R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

  • Hospital serai awaits occupants
  • Shimla’s old bench
  • Sangrur’s Arjuna awardee

TWO KILLED: Two persons were killed in a head-on collision between a truck loaded with bitumen and a scooter (PB02-AD-3267) near Mahal village here on Sunday. The deceased have been identified as Sanjeev Kumar and Baldev Singh, both residents of Atari village, 22 km from here. The truck driver fled from the spot after the accident. A case has been registered.

PROTEST: The B.Ed Unemployed Teachers Union on Sunday demonstrated against alleged anti-teachers’ and education policies of the state government at Hall Gate here. The union headed by district president Subash Kumar strongly criticised Capt Amarinder Singh for this. He urged the unemployed teachers to participate in the November 9 meeting of the union.

CONFERENCE: The two-day fourth state-level conference of Punjab Geographers on Social and Economic security organised at S.R. College for Women concluded here on Sunday. Prof Darbari Lal, state Education Minister, was the chief guest. He said the state government had strictly banned the sex determination tests and shut down all related centres. A large number of delegates from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh participated in the conference.

BUSINESSMAN DEAD: Mr Hans Raj, a leading businessman of this city, died on Monday when he was strolling near a lake in the morning. Sources said he fell into lake after he slipped from its bank. He was alive when he was taken out. He was taken to a hospital immediately where he died later on. A case has been registered under Section 174 of Cr PC.

GK COMPETITION: The district unit of the Rotaract Club on Sunday conducted a general knowledge competition in which more than 300 students of 22 schools participated. Mr Rajesh Goyal, president of the club, in a press note issued here on Sunday said the competition was organised in association with the city branch of the State Bank of Patiala.

PROGRAMME: The Diamond Welfare Society on Sunday organised a cultural-cum-competitive programme in which teams from more than 35 schools of the region participated. Mr Nathu Ram, MLA, Malout, was the chief guest and Ms Paramjit Kaur Pirjada, Director, Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, gave away the prizes. Ms Veenu Goyal, chairperson of the society said the team from Dashmesh School got the first position in the Bhangra competition (junior segment) and the team from Guru Kashi School won the top position in the senior segment. Ms Harsimran Kaur was declared Miss Punjaban from Bathinda.

CAMP: The National Integrated Medical Association on Sunday organised a family planning and population control camp at Adda Basti Sheikh here. As many as 100 couples participated in the camp. Dr Amita Saini, project coordinator, said there was need to control the population explosion. “We have decided to organise four more such camps in slums of the city, including Lamba Pind, Basti Bawa Khel, Gandhi Camp and Abadpura during November, Dr Saini added.

PULSE POLIO: The Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, Dr G.L. Goel, held a meeting with civil surgeons, district family welfare officers and district vaccination officers of five districts, including Moga, Muktsar, Faridkot, Ferozepore and Ludhiana, on Monday to discuss the Pulse Polio Programme 2003-2004 and the Family Welfare Programme. Dr Goel said the department was providing awareness regarding the mother and child health care in all districts of Punjab at the primary, secondary and preventive levels. Adjustments were being made to fill the 1500 vacant post of doctors. Drug inspectors in 17 districts were also keeping a check on the supply of spurious medicines. He said the dengue epidemic in the city was a matter of concern. The Health Department had constituted 56 teams of health workers who were conducting door-to-door surveys to spread awareness about the disease. He said the first round of pulse polio would be held on January 4, 2004, and the second round on January 22, 2004.

MEETING: The Association of Teaching Staff, at a meeting held at Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital on Monday, thanked the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and Mr Satish Chandra, Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Punjab, for restoring the registration of 5,300 homoeopathic doctors. The Council of Homoeopathic System of Medicine, Punjab, had cancelled the registration of these doctors. The association had represented the matter to the authorities concerned. A meeting was held with Mr Chandra recently, following which he directed the Registrar of the council to restore the registration of the doctors unconditionally and without constitution of any committee. The secretary also directed the Registrar to register fresh candidates, passing out from the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.

LAUNCHED: Max New York Life, a life insurance company, on Monday launched its operations in the city. With this, the company had extended its reach to 20 cities across India, Mr Anuroop Tony Singh, Managing Director and CEO, Max New York Life, said. The office is situated in the financial hub, behind the Ludhiana Stock Exchange building in the Feroze Gandhi market. The office is headed by Mr Sanjay Bakshi, managing partner, who is supported by sales managers who will supervise a team of agent advisers, trained to be life insurance specialists. 

AWARENESS WEEK: The Vigilance Awareness Week started here on Monday with Punjab National Bank organising a function with employees pledging to work against corruption. Mr H.L. Arora, Deputy General Manager, Mr V.K. Gupta, Deputy Zonal Manager and Mr Chand Singh, Deputy General Manager, administered the oath to all employees of the zonal office in this regard. 

