Elevated Road Project
30-day deadline for Gammon India to improve service lanes
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
With the elevated road project becoming a nightmare for commuters, the municipal corporation has asked Gammon India Ltd, the firm which has been assigned the work, to provide proper service lanes within a month.

The Rs 173-crore project would provide devotees a shorter link to the Golden Temple and the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial. Work on the project is underway and an amount of Rs 20 crore has been already spent on it. A meeting was called by the new mayor Shawet Malik on September 11 to do away with the inter-departmental delays. The superintending engineer (civil) of the corporation and Punjab water supply and sewerage board, executive engineer of Punjab state electricity board (PSEB) and chief engineer of Gammon India Limited also attended the meeting. “The officers concerned have been told to deliver a daily report. A review meeting would be held after a week. We are hopeful that the work would be completed within a month” said Malik.

Notably, the local organisations have been repeatedly highlighting the problem being faced by commuters, who are forced to take long detours. The service lanes are too in a bad shape, resulting in repeated traffic jams. The haphazardly placed barricades add to the woes of residents. Also, there’s no provision of lighting in the service lanes, making it really difficult to drive in the evening hours. Doubts are also being raised over the timely- completion of the project due to lack of adequate funds.

During his visit to Amritsar in April 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced 50 per cent central grants for the project. According to the original plan, the project was to be funded by MC, Improvement Trust and Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA), contributing 60 per cent to the total cost. The remaining 40 per cent was to be borne by the state government. The project had also invoked sharp criticism from certain environmentalists as they feared threat to the heritage buildings in the area. The district administration, however, maintained that the elevated road would end near the multi-level parking which is at a distance of 500 meters from the Golden Temple.



42 yrs on, unloading of racks resumes at Fategarh Churian stn
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
In a development which could bring cheer to the industry, the unloading of railway racks was resumed at the historic Fatehgarh Churian railway station here after a gap of 42 years. The practice was suspended by the central government during the 1965 Indo-Pak war and only racks carrying Army tanks and supplies were allowed to operate on the route.

Seen as a step to give a major boost to the sluggish local industry it was a proud moment when a railway rack consisting of 58 wagons unloaded coal meant for a local paper mill here.

Talking to media persons, BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, said manufacturers in Amritsar, face difficulty because of cargo congestion. They have to spend large amounts for the delay in unloading of the racks in the Amritsar railway station. He said the need to resume railway siding had been felt for a long time. Sidhu claimed that the step would instill a new life in the trade and the dwindling economy of not only Amritsar but the entire border area.

Sidhu had written to the general manager, Northern Railways, to approve railway siding which would be useful in starting the movement of coal in large quantity for various units in this border area.

Sidhu said with the resumption of railway siding here trade would not only flourish but also increase the revenue generation of the railways. He said this would not only benefit the manufacturers but also provide employment to more than 300 youth of the area besides weaning them away from drugs.



No change in old passage, says Admn
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
The district administration has announced that the old passage to the historical Jallianwala Bagh, from which General O’Dyer had entered with his men, would be preserved at all costs. Being a national monument, the administration would not allow any change in the original character of the place. Instead, a beautiful information centre would be constructed at the site of the demolished shops, adjoining the old passage of the Jallianwala Bagh so that tourists could get information on touch screen even before entering the premises of the national monument.

On the other hand, the central government has agreed in principal to install much-awaited son-et lumiere (light and sound) on the pattern of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, before April 13 next to mark the 90th anniversary of the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh.

Earlier due to the callous attitude of all concerned, Rs 2.50 crore, sanctioned by the union ministry of human resources development (department of culture) on March 16, 1998, could not be used for a long time. The money was sanctioned for installing light and sound system at the historic garden and expansion and repairs of the national memorial.

The son-et lumiere was proposed by Maninderjit Singh Bitta, the then Indian National Youth Congress president, to Narasimha Rao, the then Prime Minister. Rao even sent a jatha of 300 Youth Congress leaders to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for a survey of the impressive light and sound programme installed there.

