Two roads, one story: Chaos
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 15
Traffic police is unable to fulfil its promise of making busy city roads like the stretch of Ajnala Road near the district courts complex and outside BBK DAV College free of bottlenecks.

The road outside the BBK DAV College is plagued with traffic chaos due to rows of rickshaw pullers lining up outside it for students asking for a ride back home. Ensuring that rickshaws here are parked in a straight line by the traffic police has not helped much as traffic jams are still a regular feature on the Lawrence Road.

DSP (traffic) Sat Pal said the traffic police has drawn up a detailed plan for smooth movement of traffic here. However, the spot outside the college was surely a problem area. He said the traffic police was ready to work out a solution with the college authorities. On its part, the traffic police can only focus on regulating the traffic inflow and every effort is being made in this regard,” he added.

Shopkeepers in the area suggest that the college should use its back gate during peak hours to make sure that commuters taking the main road are not put to unnecessary inconvenience. “The proposal to make the road one way also fizzled out because students of the college were against it.

The rickshaws can be parked at a relatively open space and the students should be asked to walk some distance,” said one of the shopkeepers. Principal Neelam Kamra, however, declined to comment saying she was busy in meetings.

Elaborate plans, however, are afoot to control traffic situation, says the SSP.

According to the SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, the stretch of Ajnala Road outside the district courts complex is another area yet to be freed of traffic congestion, thanks to the parking right on the main road. The ongoing work on reduction of the area of the Dr Saifuddin Kitchlu Chowk here has added to the problem. It is a tough job to go past the crossing, which leads to the Rajasansi International Airport and Ranjit Avenue, during peak hours,”  he added.

“As part of the traffic plans unveiled recently, roundabouts in the city would either be removed or reduced in size. Industrialists are also being approached to provide financial help to set up of traffic signals instead,” added the SSP.

“Rickshaw and auto-rickshaw stands would be earmarked at the following places, bus Stand, railway station, Malka Boot, Airport, Chheharta, Maqboolpura, SW Gate, Batala road, GNDU, Medical College and Chattiwind Chowk,” he added.

“The MC has also been holding meetings with the Resident Welfare Associations to spread awareness about the benefits of using the parking lots,” he said.



Media can help trace missing kids: NHRC
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 15
The media can play a vital role in helping thousands of hapless families whose children are listed as untraced.

Stating this in a press release, deputy commissioner K.S. Pannu said keeping in view the current scenario of missing children, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has made some recommendations and suggestions for the press. He said the commission had suggested the media to take up stories of missing children with regular follow-ups just like stories of murder, human trafficking, etc. And when the missing children were traced or returned home it should be treated as “good news” story. This would also encourage the police and the local authorities to step up their actions, he added.

The DC said, “The suggestions also include the idea of publishing a large picture story on the enormity of the continuing malaise of missing children coinciding with Human Rights Day, Children's Day, etc.” Besides, newspapers can make a separate section on missing children in their classifieds. Even notices and advertisements of missing children can be given prominence in both print and electronic media. Pannu said the media could portray the cases of missing children just like investigative stories and tell public how missing children end up in brothels or factories. He said media organisations and media unions could collaborate with agencies like NHRC and other NGOs working for children’s rights and hold seminars on the subject.



GMC staffer alleges harassment by DRME
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 15
Darshan Lal, a lab attendant, recently transferred to Government Medical College, Patiala, from the Government Medical College here, has alleged that he was being harassed by the director, research and medical education (DRME), Dr J.S. Dalal. He has written to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as the Chief Minister demanding withdrawal of the decision to transfer him to Patiala.

In a communiqué to the Prime Minister, the Home Department and the Chief Minister, he has alleged that he was transferred by Dr Dalal from Government Medical College, Amritsar, to Government Medical College, Patiala, without any compliant as he supported the opposite faction in the medical college. Dr Dalal said Lal was transferred on disciplinary grounds as he received a number of complaints against him of creating indiscipline in the college.

Darshan said he had ailing aged parents with no one to look after them.

He said a divorce case was pending in the Red Cross Amritsar where he had to be present every Tuesday.

He urged the authorities concerned to transfer him back to Amritsar medical college to save him from further harassment.

He alleged he was being threatened by Dr Dalal with dire consequences.

Dr Dalal said he did not deal with any class IV employee directly and it was only after receiving many complaints of indiscipline and vitiating the atmosphere of the college that he had been shifted.



