‘Get ready for the big payback’
Sanjay Bumbroo and Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, June 13
The holy city residents have unanimously rapped the state government for axing a large number of trees at the local Dr Vidya Sagar Mental Institute to pave way for the construction of multiplexes.

Money from such auctions should be used for adding green cover Brij Bedi

Prof Anish Dua from the department of zoology of Guru Nanak Dev University said, “Widening of roads is really essential with the increasing traffic in the city. However, the loss incurred through it can be compensated by taking upon the responsibility of filling the losses.”

He suggested that planting 10 times the number of plants uprooted can demonstrate that “we care”. Besides, the government should spend at least one-tenth of the amount generated from the auction of commercial sites for developing more green areas.

He said the holy city already had a small green cover and to reduce the pollution levels, it was important to protect the existing tree-line. He advised that NGOs, government departments, educational institutions and religious organisations should come forward for the noble cause, especially in such a dismal situation.

10 times the number of plants uprooted will help 
Dr Anish Dua

“We all know that what is lost is lost forever. These roadside trees are very old and are wonderful instruments in fixing the greenhouse gases. So if we lose them once it would take years for us to gain them back, that too not sure,” Anish Dua said.

He said he wondered whether alternatives were being thought of before mowing down these green shoots or not. He said the media has an improtant role to play in bringing the ecological issues to the fore among the masses.

Social activist and environmentalist Brij Bedi termed chopping of trees as murder of natural habitat. He said it would take years to provide shady and green environment to hundreds of patients being treated for mental disorders.

He said there was a lot of similarity between bringing up a child and nursing a plant. “One cannot imagine destroying its own progeny,” he added.

He said there was time when the holy city was known for its green belts. But in the mad race of building concrete jungles people were putting their future at stake. He gave the example of the Mall Road which was once a paradise for city residents and had been destroyed due to planning by the city administrators.

Describing green covers as the saviour of natural resources like water, he said trees provide us oxygen and take away carbon dioxide which was an essential component of human life cycle. If there would be no trees the cycle would be destroyed and in the end humanity.

Bedi said, “Great saints and gurus have always been associated with nature and they taught us to take care of the mother nature. But the present generation has given minimum respect to the natural habitat which is resulting into global warming.”

He said the government must ensure that cutting trees was the last resort and added that the money generated from such an auction should be used to create more green space like parks. “The money generated from the sale should be kept in a special corpus under the custodianship of non-political persons who should have a final say in the investment of the money for the city’s betterment,” Bedi added.



Clock reset likely to alter Nankana Sahib bus timings 
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 13
Both India and Pakistan have agreed in principle that the Amritsar-Nankana Sahib buses should ply via Lahore and timings for these buses would be changed to suit the passengers.

This was disclosed by Punjab senior transport secretary Jaspal Singh who returned from Lahore today after attending a two-day meeting with Pakistani senior officials.

He said Pakistan’s move of advancing its clock by an hour under the “daylight savings” had started creating chaos for the passengers and traders of both the countries.

So a high-level meeting was held in Lahore to work out modalities to change the frequency and timings of bus services.

Besides, another proposal that the buses should return to their respective countries on the same day was also mooted, he added.

He said both India and Pakistan were contemplating to open visa offices in Amritsar and Lahore to help passengers and the step was likely to increase occupancy of buses plying between Amritsar, Lahore and Nankana Sahib.

He said the Pakistan Tourism Corporation had already started sending mini-buses to Amritsar due to less frequency of passengers and similar decision was being considered by India too. However, opening visa centres would be discussed by the governments of both the countries and a report in this regard would be sent to the Centre and the Punjab government.

According to the information, on May 31 at the stroke of midnight, Pakistan had officially advanced its clocks by one hour.

The step has been taken to conserve energy and was approved by the federal cabinet of Pakistan on May 14.

The change puts Pakistan six hours ahead of the GMT and the new timings would stay from June to August.

During these three months shopping malls have been directed to close their business at 9 pm and switch over their weekly holidays from Sunday to Friday.



Garbage galore: Green coal technology promises hope 
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Amritsar, June 13
Taking notice of the increasing solid waste scattered all over the city, the municipal corporation has engaged Eco-Save Systems Private Limited to transform Amritsar into an eco-friendly destination.

The consultant company has come out with a Rs 95-crore solid waste management project to treat 600 tonnes of waste collected from the city. The organic content of the collected waste would be used to produce compost, fuel pellets and green coal.

Talking to mediapersons, company director Dr S.R. Maley said the increasing per capital waste generation was posing several challenges for its scientific disposal. Since western model based on high tipping fee was not affordable in most of the Indian cities, the ideal solution for dealing with solid waste was step-by-step integration. It includes segregation at source, primary storage, secondary storage and transfer stations followed by processing through integrated technologies.

He said biodegradable wastes like leftover of fruits, vegetables and other eatables, which contain a high moisture content and low-calorific value, were habitats for pathogens and flies. However, they can be used for making compost which was very useful in agriculture.

Maley said the technology for recovery of value-added organic fertiliser from the biomass was already available in India and the produce obtained from it was suitable for tropical, sub-tropical and arid climatic conditions.

