‘Go Green’ drive loses gas
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 28
The much-hyped “Go Green, Go Clean” campaign launched to change the face of the city seems to have faltered in realising the objective of beautifying the city by reviving its green cover. The saplings planted as part of the campaign have dried up at several places, including Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar-Attari Road and Ram Tirath Road, despite the district administration having put up iron guards around most of them.

“The hoardings publicising the campaign would outnumber the actual number of saplings at most places in the city.

In the Shastri Nagar area, one can only see grass and weeds in the enclosures and there are no signs of the decorative and shady trees planted to make the city green,” says Sanjay Budhraj, deputy chief executive officer of Perishable Cargo Complex at the Rajasansi International Airport.

Deputy commissioner K.S.Pannu said a large-scale replacement of the dead saplings would soon begin in different parts of the city to make sure the objective of the campaign was not defeated. “Also, it has been observed that plants which appear dead to naked eye may soon sprout again,” he said.

The “Go Green, Go Clean” campaign was projected as a pet project of local MP Navjot Sidhu and mayor Shawet Malik. Sidhu had, in fact, pledged his personal resources to launch the campaign in the holy city.

As part of the initiative, he had planted a sapling at the Circuit House complex to set the ball rolling for the launch of the 

Sidhu had said he was concerned at the rising level of pollution, particularly around the Golden Temple complex, and had decided to put his own savings to set up a corpus for funding the Rs 2-crore campaign to provide green spaces throughout the city.

A comprehensive plan was chalked out by municipal corporation officials, improvement trust and the department of forests, besides various NGOs, which pledged support.

The municipal authorities had offered to provide 50,000 plants across the city while the forest department and NGOs promised 30,000 saplings. The trust was to plant another 20,000 saplings.

Even though Malik was not available for comments, municipal commissioner D.P.S. Kharbanda said in view of rising mercury, the horticulture department of the corporation had been asked to intensify the watering of saplings to save them fromextreme weather.



Uniform Happy
Now, govt academy to help defence dreams soar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 28
With an aim to encourage and guide youth to join defence services, the government has decided to start a coaching academy in Amritsar.This was disclosed by Sainik Welfare deputy director Col J.D.S. Bhullar (retd) while talking to The Tribune. He said he had received approval from the government in this regard and the coaching would be open to all.

Giving details, Col Bhullar said, “The courses would start on April 1 and the candidates would be given coaching for the National Defence Academy (NDA), the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and other courses (OTA).” Interested candidates should register themselves with the District Sainik Welfare office, 52 Court Road, he added.

To seek admission in the NDA, the candidate should be between 16½ and 19 years and should have passed class XII examination with mathematics and science, whereas a person should be graduate and between 19 and 24 years for the IMA and OTA courses.

Col Bhullar said under the women’s special entry scheme (WSES), the girl candidates should be graduate in any stream and between 19 and 27 years. He said for the Short Service Commission (SSC) NCC special entry scheme, one should be graduate with 50 per cent aggregate marks, two years service in NCC senior division Army with minimum B-grade in “C” certificate examination. The age limit for this scheme varies from 19 to 25 years. 



Trade boost: Nod for Mini Pragati Maidan in city
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, March 28
To give a helping hand to the traders, the Punjab government would soon set up a mini Pragati Maidan in the holy city. This was revealed by ADC Parneet Bhardwaj during the textile exhibition-cum-buyer- seller meet which concluded today. He said the government had accepted the demand and all official formalities were under way. The exhibition complex would be set up in Ranjit Avenue and would have convention centre, ramp, conference hall and other related offices.

The ADC said the idea would help to highlight the rich repertoire of goods produced in the region, including textiles for metros, urban, semi-urban areas and villages. Besides, it would open trade avenues with countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Central Asian countries like Iran, Turkey, Greece and Russia.

The two-day exhibition was organised by the ministry of textiles in cooperation with Shawl Club (India), Amritsar, and according to an estimate business transactions worth Rs 15 to 20 crore have been made. The event witnessed participation of traders from Delhi, Chennai, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra.

Earlier, inaugurating the exhibition regional director of the ministry of textiles V.K. Kohli said it was the first joint venture in which public-private participation had resulted in a major success. He assured the manufacturers that the ministry would organise more such events to attract global customers.

Shawl Club (India) president Piara Lal Seth said the exhibition would be helpful in finding solutions to thrash out issues like high cotton prices, rupee appreciation and consequent losses in export.



Bill Boost
Cultural bodies hail decision on Punjabi

Amritsar, March 28
Various organisations and associations have welcomed the Punjab government’s decision to make Punjabi compulsory till matriculation and its use in the government departments.

The resolution passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha during the budget session agreed to take strict disciplinary action against the state government employees, including bureaucrats, for not using the language in administrative works. Hailing the decision, the Sufi Samvad Sanstha and Cultural Club said the coming generations in the state were distracting from the mother tongue. They hoped the law would be implemented soon.

Similarly, the Man Sarovar Panjabi Sahitya Akademi, the Punjab Sahit Sabha, Baba Bakala, the Sai Mian Mir International Foundation and the Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha, along with various eminent poets, theatre artistes and writers, welcomed the move and termed it as triumph of Punjabi They urged the government to implement the decision without any delay. They said a similar resolution was passed in 1992 when the Congress was in power. However, it failed to implement it.

They appealed to the government to amend the Punjab Raj Languages Act by including a clause of taking strict action against those officials who failed to give due respect to the mother tongue. — TNS



Promoting Sports
‘Andhra’s catch them young model can work wonders for Pb’
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 28
“Other states, including Punjab, should follow the Andhra Pradesh model to promote sports in the country where the ‘Catch them young and teach them right’ scheme is bringing laurels to the state by producing world-class players.

This was observed by Prof Chinnappa Reddy, former technical adviser to the government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, here yesterday.

He was here to participate in the three-day national symposium on “Talent hunt in sports - methods and strategies” being organised by the sports department of Guru Nanak Dev University.

He said the “Catch them young and teach them right” scheme, introduced by the Andhra Pradesh government in its sports schools, proved very useful for the development and promotion of sports. After launching the scheme, a large number of students had brought laurels to Andhra Pradesh by winning gold medals in different national and international sports competitions.

He said constant support from the government paved a way for institutions to grow in sports and academics. The credentials achieved in sports and academic by students of Andhra Pradesh sports schools is noteworthy. Three more Regional Sports Schools would be started soon. He congratulated the university for introducing the unique programme and expressed hope that Punjab would definitely get benefit from the scheme.

Expressing concern over the degradation of sports standard in the country, Dr Jai Rup Singh, vice-chancellor, GNDU, said it is a national shame that India being the second largest populated country of the world has to face humiliation in the sports arena at the global level. He said commitment, determination, dedication and hard work are necessary for their sports personnel to achieve the desired goals.

He said the university would give scientific training to the students selected during the programme after making physical, psychological, sociological and other tests to groom them in various sports disciplines.

He said the university would provide them the required international standard infrastructure so that they could compete at the international level and grab the medals in various global competitions. 



Quarries’ auction: Govt gets richer by Rs 1.8 crore
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 28
Sixteen sand quarries on the banks of river Ravi and Beas in Amritsar and Tarn Taran, fetched whopping Rs 1.88 crore for the government in the first such auction conducted here.

The auction was held under the strict supervision of deputy commissioner, Kahan Singh Pannu and district police chief Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh. The government had fixed the reserve price at Rs 68 lakhs for all the 16 mines, two of which fall in Tarn Taran district. However, the administration managed to get a record two-and-a-half-time more than the reserved price. About 40 participants took part in the auction for mining of sand, stone and sand pebbles. Earlier, such auction used to be held in Pathankot. Terming the whole process as completely transparent, Pannu said for Vanajwal quarry, the reserved price was Rs four lakh. It fetched Rs 4.11 lakh to the government exchequer. The Nangal Amb mine, having a reserve price of Rs three lakhs secured whopping Rs 15 lakh. Chaharpur quarry fetched Rs 20 lakh against the reserve price of Rs eight lakh.

Similarly, Khanwal got Rs 25 lakh against the reserve price of Rs six lakh, while mines at Maloke, Chhanna, Bhindi Aulakh Khurd, Bhindi Saidan also fetched a very high auction price against their reserve rates. The two mines at Bhallojal and Gaggarewal in Khadoor Sahib area of Tarn Taran district fetched Rs five lakh and Rs 10 lakh against the reserved price of Rs two lakh and Rs 3.40 lakh, respectively.



Play Potential
Theatre can usher in reforms: DC
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, March 28
Various organisations associated with the Punjabi theatre celebrated World Theatre Day at Virsa Vihar Sadan, near Gandhi Ground, here on Friday. Deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu formally inaugurated Virsa Vihar Bhavan on the occasion. The function was attended by eminent theatre personalities, singers and literary persons of the region.

Addressing the gathering, Pannu said the theatre was mirror of society and it was through theatre that various reforms could be attained, besides educating the people about various menaces of society, including female foeticide, drug addiction, etc.

The Virsa Vihar Society staged a play of legendary Punjabi theatre personality; Gursharan Singh titled “Dastan Motte Dhid Di” depicting corruption in the police force. Gursharan Singh, popularly known as Bhai Manna Singh, shared with the audience his experiences of early life in theatre in holy city.

He was instrumental in the reincarnation of theatre in Punjab without any technical help and presented his plays with elements of simplicity, seriousness and social awareness. His style of theatre staging is considered as unique and came to know later as “Popular Theatre” which is famous as theatre for people.

Director of Adakar Lok Theatre group Sardarjit Singh Bawa announced to name their group as “Gursharan Singh Rangmanch Gharana” on the lines of musical ghararans. He said the group would strictly adopt the Popular Theatre style.

Meanwhile, artistes from Chandigarh rendered the audience spellbound with the presentation of Heer-Ranjha in traditional Punjabi lok naat.



City surgeon to present paper at US conference

Amritsar, March 28
The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery at Chicago (USA) has invited Dr Shakeen Singh, eye surgeon of Amritsar, to present his paper in the annual conference of ophthalmology to be held from April 4.

Singh has also been invited by the European Society to present his papers at the forthcoming conference to be held in Berling (Germany) in June and the world ophthalmology conference at Hong Cong later this year. During the Chicago conference he would share his experience of cataract surgery in India and upcoming modalities. — TNS



Army recruitment rally from April 1-10

Amritsar, March 28
An army recruitment rally to induct sepoys will be held from April 1-10 at Tibri Cantonment to cover Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran districts. Director (recruiting) Col K.K. Kiren in a press note said soldiers in the general category from Sikh, Sikh (M and R), AIAC, Dogra, Muslim, Brahmin, Gorkha (Magar and Gurung), soldier clerks (all castes), soldier technical (Sikh, Sikh M & R and AIAC), soldier nursing assistant (all castes), belonging to three districts, were eligible for the recruitment.

The token to the candidates of the Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts would be given on April 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The candidates are required to bring 12 copies of the latest passport size photographs. The Sikh candidates should bring 12 photographs with turban and 12 without turban. Besides, the candidates were also required to bring all necessary documents issued by Tehsildar or SDM, school character certificate, with them. — OC



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