Squatting menace: MC tightens screws
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
Launching a crackdown on encroachers and squatters in the city, the municipal corporation has set a deadline for the municipal town planner (MTP) department to initiate proceedings against violators.

No parking near green belts

The corporation has given a one-week notice to trolley and truck operators in the city to stop parking their vehicles in the green belts and on the footpaths. This practice is particularly rampant on the New Amritsar to Pingalwara road. “Loaded with sand and other construction material, these trolleys have become a nuisance and the corporation has decided to get rid of them, especially with the beautification of this area on the cards,” says Kharbanda.

Talking to The Tribune, Municipal Commissioner DPS Kharbanda says more than a hundred properties under illegal possession have been identified and court cases would be filed under the Public Premises Eviction and Rent Recovery Act before December 14.

“After the expansion of municipal limits, many villages have also come under the corporation and it has come to light that the encroachers are thriving on illegal possession of both agricultural and residential land,” says Kharbanda.

“Same is the case with the walled city area and the periphery, where land owned by the corporation is being misused by violators. The corporation would now proceed against them in a phased manner, beginning this month. However, even in cases where there is no stay on eviction, the procedure has to go through due course of law,” 
he adds.

The drive against encroachments, he says, would not only clear the way for the beautification of the city but also increase the income of the corporation as the land regained from violators would eventually be auctioned. “Going by the widespread encroachments, we are optimistic that the drive would eventually do wonders for the corporation’s financial health,” he says.

He adds that an anti-encroachment drive is also on the cards to clear the mess on both sides of the main roads in the city. Despite the sharp reactions that the recent demolitions have evoked, Kharbanda says action would be taken against every encroacher in the city.

Till now, the corporation had been going easy on encroachers and the violators were feeling encouraged by the fact that the corporation had not even filed court cases despite widespread encroachments in different parts of the city. The corporation is also focusing on sanitation drive, which is being run under the supervision of the councillors concerned. With public co-operation, the drive can change the look of the city.

The other projects on which work has already been started include the sewerage and water supply projects, Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme and solid waster management. These projects need attention so that they materialise as per schedule. The corporation also needs to put its act together for the launch of the city bus service, he says.



Ground Reality 
Now, ‘super’ seeds to boost wheat yield in Amritsar dist

Amritsar, December 4
Amritsar has been selected under the National Food Security Mission for breaking free of stagnation and increasing the yield per acre of wheat. This was informed by Paramjit Singh Sandhu, chief agriculture officer (CAO) here, while presiding over a meeting called for inspection of sowing of wheat.

He said more than two lakh hectares of land of the district is agricultural land. The department fixed a target of sowing wheat in 1.85 lakh hectares of land while 92 percent work of sowing wheat has been completed.

Sandhu said under the National Food Security Mission, the government has planned to replace the seeds of wheat with new and more productive seeds in the next three years.

Out of this, he added, 20 percent has been already changed while the remaining 80% would be replaced in the next two years.

He informed that the new varieties PBW-343 and PBW-502, the certified seeds, are being supplied to the farmers at a subsidized rate of Rs 500 per quintal. Besides this, the CAO said a bag of 40 kilograms of seeds were provided to about 3,700 farmers each for demonstration plot of one acre after every 50 hectares.

He said the production of this crop would be used as seeds for the next year to replace the old seeds for ending the stagnation in the crop. He said about 7,000 new mini kits of these seeds have been distributed to small farmers for preparing seeds for the next year production.

The CAO informed that the department had purchased costly agricultural equipments under ATMA scheme under which the farmers could use these equipments by paying nominal rent to the department. Sandhu said that for removal of saltiness from agricultural land, there has been a scheme for providing 5500 metric tonne gypsum to farmers on 50% subsidy.

He said the actual cost of the gypsum is Rs 1,900 per meteric tonn but it was being given to farmers at Rs 950 per metric tonne. He said the needy farmers should contact their block and agriculture office for this. — OC



‘Skating scaring away birds at Company Bagh’ 
Sanjay Bumbroo

Amritsar, December 4
The city offers an array of hangouts like Company Bagh, Gol Bagh and other areas where people gather in the mornings and evenings to enjoy themselves by feeding hundreds of birds, including pigeons. However, a skating camp, being organised by a private organisation, has alledgedly spoiled the joy for scores of bird lovers who have to return disappointed as instead of a flock of pigeons all that meets their eyes are a bunch of kids on skateboards. “This is a classic example of encroachment. These historical gardens have been declared a heritage site by the Archeological Survey of India,”said a resident, who is a regular here.

“What bothers us is that the district administration has failed to stop it. The organisation is promoting its business interests and is not paying even a single penny to the district administration for using the space,” claimed another resdient.

