Underage driving: It’s high time to hit the brakes
Vikas Katoch
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
Speed is catching them young. Kids, mostly in their teens, zipping across the lanes on their bikes and cars, are a common sight in the city. In fact, the menace of underage driving has reached an alarming proportion.

Law Says

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, no person under the age of 18 years shall drive a motor vehicle in any public place. A motor cycle without gear may be driven in a public place by a person after attaining the age of 16 years

Studies reveal that teen drivers, aged 16 to 19 years, are four times more likely to crash than their older counterparts. They are also more likely to overspeed, jump red lights, take dangerous turns and drive after consuming alcohol or drugs. But it seems that no one is bothered here.

“They are a great nuisance. Apart from risking their own lives, these underage kids also make life difficult for other road users. One can see them vrooming on full throttle, darting in front of buses and cars. As a result, many a time, they are involved in fatal collisions,” says Dr Upasana Verma of Hardyal Nagar. The problem is particularly severe on roads near the schools, she adds.

According to experts, over the years, the society has become more complacent about underage driving. Children now feel that it is “cool” to drive young, drive fast. They are ready to take risks. And the growing assumption that even if one gets caught, greasing the palms of cops will bail them out, has removed the fear of the law from their minds.

“The parents and other elders, including the school authorities, are to be blamed for it. Their criminal neglect lands their wards into trouble. We normally see parents encouraging their kids to drive, when they are neither trained nor authorised to do so. They do not realise that it’s the inexperience because of which such drivers are more likely to underestimate hazardous situations. Underage drivers are more prone to road rage, over-excitement and incapable of making split-second decisions,” says Col M.S. Chadha (retd), a resident of Model Town.

The need is to sensitise every parent about the harms underage, reckless driving can cause. The parents should discourage their wards to drive without a valid licence. Also, the cops need to come down hard on the menace. Challaning drives should increase. Special nakas should be put up at sensitive spots,” says Dr Upasana. Agrees Col Chadha: “We need to change the mindset. Harsh punishment won’t solve the purpose. The onus is on schools too. They should come forward and keep a tab on students who are regularly coming to schools on their bikes and cars. The school authorities should motivate parents to exercise restraint on their kids,” he adds.

But there are others who feel that unless stringent action is taken against the underage offenders, the problem will persist. “Heavy fines should be levied. And in case, they are not able to pay the fine, the vehicles should be impounded and the parents should be summoned on the spot,” says Surjit Singh, an NRI from Louisiana in the USA.

Making a comparison, he revealed that in the USA a routine traffic violation can get one ticket (fine) of $500. “If a person is earning say $2000 a month, he would not like to give away one-fourth of his income as fine. This automatically makes him adhere to the rules and regulations. There’s need to introduce such a system here,” says the man who frequents Jalandhar.

SP traffic and security Rakesh Kaushal says the cops are doing the needful. “Challaning drives are on. The offenders, who speed away after jumping red lights, are also being traced. We note down their numbers and procure details like type of vehicle and house address from the registration authorities. Then our men go to the houses of violators and challan them. We have issued 100 such challans in the last two months,” he said.

The officer further said the department has a special traffic education cell which makes school students aware of hazards of underage driving. “More than 86 schools have been covered in the first half of the year,” he revealed. 



Is it a road or an open drain?
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
Clogging of sewer water just outside the bus stand on the busy GT Road here is not just giving ample lot of problems for daily commuters but also pose a serious risk of health hazard. And with the coming of the monsoon, the situation soon may go out of control. The filthy discharge, which has been a problem for more two months, is due to the blocked drain. The sewage water which otherwise covered the road right till the middle has now been overflowing till the other side of the road across the divider for the past few days owing to heavy spells of rain.

But the leaders of the rival parties, who are going for the municipal corporation elections in a month’s time do not seem to be worried at all. No mechanism has been devised by the officials to check the problem which can lead to serious monsoon ailments including diarrhea and skin diseases. The shopkeepers and vendors around the place have since then been selling uncovered eatables right near the spot without caring a bit about hygiene. The spillage begins in the morning and the sewage water is left to dry out on its own till the evening. A machine used to siphon out the water too proves to be of no help at times.

Councillor H.S. Bawa said he had got a new sewer system laid there almost three years back. “But it no longer falls in the area of my ward,” he replied. V.P. Singh, SE with the MC, said that the sewer system had been destroyed by the private builders of an underground parking lot just a short distance ahead. He said that dirty water had started accumulating since then and now he was getting four new sewer chambers constructed to solve the problem.

“One chamber has just been constructed outside bus stand and work for another one near War Memorial is also complete. Two more chambers are under-construction,” he assured.



It’s D-day today, vote now
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
The “Vote for Taj” campaign seems to have found a large number of enthusiasts in the city. The people here are showing keen interest in casting their vote through Internet and their mobile phone sets.

Residents, most of them youngsters, are sending messages on cell phones and even logging on to the Internet to get their vote registered. An internet cafe, GTB Computers and Gaming Zone at Garha Road, has been offering free Internet services to the residents all through the day.

Director of the cafe Gurpreet Singh said he had started free service a week back and almost 10 to 15 young boys and girls were visiting his cafe to get the vote registered.

“Since Taj is an Indian pride, I want maximum people to vote for its inclusion in the list of the new Seven Wonders of the world. I have been coercing people to come and vote for it so that we could retain the status of the beautiful monument,” he asserted, adding that the service would be available for voting till Saturday, which is also the last day to get the vote registered on the website http://www.indiainfo.com.

