Challans: Cops hit top gear
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, December 25
Obey traffic rules or face challan. The police is now on a challan spree to enforce traffic rules for smooth flow of traffic in the holy city.

Around 2,800 vehicles have been challaned during last week, with an average of 400 challans per day, for violating traffic rules which include driving without helmet, absence of any requisite documents, black film on window, etc.

Agitated over the challan drive, some residents complained that the police should have informed them before starting such a campaign. As a reply to such residents, police chief Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh said there was no need to issue any notice by the police. He said the police had informed public during seminars and awareness programmes held to eradicate traffic chaos from the city.

However, there is a section of society which has lauded the traffic police’s action. They are of the view that the police should continue and make challan drives as a regular feature, ending the doubts raised on the credibility of the uniform.

Citizens Forum president Brij Bedi said, “The challaning spree should not be considered as just a practice for generating revenue. It would help to make people abide by traffic rules.” However, challan is not the solution for traffic chaos as people flout rules, while policemen were busy in challaning. There should be proper management system for the traffic control, he adds.

On the question as to why this drive at the year-end, the SSP said, “The police had been emphasising on public awareness and the role of public could not be ignored for solving this problem. This could be measured from the fact that this year only 16,000 vehicles were challaned till December 15, while it was 21,000 last year.” Enforcement of rules by the traffic police is only for the public interest and to avoid inconvenience to the city residents.

The police challaned 16,000 vehicles till December 15, of which 12,000 challans have been disposed off generating a revenue of Rs 45 lakh.



Govt plans job boost for BPL families
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, December 25
The ministry of rural development has offered to provide vocational courses along with job skills to all the 19,462 below poverty line (BPL) families in the district.

This was revealed by ministry joint secretary Amar Singh. He said a pilot project would be launched to encompass the marginal and poor families in the border areas of the district to make them economically independent and raise their income level.

Alarmed at the low rate of employment, especially among the school dropouts, undergraduates and graduates who were retarding the economic growth, Amar said the government had prepared a special plan to give them training for two to six months through specialised skill development institutes.

He said the ministry had identified various modules in the service sector, which included hospitality, retail, medical and other spheres, where the youth would be equipped to handle job exigencies for generating reasonable income.

“The central government has earmarked Rs 2,000 to 2,500 crore for the self-employment mission in the country and the first batch of 2.5 lakh such persons was presently undergoing training. The institutions would also ensure employment for 60 to 70 per cent such youths,” added the joint secretary. Lauding the efforts of local BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, he said Sidhu had drawn out a road map to provide jobs to the youth from poor and marginal families.

Sidhu said he would ensure that at least one person from each BPL family got comprehensive training and job for augmenting family income. 



This city road will leave you breathless
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 25
Lack of cleanliness drives has led to deposition of thick layer of dust on both sides of the Gobindgarh Fort road here. Commuters, especially tourists, have a hard time as the dust is settled up to six inches above the road level. Every passing vehicle raises a big cloud of dust while smaller vehicles get stuck.

Avinash Jolly, councillor of Ward 53, alleges that successive MC houses had neglected the area, resulting in the present condition of the road. In the absence of cleanliness drives, it had become very dusty. “The dust brings down visibility,” he added.

The road needs to be cleaned before its re-carpeting, says Jolly. “An estimate of Rs 20 lakh is ready for relaying of the stretch but prior to this I have asked the house to launch a cleanliness drive,” he added. The issue was raised in the first general body meeting of the MC on December 20.

Maintaining the main roads is the prerequisite if the corporation is committed to developing the city as a tourist hub as part of its “Go Green, Go Clean” drive. Such drives are often limited to posh localities, which are already spruced up, says Ranjit Malik, a medical practitioner and resident of Railway Colony.



Beefy brothers turn heads at ‘Mr India’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 25
In the age of high protein, muscle-building combo products, here is a high-powered combo of a different type. Twin brothers, Vivek and Vishal Sharma, not only have a striking resemblance but they also share the same physique-type as well.

Little wonder when the two ace body builders from Amritsar walked onto the stage to receive their “Mr India” prizes in two different categories at the third inter-zonal national body building championship in Ujjain last week, the confused judges thought that the same person was collecting the trophy twice.

“While I was adjudged Mr India in the below 65 category, Vishal was the winner of the below 70 group. When Vishal went to receive his prize, the judges called the organisers, thinking that he was up to some mischief. It was only after they saw two of us together that their doubts were cleared,” says Vivek.

“Though similar-looking twins may be a commonplace occurrence, both of us are proud of the fact that we have so much in common, even if it puts us in a tight spot at times,” adds Vishal.

Both brothers work as coaches in local gymnasiums - Vivek is with Shappe Shoppe and Vishal can be caught at Power Zone.

“We always tell aspiring body builders to stick to a tight diet and exercise schedule. Essentially, the body builder should take six meals a day. While the first three should be a combination of carbohydrates and vitamins, post-lunch, one should take only proteins,” says Vivek.

“Eggs, fish and boiled chicken should be the favourites of a body-builder. As for exercise, two hours daily should be enough,” he adds.

“It was Jagdish Kumar, an international body builder who inspired us to take body building seriously. He was our neighbour and used to give us valuable tips on how to do it in a professional way,” says Vivek.

About their future plans, the twins feel it would be difficult to make it big unless the government helps them participate in an international championship.

“The fact that we participated in the same championship together this time was because it makes it more affordable. Like other sports, we too need encouragement and support from the government,” he says.

R.K.Sharma, district president of the Amateur Body Building Association, said the sport had picked up in a big way in Amritsar in recent years. “Look at the gymnasiums; they are all packed with youngsters, busy toning up their bodies. Staying healthy is a wonderful feeling,” he says.



Trigger-happy tehsildar arrested
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, December 25
The Baba Bakala tehsildar has been arrested by the police for allegedly possessing a .32-bore revolver and not producing any licence or requisite documents for the weapon.

The accused was booked on the statement of Harjinder Singh, a resident of Nangli village, who alleged that tehsildar K.K. Verma had threatened to kill him when the complainant had gone to the tehsildar’s office in connection with a land registry.

According to the information, Harjinder Singh, along with Kanwardeep Singh and Joginder Singh of Jalal Usma village, had gone to the tehsildar’s office for a land registry. The tehsildar came to his office at around 4 pm and started attending persons who came after Harjinder.

The complainant said he approached the tehsildar in this regard and urged him to do registry work. At this tehsildar Verma got angry, took out his revolver and threatened to kill the complainant.



PSEB proposes two months’ advance bill, 
industry frowns

Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, December 25
The small and medium industry in the state are up in arms against the cash-strapped Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) which has proposed to seek two months’ bill as an advance to overcome the financial crisis.

The textile manufacturers’ association, in a representation to the Punjab State Electricity and Regulatory Commission, has sought its intervention to direct the board to withdraw its proposal of advance payment of bills as it would add to the woes of industry reeling under the burden of enhanced power tariffs and other taxes.

The honorary general secretary of the body HS Makhni said although the state government have taken a principle stand and announced that the burden of enhanced tariff would not be passed on to the urban consumer, the factory units and other consumers were being charged extra and no refund had been adjusted in the subsequent bills. He added that the small scale units were already in dire straits, as they were finding it difficult to pay the regular bills. In such a scenario, the new PSEB move seems absurd, he added.

The industry feels that the move would create financial instability, said Makhni.



School Buzz
Grooming lessons for Spring Dale students
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 25
In order to make children aware of the importance of physical fitness, self-discipline, self-confidence and team spirit, a two-day personality development camp for class IV students was held at Spring Dale Senior School. The children underwent a series of activities, namely Yoga and PT exercises, march past, camp fire (dance and music), relay race, three-legged race, spoon and lemon race and tug of war. On the concluding day the parents participated in activities like spoon and lemon race, musical chairs and three-legged race.

A presentation on first-aid and traffic signals was given by Hema Ram while Rajiv Arora, principal MKD DAV Public School, Attari, gave away the prizes to the winners.

Cultural show

District police chief Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, while presiding over the annual function of Ceder Spring and Red Roses High School, said education needed to be vocationalised to take the country forward to meet global challenges.

Singh said although the country had made tremendous progress in the field of quality and vocational education, lack of jobs for the educated unemployed youth was a cause of concern for the families and society. He said we must evolve a new system of education which could blend with professional career-oriented courses to portray our youth to get suitable and gainful employment and participate in the country’s economy.

Earlier the SSP gave away prizes to the toppers of both the schools and witnessed a cultural show. Secretary of the Ceder Spring and Red Roses High School, Ratna, presented the annual report of the schools.

Award function

The annual award function was held at Saint Joseph Convent School, Khasa, here. Manmohan Singh Dhillon, information officer, Guru Nanak Dev University, was the chief guest on the occasion. The students of the school presented a cultural programme, besides performing giddha, bhangra and dances of Kashmir, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Assam.

Annual day

The students of St Patrick’s Convent School, Nai Abadi, Amritsar, were awarded for excellence in the field of sports, art, culture, etc. by local MLA Om Parkash Soni during the annual function of the school held here recently.



Hot dogs steal the show
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 25
A bright Sunday after a prolonged foggy spell made a perfect setting for a dog’s day out on December 23. As the well-bred pooches from far and wide basked in the limelight, their owners too enjoyed every bit of their moment of glory. The dog show organised by the Amritsar Kennel Club had 263 entries from different parts of the countries. Two parallel events were organised to give away four “Best in Show” titles each.

Thirteen-month-old Saint Bernard, “River”, was quite a head-turner at the show. Its owner Kulbeer Singh of Kauri village (Ludhiana) said he had imported the American breed for Rs 4.5 lakh. “It is a prized possession for us. We are selling off its puppies for Rs 18,000 each,” he said.

Another star-attraction was a Great Dane dog, which was quite a terror for passers-by because of its looks and height. Sahil Grover of Delhi, its owner, said interestingly the dog has a very chilled out temperament. That is why the breed is called “Gentle Giants.” “But the dog can be a bit of a problem at times. It can push anyone to the ground even if it does not feel angry enough to bite,” he smiled.

Kerry Blue Terrier owned by Nagraj Shetty, which was declared the best in show, stood 25 inches tall. The breed was traditionally used for retrieving the kill from rivers while hunting as it has a beautiful water-resistant coat. However, unlike its cousins like the Bull Terrier, Kerry Blues are not hard to keep. At number two (in the second event) was Shitzu, an ornamental dog brought from Chennai by Vetri Torad Semi. The dog is 14-inches tall, has a long coat and looks picture perfect in the living room.

Yogesh Toteja, secretary of the Amritsar Kennel Club, said the dog show was an annual feature at Amritsar since 1993. “This time, we had entries from even Chennai and Bangalore, which not only toughened the competition but also made the events more exciting,” he said.Passion for dogs is picking up in Amritsar and even commercial breeding is not looked down upon.

There are many imported dogs in the city and awareness level about the maintenance of dogs and about good breeds have gone up in recent years. Even the dog show has come a long way in the last decade with the quality of entries having improved drastically, he said.

Every year, all the 48 kennel clubs in the country organise dog shows and the participating dogs are given points for each event and the winner is given the “Dog of the Year” title.



Slipping on stardust
Kohlapure’s play takes a dig at commercialisation
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 25
Some stardust is enough to enliven the placid life of a commoner who dreams of living life king size. Taking a dig on rapid commercialisation in Punjab, students of Padmini Kohlapure’s acting school staged the play “Heroin Ka Sabun” on December 23.

The play is story of a family which is looked down upon by the affluent of the area. Their life takes a dramatic turn after they stumble on the soap belonging to a film star, symbolising status in society.

Director Nikhil Raj says, “Youth don’t want to have the traditional makki di roti but prefer pizza. They would relish it if there was a brand name attached to it. We seem to have got stuck somewhere in the middle, losing our traditional lifestyle to mindless westernisation.”

Talking about the idea behind launching the acting school, Kohlapure said, “The film industry today is very competitive and aspirants need to pick up acting skills to give the perfect first shot. I also held workshops in London and Delhi before holding them here,” she added. Kohlapure said she would soon be seen in “Daughter - Ek Pyara Sa Ehsaas” which would be her comeback film.

The play is written and directed by Nikhil Raj and has Kohlapure and Avinder Bhatti in special appearances. It has been produced by Daljit Singh Arora.



Cops get yoga tips

Amritsar, December 25
The Amritsar (rural) police organised a yoga camp for the cops at its Police Lines situated in the Daburji area here to keep them fit in their busy routine. District police chief Iqbal Singh said a medical check-up camp was also organised on the occasion in which about 300 policemen, including women constables, were examined by Dr Raju Chauhan and other medical experts. Iqbal Singh said the policemen had the tough schedule of their duties in which they usually did not find time for their health. Therefore, the department decided to take the help of the Pitanjai Yoga shivir for organising the yoga camp so that the cops could stay fit and tension-free during their duty hours. He said that such camps would be made a regular feature in the time to come. — OC



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