State Of Civic Affairs
Drain dead: Phagwara MC chief’s ward without sewer
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, September 16
The condition of sewerage and drainage system in Phagwara may easily be understood from the fact that Hadiabad, one of the oldest localities of the town, is without any sewer.

Surprisingly, Hadiabad falls under Ward 12 which is presently represented by municipal council president Balbhader Sen Duggal.

Over 20,000 residents of the locality are forced to live in hellish conditions as in the absence of any sewerage, the sewage and rainwater flow to different ponds in and around Hadiabad through open drains which act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Interestingly, former MC chief Malkit Singh Ragbotra says the work for laying sewer pipes in Hadiabad was started during the Congress regime but was stopped when the SAD-BJP government came to power.

On the other hand, Duggal clarified that the work had to be stopped due to lack of funds as it had been started in haste right before the assembly elections, and no specific funds were earmarked for the purpose. The work for laying sewer pipes would be resumed after the work of setting up a treatment plant at Seth Colony under the Sutlej Action Plan (part II) started because if sewer was laid in Hadiabad in the absence of a treatment plant here, there would be no proper place to dispose of the sewage, he added. Answering a query, he said the work on the treatment plant at Seth Colony was likely to be restarted on March 31 next year, after getting special funds from the government.

Interestingly, sewers have been laid in all the other localities, which amounts to nearly 85 per cent of the 9.66 sq km area which falls under the jurisdiction of the Phagwara MC, says MC executive officer (EO) Paramjeet Singh.

However, either sewage or rainwater accumulates for several hours due to improper drainage in several localities, including Bhanoki Road, Bhagatpura, Gaushala Road Bazaar, Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, Rattanpura and Onkar Nagar. Two residents of a locality near Bhanoki Road, Darshan Lal Foreman and Dr Raman Sharma say the area being low-lying, the sewage keeps overflowing.

Showing a pile of used polythene bags in an open chamber near Hadiabad disposal to pump out sewage water of the Bhanoki Road and Bhagatpura areas, Bhagatpura Bhanoki market action committee president Dr Raman Sharma says the sewerage in the area often remains choked as MC men do not remove polythene and other unwanted material from the sewerage regularly.

Besides, Sarai Road market association chief R.K. Sachdeva and Gaushala Road bazaar association patron Manjit Singh Khalsa say narrow sewer pipes and no proper desilting of sewerage cause accumulation of several feet water in and around Gaushala Road Bazaar during the rainy season. During this rainy season, water entered most of the shops in Gaushala Road Bazaar and surrounding bazaars, say Sachdeva and Khalsa.

Similarly, Dr D.R. Rattu of Prem Pura says sewer pipes in his locality remain choked, especially during rains due to narrow pipes and improper desiltation.

In the same way, water accumulates every now and then in the streets of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar and Rattanpura as the sewer pipes are also used for draining out the sewage of the JCT mill.

However, Paramjeet Singh says the accumulation of water during the rainy season is a common phenomenon in all the cities across the country and these is no serious sewerage problem in Phagwara.

At the same time, he says over Rs 50 lakh are spent every year on the maintenance of sewerage. The amount includes over Rs 20 lakh as power bill on four pumps used for disposal of sewage from low-lying areas.

Duggal says a new sewerage will be laid on the highway during its six-lane construction with which the problem of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar and Rattanpura will be solved. The MC chief claims polythene and other unwanted materials are removed from the sewerage after two-three days. The work of upgrading sewer in Onkar Nagar is already on, he adds.

Funds Sought

MC president Balbhader Sen Duggal says he has already taken up the matter of providing better infrastructure, including sewer, road and potable water, in Phagwara at the Kapurthala district planning board meeting held on August 22. Duggal says he demanded Rs 25 crore for carrying out different development projects for better infrastructure at the meeting chaired by minister for health and family welfare Laxmi Kanta Chawla



Holiday Marriages
Wedlock-happy NRI lands in lockup

Jalandhar, September 16
The free run of a Germany-based non-resident Indian (NRI) indulging in “holiday marriages” during his frequent trips to India has been curtailed by the Punjab police - but not before he got married at least five times in as many years. The NRI, Gurdev Singh, who is in his 50s and based in Hamburg, Germany, is now cooling his heels in a police lock-up after he was finally arrested by the police on Friday immediately after he got married a fifth time.

