Unending problems
Ashok Sethi and PK Jaiswar

For Amritsar city, the problem never seems to end. Considered to be the ‘Mecca of Sikhs’ and one of the cities having highest number of tourists, the word perfection appears to be a distant dream.

From many years the hue and cries made by the different section of the society have bore no results for the city as the same is still stuck up with the illegal constructions, encroachments, potholes to name a few.


Making the best use of the last few months in which the administration was busy preparing and conducting elections, a large number of illegal stalls and make shift khokas have mushroomed all across the city. Not only these illegal stalls and shops have encroached upon the green belt areas but also made their presence felt on the prestigious roads like the Mall.

The construction of these concrete structures and make shift stalls in the residential localities is causing a lot of inconvenience to the residents.

A senior citizen, Kusum Wadhwa, who migrated to Delhi, was aghast at the demolition of old houses on the Mall road which now has replaced by high rise buildings.

“Not only it has destroyed the old heritage of city but also encroached the footpaths that have now been turned into parking lots,” she added.

“The area around the golden temple had been in a pitiable conditions with all the pavements being used for pull carts, rickshaws and three wheelers. Besides the encroachments by the shopkeepers had led to many unruly scenes,” said the spokesman of Amritsar First Foundation, Ranjit Sandhu.

Sandhu felt that the city should be governed by a team of professionals with only little political interference and backed fully by the committed citizens of the city.

Illegal parking lots

The pavements that were lifeline of the walkers appear to have vanished under scores of illegal parking lots. these lost that have come in all the areas including Mall, court road, Albert road, Lawrence road have done nothing but create chaos.

The main reason for these illegal parking lots is that the basements of the commercial buildings, which were originally planned for the parking, have been converted into banquet halls by the owners. The shoppers visiting them, left with no option, are forced to park their vehicles on the road adding to the discomfiture of the commuters.


The beauty of the holy city is further marred by the hoardings that have come up.

The various NGOs including the Amritsar first foundation Citizen Forum, the Heritage and Tourism Foundation, Amritsar Vikas Manch along with leading conservationists and leading architectural

luminaries and Guru Nanak Dev University professors from the department of urban planning have separately raised their serious concern about the same.

The graffiti, obscene posters and the ugly structures have also ruined the city.

Elevated road project and roads

Another sore point is about the delay in the completion of the elevated road project. The busy road is in pitiable conditions as it is full of potholes.

Mayor Datti said they would soon repair the side roads and service lanes as soon as they get the permission from the forest department to remove the trees on both sides of the road.



Pressure horns blare despite ban
PK Jaiswar

Despite a ban on the use of pressure horns for bus and truck operators in the vicinity of the corporation limits, the drivers continue to flout the norms leading to near deafness to the pedestrians and causing irreparable physical ailment.

The district transport office and traffic police have failed to enforce ban orders on the use of pressure horns especially in the vicinity of schools and hospitals.

The pressure horns have become bane for the residents of the holy city as this menacing gear was not only fitted in almost all heavy vehicles including buses and trucks, but also in two wheelers also while it was banned under Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, Central Government Rules. But the ban order on pressure horn was only on paper and ground reality is just opposite to it.

Pressure horns have become a major source of noise pollution. The truck and bus drivers gave scant regard to norms and blow horns as they were blowing some musical instruments.

The sudden and continuous blowing of horns is major health hazard especially to other commuters on the roads. This can damage ears permanently besides harming heart, say medical experts.

Brij Bedi, convener, Citizen Forum, an NGO, said that the violators have become more powerful that administrators who were least bothered about this menace and public health. “The DTO should slap hefty fine to the owners of the vehicles whether two wheelers or heavy vehicles,”he added. However, the department had turned a blind eye to these violators for the reasons best known to them. 



Winter wear for a song
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

As sun turns cruel, it’s time to shed the armour against the biting cold. A visit to the garment showrooms in the city reflects it all. While off-season sales are ensuring that the send-off to winter shopping doesn’t go unsung, the order of the approaching season, namely summer clothing, is steadily weaving its way into the display shelves.

Most showrooms on the Lawrence road are offering off-season discount and with fresh stocks of summer wear also coming in, makeshift counters have been made for the woolens.

The sale of plain shirts and formal wear has witnessed a steady fall over the years and the initial sales this season reiterate this trend. One reason they say could be relegation of plain shirts to being formal wear meant for the executives at work.

“Short shirts and stripes are being preferred this season. Last year, the trend of pocket-less shirts in formals was also introduced by some brands but it hasn’t picked up.

In demand for trousers is also likely to pick up with more and more youngsters keen on something that is fashionable, yet comfortable,” says Rajan Diwan, owner of Fashion Destination on Batala Road.

“Many brands are also coming out with cargo shirts in the casual category, which come in attractive designs with two or more stylish pockets and some other accessories on the shoulders and buttons.

In case of denim, monkey wash would be out and most jeans are likely to sport a more decent look this summer,” he adds.

For women, says Pankaj Gulati of Hakoba, it would be a mix of embroidery, blocks and paintbrushes, with the pajami in absolute contrast to the kurta.

“The company is also planning to introduce fluorescent thread on white cloth this season. The overall emphasis will be on high-value cut. White fabric is expected to rule the season, teamed up with mild coloured threads like baby pink and lemon,” he adds.

Showrooms of branded footwear in the city are also offering off-season discounts. Vijay Anand, franchise manager of Lotus Bawa on the Lawrence road says they are offering 50 per cent discount of summer wear for men and women.

“For the summer, sandals and open shoes would be arriving soon and we want to get rid of the old stock,” he says.

As part of the off-season discounts, many shops have put up makeshift counters, offering a pair of shoes and sandals for only Rs 250 for both men and women.



