SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

           J A L A N D H A R

NRI Sabha polls soon, nominees get right to vote
Jalandhar, January 1
The long wait is over for the members of the NRI Sabha with the Punjab NRI Department finally deciding to hold elections of the Sabha’s executive body after a gap of two years and also agreeing on giving the nominees of the NRIs to exercise the franchise on their behalf.

43 developmental projects approved
Jalandhar, January 1
The government has approved as many as 43 developmental projects worth Rs 8 crore under a special NRI-government partnership scheme.

Relief too little, too late, say ’84 riot victims
Phagwara, January 1
The 1984 riot victims settled in Phagwara have rejected the enhanced relief and ex gratia amount announced by the Union Government yesterday saying “it was too little and too late.”

Bollywood actor Pramod Moutho to debut
Phagwara, January 1
Having acted in more than 100 films so far, Pramod Moutho is now ready to don the director’s cap. “I will make a film with a good story line and an appropriate lead,” said Bollywood’s famous character actor during a visit here. “Vulgarity and sleaze do not  always sell.”

ETT Union observes ‘Black Day’
Jalandhar, January 1

The Un-Employed ETT Union today burnt the effigy of the state government in front of the residence of the state Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra.
Members of the Un-Employed ETT Union burn an effigy of the state government in Jalandhar on Sunday Members of the Un-Employed ETT Union burn an effigy of the state government in Jalandhar on Sunday. — Photo by S.S. Chopra




ECO-WATCH: Dried-up trees stand along the Jalandhar-Amritsar railway line.
ECO-WATCH: Dried-up trees stand along the Jalandhar-Amritsar railway line. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

EARLIER STORIES

 

A road by NRIs
Phagwara, January 1
When government grant fell short, NRIs came forward to supplement it. The incomplete stretch of the road linking the railway-level crossing and Mehtan village here has been completed with funds raised by NRIs of the village settled abroad.

Phones dead
Phagwara, January 1
Residents of many localities here were forced to exchange New Year Day greetings in the evening due to a breakdown in telephone services in the area.

Over 100 kids in painting contest
Jalandhar, January 1
Children of soldiers posted in field areas participated in a painting competition organised by HQ 91 Sub Area at Army Public School, Jalandhar Cantonment, here on Saturday.

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NRI Sabha polls soon, nominees get right to vote
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 1
The long wait is over for the members of the NRI Sabha with the Punjab NRI Department finally deciding to hold elections of the Sabha’s executive body after a gap of two years and also agreeing on giving the nominees of the NRIs to exercise the franchise on their behalf.

The NRI Commissioner, Mr N.S. Kalsi, said this during a telephonic conversation. Though, he added, the elections might not be held on the stipulated date, that is, a Sunday prior to the Lohri, as per the NRI Sabha’s Constitution. “The polls may have to be postponed till the end of January or the first week of February, as fresh electoral rolls of the members and their nominees have to be prepared.”

Mr Kalsi added that the right of the NRI members to cast their vote through their nominees had also been restored, as was being demanded by them. “Many members had been pressing for this. They said if they were not able to cast their votes personally, their voting rights should not be infringed upon. They had demanded that their voting right could be exercised by a local friend or a relative, whom they take as their nominee.”

But the NRI Commissioner added that the nominees would not be allowed to stand for elections, as it used to happen earlier. “Only NRIs can stand for the posts in the executive committee.”

A notification in this regard had been issued to all the district units of the NRI Sabha for further course of action, he said.

The department was also organising an NRI Mela from January 15 to 16 in Chandigarh. “Invitations for this have been sent to the NRIs settled in various countries,” Mr Kalsi said. “The mela is being held during this period, as hundreds of NRIs are now visiting the country or planning to be here for sometime.”

Though the decisions has brought some cheer to the NRIs, but their nominees are not satisfied. They demand that being members, they too should not be infringed of their right to stand for the executive body elections.

“The state government is interfering with the working of our NGO and the officials of the NRI Department officials are taking decisions on their own without getting the resolutions passed by the members through the General Body meeting,” Mr Pritam Singh Narangpuri, an ex-NRI and a member of the Sabha, said. “I may have to move to the court if such amendments and unnecessary restrictions are not withdrawn.”

He said he became a member of the Sabha because its Constitution stated that he would have the right to become an executive member.

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43 developmental projects approved
Anuradha Shukla
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 1
The government has approved as many as 43 developmental projects worth Rs 8 crore under a special NRI-government partnership scheme.

The approved projects will cover four districts of the state, with two of these falling under the Jalandhar district.

According to highly-placed sources, the scheme was transferred from the Rural Development Department to the NRI Affairs Department on April 1, 2004 on account of non-performance.

The NRI Affairs Department has approved these projects, which were forwarded as per the recommendations of the respective Deputy Commissioners.

The development activities that would be carried out under the projects include construction of gymnasiums, charitable hospitals, gram panchayat ghars, sports rooms, sports clubs, dharamshalas, pavements, adding rooms to schools, installation of street lights , dispensaries, rest houses, laying sewerage pipes, installing solar lights, and other modernisation works.

The high-level Punjab NRI Committee for Development (PUNRICD) was set up by the state government to control the funds allocated for the budget under the new scheme.

PUNRICD will send the allocated grants by the government for the respective projects through NGOs, constituted to handle the projects on a local basis.

The money allocated for the projects would be soon sent to the local NGOs or government agencies concerned .

The state government has so far made a budget allocation of Rs one crore as a contribution to the projects under the scheme.

