Devp projects over 3 cr under govt’s eye
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
The Punjab government would monitor the development projects amounting to Rs 3 crore and above carried out in the holy city to ensure the quality of the work.

Stating this to The Tribune here today, Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP, said the corporation would soon set up a panel of road experts to monitor the quality of work being undertaken by a private road construction company. He said they would not compromise on the quality of work as the government had entrusted them with the task of giving quality the top priority.

Sidhu said he had given strict instructions to the corporation engineers that he would not tolerate any laxity in the construction of the road for which the state government had given a liberal grant of Rs 165 crore and for which the corporation was planning to rope in the best construction company in the country.

He said he was satisfied with the pace of road construction and hoped that the work would be completed within the next three months.

Expressing satisfaction over the speed of the work at Hall Gate, Fatehgarh Churian, Kachehri, Batala Road and other areas, Sidhu announced that the project of laying bitumen on the interior roads and streets of the walled city would also be undertaken within two months. He also inspected the service lane constructed by Gammon India alongside the elevated road on the Amritsar-Jalandhar GT road.

Mayor Shawet Malik briefed him about the works on the major roads in the city.

He said the work on the prestigious project of the garbage treatment plant would start soon as the corporation was in the final stages of initiating the ambitious project.

He said everything was being done in a transparent manner and the contractors had been made accountable for the work being undertaken by them so as to ensure proper quality.



Nod to mega tourism projects
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, September 16
The government has woken up to the need to mull over to turn the holy city into a major tourist destination. A high-level meeting convened here recently has given a final shape to the mega tourism projects which include complete restoration work of the town hall heritage building housing the offices of the municipal corporation,
besides renovation of historic gates around the walled city. Guru Nanak Dev University has also been included for building a heritage village. The meeting, which was presided over by principal secretary (tourism) Geetika Kalha and attended by director-cum-secretary D.P. Reddy, joint director S.P. Bajaj and deputy commissioner K.S. Pannu, shortlisted two out of the seven companies which have been invited to make power presentations to undertake the task to make Amritsar a world-class tourist hub.

The committee of tourism also approved a consultant architect from New Delhi, Abhimanyu Dalal, for the conservation work of Town Hall and to design and execute the works relating to the heritage village in the university while another company K. Unnawala would be entrusted with the task of repair and renovation of the six gates around the walled city. Committee spokesman S.P. Bajaj revealed that the university had earmarked 20 acres for the construction of the heritage village. He said the central government had approved an allocation of Rs 25 crore for the complete tourism project and the first instalment of Rs 15 crore had already been received by the state government. He said the shortlisted companies for the restoration work would undertake the job within the next 15 days and were likely to complete the project within two years.



2 ring roads to decongest city
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
With a view to remove congestion and streamline the traffic, the Punjab government and local municipal corporation have prepared blueprints of ambitious projects of creating two ring roads on the periphery of the city.

The inner ring road, starting from Vallah bypass to Jhabal road along downstream of the UBDC canal will be constructed at a cost of Rs 100 crore. The total length of the 20 metre-wide road would be 12.4 km, which would be instrumental in ending frequent traffic snarls.

The MC commissioner, D.P.S. Kharbanda, said he had sent the detailed report to the managing director, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, Chandigarh, for approval. Earlier, a high-level meeting, chaired by the chief secretary and attended by BJP’s MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and mayor Shavet Malik, emphasised the need for constructing the inner ring road at the earliest.

Kharbanda said the proposed inner ring road would reduce the pressure on the city roads.

Another four-lane road was proposed from the railway crossing at Verka towards DAV International School bypass with an outlay of Rs five crore. The third road project envisaged a four-lane road from Doburji at the entry point of Amritsar city towards Sultanwind village at the cost of Rs five crore.

Another ambitious project planned was the construction of three flyovers on the UBDC canal - Taran Wala Bridge, Sultanwind village bridge and Tarn Taran road bridge - where the government had proposed to spend Rs 80 crore.

An ambitious project of the augmentation of Bhandari bridge at the cost of Rs 60 crore would be completed in two years. The plan had also been devised to give relief to pedestrians on high traffic roads at Crystal chowk and Putlighar chowk at a cost of Rs 10 crore for constructing two subways.