FEE SLASHED: The Microsoft Corporation has slashed the exam fee for candidates who want to appear for the Micosoft certified professional examination at Pearson VUE centres here. Giving this information, Mr Ashwini K. Singla, Director, CMS Computer Institute, a Pearson VUE centre, said the fee had been reduced with immediate effect from $ 50 to $ 35. He said the company had given the offer to conduct discounted examination till December 31. He said all candidates would be given exam promotion code, which would have to be used to avail the discount.

COMPETITION: A “kavi darbar” was organised on Monday by NRI poet Gurnam Gill with the cooperation of the International Punjabi Sahit Sabha and the Navchetna Sahit Manch, Phagwara. Noted Punjabi poets Surjit Pattar, Sukhwant Chittarkar, Sukhwinder Amrit, Surjit Jaj and Gurnam Gill stole the show. Others who impressed the audience included Anoop Virk, Ulfat Bajwa, Sardar Panchhi, Gurdial Roshan, Dhawan, Amarjit Kaur Naaz, Kuljit Ghazal, Arif Gobindpuri, Gurnam Gill and P.S. Purewal.

TEACHER HONOURED: Mr Ajit Singh, a social studies teacher, who retired on October 31 from Government Senior Secondary School, Chaunda village near Amargarh in the district, was honoured at a function organised on the school premises. Mr Jagjit Inder Singh, Deputy District Education Officer, Sangrur, and Mr Surjit Singh Dukhi, Public Relations Officer, Sangrur, also attended the function.

PROCUREMENT OF PADDY: By procuring 21.68 lakh metric tonnes of paddy till November 1, the district has topped in paddy procurement for the fifth consecutive year in the state. While Ludhiana district with 16.11 lakh metric tonnes and Ferozepore district with 14.60 lakh metric tonnes are on second and third positions respectively, Patiala district with 13.15 lakh metric tonnes is fourth in the state.

CONDEMNED: Mr Ashwani Kumar Kuku, president of the Amritsar (rural) unit of the Shiv Sena, in a press note issued here on Sunday condemned the ‘sadbhavana yatra’ organised by the BJP.



MEETING: Members of the Station Masters Association of Ambala Divisional Railways held a meeting here on Sunday to oppose a move of the Ministry of Railways to merge the cadre of Group ‘C’ employees into a unified cadre of Station Masters (SMs) and Assistant Station Masters (ASMs). At least 100 Station Masters participated in the meeting. It was decided at the meeting that the association would go the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to oppose the move.

Consumer Forum: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Consumer Protection Forum: patron — Mr B.S. Tej; chairman — Mr Albel Singh Shyan; adviser — Mr A.S. Sharma; president — Mr P.S. Virdi; general secretary — Mr H.B.S. Kahoon; president complaints committee — Mr Amrik Singh Bhatti; senior vice-presidents — Mr M.L. Pangotna and Mr D.S. Aujla; vice-president — Ms S. Sandhu; finance secretary — Mr Mast Ram; publicity officer — Mr Jai Singh Sembhy; legal adviser — Mr Angad Singh; and joint secretary — Mr Manohar Singh.



Training programme: Three-day training programme for library software culminated at the Sohan Lal DAV College of Education, Ambala city, on Monday. The programme is being held in collaboration with the Information and Library Network Centre, Ahmedabad. Dr Yoginder Singh, Chief Librarian, IIT, Roorkee, stressed upon the need for automation of libraries. He said software for university libraries should be changed to software for academic libraries. The college Principal, Dr D.P. Asija, stated the objectives behind automation of libraries. Dr Neelam Luthra anchored the programme.

Prisoner booked: The Baldevnagar police station , Ambala city, has registered a case against a prisoner lodged in the Ambala jail. According to information, prisoner Joginder Singh, a resident of Jind district, had gone on parole for four weeks on September 11 but he did not return even after the expiry of the parole period . On the complaint of the Jail Superintendent, the police registered a case.

Bus service suspended: The private bus service on the local route between Ambala Cantonment and Ambala city remain suspended today due to a quarrel between the driver of a private bus and several students . The driver and the conductor of the bus sustained injuries in the quarrel. The owners and the drivers of the private buses threatened that they would keep the bus services suspended till the assailants were arrested by the police. The drivers parked their buses in front of the police station in protest. According to information, the quarrel started when few students standing on the footstep of the bus refused to come inside the bus. According to the driver of the bus, Satish Kumar, students attacked him when he asked them not to stand on the door of the bus as it caused inconvenience to other passengers.