This school needs more than assurances
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, January 15
Nishkam Sewa Public School, a unique school for rag-pickers is waiting for the grants promised by political bigwigs in the holy city.

A brainchild of Sardara Singh, a retired FCI employee, the school could have set another example for the city institutions - after Citizens’ Forum Vidhya Mandir in Maqboolpura, infamous as the locality of widows due to rampant drug menace - if the promised financial helps would have reached the school.

But this has not demoralised Sardara Singh, who has dedicated his post-retirement life to the cause of educating children of slum dwellers near railway lines. Interestingly, the school exists just outside the civil surgeons’ office.

“Promises not being fulfilled by political leaders has not disheartened me at all, but I am striving hard to meet my resolve of getting this neglected section of society uplifted through education so that they may live their life holding their heads high” says Sardara.

He said the monetary helps from various NGOs and eminent citizens of the city provided him enough “fuel” to fight more vigorously to run the institution.

Enthused about his education in the school, Bhushan, a class VI student of the school, while talking to Amritsar Plus, said he wanted to become a scientist not knowing that it would take a lot of attention of the people concerned of society who were still in deep slumber about their responsibilities towards them.

Impressed with his continuous efforts and contribution to society, the Rotary Club was likely to recommend his name for the individual award, claimed Sardara Singh, adding that it would enable him to continue with his mission as he may get some financial rewards which he would put in for the education of the children.

There was a time when the parents of the rag-pickers told him not to waste his and their children’s time, but now they are cooperating with him to provide education to their wards. Now they are even worried about their children’'s performance in their classes.



Girls help zoom sales
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, January 15
Nearing the closure of financial year, sales in most sectors have shown an upward trend. Zooming sales in jewellery, garments and home utility items are not merely the outcome of dynamic sales strategies of corporate concerns but the fact that well-turned-out girls are taking over the “sales segment” of the retail outlets in a big way.

Shedding parental restrictions of yore, girls of the city have joined retail stores in large numbers and practically taken away a huge chunk of the sales job pie from their male counterparts.

“It creates an impact if the salesperson is well groomed and of a favourable disposition. And girls have a fair amount of sense in that section,” says Ebony assistant business manager Sanjay Rehlan. Ebony employs female staff for its cosmetic and costume jewellery section, besides for the women and children’ garments unit.

However Sanjay opines that city girls, no doubt, make better salespersons but keeping late hours was a big drawback. Also, lack of good communication skills, especially using professional language, behaviour, convincing power, grooming and confidence levels needs to be brushed up to a large measure. He, however, admits that for sales of personalised and private items, girls are best suited and irreplaceable. Moreover, in this segment, the customers being women feel more comfortable with one of their own gender.

The business acumen of Tanishq co-owner Rainy Madaan has put the jewellery outlet on an all time high in Punjab. Instrumental to her sales are a set of smiling sales girls. “Eighty per cent of my staff are female and I enjoy showing them the nitty-gritty of customer management,” she says. Tanishq showroom in charge Reema Kapoor says, “Our main thrust is only to persuade and not to pressurise, besides giving the client a degree of comfort.”Vishal Mega Mart, too, has a number of female staff for its garment section. However, the sales girls were hardly seen to have joined the recent strike by their male counterparts for a pay hike. “The fact that women are more adjusting, less aggressive and doubtlessly more conscientious about their work definitely gives them an edge over male employees,” says the store’s in charge.



Food Feast
Ram Bagh may get McDonald’s, Pizza Hut
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 15
The municipal corporation has finally woken up to the plight of its cafeteria situated in Ram Bagh. Set up as part of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama, it has been lying locked for over two years. Finally, the decision has been made to rent out the “prime location” to reputed companies like McDonald’s or Pizza Hut to develop the cafeteria into an eating joint on a large scale.

The proposal, which was mooted by the MC office, has been passed by the house of councillors at its meeting held in November last. Expressions of interest are likely to be invited this week.

Talking to The Tribune, municipal commissioner D.P.S. Kharbanda said the cafeteria was spread over 200 square feet and has an open backyard and provides the perfect setting for an eating joint.

“Located in the heart of the city, the cafeteria can be turned into a hub for tourists coming to the panorama. Local visitors to Ram Bagh can also grab a bite once the place is well-developed. Since it would all depend on the ambience of the eating joint, it has been decided to rope in some big brand name,” he said.

The proposal also points out that the panorama has been running into losses and one way of income generation could be revival of the cafeteria by handing over the covered area, along with the open space, to some private party, he said.

