Nurpuri projects do not progress beyond foundation stones
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

The foundation stone of a library to be constructed in the memory of Nandlal Nurpuri at the Model House locality in Jalandhar
The foundation stone of a library to be constructed in the memory of Nandlal Nurpuri at the Model House locality in Jalandhar. Photo: S.S. Chopra

Jalandhar, April 10
Two years after they were started, the ambitious Nandlal Nurpuri library and community hall projects have failed to kick-start at the local Model House locality, thanks to the indifferent attitude of the municipal corporation (MC).

An unsung hero, Nurpuri penned numerous popular songs, which have been remixed time and again by the music industry. The list includes evergreen songs like “Gori diyan jhanjaran,” “Shaunkan mele di,” “Mainu deyor de viyah vich nach lain de,” “Balle ni Punjab diye sher bachiye,” “Chum chum rakho kalgi” and many more.

Owing to extreme poverty, Nurpuri, the famous lyricist, committed suicide by jumping into a well near his house at the Model House locality on May 13, 1966. And it was here at this very place that the MC authorities laid the foundation stones in his memory.

The projects were started with an aim to pay tributes to Nurpuri, who created a niche for himself in the world of Punjabi poetry through his humane poems, ghazals and songs. The foundation stones for the projects were laid by the then local bodies minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, and former city mayor, Surinder Mahey, on July 31, 2006.

When The Tribune team visited the spot it was found that on the name of construction only two separate foundation stones have been laid so far. While one foundation stone was surrounded by garbage the other has been virtually occupied by beggars and some roadside kiosks near Ravidass Chowk.

Sukhjinder Kaur, younger daughter-in-law of Nurpuri, says, “The MC and the then local ministers from the Congress government started the projects on a promissory note but politics came into play and the work came to a halt.” She added that the MC authorities even bought the construction material but nothing had materialised so far.

Not only this, the Congress government also promised a government job to one family member of the poet. Sudesh Kumari, another daughter-in-law of Nurpuri, says “We ran from pillar to post to get this job.

The then Jalandhar (south) MLA, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, too did nothing rather making things difficult for us. Though my son recently got a government job with the Punjab Roadways but we virtually spent days and nights meeting officials here and there.”

MC commissioner C.S. Talwar said, “We would surely look into loopholes as to why the project could not take off till date.” On the other hand, despite repeated attempts, local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia was not available for comments.



Table Trouble
Agri dept starts water conservation drive today
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
Perturbed over the issue of dip in water table level by 75 cm annually, the agriculture department plans to sound alarm bells among farmers, literally through an outreach method giving them tips on water saving techniques.

Local officials have decided to start a mobile van service that will move from village to village distributing handouts on water conservation, disseminating the message through public address system and leaving behind banners as reminders.

The timing of the campaign is also suitable as farmers are harvesting their rabi crops and will soon be preparing their soil for sowing of paddy.

One of the major recommendations for the farmers is based on avoiding early sowing pattern of paddy. The officials say this can lead to loss of 30 per cent of water. A handout prepared by the department reads, “Agricultural scientists have found that in case paddy is sown on May 1, the water table falls below 70 cm. If paddy is sown on May 10, the level falls by 60 cm. If delayed to June 10, the level falls by 10 cm and if postponed further by 10 days, the water-table level may even rise.”

Another main tip on water conservation is the use of tensiometer, a device used for checking the level of moisture in the soil and helping in judging the need for irrigation. “Sometimes the soil is dry superficially and the farmers tend to unnecessarily irrigate the crop. The device can help the farmers conserve water up to 20 per cent, especially after paddy transplantation,” Naresh Gulati of the agricultural department said.

The other major recommendations include use of drip irrigation for saving 50 per cent of water and getting 75 per cent subsidies in lieu of it.

The campaign will kick off on the occasion of a farmers’ exhibition and training workshop being organised tomorrow at the Bhogpur grain market. Sucha Singh Langah, agricultural minister, and Dr Sutantar Kumar Aeri, chief agricultural officer, will preside over the workshop.



Thanks Tribune Readers
Your donations give this 4-yr-old blue baby new life
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
An overwhelming response by The Tribune readers has helped saving the life of a four-year-old boy, who was suffering from a heart disease and whose parents were in a dire need of financial assistance for his treatment.

Karan, who had a hole in heart, has been successfully operated upon with the help of donations made generously by several persons. The Tribune had carried a news item appealing to the readers to extend a helping hand to the poor Nepalese family nearly 10 days back.

The surgery was carried out at the Mediciti hospital in Jalandhar on April 7. Dr J.S. Mann, consultant cardiologist, has confirmed that the surgery was successful and the boy is recuperating. “The donors have set in a very good precedent by helping out the poor family. Many persons have called up to enquire about the health of the boy,” he said.

The boy’s father, Gopal Rai Maji, a domestic cook, too is all thanks to the donors. “People turned up at our house and at hospital contributing money without even disclosing their identity.

