R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Poetic injustice
  • Shooting star
  • Island of discontent


Foundation stones laid: Balluana MLA Gurtej Singh Ghuriana laid the foundation stones of three roads in two villages of the constituency on Sunday. The project would cost around Rs 36 lakh, he said. Baba Wirla Singh was also present at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the road that would link Dera Mukim Shah to Pattisadiq village. Another road will link the cremation ground with village Dhippanwali. Ghuriana announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the construction of drains in Pattisadiq village and assured the upgradation of the Government Primary School in Dhaani, Hargobindpur. 

Body found: The body of Arun Kumar Manchanda (24), a school peon, who had gone missing on Monday, has been found as some persons spotted it floating in the sub-canal near Gumjal village, close to the Rajasthan border, on Saturday. 

2 satta operators held: The local police on Sunday arrested two satta operators, namely Jagdish Kumar and Pawan Kumar, inside the Khazana Gate area and recovered Rs 7,100 cash, two mobile phones, one calculator, besides other documents from their possession. A case has been registered under Sections 420 and 13-A, 3, 67, Gambling Act. Meanwhile, Mangaljit Singh of Tung Pai was nabbed on similar charges.

New Year celebrated: Bassi Pathana unit of the Bharat Vikas Parishad celebrated the Vikarmi Sambat 2065 as New Year on Sunday by organising havan yagya at the historical Brahm Ghat Mandir. Hundreds of people attended the ceremony. Pt Vinod Kumar Mishra, head priest of the temple, conducted the ceremonies. 

Opium seized: The narcotics cell of the police arrested a youth, Harpreet Singh, of Kandila village and seized 250 gm of opium from him. A case has been registered. 

Tree plantation: Various environmental agencies are active these days to plant a variety of trees at public and private places. One such agency, under the guidance of Baba Sewa Singh of Khadur Sahib, planted tree saplings of different varieties at the Royal Institute of Nursing in the Jaito Sarja village (about 7km from Batala) on Saturday.

Congress meeting: The Congress party is holding a meeting at Congress Bhawan, Bathinda, on April 9 under the guidelines of Punjab Pardesh Congress Commitee chief Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. A press release issued here said the meeting was called to oversee the preparations for Baisakhi conference on April 14. Harminder Singh Jassi, Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu and Ajaib Singh Bhatti will also be present. 

Three held for betting
: The police nabbed three persons on the charge of betting and seized Rs 17,115 and several betting slips from them. The accused have been identified as Rakesh Kumar, Rattan Kumar and Raj Kumar and were nabbed from the shops of Town Hall from where they used to indulge in betting. An FIR has been 

Rain: Relief sought: The rain and hailstorm on Saturday has damaged the standing wheat crop and the Punjab government should provide relief and compensation to the farmers. This was urged by Punjab state congress general secretary Gurbinder Singh Atwal during his visit to Talwan village and parts of Nurmahal assembly constituency.

Weekly off withdrawn: The PSEB on Friday withdrew the compulsory weekly off from the industry following untimely heavy rains in the state. The industry had been subjected to firstly two compulsory weekly offs, and one weekly off was withdrawn a few days ago. An official spokesman of the PSEB said this was a temporary relief due to the heavy rains in the state. 

Eye check-up camp held: Fortytwo patients were operated upon for cataract at a two-day eye check-up camp organised by the Rotary Club of the town. Club president Dr I D Goel said for the first time the latest phaco technique was used. Dr Atul Kakkar and Dr Mahesh Ahuja examined more than 1,000 patients at the camp. Along with free implantation of lenses, free spectacles and medicines were given to needy patients. Jiwan Bansal, a social worker, inaugurated the camp. 

Pay pangs: Various organisations, under the aegis of Punjab Mulazam Sangarsh Committee, have alleged that the guidelines issued by the state government to the 5th Punjab Pay Commission were anti-employees.The activists also burnt copies of the notification issued on Saturday. 

PSMS Fest: PSMS Fest 2008, a fun and cultural extravaganza, held at Punjabi University by Punjab School of Management Studies of Punjabi University, was inaugurated by vice-chancellor of the university Dr Jaspal Singh on Sunday. The event is an endeavour by the students and faculty members aimed to give practical exposure to MBA students. 