A report was later submitted by Bitta to Rao, who was also chairman of the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Trust.

On the other hand, notwithstanding the demolition of three shops adjoining the Jallianwala Bagh that led to apprehensions in the minds of city residents that it might lead to the change in the original character of the historic place, yet the district administration has announced that the old passage from which General O’Dyer had entered with his men and resorted to unprovoked firing on innocent Indians would be preserved at all costs.

Talking to The Tribune, deputy commissioner, Kahan Singh Pannu said a beautiful tourist centre would be constructed at the site of demolished shops where tourists could get complete historical information about the tragedy of April 13, 1919, on a touch screen, before entering the national monument.

He clarified that the site of demolished shops would not be used for parking at any cost. It may be mentioned here that architects have already prepared a blue print for the expansion of the Jallianwala national memorial. However, due to delay on the part of the government of India to release the sanctioned funds, the plans could not be implemented so far.

The district administration had, on September 5, demolished three century-old shops and three houses in the area after the owners of these buildings lost the case and agreed to move out. Satya Pal Dang, a former MLA and veteran politician, who interacted with the shopkeepers in the area, said the shopkeepers of the area were apprehensive that after demolishing the shops , administration could enforce changes in the layout of the historic place just to make room for parking for dignitaries. Dang demanded that under no circumstances, the look of the historic place be tampered with by the district administration.



Attari road four-laning on fast track
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
To give an impetus to trade between India and Pakistan through road route passing through Attari border, the work on four-laning of the Amritsar-Attari road connecting India and Pakistan was put on fast track by the state government.

The National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase III, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), awarded this project to M/s Rohan-Rajdeep-IDFC Consortium on the build, operate and transfer (BOT) annuity basis to be completed within 24 months with 20-year concession period, including the construction period. The work has been awarded with a semi-annuity amount of Rs 18.45 crore payable to the concessionaire by the NHAI.

The project was the result of unstinted efforts of the Chief Minister who had met the union surface transport minister twice for early execution of this project.



City lad making waves in wrestling world
P. K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, September 14
From Amritsar to Australia, it has been a big leap for this Khalsa College pass-out, who made a name for himself in the world of wrestling. With sports running in his blood, Parampal Singh Dhillon says he is only following the footsteps of his ace power lifter uncles.

Since childhood Dhillon had influence of his uncles Lakhwinder Singh and Dr Mohinder Singh Dhillon (former principal of Khalsa College). Watching them during practice session, inculcated a feeling to join wrestling in Parampal and he finally decided to become a wrestler.

Standing six feet high with an enviable built, this lad surely had something which took him to the champions ring. Parampal’s father Jaspal Singh recalls, “When he was studying at Khalsa College he was popular as ace wrestler among students.”

Parampal’s career started as weight lifter and he won many medals in power lifting championships organised by GNDU from 2001-2003. However, he changed his event next year and won silver medal in the wrestling competition.

He remained champion of National Strength Power Championship for two consecutive years in which candidates from seven SAARC countries participated.

After completing his graduation, he went to Australia to pursue higher education. His migration did not stop him from continuing his passion for wrestling and he participated in various wrestling competitions there too. There he met his coach and mentor Kuldip Bassi of United Wrestling Club.

In November 2006, Parampal participated in wrestling competition in Melbourne and made country proud by winning gold medal. However, there was still more to come. He achieved a major success by bagging gold medal in Australia Cup-2007 held recently.

Although he qualified for the World Cup, he could not participate in the competition, as he was not permanent resident of Australia. Now determined Parampal hopes to work more hard and participate in the coveted competition in near future.



Rama Setu
Ex-minister seeks apology from Cong

Amritsar, September 14
Former Punjab health minister Baldev Raj Chawla has sought an apology from the Congress over the controversial affidavit submitted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to the Supreme Court in the Setusamundram project case which questions the characters of the Ramayana.

