Brick-kiln owners use toxic waste as fuel in their units
When safeguards go up in smoke
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune news Service

Amritsar, September 2
Despite the fact that much is being said and done about decreasing air pollution, there is a section of the industry which is thriving on polluting the air. With ever-increasing prices of coal, highly polluting fuel in the shape of discarded tyres, alkaline battery shells and waste obtained from refining of discarded mobile oil (called “gaad”) is being used by brick-kilns and the processing industry right under the nose of the pollution control board all over the state and other parts of the country. The pollutants released by these substances are highly toxic and are a cause for serious ailments.

Previously, these industries were using coal for baking the bricks. But now many people in this industry are using old, discarded rubber tyres of trucks, buses and cars for this purpose. These tyres are cut into small pieces by shredding machines installed at brick-kilns or adjoining places.

Another material being used widely is the alkaline battery shell. In industry language these are called “batteras”.

The third most polluting material which is being used by the industry to cut down fuel costs is thick residue obtained on recycling of waste mobil oil retrieved from cars, scooters and other automobile service centres. This is called “gaad” in industry language.

While the prevailing price of coal is between Rs 8,000 and Rs 8,500 per tonne, tyre pieces cost Rs 6,000. “Battera” comes at a cost of Rs 3,500, whereas the cost of “gaad” is Rs 3,000 per tonne.

These alternate substances are banned for use in the industry, but these are cheaper and release 10 to 20 per cent more heat than coal.

Burning of these substances releases highly toxic smoke laced with carbon monoxide, sulphur, carbon dioxide methane and other harmful gases. In Amritsar, these fuels are brought from Ludhiana and Jalandhar. Since this material is available only in the grey market, there is colossal loss to the excise department in VAT and income tax as profit from the sales of used tyres, “battera” and “gaad” goes unrecorded and unnoticed.

Used tyres are available at places like Pathankot where there is market for auctioned military articles.

The pollution control board is in the league as by sheer volume of this type of fuel, the use by any industry cannot be hidden.

The kind of pollution which is spread by these substances is likely to affect heritage sites, including structures like the Golden Temple, the Durgiana Mandir and the Ram Tirath.

One unit, where discarded tyres are being cut and sold, is right near the Sita Mata Temple, near the Ram Tirath.When it is clear that there is no other use of non-recyclable materials like tyres, used mobil oil and battery shells except in burning, effective measures should be taken to handle these wastes to prevent them from falling in wrong hands.



Go for green assets, govt urged
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 2
“Five star hotels and a mall, the auction for which was held recently, do not signify development and are not as important as this particular green cover for this holy city,” Gurbhej Singh, general secretary, Mission Aagaaz, an NGO, stated this in a missive to Sukhbir Singh Badal, president, SAD, urging him to intervene in saving about 450 trees in Mental Hospital complex which are going to be axed after the completion of the auction process.

He said the project could be shifted to any other place and the land be developed as a botanical garden instead of concrete jungle.

He said this was the only huge green cover left in the city, which was spread over 32 acres and had huge trees and the value of these green lungs could be gauged from the fact that most of them were more than 100 years old.

He said the alternative of planting 100 saplings in lieu of one tree being provided by the government was certainly not sustainable as even 100 saplings could not match the services provided by a full fledged 100-year-old pipal tree.

Apart from reducing the pollution and providing fresh air, these trees provided shelter to various birds and small insects, which would be rendered homeless or killed after the trees were cut, he added.

He said they had also written to the managing director, PIDB, Punjab Chief Minister and finance minister in this regard but had not received any response so far. He said they also contacted BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, who assured them of planting 100 saplings in lieu of one tree.

He said the union ministry of environment had launched a National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) on the theme of “Climate change” and governments world over were amending their laws to save their respective green covers.



Turkish delight for Spring Dale girl
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, September 2
Muneet Chhatwal has made Amritsar proud by winning the first prize in individual debate competition during the 11th international convention on students’ IMECE circles at Veditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey, in which students from about 20 countries and from all over India participated.

Muneet spoke on “Quality cannot innovate unity”.

Her team also earned the special jury award for the skit “Quality forever” in which she played the role of a small child, a lady and an attendant.

Narrating her experience, the class XII student at the local Spring Dale School said it was really tough as she had to speak against the motion of the topic during the competition and counter-questions, especially vague ones, were enough to confuse. “But I held my nerve and won the competition. It’s a great feeling,” she said.

A versatile student throughout her schooling, Muneet, a daughter of a senior government official posted here, said she always had the ambition to excel in various artistic, cultural, sports and academic activities during her schooling.

She had won distinction in painting, declamation, roller skating, essay writing and participated in various dramas and skits. As far as academics are concerned Muneet had scored brilliantly in the class XI CBSE examination and her ambition is to do MBA from one of the elite IIM institutions in the country.

Among those who participated along with her were Rubiana Singh, Monica Bhatia, Kamaldeep Kaur Sandhu and Kanwar Kharak Singh Gill, while Viney Khanna was the coordinator of the trip.



Tamil treat in offing
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 2
The Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd would organise a ten-day exhibition at local art gallary here on September 5.

Poompuhar, an undertaking of Tamil Nadu government, would put on display handicrafts and handloom items, including bronze brass lamps, wood, stone and sandal wood carvings, Tanjore paintings, Hyderabad pearls, jewellery, silk & cotton sarees, ladies suits and dress material.

The spokesman of the corporation said a special discount of 10% would be offered on handicrafts items, while 20% rebate would be given on handloom items. “Poompuhar is a veritable storehouse of artistic creations.

Many gift items like scented candles, incense sticks, pouches, diaries, photoframes, dried flowers and leaves would also be there,” he said. 



Aquatic Tourney
Records sink on day three
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 2
Veedhaval Khade of Maharashtra created a new national record in the 100m freestyle swimming competition with a timing of 00:51:33 seconds in the 35th AS Brar memorial national aquatic championship-2008 being held at Guru Nanak Dev University here today.

A Beijing Olympian, Khade bettered his own national record of 00:51:41 seconds made in the previous championship. Over-all seven new national records were created on the third day of the championship by Surabhi Tipre (Maharashtra), Arhatha Magavi (Karnataka), Jyotsna Pansare (Maharashtra) in 800m (freestyle), 100m (freestyle) and 50m (back stroke), respectively.

In the 4 x 200m (freestyle) relay category, the Maharashtra and Karnakata girls teams created national records in the Group I and II competitions, while in the same category for boys, the Karnataka team created national record in the group II competition.



‘Punjab direly needs infrastructure upgrade’

Amritsar, September 2
Budding swimmer Jashandeep Singh of Punjab here today said that there was a need for indoor swimming pools in the state.

Jashan clinched two gold medals in the 35th AS Brar memorial junior national aquatic championships-2008 in the 50m and 100m breast stroke competitions being held at Guru Nanak Dev University here.

Talking to media on the sidelines of the competition, Jashan, who hailed from Ropar, said that in southern and other parts of the country the players practised 12 months a year while in Punjab and northern side of the country, the budding players had only six months’ practice due to chilled winter season.

A class XI student, Jashan said this was his ninth championship and he created three national records in previous championship held at Surat, Gujarat, in 50m, 100m and 200m competitions. He said that at present his aim was to qualify for the Youth Commonwealth Games. The names of selected players for the games would be declared after the competition. — OC



Tinseltown magic

Amritsar, September 2
The Bollywood celebrities Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Anupam Kher were in the city to shoot a film, “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”, to be made under Yashraj banner. Khan and Rani completed most of their scenes which were to be shot in the Golden Temple complex, while film director Yash Chopra and his wife Pamela were busy in inspecting the possible sites near Rajasansi airport and Wagah joint check post. His son Uday Chopra also arrived in the city in the evening.

Talking to the media, Yash Chopra said that being a Punjabi, Punjab had always fascinated him with its rich cultural heritage. — OC



GND varsity bids farewell to deputy director of sports

Amritsar, September 2
The Officers Association of Guru Nanak Dev University extended a warm farewell to deputy director (sports) Inderjit Bawa and four other officers, assistant registrar Devraj Singh, superintendent (secrecy) Opinder Singh Walia, superintendent (accounts) Dalbir Singh Walia and superintendent (enquiry) Inderjit Rai, on their superannuation. 

VC Dr Jai Rup Singh, registrar Dr RS. Bawa and ssociation chief Mukesh Sharma hailed the contribution made by these officers in the development of the university. — OC



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |