MC survey on traffic situation
3 parking lots to ease congestion 
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 12
To ease traffic congestion in the city, the local municipal corporation has conducted a survey of the traffic situation in the city and identified three sites for building multi-level parkings.

The projects would be implemented under the built-operate-transfer (BOT) system.


The multi-storeyed parking lots would be located near the telephone exchange, in Kairon Market and near Fish Market.

Less than a kilometre from the corporation office, the site near the telephone exchange is located in the busy market that leads to the cloth market.

A chunk of 1,500 sq m has been identified for the parking, which has road frontages on all sides, says a report submitted by the superintending engineer, municipal corporation.

Given the high market prices in the area, the corporation expects that it would be an attractive spot for any private developer. Since the site is already full of vehicles throughout the day, a parking lot developed there is sure to be successful.

The report claims that the second site is even more attractive in terms of its commercial potential. The parking lot would be spread over 2,000 sq m and it too has road frontages on all four sides. The area is also being presently used for parking and remains occupied throughout the day.

Municipal commissioner D.P.S. Kharbanda said the third parking would come up near Fish Market, which is another congested area of the city.

Present scenario

The maximum accumulation of vehicles at off-street locations include Hussainpura parking lot, railway station, bus terminal, market complex between Mahan Singh Chowk and Rambagh Chowk, Hall Bazar, Town Hall complex, Dharam Singh Market area, Lawrence Road and opposite bus stand exit.

The demand for car parking is high in Hall Bazar and the stretch from Town Hall to the Golden Temple. Accumulation of two-wheelers is high at the railway station, bus stand and Town Hall complex.

High on-street parking is a major problem on Court Road, near Queens Road chowk, Jallianwala Bagh, Golden Temple gate, Ghee Mandi road and GT Road (Near Bhandari Bridge).

Vehicles on road

All types of vehicles in the city, except rickshaws, have shown considerable increase during the period from 1995-96 to 2000-01. There has been considerable growth in the number of two-wheelers and three-wheelers in the city since 1995. Increasing vehicular traffic is a concern for transportation-related issues.

The road network of Amritsar city is radial-cum-circumferential covering an area of 139 sq km. The total road length is about 525 km. The GT Road passes through the centre of the city.



Inside Out
If you feel strongly about Sikhs’ holiest shrine, tell this man
Vibhor Mohan/Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 12
He is here to inspire devotees visiting the Golden Temple to translate their memorable experiences into an art form. David Richardson, a full-time community artist from the UK, is in the holy city for a year to capture the spiritual life within the Harmandar Sahib complex. His aim is to encourage pilgrims to record their experiences in the form of visuals and literature to create a contemporary archive for the historic site.

Talking to The Tribune, Richardson says, “I am here to compile a historic document produced by contemporary pilgrims and I am involving people regardless of their caste, creed, colour or age in my initiative.”

Describing his plans, he says, “For the next 12 months I would be collecting different works of pilgrims which include paintings, drawings and poems. After collection, I may display them in the form of an exhibition or may publish a book by compiling them.”

“My priority is not quality of work or creativity. What is really significant for me is the feeling of the visitor behind it and how he sums up his mind. The holy shrine is not only a beautiful monument but has unmatched religious importance too,” he adds.David, who is already on the job, says he met a local teenaged boy last week who described the Golden Temple as the eighth wonder of the world and said “If I am asked to reincarnate, I would like to be born in the holy city of Amritsar.” Happy with the devotees’ response, David says when he talks about his project with visitors they do contribute in the form of small sketches and illustrations.

“Earlier, in 1997-98 I had documented the religious activities in India and Nepal and had covered all major six faiths. I believe in giving a true and honest records, so I always prefer to live within the community I am documenting,” explains Richardson.

He says he has already written a letter to SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar in this regard and was waiting for a reply. “Creating a piece, which documents what devotees feel about the Golden Temple, would be a delight to go through,” adds David.



UK, Punjab teachers team up for creative synergy
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 12
The department of education and skills, UK, Commonwealth Council and some country councils in England have collaborated with the educational and art institutes in Punjab for providing opportunities to teachers and students to explore, understand and do creative work in each other’s country.

Supported by the League for Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers, the British teachers visit India every year under the teachers’ international professional development programme.

This year, groups from Sheffield, Havering, Hammersmit and Fulhan are visiting different cities of Punjab to have a first-hand experience of the education system and way of life in the state.

A children’s programme was organised at Punjab Natshala on February 10. The visiting teachers and artistes also paid obeisance at the Golden Temple.

A short skit urging the arrival of “Basant Bahar” after the chilly winter season was enacted by students of DAV Public School who won the heart of the visiting British teachers who arrived here on Tuesday under the teachers international professional development programme. The play focused on the role played by the environment in bringing joy and abundance all around.

A delegation of 20 teachers from different faculties of the department of education and skills, UK, visited Khadur Sahib. The Indo-British teachers’ exchange programme was coordinated by Prof Rajpal Singh of Punjab heritage through cooperation of the League of Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers London to mutually preserve, promote and disseminate the rich cultural traditions of Punjab.

In the morning session, the team interacted with students and teachers of SBGSUS Senior Secondary School, Khadur Sahib, to know about the teaching skills used and the problems faced by them.

