Livelihood in danger?
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Dhilwan (Kapurthala), December 4
The management of Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, popularly known as Dera Radha Soami Beas, has allegedly been trying to change the natural flow of the Beas river by reportedly illegally quarrying sand and placing cement slabs on the right side of the river, in an attempt to encroach land belonging to the farmers of Butala, Dhilwan, Mand, Bhaini, Chakoki and adjoining villages situated on the left side of the Beas.

Talking to The Tribune, the chairman of Zameen Bachao Morcha Mohan Singh Butala alleged that the Dera men had already encroached several hundred acres of agricultural land of nearly 200 farmers of these villages by changing the course of the river.

Showing a document, Mohan Singh said the district administration had banned sand quarrying with suction machines and bulldozers and placing cement slabs and cubes to increase the level on the right side of the Beas so that the agricultural land of the farmers of the villages on its left side could not be washed away.

Issuing such directions under section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code, then DC-cum-DM Samir Kumar clearly stated in his order on July 25, 2005, that as many as 2,403 acres of land had already been washed away as the natural course of the Beas changed due to interferences by dera men. The land, which had already been washed away, included 2,327 acres of a dozen villages falling under the Kapurthala sub-division and 76 acres of another ten villages falling under the Sultanpur Lodhi sub-divisions.

Mohan Singh said sand quarrying and placing of cement slabs and cubes had been stopped after the issuance of these orders but it had been restarted a few weeks back.

The chairman of the Zameen Bachao Morcha further alleged that their several hundred acres of agricultural land had already been encroached by the dera management as it is now located on the right side of the Beas, where the dera is situated, after gradual change in its natural flow during past several years.

Meanwhile, Mohan Singh said if the sand quarrying and placing cement slabs and cubes on the right side of Beas was not stopped immediately, they would be left with no option but to initiate their agitation including blockage of national highway number one.

The chairman of Zameen Bachao Morcha said the district administration should stop illegal sand quarrying immediately. He further demanded that the district administration should help the affected farmers in restoring the possession of their land which had already been encroached.

Further, cement slabs and cubes should be placed on the left side of Beas so that more of their land could not be washed away by the Beas, he added.

While the Dera management could not be contacted, DC JM Balamurugan said he would get the matter examined and the needful would be done if required.



Problems galore on bus stand periphery
Deepkamal Kaur/TNS

A city bus parked in the middle of the road alongside bus stand in Jalandhar creating traffic chaos. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Jalandhar, December 4
The periphery of the inter-state bus terminus here has all sorts of problems. Traffic chaos, encroachments, filth, wrong alignment of road, broken divider, construction of railway overbridge (ROB) close by and parking of city buses alongside have caused a complete anarchy around one of the busiest areas of the city.

Owing to under-construction ROB alongside, the passengers are being forced to cross over muddy trenches around the construction site to reach the bus stand.

Not just that, they even have to step over the smelly garbage that greets them at the gates of the terminus.

Non-alignment of road

The problem gets further compounded because of the traffic chaos due to non-alignment of the portion of the road along the side boundary wall of the bus stand with the stretch coming from the Milk Bar Chowk side.

The wide, two-way road gets converted into a relatively narrow passage that, too, sans a divider. This often leads to chaos at the intersection where this road meets the Garha road that falls on the back of the bus stand.

The town planning officials have revealed that there has been a deviation in the road geometry in the existing plan from the master plan that was proposed for the area.


Encroachments by vendors selling fruits, vegetables, poultry, garments and other items along the boundary is a major problem marring the beauty of the renovated bus stand. Corporation officials have tried to remove encroachments on several occasions but the move falls flat owing to political pressure.

Without permit

To top it all, two city buses remain stranded outside the bus stand waiting for them to get filled. Most commuters along the area feel that the buses should be parked inside the bus stand to avoid chaos outside. Besides, it will facilitate the bus stand passengers who would not be required to walk out all the way to take the bus, they said.

As Punjab Roadways officials were asked about the problem, they said the MC officials had not taken a permit from the bus stand. “Consequently, they cannot bring in their buses.

They need to complete certain formalities for that,” revealed an official. Rahul Gupta, joint commissioner, opined that the buses were not starting from the bus stand. “They are simply passing by the bus stand route and taking in passengers during their stop,” he said to which the roadways officials replied that the buses kept on standing for 15 to 20 minutes blocking the way of other buses.

Shifting of depots

There is another controversy regarding the bus stand area. The town planning officials have been saying that the two depots of the Punjab Roadways along the bus stand be shifted to the outer city area. “The 12.5 acre land in the prime area should be converted into a top class commercial hub,” they said but the roadways officials are adamant.

Parneet Singh, GM, Roadways, said, “Bus depots are always located outside the bus stand. Earlier, when our workshop was located near Patel Chowk, we were wasting several litres of precious fuel daily to get the not-in-use buses parked there. Since we have a depot adjoining the stand, our buses do not create traffic chaos all through the way to the workshop or even around the bus stand. Town planning people have been insisting us to shift but that will not be viable at all.”



No takers for plantation drive in govt schools
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 4
The plantation drive that started before the beginning of the current academic session in Government Schools across Punjab has fallen flat due to the lack of interest from the authorities concerned. It has been more than five months and no groundwork has been done in this regard.

Started with an aim to increase the green cover in the state, the project has virtually come to a halt with few takers for it. The director general school education (DGSE), Krishan Kumar, had asked all the district education officers (DEO) to rope in teachers, apart from students from various government schools to improve the environmental degradation.

According to information available with The Tribune, as many as three lakh trees were supposed to be planted but nothing has been done by the school authorities in this context. A meeting in this regard was held with the principal, chief conservator of forests under, which it was decided that the department of forest would provide trees for plantation in schools on demand without charging any money.