Dhaba collapses 
Tribune News Service

Kundan Dhaba which caved in on the night of March 21 following rain in the city.
Kundan Dhaba which caved in on the night of March 21 following rain in the city. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma 

The building of Vashno Kundan Dhaba, located opposite Railway Station, caved in on the night of March 21 following incessant rains in the city.

The police have been deputed in the area.

Shopkeepers in the Guru Nanak Dev market (Landa Bazar) discussed the fate of shops located below the dhaba building.

Expressing solidarity with owners of half-a-dozen shops, which are or might be affected by collapse, most shops in the area remained closed after the incident.

Gulshan Sharma, president of the market association, said a portion of the first floor of the dhaba caved in around midnight.

Thankfully, the goods stocked in the markers on the ground floor were not affected in the collapse.

Rajiv Kumar, shopkeeper, said on the night when the dhaba building caved in, the market had closed down early due to heavy rains and when they came to open their shops in the morning, the found a portion of the dhaba hanging in the air.

A delegation of the market association has met the SP (Headquarter) last week in connection with the demand of the new owner of the Vaishno Kundan Dhaba to increase the rent of six shops located in Landa Bazar, right below the dhaba.



Malaspina Varsity- DPS sign MoU
P K Jaiswar

Malaspina University-College, the first state-funded University of British Columbia, entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with local Delhi Public School (DPS) for holding various exchange programmes to promote value-based education for sharing the rich heritage and culture of India and Canada.

In addition to promoting value based education, the students and teachers of two schools would also be exchanged for short term study tour between the two schools- Delhi Public School and ‘Malaspina International High School'. Besides, the respective faculty would aim for learning and sharing teaching methodology and techniques.

Bronwyn Jenkins Deas, Dean of International Education, Malaspina Vancouver, Canada after signing the MoU said that the university already has 30 Indian students on its campus.

While detailing about the institution, she said Malaspina University is a publicly-funded, degree granting institution under the authority of Ministry of Advanced Education of Province of British Columbia. It is authorized to grant undergraduate applied graduate and masters degrees approved and recognized by Government of British Columbia.

Apart from being a member of both the ‘Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’ and ‘Association of Community Colleges, of Canada’ said Jenkins.

Under MoU students of DPS would have direct access to courses in Malaspina University.

Principal Sangeeta Singh said the school has conveyed its eagerness to learn about the community service programmes in Canada and would inculcate the same for mobilizing their students to undertake such service for the under-privileged, deprived, aged and animals so as to ingrain in them responsibility and participation towards their social environment.

She said they were also looking forward on exchange on Teacher's training, empowerment of teachers for specialist and routine activities, effective curriculum transaction through media-- like theatre workshops and radio shows to teach tough subjects such as science, geography, economics, Maths besides languages.



Exhibition of teaching aids

The Volunteer Teachers organised an exhibition of teaching aids material on the last day of the 30-day ‘Education Seminar’ held at Sri Guru Arjun Dev Government Girls Secondary School Tarn Taran.

D.K. Mahia Principal of the host school presided over the function while Rajinder Singh Principal of DIET Verka was the chief guest.

Besides Daljit Singh, coordinator of the seminar, Dalbir Singh, Madhu Sood, Amarjit Singh, Jasbir Singh spoke on the occasion and stressed on the importance of the teaching aids in teaching.

The teaching aids material of Dilrajbir Singh Bannian and of Sarabjit Kaur Warriahan was declared first while that of Sandeep Kaur of Bachre’s and of Balbir Singh Bugha’s was adjudged second and the material of Sarabjit Kaur of Lakhna was given third position. Prizes were given to them by the authorities.



Chawla for upgrading medical facilities
Ashok Sethi

The newly appointed state Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla maintained that emphasis would be laid upon upgrading the medical facilities for the common in the new health policy that would soon be unveiled.

Talking to the Tribune after presiding over the annual award function of the BBK DAV College for women here, Chawla said that although the task was daunting to improve the health services in the state but she had accepted the challenge to make the facilities available to all segments of the society at possibly lowest ever economic package.

She said that top priority would be accorded to stop the menace of female foeticide which had shaken the conscious of the society especially in Punjab which had seen lowest girl child ration in the country.

“The model adopted by the Deputy Commissioner of Nawanshahr, Krishan Kumar, who had managed to check the incidence of female feticide would soon be replicated in other districts. The health and family welfare department would soon prepare a comprehensive document to create awareness among the masses about this social evil,” she added.

Alarmed at the rising drug abuse in the state Chawla said that a joint action plan needs to be chalked out to affectively control the drug affliction. Admitting that only small drug peddlers were being nabbed while the big fish managed to slip out of the dragnet due to alleged complicity of the administration Chawla said that more strict drug regime need to be put in place so that the drug mafia would not be allowed to go scot free.

The Minister of Health said that her department would soon bring out a transparent transfer policy for all the doctors and paramedical staff. She said that at presently a number of medical staff continued to be on deputation at different stations affecting the medical services in the state. She had sought detailed note from the department and the transfer policy would be implemented soon.

Addressing the senior officials of her ministry she announced that a thrust was required to promote ayurvedic system of medicines which was neglected during the previous regime. A crore plus budget for the purchase of ayurvedic medicines had being lying unspent and she directed the officers to speed up the procurement of medicines for distribution through its various government ayurvedic dispensaries and hospitals.

Answering queries about the faulty sample testing system for medicines Chawla said that according to her assessment majority of the samples of the small pharmaceutical companies do not confirm to quality specifications but the big manufacturing units are let off. She said the department would bring more transparency in the quality testing of drugs.

Expressing her dismay over the medico-legal cases under the different sections of the IPC, Chawla said that she would try to work out some norms for the registering of such cases.



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