Vikas Yatra puts residents in back gear
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s Vikas Yatra virtually tormented residents of the city and its adjoining areas as traffic diversions or police nakas greeted them.

Hooter-honking vehicles with legal and illegal red beacons atop them had been inconveniencing residents for two days ahead of the yatra.

Even as Capt Amarinder Singh and his cavalcade was yet to enter Jalandhar district from Kathar township on the Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur road, police personnel had already sealed the roads in Jalandhar city, leading to traffic snarls at Chougitti, Lamba Pind, Pathankot Chowk, G.T. Road, Model Town, Defence Colony, bus stand road, Kapurthala Chowk, Nakodar Chowk and workshop chowk.

“I don’t understand why the policemen have put up nakas and blocked traffic flow much ahead of the arrival of the Chief Minister’s cavalcade? The worst situation was at Chogitti where Congress workers and supporters had parked their vehicles with red beacons in the middle of the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway. Commuters like me were left in the lurch.

“There was no policeman to control the traffic. If there were any they were standing mum while Congress workers kept parking their vehicles in the middle of the road,” said Mr Gaurav, an official of a company.

Dr Amar Iqbal’s plight was not different. “I wanted to go to Garden Colony from Model Town. I was late by about 45 minutes as all roads leading to the destination were sealed by the traffic police and alternative diversions were already congested,” he said.

Since, the Chief Minister and the ministers had descended on the city a day prior to yatra, the unnecessary honking of the hooters on their vehicles kept tearing apart the city’s otherwise peaceful atmosphere. “Why the vehicles of the VVIPs use hooters in the city? Not only this, the drivers of the VVIPs’ vehicles, particularly on the pilot vehicles, try to coerce common people with hooters and their high speeds in the middle of the city,” said Gurdial Singh, a resident.



Rallies, dharnas choke city roads
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

City residents have to cop with traffic chaos and bottlenecks everyday, thanks to the growing vehicular traffic and a lack of traffic management on the part of the authorities concerned.

If the increasing number of vehicles in the city and vicinity has contributed to the problem, political activities ahead of the coming Assembly elections in the state are no less to blame.

Unregulated rallies and dharnas on every second day, that too at choicest venues of politicians like busy Nakodar Chowk and the Municipal Corporation office, have been giving a tough time to the residents. They have no choice but to keep mum and tolerate.

If there is no rally or dharna then it could be a faulty traffic light (most traffic lights remain non-functional). What is most painful is that despite grim traffic situation for the past several months, the authorities have taken it very lightly.

The traffic police keep busy doing either its ‘ceremonial’ duties of diverting traffic for rallies and dharnas or leave the traffic to fend for itself at busy intersections. The result — the traffic situation turns precarious on busy hours from 8.30 am to 10am and from 4.30pm to 6 pm.

“It seems that there is a total chaos on road in the city. When people or vehicle-users need traffic police personnel they are either simply not there or shut eyes to traffic violations. People presume that political parties have, of late, have got every right to usurp any chowk of their choice for their rallies or conventions.

“The other day when I was going to Football Chowk I was diverted by the traffic police at Guru Nanak Mission Chowk without giving any reason for that. After reaching Nakodar Chowk, I found that the entire chowk was under control of a political party, which was busy holding its political conference. From there, I and scores of other vehicles were diverted towards Nakodar Road.

“We took a 4-km detour in the hope that we could take the road to Football Chowk. But we were not fortunate enough to do that, thanks to the ignorance of the traffic police about the alternative route provided for vehicular traffic going towards Football Chowk or Kapurthala Road.

“Finally, after wandering around on the roads for over an hour, I decided to return home,” laments Mr Amar Iqbal Singh, a resident of the Model Town locality.

This is not his story alone, but this is a problem confronted by almost all residents of the city and adjoining areas. “Once, I had to go to a shop on the GT Road. As I went there, there was no parking space left along the road. I moved ahead to find space for parking my vehicle but got stuck up amidst heavy traffic, moving at a snail’s pace towards Jyoti Chowk.