As many as 15 auto-rickshaw and taxi stands also figured in the planning at various vantage points of the holy city, which would be constructed at a cost of Rs 5 crore. Four multi-level parkings would also be constructed, including three in the walled city, while the fourth would be at Durgiana Temple at a total cost of Rs 40 crore. The government also proposed to shift gaushallas at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore. A gateway of India, which was already under construction, would be completed at the cost of Rs 4 crore.



Development bonanza for Majitha
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
Majitha will be transformed into the most developed constituency of Punjab by the end of the current year, claimed Bikram Singh Majithia, information and public relations minister, Punjab. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) supremo, Sukhbir Singh Badal, would lay the foundation stone of 10 new projects in the constituency on September 20, he informed.

Addressing a meeting of Akali workers, paches and sarpanches of the area, Majithia said the SAD chief had already laid the foundation stone of projects worth Rs 40 crore during his earlier visit, including setting up of power grids and grain markets. Most of those projects were near completion, he added.

He said the building of roads and setting up new educational institutions was the primary focus. Nearly 30-km stretch of roads would be strengthened and 30 new schools be set up by Airtel company. Simultaneously, clean drinking water would be provided to all villages of the constituency by incurring an expenditure of Rs 7 crore.



‘Buhe Barian’ draws curtain on women theatre fest
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
The four-day Naari Rangmanch Utsav, dedicated to woman theatre, came to an end on Monday evening with the staging of “Buhe Barian”, a play directed and enacted by famous theatre, television and film personality Neeta Mohindra.

“Buhe Barian” depicts the deep desire of the protagonists to stay alive and not give up despite facing testing times, disappointments, misformtunes and disasters in life. As many as four plots, with a multitudinous range of emotions, are weaved together and each tale gives shades of surmountable or insurmountable miseries and oppression that are natural to the patriarchal system in society.

A captivating performance by Neeta was the highlight of the evening. An academician by profession, the eminent painter has also acted in various productions like “Ashadh Ka Ek Din”, “Adhe Adhure”, “Sarai Ki Malkin”, “Partapi”, “Balde Tibbe”, “Gudia Ghar”, “Dosra Adhayay”, “Abhisarika”, “Aag De Kaleere”, “Rag Des” and “Tum Saadat Hasan Manto Ho” to name a few.

On television, she has appeared in “Rain Basera”, “Sheshe Main Badal”, “Poshnool Ki Wapsi”, “Baba Balak Nath”, “Manto’s Hatak” and “Tarrakipasand” and “Parai Kokh”. She also hosted Baithak, a fortnightly chat show, for five years and currently anchoring another show called “Kathian Mithiann”.

Meanwhile, Narri Rangmanch honoured Manveen Sandhu, principal of Spring Dale Senior School, for her contribution towards promotion of theatre in the two Punjabs. Dr Inderjeet Kaur, chairperson of the All-India Pingalwara Society, was the chief guest on the occasion.

The festival, dedicated to another theatre legend Nadira Zaheer Babbar and wife of Bollywood actor Raj Babbar, was organised by The Theatre Persons, Amritsar, in collaboration with Punjab Naatshala, North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, and the Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi. In all, four plays directed by women theatre artistes were staged during the festival which was widely received by the audience.

On Sunday, a play “Khidki Band Kar Do”, directed by Harvinder Kaur, was staged at Punjab Naatshala. The play reflects the plight of the girl child who is still considered as a burden, and reflects the general norms of a developing society which dares to take chance in controlling the lives, especially when it comes to single woman. Now-a-days, even parents still consider their daughters as an unwanted responsibility.

The protagonist in the play Mala, who is living with her father and a child, refuses to toe the line of her in-laws because of some meaningless social compulsions. Be it at the workplace or within the house, Mala has to confront strange situations because she is trying to lead her life on her own terms.



Mangal Dhillon wants to be a Sabat Surat Sikh
P K Jaiswar/TNS

Mangal Dhillon Amritsar, September 16
After producing and directing a number of documentary films on Sikh religion, its rich history and culture, famous actor, director and producer Mangal Dhillon is now contemplating on becoming a baptised Sikh.

“After completing my ongoing projects and assignments, I would start keeping beard and sport a turban,” said the versatile actor in his trademark booming voice.