Visit: Chief administrative officer of DMW Jayanta Ghosh, with his team, welcomed member mechanical of Railway Board R.K. Rao on his visit to Patiala. Rao visited various shops and observed the activities in the workshop. He met the staff council members and representatives of SC, ST and OBC associations and heard their grievances. He flagged off rebuilt locomotive and inaugurated the data logging system at engine power pack shop. 



Discussion: The Friends of China Association (regd) organised a discussion on ‘A comparative analysis of Economic Development of India and China’ in Paragon Senior Secondary School, Sector 71, on Sunday. Co-operation minister of Punjab Capt Kanwaljit Singh was the chief guest. The discussion was initiated by president of the association Balraj Singh Shergill who brought out the need of mutual co-operation and friendship between both the countries in the present scenario. Dr Kehar Singh, former chairman, Punjab School Education Board, presided over the function. 



Inaugurated: The branch of Delhi Public School (DPS) was inaugurated on Sunday. Chairman of DPS Society Ashok Chandra inaugurated the new building of the school. Ambala deputy commissioner Mohammad Shayin was the guest of honour on this occasion. 

World Health Day: Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday urged the people to join efforts with health professionals to address the growing threat of climate change, which was adversely affecting public health. In a message issued on the eve of the World Health Day, Hooda said the theme of this year’s World Health Day “Protecting health from climate change” was very much relevant as climate change was posing a major threat to public health.

Rural lok adalat: A rural lok adalat was organised at Alika village under the Ratia subdivision of the district on Sunday. Additional Civil Judge (senior division), Ratia, Ajay Aggarwal presided over the lok adalat. In all 13 cases were placed for settlement through mutual compromise and the court settled four civil cases and two cases of petty crimes on the spot. Aggarwal exhorted the villagers to exercise restrain and settle their petty matters at the village level itself as it saved money and energy. 

HCCI elections: Elections of the Kaithal unit of the Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industries (HCCI) for session 2008-2010 concluded here on Friday. Sudesh Bansal was unanimously elected chairman and he was authorised to constitute the executive. Bansal said in consultation with the HCCI state unit, he would make efforts to find solution to the problems faced by traders and industries. He also expressed his concern over the prevailing power shortage and urged the government to ensure supply of sufficient power.

68 cases settled
: As many as 68 different cases were settled at a special lok adalat held here on Saturday. Two hundred cases were put in front of the adalat, which was held under the chairmanship of District and Sessions Judge P.L. Ahuja. Chief Judicial Magistrate and secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Ritu Y.K. Behal said a sum of Rs 19,500 was realised. 

‘CM failed to fulfil promise’: Gurinder Jit Singh Natt, member, state executive, Haryana Janhit Congress (BL), in a signed statement here on Sunday, alleged that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had failed to fulfil his announcement that Pehowa would be linked with other religious places like Kurukshetra and Hardwar in Uttar Pradesh by a four-laned road. He said he made this announcement on his first visit to Pehowa after becoming the Chief Minister of Haryana.

Woman commits suicide: A newly-wed woman, Sunita Yadav (21), reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at Khushpura village near Jatusana on Saturday. Sunita, a resident of Duloth Ahir village of Mahendergarh district, got married to Karam Pal Yadav of Khushpura village about six months ago. The police said in the absence of any adverse complaint from Sunita’s parents, an inquest was held under Section 174 of the Cr PC and the case was disposed of as a suicidal death. 

1 killed in mishap: Udai Vir (50) died on the spot when the vehicle he was driving rammed into a truck, whose driver reportedly applied brakes abruptly, on the Jaipur-Delhi highway near Bhudla village on Sunday. Udai Vir was a resident of Hindon city of Rajasthan. The mishap occurred when the vehicles were going towards Delhi. The police has registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the truck driver, who absconded after the accident. 

Revenue from liquor shops: The district excise and taxation department may miss it target of revenue collection from liquor shops by about Rs 4.75 crore. No takers have come for 17 shops, including one of English liquor, in the district. Sources said even after six rounds of inviting applications for shops there were no takers for these shops. A total of 122 shops of country made liquor and 60 English shops were to be allotted in the district. The department was expecting revenue of Rs 49 crore. 


Regional potpourri

Poetic injustice

A cultural centre in memory of noted poet Shiv Batalvi at Batala still awaits completion.
A cultural centre in memory of noted poet Shiv Batalvi at Batala still awaits completion.

An auditorium built in memory of great Punjabi poet Shiv Batalvi has been suffering neglect and apathy from the different governments for the past more than two decades.

Shiv Batalvi dedicated the prime of his youth to writing poetry at Batala. Born at Lodhian village in Sialkot (now in Pakistan), he studied at Batala and used to work in a bank.

Owing to the efforts of his admirers, local businessmen and the Industrial Association, an auditorium was raised there in 1981.

An amount of Rs 35 lakh has been spent on its construction so far but for the last more than 20 years, the auditorium has been crying for completion despite big promises made by political leaders and the district administration.

In June 2006, then chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had visited Batala during his Vikas Yatra and promised funds for its completion. At that time, the auditorium was named as the Shiv Batalvi Culture Centre, but no financial aid came its way.

President of the Shiv Snehi Sahit Sabha, Batala, Ravinder Singh, laments that even 35 years after the poet’s death, the auditorium has not been completed. The SDM, Batala, who is the president of this auditorium, too announced financial help but no concrete steps have been taken so far. The roof of the building is in a shambles and the open space is becoming a garbage dumping ground.

Shooting star

Noted lensman and cultural enthusiast Om Parkash Kadian of Hisar has written a book tracing Haryana's cultural roots. The book has been adjudged by the Haryana Sahitya Academy as the best book in the folk literature category for year 2007. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 21000, a citation and the customary shawl. Besides, it entitles him to free travel in Haryana Roadways buses.

Comprising 15 chapters, the book briefly narrates Haryana's history and goes on to describe the folk art of Haryanavi women, folk dances, songs and festivals. It depicts several photographs of culturally important spots of the state, the artistic wooden doors of rural Haryana and certain musical instruments. The significance of festivals like Lohri, Teej and the role of panghat in Haryana's villages have been described for the benefit of the younger generations. Kadian says he will use the prize money for further exploring Haryana's cultural history. He does not agree that “Haryana's culture is limited to agriculture.” He is well-known for his photographs of rural Haryana.

Island of discontent

An igloo-shaped makeshift hut of a fisherman set up on Ranser, one of the islands in the Pong Dam reservoir in Kangra district.
An igloo-shaped makeshift hut of a fisherman set up on Ranser, one of the islands in the Pong Dam reservoir in Kangra district. —  Photo by the writer

From sunset to sunrise, they remain cut off from the rest of the world. For day-to-day work, they have to depend upon boats to cross the Pong Dam reservoir. Their only source of entertainment is radio and playing cards.

They are the fishermen whose livelihood depends upon the reservoir. They are temporarily settled on islands located in the reservoir, far from the madding crowd.

Their families are settled in villages located on the periphery of the dam.

A recent visit to various islands in Kangra district showed that they are a disillusioned lot.

They are living in igloo-shaped temporary huts, barely larger than them. At times, they have to face the vagaries of weather. To protect themselves from wild animals, they cover their hutments with protective barbs or quills. They rue the fact that whenever their huts have been damaged, the government has paid no attention to them.

“No one seems to be bothered about us. We have been living on the island since the construction of the Pong dam,” says Guljari, a fisherman.

“I have spent my entire life hopping on boats. I am quite satisfied on these lonely planets,” says Kewal of Khadyad village.

Guljari, who has been fishing for the past 25 years, says over the years the catch has been declining drastically.

During the two-month off season (during which the fish breeds and fishing is banned), they migrate to their native villages. The government pays them some compensation.

After their departure from the islands, employees of the Fisheries Department occupy their huts to keep a vigil on poachers. The lake around the islands is famous for big-game fish, from the catfish, rohu, catla and mrigal to the golden mahseer.

Permission of the Fisheries Department is a must for angling.

Contributed byBalraj Mahajan, Raman Mohan and Vishal Gulati


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