Talking about the plan, he said keeping in the view the trend of increasing construction, the project has been planned in such a manner that it would take care of disposal of construction material too.

The components of construction material could be separated through various mechanical ways and can be processed and converted into civil bricks, hollow blocks or clean sand stone-metal.

He said, “Plastic is another ingredient in the garbage which is growing at an alarming rate of 5 to 7 per cent annually and the project would recycle it to make it useful again.”



Reality show: Residents cheer Hargun’s wild card entry 
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, June 13
The city’s 12-year-old singing sensation Hargun is in top gear these days as she has made a wild card entry into 9X’s mega song-n-dance reality show “Gini and Jony Chak De Bachche”.

She has already cleared auditions at Ludhiana, Delhi and is finally in Mumbai now, along with 24 children selected from all over the country, competing for the title.

Hargun, who had been learning music since the tender age of three, never thought that one day she would make so big. Her proud father Tejinder Singh said, “We noticed her talent when she joined a playway school and recited Sanskrit ‘shlokas’ on harmonium. We were surprised and decided to nurture her talent.” Probably she learnt the art from her grandmother who used to recite gurbani and kirtan on harmonium, he added.

Trained by music exponents Narinder Srivastava and Rohitashav Bali, Hargun can sing ghazals, folk songs, classical and devotional songs. An ardent admirer of singing queen Lata Mangeshkar, she wants to be like her one day.

She has many prizes to her credit which include best harmonium player at the national level. Besides, she had displayed her talent at Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan and Raag Sabha in Jalandhar and has also been crowned twice at the all-India surtarang talent hunt being organised by the Sangam Kala group.

Her father said Hargun had always strike a balance between her music and education.

She held a good academic record despite being busy with her training and performing schedules. 



Toon tunes 
City cartoonist dreams of making it big at a young age
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 13
She’s a budding talent. As a kid Simarjeet Kaur always dreamt of being in big league. No wonder, her inspirations were R K Laxman and Sudhir Dhar who had endeared newspaper readers across the country with their witty cartoons and illustrations.

A final year student of commercial art and jewellery designing at local BBK DAV College for women, Simarjeet has a collection of wide range of caricatures depicting various ills in the society on the canvass. The girl had developed the flair for cartoons at an early age and after entering college she was able to hone her skills with the assistance of teachers and patrons.

Simarjeet said her school teacher Mala Chawla, has always inspired her to use her talent to draw people’s attention towards ills in the society like rampant political and administrative corruption, drug abuse, dowry and femicide. “If given a chance, I would like to work for some publication,” she adds.

Describing her work as a difficult one, the girl said the artist has to first visualise and then give it a real shape by putting it on a paper. “It takes about minimum four to five hours at a stretch to conceptualise and complete an assignment,” says Simarjeet, whose works have been appreciated by many.



Dining Den
Broaden your culinary horizon
Gina Arora

Amritsar, June 13
Amritsar is a city with myriad traditions and tastes. The food stations here, serving authentic Indian delicacies, have a carved a niche for themselves among the gastro lovers. Marwari Dhaba in the alleys of Katra Ahluwala is one such destination.

The dhaba was started by late Loon Karan Sharma and now the gourmet tradition is being carried on by his son Raj Kumar Sharma.

The joint serves delicious vegetarian meals with speciality being fluffy, brown paranthas in breakfast and pure Indian scrumptious dal along with three different vegetables in lunch and dinner. Not to forget, the mandatory salad and pickle which add to the flavor. Also, yoghurt is a must with every meal. In dessert, Kheer perfectly matches the high standards of ethnic cuisine.

The place is a great hit among the tourists, especially those from the Marwari community hailing from Gujarat and Rajasthan.

They flock the joint in large numbers whenever they miss home and its rich food.

Sharmas have a fleet of workers who deliver a quick service to the customers. A ‘Thali’ system at a pocket-friendly price prevails here. Marwari Dhaba holds a 
special position in the hearts of city food buffs, who want special services during functions like wedding and birthdays. 



Campus Pulse
Focus on character building, teachers told
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, June 13
Teaching community should focus on character building of students. It could remove various ills from the society. This was stated by CS Talwar, Jalandhar municipal commissioner, who was the chief guest during the inauguration function of of a faulty development programme being conducted by Amritsar College of Engineering and Technology.

A special lecture on ‘India’s contribution to world development and role of teachers’ was delivered by members of Vivekanand Study Circle. It highlighted the role of Indians in global development and the vision of Swami Vivekanand and his philosophy of universal religion. Dr Suman Sharma, vice-president of Vivekanand Study Circle, emphasised on the need for spiritual development of students through teachers. She said the science and technology of the West and values of the East should be merged for balanced global development. Earlier, Dr Rajneesh Arora, principal of the college and Dr SK Aggarwal, dean faulty, welcomed the dignitaries.

Summer camp

A fourteen-day summer camp “Anubhav-2008” would be organised by Shri Ram Ashram Public School here from June 17. The camp would help students with ‘communicative skills’, especially English speaking and understanding the correct usage. Special focus would on personality development and etiquettes. Preeti Sharad, principal of the school informed that parents who are keen to utilise their time constructively, can join the special craft classes being organised for them.

