City Beautification
Make disributary canal land a green belt: Residents
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 1
In the wake of the diminishing green cover, the residents, senior citizens and environmentalists here are demanding that a 2000-feet-long distributary canal of the irrigation department, which has been lying unused for the past many decades, be developed into a green belt to enhance the natural beauty of the otherwise congested city.

The residents have said owing to no proper planning and execution for the development of the canal area, the municipal corporation Jalandhar was facing a tough time to get the encroachments removed.

Even now, a couple of encroachments, including one temple, dot the canal stretching from Nakodar Road to Model Town.

The members of a Senior Citizens Association, based at New Jawahar Nagar, pointed out that several encroachments on it were removed nearly two years back and it was then principally resolved by the corporation that the canal site, passing through Lajpat Nagar, would be developed as a green belt. But nothing got materialized, they said.

Darshan Singh, president of the association and ex-councilor (of ward number 34 now); Gulshan Sharma, vice president and ex-councillor and Santokh Singh, secretary, have even shot off a letter to the commissioner, municipal corporation, raising the same demand in view of the excessively polluted environment of the city.

They have said the senior citizens and residents could take a stroll and relax there for sometime.

They said they had learnt that Dr H.S. Pruthi of Pruthi Hospital had accepted to develop the site as a green belt and was ready to spend as per the terms and conditions of the MC.

However, it is learnt that the green belt project and an 80x60 feet parking lot project that he had started during the tenure of the previous commissioner SS Johl, was stopped after a new proposal was floated to get a road constructed there instead.

Dr Pruthi too, has written to the MC commissioner saying that development of the green belt at the cost of the hospital would be appreciated by people looking for clean and healthy surroundings. “The construction of the road at a heavy cost would not serve much of a purpose while creating a possibility of legal tangles, delay, encroachments and misuse of the area”, he has said.

The elderly residing around the area have said long time back the first vice chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Dr MS Randhawa, as a part of the beautification committee, had also suggested that the green belt along the canal should be developed.

The present councillor Anup Kaur too has filed a reminder to the commissioner regarding the development of the green belt from Nakodar Road to Lajpat Nagar. She has written, “Few months ago, a tender for the development and improvement of a park on the Model Town Road across Guru Amar Dass Chowk was approved and allotted to a contractor.

The work has been left incomplete and no action has been taken as per the terms and conditions of the contract. Residents are having a grouse that the park site has become a nuisance as it is being used by unwanted elements. Huts and sheds have come up in the area.

Besides, a portion of the site falling on the main Model Town road has become a rubbish collection centre”.

Commissioner CS Talwar feigned ignorance about any project on the canal site. Joint commissioner Rahul Gupta said it was not yet clear as to a road or a green belt would come up in the area. 



Sports industry’s ultimatum to govt
Abolish VAT on sports goods by May 25
Amarjit Thind/TNS

Members of the Khel Udyog Sangh burn an effigy of local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia at Basti Nau in Jalandhar
Members of the Khel Udyog Sangh burn an effigy of local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia at Basti Nau in Jalandhar on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Jalandhar, May 1
The callous attitude of the government towards the sports industry came in sharp focus with entrepreneurs observing a day-long dharna and burning the effigy of local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia here on Thursday.

The activists, holding the protests under the aegis of the Khel Udyog Sangh (KUS) demanded immediate abolition of value added tax (VAT) on sports goods as had been done by the Uttar Pradesh government.

Ravinder Dhir, spokesperson for the outfit, said, “The government is making false claims and citing illogical excuses not to abolish the tax. Fed up with the lies, we have given an ultimatum to the government to scrap VAT till May 25, failing which the sports industry will be forced to intensify its agitation.”

He said, “We have been raising the issue at various platforms and have even submitted a memorandum to Kalia, but he refused to budge from his earlier stand that the election code of conduct was in force so the government could not do anything in the matter.”

He claimed that more than 95 per cent of the sports industrial units remained closed on Thursday in support of the strike.

Sangh convener Vijay Dhir said the sports industry was already facing a stiff competition from cheap Chinese products in the domestic market. “With the exemption in UP, we will also face a challenge from our counterparts in Meerut, which is fast emerging as a sports manufacturing hub,” he pointed out.

The total turnover of the sports industry in the domestic market was about Rs 400 crore and if VAT was not abolished, the same could witness a steep decline leaving the market open for products from Meerut.

Apart from 4 per cent VAT, the sports goods manufacturers were also facing other problems, including entry tax and filing of C-Form, which was not the case in UP, giving an edge to our competitors, he revealed.