A yet another endeavour is being made by Clara International, a beauty training institute based at Model Town, where prayers will be held so that the Taj continues to enjoy its position of being one of the Seven Wonders.

Special cake-cutting ceremony, antakshri and other games are also being organised, said Roop Sagar, centre manager, emphasising that this would be an effort towards saving the rich heritage of the country. The local FM channels too have been running the campaign coaxing the voters to cast a vote in favour of the Taj asking the views of their callers on the issue.



Now, plan that perfect wedding
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
Marriages are said to be made in heaven, but weddings can be “tailor-made” as per one’s choice. With the concept of wedding planning catching up in the city, marriage functions are offering a new flavour to the guests. “The groom and the bride’s families can now sit back and relax,” says Rahul of Creative Wedding Designs, whose company claims to have introduced the concept in the city. The firm is a franchisee of Ferns ‘n’ Petals.

“The wedding is the most memorable event in one’s life and we want to immortalise it. So we have more than 35 themes to choose from. The clients can go for exotic ones like oriental, chinese and hawain or can stick to traditional and classical themes,” he elaborates.

“It’s generally observed that organising a marriage function involves a lot of hardwork which causes anxiety and stress. As a result, the families are not able to enjoy the function. Our focus is to provide hosts a hassle-free wholesome entertainment.”

Rahul says it’s a misconception that weddings arranged by planners are expensive. “We strictly adhere to the budget. Since everything is well coordinated, it helps cutting down the total expenditure to a whopping 25 %. Our functions are elegant, extra-ordinary and economical. They also ensure that the hosts and their guests have a gala time.”

Right from inviting guests, selecting the venue, dresses, taking care of catering, entertainment to honeymoon travel and stay, we can arrange all, says Rahuls’s father Rakesh Jhanji. He said a number of people tend to waste their resources because they choose a wrong venue. The company has tie-ups with a large number of singers, including Anuradha Paudwal and Anoop Jalota. 



Cantt diversion of Jammu trains irks residents
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
Northern Railway authorities have decided to divertthree Jammu-bound trains from the city railway station to the cantt station. This may cause inconvenience to Vaishno Devi pilgrims who depend on these trains to reach Jammu for paying obeisance at the ancient shrine.

According to sources, Jammu Tawi-Pune Jhelum Express ( up and down) will not halt at the Jalandhar city railway station from July 31. Similarly, Kolkata-Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express will not stop here from August 1.

Perturbed over the decision, Harish Manga, a resident of Gopal Nagar, demanded that the railway authorities must review the decision. These trains will pass through Jalandhar Cantonment station instead of city station from the dates mentioned above. Ashok Kumar, station superintendent, said routes of all other trains will remain same. 



Young World
34 DAV students latch onto Satyam opportunity
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
Thirty four students of B. Tech studying in their pre-final year at the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology have been placed with Satyam Computers Services Ltd.

Of them, 20 are from the discipline of electronics and communication engineering, 10 from computer science engineering, three students of information technology and one from the mechanical engineering background.

The students have been offered a starting salary package of Rs 3.4 lakh per annum.

Mechanical engineering student Amandeep Singh has secured placement at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Ltd with a salary package of Rs 3.4 lakh per annum.

Nature’s call

Eurokids concluded its summer club on Friday with a lot of roar and rumbles. A jungle party was organised on the final day in which the children dressed themselves as Mowgli and Tarzan.

Their dresses were made of leaves and twigs. The children were divided into two groups “Boogie Woogie” and “Zulu Zulu”.

The day ended with a ceremonial function in which each child was given a summer club graduation certificate and elite badge by the chief operating officer, Mouna Prehar.

Smart cards

Banarsi Dass Arya Girls College inaugurated its wi-fi and smart card enabled college automation software and website for the students.

The system will manage various administrative and academic functions such as fees, admission, examination date sheet, results, time table, faculty details, department management, accounts management, report cards and conveyance management.

Information will also be available online at any time through Yahoo and Google search engines. The students will be given smart cards containing their complete bio-data.

The cards will be equipped with bio-metric devices, thumb readers and bar coding facilities. The attendance of the students and staff will also be marked through these smart cards. 



DIET students hold protest march
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
DIET students held a protest march from Lambra to Rampur Lallian here on Wednesday to demand no hike in fee, starting migration and issue DMC after every semester.

Students submitted a memorandum to DIET principal Adarsh Kaur.

Spencer’s 2nd store

Spencer’s Retail has launched its second Spencer’s Express store in Urban Estate Phase I. The store will have fresh fruits, vegetables, fast moving consumer goods, house hold items and groceries.

Official nabbed

The Vigilance Bureau nabbed Jagdish Lal, a block-level extension officer with the industry department, Talwara, in Hoshiarpur. He was caught red-handed while taking bribe from Sunder Lal of Dehpur village.

Tributes paid

Punjab local bodies minister and senior BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia paid tributes to former Delhi CM and Punjab BJP in charge Sahib Singh Verma. “Verma’s death is a great loss to Punjab and its people,” Kalia said.

Kalia said, “Verma was a great leader. He loved Punjab and always tried to contribute for the progress of it’s people.” 



Women hockey league from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 5
The Dhanoa Rural Women Hockey Promotion League will organise two-day 13th league tournament at Puhli village in Bathinda from July 7. Convener of the tournament P.P. Sood in a statement here said a total of 78 matches will be played at 13 centres in villages to promote the game.



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