Thursday, January 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

  • A unique sentinel of faith
  • Tourism potential

DISTRIBUTED: As many as 30 sewing machines were distributed among widows by the Salvation Army at the programme organised at a Army headquarters here on Tuesday. This was informed by Major Manga Masih, Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army. Mr R.L. Bhatia, a former Foreign Minister, was the chief guest.

BAN ORDER: Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, District Magistrate, has banned the gathering of five or more persons under Section 144 of the Cr PC. In a press release issued here on Tuesday he said the order would remain in force from December 28 to February 25.

ONE ARRESTED: The police on Tuesday arrested Banga Ram of Jagshedpur in Jalandhar for allegedly possessing a fake passport. The police has registered a case under Sections 419, 420, 468 and 471, IPC.

CELEBRATED: Police Elders Day was celebrated here under the chairmanship of Mr Gurinder Singh Dhillon, SSP. According to a press note issued here on Tuesday Mr Dhillon while addressing audience said the aim of celebrating police elders day was to gain and learn from their rich experience. Mr Ram Singh president Police Welfare Pensioners Association said association was trying to help families of police martyrs.

ACCIDENTS: Pawan Kumar Bajaj was killed on Tuesday night when he fell from a moving train near Goniana railway station 15 km from here. The police handed over the body to his kin after a post-mortem examination on Wednesday. A youth was injured when his scooter hit a pig on Wednesday near the Government Rajindra College here. He has been admitted to a hospital. In yet another incident, nephew of former Punjab Minister received injuries when his car hit a jeep at 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning near the Harchand cinema on the Bathinda-Goniana road.

AWARENESS CAMPAIGN: Drug addicts provided much required clues to drug-trafficking at a public platform in the presence of district police chief and DIG (Border) at a seminar here on Tuesday. Mr Gurdev Singh Sahota, DIG (Border Range) said a village-wise awareness campaign was being launched in the border belt.

BOOKED: The police has booked Ravinder Singh and Daljit Singh of Karnal and Pardeep Kumar a local resident, for allegedly cheating people on the protest of sending these abroad. The SSP said on Wednesday Ravinder Singh and Daljit Singh were working as travel agents and took Rs 50,000 from Bachitter Singh among others for sending him abroad but failed to do so.

POLICE CLAIM: The police claimed to have solved 18 murder cases out of 21 murders that took place in the last year, according to a press note issued by SSP Paramjit Singh Sarao here on Tuesday. All four cases of robberies were also solved by the police. Stolen goods worth Rs 2 lakh were recovered while 26 cases of theft were solved out of the total 62 cases. The police seized 14 pistols and 5 rifles and registered 21 cases under the Arms Act. The police also traced 52 offenders of the NDPC Act and seized 12.5 kg of opium, 12 quintals of poppy husk and 500 kg of charas.

AWARD PRESENTATION DAY: The Disabled Welfare Society Punjab will organise its fifth annual award presentation day on January 11 at local Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara. According to a press note of the society, the awards would be given to outstanding individuals and institutions working for the rehabilitation of the disabled. The awards constitute plaques, shawls and cash. The awards would be given away by Bhai Sahib Bhai Jasbir Singh Joshi, MP Shamsher Singh Dullo and SDM Manvesh Singh Sidhu.

DEMAND: About 36 families belonging to Bagri/Lohar Rajput community, who have been staying near Sohana village, have demanded that they should be prevented from being harassed by the police and that a permanent place should be allotted to them. They have written that they have been staying at this place for the last about 20-25 years and have been listed in the voter lists also. They have given this memorandum to the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, who has assured that he will take up the matter with the concerned authorities.

COMMITTEE FORMED: The pensioners belonging to the Kharar tehsil have decided to form a pensioners association and have formed a five-member committee headed by Mr Hardeep Singh for the preparation of constitution and the working of the association. The other members of the committee are Principal Harjeet Singh, Mr Taraqi Lal, Mr Ram Swaroop Bhardwaj and Mr Piara Singh. This committee will work for the welfare of the government pensioners belonging to all departments of Kharar. The next meeting would be held at Shri Ram Bhavan on January 18.

TRANSFORMER STOLEN: The PSEB authorities have lodged a complaint with the Kharar police that a 25 KV transformer near Bariyali village has been stolen by some unknown persons. The police has registered a case under Section 279 of the IPC.

CREMATED: Body of Sushil Kumar who was found murdered in a ditch near Saidpura village along the Dera Bassi- Barwala road on Tuesday morning was cremated after postmortem examination at his native place here on Tuesday. The police has sent the body to the Civil Hospital in  Rajpura but was later taken to Rajindra Hospital Patiala, for postmortem examination. Shops of Lalru market remained closed on Tuesday. 