“The Prime Minister should not only apologise to the people of the country along with his Cabinet of Ministers but should also tender his resignation. Somebody who does not know about Lord Rama has no right to occupy the Prime Minister’s post,” he said. “All this is being done at the behest of Sonia Gandhi. She may not know about the history and mythology of the country, but thePM should ensure that people’s sentiments are not hurt,” he said.

“The government is trying to deny the sequence of events recorded in the Valmiki Ramayana. This is highly condemnable,” he added — TNS



Marching ahead
Stars of teleserial Left Right Left charm the city crowd
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 14
“Left Right Left’ was started with an aim to instill patriotism among youth. And, we are happy that the entire team has been successful in its attempt.” This was said by SAB business head Anooj Kapoor, who was here on a promotional tour along with the entire cast of the serial

“We have been touring various cities and the response of the public has been phenomenal. Wherever the stars we, they were simply mobbed,” said Kapoor , adding that the applause and even suggestions of the public will the producers to make ti more better. Regarding his channel, Kapoor said it offers newage entertainment, which is innovative, inspirational and optimistic. “If a channel showcases a kaleidoscope of emotions - from light-hearted comedies to youth-centric programs, besides thrillers and romantic melodrama .- it can easily catch viewers’ attention,” he said.

The team is also paying visits to various colleges and delivering lectures on the intricacies of serial production.

‘Left Right Left’ revolves around six youths who are confused and disoriented. Their transformation into strong determined individuals, who are ready to sacrifice themselves for their mother country, forms the crux of the story.

“The first season ended at a high point when Naina comes to know that Capt Rajveer Shekhawat had killed her brother because the decased had forced him to do so. Capt Rajveer catches all those involved in the spy incident but loses his protégé Naina because he chooses nation over anything else,” he said. 



Campus Pulse
Swagat-2007 welcomes freshers in style
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 14
‘Swagat-2007’, a one-day cultural programme, was organised at Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) to welcome the new students. The vent was held at Dashmesh Auditorium of the varsity.

On the occasion, the students presented a cultural bonanza. They also highlighted social, political, economic and religious evils prevailing in the society. Vic-chancellor Dr Jai Rup Singh inaugurated the programme by lighting the candles. Expressing hope that varsity education would help students realise their dreams, the VC said the focus should be on overall personality development. “We are trying to create a right atmosphere for proper growth of students. The varsity is committed to provide a quality education to the students and prepare them for global challenges,”
he said.

Professor Sarup Singh, dean, students welfare highlighted the cultural activities of the varsity and gave details on incentives being provided to the students to promote such events. The last year winners of zonal youth festival were also honored on the occasion. More than 150 student-artists participated in various events, including Shabad recitation, Bhajan, Geet, Gazal, Group Song, Mimicry, Skit, Western Solo, Nautanki, Twisted News, Gidha and Bhangra.

Students’ body formed

Guru Nanak Dev University here has formed students’ representative body of the university campus through a notification. Prof Sarup Singh, dean, students’ welfare, in a press note here said Prabhjot Singh of the physical education department had been taken as president, Charan Preet Singh of the architecture department as vice-president, Parbinder Singh of the laws department as secretary, Navneet of the Hindi department as joint secretary and Kabul Singh of applied physics as treasurer of the body.

Himank Kumar of molecular biology and biochemistry, Gurjinder Singh of botanical and environmental sciences, Jijo K.V. of Guru Nanak studies, Nitika Singla of food science and technology, Jashanpreet Singh of chemistry and Balbinder Singh of psychology had been taken as executive members.

Delay in results

amritsar: Even though new Controller of Examinations of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Harbhajan Singh claims to have taken effective steps to streamline the examination process, the results of several semesters continue to be behind schedule.

The pending semester system results include B.Tech (sugar technology) 8th semester, M.Tech (IT) fourth semester, MSc (hons) economics fourth semester, BSc (hons) economics sixth semester, B.Design eighth semester, MSc (maths) fourth semester and BSc (hons) physics sixth semester.

