Exposing: Ugly underbelly of MC ops
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 15
Huge puddles of murky, stench-emitting water with lots of garbage floating around and swarms of flies and mosquitoes hovering all over. This is the usual scene at one of the gates of Shaheed-e-Azam S. Bhagat Singh Bus Terminus through which hundreds of passengers are being forced to pass before boarding a bus.

While the surroundings of the gate, falling adjacent to Garha Road, have always remained filthy, the situation has turned for the worse with the onset of monsoons. Standing muddy water has marred the looks of the newly constructed bus stand, while also causing much inconvenience to the commuters.

Passengers rue that there was no use of constructing a bus stand if the approach to it was so bad. “The stagnant, muddy water has become a routine even if it does not rain. After a downpour, it almost becomes impossible for anyone to cross the road without getting the clothes and footwear completely soiled,” said Harjit Singh, a government employee at Phagwara.

The fact that the vendors selling eatables or running a tea stall stand right in the middle of the garbage heap, raises questions over the health concerns. People eating from the stalls are likely to fall ill owing to high risk of contamination of food. Chances of a malaria outbreak are high owing to water stagnation in the area.

Punjab Roadways general manager Parneet Singh said the road along the boundary of the bus stand was not being repaired as of now as it would soon be dug up for construction work of the Lyallpur Khalsa College flyover, one leg of which would lead to the bus stand gate. He added that the MC authorities were responsible for managing the civic problems outside the bus stand area.

MC assistant commissioner D.P. Bhardwaj said the vendors selling fruits and vegetables on encroachments along the outer boundary of the bus stand were throwing their waste around the gates of the bus stand. He said a demolition drive to remove all encroachments from around the bus stand site would soon be carried out.

Meanwhile, a similar filthy site exists outside the Police Lines where heaps of garbage mix up with rainwater making it almost impossible to pass through the area owing to obnoxious stench. Residents revealed that the families 
of the police personnel were responsible for littering the area. This site, too, is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.



Sports firm told to pay Rs 5 lakh relief
Bad birdie ruins shuttler’s career
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 15
Agreeing with the claim of a former state level badminton player that a defective shuttlecock was responsible for the permanent damage to his right eye, the district consumer disputes redressal forum has ordered a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the petitioner.

The owners of city-based Philips International, which supplies the Yoneka brand of shuttlecocks, have been asked to the pay the amount within one month.

Sahil Arora, a college-level shuttler, had filed a case before the forum in 2006 pleading that during one of the practice sessions on April 4, 2005, the crown of feathers of a shuttle hit by his opponent broke and the cork hit the right glass of his spectacles, resulting in serious injury to his eye.

His teammates immediately rushed him to a hospital where the doctors conducted micro- surgery but his vision could not be saved.

Sahil, son of Doordarshan news presenter Raman, alleged that the defective shuttle supplied by the firm was directly responsible for the serious injuries which cut short his sporting career.

At the time of the incident, he had come to Punjab to defend his senior category champion title from Bangalore where he was undergoing training at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy. He also underwent treatment at some of the top institutes in the country. Sahil had sought a compensation of Rs 17 lakh.

The defendants pleaded that they were not liable since the complainant had not purchased the shuttlecock from them but had been supplied to the college. They also contended that they sold hundreds of shuttlecocks to other educational institutions with no complaints.

The bench, comprising MM Bhalla, president and Surinder Mittal, member, observed that the complainant is a consumer since the college is a legal body and cannot play badminton.

It has also been proved that the same brand of shuttlecocks was supplied by the company to the college that was used by the players.

“A perusal of the affidavits and facts supplied by the complainant also proves that he has suffered life-long blindness in one eye and that his career has been ruined. The forum directs the opposing party to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to Sahil,” read the order.



Sports goods manufacturers want VAT to stay 

Jalandhar, July 15
Members of the Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (SGMEA) along with the Sports Goods Export Promotion Council and Sports Goods Foundation of India today appealed to the Punjab government not to abolish VAT on sports goods and keep the status quo of the present VAT system on sports goods.

Chairman ofthe SGMEA Raghunath S. Rana said the abolition of VAT would adversely affect the manufacturers and exporters as the prices would shoot up by 8 to 12 per cent due to non-availability of input tax credit (ITC) paid on the purchase of raw materials.

He said the association was already facing a stiff competition from China, Pakistan and other South Asian countries and increase in the prices of their goods would make them totally uncompetitive in the domestic and international markets.

Rana maintained that the members of their association were manufacturing and selling sports goods to the tune of Rs 400 crore, which included exports worth Rs 290 crore. “We are making a significant contribution to the government revenue in the shape of various taxes. Resultant decrease in business due to abolition of VAT will further result in ultimate loss of revenue to the government,” said Rana. — TNS



Crude Crisis
Downsizing by airliners worries students
Shruti Arora

Jalandhar, July 15
It’s a bad time for the aviation industry as it has been suffering losses in crores due to the increased rates of crude oil. The problem has intensified to an extent that airlines have resorted to reduction of their staff strength, to cut costs.

Under such circumstances, placement of students doing new courses is under threat. Some institutes, however, consider this a temporary phase.

Oil companies increased the rates of air terminal fuel (ATF) by 7 per cent on July 1 due to continuous increase in the price of crude oil. Jet Airways had to bear a loss of Rs 654 crore and Air-India is still facing a loss of Rs 10 crore on a daily basis. To compensate this loss now airline companies are reducing expenses by cutting down flights instead of increasing fares again and again. Go Airlines expelled 13 foreign pilots and reduced 10 percent of its staff. It retrenched 160 employees within a week and cut the flights from 1,400 to 700 a month. Kingfisher-Deccan is also expelling foreign pilots.