CELEBRATIONS: Gupta Model High School, Club Road, celebrated New Year with a ‘hawan’ and dance party. Students, teachers and parents took part in the programme. The Principal, Ms Simmi Gupta, said the main aim of the ‘hawan’ was to pray for peace in the world. She said “hawan” was the best way to start a New Year.

BAN ORDERS: The District Magistrate, Mansa under Section 144 Cr.P.C. 1973 has banned the sale of 106 medicines containing psychotropic substance without medical prescription. He has also prohibited the carriage or storage of these medicines without licence. The orders will remain in force till February 28, 2003.

RENAME RLY STATION: Panchayats of various villages in this district in a memorandum submitted to the Railway Ministry have demanded that Ajitwal railway station, situated about 15 km from here, on the Ferozepore-Ludhiana railway section of the Northern Railway should renamed as Lajpat Rai railway station. These panchayats have stated that Dhudike village, 2 km from Ajitwal railway station, is the birthplace of Lala Lajpat Rai.

GATES FOR MARTYRS: The district unit of ex-servicemen cell (PPCC) at a meeting at Punjab Mata Viodhyawati Bhavan here on Tuesday passed a resolution to erect a gate on the Nawanshahr-Chandigarh road at Rail Mazra village to commemorate the martyrdom of Lt Bharat Singh and Sepoy Darshan Singh, who sacrificed their lives during the Indo-Pak war in 1971, said Lt Col Jernail Singh (retd), president of the cell in a press note.

NRIs FLOAT TRUST: A trust has been set up in the memory of Ujaggar Singh Jagpal, the head granthi of Jagpalpur village gurdwara for 70 years. The granthi had left behind Rs 1.70 lakh for it. The seven NRIs of the village, including Darshan Singh Nalh, Gurbachan Singh Nalh, Harbhjan Singh Hayer, Sukhwinder Singh Hayer, Sarbjit Singh Hayer, Didar Singh Nalh and Karnail Singh Nalh donated Rs 3.50 lakh for the trust.

KOHLI IN NRI SABHA: Mr Ashwani Kohli, MD, Bawa Industries, has been nominated to the central executive committee of the NRI Sabha, Punjab. It has been conveyed to him by Mr Balbir Singh, Sabha’s vice-patron.

COUNCIL MEMBERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the local Citizen Council: president — Mr Avtar Singh Taneja; vice-president — Dr Naresh Sharda; general secretary — Mr Joginder Singh Kukreja; joint secretary — Mr Vipan Kumar Dhingra; organising secretary — Mr Gurcharan Singh Gulati; and press secretary — Mr Jasbir Singh.



DENTAL CAMP: The Citizens Association For Relief Education and Service (CARES) and the Satnam Sarab Kalyan Trust organised a dental camp in collaboration with BRS Dental College and Hospital, Kot Billa, Panchkula. Brig (Dr) Karamjit Singh alongwith his team of doctors carried out dental inspection of 104 children and adults of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony, Sector 49, Chandigarh. Filling and cleaning of the teeth was done. Patients were informed about dental health care. The camp was inaugurated by Col Rajinder Singh (retd). While welcoming the chief guest, Col. R.K. Dutta, president of CARES, appreciated the efforts put in by the staff and cooperation extended by BRS Dental College in making the camp a grand success. He emphasised the need for holding such camp more frequently in slums areas. 

GRANT: The department of Bio-Chemistry at Panjab University has been awarded a grant of Rs 25 lakh under ‘Fund for improvement of infrastructure in universities and higher education institutions’, an official press note said here on Tuesday. The grant has been made by the Department of Science and Technology for the development of infrastructure and to carry out advanced research in the areas of bio-chemistry and molecular biology.

APPOINTED: Mr Vijay Bhushan, Principal Chief Postmaster General, Punjab and UT Chandigarh, took the charge of a member, Postal Services Board (PSB), on Tuesday. The new appointment is in the rank of Special Secretary to the Government of India. An officer of the 1967 batch of the Indian Postal Service, Mr Bhushan had joined here as the Principal Chief Postmaster General, Punjab and UT in June, 2002.

AWARENESS RALLIES: The Citizens Awareness Group in collaboration with Family Welfare Bureau has decided to organise Polio awareness rallies involving schoolchildren. Resource persons from the UT Health Department are scheduled to deliver lectures on importance of pulse immunisation. Four different rallies will be held. The first one will start from Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 40 at 9 am on January 2. Next rally will be organised from Government High School in Sector 39 at 9 am and also from Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 38 (West) at 11 am on January 3. The last rally will be organised from Government High School in Sector 38 at 8.30 am on January 4.

