Impasse over, MC to induct 600 staffers
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
Even as the four-day impasse between the municipal corporation and agitating employees ended here today after a four-hour stormy meeting in the mayor’s office, the state government has given nod to recruit 600 employees to make the holy city clean.

After abolishing of the Mohalla Sudhar Committees, the state government would give Rs 7,200 per month to the employees who were earlier getting only Rs 2,880 per month.

The MC commissioner, D.P.S. Kharbanda, has claimed that the representatives of all 14 employees unions have called off the four-day-old strike, thereby paving the way for the implementation of the ambitious solid waste management (SWM) project, the brainchild of the BJP’s MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Members of the Safai Union had parked garbage-loaded vehicles in front of the mayor’s office in protest against the SWM project, fearing retrenchment.

The mayor, Shavet Malik, said the corporation had agreed in principle not to retrench even a single employee while implementing the SWM project.

Instead, the private player would be bound to recruit all drivers of the garbage-lifting vehicles from Amritsar.

Kharbanda claimed that the SWM project would be a boon for the holy city and the employees were carried away by the “false propaganda,” engineered by certain “vested interests.”

He said taking Amritsar as a roll model, the state government had decided to implement SWM project in all 127 municipal committees and corporations.

The state government had also engaged ILFS - a consultant agency for the implementation of the SWM project. The commissioner said the SWM project was likely to be implemented within 45 days.

On the other hand, neither Chief Minister nor Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Sukhbir Singh Badal have accepted the demand of senior deputy mayor Ajaybir Singh Randhawa and junior deputy mayor Kashmir Singh, who belong to the Shiromani Akali Dal, to cancel the tenders passed by the finance and contract committee.

They had boycotted the meeting in which tenders for the SWM project were passed on the pretext that they were not taken into confidence by the mayor, who belonged to the BJP.



New thermal plants would sound death knell for us’
Brick-kiln industry decries govt policies
P K Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
While the government was contemplating to set up new thermal power stations in the state, the brick-kiln industry here feels it would land them in deeper mess as scarcity of coal would further increase.

Accusing government of framing policies which have proved ‘detrimental’ to the industry, the Amritsar Brick Kilm Owners’ Association today said the coal coal has become costlier by more than Rs 4,000 per metric tonne within four months. “Earlier, this basic raw material was available for Rs 5,500 per metric tonne and now we have to shell out Rs 9,500 for the quantity. The sudden and steep increase in coal prices has disturbed the industry and would adversely affect the state economy,” said the association president Inderjit Verma. .

Notably, there were around 2,700 brick kilns in Punjab, out of which 200 exist in Amritsar.

“The proposal to set up new thermal plants won’t do us any good as it would increase the demand for coal,” said Mukesh Nanda, general secretary of the association.

“Every year a new department is formed which starts collecting fresh taxes, putting enormous pressure on the industry.

There were only four departments around 20 years ago. But today there they have multiplied,” he further claimed.

Nanda said the government guidelines do not allow them to use briquette, an agro waste, to tackle shortage of coal. Regarding exploitation of labourers, he said proper remuneration was being given to the workers

Over the issue of use of highly-polluting fuels including discarded tyres, alkaline battery shells and waster obtained from discarded mobile oil in the kiln, Nanda said there may be isolated instances but not all brick kiln owners are indulging in the same. “Action should be taken against ‘erring’ persons,” he added.



Art Fact
Take a sneak peek into country’s rich culture
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
The Indian Academy of Fine Arts (IAFA) here would exhibit rare paintings of the great painters of the 20th century and contemporaries of renowned artist Sobha Singh during the platinum jubilee celebrations to be held from September 27.

Stating this to mediapersons today, Dr Neeta Mohindra, secretary, performing arts, said the fine arts wing of the IAFA would hold an exhibition of the rare works of Hari Singh (1894-1970), S.G. Thakur Singh (1899-1976), Master Gurdit Singh (1900-1981) and G.S. Sohan Singh (1914-1999). She announced that six paintings each of these artistes would be displayed in the exhibition.

She said these artists were also the contemporaries of Avninder Nath, Raja Ravi Verma and Nand Lal Bose. She rued that Punjabi artists had been ignored where as much had been written and discussed about the great Bengali artists.

Mohindra said the culture, which was much a part of Punjabi’s life, was not recognised as a “special activity” and thus was not documented and added that Punjabi humility goes so far as to call itself as having no culture but agriculture. She said the exhibition was an endeavour to give the work of these great masters its due in the history of art. She said the postcards of their works would also be released on the occasion and later the prints of their works would also be made for the general public.

She said a three-day national workshop of postgraduate students was also being organised from September 25 in which 26 students of 13 postgraduate colleges and universities would be participating. She said the workshop was being organised along with the exhibition so that the art scholars could also witness the works of great masters of Amritsar.

Speaking on the occasion, Bhupinder Singh Nanda, vice-president, IAFA, said they had approached the family members of these great painters to provide them the paintings for the exhibition purpose, which would be returned to them later. He rued that instead of showing the works of their forefathers, they preferred to keep these works in their store houses. He said they were able to acquire some of the paintings from SGPC officials and other organisations. 



Poverty, hunger top UN meet agenda
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
The United Nations would deliberate on the poverty and hunger across the world during its next general assembly meeting to be held on September 25 in New York.

Stating this in a release to the media here today, National Conference of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) coordinator Harbhajan Lal said that NACDOR president Ashok Bharti would represent the poor strata of society of the country. He said Bharti was the first-ever Dalit intellectual to represent India in the high-level UN meeting and would highlight the root cause of poverty and hunger.

Lal said the central and state governments were responsible for the poverty, unemployment and unrest in the country as the number of those living below the poverty line had increased from 25 to 40 per cent. He said that farmers were committing suicide and poor were dying of hunger. He said the NACDOR would raise its voice to expose the wrong policies of the central and state governments. He said the political parties hardly fulfilled any promises made to the general public during the elections.



Tapeworms major cause of epilepsy, says expert
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
As many as five lakh people in the country suffer from epilepsy. This was revealed by Dr Rajneesh Sharma, head of department of neurology, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, during the inauguration of series of neurology camps, being organised by the institute, here on Tuesday.

These camps would be held on September 22 & 29, October 6 & 13. He said people suffering from various problems like paralysis, headache, migraine and loss of memory could avail the benefit of experts’ advice.

Dr Rajnish said nearly 40 percent of the patients, who visited the camp, were suffering from epilepsy. He said tapeworms in the brain (neurocysticerosis) were one of the major causes of epilepsy in the country.

Unfortunately, no survey had been done at state and district level regarding this, he said, adding that neurocysticerosis could be treated with medicines. He said people should desist from going to quacks who would only aggravate the problem. Avoid pork and wash the vegetables thoroughly with clean water to cut the parasite risk.



‘Heart ailments on the rise in city’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
A free heart and diabetes checkup camp was organised by Fortis Escorts Hospital here. A team of doctors, including Dr HP Singh (cardiologist), Dr Rajiv Khanna (diabetologist) and Dr Gagan (physician) examined over 182 patients, residing in Gumtala, Ajnala Road and other nearby areas. Free tests, including blood sugar, blood pressure, ECG and BMI, were conducted.

Addresssing the patients, Dr HP Singh said extensive studies have found that Punjab was reporting an “alarming rise” in heart ailments.

The need is to change the sedentary lifestyle. “Only 30 minutes of brisk walk daily reduces the risk of cardiac disease by 18 percent, stroke by 11 percent,” informed Dr Gagan, adding that physical activity encourages body to burn excess fat.

Dr Khanna stressed the need for preventive health checks. “Problems like BP and diabetes should be closely monitored,” he added. The camp inaugurated the camp.



Dream IT, achieve IT! Gutsy girl shows the way
P K Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
“I want to do something significant for my state and country after completing my study in UK”. These were the words of Jasvir Kaur, a Punjab girl, who left for UK on Monday on a scholarship, provided by University of Wolver Hampton, to pursue her higher studies.

Belonging to a middle-class family, Jasvir is a role model for students who dare to dream big and then work towards it with unflinching devotion.

Hailing from a remote village, Kotli Than Singh, near Jalandhar, she completed her basic studies from a government school in her village. She never wanted to stop right there.

She had a dream, to go to college and pursue a career in IT sector. But she did not know how to achieve it as she was well aware of the fact that her father, with his mediocre earnings, would not be able to afford her studies.

However, the ray of hope came in form of Prof Harbans Singh Bolina, who spotted her outside the office of principal of Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar.

The philanthropist not only sponsored her three-year education but was also offered his valuable guidance to the girl. And indeed Jasvir did not disappoint him.

She is one of the two students from Punjab who have been selected by the delegates of University of Wolver Hampton, who were here to meet the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who had urged them to provide scholarships to bright students who hail from a weak economic background

Jasvir has been picked up for MSc (Computer Science) course and will get a scholarship of Rs eight lakh.

Before leaving for UK from Amritsar, she gave all credit of her success to Prof Bolina. Jasvir received the scholarship letter from the office of the British High Commissioner on September 4.



Ladakh students interact with AWWA chief
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
A group of 30 girl students from Ladakh accompanied by a woman teacher interacted with Kaushiki Paul, President of Panther AWWA, at Amritsar cantonment here today.The delegation was part of an educational tour under “Operation Sadbhavana” being conducted by the Army for children of the Batalik region of Ladakh. A majority of these girls are Buddhist belonging to the ethnic minority known as “Brogpas” or “Red Aryans”, a fiercely independent ethnic group, known for its pure Aryan descent.

The students arrived here after visiting Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Kapurthala. The students will return to Leh via Chandigarh on the conclusion of their visit here. During their stay in Amritsar, the students visited the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh and Attari.

The interaction provided an opportunity to the girls to share their experiences of the tour with Kaushiki Paul. She also shared her views on national integration and the role the Army was playing in bringing prosperity and awareness in the remote areas like theirs. The girls also presented their folk dances and were presented a souvenir by Mrs Paul. All members of the contingent were exuberant and overjoyed with the experience.

They expressed gratitude to the Army for providing them such an opportunity to explore other parts of the country.



PCA urged to help cricketer’s family
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
The cricket fraternity of the city today condoled the death of former skipper of Punjab Ranji Trophy Umesh Kumar as his family faced the double tragedy with his young son Mohit passing away last week.

Senior functionary of the Amritsar Games Association and former colleague and coach Joginder Singh said Umesh was a brilliant cricketer and good captain who had played more than 70 matches for Punjab and the north zone. He said the PCA must come forward to help the family.



Campus Buzz
GND varsity holds debate on population explosion
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
Jyot Parkash of DAV College, Jalandhar, was declared winner in the inter-college debate on “Population explosion is threat to environment,” organised by Guru Nanak Dev University and sponsored by the Association of Indian Parliamentarians, New Delhi.

More than 52 students from 26 colleges affiliated to the university participated in the debate. The second place went to Rajat Sabikhi of DAV College, Amritsar, while Priya Kanda of the APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, came third in the competition. Rahul Sethi from Guru Nanak Dev University College, Jalandhar, got the consolation prize.

4-week orientation course

Teachers are agents of socio-economic change and national development and there is need to make them skill-oriented. These views were expressed by Dr B.S. Bhatia, a distinguished professor of management and former dean, academic affairs, Punjabi University, Patiala, while delivering the inaugural address at a four-week general orientation course organised by Guru Nanak Dev University on Monday.

Tewnty teachers from different colleges and universities of Haryana and Punjab are attending the course to be concluded on October 17.

Dr Bhatia, while appreciated the aims and objectives of the course, laid stress on the role of teacher focused upon the objectives of higher education, which include relevance, quality and access, particularly in Indian as well as global contexts. He insisted that the teacher must develop teaching skills and adopt nationally and internationally desirable attitude for society. While emphasising the establishing of balance between traditional and modern social order, he also discussed some of the important issues, including scientific temper of mind, knowledge and skills, attitudes, latest and logical tools, rational and secular thinking, equity, etc.

Know your blood group

The NSS units of the law department of the Guru Nanak Dev University Campus are organising a blood group testing camp on September 24 near Students’ Centre of the university to update the blood donors directory.

Dr Jaspal Singh, NSS programme officer, said Prof Pushpinder Kaur would inaugurate the camp at 10 am.

Inter-college debate

Guru Nanak Dev University will hold an inter-college debate competition from September 24 at the university complex here.

B.S. Sekhon, director, youth welfare, said the debate was being conducted by the university on the request of the National Council for Cooperative Training, New Delhi. “Cooperative movement helps sustain rural economy" would be the topic of the debate.

He said three prizes of Rs 500, 400 and 300 would be awarded to the first, second and third position holders, respectively, in the competition.



Ayurvedic association chief lists his priorities
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 23
Newly elected president of the Punjab Ayurvedic Medical Services Association (PAMSA) Dr Atamjit Singh Basra today said that his first priority would be to nominate the remaining members of the executive committee in the coming few days.

Dr Basra, while talking to The Tribune, said after the formation of the executive committee he would take up the matter of treatment of ayurvedic doctors at par with their allopathic and Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) counterparts with health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla.

Seeking cooperation from the opposite group to further the cause of the association, he said their role would also be important as they could only solve their problems by putting pressure on the government by showing their unity.

Dr Basra said he would work for uplift of the ayurveda stream of medical treatment. He said that one of the oldest therapies had remained in the backdrop for many decades. However, recent times had shown a rising trend as more and more people were expressing their trust in ayurvedic medicines and way of treatment.

He said he would also work for opening more auyurveda centres in the state in order to promote ayurveda



Hip surgery with new technique
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, September 23
A leading orthopaedic surgeon here in collaboration with a hip replacement expert from Australia conducted a live surgery using metal-on-metal (MoM) technique on a 28-year-old young patient.

The surgical team of Dr P.S. Sandhu and Dr Lindsay said the surgery was performed to showcase that the conventional procedure had now undergone changes for better treatment of hip problems.

The new medical technology has been effectively used for giving longer life to patients suffering from hip ailments. The MoM treatment, which is most commonly used in hip replacement implants and during this process both the ball and socket of the hip joints are replaced with metal prosthesis with no plastic padding in between.

The biggest advantage of this treatment was the lower rate of wear and tear as compared to plastic and metal materials. The new technique could be effectively used on patients having good bone structure and best suited for those who were below 50-60, he added.



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