Theft cases: Two thefts were reported in Ambala in the past 24 hours. According to information some unidentified thieves stole the articles worth Rs 20,000 from a shop situated on Manav chowk. The police has registered a case on the complaint of Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Sonia colony. In another incident a Scorpio jeep was stolen from a residence of Ambala Cantonment . The police said the cost of the jeep was estimated around Rs 2. The police has registered a case in this regard on the complaint of the owner of the jeep, Chetan Kohli.



SEIZED: The local police has seized 104 bottles of wine from an Indica car (HR-02-J-9188) which collided with a truck (HP-18A-0969) on the Paonta-Shimla road at Bohal. The police has arrested four persons, including the driver of the car, in this regard.

PATWARI BEATEN UP: In separate incidents two government servants were allegedly assaulted in Ranaghat and Habban villages under Rajgarh subdivision. Nitya Nand, Patwari, posted at Ranaghat Patwar was allegedly beaten up by four persons of Rana Ghat village and locked inside his office. In another incident Jai Singh, forest gurad, posted at Dhol Beat in the Habban area has lodged a complaint against three persons of Dateha village who allegedly assaulted him and tore his uniform while he was on his way to a hut after attending the D.F.O. office at Rajgarh.



Hospital serai awaits occupants

A well-furnished serai built on the premises of the subdivisional Civil Hospital at Nurpur in Himachal Pradesh has been lying locked. Although the serai was thrown open to public 27 months ago, it has failed to provide lodging to the attendants of indoor patients of the 100-bed hospital.

Mr Shanta Kumar, the then Union Minister and member of the Lok Sabha, had released Rs 10 lakh from the MP Local Area Development Fund in 1998. He had laid its foundation stone on September 13, 1998, and inaugurated the serai on May 16, 2001.

The serai was built in a record time of less than three years. Usually, the attendants accompanying indoor patients prefer to stay with them.

Mr N.K. Lath, Subdivisional Magistrate-cum-Chairman of the Hospital Welfare Society, said that the supervising committee of the serai had so far not handed over the premises either to the Block Development Office, Nurpur, or to the society. Therefore, it was not possible to run it, he added.

There is a demand that the serai should either be converted into doctors’ lodge or should house the Block Medical Office which at present is located at Gangath where it was set up many years ago for want of accommodation at the subdivisional headquarters.

Enquiries reveal that the supervising committee had offered to handover the serai to the local Municipal Council.

Shimla’s old bench

Shimla, the erstwhile summer capital of the British-Indian Colonial Government, was established by employees of the then East India Company in the 19th century. John Pratt Kennedy, the founder agent, had catered for some 30,000 people to live in this, then satellite, town. In due course of time the town went on being patronised by more and more residents. All kinds of public conveniences were arranged for the residents. Wayside sitting benches were one of such items of common man’s use. One of the old benches of the British era is a mute witness to the changing times. Cast by a Calcutta-based British-Indian concern at the beginning of the last century, it is putting up a heroic struggle for existence. Fixed in cement mortar on the Cart Road in Talland, it has lost half of its wooden batons, yet it is available for travellers to sit and relax.

Shimlaites, while pitying the poor old bench, wish that some body (other than kabadiwala) should come forward, provide and fix the missing wooden batons and re-establish it in the nearby bus stop where at commuters await buses.

Sangrur’s Arjuna awardee

Till yesterday one could count on fingers the number of people from Sangrur who had even heard about the game of billiards or snookers. But today almost every one feels proud that Alok Kumar of the town has been honoured with the Arjuna award for his performance in billiards and snookers.

Alok took to billiards at the Ranbir Club of Sangrur which is said to have one of the finest billiards tables in the country. It was Himmat Singh, a peon at the club, who taught the finer points of the game to Alok.

A graduate from Panjab University, Alok was the national billiards runner-up in 2002 and the champion in 2003. In 2002 he was the National Snooker Champion and the National Pool Champion. At the international level, Alok represented India in nine world championships, seven Asian championships and two Asian meets. At the Busan Asian Games he won the silver medal, third position in the IBSF World Billiards Championship (2002), runner-up in the Gold Flake Grand Slam Professional Ranking Tournament (1997), reached the semi-final stage in the British Open Professional (1997), the quarter-final stage in the World Open Billiards Championship (2001) and the World Professional Billiards Championship (1996). His break of 135 points in the Asian Snooker and 142 points in the World Snooker Championship are the highest breaks achieved by any Indian player at these championships.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Sarvjit Singh, honoured him at a function organised by the District Olympics Association at the Ranbir Club, the place where he had learnt the basics of the game.

— Contributed by Rajiv Mahajan, K.L. Noatay and Gursharan Singh


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