Trouble Season
Crackdown on spurious mithai makers
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 17
The reports of spurt in import of adulterated khoya and milk products from other parts of the country into Punjab, in view of ongoing festival season, has started giving sleepless night to the health department, which has stepped up checks at sweetmeat shops in and around the city.

Meanwhile, 250 kg khoya seized from a sweet shop opposite railway station was found to be spurious. The samples taken by the health department failed, revealed civil surgeon Dr Lehmbar Singh, adding that a case would filed against the sweet shop in the civil court. The department would also seek permission from the court to destroy the adulterated khoya.

According to reports, due to festival season the import of adulterated milk products include Khoya, Paneer and Desi Ghee found easy and lucrative markets in Punjab which becomes a hot spot in consumption of sweets especially made of Khoya and Paneer these times.

Large chunk of these adulterated materials are imported from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Health department had appointed teams to check every entrance point including Bus Stand and Railway Station besides keeping a vigil at transportation. It had also directed the teams to inspect at major retail stores such as 6X, More, Reliance Fresh, Subhiksha etc. The teams had already started taking samples from various sweet shops of city.

On the other hand this has once against the raised the worries of the health department who is already facing shortage trained and required staff. According to reports, adulterated milk products, including khoya, paneer and desi ghee, find easy entry into Punjab during the festive season. A large chunk of these adulterated products are imported from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.

The civil surgeon said the health department has appointed teams to check every entrance point, including the bus stand and railway station. The squads have been also directed to inspect major retail stores such as 6X, More, Reliance Fresh, Subhiksha etc. Random samples are being taken from various sweet shops in the city, he added.

The pubic is requested to help the department in this initiative. People should inform us immediately if they find someone indulging in import of spurious milk products from other parts of the country and making sweets from it. He urged major shopkeepers of the city to cooperate so that the health the people is not compromised. 



Crackers to be sold in notified areas only: DC
P K Jaiswar/TNS

Amritsar, October 17
In view of the illegal sale of firecrackers in various parts of the city, the district magistrate here has banned the sale of firecrackers except in the areas notified by the district administration, that too after taking requisite permission from the authorities. Kahan Singh Pannu, deputy commissioner-cum-district magistrate, in his orders, said it has come to their knowledge that a large number of shopkeepers had been selling firecrackers by extending their shops without taking any permission.

He said this could lead to a mishap and loss of life besides increasing the chances of destroying government and non-government properties.

Therefore, imposing section 144 of the CrPC, the DM banned the illegal sale of firecrackers. The areas which have been notified for the sale of crackers include Golbagh, Sakatary Bagh, Chheharta (opposite zone no. 8), parking place of the District Shopping Centre, Sultanwind Road, Batala Road, near canal at G.T. Road and near Gurdwara Baba Jeevan Singh Guru ki Wadali.

Pannu said only license-holding-shopkeepers could set up their stalls and shops in these areas for selling firecrackers. However, they would have to take prior permission from the municipal corporation and the Amritsar Improvement Trust after depositing the required fee.

He added that each stall should be set up at a distance of 50 meters from the other stall. Meanwhile, a delegation of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee, led by Kanwalpreet Singh, convener, met Darbara Singh Guru, principal secretary and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to impose a blanket ban on firecrackers just as the government had banned the burning of crop residue and stubble from the agricultural lands as it creates air pollution. Kanwalpreet said the burning of firecrackers poses a threat to the health of children  and the old. 



MC to introduce e-governance soon
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Amritsar, October 17
The local municipal corporation would soon introduce e-governance to facilitate the general public, especially the business community, in paying their taxes through the Internet.

D.P.S. Kharbanda announced this while interacting with various representatives of the hotel industry during a two-hour meeting held yesterday. The meeting was organised by the Amritsar Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHRA).

A.P.S. Chatha, general secretary, AHRA, talking to The Tribune today said during the meeting Kharbanda said the hotel industry in the city would get tremendous boost with the introduction of solid waste management and other developmental projects like elevated road and widening of the roads.

He said the tourists found unhygienic conditions and traffic chaos prevailing in the city. He said after the completion of these projects many problems confronting the city would be solved.

Chatha said they had demanded a single-window system for applying various licences in the corporation. He said the commissioner had assured them that with the introduction of e-governance, their problems would be solved as they would not have to make rounds of the corporation offices for getting the licences.

He said with the introduction of the e-governance the main demand of the hoteliers would be fulfilled. He said besides this, they would be able to pay their house tax, water and conservancy taxes through the Internet which would also help in saving their precious time. He said the licence for pure food would now have to be secured from the district health officer.

Besides Chatha, Randeep Singh, president AHRA, P.K. Vaid, general manager, Hotel Ritz, Sanjay Galhotra, Hotel Ritz, G.K. Khanna of Hotel Mohan International, and Sanjay Mehra of Mehra Guest House attended the meeting.



City not ready to fight fires: NDMA
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 17
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), which has been set up after the Tsunami destruction, recently reviewed the city fire-fighting arrangements. The committee reportedly found many deficiencies, including severe crunch of fire tenders, modern equipment and trained manpower, in disaster management system conceived by the district administration in case of major fire.

A mock fire drill was also conducted for the committee. JK Sinha of the inspecting team said during mock exercises the members look for loopholes and issue instructions for plugging them to ensure proper preparedness for any calamity.

He said supervisors had been appointed to see the participation of each department in these exercises and reports submitted by these supervisors would be sent to state government for taking necessary action, besides procuring latest equipment for tackling any calamity. He said the government was very serious to set up disaster management committees in all metros as well as in the key townships of the country.

Sinha said during mock exercise a number of different departments coordinate to complement each other’s role and develop a sense of brotherhood in the event of any major disaster. Sinha suggested the need for organising more such mock exercises without prior notice to gauge the efficiency of the system.

He said various departments must work in proper cohesion and regularly look into their pitfalls so they are completely ready for any eventuality. 



Rajasansi Airport drill passes terror test
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, October 17
In a bid to carry out a reality check to verify the quick responses of various crucial elements during hijacking, a mock hijacking drill was conducted at the Rajasansi International airport here on October 15.

The local crises management group and the airport management authorities cobbled together all their resources to show their preparedness to handle serious aviation crises, which was keenly observed by senior representatives of the National Security Guards (NSG) from New Delhi.

The director airport Arun Talwar said though it’s an annual ritual to organise mock exercises to check the fine tuning of the response system of all the vital components including the officers of the airport authority, commandos, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and to check the response level of the local administration including the deputy commissioner and senior superintendent 
of police (SSP).

The Rajasansi Airport has been witness to real-life hijacking experiences. The first two were organised by the Sikh radical groups while the third was the infamous hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight 187 to Kabul.

Talwar said a number of groups were involved and were keenly watched by observers who would make their point about the preparedness and the quick reflexes of the team to meet the crises. He said all communications to different people were thoroughly checked and even interpreters who knew various languages were put on alert in case of international hijacking.

This dummy exercise, he said, fine tunes the response structure of various components including fire fighting system, ambulances etc. to handle all kind of emergencies.

SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap said the entire drill passed off satisfactorily as all the vital inputs required to handle serious crises were in perfect shape and the responses were good. He said the entire one-and-a-half-hour-long mock drill was closely monitored by NSG. 



Discrimination against Majha discernible: AVM
Varinder Walia/TNS

Amritsar, October 17
The facts, compiled by Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM), has shown that the tall claims of the state government notwithstanding, the discrimination against Majha (border belt) is discernible.

Prof Mohan Singh and Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala, both patrons, and Amrit Lal Manan, general secretary, AVM, stated that the facts speak that the present and previous governments discriminated against the holy city on all fronts.

Out of the two projects announced by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in September, 2004, the National Institute of Biotechnology was shifted from Amritsar to Mohali and the second one, Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has not been materialised even after the lapse of four years. The discrimination is visible from the fact that the Punjab government did not allot a single institute to Amritsar out of the seven central institutes, as the sites for them was to be decided by the Punjab government.

Mohali received five out of seven such institutes, namely Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, National Institutes of Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Indian School of Business. The Indian Institute of Technology is allotted to Ropar and National Institute of Law to Patiala. Besides these, Institutes of Hospital Management, Public Policy and Health are also being planned for Mohali. These are in and 40 km around Mohali.

The Chief Ministers and ministers of Akali and Congress parties come to Harmandar Sahib for blessings and publicity but they have not put any effort for the development of the holy city. Akalis, when not in power, make Amritsar their headquarters and regain the lost glory and come to power by getting blessings from Harmandar Sahib. However, when they come to power they forget Amritsar and make Chandigarh their headquarters.

It is very much clear that Amritsar received none of the projects for which the Punjab government was to choose the location. But even those projects which was allotted by the central government directly to Amritsar, received lukewarm response from the Punjab government. The matter to acquire 120 acres for the Integrated Check Post at Attari and 44 acres for the expansion of the Amritsar Airport has been pending for more than one year.

Similarly, the Punjab government is going very slow for the acquisition of 700 acres land for the proposed world class central university in Amritsar. How much the state government is serious can be judged from the fact that it has not even identified the land in Amritsar for the university so far.

The Punjab government has always a similar lame excuse for any project in Amritsar that the land is not available and the land is very costly. But on the other hand, the Punjab government has shown extraordinary haste and purchased 300 acres land for the proposed Mohali airport at exorbitant rates of 1.5 crore per acre and paid the entire amount of Rs 450 crore from its own pocket without even waiting for the share of Haryana government.The land was acquired within a record time of three-four months and handed over to the union ministry of civil aviation. 



‘Govt hospital fully equipped to handle dengue’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 17
The government hospital is fully equipped to handle all kinds of emergencies, including dengue and other infectious diseases presently prevalent in the city.

Stating this, Dr RPS Boparai, medical superintendent, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, said the blood separation unit in the hospital was in working order and was doing well though under tremendous pressure due to the rush of dengue patients. He said proper care was being taken to keep the machine operating round the clock.

Mosquito nets have been provided to patients. He said one of the wards of the hospital was specially allotted to the dengue patients.

Meanwhile, director, research and medical education, visited the hospital.



AIDS awareness for jail inmates
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 17
With a view to spread awareness regarding HIV/AIDS, the Fortis Escorts Hospital today held an interactive session for more than 250 inmates of the high-security central jail here in the jail education center.

This activity was conducted under the community social responsibility (CSR) pro gramme of the hospital, organised on the behest of SP Jail Surinder Pal Singh.

While interacting with the jail inmates, Dr. Gaurav Thukral, deputy medical superintendent, spoke about the nuances of HIV/AIDS. He informed the inmates about the various aspects of the virus, especially about the modes of its spread and its subsequent prevention.

His talk was oriented towards the role of drug abuse as a mode of spread of HIV as many of the inmates had been drug addicts during some time of their life. He said Punjab was in a crucial position as regards to HIV/AIDS. 



Campus Buzz
Varsity to host intl sports medicine congress next yr
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 17
Guru Nanak Dev University would host the 12th Asian Federation of Sports Medicine (AFSM) congress next year in December. This is going to be the first international congress sports medicine in India.

In a formal ceremony the senior officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the president AFSM, Dr Wahid Al Kharusi, handed over the ceremonial flag to Dr Jaspal Singh Sandhu of GNDU, executive member of AFSM, at the 11th Asian Federation of Sports Medicine held in Tehran.

The varsity release on October 15 said the 43-member countries of Asian Federation were likely to participate in the meeting. The theme of the congress is “Sports Medicine in Asia: Perspectives for Health and Competition”. The meeting would focus on the lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis which have become an epidemic in India.

The programme was finalised by the committee consisting of Prof (Dr) Walter Frontera, president, International Federation of Sports Medicine, Dr Wahid Al Kharusi, president, AFSM, Dr EBS Ramanathan, chairman, scientific commission and Prof (Dr) Jaspal Singh Sandhu, the release added.

Dr Sandhu said during the congress there would be two internationally accredited workshops for doctors in hand surgery and arthroscopy. Besides this there would be six AFSM accredited courses, including physician courses, sports rehabilitation course, mulligan manipulations and taping, anti-doping, exercise physiology and kinesiological EMG in rehabilitation course, practical sports psychology, he added.

He informed the website was also launched during the 11th AFSM Congress in Tehran. The online submission of abstracts will be through the website.



Probe against former  varsity FDO to go on
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 17
The Guru Nanak Dev University syndicate today decided to continue all the pending inquiries, ordered against former finance and development officer, Varinder Kumar Sharma.

Though a member of the syndicate asked the house not to continue inquiries since the FDO had been ousted from the university, majority of the members, while quoting  service rules, said probe could be held against the retired or  dismissed employees.

GNDU has established special scholarship under the world university service scheme, award and scholarship for excellence in human genetics.

Vice chancellor, Dr. Jai Rup Singh said the syndicate has approved to establish special scholarships under world university service scheme.

He said under this scheme about Rs 1,58,50,000 would be treated as corpus and only the interest money would be provided as financial assistance in the form of merit-cum-means scholarships to the needy, brilliant and freshly  admitted students.

He said two scholarships of Rs 4,000 each, per year, for affiliated colleges would be awarded to needy and brilliant students of the colleges.

Similarly, two scholarships of Rs 5,000 each per year would be awarded to each constituent college, regional campus and departments at the main campus at the university.

The vice-chancellor said the university has also decided to institute an award from the balance of contribution collected for holding international symposia on genetics, health and disease over the past years.

He said a cash award of Rs 1 lakh would be awarded to a scientist of international repute in human genetics of Punjabi origin (India & Pakistan) or working in Punjab for more than 10 years.

The syndicate has also decided to give scholarship to all M.Sc. (hons) students taking admission in the department of human genetics, irrespective of their family income, provided a student clears his/her qualifying examination with 55 per cent marks and all other subsequent examinations in the first attempt with at least 55 per cent marks.



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