was awarded a silver medal by the President in 1991 while posted at Bilaspur to do census work. While Tehsildar of Nahan, he busted a racket of fake Himachali certificates which were issued to the people of neighbouring states for a price. The so-called claimants of bona fide Himachali certificates landed in jail during his tenure.

He also spearheaded a literacy campaign in remote villages of Nahan. Mr Kaundal took upon himself the task of motivating the people to send their wards to schools. Industrialists of Nahan were also encouraged to provide infrastructure and give uniforms to students.

As SDM of Chopal, he encountered tough resistance from the forest mafia. But, undeterred by threats, he launched a crackdown against felling and smuggling. He also took a tough stand against mass copying going on openly with the tacit approval of the teachers in that area.

As Mandi RTO, Mr Kaundal set a record by collecting Rs 2.70 crore as special road tax (SRT) from vehicle owners plying without permits in the state and challaning as many as 1,117 vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act. He also recovered fines of over Rs 16 lakh in less than eight months. He collected additional revenue of Rs 3 crore in a short span of less than eight months. In sharp contrast in the corresponding period last year only Rs 1.93 crore SRT had been collected and only 58 vehicles challaned.

Mr Kaundal was recently transferred and posted as assistant officer to the D.C. Rekong Peo.

Dr Khush leaves IRRI for US post

Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, the man who ushered in the rice revolution with his research, has finally said good-bye to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Manila, Phillipines, after serving it for 35 years.

Dr Khush, an alumnus of Punjab Agricultural University, has done India proud by the hard work put in by him at the IRRI.

Dr Khush retired this month as Head of the Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biochemistry Division and will join the University of California at Davis, USA, as emeritus professor later this month.

Dr Khush (67) was instrumental in the development of as many as 308 rice varieties that were released all over the world. He joined the IRRI in 1966-67 when world rice production was just 250 million tonnes. Last year the production was 600 million tonnes showing a 235 per cent rise in rice production.

Talking of the latest breakthrough in rice at the IRRI, he said that super varieties, whose yield is 15 to 20 per cent higher, have been developed. These were being distributed to rice-growing countries. “We have sent material to India, too, and these are being tested at various places, including Punjab. These varieties will be released within the next two years. “

The yield of improved basmati varieties would double the income of farmers compared to existing basmati varieties, ‘said Dr Khush. These varieties will be released in UP later this month.

The third breakthrough in rice production was in improving the micro-nutrient content of rice. Rice did not have Vitamin A important for the human diet. The people who are well off can afford to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables but the poor cannot afford these and suffer from Vitamin A deficiency. ‘In cooperation with the scientists in Switzerland and Germany, the IRRI has developed a golden coloured rice that is rich in vitamin A,” he revealed.

Expressing concern over the waste of foodgrains in Punjab due to over-production” he observed: “It is criminal that it is being wasted”. To overcome the problem of plenty Dr Khush suggested that it should try to exploit the international market. Excess rice can be used as food for work as there is lot of unemployment and we have to improve our highways.

Contributed by Satyavir Naharia, Kishori Lal and KS Chawla. 


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