The cafeteria has two entrances and one of them opens in the main corridor of the panorama. It has been lying locked ever since the panorama was inaugurated by union tourism minister Ambika Soni. The panorama was expected to become a centre of attraction for foreign tourists.

Sandeep Singh, AE (civil), in charge of the panorama, said letters had also been sent to schools in the city to bring students for a visit to the panorama. Due to examinations being conducted in most schools and fall in the number of tourists due to winters, the number of daily visitors at the panorama has taken a nosedive.

Unlike the Kurukshetra panorama, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama does not have a science centre. The scene of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s darbar here is a replica of a rare picture adorning the walls of Lahore Fort. Similarly, the scenes of the famous battles of the Maharaja are based on historical portraits and facts accessed from reliable primary sources. Special care has also been taken to depict soldiers of the Maharaja’s army and their weaponry here.



4,042 get free legal aid
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 15
Presiding over the quarterly Lok Adalat, district and sessions judge-cum-chairman of district legal services authority SP Bangarh said as many as 4,042 persons were provided free legal services in the district.

He said the permanent Lok Adalats disposed of 2,431 cases and more than Rs 9.7 crore were awarded as compensation. He further said around 45,148 cases were disposed of in quarterly Lok Adalats and a sum of more than Rs 80 crore was given as relief.

As many as six benches were constituted to settle civil, criminal, matrimonial, rent and other cases. Social workers, professors of GNDU, doctors and advocates of Amritsar were inducted as members to assist the benches. A total of 146 cases were taken up, out of which 74 were disposed of through mutual compromise and a sum of Rs 28 lakhs was awarded as compensation.

Bangarh said as per section 12 of the legal services authorities act, free legal aid was provided to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women, children, mentally and physically challenged, industrial workers, persons in custody, irrespective of their income. He said the main motive of Lok Adalats was to get the disputes settled by way of compromise. “If disputes are settled through these adalats, the time, money and energy of people as well as courts could be saved,” he added. 



Campus Buzz
Refresher course in commerce ends
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 15
“India is a dynamic country but we are marching towards commercialisation where there is no dharma and duty towards society. The net result of our development is dehumanisation and exploitation.”

These views were expressed by Dr S.P. Singh, professor of management from Chandigarh, while delivering his valedictory remarks at the three-week refresher course in commerce and management organised by Guru Nanak Dev University.

Dr S.P. Singh lamented that in the world of science and research, the true purpose of seeking truth has lost. In fact, the man is lost in the information jungle, consumerism and fetishism. In search of peace, the world has been caught in the war of nuclear supremacy.

Earlier, Dr B.S. Hundal, course coordinator, welcomed Dr S.P. Singh. Dr H.S. Bhatia, director, Academic Staff College, said more than 21 teachers from various universities and colleges participated in the course. He said about 25 resource persons delivered lectures to the participants and interacted with them during the course.

Dr A.S. Sidhu, head, department of commerce and business management, presented vote of thanks.

Korfball championship

The all-India inter-university korfball championship will be hosted by Guru Nanak Dev University from January 18 to 21 at its sports complex. Earlier it was scheduled for January 24 to 27.

Prof Kanwaljit Singh, director (sports) of the university, said the championship had been advanced due to clash of dates with the all-India inter-university women’s basketball championship as both games have common players. Similarly, the inter-college softball (men and women) championship of the university would be held from January 21 to 23 on the university campus grounds.

In the men section, four teams of Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar, DAV, Jalandhar, Khalsa College, Amritsar and DAV College, Amritsar, would participate. In women’s A-division softball tournament, three teams of KMV, Jalandhar, BBK DAV, Amritsar and HMV, Jalandhar, would take part.

In the B-division, BN Khalsa College, Dhariwal, SDSPM College for Women, Rayya, and Hindu Kanya College, Dhariwal, would participate.



Canadian Sikhs present broach to Vedanti
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 15
On behalf of the Sikh diaspora in Canada, the Shiromani Akali Dal, Canada, presented a broach inscribed with Khanda Sahib, the symbol of Sikhs, to Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of Akal Takht, here on Tuesday.

The idea behind presenting the broach, says SAD Canada president Kehar Singh Gill, is that a majority of heads of other religions wear religious symbols and, therefore, Jathedar of Akal Takht should also have such a symbol as a testimony to the saga of the rich religious culture of the Sikhs. So the residents of Canada thought of presenting the religious Khanda Sahib to the jathedar. The diamond-studded Khanda Sahib was presented to Vedanti at the secretariat here by Gill and party general secretary and Inderpal Singh Atwal. This is perhaps for the first time that such a broach has been designed and presented to the jathedar.