Born in village Wander Jatana in Faridkot district, Mangal moved to Mumbai to pursue his film dream. He has worked in over 30 movies and also tried his hand at direction. The actor has also produced five documentary films and numerous theater shows.

Talking to the Tribune, the man, who has carved a niche for himself by dedicatedly producing films showcasing the rich Sikh traditions, said while portraying the characters he realised the importance of keeping beard and wearing turban.

Dhillon said his headquarter would remain Mumbai, but he would spent considerable time in Ludhiana where he has set up a studio. He said he was planning to produce ‘Gurbani Sangeet’ by inviting prominent raagis and kathakars at his studio.

Mangal Dhillon worked as a theatre artiste from 1978 to 1987 besides teaching acting at various institutions. He shot to limelight after his powerful performance as Lubhaya Ram in Ramesh Sippy's TV serial "Buniyaad", which laid his foundation stone in the Mumbai Film Industry. His other notable performances were in Yugandhar, Lakshman Rekha, Nishana, Vishvaatma, Khoon Bhari Mang and Azad Desh Ke Ghulam besides teleserials like Junoon, Panther, Ghutan, Sahil, Mujrim Hazir, Kismat and Noorjahaan. His theatre production and one-man play "Theatrewala Urf Pagal Hai" got rave reviews. Dhillon has also starred in semi-commercial film “Suneha - a message” based on true experiences of illegal immigrants.



Now, docs form forum to tackle medical mess in Pb
P K Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
With the de-recognition axe hanging over medical colleges in Punjab, the teachers from government as well as private medical and dental colleges and allied specialties have joined hands to save these institutions. The newly-formed forum for welfare of medical institutions in Punjab has given a clarion call to professionals, administrators and political leaders to come forward to improve the medical education in the state.

Notably, the MCI show-cause notice regarding the withdrawal of recognition and stoppage of admission has not only brought disgrace to Punjab but also put the future of students in these colleges in jeopardy. Dr Baljeet Singh Dhillon, professor and head of ophthalmology of Guru Ram Dass Hospital, Amritsar and chairperson of the forum said the shortage of teachers in state medical colleges is “man-made” and not due to dearth of postgraduate medical personnel. He pointed out that as per MCI regulations it takes only 9 years to become a professor after passing MD/MS/MSc and PhD. Had the government ensured timely appointments and promotions of teachers, the state would not only have become self-sufficient but also provided medical teachers to other states. This is high time to amend Punjab Medical Education Services Rules and fill up the entry-level posts of assistant professors by inviting applications form those candidates who possess MD/MS qualification, he added.

“It’s a strange situation. When a candidate is eligible to be appointed as assistant professor in PGI or private medical colleges and even in Faridkot medical college why can’t he be recruited in government colleges in Patiala and Amritsar,” he added.

The other posts of associate professors and professors can be filled by giving time-bound promotions. Dr Dhillon appealed to the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to have an open debate on the matter and come up with a policy similar to what exists in Karnataka, Maharashtra and other states.



‘Break bad eating habits, keep rheumatoid arthritis at bay’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
Sedentary lifestyle and wrong food habits were responsible for the spurt in rheumatoid arthritis among people. This was revealed by Dr R Vatsayan, one of the leading ayurveda practitioners in Punjab, while delivering a lecture on “Ayurveda and modern approach in the management of rheumatoid arthritis” during a continuous medical education (CME) programme. The seminar was organised in the city by a Mumbai-based company Charak Pharma Pvt Ltd, which also launched a new herbal
drug Arthrella.

Stating that a therapy can only be successful if a patient supports it, Dr Vatsayan said treatment of the disease requires enormous skill on behalf of the physician. “Right choice of medicine at the right time can positively change the course of the disease,” he said, adding that the Guggul therapy, supported with some other medicines strengthening the immune system, is highly effective among the patients. The expert said along with the treatment the people also need to change their lifestyle and heating habits, otherwise the medicines won’t show the desired result. Eminent rheumatologist Dr Sandeep Puri emphasised on the need for early detection of the disease. He said with the introduction of new drugs the disease, which has the potential to cripple a patient, can be battled effectively.



