SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

           J A L A N D H A R

Demolition of 155-yr-old school building begins
Amritsar, November 29
The demolition of 155-year-old majestic school building (Town Hall) which was the first school constructed in the state by the British Government after the annexation of Punjab was started on war-footing in the presence of heavy police posse.
A 155-year-old heritage building of Saragarhi Memorial School, the first school opened by the British Government in Amritsar, being demolished.
A 155-year-old heritage building of Saragarhi Memorial School, the first school opened by the British Government in Amritsar, being demolished. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Differences within BSP come to fore
Jalandhar, November 29
The ongoing bickering in the state unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has virtually come to the fore with the BSP general secretary, Mr Pawan Tinu, virtually distancing himself from the preparations of the BSP’s Nirnayak Bano Sankalap rally to be organised at Bhagwanpur village, near here, tomorrow.






EARLIER STORIES



Bunting of Congress party flags put up at a loan mela organised by Jalandhar Central Cooperative Bank in Jalandhar on Tuesday.
VOTE BANK OR LOAN BANK: Bunting of Congress party flags put up at a loan mela organised by Jalandhar Central Cooperative Bank in Jalandhar on Tuesday. — Photo by S.S. Chopra

Insurance firm penalised
Hoshiarpur, November 29
The District Consumer Forum, comprising Mr P.D. Goel, its President, and Mr A.S. Jauhar and Ms Vandana Chowdhary, both members, has ordered National Insurance Company to pay Rs 2.65 lakh to the complainant with interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from March 30, 2006, till payment along with Rs 2,000 as costs of litigation within one month.

MC abandons plan on waste disposal plant
Wariana (Jalandhar), November 29
A plan to clean up the area around the Municipal Corporation’s Solid Waste Disposal Treatment Plant in Wariana village on Kapurthala Road seems to have fallen flat.

Eight shops demolished, finally
Phagwara, November 29
Following the publication of a news item in these columns on November 2 regarding the illegal construction of eight shops on a piece of panchayat land at Jamalpur village, the local administration yesterday demolished them.

Water pollution issue discussed
Kapurthala, November 29
The issue of water pollution caused by leather industries located in the leather complex in Jalandhar raised during the meeting of the District Grievances Redressal Committee here yesterday.

Protest against police torture
Batala, November 29
In protest against police torture, a large number of persons staged a dharna in front of the police post of the CIA here on Monday night. Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Parliamentary Secretary, and Mr Kanwal Bakshi, Member, Subordinate Service Selection Board, were also present.

 

Top









 

Demolition of 155-yr-old school building begins
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 29
The demolition of 155-year-old majestic school building (Town Hall) which was the first school constructed in the state by the British Government after the annexation of Punjab was started on war-footing in the presence of heavy police posse.

Since the Bhagat Puran Singh Pingalwara Charitable Trust, headed by Dr Inderjit Kaur and other NGOs, had launched a first-ever “Chipko Movement” to save 200-year-old trees in the Saragarhi Memorial School building, the police deployed at the site did not allow anybody to enter the premises.

Shockingly, the demolition started a couple of days after the Heritage Festival organised with a huge expenditure on the pretext of preserving heritage of the holy city.

Interestingly, the demolition process started despite the fact that the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, himself had suggested that the building be preserved. The Archeological Survey of India’s inspection team had also found the building worth conserving and preserving. So much so the then Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, had also recommended preservation of the heritage building.

The state government has decided to construct multi-story parking after demolishing the school building much to the chagrin of the heritage lovers.

Mr Brij Bedi, convener, Citizens Forum, asked whether a heritage could be destroyed for the sake of parking of vehicles?

Reacting to the proposal to construct a multistory parking place, he said: “If the Chief Minister has vision and imagination he can propose better parking at an alternative place.”

The building, constructed in 1851 and later adopted by the Sikh Regiment, was named after the 21 martyrs of the Saragarhi battle.

This is the place from where the Singh Sabha movement originated. The school has produced eminent scholars like Bhai Vir Singh.

What is worse, the school had been shifted to the new building on the Amritsar-Jalandhar road which houses 220 lakh high Grid Pylon Tower that pose great danger to the lives of students.

PSEB and the Education Department had recommended against the shifting of the students to the newly constructed building constructed at a cost of Rs 7 crore. However, the state government preferred to shift the students in the mid-term session by ignoring the recommendations of the departments.

Dr Krishan Thakur, a local resident, who has been fighting a battle against demolition of the school building, said it was unfortunate that the Prime Minister could not save the heritage building in his home town though he had recommended against its demolition.