The activities which would be held during the summer camp would include English drama, excursions & movies, skating, flower arrangement, fabric painting, clay pottery, painting and craft. Horse riding, yoga, music, dance, theatre, meditation and safe cooking lessons would also be delivered. Students can also enjoy "rain dance" during the camp. Around 200 students are expected to participate in the camp, she said.

Seminar on child labour

A seminar was organised to observe World Child Labour Day at Ashoka Senior Secondary School, Ajit Nagar here. Yoginder Pal Gupta said the young generation should come forward to end the social evils, besides taking steps to stop the exploitation of kids.. Deepika Shingari, a Class XII delivered a lecture on the occasion.

Abacus contest

Robinder Singh of Class VIII, while Richa Aggarwal and Sanjit Singh of Class IV of local Spring Dale Senior School have brought laurels to the institution by bagging first, second and fourth prizes, respectively, in the All India National Level Abacus Competition held at Chennai. 



Campus Buzz
‘Media has become an industry’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 13
Media have become an industry now and its main motive is just to earn and churn money no matter whether the content presented lacks moral or ethical values.

This was stated by Punjabi Tribune editor G.S. Sidhu Damdami while inaugurating a four-week general orientation course for the university and college teachers being organised by Academic Staff College (ASC) of Guru Nanak Dev University.

He lamented that the media had deviated from its real mission and financial gains were the sole aim.

Damdami exhorted the teaching fraternity to caution people, especially youngsters, against the possible dangers of projecting unethical content in media. He said only teachers could make the youth good citizens by inculcating moral values in them. He also shared his life experiences with the teachers.

Principal correspondent of The Tribune Varinder Walia said nowadays media had become a business and was destroying society. Earlier, journalism was a mission but today it lacked principles, he added.

Earlier, ASC director H.S. Bhatia highlighted the contributions of Damdami in the field of journalism, Punjabi language and literature.

CNR Rao award for Prof Narpinder

Guru Nanak Dev University has conferred the CNR Rao Educational Foundation award-2007 on Prof Narpinder Singh for excellence in research.

Instituted by the university, the award is given in appreciation of the academic contributions of the faculty members. Narpinder Singh is the first recipient of this award. He was also awarded Ramana Fellowship by the department of science and technology of the ministry for science and technology, government of India.

Narpinder recently rejoined his duty after working on the Royal Society Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.



Entrance exams: Free coaching for poor students

Amritsar, June 13
The Manav Kalyan Trust, which is running top-notch free schools for children of the poor strata of society, has come up with another scheme to provide free coaching for various entrance examinations for processional courses.

Trust chairman K.R. Maheshwary said they had been deeply concerned about the poor chances for the lower middle class and poor families to meet high cost of coaching for seeking entrance in medical, engineering and other professional courses in the country. He said the trust had decided to give free coaching to those students who had cleared class XII and are keen to appear in the competitive examinations.

Maheshwary said they would also provide coaching to graduates belonging to the economically weaker sections for joining B.Ed colleges. The trust had already been running training course for class XII pass students in computer and accountancy. Intensive training was also given for improvement in English and personality development. During the current session 120 students would benefit from the course, he added. — OC



Chinmaya camp to boost nationalism among youth

Amritsar, June 13
Chinmaya mission will organise 3rd North Zone six-day camp “Feel India” from June 21 to 26 at Bhawan’s SL Public School here. The president of the Chinmaya mission Avinash Mahindroo told the Tribune that more than 150 youth in the age group of 15 to 30 would participate in the camp which would inculcate the spirit of nationalism and patriotism. He said they would focus on feeling of pride for the country.

Mahindroo said the camp would have different sessions to discuss the Indian culture, tradition and heritage. Group discussions, workshops, games and cultural events would also be held, apart from daily yoga and meditation classes.

He said top luminaries, including Swami Nikhilananda from Delhi, Swami Chetanyananda from Bhopal, Brahmchari Govind Chetanya from Noida, Brahmchari Jagan mitra Chetanya from Bhopal, Brahmchari Vinayak Chetanya from Amritsar and Brahmchari Navneet Chetanya from Gurgaon, have been selected from the mission faculties to deliver discourses. — OC



Site for eating plaza

It is matter of pride that Amritsar has been chosen as prime city for establishing a food plaza. The project, no doubt, will be another feather in its cap. Amritsar being one of the best tourism centres attracts about one lakh tourists daily. The site for this plaza should be on the GT Road (instead of Lawrence Chowk as announced by local MP) as the tourists coming by road should make proper use of such an eating hub.

The number of tourists visiting Amritsar by road is much more than the visitors who come by air. Lawrence Road has already developed as a busy shopping complex.

A project consisting of theatres, shopping mall and multi-star hotel is coming up near Maqboolpura, GT Road, Amritsar.

It would be better that the vacant piece of land on the GT Road, near Dhingra Housing Complex, presently encroached upon by sand-laden trolleys and trucks, will be the best location for this project. The site will be more suitable as it is situated on the GT Road and within the proximity of the city.

— Sukhvinder Singh Narula, Amritsar



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