When contacted, Amritsar municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said the issue was not in his knowledge and he would check whether the organisation had taken approval from the corporation or not.

Amrit Lal Mannan, spokesperson Amritsar Vikas Manch said most of the birds, which include crows, sparrows and other species, have almost vanished from the city. Pigeons are supposed to be the only ones which are still found near the residential areas. Lal said the district administration should take an initiative to removing such encroachments from the place.



Campus Buzz
Physics refresher course starts  at GNDU
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 4
A three-week refresher course in physics, organised by the Academic Staff College in collaboration with the department of physics of Guru Nanak Dev University, commenced here today.

Dr K.N. Pathak, former vice-chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh, inaugurated the course while Dr R.K. Bedi, professor of physics and course coordinator, gave a detailed outline of the course.

Laying stress on new materials and new technologies, Dr Pathak said the teachers should add something new in the field of knowledge and more particularly on new concepts, qualities and values.

Prof Pathak presented a detailed account on the recent trends in the field of nano-technology and its applications to medical and physical sciences. He explained the recent developments in the field of giant-magneto-resistance that has led to revolutionary breakthrough in the memory-based devices. This year’s Nobel Prize in physics has been bagged by these discoveries.

Welcoming Prof Pathak and the participants, Prof H.S. Bhatia, director of the Academic Staff College, highlighted the aims and objectives of the refresher course. He laid emphasis on the recent trends and applications in technological fields and encouraged the participants to undertake need-based research work.

More than three dozen university and college physics teachers from Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab are attending the course.

Dr Chahal presents paper on Kalidas

Dr Dalbir Singh Chahal, reader in Sanskrit department of Guru Nanak Dev University, presented a research paper on the contribution of Kalidas at the All-India Kalidas Samaroh, organised jointly by Vikram University and Kalidas Academy at Ujjain.

Dr Dalbir Singh also acted as a judge in a debate organised on Kalidas on  the occasion.



Varsity Polls
Dr Davinder is GNDU teachers’ body chief
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 4
Dr Davinder Singh of psychology department has been declared the president of the Guru Nanak Dev University Teachers Association, (GNDUTA), the election of which was held here on Monday.

He defeated the sitting president, Dr Parminder Singh of English department by a narrow margin of three votes. Dr Davinder Singh got 141 votes while Dr Parminder Singh got 138 votes.

Dr MS Gill of the department of sociology, who has got 143 votes, has been declared the vice-president. He defeated Dr Adarsh Pal Wig of botanical sciences department who got 132 votes.

Dr Sukhpreet Singh of the department of chemistry has been elected as secretary of this association. He defeated Dr Vinay Kapoor of Laws Department with a margin of six votes. Dr Sukhpreet Singh secured 141 votes while Dr Vinay Kapoor got 135 votes.

Dr Aziz Abbas of the department of Urdu and Persian (145 votes) was elected the joint- secretary, defeating Dr NPS Saini of the physics department (132 votes) by a margin of 13 votes. Dr Shymal Koley of sports medicine and physiotherapy department (143 votes) was declared the treasurer, defeating Dr Abdul Faruk of the department of pharmaceutical sciences (134 votes) by margin of nine votes.

Dr Tarlok Singh Banipal (deptartment of applied chemistry - 175 votes), Dr. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon (Punjab School of Economics- 168 votes), Dr. Jagrup Singh Sekhon (Department of Political Science - 160 votes), Architect Paramjit Singh Mahoora (Dept. of Architecture - 152 votes), Dr. Lakhwinder Singh (Department of Commerce & Business Management - 137 votes) and Dr. Derick Engles (Department of Electronic Technology - 136 votes) were declared executive members of the association.



US trip for Holy Heart students
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
The Holy Heart School has planned an educational trip to New York and Florida in the United States where the students would get a chance to visit UN session, NASA and Disney Land etc. The students would have an experience of lifetime and they will gain knowledge by interacting with various children of the schools in the US. Principal Vikram Seth said the students would also get a chance to visit Midtown Manhattan, Greenwich Village, Metropolitan Museum, Empire State Building besides enjoying thrills of space mountain and admire the magnificent Cinderella’s Castle, the Universal Studios, Disney’s Ocean Discoveries, Millennium cultures, Animal Kingdom, NASA’s spacecraft and launch site etc.

He said the school also held a meeting with the parents of the students where he along with the tour operators satisfied the queries of the parents.

Meanwhile, the school had qualified for the national science fair during the 36th exhibition organised by the State Science Education Department Chandigarh held in SDAS Senior Secondary School Jalandhar. The winners of different districts of Punjab participated in the fair where the working model on ‘water management’ made by Ajuj Mamwal and Anisha Dhiman of the school was selected as the best model in Senior Secondary group. 



Hockey legend Dhyan Chand remembered

Amritsar, December 4
Rich tributes were paid to Indian hockey wizard Dhyan Chand on his death anniversary at DAV Public School here. Students read out the illustrious profile and recited poems on the greatest hockey player of the time, highlighting latter’s momentous achievements in 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics. Professor Paramjit Singh Randhawa of DAV College said though a film like ‘Chak De’ was a great effort to promote the cause of hockey in India, but this was not sufficient. “The need of the hour is to motivate youth towards the great sport,” he added.

He also urged the schools to make the game an important part of the sporting curriculum. Emphasising on the need of promotion of the game, the professor narrated a few anecdotes from the life of Dhyan Chand and his autobiography ‘Goal’.

Randhawa also brought to the fore the plight of the players who have hardly been recognised. “Many of them don’t even have a regular income,” he rued. — OC



Toiling hard to be Mr Sikh International
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, December 4
Twentynine finalists from all over the country and abroad are preparing for the mega-finals of the “Mr Sikh International” contest to be held on December 15 at Khalsa College here.

The candidates are toiling with their training sessions starting early in the morning with daily rituals as per Sikh traditions. The event is being organised by the Akal Purakh Ki Fauj (APKF) in collaboration with Frankfinn Air Hostess Academy.

The day starts with “Nitnem” and physical exercises. All candidates are being trained in “Gurmat” classes, personality development, table manners, personal grooming, communication skills, goal setting and achieving at the local Khalsa College.

In the evening, they are being prepared for ramp walk, gatka and bhangra. The contestants will showcase their talent in the mega-finals.

To make them humble and humane in their approach, they are made to serve at “jaura ghar” and “langer” in the Golden Temple.

K.S. Kohli of Frankfinn encouraged the participants by visiting them during their training session. He interacted with them.

Jaswinder Singh Advocate, member, SGPC, and director, Dastar Swai Maan Lehar, launched by the APKF said the winner of the contest would be given a chance to play the lead role in a film produced by the APKF.



NGO to help victims of exploitation 
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 4
With the society still finding it difficult to fight evils like female foeticide, dowry, corruption and drug abuse, a new NGO ‘Social Service Volunteer Force’(SSVF) was launched in the city to help victims of exploitation.

Announcing this, organisation’s chairman Kultar Singh Chawla said the NGO was an initiative of some dedicated persons, who have pledged to work for the society.

Describing NGO’s activities, he said the NGO would work in the fields of education, health services, sports and family planning.

Besides, the society would also hold mass marriages for poor and down trodden girls irrespective of any religion and caste.

Requesting help and support from other social societies and NGOs, Chawla said social organisations played a vital role in developing society and people should volunteer for it.

The office-bearers of the society include Major Gurnam Singh Gill, president, while Joginder Singh Chawla senior vice-president, Subedar Major Gurcharan Singh Sandhu and Gagandeep Singh, both vice-presidents, Karanpal Singh Chawla, general secretary, Sishpal Singh, secretary, while Vipin Kumar Bhatti and Sanhay Kaushil are joint secretary and Press secretary, respectively.

Kultar Singh said they would soon launch a drive to recruit new members at ward, block and village levels.

Involving younger generation was important and the NGO would meet principals and authorities of various colleges and schools to encourage their students for this noble endeavour.



OCM’s new woollen collection hits shelves
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 4
OCM India Limited, the company manufacturing woollen fabrics, launched its ‘Summer 08 collection’ at its sales conference held here today. Aimed at the tastes of young generation the collection has combined linen, wool, polyester as well as viscose.

Rajeev Surani, CEO, OCM India Limited, said more than 400 new designs in various colour variations for the domestic market. The collection has been designed keeping in mind choice and preferences of young customers.

The new collection comprises various compositions of linen combined with polyester, wool as well as linen blended with polyester and viscose, Surani added. Another range has been introduced to offer light weight fabrics in polyester and wool blend in ratio of 85 to 15.

The concept of the collection is inspired by round-the-year wear ability, giving classy yet modern touch, suitable to the taste of young exclusives.



Seminar on Punjabi literature

Amritsar, December 4
Classical literature highlights the simplicities of life in an eloquent way. This was said by Dr Joginder Singh Rahi, former head of the department of School of Punjabi studies, GNDU, during the two-day seminar on “Classical Punjabi literature: determine and reevaluate”.

The seminar was organised at Khalsa College for Women with sponsorship from the University Grants Commission. Speaking on the occasion, college principal Dr Sukhbir Kaur Mahal said the topic remained untouched and the seminar would help to draw some conclusions.

In his address, Punjabi poet Dr Surjit Patar said the beauty of classical literature is that it is ever appealing. — OC



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