Mayor’s post not to be cakewalk for BJP
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 9
As the MC elections in the city are just over, battle for the seats of mayor and senior deputy mayor has already started.

According to the arrangements among the winning alliance, the mayor’s post will fall in the kitty of the BJP that has a major share in seat allotment as well. However, post of senior deputy mayor is likely to be taken by the SAD.

Since all three major contenders for the mayor’s post within the BJP have won with huge margins, they are all vying for the hot seat. BJP district president Shiv Dyal Chugh, keenly interested in the post, defeated former Congress councillor H.S. Bawa by 1,525 votes. The contest was, otherwise, being considered as a close fight. Chugh has also been claiming another seat for the party from adjoining SC Ward 32 where his aide Kirpal Pali has emerged as a winner against a CPI candidate.

The second in race is Rakesh Rathore, who has defeated his Congress rival, from Ward 20 by a margin of 907 votes. Rathore is also close to MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and is even said to be related to former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. His rivals, however, claim that he has a short stint of just two years in politics and that too after his father and RSS leader Thakur Ganpat Rai died.

The third aspirant for the position is Ravi Mahendru, BJP’s press secretary and close confidant of local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia. Since Mahendru has helped Kalia a lot during the Vidhan Sabha poll, he has some hope from the minister now. The SAD leaders too have been creating a movement for laying hands on the mayor’s seat after the party registered better gains yesterday. The senior leaders have, however, denied any such possibility.

The party too has as many as three contenders for the post of senior deputy mayor. A second time winner Kuldeep Singh Oberoi from Ward 29 is being considered as the most dependable candidate for the post especially because he has not been involved in any controversy during his previous tenure. His wife too had won a seat during the earlier term. This time Oberoi won with a margin of 2,333 votes.

Another aspirant for the post is Kamaljit Singh Bhatia of the SAD, who is a second timer, and has won with the maximum margin of 3,526 votes in the MC poll.

Kamaljit Singh Gandhi, brother of Youth Akali Dal general secretary Baljit Singh Neelamahal, seems to be another contender for the position. He has won from Ward 21 with a margin of 1,153 votes.



District library lies neglected
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 9
For a place that boasts of a collection of 1,20,000 books, including rare documents such as a calligraphic copy of the Constitution and the Jalandhar district Gazetteer (before 1947), the Guru Nanak District Library lies in an abominable state, neglected by the government and forgotten by the founders.

Established in 1957 by the collaborative effort of the RRLF, Calcutta, and the government, it is one of the oldest libraries in Jalandhar. For quite some time after its establishment it remained a favourite among the general public with its membership ranging from the underprivileged sections to the city's elite. However, the numbers have decreased now largely due to the gradual decay in the library's infrastructure as a result of concomitant loss in funds have resulted

Today, an illegal taxi stand is operating in front of the library.

Only after a laboured search can the small entrance to the library be traced. A path flanked by unkempt grass takes you to a sad board which announces that the tall grey building that stands in front of you is indeed the Guru Nanak District Library. A building that in it's hay day, must have been envied by the best of buildings in Jalandhar.

Chief librarian Gurdial Singh Kahlon says, “We are here for public service, our main motive is to serve both the urban and rural people of the district who come here with a thirst for knowledge."

"An institution which has rare documents like the calligraphic copy of the Constitution, requires more attentions,” he adds.

However, even the cheerful and enthusiastic librarian cannot mince his words when it comes to the deteriorating infrastructure and a lack of interest in the upkeep of the institution by the authorities.

According to Kahlon, if the funds generated by the annual membership (presently 15,000 members) and the library auditorium (which is lent on hire for educational functions, meetings, etc.) are compared with the annual expenses for the staff and books of the library (which amount roughly to Rs 22, 00,000), then the library 
is certainly running 
huge losses.

"There are cracks in the building, at places the roof of the study hall of the library drips during the rains, sometimes even threatening to harm the books," rues Kahlon.

It has just rained, Bhullar Yadav, an attendant at the library, shows cracks in the crown of the building and a place in one of the corridors where a continuous stream of water dribbles down the roof. "Its almost been 15 years since the library has been renovated, number of windowpanes in the study hall are broken" he says.

The last time a building inside the 3.9 acre library campus underwent upgradation was in 2002 when the auditorium adjoining the library was repaired and made air-conditioned. But the main library itself has been deprived of such upgradation or even repairs as yet.

"We have written to the authorities a number of times but have received no help so far. Neither the DPI (c) nor the Jalandhar planning board has taken any initiative," Kahlon says.

The library authorities sent letters to the Directorate of Public Instruction (colleges), Chandigarh, which is officially responsible for handling the budget of the library pertaining to grants regarding books and staff salaries, but when it comes to the library's repairs and upkeep the DPI (c) has not been of any help. It directed the library to the planning board, Jalandhar, which in turn told the library authorities to ask the DPI (c) itself to talk to the Punjab planning board. Since August 2005 (when the library sent a letter to the DPI for grants for repair), every department has been shirking the task of the  library's repairs with the excuse that it is not their responsibility.

The planning board, Jalandhar, has it's own reservations regarding the maintenance of the library. When contacted, Kanwalbir Kaur, deputy economic and statistical adviser/public information officer said, "at least to my knowledge, we have not received any letter from the Guru Nanak District Library. Even if do, we can't do anything unless it is earmarked by the education department."

Gaganpreet, a resident of Deol Nagar studying at the Frankfinn Institute, who joined the library a couple of months back, is largely satisfied with it except for a dearth of books on aviation. "There are not much books on computers and information technology and the management of the catalogues is also poor, many a time a book listed in a particular section is found to be lying in another section," says Chetan Sondhi, a BCA second year student from IGNOU. Gurmeet Singh who is preparing for the CA exams, says, "The atmosphere inside the library is calm and apt for book lovers but many of the fans and tube lights don't work, which is a big nuisance, especially in the summers". 



‘Know AIDS to No AIDS’ staged
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, August 9
Week-long celebrations to mark International Youth Day being held here aim at making the youth aware of the challenges faced by them and face challenges like HIV/AIDS, drugs, female foeticide, dowry, adolescent health etc.

A state-level function was held to mark the day at the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala today. Dr R.S. Khandpur, director general, Pushpa Gujral Science City, was the chief guest. In his keynote address Dr Daler Singh Multani, joint director, Punjab State AIDS Control Society called spoke about the spread of HIV/AIDS and its prevention.

Red Ribbon Express bus is being run by Punjab State AIDS Control Society in collaboration with the Pushpa Gujral Science City. Visits are conducted to colleges registered with the Science City. Out of the one hundred colleges registered with the society, the Red Ribbon Express bus has covered 44 colleges and plans to cover the whole state under the project. The campaign would go on from August 15 to October 15 throughout India and would involve all sections of the society like the media, opinion leaders, religious leader etc.

Dr Multani further said under a special campaign police personnel in the state would be made aware about HIV/AIDS and help of the police administration would also be sought to implement the policies of the PSACS besides involving police administration in protecting the rights of HIV /AIDS patients. Such patients will also be helped against discrimination and looting by unethical medical practitioners under the project, he added.

A play titled Know AIDS to No AIDS was also presented by the Desh Bahagat Institute & Computer Science, Mandi Gobindgarh, and another play Jaago was presented by the Punjab State AIDS Control Society.

Presentations were given by college students on topics like HIV/ AIDS, drug abuse, female foeticide, social discrimination, dowry etc. Printed material on HIV/AIDS was also distributed among the students present on the occasion. 



Young World
A date with Sunita Williams
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 9
A ten-member team of Police DAV School, which participated in Asian Regional Space Settlement Design Contest, got a chance to meet Sunita Williams, the second Indian-origin women to go to space. She shared her experiences and problems she encountered with the students. She even showed her clippings of working in the space to the students.

Talent hunt

A talent hunt contest was held at the Police DAV Public School for the students of classes III to V. The contest was held for three events, including music instrumental, music vocal and dance. Contestants performed on classical, semi-classical, film and folk songs.

In instrumental music, Tanvir, Aarzoo and Jaskaran won the first prizes in their classes. In vocal music, Mitali, Sonali and Tarunjot were declared winners. Dance performers Anukrit, Inayat and Ankita won prizes.


BD Arya Girls College, Jalandhar Cantonment, organised a function to felicitate the merit holders in Guru Nanak Dev University examination. The students received prizes from actor turned model Vinod Singh. On the occasion, an inter-collegiate and inter-school shabad singing contest was held. HMV College team won among the colleges while Victor Model 
School team won among the schools.

Quiz contest

Pahal, a non-government organisation, organised a quiz competition for the students of Sant Raghbir Singh Aims Public School.

The contest was based on the life of selfless Bhagat Puran Singh. On the occasion, 52 saplings were also planted by 
the NGO. 



Four killed in accidents

Phillaur, August 9
Four persons were killed in three different mishaps in and around the town on Thursday.

Two unidentified youths were killed after they were hit by a heavy vehicle between Goraya and Phillaur. An unidentified middle aged person was run over by a train near Phillaur.