Singh’s luck with converting all his holiday trips to India into honeymoons ended when his fourth wife, Rajinder Kaur, tracked down his past and came to know that he not only had three wives, other than her, but was all set to get married a fifth time.

Incidentally, the wedding list of the NRI came to the knowledge of the Punjab police in Bholath town of Kapurthala district last week only when he was arrested in another case of embezzlment in which he was declared as proclaimed offender (PO)..

“We raided his home in Bholath but did not find him there. He was finally nabbed from Chintpurni (a temple town in the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, 90 km from here) where he was getting married again,” Bholath SHO Gurwinder Singh said.

So sure was the NRI about his repeated wedding plans that in his fifth marriage to a woman called Rosy, he even took a Scorpio sports utility vehicle (SUV) costing over Rs 7,00,000 as dowry, among other things.

His other wives included a German woman called Maria, Rajinder Kaur of Jalandhar district, Promila from Palampur town in Himachal’s Kangra district, and another woman from Hoshiarpur town, 40 km from here.

It was Rajinder Kaur, his fourth wife, who tracked his past and future plans and informed the police. She claimed that Gurdev lived with her for three weeks in 2004 before going back to Germany and not getting in touch again. None of the other “wedding” victims of the NRI complained to the police despite being cheated by him.

This is not the first incident of NRIs indulging in “holiday marriages” in Punjab. The custom of NRIs coming to Punjab for holidays and getting married is quite common. The “holiday marriage” plans of a Britain-based 60-year-old NRI went awry in April this year when the police arrested him after his earlier wife complained that he had cheated her.

The cheated wife, Harjinder Kaur (42) and activists of the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) filed a complaint with the Punjab police after which the house of NRI Malkiat Singh in Model Town here was raided.

Kaur, a divorcee, claimed that she got married to the NRI in 2008 with the hope of settling herself and her two children aged 18 and 13 years.

The marriage was fixed at the behest of a local marriage bureau. Kaur claimed that the marriage bureau forced her to sell her house worth Rs 1.5 million for just Rs 7,50,000 and took the money from her for marrying her with the NRI.

She said that her NRI husband later refused to get the marriage registered saying that he had done this only for his holiday trip in India.

“When we confronted him about his earlier marriage, he said he was not married to Kaur at all and remained unrepentant,” LBP general secretary Ramandeep Singh Bharowal said.

In Kapurthala district in March this year, a Britain-based NRI groom’s desire to get married a second time illegally ended in tragedy for him after he was not only beaten up at the venue of his wedding ceremony but was also arrested by the police.

NRI Rajwinder Singh’s plan to get married to Harpreet Kaur of Ganganagar in Rajasthan turned sour soon after his wedding party reached the marriage palace and was confronted by activists of the LBP who asked him for proof of his first marriage having legally ended. “His first wife Sarabjit Kaur has sent a message to us that her husband was getting married illegally after telling her that he had come to India for a holiday,” LBP leader A.S. Mullanpuri said.

When the groom failed to furnish any proof, the LBP activists and others gave him a sound thrashing before handing him over to the police. — IANS



MC Meeting
Green issues top house agenda
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 16
The municipal corporation officials may soon be able to handle two major environment issues in the city with ease but only if the councillors stand united in support of the cause in the forthcoming house meeting.

One of the proposals pertains to forcible construction of rainwater harvesting system in any new commercial building or a house covering more than 500 sq yards of space. Even as the owners are supposed to get it done by themselves, most of them do it only in the maps they prepare at the time of getting their plans sanctioned and give it a damn later.

Now, the officials are planning to get this done tactfully by taking Rs 1 lakh refundable security charges at the time of getting map approvals for residential accommodations and Rs 5 lakh for commercial buildings.

“Once the owners complete their buildings and get them checked from us, we will return the security. In case they do not comply, the money will be forfeited, which they will certainly try to avoid.

So the execution will be simple”, mayor Rakesh Rathour has proposed.