Due to the delay in the declaration of results, the university has already decided to revert to internal system of evaluation, wherein answer sheets would be marked by teachers on the university campus only.

Harbhajan Singh claimed that even in cases where the results were declared late, the university had ensured that the academic schedule was not disturbed.



Plea to set up passport office in city
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
The Amritsar Vikas Manch has urged the central government for setting up a passport office in the city as the people of the border district are facing difficulties in submitting their applications for passport.

In a missive to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, manch patron Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala has demanded the starting of the proposed passport office in Amritsar as the people have to go to Jalandhar for passport work and had to face problems due to heavy rush there.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ministry has prepared an ambitious plan to outsource a major portion of the regional passport offices’ work so that once a police verification report is received, the passport would be issued within three days. Under the “Passport Service Project,” the MEA will have 68 private centers exactly on the lines of the US visa system to help RPOs.

Currently, passports are delivered through the postal network or collected in person at the RPO. It is also proposed to link major police stations with RPOs so that police verification reports are delivered quickly.

Welcoming the decision of the ministry of external affair to issue passport in just 15 days, Gumtala rued that it has not set up a passport office in Amritsar, home town of the Prime Minister, as announced three years back by the government.



ENT seminar on Sept 15
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
More than 300 ENT surgeons from Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh would meet in the city on September 15 to focus on World Health Organisation’s regional initiative “Sound Hearing 2030.”

The conference, which is going to be held after 29 years, is likely to be inaugurated by the Punjab medical education and research minister Tikshan Sud. The event aims to spread awareness among public about preventable causes of deafness along with recommendations to the government and professional bodies about strategies to be evolved in preventing and managing hearing handicap in the country.

Talking to the Tribune, the organising committee chairman Dr Karan Sharma said, “The major causes of hearing impairment are discharging ears, excessive exposure to noise, inappropriate use of certain drugs and problems during childbirth. However, all these are preventable.” Almost quarter cases of hearing impairment begin during childhood and detecting them at the initial stage is very important for the proper development of speech and language in the children, he added.

Disclosing about the experts attending the conference, Dr Sharma said, “Former AIIMS director Dr Santosh Kacker, Dr BK Roy Roychadhuri, national president, Association of Otolaryngologists of India and Maulana Azad Medical College’s dean faculty Dr AK Aggarwal would participate in the event.” 



Tough ride for ticket seekers
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
Broken windows, unclean platforms and growing wild grass is what meets the visitor’s eye from outside the historic Fatehgarh Churian railway station used by travellers from Dera Baba Nanak to other parts of the country. The dilapidated condition of the railway station speaks of the harrowing time passengers here have to face, especially at the time of getting their tickets booked.

The railway booking counter here is by far the worst rue passengers. Even the main room of the booking clerk here has no doors or windows. Ticket seekers at the counter allege that they hardly find the ticket issuing clerk at the booking window. Further they say he appears only half an hour before the departure of the train and refuses to issue the ticket in advance. The reason given by the clerk is that whether the train would even come was could not be confirmed. This forces them to, unintentionally, board the train without tickets and pay hefty fines to the railway authorities later on, they rue.

Denying the allegations, the ticket issuing clerk says only one train arrives at the station, therefore, the number of passengers is quite less. In absence of furniture inside the booking window, the clerk said it was not possible for him to keep standing there for the entire day.



Residents fume over green belt encroachment
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
A big encroachment has come up right in the middle of green belt in B-block of the posh Ranjit Avenue. Much to the chargin of the residents, the structure has only been constructed recently, and is yet to be occupied. Work on the encroachment, which was almost one-fourth of the lane, was being done on a war footing until the authorities intervened.

Such encroachments in posh localities of the city have become a cause for concern, said a resident. They’re not just eyesores but also affect the natural surroundings, he added..



My City
‘Removing encroachments should top MC agenda’
Brij Bedi

Previous mayor and his team boasted to have cured the city of crime and lawlessness, rampant in the city for the past many years. It had become what they called a heaven. Well, that’s what they thought.