Confirming about the approval by the government, the Director, Information Technology, Mr N.S. Kalsi, told The Tribune that the projects received from all the Deputy Commissioners had been approved and the money allocated for the projects was being distributed. “The local gram panchayats, the local NGOs or even a government agency can be handed over the projects to be look after”, Mr Kalsi said.

Of the total of 43 projets, eight will benefit the residents of Bhagran, Kuka, Rauni, Kalyan, villages of Hoshiarpur district, Samana and Nabha of Patiala, Manguwal, Saroya Nawan Gran, Rakkar Dhahan, Khotran, Bhaura, Jhingran and Jhingra, villages of Nawashahar district, besides many others. 

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Relief too little, too late, say ’84 riot victims
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, January 1
The 1984 riot victims settled in Phagwara have rejected the enhanced relief and ex gratia amount announced by the Union Government yesterday saying “it was too little and too late.”

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Kuldip Singh, a resident of Prem Pura, said he was not happy with the announcement.

“Even if the government gave lakhs of rupees, it would be of no use. We have been given no benefits by the state government and we are living like slum dwellers.”

Ms Charanjit Kaur, a member of the Danga Pirit Welfare Society, alleged that only those owing allegiance to the ruling party would be happy with the announcement.

Ms Gurbaksh Kaur from Urban Estate said if this was all the government could give after 21 years, it was of no use. “The children of the riot victims are jobless, as the government has done nothing to rehabilitate them.”

She added that while the Union government was announcing relief packages, the state government was issuing notices to them to vacate the houses they were living in.

Mr Gursewak Singh, a resident of Satnampura here, said the ex gratia announced per victim was not enough, as it would work out to be just Rs 2 lakh each, while Ms Sunder Singh, another riot victim, was of the view that the government should have given at least Rs 8 lakh to those who came from outside Punjab so that they could start some business.

Terming the compensation for the victims of the 1984 riots as “too little, too late,” the opposition parties said the money could not heal the wounds of victims.

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Bollywood actor Pramod Moutho to debut
as director
J. S. Gandam

Pramod Moutho
Pramod Moutho

Phagwara, January 1
Having acted in more than 100 films so far, Pramod Moutho is now ready to don the director’s cap. “I will make a film with a good story line and an appropriate lead,” said Bollywood’s famous character actor during a visit here. “Vulgarity and sleaze do not 
always sell.”

The versatile actor would also be seen in an English telefilm to be produced by the BBC. “I’m learning the British accent these days for this,” he quipped.

And for the New Year, Moutho who went to Mumbai from Kapurthala might take to singing. “Three music companies have approached me for an album.”

His brother-in-law, Dr K.K. Grover, interjects to add that Parmod’s suffix “Moutho” owed its origin to his excellence as a mouthorgan player. Moutho’s wife is from Phagwara.

“My original name is Kuldip Singh and my father Harjit Singh Phani is a Sikh,” said Moutho. “Though I belong to a Hindu family, the elder sons in the family used to be made Sikhs owing to the sacrifices of great Gurus.”

Moutho joined the National School of Drama after completing his graduation from Randhir College in Kapurthala in 1978.

He made his screen debut in DD’s popular serial “Sanjha Chulla,” based on Balwant Gargi’s play. Moutho shifted to Mumbai in 1992 to try his luck on celluloid and got the role of the main villain in Subhash Ghai’s ‘Khalnayak.’

“From the roles of bad guys, I got the first positive role in Govind Nihlani’s ‘Dev’,” he said. Moutho has also performed the role of Sunny Deol’s father in ‘Gadar’

Now, he is working in three Hindi films whose names are yet be selected. “Two of them are being directed by Harry Baweja.”

Moutho said he was an avid reader of Punjabi literature. “I admire Kapoor Singh Ghuman’s one-act play “Kaleerey,” the writings of Amrita Pritam, the plays of Shakespeare and the works of Manto.”

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ETT Union observes ‘Black Day’
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 1
The Un-Employed ETT Union today burnt the effigy of the state government in front of the residence of the state Revenue and Rehabilitation Minister, Mr Amarjit Singh Samra.

The protest was organised to press for their demand for jobs to the unemployed teachers in the state and filling up of the vacant posts of the teachers. The protestors condemned the government’s inaction in this regard.

The Union had earlier declared to observe first of January as a Black Day. 

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A road by NRIs
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, January 1
When government grant fell short, NRIs came forward to supplement it.

The incomplete stretch of the road linking the railway-level crossing and Mehtan village here has been completed with funds raised by NRIs of the village settled abroad.

A large portion of the road was metalled with the Rs 1.5 lakh from the development grant of the local MLA, Mr Joginder Singh Mann.

The rest of the road was metalled with Rs 5,6000 raised by some UK-based NRIs, sarpanch of the village said. 

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Phones dead

Phagwara, January 1
Residents of many localities here were forced to exchange New Year Day greetings in the evening due to a breakdown in telephone services in the area.

The residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Palahi Road, Green Park Colony, Preetam Nagar, Chahal Nagar, and some villages including Palahi attached to the Chahal Nagar telephone sub-exchange were piqued when they found their telephones dead this morning. The telephones resumed functioning only in the evening. — OC

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Over 100 kids in painting contest
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 1
Children of soldiers posted in field areas participated in a painting competition organised by HQ 91 Sub Area at Army Public School, Jalandhar Cantonment, here on Saturday.

The contestants were divided into two categories — children between six and 10 years of age and children between 11 and 16 years.

Over 100 children participated in the contest, the aim of which was to tap the creativity of the participants and to express solidarity with the families of the soldiers guarding the borders. Ms Aruna Patil, President, Army Wives’ Welfare Association, 91 Sub Area, was the chief guest. She said more such events would be organised in future to bring out the children’s talent and groom them for a bright future.

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