AGI’s objection halts youth hostel’s construction
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 26
It has been almost 19 years ever since the Punjab government approved the project of construction of youth hostel at Burlton Park, which is yet to be completed.

While it took nearly 17 years for the project to begin owing to political and bureaucratic hassles, the construction work has once again come to a halt after an objection was raised by the Auditor-General of India (AGI).

According to information, the AGI has raised an objection over the inordinate delay in use of the grant to the tune of Rs 36.75 lakh by the CPWD, which has been undertaking the work of construction.

Coming up in an acre of land on the left side of the entrance gate, the construction of ground floor of the hostel has been completed, while work on the second floor is still pending.

The hostel, which could accommodate 60 youths, would have six dormitories, five bedrooms, a drawing room, a recreation hall, library and a table tennis court.

The facility would be offered to the youths, who come to the city under exchange programme or for other events like sports competition, and would be charged a minimal amount.

Talking to The Tribune, Youth Services assistant director Capt I.S. Dhami said adequate arrangements would be made for promoting youth activities by organising bhangra classes and coaching in other art forms in the hostel compound.

Interestingly, the construction work had earlier remained a bone of contention between the Jalandhar municipal corporation and the CPWD.

The MC officials had been insisting that since the lease deed had been executed by them, the construction work should be handed over to them.

However, the changeover was not possible and the MC had cancelled the deed.

The matter was again revoked when it was brought to the notice of the secretary of the local bodies.

The MC officials then asked the CPWD to get the construction drawings passed by them and the case remained pending for a long time.

Jagmohan Singh Kang, the then minister for youth affairs and sports, had laid the foundation stone for the building on April 7, 2003 but nothing moved on for another three years.

Even the originally allotted site on the main road was shifted to the existing site somewhat in interiors of the park.



3 years gone, only stone in name of community centre
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 26
Owing to the lackadaisical attitude of the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), the community centre project at Urban Estate, Phase-I, still hangs fire.

It has been more than three years since the foundation stone of the project was laid but till date no construction work has begun.

The foundation stone of this time-bound project was laid on November 26, 2006, by then Jalandhar (south) MLA, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, in presence of PUDA officials.

But in the name of construction, all that one can witness is tall bushes and garbage littered here and there.

A majority of the residents of Urban Estate Phase-I maintained that the officials have simply turned a blind eye towards the project.

“Since its inception we have been emphasising on the need to construct this community centre so that the residents can get a common place in the area. But PUDA has failed miserably and our repeated attempts to get things done fell on deaf ears as a result of which no construction work has began so far,” said general secretary of the Urban Estate Welfare Society Des Raj Hastir.

It is pertinent to mention here that PUDA allocated nearly 3 kanals for the construction of the community centre.

“Apart from this, PUDA officials also sanctioned Rs 1.10 crore for the construction of the building, which has not been utilised anywhere. Designed with a sitting capacity of around 500 persons, the double-storey building was meant to be a multipurpose hall for the Urban Estate, Phase-I, residents,” said Hastir.

The residents said the majority of the roads required recarpeting as they have big potholes as a result of which people faced a lot of problem while commuting.

“It is sad to see that even as required funds are also available for the reconstruction of the roads but the authorities concerned are doing nothing,” said Harjinder Singh, another resident of the same locality.

Repeated attempts to contact additional chief administrator (ACA) A.K. Sikka for comments turned futile.



PCO attacked, owner’s father hurt
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 26
Three persons of Sofi village allegedly broke the glasspanes of a public call office (PCO) of a disabled person in the village falling under Paragpur police post of Sadar police station.

The victim, Rakesh Kumar, said Raju along with his associates Sukhi and Tara threw stones at his shop after using abusive language against him and his family members on Thursday afternoon after a minor dispute on Wednesday.

His father Parmanand, who was present in the booth at that time, sustained injuries when Raju and his asssociates attacked, Rakesh Kumar added.

The victim informed the police, which recorded his statement to lodge a case in
this regard.



Consumer Forum
Bank told to return house title deed to dismissed manager
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 26
Pronouncing a judgement in favour of a dismissed manager of a local branch of the Punjab and Sind Bank (PSB), the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed bank officials to return original title deed of his property withheld by them.

In his complaint, Jaswant Singh Minhas, a resident of Hardyal Nagar, said during his service with the bank, he had obtained a loan from the bank against his house after depositing an original title deed.

He alleged that even as he had adjusted the total housing loan, the bank had not released his deed.

He complained that since he wanted to start a business by obtaining a loan against the same property, he required his deed.

He alleged that he was without employment since 2005 and had no other source of income. He added that he challenged the order of his termination by filing civil suit.

However, the DGM of the zonal office of the bank at Model Town and manager of the Lyallpur Khalsa College branch had taken the plea that the complainant owed several lakhs of rupees to the bank and the bank, being the custodian of public money, had the right to retain the title deed.

This, they said, was necessary for general lien over his assets for recovery of the amount misappropriated.

The counsel for the complainant said that the bank officials had not produced any document showing any specific amount due from him nor had they filed any
recovery proceedings.

He said that for any vague amount, the title deed could not be retained, especially when he had discharged his liability of specific loan amount.

The forum comprising president M.M. Bhalla and member Rakesh Kumari held that the act of the bank was illegal.

It directed the officials to return the original title deed of the complainant within one month from the receipt of the judgement.



Paddy Sowing
Water-saving method to cover more area

Jallowal (Jalandhar), June 26
Having tested the water saving direct seeding technology for paddy sowing, PepsiCo has said it will enlarge the area under the new method to 4,000 acres across Punjab in the next season.

“We have plans to cover 4,000 acres in 2009 across Punjab in which we will like to use our unique technology of direct seeding on paddy, including basmati and normal varieties of the crop,” PepsiCo general manager (agriculture) Susheel Sankhyan told reporters here on Tuesday.

The company this year aims at using direct seeding technology on the paddy crop in over 1,000 acres in Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

“We are aiming at covering 200 acres of land in Punjab and Rajasthan for the basmati variety and 400 acres of land in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for normal paddy variety to implement this technology,?” he said.

PepsiCo last year used the direct seeding technology in 340 acres of land in Sangrur, Patiala, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur districts and 60 acres in Rajasthan.

Under this technology, the company claims that farmers could save 30 per cent of water and reduce their production cost between Rs 1,250 and Rs 1,450 per acre compared to traditional paddy cultivation.

Paddy cultivation is known to be very water intensive. Over a period of time, this has resulted in decline in the water table in Punjab. — PTI




In response to the news-item “Learning law the hard way” that appeared in Jalandhar Plus on May 16, G.K. Agnihotri, father of Suman Agnihotri, a law student at the Regional Campus of Guru Nanak Dev University, has said that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered that Rajni Verma, HoD, would not be the teacher of his daughter.

The High Court had also ordered revision of the character certificate issued to her. During the proceedings, the university on its own passed Suman Agnihotri and seven other students, he added.



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