If the situation continued, Jalandhar, which was famous for its sports products, would lose its identity and sports goods manufactures would have no other option but to down their shutters, Dhir added.

Ironically, other states like Jammu and Kashmir were encouraging their sports industry by imposing a ban on sending Kashmir willow outside the state, but has done nothing to protect the industry other than making tall promises in its poll manifesto, he alleged.



A day of dharnas  against Kalia
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 1
Minister for local bodies, industries and commerce Manoranjan Kalia seems to be fast losing support in his own hometown.

This was obvious as almost all dharnas organised in the city were raging anti-Kalia campaign. The Rural Health Pharmacists Association held a dharna right in front of the residence of the minister demanding their regular appointment, grant of regular pay scales, withdrawal of cases against 27 pharmacists during a recent demonstration and reappointment of pharmacists whose services were terminated.

The Khel Udyog Sangh, mostly comprising of BJP workers, today shut the sports industry at Basti Nau and burnt the effigy of the state government. The situation seemed ironical and spoke of dissidence within the party. The members were demanding exemption of sports goods from VAT.

President of the Federation of Jalandhar Industrial and Traders Associations Gursharan Singh in a press note issued here has asked Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to intervene in the matter related to hike in steel prices. He has written that “Kalia neither has time to think for industry or trade nor has time to meet the industry. The present situation of industry and trade is all because of the industrial minister of Punjab as he has no understanding and intimacy with the industry.”

He has stated that “the industry minister has proved to be totally unsuccessful. Either he is  having no knowledge about the industry and trade issues or least concerned with the problems of industry and trade.”

It is learnt that even local BJP councillors, office-bearers and workers are upset with the indifferent attitude of Kalia.



Seminar on legal aid held
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 1
The assistance provided by the District Legal Services Authority made legal aid available to the workers free of cost as they could come forward to avail the help by the authority.

District and sessions judge Gurdev Singh, who is also the chairman of the authority, said there were many provisions which protected the rights of the labourers, especially the women and children.

He was presiding over a seminar organised by the authority as part of the legal aid week being observed by the authority at the Central Institute of Hand Tools here on Thursday.

Balbir Singh, presiding officer of the labour court, spoke on the mechanism of the court and functioning of the lok adalats.

CJM Gurmit Kaur dwelt on the subject of legal aid and the protection of the rights of women and  child labourers.

Inderjit Singh, assistant labour commissioner, also spoke on the occasion.

Earlier, C.P. Khatter, principal-director of the institute, welcomed the chief guest and others and appreciated the initiative of the judiciary to come to the doorstep of the industrial labour and guide them about their rights.

Others present on the occasion included Mohan Singh Sachdeva, general secretary, manufacturers and employers association, and Kanwalpreet Singh, ADA (legal services).



Young World
997 HMV College students receive degrees
Tribune News Service

Students of KV No 1 perform a dance at the annual function in Jalandhar Cantonment
Students of KV No 1 perform a dance at the annual function in Jalandhar Cantonment on Wednesday: Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Jalandhar, May 1
Nearly 885 graduate and 112 postgraduate students of HMV College received degrees at the annual convocation held here on Thursday. R.S. Sharma, general secretary of the DAV College Managing Committee, was the chief guest. Mayor Rakesh Rathour presided over the event. A report of the college activities and achievements was presented by principal J. Kackria. Cultural items like ghazal, Sufi singing, folk singing, folk orchestra and histrionics were presented by  young artistes.

New principal

One of the seniormost teachers of MGN Public School Satwant Gakhal took over as its principal on Thursday. She had already been serving as officiating principal for the past few months ever since R.S. Mehta stepped up as  a trustee.

Gakhal is a postgraduate in political science  from HMV College here. The ceremony was attended by chairman G.S. Narula, secretary Jarnail Singh Pasricha and  trustee Mehta.

Music concert

A concert of traditional Indian vocal music will be organised at the CT Institute of Management and IT, Maqsudan, on May 3. Pandit Ritesh Mishra  and Rajnish Mishra, 
sons of celebrated artistes  Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra, will perform on  the occasion.

The concert is aimed at shaping the minds of the youth as enlightened human beings and complete personalities, development of patience and concentration power.

Principal’s day

Principal’s day was celebrated with enthusiasm at Police DAV Public School. All the students lined up and cheered for their principal Rashmi Vij. Vaneeta Singh, head girl of the school, thanked her for providing them principles to achieve success in life and exhorted the students to emulate them in their lives. Vij paid a vote of thanks and exhorted the students to march ahead fearlessly with a firm belief in the Almighty.