“But, just before Jyoti Chowk, I came to know that there was a traffic jam on the chowk. So, I decided to take the lone left side lane, which was no less congested. The problem was compounded by movement of heavy vehicles, including, a truck of the local Municipal Corporation, and the ongoing repair work, probably for construction of an underground parking lot.

“I had to return home after burning precious fuel for over 45 minutes. Later, I came by scooter to accomplish the job,” said Mr Mohan Malsiyani, a musician.

Residents say the proper deployment of traffic police personnel could bring about a remarkable change in the grim traffic scenario, but, the question remains as to who will bring about that change and when?

“Who will stop our all powerful politicians and religious leaders from holding dharnas, rallies, political conventions and even religious functions right on the road and at a time of their choice? I think that we have to learn a lot from the Western world, where, traffic norms are adhered to perfectly by common people and the Prime Minister alike,” said Mr Sukhnain Singh, a singer and a resident of Cheema Nagar, who has just returned from Canada after a few months’ sojourn.

Residents are upset that the corporation says that streamlining traffic is the duty of the traffic police while the traffic wing of the Jalandhar police feels it is a civic problem.



Yatra makes it easier for burglars
Tribune News Service

As the police was busy making elaborate arrangements for Vikas Yatra, the burglars found it a golden opportunity to strike at will in the city. They have committed three burglaries in the Hadiabad locality within five days.

In the latest burglary in the subtown of Hadiabad last night, burglars broke into the house of Baljinder Singh, a property dealer, and made away with cash, gold ornaments and cameras worth Rs 4 lakh.

According to Surinder Kaur, wife of Baljinder Singh, the theft took place between 3 pm and 5 pm when she had been away to Jalandhar. The burglars took away Rs 30,000, gold ornaments worth Rs 2.5 lakh, four cameras and around 10 wrist watches worth Rs 1.2 lakh. The Sadar police has registered a case.

Memo to CM

Newly appointed rural health pharmacists today urged the Chief Minister to get their services regularised as per his assurance to them during the Vikas Yatra in Amritsar recently.

Members of the Rural Health Pharmacists Association submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister. It said: “We want appointment letters and salary of Rs 9,200 per month. Moreover, we want to be freed from service providers.”



Hospital upgraded; patients continue to suffer
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Despite the state government has been spending crores of rupees to provide better health services in the state, yet health services here are in a shambles. The 50-bedded government Civil Hospital here, which had been upgraded to 100 beds about a year ago, is still not operating to its full capacity. It receives over four lakh patients every year with between 100 and 150 patients visiting the hospital daily.

Shortage of doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff is a common thing. Though the state government had upgraded it about a year ago, it lacks all basic amenities. Posts of a child specialist and skin specialist have been lying vacant for the past one year.

There is no provision to attend emergency cases. Most of the times these cases are referred to the DMC, Ludhiana, or the Civil Hospital, Jalandhar. There have a number of instances when patients died on the way to these hospitals.

Medicines, including life-saving drugs, x-ray films, bed sheets and blankets are always in short supply. The patients are asked to buy medicines on their own. However, senior officers claim that medicines worth crores of rupees keep lying in the stores, but doctors working in field and public health centres do not lift stocks despite repeated reminders. They say all types of medicines are available in the stores.

Krishan Kumar, a resident of Nangal Khera village, says “It is the duty of the Health Department to ensure that medical facilities are available for the residents but the hospital authorities failed to give required medical treatment. There is no chair for the persons attending to the patient,” he rues.

He alleges that “we have no choice but to go to private hospitals. I underwent an operation for removal of kidney stone at a private hospital.”

Senior Medical Officer, Adarsh Kumari Sood, says “We try our best to provide the maximum facilities to patients but we have limitations as we are dependant on the stock provided by the state health authorities.”

It is high time that the authorities wake up to restore the health of this hospital.



Cycling to heart’s content
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Despite the fact that he has once suffered a heart attack and had a bypass surgery, this 81 -year -old NRI can beat most youngsters in cycling.

Mr Makhan Singh Roy, putting up at his native village Paragpur here, pedalled all the way from his home to The Tribune Press at Bulandpur village, Pathankot Road, and further on to The Tribune office on Ladowali Road in less than two and a half hours. Surprisingly, even after cycling non-stop for 34 kms which his cycle metre showed, he was neither panting nor did he ask for a glass of water.