The delegation was thrilled to watch the new robotic and liquid crystal touch screen technology used by Dr Raghbir Singh Bains of Canada in the production of the Multimedia Sikh Museum, which is the first of its kind museum in the world.

Ann Nelson and Michelle Louise Burke, both group leaders, exclaimed, “Hey! Punjab seems to be much advanced in global technology”.

They appreciated the tireless efforts of Baba Sewa Singh, an environmentalist, under whose patronage a 150-km stretch of the road hasbeen planted with saplings on both sides in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Principal Daljit Singh Khehra, Principal Gurdial Singh Gill and Dr Raghbir Singh Bains facilitated the tour at Khadur Sahib and said similar tours of teachers from Punjab to the Commonwealth countries should also be planned.



Extension Demand
‘2009 shouldn’t mean end of spl industrial package for state’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 12
Taking an exception to the statement made by state minister for industries Ashwani Kumar that by the end of 2009 a special industrial package would be withdrawn from all states except Jammu and Kashmir and the north-eastern states, the Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) on Tuesday urged the Prime Minister and the state minister to take personal interest for granting an industrial package for Punjab on the pattern of its neighbouring states.

The AVM wanted the package to continue even beyond 2009.

In a press release here, Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala and Amrit Lal Manan, patron and former general secretary of the manch, respectively, stated that the PM and Ashwani Kumar were well aware of the plight of the industry in the state.

They said the special industrial package given to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana had wreaked havoc for the Punjab industry as various industrialists preferred to set up new units in these states which were enjoying tax holidays and other benefits. Industrialists of Punjab were also shifting their industries to these states, they added.

Giving the background of the special industrial package, they said it was former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral who had announced to give special tax and other benefits to the border districts of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Ferozepore to boost the dying industry in these districts which were hit by terrorism.

Unfortunately the decision could not be implemented and the successive NDA government did not show any interest in this either. Instead, these facilities were provided to the neighboring states by the Vajpayee government with a view to winning the elections.



‘Punjabis’ heart weak’
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, February 12
Punjab is reporting an ‘alarming rise’ in heart ailments. This was stated by Dr Rohit Mody, senior cardiologist during a free heart and diabetes check up camp organised by Fortis Hospital here. Specialists from Escorts Hospital conducted free cardiac camp.

As many as 160 patients were tested for blood sugar levels, blood pressure, ECG tests as well as height and weight measurement ratios.

Speaking on the occasion, he said, medical research has proven that 30 minutes of brisk walk daily can reduce risk of heart disease by 18 percent and stroke by 11 percent. Running for an hour could reduce the risk of cardiac trouble by 42 percent. Such physical activity encourages body to burn excess fat, reduces hypertension and improves cholesterol. Quitting smoking could reduce risk of heart disease by as much as 25 to 30 percent while proper food and lifestyle habits help in prevention of heart problems.

Dr Anuj Mahajan of Escorts Hospital emphasised that all males above the age of 50 and females above 45 years must go in for routine heart examination once a year. A super specialist cardiology OPD by Escorts doctors will be conducted daily in the evening at Fortis Hospital wherein poor patients would be examined free of cost. 



Sidhu gives Rs 20 lakh for Ayurvedic college

Amritsar, February 12
BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu laid the foundation stone of the building and hostel of Ayurvedic Medical College here. He announced a Rs 20-lakh grant from his MPLAD fund for the college building.

Sidhu said the ancient ayurvedic way of treatment was a priceless treasure and the need of the hour as it even cured diseases which could not be cured through other forms of treatment.

Dr Ashwani Sharma, director, ayurvedic, Punjab and chairman, Ayurvedic Board, said the new buildings of the college, hospital and hostel would be equipped with modern facilities and gadgets. — OC



NRI alumnus donates Rs 5 lakh to GNDU

Amritsar, February 12
Johan Singh Gill of California, USA, donated Rs 5 lakh to Guru Nanak Dev University to sponsor Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Sports Trophy, which would be awarded by the university at its annual sports function.

Gill, who is an alumnus of Sikh National College, Banga, presented the cheques for Rs 5 lakh to vice-chancellor Dr Jai Rup Singh. The VC informed him about the achievements made by the university in the field of sports at national and international level. He told Gill that GNDU was a top ranking university in sports and had created history in the inter-varsity events by winning the coveted Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for a record number of twenty times.

The university has state-of-the-art sports infrastructure like hockey astroturf, swimming pool, multi-purpose indoor gymnasium and sprawling grounds for other sports disciplines. — TNS



Bangla teen held while trying to cross over
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, February 12
Mohammad Bilal (19), a Bangladesh national was nabbed by the Border Security Force jawans when he was trying to sneak into the Pakistan side by crossing the border fence illegally and was later handed over to the Attari police station.

A case has been registered under sections 3, 34, 20 of the Indian Passport act and 14 Foreign Act has been registered against him. Police also recovered Rs 122 in Indian currency from him.

Bilal is a resident of Rakhtala, district Ujaipur, Bangladesh.

He crossed over illegally to India through West Bengal side about two weeks back and wanted to reach Karachi in Pakistan.

He thus tried to enter Pakistan territory near fencing gate number 102 at the Kahangarh border post.

However, 65 battalion jawans of the BSF caught him while trying to cross. He was arrested and handed over to police after investigations. 



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