State Of Civic Affairs
Stuck in stink: Sewers are luxury in Kapurthala
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, September 23
Contrary to tall promises usually made by politicians belonging to all political parties during elections of all-round development of their respective areas, even basic facilities like proper sewerage and drainage system have not been provided in several localities of the city.

Nearly one-fourth of the total localities falling under the jurisdiction of the Kapurthala municipal council (MC) are without any sewer. In other words, no sewer has been laid so far in about 13.7 sq km area of the total 55 sq km area covered by the MC.

A local SAD leader, Harbans Singh Walia, who contested recent MC elections from ward eight, told The Tribune that most of the localities falling under his ward and adjoining ward (number seven) were without sewers.

Some of the localities were Moti Bagh Colony, Punjabi Bagh Colony, Mansoorwal, Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, Green Park, Peer road and Guru Hargobind Nagar, he said, adding that the sewer laid in Urban Estate, developed by PUDA, was also yet not joined with that of the MC. Nearly 15,000 residents of the localities were forced to live in hellish conditions in the absence of any sewer.

Walia claims that the local bodies department has released after his pursuing the matter Rs 1.6 crore for laying sewer in the localities.

Besides sewage, rainwater accumulates for several hours due to improper drainage system in several localities, including Amrit Bazar, Shergarh Mohalla, Arafwala Mohalla, Kotuwala Bazar, Sukhjit Nagar, Kaimpura Mohalla, Mall road and areas around bus stand.

A local BJP leader, Dharampal Mahajan, who contested recent MC elections from ward 21, says narrow sewer pipes and no proper de-siltation of sewerage cause accumulation of several feet water during rainy season in and around Arafwala Mohalla, Shergarh Mohalla, Amrit Bazar and Kotuwala Bazar.

Similarly, two prominent shopkeepers of Amrit Bazar, Prakash Bathla and Dharamvir Bobby, say water enters into several shops and houses located in Amrit Bazar and surrounding areas during rainy season.

Mahajan, Bathla and Bobby further demands that narrow sewer pipes in these areas should be replaced with broad pipes and the nullah flowing from Kotuwala chowk to sewerage treatment plant be cleaned at regular interval.

Harjit Singh Bhatia of the Sukhjit Nagar locality says sewer in his locality remains choked, especially during rains, due to lack of proper de-siltation.

However, MC executive officer (EO) S.K. Aggarwal says the accumulation of water during rainy season is a common phenomenon in all cities across the country and this is not a serious  problem. At the same time, EO says over Rs 60 lakh are spent every year for the maintenance of sewers in Kapurthala. The amount includes nearly Rs 50 lakh as running cost of sewage treatment plant (STP) of 25 MLD (million litres per day) capacity, he adds.

Further, the lives of hundreds of residents of several localities have become miserable due to the stink emerging from the open nullah passing through their localities. The open nullah, carries sewage of the city, flows from Kotuwala Chowk to sewage treatment plant near district jail on bypass after passing through several areas, including Kesri Bagh, Sharma Colony and Raka Mohalla.

Parkash Bathla demands that the open nullah be covered on priority basis as it not only emits strong offensive odour but also provides breeding ground for deadly mosquitoes.

SAD councillor from ward 27, advocate Paramjit Singh Pamma, says a portion of the nullah was covered during the tenure of Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP government from 1997 to 2002 as then transport minister Raghubir Singh had got released amount of Rs 25 lakh for the purpose. Efforts will be made to get the remaining portion of the nullah covered now, he adds.

Similarly EO S.K. Aggarwal says an estimate of cost for covering the open nullah will be made and it will be covered after getting the funds for that.

Central scheme to provide some relief

Sewerage will be laid in each locality falling under 55 sq km area being covered by the MC where the facility could not be provided so far. Stating this, MC EO S.K. Aggarwal says the Kapurthala MC is covered under a prestigious centre government scheme with which 100 per cent sewerage and water facilities will be provided.Under the urban infrastructural development scheme for small and medium towns (UIDSSMT), a total of Rs 16.44 crore will be provided for achieving the target of providing 100 per cent sewerage and water facilities. Aggarwal says 90 per cent of the total 16.44 crore will be provided by the centre and state governments, whereas MC will have to arrange the remaining 10 per cent. A detailed project is being prepared for getting financial aid under the scheme, he adds.



Improvement Trust ‘cries’ for regular head
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 23
More than 19 months ever since the Jalandhar Improvement Trust was dissolved, the local body that has otherwise given 53 well-planned schemes to the city is lying almost defunct.

In the absence of a regular chairman, no new city areas are being developed giving the property dealers on the outer areas of the city a full advantage of acquiring huge chunks of land and reaping the maximum benefit. The lackadaisical attitude of the state government in reconstituting the board is also resulting in the haphazard growth on the city’s peripheries.

Ever since Tejinder Singh Bittu, a Congress leader and former chairman of the JIT, stepped out prior to the assembly elections, no new chairman has been appointed. Various administrative officers have been handling the affairs taking an additional charge.

A.K. Sikka, who is additional chief administrator of the JDA and PUDA, took over as the JIT administrator last month ever since Vinay Bublani, who was then serving as JIT administrator-cum-deputy director, local bodies, was appointed as MC commissioner. Prior to that, Sarojini Gautam Sharda, now PTU registrar, has also served as the JIT administrator-cum-DDLB.

With hardly any signs of a move in this direction in the political circles, the appointment of a regular chairman is likely to get delayed beyond the parliamentary elections, insiders have revealed.

Officials tell that almost all posh city areas, including Lajpat Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, Mota Singh Nagar, Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, Master Tara Singh Nagar, Gujral Nagar, Partap Bagh, Defence Colony, Adarsh Nagar, JP Nagar, Bhagat Singh Nagar, Basti Guzan, Kirti Nagar and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Nagar, were developed by the JIT and later transferred to the municipal corporation for maintenance. More than 41 such schemes planned, executed and developed by the JIT have been handed over to the MC till date.

Nearly 12 schemes that have been developed recently or are in process of completion are still with the JIT. These include Guru Gobind Singh Avenue, Surya Enclave and the more recently developed Maharaja Ranjit Singh Avenue along the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway across Chogitti. There are other in-hand schemes including BSF Colony, Rishi Nagar, near GTB Nagar, LIG flats in Master Gurbanta Singh scheme, HIG flats in Gazi Gullah and super-deluxe Sri Ram Vatika flats.

Administrator A.K. Sikka and executive officer Jawahar Lal Sivia said they were carrying forward the ongoing schemes as no new schemes could be planned till the appointment of a new chairman.



Expensive raw material jacks up brick prices

Jalandhar, September 23
Constructing a dream house in Punjab has become more costlier due to a steep hike in the prices of bricks, which brick-kiln owners attributed to a steep hike in the prices of raw material, including coal and mud, in the recent past.

“The prices of raw material used for manufacturing bricks such as mud and coal have been increased which led to the increase in the cost of production,” Ashok Mittal, vice-president of the Punjab Bricks Manufacturers Association, said, adding that an increase of 25 per cent had also been registered in the cost of labour.

He revealed that at present the market price of bricks was Rs 2,800 per 1,000 bricks and if the situation would not change then the customer would have to cough up Rs 3,000 for 1,000 bricks in the future.

The price of mud, which used to be Rs 2 lakh per acre, was now increased to Rs 4 lakh and the price of coal, which was Rs 5,500 per tonne, was now Rs 11,000, he claimed, demanding that if the government did not pay any heed to control the hike in the prices of raw material, then in the next season, they would be forced to hike the price of bricks up .to Rs 3,500 for 1,000 bricks. — PTI 



Security arrangements in place for  Rahul’s visit
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 23
In wake of the visit of All-Indian Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Ghandhi, the district police claims to have made elaborated security arrangements.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) P.K. Rai revealed that though the Special Protection Group (SPG) was looking after all security arrangements for Rahul Ghandi’s visit to the city, yet the district police had also deployed additional police force at strategic points.

He claimed that police personnel had been provide to the SPG as per its demands and requirements.

Sources in the Congress said the entry to the venue of Dalit convention had been restrict to those who have been invited to the event with even mediapersons requested to stay away. This had been done so that Rahul Ghandi could freely interact with the participants.



Youth Cong must take lead in tackling drug menace, says Bittu
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 23
Alarmed at the growing menace of substance abuse in the state, senior Congress leader Tejinder Singh Bittu would submit a detailed report of the “critical” ground situation to AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, urging him to motivate youth Congress members to launch a massive campaign against drugs in the state.

"I have made a detailed report on the problem of drugs along with some suggestions to curb the menace and the same will be handed over to Rahul Gandhi when he meets a delegation of the Central constituency during his visit to Jalandhar tomorrow", he added.

Terming Rahul’s visit as “historic and a grand success", Bittu said by visiting the Golden Temple, as a humble devotee, he has won the hearts of Sikhs and the kind of response he got during his visit indicates that Congress would make a clean sweep in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

He said the youths of Punjab were caught in drugs quagmire. "Frequent big hauls of heroin and other narcotics by different agencies point towards the fact. It also means that the demand for drugs have increased manifold and the situation would spiral out of control if immediate steps are not taken with full political will and determination," he pointed out.

It was good that membership drive of the youth Congress was being conducted in a transparent manner, but at the same time the party should encourage the new members to play an effective role by making a list of addicts in his area and help them reform, he added.

Also, de-addiction seminars should be organised in every school and college by NSUI and the youth. The senior Congress leader also added that sports clubs should be established in every village to channelise the energies of the youth. 



Medical age verification a must: Expert

Jalandhar, September 23
The recent strictness in implementation of laws related to child labour, child marriage, rape and elopement of couples and legal tangles involved in the matter, have necessitated the need for application of advanced techniques for age verification medically.

Dr N.K. Aggarwal, HoD, department of forensic medicine and toxicology, Delhi University, said this while delivering a lecture during the techno-management fest held at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology recently. He said on an average 25 cases were coming to the department through Delhi hospitals calling for the medico-legal opinion of forensic experts.

He said certain bone examination, general physiology, radiology and dental checks were being performed on the young patients to ascertain the age that their custodians often wrongly mentioned in the certificates to get away with any legal hassles. He said the modern tests helped prove the age anything between 12, 14, 16, 18 or above 18.

The forensic medicine expert age disputes also often erupted in cases that involved the retiring age of persons. “Recently, we came across a father-son duo working in the same office where the age that they had got entered was found to be clearly erroneous. They confirmed this when they found that the age gap came out to be just seven years, which could not be possible. We conducted tests on them checking their skull sutures and found their real age to legally resolve the issue,” he said. — TNS



Young World
Bhavya, Sanya are ‘smart kids’
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 23
Nipun Nanda Nursing Home on Sunday organised a smart-kid competition under the guidance of Dr Taru Kapoor to check the creative skills of children. The competition was divided into junior (3-6 years) and senior (6-10 years) wings in which the children participated in joining dots, dart and drawing competition. In the junior wing, Bhavya stood first, while Eish bagged the second prize and in the secondary wing, Sanya got the first prize followed by Devyanshu.

DIPS week

The chain of DIPS Institutions celebrated a DIPS Week from September 15 to 20 during which DIPS School, Nurmahal, won the quiz competition and five gold and six silver medals in long jump and triple jump. The overall trophy was bagged by DIPS, Nurmahal, by securing the first position. Students were given individual certificates and prizes.

Enhancing skills

The English department of the Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, organised an English week on the college premises under the aegis of Jaycees in which students participated in various entertaining activities aimed at enhancing the vocabulary, writing and communication skills. To improve communication skills and for personality growth, a workshop was organised for MBA students at the St. Soldier Management and Technical Institute here on Saturday. Training and education officers from Dream Weavers and group chairman Anil Chopra addressed the students and asked them to develop leadership qualities among themselves to survive in the business market. They said the MBA students had to change their attitude according to 
the conditions of the corporate sector.

Blood camp

A blood determination camp was held at St. Soldier College by the physiotherapy department on Saturday. Principal Veena Dada inaugurated the camp. About 200 students of the college took part in the camp.

Job placement

Khushpreet and Manpreet Kaur, students of BCA-III of the Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, have been selected as junior programmer in Satyam.

Media seminar

The PG department of Journalism and Mass Communication of Doaba College organised a function on its lab news “Communis” on September 19 which was released by chief guest Chander Mohan, president of Arya Shiksha Mandal and college managing committee. A seminar on “social responsibility of media” was also organised. Apart from this, the department also screened a short documentary on “relevance of mobile phones”, besides a photo exhibition and a photography competition. Rakesh, a student of the BJMC, and Sandeep Kaur of the MJMC were adjudged the first in the event.



16 pilgrims hurt in road mishap

Phagwara, September 23
Sixteen pilgrims were hurt when the tractor-trailer in which they were travelling collided with a police vehicle near a hotel on the national highway here on Tuesday.

According the information, the pilgrims were returning from Beas to Kaithal in Haryana in the tractor-trailer. Eight injured have been admitted to the civil 
hospital. — TNS



Keira's Last Night

English actor Keira Knightley has signed on to star in Last Night. The film, which also stars Eva Mendes, Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet, is the feature directing debut of Massy Tadjedin, who wrote the script, reports Variety. 

The story of the film centers around a married couple, apart for a night while the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's resisting temptation, his wife encounters her past love. Keira has also revealed that she has yet not been allotted the lead role for the remake of My Fair Lady, despite reports suggesting otherwise. — ANI



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