Cycling has been a habit with this chemical engineer ever since he was a student here at DAV College. He moved on to the UK in 1949 where he continued cycling regularly. There, he got married to a Britton, Catherine, who too is a cyclist.

While this time, Mr Roy had come alone, his wife had accompanied him last year. Both of them did not get any luggage other than their bicycles. From their village, they started pedaling towards Ambala. “We halted on the first night at Ropar, second night at Chandigarh and were at Ambala on their cycles on the third day,” the man recalled.

He has also been in news in Kingston, UK, for holding cycle rallies to promote charity for earthquake hit Pakistanis. He showed a few clippings of The Guardian and few other newspapers highlighting him as a “Cycling Sikh”. He said that while the rally was to cover 1000 miles, he alone covered 130 miles in two days. He also mentioned that the BBC had made a film on him for being able to cycle long distances despite age and an ailing heart.

Mr Roy said that he had suffered a heart attack in 1964 and had undergone a bypass surgery in 1991. But he said that he cycled out all heart problems.

While Mr Roy has gone back now, he said that he would be back again next year. He said that though none of his siblings or children was in India, he still looked forward to visiting his village each yearend. He said that he owned his land and house here which were being looked after by his employees. He added that he would not sell off his land in his life time.

“Whenever I visit here, I get peace. I visit my relatives and all those places where I spent my childhood and youth days”, he smiled back.



Young World
Research prize for DAV school students
Tribune News Service

Two students of Police DAV Public School have won the first prize in computer science category at a national-level fair “Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS)” organised jointly by Intel, the CII and the Ministry for Science and Technology at the IIT, Delhi.

Harinder Pal Singh and Ravneet Kaur, both students of plus two (non-medical), along with their guide, Mr Anuj Sharma, participated in the contest. The students designed a project related to computerised signature verification, using different mathematical parameters. The students said they used two methods for signature verification, one of them was feature-based and the other one geometrical centre-based.

The equipment could be used to prevent random, simple as well as skilled forgery. The students said 1300 projects had been received at the fair of which 185 were selected for the final round. The panel of judges included 20 scientists from different institutions. Ms Rashmi Vij, Principal of the school, congratulated the winners.

Solar energy for electronic gadgets

A second year student of mechanical engineering from CT College of Engineering has come up with a solution to power cuts by using solar energy for running electronic gadgets. Varun Saini, the student, has designed a solar power system which has been installed in electronics shop of CT Engineering College workshop for supplying electricity to carry out soldering and other laboratory related experiments which consume less than 100 watts of power.

Applying whatever knowledge he had gained and taking the help of faculty and facilities available at the campus, he started building a model of solar house. The system that he devised comprises a solar panel, charger and battery which can run three tubelights, one fan and two soldering irons simultaneously. The electricity generated in the solar panel is used for charging the battery and battery supplies DC current to the appliances, the student explained, adding that the supply from battery could also be given to rectifier which could convert DC into AC current.

Mr Ashwini Sharma, HOD, mechanical, said that the student had completed he project in two months. He said that he was now planning solarising all electronics laboratories and equipments consuming less that 100 watts of electrical power in the institute. He said that the same concept could be used in home replacing inverters.

Conserving power

The Punjab State Electricity Board organised a paper reading contest at Innocent Hearts School on the topic, “How and why to conserve electricity”. Nearly 18 students presented their papers. The first prize went to the host team, followed by Police DAV Public School and Seth Hukum Chand School. Mr Gurprit Singh Gill, Chief Engineer, Jalandhar region, Mr B.S. Sekhon, Superintending Engineer, and Mr Gopal Sharma, Senior Engineer, were present on the occasion.

Yogasana contest

An inter-school Sahodaya yogasana contest was organised at Innocent Hearts School. As many as 80 children from six schools affiliated with the CBSE participated in the contest. The running trophy went to the host team. Performer’s position was bagged by Police DAV School.