Top

 

Differences within BSP come to fore
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 29
The ongoing bickering in the state unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has virtually come to the fore with the BSP general secretary, Mr Pawan Tinu, virtually distancing himself from the preparations of the BSP’s Nirnayak Bano Sankalap rally to be organised at Bhagwanpur village, near here, tomorrow.

The rally being organised by the state unit of the BSP under the leadership of the BSP’s Punjab unit president, Mr Avtaar Singh Karimpuri, will be addressed by the national president, Ms Mayawati.

The rally is being dubbed as the effort of the state unit to show its strength, particularly in the run up to the Assembly elections.

Ms Mayawati has already arrived in the city and is said to have discussed party matters with senior leaders, including Mr Karimpuri.

What had discouraged a section of party leaders was the open announcement by Ms Mayawati during her last visit to the city that the BSP would not enter into a poll alliance with any of the political parties for forthcoming Assembly elections.

This assertion of Ms Mayawati had virtually upset the applecart of certain BSP leaders, who were preparing for the elections in full steam and those who wanted that the BSP should go to polls under some arrangement with other political parties, preferably the SAD or even with the Congress.

The point of view of such BSP leaders, which was shared by a large section of the Dalit workers, was that the BSP should at least strive to share power in the aftermath of the poll. If the BSP managed to strike an arrangement wherein, it could share power, it could easily broaden its base and could realign the major section of Dalits, which was believed to have distanced itself away from the BSP during the past one decade due to one reason or the other. Such a section of workers and leaders had also been feeling that running in the side-tracks for long could only disenchant people, particularly the Dalits from the party as it would not be able to “serve them in a good manner”.

Mr Tinu had reportedly tried his best to persuade the party leadership to change its decision regarding poll alliance at the internal party platform for more than once. But as the party leadership did not budge, Mr Tinu expressed his displeasure by becoming more vocal about the issue. Not only this, Mr Tinu reportedly distanced himself from the preparations of the rally and his supporters echoed his sentiments by burning effigies of Ms Mayawati today.

Though Mr Tinu was not available for comments, sources close to him indicated that Mr Tinu was still hopeful about a “pleasant change” in the party strategy and he could still make another effort to persuade Ms Mayawati, directly or indirectly.

Top

 

Insurance firm penalised
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 29
The District Consumer Forum, comprising Mr P.D. Goel, its President, and Mr A.S. Jauhar and Ms Vandana Chowdhary, both members, has ordered National Insurance Company to pay Rs 2.65 lakh to the complainant with interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from March 30, 2006, till payment along with Rs 2,000 as costs of litigation within one month. The forum directed to the complainant, Mr Ajay Kanwar of Datarpur village in Hoshiarpur district, to hand over the salvage to the insurance company. In case he failed in handing over the salvage, the company will pay Rs 1.90 lakh along with interest and costs to the complainant.

In his complaint, Mr Kanwar stated that he got insured his car from the insurance company and the car met with an accident on January 18, 2005.

Later, he filed a claim with the insurance company, but it delayed the matter on one pretext or the other and finally repudiated the claim on false grounds.

Top

 

MC abandons plan on waste disposal plant
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Wariana (Jalandhar), November 29
A plan to clean up the area around the Municipal Corporation’s Solid Waste Disposal Treatment Plant in Wariana village on Kapurthala Road seems to have fallen flat.

While the Indian Army had launched Operation Sadbhavna, an Army-civil liaison exercise in November last year, the civic body has, since then, failed to cover it with a new layer of earth and develop a park in the area.

The entire 14-acre area which should have been converted into a landscaped park lies filled with solid waste, including plastic, broken ceramics, stones and inorganic matter rejected by the plant. The waste has been levelled and forms a plateau 4 ft high.

After the road leading to the plant was cleared of the waste, the villagers have not heaved a sigh of relief.

The road vanished after two Army bulldozers were deployed to push off the garbage onto the other end. Even the passage to the other end of the village lies blocked and anyone who gets near it has to take route.

The plant, however, is not getting fresh waste from the MC for the past few months. Mr R.K. Ghai, who runs the plant, said the platform had filled to the brink in the monsoon. As the condition became worse, waste had to be collected at other places.

He also showed huge heaps of organic fertilizers manufactured by the plant lying unsold.

He lamented that the corporation was showing little interest in promoting its sale as had been decided earlier.

While the project had started with much fanfare, the corporation seems to be showing little interest. The month-long joint exercise had begun on November 22, 2005, was organised on a ceremonial note, wherein Chief Engineer of the Vajra Corps, Brig Pradeep Yadu, Commissioner MC, Mr S.S. Johl, and Mayor, Mr Surinder Mahey, had got together.