Nasserudin Ansali, (52) was electrocuted as he was switching on the ceiling fan of his room at Rattanpura mohalla in Phagwara. the dead bodies have been sent to Phillaur and Phagwara Civil Hospitals for postmortem examination. — OC



Think positive: Students told

Phagwara, August 9
The GNA-IMT organised an orientation programme for students on the college campus here today. The programme began with the registration of the students, followed by lectures on positive attitude, time management, stress management, human relations, etc, by respective faculty members.

The programme was designed to enable students and faculty members to interact with each other.

The GNA-IMT runs courses in MBA, BBA, BCA, diploma in multimedia, diploma in CAD/CAM and CCNA. Speaking on the occasion, director Dr Dharm Bir Singh said despite number of opportunities that comes along with the GNA-IMT package, the most important and fulfilling thing that the GNA-IMT might give the students is the professional people they meet and the knowledge-rich environment that has been specifically created for them.

Shelly Rekhi, Akhil Bajaj and Inderpal Singh gave tips to the students regarding discipline, lab, library and career-building. — OC



‘Unique railway enquiry’ out of operation,
staff clueless

Phagwara, August 9
Though the railways has introduced a ‘unique railway enquiry’ service by providing only one railway enquiry telephone number 139 instead of the present number 131 throughout the country to facilitate the passengers, all is not well in Phagwara.

All telephone numbers at Phagwara railway station, including the numbers of the railway station enquiry office and station superintendent office, have been lying dead for the last several days. Phagwara station superintendent (SS) Bhushan Nandwani was completely unaware about the fact that the number was not functioning, same was the case with the telephone authorities as none of the SDOs had been made aware of the railway enquiry number being out of order.

When The Tribune attempted to dial 260365, the alternative number of railway enquiry office and 260414 number of SS Phagwara station, both phone numbers were also found dead and computerised answers i.e. dialed numbers have been temporarily withdrawn was received.

Non-payment of telephone bills was the main cause for the numbers 260365 and 260414 being out of operation, but no satisfactory answer could be sought as to what happened to the toll free number 139. — OC



Poll Reverses
MC results: New trends come to the fore
SAD with its poll promises managed to pull voters, the BJP lost its traditional strongholds
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 9
The Jalandhar civic body election results not only went in favour of the SAD-BJP combine, but also have set new trends in the process.

Where as Shiromani Akali Dal, though didn’t have many takers in the city, made big leap this time with a good performance, its partner, the BJP, suffered losses in those wards where Hindu voters made up the majority.

As far as SAD’s performance is concerned, the drift could be because of tall pre-poll promises made by the party leaders during their election rallies.

The BJP lost in wards 7, 18, 27, 30 and 44, all Hindu-dominated areas. In fact it is for the first time in the last many decades that BJP has lost from Ward 27. Satpal Bathla lost to Mahesh Puri here.

A loss in Ward 18 is also being considered to be a major one where BJP’s Kailash Sehgal had fought a massive war of words against Dinesh Dhall of the Congress through advertisements in vernacular newspapers.

The onus of loss of the BJP in Ward 30 is being given to the fact that the seat was given to a Sikh candidate Amarjit Singh Amri. Ward 44 seat, also Hindu-dominated, was grabbed by independent Sunanda Malhotra who joined the SAD last evening.

The BJP also lost other Hindu majority seats including Wards 36 and 49 but the defeat is not being considered as big as the two seats were grabbed by four-time Congress winners from the two families. Jagdish Raj Raja won from Ward 36 and Kamlesh Grover got the seat from Ward 49.

There also was a reverse trend noted from two seats. The BJP, however, won a Sikh dominated seat in Ward 41 by fielding a second timer Harbhajan Singh Takhar and the SAD candidate Parveen Tangri won a Hindu, SC dominated seat in Ward 50.

The third major changing trend was a poor performance of the BJP on reserved seats. The party lost six of its 11 reserved seats including those in SC wards 9, 23, 46, 52, 53 and 58 where their candidates Dharam Pal, Tilak Raj, Suman Bala, Sunil Kumari Tangri, Jagdish Kumar Bitta and Geeta Batra, respectively, had contested.

BJP candidate Gurmail Singh, however, managed to win Ward 17 rid with acute encroachment and civic problems. The ward primarily consists of a huge vote bank from Madrasi Mohalla and Qazi Mandi.

Party’s candidate Darshan Lal also managed to win Ward 59 probably because of cross voting as Surinder Kaur of Congress who dominated the area fought this time from ward 58. BJP also won in 32 SC Ward, 42 BC Ward and 51 SC Ward.

The SAD also registered a win from reserved seats in Wards 3, 50 and 54 while losing those in 1, 6, 12 and 13. 



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