Some well-wishers even enquired about any arrangement needed for blood donation and helped us arrange six units of AB+ blood group that was to be given to Karan. Without their aid, we would have been rendered helpless,” he said. Dr Mann had slashed the charges for the treatment from Rs 1.7 lakh to Rs 1.1 lakh. Lions Club, Jalandhar Victory, members contributed Rs 10,000 for the cause.



Wrestling championship begins
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
Contrary to the expectations of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP), information and public relations minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia, chief guest at the 27th sub-junior national wrestling championship, failed to keep a date with the players.

ADGP Rajan Gupta inaugurated the championships. Indian Origin Wrestlers World Federation president Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu came as a special guest along with former DGP M.S. Bhullar.

On the occasion, two championships between wrestlers of India and Pakistan were organised. Mohammed Shahid defeated Sandeep ‘India’ and in the second category Indian wrestler Sukhraj Singh routed Mohammed Javed.

As many as 700 sub-junior wrestlers and officials from across the country, including the host Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Jharkhand participated in the annual championships.

Last time the U-17 championships were held at Anandpur Sahib. The girls are participating in the 11th sub-junior national wrestling championship group.

The Tribune spoke to some wrestlers at the opening ceremony. Say Rashmi Tyagi and Anjali Sen, both national players from Uttar Pradesh, “Though we have been playing wrestling championship for the past two years but the lukewarm response by the people demoralises us. As compared to other games we don’t get good kits. At times we have to buy them ourselves. Sports activities like wrestling have immediate need to be highlighted at the national and international levels.”

The host team, however, was in an upbeat mood as the players expressed the hope to tackle the rival teams.

Talking about the training of the wrestlers, coach Ashok Kumar from Tarn Taran said, “We have laid special emphasis on some new techniques of wrestling. I have taught some new moves to these wrestlers through CDs of international wrestling championships over the past months. Now I am looking forward to excellent results in these championships.”

According to Olympian Kartar Singh, the championships would be conducted in two forms, Greeko-Roman and freestyle. While the girls would participate only in freestyle, the boys would participate in both the styles. The three-day-long championships would conclude on April 13.

The PAP authorities honored Olympian Banta Singh, Noted singer Hans Raj Hans and acclaimed Punjabi writer Varyam Singh Sandhu with an award of Rs 51,000 each.



Biz Buzz
New range of sunglasses launched

JALANDHAR: The latest summer collection of sunglasses was launched at Himalaya Opticals here on Tuesday to meet the summer demand of the people. Himalaya Opticals director Shrawan Binani said in a press release that the latest designs included big glasses and funky shades which gave the impression of the era of 1970s.

The store had the collection of Versace, Hugo-Boss. Roberto Cavalli, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Emporio Armani, Diesel and Gucci.

Binani said that Punjab, particularly Jalandhar, was one of the biggest markets of sunglasses and they had made efforts to make available to the people the latest in the summer collection of sunglasses. — TNS

ATM inaugurated

JALANDHAR: The Centurian Bank of Punjab opened its 14th ATM in the city at Sarb Multiplex on Tuesday. The facility was inaugurated by Sarb Multiplex director Sarbjit Kaur, head marketing services (north) of the bank Dipin Preet Singh said in a press release. The multiplex will soon have a multi-cuisine food court and fine dining restaurant. — TNS



Rail men not happy with pay commission report
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
The Northern Railwaymen Union (NRMU) organised a demonstration at the city railway station here on Thursday to protest against the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission and in support of their other long-pending demands.

Union national vice-president Gurdial Dass, its Ferozepore divisional secretary Daljit Singh, divisional chief Mohinder Singh and president of Punjab CITU Mangat Ram Pasla addressed the NRMU members gathered here from different parts of Ferozepore division.

Their demonstration in Jalandhar today was a part of their nationwide protests from April 7 to 12 on the call of the All-India Railway Men’s Federation and the Northern Railway Men’s Union.



Lost and found
Post-suicide note, LPU girl hits parents’ house
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, April 10
A girl student of Lovely Professional University (LPU), falling under Chaheru police post of Phagwara Sadar police station, went missing from the university hostel on Tuesday.

LPU corporate coordinator Aman Mittal, while talking to The Tribune, claimed that she was found from Jammu on Thursday evening and was with her parents. However, Phagwara Sadar SHO Amrik Singh Chahal said he had no information that the girl had been found. He said she might have been found by her parents directly.

Earlier, a DDR was registered at Phagwara Sadar police station on Tuesday after getting information of her going missing from the hostel.

Chahal said said a suicide note addressed to her Delhi-based parents had been recovered from her hostel room.According to police sources, she stated in her suicide note, “I love my parents very much, you have great expectations from me but I could not fulfil those expectations and I am going to commit suicide.”

The SHO said, “Despite the recovery of the suicide note from her room, she is alive. She has been calling her friends from different places in the region.”

According to sources, she called one of her friends from an Amritsar PCO on Wednesday. A police team reached the site but could not find her.