The trio had then discussed the proposed plan for the site and the operational modalities that could be worked out. Two 180 hp machines of the Army were deployed for eight hours a day for the whole month for which the fuel too came from the Army.

Mr D. P. Bhardwaj, Assistant Commissioner, MC, said there was no plan to continue with the project. He also did not specify any reason for the same.

When asked whether funds for the purpose had not come, he said the funds were to be raised by the MC at local level. 

Top

 

Eight shops demolished, finally
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, November 29
Following the publication of a news item in these columns on November 2 regarding the illegal construction of eight shops on a piece of panchayat land at Jamalpur village, the local administration yesterday demolished them.

These shops were constructed four years ago by NRI Bahadur Singh. While the NRI resisted the move of villagers time and again but nothing could be done despite several representations to the block and district-level authorities in the past four years.

When The Tribune team met sarpanch Lekh Raj Jamalpur, he admitted that the NRI had illegally occupied the 10-marla panchayat land. Most of the shops were rented out.

A villager, Karnail Singh, had lodged a complaint in this regard with the Kapurthala Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, who instructed the District Development Officer to act on the complaint and demolish the shops.

After the publication of the news, the Deputy Commissioner instructed the Phagwara SDM, Mr Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, to demolish the shops on November 17 and the patwari had been ordered to reach the site along with the entire record of the land.

When The Tribune again published a news item, the administrative machinery came into action and demolished the shops.

Top

 

Water pollution issue discussed
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, November 29
The issue of water pollution caused by leather industries located in the leather complex in Jalandhar raised during the meeting of the District Grievances Redressal Committee here yesterday.

Raising the issue, Mr Harpreet Atwal said the residents of over a dozen villagers were suffering due to severe water pollution caused by the leather industries.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Raminder Singh, informed the meeting, presided over by minister Gurkanwal Kaur that the matter would be taken up with the Chairman of the pollution control board. At the same time, he said the ADC (Development) had already prepared a report and the matter was pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Top

 

Protest against police torture
Our Correspondent

Batala, November 29
In protest against police torture, a large number of persons staged a dharna in front of the police post of the CIA here on Monday night. Mr Ashwani Sekhri, Parliamentary Secretary, and Mr Kanwal Bakshi, Member, Subordinate Service Selection Board, were also present.

The police arrested two brothers, Victor Masih and Imaoul Masih, on charges of looting a petrol pump a few days ago. Despite the intervention of senior Christian leaders and member of the Subordinate Service Selection Board, the police did not release them. Later, the matter was brought to the notice of Mr Sekhri. Mr Sekhri and Mr Bakshi told mediapersons they were given third-degree torture. The SDM, Batala, Mr Sandeep Rishi, also visited the spot.

Top

 

Release salaries, say employees
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 29
Activists of the Border Area Project Employees’ Federation burnt the effigy of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, at the district court complex here on Wednesday. They were demanding the adjustment of border area project employees under expenditure reforms committee in project like ICDS being set up in the state. They said 98 employees of the project were not given salaries for the past 18 months.

Top

 

Bittu flays Cong, SAD
Our Correspondent

Hoshiarpur, November 29
Mr Daljit Singh Bittu, Senior Vice-President, SAD (Amritsar) criticised the Congress and SAD (B) leaders, alleging that they were corrupt. Both the parties had looted the people of Punjab, he said while addressing a rally at Budi Pind near Tanda, about 35 km from here on Wednesday. He said due to the anti-farmers polices of the Congress and SAD-BJP governments, majority of the farmers of Punjab had become bankrupt and many of them had committed suicides. 

Top

 

Office-bearers elected

Amritsar, November 29
All office-bearers of the Guru Nanak Dev University Teachers Association were today elected unopposed even as the university authorities accepted the withdrawal after the deadline. However, Dr T.D. Narang, Dean, claimed that the withdrawals were accepted before the deadline.

The office-bearers are: Dr Parminder Singh (president), Dr Adarsh Pal (vice-president), Dr Devinder Singh (secretary), Dr S. Koley (joint secretary) and Dr Sunil Kumar (treasurer). Executive members: Dr Narpinder Singh, Dr Kuldip Singh, Dr A.S.Sidhu, Dr Derrick and Dr Lakhwinder Singh. — TNS

Top

 

Patwari held
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 29
The Vigilance Bureau has arrested patwari Sukhwant Singh red-handed while taking a bribe from Sukhwinder Singh of Maqsoodan. The patwari demanded money from Sukhwinder Singh for mutation of the land. An FIR has been registered against him.

 

Top



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |