Number Plates
Don’t strut that designer stuff
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 1
Making a style statement with a designer number plate could now land city youth in trouble as the district police has decided to take such violators to task. A model number plate prepared by the police will soon be circulated so that there is no deviation from the set norms.

SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh told The Tribune that a two-pronged strategy had been chalked out to tackle the problem. To begin with, meetings would be held with the number plate makers to educate them about the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act pertaining to the number plates.

“Once the model number plate is circulated, it will be mandatory for number plate makers to mention their name at the back of the plate. Besides, they will also need to keep record of all plates painted by them along with a photostat copy of the registration card of the vehicle,” he said. “The attractive number plates, with different colour schemes, will not be allowed. As per the norms, the size of the digits and alphabets on the number plate need to be of a particular size and the space between them is also specified, with no graffiti or motif. No other colour, except black on white background, and no italicisation are allowed. The alphabets need to be in English,” he said.

“The record maintained by the number plate makers will go a long way in crime prevention and detection as the registration details of the vehicle can be easily traced during investigations,” he added.

After this preliminary exercise about informing people is over, the traffic police department will begin challaning of vehicles which do not conform to the model number plate.

The traffic police department has for long turned a blind eye to faulty number plates and no drive has been launched to challan owners of such vehicles. Number plates with digits reduced to small sizes and motifs and stickers in the middle are a common sight on the streets of Amritsar.

“It is definitely a nuisance. It has been observed that whenever vehicle owners with such number plates commit a traffic violation, it is not possible for both traffic police personnel on duty or passersby to note down the number to make a case for penal action. The very purpose of having a number place is, thus, defeated,” confided a traffic police official.

Most shops of number plate makers are concentrated on the Queen’s Road and making number plates is a full-fledged business. “The plates that we make may have variants in paint or metal but the size of digits is never too small to read. The objectionable number plates are got made from painters, who usually do not know much about the rules and regulations,” says the owner of a number plate shop.



Kill bills: Govt steps ineffective, say residents
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, April 1
Hit by the global economic phenomenon predicting a shortage of foodgrains, the Indian market reacted sharply with a steep hike in the prices of all essential commodities across the board, thereby pushing the common man to the wall.

A number of housewives whom The Tribune interacted with complained that the monthly budget has gone haywire with the prices of vegetables, grains, pulses fruits and other essential items having registered a sharp increase during the past couple of weeks.

A housewife, Kanchan Kapoor, said after the hike in petrol and diesel prices, the rates of all commodities had risen by 15 to 20 per cent, making it difficult to maintain the budget within the limits. She said in case the price rise continued for another few months, vegetables and fruits would definitely get out of the reach of the common man. She said the government must work out short and long-term strategies to bring down prices and take strict action against the hoarders and manipulators.

The prices of milk and milk products before the advent of the summer season have alarmed another housewife, Madhu Arora, who lamented that there was no check on the every day increase in the rates and it was near impossible to live within the budget. The unexpected all round increase had even rendered the essential items out of reach and daily increase had upset the entire income plan of the middle and lower class families.

A common man on the street, Rup Kumar, said “atta” and “dal”, which was the staple diet of the poor, had become dearer and he has to pool in all his resources to feed his six-member family, including his parents.

He said that the decision of the government to stop export of essential commodities was only eyewash as big hoarders still continued to keep the prices galloping and the poor man was the sufferer.

A salaried person, Sanjay Kumar, said the duty-free import measures adopted by the government were too late and would have no positive impact immediately, but may be, in a couple of months the prices might come down. He said that this attempt on the part of the government was too little and too late.



Earth Hour
Do a Sydney on Sat, NGO urges city residents
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 1
The Pollution Control Committee (PCC), Amritsar, has urged the people of the country, especially the residents of the holy city, to switch off lights from 8 pm to 9 pm on April 5 besides using public transport for commuting so that the environment may be kept free from pollution for at least one day.

PCC president Prakash Singh Bhatty said by switching off all the electric lights and gas burners (except our conventional oil lamps or candles), we can mark and realise the factors which threaten to change the climate around us all over the world.

He said by observing the day we would also become the part of the world community, which is doing its bit to fight the global warming menace.

Bhatty also requested the authorities of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee ( SGPC) and Durgiana Temple to give the people and the world religious bodies a lead in “Earth Hour” observance. Municipal corporation, private hotels, resorts, and showrooms should also take a lead in the attempt to conserve the environment, he added.

He said the observance of “Earth Hour” had already begun from the eastern city of Sydney (Australia) by switching off lights, a practice which was likely to pass on to the west. “We expect hundreds of towns and cities across the world shall participate in this movement to realise the threat posed by climate change,” added Bhatty. 



Time to move from dialogue to action: Interfaith scholar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 1
Church is a ‘uniting church’ rather than being a ‘united church’ which means it is ceaselessly engaged in such initiatives to bring people together into closer relationships of friendship and love for a peaceful co-existence.

These views were expressed by Dr Robert Boss, who was in the holy city to participate in a seminar organised by Guru Nanak Dev University. He is leading a delegation from uniting churches in Australia, for exposure to inter-faith realities and relationship among communities of different religious affiliations and faiths in India, a multi-religious and multi-cultural society.

Dr Boss, while appreciating the initiative of all the organisers for providing the opportunity to interact with the prominent scholars on Sikhism said this is a human concern the world over, and their visit is a small step towards propagating peace and harmony in a strife-torn world.

Speaking on the occasion, Bishop P.K. Samantha Roy said the time has now come when we have to move from inter-faith dialogue to inter-faith actions.

He also appreciated the initiatives taken by Diocese of Amritsar, Awaz-e-Awam and Manav Manch for addressing the grass root realities and issues of common concerns of peace and justice.

Dr Boss said they would also visit the Christian Institute for Religious studies, Batala, Ahmedia Jamat, Quadian and Radha Swami Satsang Dera Beas in Punjab for the same purpose. 



Rare Sikhism pictures on display
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 1
An exhibition showcasing rare Sikhism pictures is being taken to schools, colleges and universities in the region as part of a project being run by Tarika Mandal Mini Museum,Amritsar.

The pictures come with detailed captions in English, Hindi and Punjabi, informing students about the historic and cultural background of Punjab. On display are pictures of the ten Sikh Masters, 36 composers of Guru Granth sahib, Sikh Ardas, Gurmukhi Painti Akhri, Baba Buddha and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and Sikh Museum of Golden Temple. 

The organisation has also made VCDs on the life history of ten Gurus, historical Gurdwaras related to Guru Nanak Dev and in Pakistan. Prabhjit Singh, general secretary, Tarika Mandal Mini Museum, said the objective of the presentation is to spread the teaching of Sikh Gurus all over the world. “The response in educational institutions has been very encouraging,” he said, adding that next on the cards was VCD on historic Gurdwaras. A CD titled “Nikian jindan wada saka” was released by Jathedar of Akal Takht Joginder Singh Vedanti at a function organised at Akal Takht. Sukhmanpreet Singh Jabal, president of the Tarika Mandal Mini Museum, said the drive to popularise the religious and cultural values of the state was launched in 2003. The five Sikh high priests and SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar were present on the occasion. 



Touch-Up Time
Durgiana temple readies for facelift
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 1
The work on the ambitious project of beautification of the historic Durgiana temple may start soon as the necessary formalities had been completed by the department of local bodies.

This was disclosed by Durgiana Managing Committee (DMC) joint secretary Harish Taneja while talking to The Tribune. He said the committee had written to the department to immediately start the work on the project around the temple.

Taneja said the management had also decided to urge the municipal commissioner to release the remaining amount of Rs 10 lakh to speed up the renovation work at Shiv Puri crematorium. Besides, a part of amount would be spent on installing better lighting system on the passages leading to Lohgarh and Golbagagh.

The joint secretary said, “We have already started constructing a primary school to educate children free of cost and funds have been allocated for constructing a laboratory and a community hall.” Another project of renovating the second storey of Mata Dhanwant Kaur dharamshala was being taken by the committee for comfortable stay of devotees, he added.

Taneja said the work of laying marble in the 28,000 square feet “parikarma” of the temple had started, whereas gold plating of the temple was going at a fast pace.

Talking about the water treatment plant, the joint secretary said the management was in touch with an Ahemdabad-based consultant for purchasing the state-of-the-art machinery to clean the “sarovar”. A sum of Rs 50 lakh had been allocated for the project in the budget for the year 2008-09.

Meanwhile, the DMC had unanimously passed its annual budget of Rs 4.13 crore for the year 2008-09 and had posted a net profit of Rs 17.62 lakh.



Police-Public Meet
Pulkanjari residents air grievances
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 1
A police-public meet was organised at Pulkanjari, near Attari, recently in which people from Dhanoya Kalan, Dhanoya Khurd, Mode and Attalgarh villages took part. The problems of the people were heard by district police chief Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh and most of the problems were sorted out on the spot. The main problems of the villagers were lack of educational facilities and unemployment as the area around Pulkanjari is very backward in the border district of Amritsar.

Pulkanjari was a famous township which was founded by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and he also established a baradari here. He used to stay at this place on the way to Amritsar from Lahore and back. However, this site was neglected after the partition of the country. Due to stoppage of trade between Amritsar and Lahore the area became economically backward. In December 2007, the heritage site of Pulkanjari was renovated with police-public cooperation. Now the site is being developed as a tourist spot by the Punjab Tourism Department and Archaeological Survey of India.

The SSP informed them that already 40 youths of this area had been selected under the Parkash scheme after holding special interview sessions organised by the local police to help youths of this backward area. He said all the selected candidates would be imparted three months’ training in vocational courses and inducted into the private sector.

The basic idea was to employ the youths in constructive activities so that they could not indulge in drug trafficking and other anti-social activities, he said.



Educationist Dhillon attains superannuation

Amritsar, April 1
After putting in 34 years of service in a remote school in the border area of this district, eminent educationist and sportsman Lakhwinder Singh Dhillon retired from service on March 31.

Dhillon joined Khalsa College International Public School at Sarangra village in Lopoke in 1974. He had also been coaching rural students in powerlifting and weightlifting. He had coached Kushpal Singh Sekhon who had won the national-level weightlifting championship, besides training his own nephew Dharampal Singh Dhillon who lifted the Australia Open championship in powerlifting in 2007.

Dhillon won the silver medals in powerlifting in 1978 and 1979 at the national level. He was appointed member of the governing council of Khalsa College in 2001 and had been its member since then. He is also a member of the managing committee of Khalsa College International Public School. He is also a member of the Bharati Kisan Union. — TNS



Pak apparel to do the rounds of holy city
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 1
Exhibitors from Pakistan would showcase esbhani, basis and farkhunda collections at a two-day fashion carnival to be held in Amritsar on April 5 and 6.

City based textile designer Tania Chatha said, apart from this, various designers from Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chandigarh would also showcase men’s and women’s clothings, besides semi-precious jewellery, real jewellery, furniture, home refinement, etc. She said the city would also come across the beautiful art work and handicrafts made by women inmates of Tihar Jail which would be brought here by Arman, an NGO of New Delhi.

She said Kavita Ghai, a glamour technician, is coming all the way from Delhi to Punjab for the first time to give makeovers to the fashion-conscious women of the city.



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