This situation has raised the question of placement of youths who are pursuing (or have completed) courses in aviation in Jalandhar.

“We have a schedule of interviews for three months and we don’t think a major recession has come but it’s a matter of anxiety for the future. We think everything will be clear, but do not give guarantee of placement,” said Flying Cats centre director Neeraj Sood. “I think it is a temporary phase but can be a crisis in future. But trained girls can also get jobs in the travel industry and hospitality,” said centre head of Frankfinn Hardeep Singh.

“The country needs 30,000 aviation professionals by 2010. There will be no crisis of placement in the coming time,” said head of Sky Academy Vivek Malhotra.

“Two months have passed since the completion of my course but I don’t see any chance of placement as yet as had been promised,” said former student of Frankfinn Yuvraj. “Placement is doubtful as companies are expelling their employees and reducing their flights. How can we think of our placement?” puts in Flying Cats student Yashvani.

“We are continuously promised of visits by airline companies but as the companies are reducing expenditure and expelling employees, we are not sure about the placements,” said some students.



Keen on exploring India, German teen lands in city
Kusum Arora/TNS

Jalandhar, July 15
“Namaste” was all she said. And the word helped her to break ice as she sat to share her experience about her maiden visit to India.

Meet Gesa Marie Huster, a German student who is here in Eklavya School under a cultural exchange programme by the American Field Service (AFS). This blue-eyed German teenager is very happy and excited of her stay in India.

Talking to The Tribune, Gesa said, “I always wanted to explore the world and learn more about different cultures and traditions. I am happy that I have got a chance to study in India for a whole academic year as it would help me to have a better insight of this country.”

A student of class IX at Sankt Antonius Gymnasium in Uedinghausen, Gesa arrived in India on July 4 along with the members of AFS. She was brought to Jalandhar by the school director Seema Handa.

“All I know about India is that it is a developing nation and a majority of the people are computer professionals. Perhaps this is the reason why many developed nations are looking forward to Indian intellectuals,” she said with a smile.

A diehard fan of Bollywood actors Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai, Gesa said, “I have seen Shahrukh’s movie ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ and a number of films of Aishwarya Rai. They both are amazing.”

Gesa is fond of horse riding, tennis, basketball, snowball and going out with friends. Her classmates, who were equally happy in her company, said, “Everyday is a new learning experience for us. We have learnt many German words from her and trying to make her aware of Hindi and Punjabi words as well.”

The school authorities said they had been working on the same lines to invite 
a teacher from Denmark under the cultural exchange programme in September this year.



Dining Den
Die-hard veggie lovers can drool

Jalandhar, July 15
Manni Dhaba, a name to reckon with for the desi food-lovers of the city, carries the legacy of traditional Punjabi food forward with it. When the vegetarian mums are not in a mood for home-cooked food, but would prefer something which is equally home-like, Manni Dhabha is one such place where the papas are most likely to fetch food from. 

Situated in Shastri Market, Manni Dhaba is one of the most preferred eating joints of the city. People love trying its simply vegetarian but amazingly lip-smacking menu every now and then.

Started in 1978 by Rattan Singh Manni near Jyoti Chowk the place, now famous as New Manni Dhaba, has always been among the favourites of Jalandharites due to its services.

Says Gurpreet Singh Manni, the owner of the dhaba, “It has almost been a tradition with us to satisfy our customers first. We consider the demands of our customers first rather than the policies adopted by us. Ever since the dhaba was started, we kept bringing significant changes in the dhaba from time to time keeping in mind the interests of the residents.” Whether it is dal makhani, dal fry, kadai paneer, paranthas, chana masala, kheer kesri or any other preparation in the place, the all-vegetarian dhaba pleases the palate of everyone.

Although a great hot-spot for the Jalandharites, the dhaba opens in two shifts - lunch and dinner. “We keep getting demands for a regular breakfast menu as well but till date we have not finalised anything as such,” said Gurpreet. — TNS



Young World
Varsity exam: HMV girls on cloud nine
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 15
In the recently declared resullts of BSc- II (biotechnology), students of Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya have brought laurels to the institution. Sandeep Kaur stood first in the entire Guru Nanak Dev Universit, followed by Navpreet Kaur who stood second. Similarly, Sneh Lata bagged fourth position in the university.

Project exhibition

The Darshan Academy held an exhibition on projects prepared by the students during the summer vacation. The students also gave presentations on the occasion. Chief guest Janakrak Puri appreciated the creativity and talent of the students.

Going play way

The UKG wing of St. Soldier public school were given computer lessons using play way technique. The students were taught about the environment, wild animals, different plants etc.

Play way is the easy way to teach the students, said principal of the school. Other staff members were also present on the occasion. 



AIR meet to chalk out future plan
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 15
The issue of providing more public-interest programmes to audience would figure prominently at the meeting of the Group 14 stations of the AIR.

T Dolkar, deputy director (northern region) will preside over the two-day meeting to be held at the Circuit House from July 16. Group 14 stations comprise 10 stations of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

Jalandhar assistant station director Suman Pal said directors and programme heads from these stations would discuss future planning for providing popular programmes, besides strategies for enhanced revenue generation. 



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