Human Rights Day

Students of State Public School, Jalandhar Cantonment, organised a road show in Sofi Pind, Deep Nagar and Cantonment Market on the occasion of World Human Rights Day on Sunday. The students held banners highlighting the importance of the day and distributed leaflets to the people consisting of list of rights given by the UN. Students interacted with the masses and educated them about their rights and duties. Dr Narotam Singh, principal, flagged off the rally.

Annual function

Kids Dotcom School, Shivaji Park, organised its annual function at Red Cross Bhavan on Saturday. Mr Gaurav Gulati, principal, read the annual report. Kids from pre-nursery and nursery classes performed jungle dance. A pari dance was followed by a group dance on “Let’s go party tonight”. The programme ended with bhangra on Punjabi number “Gabru”.

A show of marshal art during the sports day of Delhi Public School in Jalandhar
A show of marshal art during the sports day of Delhi Public School in Jalandhar on Friday. — Photo by S.S. Chopra

Sports day

Delhi Public School hosted its annual sports day on Friday in the school premises. The event was replete with a plethora of activities like athletics, aerobics, pyramid display, yoga display, taekwondo, mass PT, dandiya and bhangra. Dr A. R. Kidwai, Haryana Governor, was the chief guest. The guest of honour was Mr A.P. Pandey, DGP (prisons), Punjab.


Cipla, a pharmaceutical company, organised a placement programme at Lovely Institutes. Students of pharmacy and ayurveda participated in the event. While 70 students appeared for the test, 56 managed to clear the first round and 14 were shortlisted later.



Need to identify allergens
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Identification of correct allergens can cure a large number of asthma patients even without medication.

Stating this, Dr H.G. Varudkar, Professor and Head, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Dr D.Y. Patil Medical College, Pimpri, said all asthmatic patients should demand their doctors to identify the allergens correctly.

“Bronchial asthma is an allergic disease, wherein an unknown external substance goes in human body and produces complicated chain of reactions which culminate into asthma. But if you ask anybody he would tell you that this (asthma) is a lifelong morbidity that cannot be cured. My experience with asthma is that nearly 35-38 per cent of asthmatics can be cured without application of medication, while the effect of disease can be tapered down in 30 to 32 per cent if particular allergens are identified,” said Dr Varudkar, who was here to participate in a recently concluded national conference on allergy.

“The problem is that allergy specialists usually fail to give correct clues to patients, therefore sufferings of patients perpetuate and they helplessly opt for superstitions. While at doctor level, they, especially allergy specialists, should make sincere efforts to pinpoint allergens troubling patients. They should emphasise on preventive parts of management also. At the patients’ level asthmatic patients should insist upon their doctors to identify the allergens correctly so that they can prevent and control the disease right from its roots. The patients themselves should be more rational in their approach and should not get biased by extravagant claims of any person,” advised Dr Varudkar.

He observed that scientists should direct their research towards preventive aspects of bronchial asthma without getting biased by Western scientists or pharmaceuticals because climatic conditions of India are different from the ones prevailing in Western countries.



2 killed in road accidents

Two persons were killed in separate road accidents in here today.

In a freak accident, Naginder Kumar, a migrant from UP and a resident of Model Town here, was hit by a bus when he fell off the rickshaw he was riding. The rickshaw had overturned due to some mechanical fault. He was admitted to a hospital at Ludhiana where he succumbed to head injuries. Mohan Lal, a resident of Daddal Mohalla and employee with Punjab State Electricity Board, died on the spot when an unidentified vehicle hit his cycle while he was going to his village near Chaheru. His body was sent to the local Civil Hospital for post-mortem. — TNS



Citizens’ Corner

The Tribune is starting a column providing residents of Jalandhar and its neighbourhood an opportunity to highlight their problems, which are of a public nature.

It could be about a particular stretch of road which badly needs repairs or about a hospital which does not have a doctor or a school which does not have a proper building.

The column, Citizens’ Corner, will appear in Jalandhar Plus. Readers are requested to send their contributions typed neatly in double space and consisting of not more than 300 words in English to The Editor, Jalandhar Plus, SCO 20, Ladowali Road, PUDA Complex, Jalandhar – 144001 or at



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 |