VISIT: The Bishop of Simla, Chandigarh Diocese, Rt Rev Dr Gerald J Mathias, visited the home for the aged and juvenile in Sector 15 on Tuesday. In his message to the inmates, Rt Rev Dr J Mathias said, “God loves each one of us. He revealed his love through Jesus Christ who chose to be born as a poor in a stable”. He further exhorted one and all to help each other in love and make the new year happy and joyful. Choir from “Christ the King Cathedral” in Sector 19 sang carols of joy and peace.

RETIRED: Prof Subhash Kumari Gupta, Head of the Department of Cytology and Gynae Pathology, has retired after 35 years of “distinguished” service from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research here. Professor Arvind Rajwanshi has taken over as the head of the department. According to a release, she was the pioneer in the field of cytology. She was the first one to introduce the technique of fine needle aspiration cytology in the institute and the country.

BLOOD DONATED: The Baba Sheikh Farid Blood Donor Council here celebrated the new year by taking its members to the PGI and donating blood. Those who donated blood included the president of the council, Ms Jaswant Kaur, and the press secretary, Mr Balwant Singh.

LAUNCHED: Milkfed Punjab has launched two new products for the new year — Verka kheer and Verka spiced cheese spread on Tuesday. According to a press note issued by the Verka milk plant here, the kheer which comes in a packing of 200 gm will be available for Rs 7. On the launch of these products, the Managing Director, Milkfed Punjab, Dr Brij M. Mahajan emphasised that Milkfed was dedicated to quality. The GM of Milk Plant, SAS Nagar, Mr S.C. Aggarwal, assured that despite keeping the cost of their products low, Verka would not compromise on quality.



SURAKSHA RALLY: Bharat Gas organised a Suraksha rally on Tuesday to spread the message of safe usage of the LPG and maintenance of LPG installations. Staff members from the Bharat Gas distributors in Ambala city and Ambala Cantonment carried placards which stressed on safety. The rally was flagged off by Mr P.C. Srivastav, Regional LPG Manager North, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. Bharat Gas launched its 24-hour helpline service which will be available for Ambala residents on mobile No 98120-26960.

OFFICE-BEARERS: The elections of office-bearers took place on Tuesday during the general body meeting of the Defence Colony Welfare Association. President Brig M.M.S. Dutta (retd), vice-president Lieut-Col P.D. Joshi (retd), secretary Lieut-Col R.S. Khokhar (retd), Additional secretary Capt R.K. Atri (retd) and treasurer Capt Bal Krishan (retd). Representatives, Sector ‘A’ are Mr Attar Singh and Mr Dinesh Jakhar, Sector ‘B’ is Maj Ram Swaroop (retd), Sector ‘C’ are Maj Pritam Singh (retd), Mr Jaspal Singh and Mr T.R. Saini and Sector ‘D’ are Dr H. Chopra and Mr Bharat Singh.

NSS CAMP CONCLUDES: The valedictory function of the 10-day NSS camp of SD College, Ambala Cantonment was held at Machchonda village on Monday. While the college Principal, Dr Desh Bandhu, presided over the function, the ADC, Ms Neelam Kasni was the chief guest. Ms Kasni said the problem of female foeticide needs to be addressed urgently. The camp report was read by the Programme Officer, Dr S.P. Sharma. The projects undertaken during the camp included development of village funeral ground, tree plantation, levelling of village school ground construction of stage, deaddiction and sanitation rally, population and AIDS awareness campaign and socio-economic survey of the village. Overall best camper Mr Rajiv, best workers Mr Mandeep and Ms Shibha Attri, best compares Mr Arun and Ms Surabhi, best group leaders Mr Devinder and Ms Harjeet, most disciplined volunteers Ms Vandana and Mr Dinesh.

BANKING HOURS: The Chief Manager of the State Bank of India, Sadar Bazar, Mr K.B. Sharma, said on Tuesday the bank was beginning the new year with extended business hours. Mr Sharma said the bank now has business hours on weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm. He said the bank branch has been fully computerised and the branch was shortly going to install ATM facility.

SAPLINGS PLANTED: The district administration has planted 3.25 lakh saplings in 13 villages of the district under the Community Forestry Programme during the current financial year. This was stated by the Deputy Commissioner, Dr R.B. Langyaan, while presiding over a review meeting of the Community Forestry Programme. The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr C.R. Rana was also at the meeting.



EVMs: Electronic voting machines will be used in the district in the Assembly election. In all, 414 such machines will be used in the district, according to Anuradha Thakur, Deputy Commissioner, Hamirpur. She said the district election office had received 530 such machines from Election Commission of India.

BAR ASSOCIATION: The following have been elected office-bearers of the local Bar Association: president — Mr Naresh Kumar Sharma; vice-president — Mr Ram Lal Sharma; secretary — Mr Ashwani Jhanjee; and finance secretary — Mr Sumesh Dogra.

