NRI Sammelan
Organisers expect good response, NRIs big announcements
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 3
Hundreds of NRIs who are here to spend their winter break in their native homes are having their fingers crossed for the forthcoming NRI sammelan being organised by the state government at Bath Castle on the Jalandhar-Phagwara highway on January 6.

Even as a meeting of the select 200 NRIs, who can be prospective investors, is slated to be held a day before in Chandigarh, the meeting at Jalandhar assumes its significance as over 2,500 NRIs are expected to take part in it.

Since the city is also a hub of the NRIs and it is for the first time that the government is holding an event of the kind at its own level here, the organisers are expecting a very good response. Commissioner, Jalandhar division, S.R. Ladhar, has asked NRIs to apply for advance registration for participating in the meeting.

The NRIs are not only expecting some big announcements in their favour from the government side for encouraging investments from them, but also have prepared a list of their demands, which they say they would present before the politicians and conveners of the meeting that day. An NRI, Pritam Singh Narangpuri, said he and his NRI friends wanted that the government should make some concrete promises for encouraging investment in projects in the state. “We are expecting that the government assures some incentives or exemptions in export or allotment of an industrial land for initiating a project,” he said, adding that an earlier promise made on starting a single-window system for NRI investors be given a practical shape.

“The government needs to reimpose faith in the investors. The NRIs have so far not responded to any of its earlier schemes, including a 50-50 matching grant scheme that was started nearly two years back.

“They want that a nodal officer be solely appointed for the purpose, who looks into the investment plan, gives them proper guidance and helps in pushing the paper work on the project fast. The NRIs are not used to red-tapism as is prevalent in India and they will not invest till the system gets streamlined properly,” he added.

Even as the representatives of the NRI Sabha, an NGO, nurture a grudge against the government that they have not been involved in organising the event at the initial stages, they too have started preparing their own list of demand on behalf of the other members. President of the NRI Sabha and an NRI Resham Singh Hayre said the members wanted that their main problem of proper functioning of the fast-track courts for land disputes be solved at the first place. “I was at the Amritsar airport today and met a couple of NRIs who faced varied problems there. I even met the directors of the immigration and custom clearance departments and apprised themselves of these problems while suggesting some ways out for the purpose. I will bring forth these points before the politicians and bureaucrats at the forthcoming sammelan,” he added.

Meanwhile, a former media officer of the sabha, Satnam Singh Chana, said he had culled a data related to investments made in the state by the NRIs recently. “I have studied the investment plans of NRIs in 28 villages of Doaba in the past five years and found that an average amount to the tune of Rs 41 lakh had been spent by the NRIs in these villages in the past five years on projects related to development of education and health. There has been a drastic downfall in investment by NRIs on religious places, unlike a trend earlier,” he has noted.



Road of inconvenience
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 3
One walks on the muddy road and the vision gets clouded by the huge amount of dust released by a passing vehicle which was glimmering like some superstar’s limousine when it entered the road, but now is all muddy and enveloped in a fine layer of dirt that the road has graciously bestowed upon it. With the mud and the obstacles - set in an almost zig-zag manner - the road looks nothing short of a stretch in a racing championship.

But the irony of the matter is that the road is no racing track but an extension of Cool Road which connects Jyoti Nagar to Urban Estate-II, and the obstacles, which are actually electric poles, are not set up for racers but regular people driving (or walking) their way around in the city.

With about 24 electric poles, including transformers, comfortably standing in the roughly 1,200-foot-long stretch, it serves as a huge problem for the commuters who literally have to drive through the maze of poles (some straight, some tilted) on the road, which is used quite frequently due to its convenient location.

That is not all; the road abounds with trees and open manholes. Running parallel to a rail track, the road has a sewer line running underneath it and the open manholes pose a serious threat to the people who may happen to take the road on a winter night.

Onkar Singh, a resident of the area, says, “The poles and mud cause great inconvenience to the commuters. It is dangerous, especially in the winters when the weather is foggy, because it can lead to accidents.”

Construction on the road had begun - the mud and gravel being a proof of that. “The electric poles had to be removed so construction of the road had to be stopped midway,” says superintending engineer Gurmeet Singh with the bridges and roads department of the municipal corporation.

On being asked what is being done about making the road safe for commuters, Gurmeet Singh says, “We have written to the electricity board. They will send us an estimate of the cost of removing the poles. Only after the poles are removed can we start constructing the road.”

The road would be completed by April at the most, he adds.

However, when asked K.P.S. Sekhon, executive engineer of the electricity board, says, “There are so many pillars and poles in the city. We can remove them only when the municipal corporation writes to us about it. Nobody has made a written request to us about the road as yet.”



Parkash Utsav
Nagar kirtan taken out

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 3
Chanting hymns, jathas from various gurdwaras, schools, colleges and religious bodies held nagar kirtan here this afternoon to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.