Cycling expedition to mark Panther’s Raising Day
Tribune news Service

Amritsar, September 16
A trekking and cycling expedition would be organised by Panther Division to mark its raising day on October 1.

Major-Gen PS Paul, General-Officer-Commanding, said Panther Division, which was raised in 1964 at Dehradun, has been at the forefront in all the major wars fought by the Indian Army.

Even today the division stands tall as an ominous deterrent on the country’s western borders, he added.

Paul said the expedition would cover a distance of around 600 km and would pass through Hoshiarpur, Dharamsala, McLeodganj, Trineund, Indrahara Pass, Holi, Chamba, Dalhousie, Pathankot, Gurdaspur and culminate at Amritsar.

He said that voyage entails high altitude trekking in the Dhauladhar ranges and cycling in mountainous regions and plains.

The troupe would cross Indrahara Pass located at an altitude of over 14,500 feet in the Dhauladhar ranges.

The trek would re-establish the indomitable spirit of the Indian soldiers under testing circumstances.



Campus Buzz
Seminar on Namdhari Movement
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 16
More than 20 renowned scholars and historians from Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka and New Delhi would participate in a one-day national seminar on the Namdhari Movement being organised by the Namdhari Guru Ram Singh Chair, Guru Nanak Dev University, here on September 17.

Joginder Singh, professor and head, Namdhari Guru Ram Singh Chair, said Vice-Chancellor Dr Jai Rup Singh would preside over the event. Mohinder Singh, director, Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi, would deliver the inaugural address. Thakur Uday Singh, chairman and managing director, Namdhari Seeds Corporation, Bangalore, would be the chief guest.

Dr Singh said eminent scholars would speak on the Kuka Movement and Punjab peasantry during the first independence battle, social background of Namdhari followers since the beginning in 19th century, role of the Namdhari sants, mahants and babas in popularising the Namdhari Mission.

Among others, Tara Singh Sandhu, Moga, Jaswinder Singh, New Delhi, Dr Balwinder Kaur, Patiala, Dr Kulwinder Singh Bajwa, Dr S.K. Gajrani and Dr Nazar Singh from Punjabi University, Patiala, Swaran Singh Virk, Sirsa, Dr Dharam Singh, Dr Amandeep and Dr Kuldeep Singh, Amritsar, and Babusha Maingi, Dhariwal, would participate in the seminar.

Refresher course in IT

Guru Nanak Dev University would organise a three-week refresher course in information technology from October 18 to November 7 here. The course would be conducted by Academic Staff College of the varsity in collaboration with the department of computer science and engineering. Dr HS Bhatia, director of the college said the lecturers of the colleges as well as universities in the disciplines of computer science, electronics and IT could apply on the prescribed form available at the college. The form can also be downloaded from the varsity website

Big job bonanza

Four alumni of the Amritsar College of Engineering and Technology have got placements in ORACLE. Dr Rajneesh Arora, principal of the institute, said the students have reaped the benefits of hard work and confidence.

Sixteen students of the computer science deptartment of the BBK DAV College for Women have got placements in Satyam during campus interview at Chandigarh Engineering College, Mohali.

Sports contests

Guru Nanak Dev University has announced the schedule for inter-college sports competitions for the year 2008-09. Prof Kanwaljeet Singh, director sports said the inter-college handball (men &women) championship would be organised from October 1 to 3, while the table tennis tourney would start on October 7. The eligibility proformas for these championships must be deposited in duplicate on or before October 3. Similarly, the inter-college gymnastics (men and women) tournament would be organised on October 10 and 11.



3 Shri Ram Ashram kids to star in reality shows

Amritsar September 16
Three students of Shri Ram Ashram Public School have been selected for two reality shows - "Kaun Banega Punjab Da Singer No1" and “Miss Punjab and Mr Punjab"- on DTV, a private TV channel. The auditions for the program were held recently in the holy city.

While Tanupreet Kaur has been picked for "Kaun Banega Punjab da Singer No1" which aims at promoting Punjab and Punjabiyat, Shifaili and Akshay would be seen in dance and modeling show "Miss Punjab and Mr Punjab." As many as 350 students from schools as far as Rayya, Batala, ans Gurdaspur took part in the auditions. Principal Preeti Sharad congratulated the students on their selection. — TNS



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