Seminars held

A seminar, Natritav 2008, was organised by the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) at St Soldier Management  and Technical Institute, Mithu Basti.

Approximately 300 delegates from all over the region participated. The topics of the seminar were leadership management in present context, decision making in management and leadership in information age. Guru Nanak Dev University registrar R.S. Bawa was the chief guest of this event. Dean academics of Punjab Technical University V.K. Arora was also one of the resource persons.

A seminar on consumer awareness was organised at KMV College. President of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum M.M. Bhalla enlightened the students regarding the concepts of consumer and customer, their rights and the redress procedure of filing the complaints.

Seminar Hall

CT Group of Institutions inaugurated a hitech seminar hall on its Shahpur campus. Dean academics of Punjab Technical University V.K Arora was the chief guest. Chairman Charanjit Singh Channi said he would continue to offer  the best facilities for the institutes.

Space settlement

Police DAV Public School participated in a project submission competition, “Project space settlement design contest - 2008”, organised by NASA Ames Research Center, USA. Out of 156 submissions from about 12 countries, Police DAV’s design named “Adwitya” has also  been selected.



1 held for bid to supply drugs in jail

Jalandhar, May 1
The district police claimed to have arrested one person who allegedly tried to supply intoxicated capsules to inmates of the central jail here on Thursday.

Acting on a tip-off, policemen in the plain clothes were deployed along with the boundary wall of the central jail.

They spotted a person trying to throw a bundle of intoxicated capsules over the wall, superintendent of police (SP) S.K. Kalia said, adding that sensing that some persons (cops in plain clothes) were coming to nab him, the accused tried to flee.

After a brief chase, the policemen nabbed the accused, identified as Gursharan Singh, alias Bhaloo, who even took out a sharp-edged weapon to attack cops.

He even injured constable Raj Kumar, Kalia added. The accused was immediately arrested and a case under sections 307, 329 and 142, Indian Penal Code, was registered against him, the SP said, adding that during investigation it came to light that the accused was part of a notorious gang of the district and was supplying capsules to one of the members of his gang, Surinder, who was lodged in the jail.

The accused was wanted in some other cases also and he was the only member of the gang who was evading arrest for the past few months, Kalia added. — PTI



Man killed in road mishap

Jalandhar, May 1
A motorcyclist was killed and his pillion rider was seriously injured when a bus rammed into their motorcycle near Bulandpur village on the national highway here on Thursday. The accident occurred in the morning when the deceased, Kuldip Singh (45), along with Gurdev Singh, was going on his motorbike and suddenly a bus coming from the opposite direction rammed into his vehicle, police sources said, adding that while Kuldip died on the spot, Gurdev received injuries and was rushed to a nearby private hospital where his condition was stated to be serious.

Meanwhile, the body of Kuldip Singh was sent to the local civil hospital for a post-mortem examination and a case regarding the accident has been registered, sources added. — PTI



Bank earns 72.47 pc profit growth
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 1
Capital Local Area Bank registered a net profit growth of 72.47 per cent during the financial year 2007-08.

Managing director Sarvjit Singh Samra said the total business of the bank increased to Rs 635 crore as on March 31 with a compounded annual growth of 34.55 per cent.

The operating profit has increased to Rs 11.31 crore as against Rs 7.14 crore for the corresponding period last year.

The bank has earned a net profit of Rs 7 crore as against Rs 4.13 crore last year, a growth of 72.47 per cent.

Keeping in view the performance of the bank, it has been decided to give a dividend of 12 per cent this year as against 9 per cent given last year, he said.

The bank continues to keep a zero per cent non-performing asset (NPA) level. Samra said the bank at present has a business of more than Rs 665 crore and 75 per cent of its business was in the rural areas only. The bank has nine branches in the rural areas and five in the semi-urban, he added.

Samra said the bank had adopted 129 villages and 50 municipal wards in its area of operation. The bank planned to open 40 more branches by March 31, 2010, with a projected business of Rs 1,500 crore, he said.

The bank pioneered in bringing modern banking practices in the rural areas at nominal costs. The services include ATMs, seven-day banking, full money transfer and life and general insurance services.



Unsafe water

The problem of unsafe drinking water is acute in many city schools. Dayanand Model School in Model Town is one such school which has no provision for safe drinking water for children.

Children drink water from unhygienic taps fitted to plastic tank in which the water will be at its boiling point in summers. The school has no facility of water coolers also. Dirty drinking water and poor sanitation cause a host of health problems.

— Navneet Vij, Jalandhar

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