Today we have a new mayor who has got installed his poster all over the town and is also being felicitated at many forums. He promises that he will do surgery on the fractured city. Well, I have few suggestions to change the face of the city.

First of our deputy commissioner, senior superintendent of police and commissioner, Municipal Corporation must join heads to chalk out a plan to resurrect the vandalized city with a strong will power and commitment without wilting under any pressure. Their main agenda should be to remove all encroachments from main roads and footpaths, besides removing khokhas from the green belts. They should remove hoardings from the main roads and roof tops, besides stopping the defacement of the city walls.

The administration should also make arrangement for the purchase of closed trolleys for the carting of garbage and make zonal executive engineers responsible and accountable for persisting sanitary problems.

Believe me with these simple measures the traffic will start moving smoothly and the city will start looking neat and clean.



Monorail: ADB seeks project report
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
To give boost to tourism in the holy city and its adjoining areas, the state government has decided to work on the ambitious project of monorail connecting the international airport with the Golden Temple.

Recently a three member high-powered team of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), led by Ludwid G. Rieder, GMS Sustainable Tourism, met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and sought the detailed 
project reports.

The ADB has also agreed to finance the religious and water tourism, including roads connecting Rajasansi airport to the GT Road, besides filling the existing gaps in the elevated road project in Amritsar. In addition, the entire city would be given a facelift for visitors’ movement, management and facilitation by developing projects related to decongestion of the walled city.

The ADB would also help promote natural heritage tourism for which seven eco-tourism sites were identified with the focus on the Ramsar site of Harike wetlands and rivers.



Shreya wins Vi-Ga lucky draw

Amritsar, September 14
The results of the lucky draw of the two-day fun organised by Vi-Ga, a German brand, was announced at their store here.

Shreya Mahan, Krishan Malhotra and Veena Sharma were declared first, second and third in the draw announced by Vi-Ga. Vi-Ga describes itself to be the finest for the fashion footwear at affordable prices and had its design teams in Dubai, Dusseldorf, Delhi and Singapore. — TNS



GNDU handball championship from Oct 4

Amritsar, September 14
The inter-college (men) handball championship of Guru Nanak Dev University will be held from October 4 to 6 at the university sports complex, said Dr Kawaljit Singh, director (sports) in a press note here. He said the B-division inter college (men) handball league matches would commence from October 4 at 9.30 am and A-division (men) competitions would start at 11.30 am on the same day.

He said women’s A and B-division handball competitions would be organised from October 7 to 9. — TNS



Battle against malaria: Army, admn join hands
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14
Taking note of the increasing number of cases of malaria and viral hepatitis in the villages of Chima Khurd, Sohal and Gandiwind, located on the Indo-Pakistan border, the Indian Army has decided to assist the civil administration in providing medical facilities.

To re-affirm its bond with the local population in the border area, the Army organised a medical aid camp on September 12. Troops of Mooltan battalion of the Jat Regiment offered medical help under the aegis of Dograi Brigade at Serai Amanat Khan.

An awareness programme on AIDS, malaria, viral hepatitis and general health, hygiene and sanitation was also conducted for the rural population.

Specialists, including lady doctors, from all major disciplines like general medicine, paediatrics, orthopaedics, dermatology, gynaecology and ear-nose-throat (ENT) examined patients from the area.

The camp was inaugurated by Major-Gen K.M.S. Shergill, General Officer Commanding, Panther Division. Brig V. Narayanan, Commander, Dograi Brigade, Col Sarbir Singh, Commanding Officer of Mooltan Battalion, besides senior officers of Panther Division, were present on the occasion.

Laboratory facilities test blood sugar and malaria detection were offered by the Army at the camp.

After distribution of medicines, a community meal was organised for the local population.

The Panthar Division had organised medical camps in Dostpur, Ghanie Ki Bet, Dag Tut, Chima Kalan, Jaurian Kalan and Durgi last year. The Army had also adopted girl children from the area and helped in upgradation of school infrastructure.



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