Khambra school staff show government the way
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
This is one example that can make the government rethink about its plans to privatise state-run schools.

Till the time this building was housing PU High School, a private school at Khambran village, it was in a shambles. But ever since it came in government hands in 1989, things have started changing for the better.

From a cluttered, unsafe, three-room building, Government Senior Secondary School has been transformed into a modern school with 14 classrooms, two computer rooms with advanced systems, two staff rooms, science laboratories, a seminar hall, clean, tiled toilets and a well-maintained lawn.

The school is now a cluster centre for over 11 schools in the vicinity. The strength of the school has risen to over 500 with children from classes VI to XII coming in not just from Khambran but also adjoining Khurla Kingra and Badshahpur villages, as well as colonies near Wadala Chowk.

Teachers say that it all began with their team effort. “Instead of asking someone for contribution, we, the 21-member staff, started pooling money to meet the minor requirements of the school. We even decided to make contributions for the purchase of uniforms for the children, especially during the winters,” they said.

“In 1996, Harinder Sahni, now DEO (S), joined the school as principal and he chalked out a plan. It was decided that all events, be it Republic Day, Independence Day, Gandhi Jayanti or Baisakhi, will be organised on the campus for mobilising resources.

We have always been inviting NRIs and well-off persons from the village or the periphery as guests, urging them to donate generously, which they have always done,” said the staff.

Most donations, however, have come from Tarsem Singh Atwal, an NRI from the village and passout of the school. The school teams have won laurels in hockey tournaments, science seminars and other activities.

With a grant coming in for the construction of a separate science block, the school also plans to start the science stream but the only problem is the lack of sufficient space for the purpose.

“The officials refused to construct an additional floor above the existing building since they had doubts about the strength of its foundation. This led to the entire idea being dropped,” teachers revealed. 



Cut VAT to boost sports industry, says Khel Udyog Sangh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
Calling for a proposal on value added tax (VAT) exemption on sports goods, Basti Nau-based Khel Udyog Sangh said a cut in 4 per cent VAT could give a boost to the sports goods industry in the city.

In a press conference held here, Khel Udyog Sangh representative Ravinder Dhir said the industry had suffered a major setback recently due to an increase in the prices of raw material, power rates and surcharge.

Ravinder Dhir said the cost of production had increased due to these factors.

Any move on slashing VAT would bring in an upsurge in the trade, he added.

Dhir said earlier 90 per cent of sports goods were manufactured in Punjab and the remaining 10 per cent in Meerut.

However, the ratio had now become almost 50:50 due to incentives given by the Uttar Pradesh government to its sports industry. 



Young World
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
The annual prize distribution function of the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology (DAVIET) was organised on Thursday. Padam Vibhushan T.N. Chaturvedi, ex-governor of Karnataka, and Dr S.K. Salwan, vice-chancellor, Punjab Technical University, presided over the function.

Director C.L. Kochher distributed prizes among the students who had performed well in academics, sports and cultural activities.

New session

MGN Public School, Adarsh Nagar, reopened for a new session with the prayers seeking blessings of the almighty. An orientation programme for students was organised introducing them to various laboratories, libraries and activity rooms. An audio-visual presentation on school functioning, rules and dress code was also given as the students were told, “Well begun is half done.”

Medical check-up

A three-day free medical check-up camp was organised by the St Soldier Educational Society on its main campus.

Nearly 900 students and 60 teachers participated in the camp. A seminar on eating habits was organised for the students and teachers.

Vice-chairperson of the society Sangeeta Chopra, heart specialist Dr Raman Chawla and principal S.K. Prashar inaugurated the camp.



Curbs on wheat harvesting
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
The district administration has banned the harvesting of wheat between 7 pm to 9 am with immediate effect.

District magistrate Ajit Singh Pannu invoked section 144 of the CrPC wherein defaulters could be booked for non-compliance of orders. Further, harvesting could only be done with combine harvesters that conformed to the BIS norms.

The orders will remain in force till May 15. 



LPU to tie up with UK varsity
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
Lovely Professional University and Northumbria University, UK, are likely to soon enter a major tie-up in the areas of management and psychology. To have a firsthand knowledge of the coherence in the syllabus and the teaching methodology of the two universities, Dr Pamela Briggs and Kevin Robertson, dean and associate dean of Northumbria University, respectively, interacted with the faculty and students of LPU.

During the interaction, various options like faculty exchange, student exchange and starting joint programmes were discussed. Ashok Mittal, chancellor, LPU, said besides this, there were plans to ink MoUs with four universities of the US.



Tree makes ride unsafe

Defence Colony is connected to Hardyal Nagar through Garha Road. The road has a divider and there is a tree on the left side of the divider, making it accident-prone. During night and in winters the condition gets worsen, especially when there are no streetlights. I have witnessed various accidents, some of serious nature, on the road. Affected residents have approached the authorities many times but everyone passes the buck. I would request the authorities concerned to take the necessary action as soon as possible so that road users can have a safe ride.

— K.L. Batra, Jalandhar

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