CONDEMNED: Terming the recent 9 per cent hike in the daily wages announced by the BJP led state government as a political gimmick the general secretary of the state Youth Congress and Municipal Councillor, Mr Sanjay Awasthy, said it was only aimed at wooing the voters. Flaying the government’s attitude of having given no benefit to the pensioners, Mr Awasthy addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday said it reflected their lack of concern for this section of society.



A unique sentinel of faith

Himachal Pradesh has earned an affectionate sobriquet of being the abode of gods. Dotted with ancient temples, tombs, shrines and other places of worship, it attracts pilgrims from home and abroad the year round.

Among the lesser known temples adorning the captivating Kangra valley, the Raghunatheshwar ‘Tedha’ temple, dedicated to Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman, deserves a special mention. Nestling in the serene, salubrious surroundings of Trihau overlooking the sprawling valley, this unique temple is 8 km by road and barely 2 km on foot from the shrine of Ma Jawalamukhi.

Pilgrims thronging the shrine of Ma Jawalamukhi are twice blessed in the sense that they seize an opportunity to have `darshan’ of the sacred flame and to pay their obeisance at the “Raghunatheshwar” temple. A fleet of stairs uphill towards Lal Shivalaya leads to the `samadhi’ of Nagarjun, a disciple of Guru Gorkhnath. A furlong away to the east is the temple of Abmikeshwar Mahadev. A sharp ascent up takes one to the Raghunatheshwar ‘Tedha’ temple. Devotees watch in wonder this unique sentinel of faith, precariously perched on a hillock, with dense wild growth spreading over miles. Like many other places of worship, the ‘Tedha’ temple, too, was extensively damaged in the devastating earthquake that had rocked the entire Kangra valley in 1905. Legend has it that the then temple mahant Sri Sri 1008 Vasudevji saw the temple virtually shaking as it was rocked by powerful tremors. He prayed to goddess Jawalamukhi to save this sentinel of faith from the impending disaster. Upon opening his eyes he discovered that the temple had survived the severest of tremors. Later it came to be known as ‘Tedha’ temple — an epithet it has earned because of its reclining posture.

Regarding the coming up of the temple, Mahant Sham Dass informs that the Pandavas came to offer their prayers at Jawalamukhi towards the fag-end of their ‘agyatvas’. They came to learn about Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman’s brief stay here during their 14-year-long exile. They decided to perpetuate their brief sojourn by raising a fitting memorial. This ancient Pandava temple is known for its simple yet elegant engravings. Three ‘ashtdhatu’ images of the triumvirate adorn the sanctum sanctorum. The original images were reduced to rubble in the earthquake and had to be reinstalled later.

It is believed that the proverbial canal that king Akbar had used to extinguish the eternal flame was drawn from a ‘kund’ here. At handshake proximity, are the ‘gufa’ of Ma Sita and Lachhman ‘dhoona’. A few steps downwards and one is right in front of the rock-hewn images of Lord Rama, Vishnu, Brahma, Bhairon, Garuda, Ganesha and other deities. The five-mouthed stone icon of Lord Shiva dotting the premises is losing its sheen. The huge image of Lord Mahavira here, too, is showing signs of decay.

It is a matter of concern that this ancient temple has remained neglected for over decades now as no serious efforts either on the part of the trust managing it or the state government seem to have been made to protect this lesser-known temple against the vagaries of nature. Since it lacks all basic amenities, it attracts fewer devotees thronging the shrine of Ma Jawalamukhi and other pilgrim centres in this district. The half-a-km dusty track linking the main road and the temple needs to be metalled. Streetlights, too, are urgently needed.

Tourism potential

Haryana is yet to explore the tourism potential of the area surrounding Hathnikund on Yamunanagar-Paonta Sahib highway in Yamunanagar district. The distance between Tajewala to Kalesar is 5 km, which is on the Yamunanagar-Paonta Sahib highway connecting Himachal and Uttaranchal with Haryana and has a lot of potential for tourism.

It is one place where three natural things — water, forest and mountains — are available in abundance. The Yamuna river enters Haryana at Kalesar, near Hathnikund, the Shivalik hills are also easily accessible. Besides, there is a dense forest on both sides of the road. The government can start tourism resorts here. The Rs 200-crore Hathnikund barrage is already operational. The newly constructed rest house at Hathnikund has got all modern facilities, besides having a musical fountain and an enchanting landscape. Although the area near the barrage has come up beautifully it is of no use because it lacks the basic facilities. It can be developed to attract tourists. Moreover Paonta Sahib, where a large number of disciples from Haryana, Punjab and Himachal come daily, is nearby.

Contributed by Ramesh Dhiman and Ashwani Dutta


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