The broach consists of over 150 small diamonds with over 25 diamonds and gold used in Khanda Sahib itself. However, when asked about the cost of the broach, Gill said it was priceless as it was the gratitude, feelings and respect of the Sikh sangat in Canada for the supreme seat of Sikhism and its jathedar. He claimed that the broach was one of its kind as the goldsmith prepared it with his own hands and no dye was used to make it.

Meanwhile, Gill and Atwal were honoured by Jathedar Vedanti at Akal Takht with a siropa at its secretariat. They had come to participate in the NRI sammelan held at Jalandhar and Chandigarh.



Spring Dale wins space settlement design competition
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 15
A team of 12 students and two teachers of Spring Dale have made the city proud by winning the fourth annual Asian Regional Space Settlement Design competition held at Gurgaon from January 9 to 13. Disclosing this, Manveen Sandhu, principal of the school, said the team was awarded a trophy depicting Chandrayaan-I, India’s first mission to moon. The mission aims at harnessing science payloads, lunar craft and the launch vehicle with suitable ground support systems, she added.

She said there were 12 teams, which participated in the finals. The teams were divided into four companies. Each company comprised three teams. Spring Dale Senior School had teamed up as a corporate company, Rock Donnella, with two more schools of Asia namely APJ School and Lahore Grammar School.

She said the students were asked by the faculty members of NASA, Houstan, USA, to propose a design, development, construction and operations planning of a space settlement “Atlas” that would move a small asteroid from an earth-crossing orbit to an orbit around the earth-moon L4 liberation point. Now these students were through to submit their next proposal for the International Space Settlement Design competition, which would be conducted at Houstan, USA, in July, she added.

She said the team comprised Paras Mahendroo, Siddharth Mehra, Abhinav Thukral, Alisha Pathak, Jaideep Singh, Shubham Garg, Ranjodh Singh, Gursanam S. Arora, Akhil Bajaj, Shikha Arora, Nishant Rawlley and Rakshak Khanna, all students, Sukhraj Sandhu and Guneet Arora, both team advisers.



Resolve for fitness

Taking regular exercise and wearing suits more often are Hollywood star Tom Hanks’ two resolutions for 2008. The Oscar winner has revealed that he even asked his wife and children to set their goals for the year during a family meeting. 

He says the main purpose of the meeting was to ensure that each member of the family would help others in fulfilling their resolutions. “We sat down with the family and everyone had five realistic goals to achieve over the year, that we can help each other out with,” he said. “My number one was to wear suits more often. Another was to exercise 300 days of the year. For an hour a day,” he added. — ANI 



An artiste, philanthropist...
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 15
Arvinder Bhatti, an artiste and a philanthropist, has carved a niche for himself in society by holding blood donation, eye and medical check-up camps and other social, religious and cultural functions.

Bhatti has been associated with renowned actor Padmini Kolhapure’s theatre workshop for the past five years and has provided training to young girls and boys of the holy city, besides acting with her in a play “Heroin Ka Sabun”, staged at a college here recently.

Cousin of eminent actor and director Jaspal Bhatti of Ulta Pulta and Mahaul Theek Hai fame, Arvinder has acted in more than 10 films, including Punjabi movies “Mahaul Theek Hai”, “Jija Ji” and “Viah Te Karke Rahanga”, besides working in about 10 video albums and the same number of TV shows. He has also read Punjabi news on Radio Canada (live) for about two years.

Besides this, Arvinder has also compered more than 300 shows ,including star nights, singer nights, fashion shows, dance shows and other cultural programmes. He has also been contributing articles in a vernacular newspaper since 1990 which included film reviews, cassette reviews, articles on social problems and current events.

Married to fashion designer Ruby, 45-year-old Arvinder has got a number of awards in various fields which he has been associated with for the past more than 20 years.



Oracle to open outlets in region
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 15
The Singla group will soon be opening six to 10 exclusive retail outlets of the “Oracle” company in North India and is planning to tie up with multinational companies.

Stating this to mediapersons here today, Sanjeev Singla, managing director of the company, said in the first phase they would concentrate on the northern region of the country and open its showrooms in Chandigarh, Amritsar 
and Ludhiana.

He said the strength of the 13-year-old brand lied in its minute detailing, innovative designs, colours of the seasons and finest fabrics. He said 
they were following a step-by-step approach to increase the market share and was a serious contender in this segment.



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