There is yet another idea that is likely to be floated in the agenda of the house meeting scheduled on or after September 26 to check piling up of concrete on roadsides. All those constructing a new building, be it residential or commercial, have to pay a “malba” fee, a security deposit for ensuring clearing up of the concrete. The maximum limit of the fee is Rs 2,000.

But now it is being proposed to raise it five or may be 10 times. “Since the current security amount is too low, most of the people prefer violating the orders rather than coming to us for seeking refund of the security deposit,” the mayor opined.

It is a common observation that the “malba” leads to choking of drains, again causing an environment trouble. Besides, it leads to breaking of roads and making the area around the dumping sites accident-prone, it is often noted.

Environmentalist and president of NGO Pahal Lakhbir Singh advises that all those proposals passed for the conservation of natural resources must be encouraged. “Since most of us are least sensitive or non-serious on conservation of rainwater or disposal of concrete, the local bodies need to enforce it by relating the issue monetarily. People will forget everything but not getting back their money. Besides, a refundable security of Rs 1 lakh is nothing for anyone constructing a 500 sq yard house at a cost of at least Rs 50 lakh,” he suggested, adding that the use of covers around the building at the time of construction should also be made mandatory to avoid air pollution.

Even the officials of the departments concerned are in favour of the proposals getting passed. “It is extremely difficult to run around people asking them to show compliance. People either avoid us or try to pressurise us using political tactics once they are through with their construction. We too feel that this will be the best option which will also help us in recharging lowering water table,” said a senior MC officer.



Get ready for a wider, cleaner Model Town
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 16
Municipal corporation officials are all set to change the face of the Model Town market within 10 days. The roads of the posh market of the city that currently wears a congested look will soon be made to look wider with the encroachments getting removed and a few lanes opened to one-way traffic.

The officials swung into action today trying to implement ideas that would make shopping in the area a far more inviting and better experience. The footpaths made by the shopkeepers on the post-office road and counters extended by them towards the road were removed during an encroachment drive today.

Commissioner municipal corporation Vinay Bublani said such drives would be carried out in other lanes of the market, including in front of the Kapsons, next week.

He said the post-office road had been earmarked for one-way traffic with entry only from the KFC side. He added that those wanting to go to the central area could take the left lane from Parkash Bakery or park the vehicle somewhere else till they shop around.

The commissioner added that the road in front of Model Town Gurdwara was also being made one-way again. Those coming from the side would either have to take a detour from the Arya Mandir side on the right or via Geeta Mandir on the left side. He said the recarpeting of the roads was on with rectification of the drainage system.

MLA Jagbir Brar said the whole idea was to revive the old look of the market. “I have been convincing the shopkeepers to cooperate, for it would be in their own interest. With the opening of malls having sufficient parking space, the customers were moving to that side, owing to the convenience factor. But if we can provide the same comfort in this market with smooth movement of the traffic, the shopkeepers would be able to retain them,” he said, adding that a multi-storey parking near the mayor house was also on the anvil.

In another move, the commissioner held a meeting with marriage-palace owners asking them to make proper parking arrangements within 10 days or face sealing. “The palace owners had been warned earlier too. Some of them have made arrangements but people are still parking their cars along the GT Road. I have told them to put up signboards and depute men on gates asking the car owners to park the vehicles inside their premises,” he said, adding that the hotel owners would be the next group to be targeted on the same lines soon.



Young World
Crowning glory: Apeejay students are declamation champs
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 16
A Sahodya inter-school English declamation contest was held at Police DAV Public School on September 16. As many as 26 teams participated in the competition in which the students spoke on current topics concerning our country. Vanita Singh from Police DAV Public School stood first, while Parneet Kaur of CT Public School stood second. The overall trophy went to Apeejay School.

Grandparents’ day

MGN Kindergarten kids celebrated grand-parents’ day on September 13. On this occasion the tiny tots presented a cultural programme.

Freshers’ party

Students of GNA-IMT organised a freshers’ party “Mehfil-e-Aghaz” on September 13 for the first semester students of MBA, BBA, BCA and multimedia at Hotel Lilly Resorts.

Talk on women rights

The Rotract unit of BD Arya Girls College organised a seminar for the students on September 12. Guest speakers, CPI national secretary Amarjeet Kaur, Germany based Dr Marita, Dr Constance and Kuwait-based Dr Mohammed Khalid, emphasised on the need to save women rights.

Green initiative

The NSS unit of Guru Nanak Dev University, Basti Nau, celebrated vanamahotsav. Chief guest mayor Rakesh Rathore planted saplings of various fruits and flowers. A college bulletin was also released on this occasion. Principal Usha Kapoor stressed on making environment clean and green by planting more trees.

Meanwhile, JCI Jalandhar city organised a tree plantation camp in KMV College, which was attended by teachers and students. Similarly, JCI Jalandhar, in association with BD Arya Girls College, organised “Save environment campaign” on September 12.

Runners-up trophy

Students of the literary society of the Apeejay College of Fine Arts bagged the runners-up trophy during the inter-college declamation contest organised in KMV College on September 11. Jagdeep Singh and Rajwant Kaur, both students of MSc (IT) final year, bagged the first position in self-composed poems in Punjabi. Jagdeep also won individual second prize for his composition.

University toppers

Kushpreet Kaur and Aditi Mehta, both students of bachelor of design (VI semester) of the Apeejay College of Fine Arts brought laurels to their institution by scoring 91.7 and 91.4 per cent marks in Guru Nanak Dev University examinations.

Writing contest

The Hindi Sahitya Dhara Association of the Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women organised a creative writing competition on September 13. As many as 90 students participated in the competition. Students recited self-composed poems.

Extension lecture

The department of commerce and business administration of KMV College conducted an extension lecture in association with Dream Weavers on career counselling for the students of the commerce stream. Resource persons K.C Sharma, Charu Sharma and Ruminder Kaur conducted an aptitude test for the students.

Ad-Mad show

The Postgraduate department of commerce and management organised an Ad-Mad show in which students sold funny items. As many as 10 teams participated in the show. The first prize was bagged by Mad Age Company by the students of BCom (professional-II) followed by Mitra Di Phadi by the students of BCom (professional-III) and Chak De Indians by the students of BCom (professional-II), respectively.



Pak suits catch city women’s fancy
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 16
To celebrate the richness of Pakistani culture and portray contemporary and traditional range of the country, Hina Anjum from Hina Creations put up a three-day exhibition of Pakistani suits, designer salwars, dupattas, sarees, rozi, screen printing, designer collection, silver jewellery at Orchid, Hotel Radisson Windsor, from September 14 to 16.

Hina said the Pakistani suits had been designed keeping in mind the richness of the Indian taste. “The suits range from simple to highly ornamental,” she informed.

The exhibition also came up with variety wedding suits and trousseau.

And the elite class, Jalandhar ladies were seen picking up the right ethnic, traditional and royal salwar-kameez during the exhibition. A majority of the women maintained that more and more such Pakistani exhibitions should be held to expose the rich grandeur of both the countries.



Day in, night out

Catwalk queen Naomi Capmbell, who has started community service in a soup kitchen after her assault on police personnel, worked hard during the day but partied at night with boyfriend, Russian tycoon Vladimir Doronin. Naomi was spotted at London's Serpentine Gallery summer party and revealed details on her love life. She said: "I'm putting my all into my community service. But Vladimir is out with me tonight and things are going great." Naomi was sentenced to serve 200 hours after she admitted to assaulting cops by kicking and shouting at them in Heathrow Airport lost luggage row in April. Campbell, 38, is getting ready to host the Fashion For Relief catwalk show next week. — ANI & IANS



Cong recruitment drive

Jalandhar, September 16
Youth Congress chief Vijay Inder Singla flagged off vehicles highlighting the achievements of the Congress, besides appealing to the youngsters to join the party to help build a stronger nation. The specially designed vehicles carry the image of Rahul Gandhi, besides a board, urging youngsters to join the political mainstream.

Singla said the achievements of the UPA government too had been listed, especially some of the flagship programmes of the government, to generate more job avenues for the youth across the country. — TNS



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