The jathas were led by the Panj Pyaras and a decorated “palki” carrying a bir of Guru Granth Sahib as it started from Gurdwara Dewan Asthan in Central Town. The procession passed through various markets and important intersections, including Phagwara Gate, and taking a detour from Patel Chowk it returned to the starting point via Company Bagh and Milap Chowk.

Children and professional artistes played “gatka”.

The devotees organised stalls of tea, coffee, sweets, dry fruits and other eatables on the roadside to welcome the nagar kirtan. Various politicians and leaders from the city participated in the procession.



Toor elected bar council member
Dharmendra Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 3
A former chairman of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council, Navtej Singh Toor, got elected as a bar council member for the third consecutive time. He had already got elected in the last two elections held in 1997 and 2002.

Toor is the only advocate from Jalandhar who has been elected as bar council member this time. As many as three other city-based advocates - district bar association (DBA) president Narinder Singh, former DBA vice-president Hardev Singh Bharaj and D.R. Mahi - also tried their luck but none of them could be elected as bar council member.

Having started practice in Jalandhar several decades back, one of the senior advocates Toor remained the chairman of the bar council for a year in 2006-07 besides becoming its member for a decade from 1997.

He was also elected as the president of the Jalandhar District Bar Association (DBA) in 1989. He also remained junior vice-president and secretary of the DBA in 1975 and 1980, respectively.

Toor had made promises to advocates during the campaign that if elected he would try to provide stipends for three years to young lawyers and to those who had left practice due to old age or attained the age of 70. The issue of providing loan to lawyers for their medical and other welfare cases from the lawyers welfare fund was also one of his poll planks.

Talking to The Tribune, Toor said he would do his level best to fulfil the promises.

The counting of votes concluded a few days ago in Chandigarh after voting on December 7 in Chandigarh and December 8 in Punjab and Haryana for the elections of 25 members of the bar council.

One of the contestants, advocate D.R. Mahi died of cardiac arrest after voting and before the start of counting of votes.



Young World
Students get personality tips
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 3
A personality development programme was conducted by the placement cell of the PCM SD College for Women in collaboration with Break-Loose, a non-profit organisation of Panchkula.

The event, which started with psychological tests, witnessed participation of more than 100 students. Various interactive exercises were conducted for the participants to build their confidence and develop time management and team spirit in them.

Lecture on plant tissue culture

Lovely Professional University organised a guest lecture on “Plant tissue culture and its prospects in future” for the postgraduate students of biotechnology, botany, zoology and physiotherapy.

Senior lecturer Dr Neetu Sood from the department of biotechnology, Guru Nanak Dev University, apprised the students of the advantages of tissue culture. She said cloning could help in producing flowers and fruits with desirable traits and multiple plants in the absence of seeds. Besides, it could help to regenerate whole plants from the plant cells which were genetically modified for better resistance and production.

Cultural show

To commemorate 150 years of the freedom struggle, St Soldier College, Khambran, organised a cultural show in which students highlighted important events from the history and recalled sacrifices made by the revolutionaries. The skits were based on social problems like rising population, illiteracy and female foeticide.

Workshop concludes

A week-long workshop on communication skills for the final-year students of undergraduate colleges concluded at ICFAI National College.

The workshop was conducted by Neeraj Aggarwal from a Hyderabad-based institute, and Riti Bedi, a trainer of the host institute. The resource persons dealt with the problems such as pronunciation, phonetics and body language.



Surakhpur remembers its brave son
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, January 3
Tributes were paid to Lance Naik, Paramjeet Singh, sena medal, on his sixth death anniversary. A function was held in his memory at war memorial in his native village Surakhpur today.

Paramjeet Singh had laid down his life during operation ‘Parakram’ in Rajasthan on the Indo-Pak border on January 1, 2002 and his corpse was brought to the village on January 3 last year.

Commander of 38 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier A.S. Jassar, DC J.M. Balamurugan, SSP Rakesh Agarwal and Colonel S.B. Singh paid homage to the martyr and laid wreaths at the martyr’s statue.

Thanking the Army and civil officials for paying homage, the martyr’s father Mohinder Singh spoke about his son’s life.

Speaking on the occasion, DC Balamurugan said the floor of the war memorial would be cemented and its roof would also be built over the martyr’s statue. At the same time, he urged the villagers to make the village free of drugs and educate their children.



Bank of India’s branch opened
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, January 3
A branch of the Bank of India was inaugurated by additional deputy commissioner (development) Kanwar Sher Singh Dhanju in the Jaskirat Complex on the Jalandhar road here recently.

Punjab zonal manager of the bank V.K. Aggarwal said the branch would also provide the ATM and internet banking facilities. This was the 85th branch of the bank in the state, said Aggarwal. Another branch would be set up in Mansa soon.

The ADC deposited Rs 25 lakh belonging to the district administration in the new branch. Former deputy zonal manager of the bank N.N. Joshi and director of the State Bank of Patiala Ashwani Gupta were also present on the occasion.



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