The plants were to be distributed in every district through concerned district forests officers. The plantation drive was to be carried out in twenty districts of the state, namely Amritsar, Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Mansa, Moga, Muktsar, Nawnashahr, Patiala, Ropar, Sangrur, SAS Nagar and Tarn Taran.

The initiative was taken keeping in mind the laidback attitude of the teachers in particular, who usually leave tree plantation campaigns for the students to take up.

Under this project, the DEOs of all the districts were asked to identify the number of plants to be planted.

The plants mentioned for plantation include Kikar, Neem, Kachnar, Talli, Shisham, Bohar, Pipal, silver Oak, Mango, Drek, Champa, Toot, Bottle Brush, Bahera, Jamun, Teak and much more.

It was also decided that the department of forest would conduct an evaluation after a time of every three months to see the maintenance of plants but nothing has materialised so far.

District Education Officer (Elementary) Joginder Dass said, “It is difficult to say that whether the plantation drive has been carried successfully or not as the final report of all the blocks is yet to come. However till date we have planted 16,000 saplings in the district”.



8 MC schools in dire straits
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 4
The eight elementary schools under the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation are crying for facilities thanks to the indifferent attitude of the authorities.

The schools were handed over to the civic body by the state education department for providing better education at grass root level.

The decision to revamp the ailing education system was taken during this academic session. Punjab local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia had specifically passed instructions to improve facilities at these schools.

Aimed at giving much-needed fillip to the ailing government education delivery system, not much has changed at the grass root level.

The MC authorities had planned to renovate the school building, increase staff, procure clean drinking water, hygienic mid-day meal, proper furniture, uniforms, organising regular medical check-up facilities, improved play way methods, ensuring availability of books and magazines.

The eight elementary government schools are situated at Sodal Road, Panjpeer Chowk, Gandhi Camp, Rainik Bazaar, Paragpur, Basti Peer Dad, Shaheed Babu Labh Singh Nagar and Anand Nagar.

There are total 752 students in these schools with Gandhi School Camp topping the list with a strength of 193 students followed by Anand Nagar School, which has strength of 143 students.

When The Tribune team visited these schools it was found that the some of the students were studying in dingy rooms while others were made to sit on the floors.

Above all, the schools were being managed by a single teacher. It was found that the school at Gandhi Camp, Rainik Bazaar, Shaheed Babu labh Singh Nagar, Basti Peer Dad were being looked after by single teacher.

It is pertinent to mention here that the authorities concerned had invited applications from eligible candidates in the beginning of the session but to no avail. Despite these instructions the no new recruitments were being done. It was also found that the teachers were not being paid their salaries well on time.

The students were present in civil dress whereas the local bodies minister had promised to provide school uniforms as well. And no educational trip was arranged as well.

Talking about the anomalies, a teacher on the terms of anonymity said, “Ever since our recruitment, we have been not being paid our salaries regularly. We have not received the salaries from September till November. The authorities should consider our case on priority.”

However, new furniture for the schools was made available within a short time and a medical specialist has also been arranged for the monthly check-up of the students.

When contacted, Assistant Commissioner, P.S. Ghumman, said, “As majority of the teachers are on maternity, the schools are witnessing some problem. So far as the issue of salaries is concerned we have been disbursing it regularly. I am not much aware of the status of the schools but would soon look into the matter.”



Young World
Youth fest: HMV, Apeejay win joint trophy
Tribune News Service

HMV students, after winning the overall trophy at the inter-zonal youth festival, celebrate the moment with their teachers. Photo: Suryakant

Jalandhar, December 4
The students of Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, and Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya (HMV), Jalandhar, won the Inter-Zonal Youth Festival held at the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, here today.

Students of HMV bagged first positions in quiz, histrionics, semi-classical vocal, creative dance, vaar singing, still life, sketching, collage, painting and allocution. The students got second position in giddha, play, mime, poetical recitation, debate, western group song, cartooning, poster making and installation while they got third position in mimicry, ghazal, Indian group song and skit.

On the other hand, the students of Apeejay college bagged first position in painting landscape, poster making, clay modelling, flower arrangement (fresh), mime, classical instrumental percussion, classical instrumental (non-percussion), classical vocal, semi-classical, group song Indian, western group song, folk orchestra and second position in debate, skit, shabad/bhajan solo, geet/gazal, western solo, folk song, classical dance, creative dance. The college stood third in painting still life, cartooning, installation and gidha.

Workshop held

A one-day workshop on "effective teaching of English language" was conducted by CT Public School, Jalandhar on December 3. The workshop was organised with an aim to acquaint the English teaching faculty of CBSE schools from in and around Jalandhar with the new changes being done by the Central Board of Secondary Education.

The English curriculum of classes IX to XII was also discussed. Resource person Rajeev Trehan, Oxford University Press, Delhi, spoke at length about the changes in the English language and it usage.


As many as five students of the CT Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology were selected during a recruitment drive by McDonalds recently. The students were selected as managerial trainees with an annual package of 1.26 lakh.

Tree plantation

The students of KMV College, Jalandhar, celebrated van mahotsav here today and planted saplings in the college campus. Principal Atima Sharma urged the students to participate actively in environment conservation.

Birth anniversary

The students of St. Soldier Divine Public School, Mithu Basti, on Wednesday, Prasad observed the birth anniversary of the first President of India Dr. Rajinder Prasad. A Sports Day was organised on this day in which the tiny tots of pre-nursery, nursery, LKG and UKG, participated in various events.



Good news for Canada aspirants
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 4
There is good news for people seeking immigration to Canada under Rule C-50, even in a period of global recession. The Canada immigration department will release the much awaited list of 38 occupations, shortly.

Canadian minister Jason Kenney is likely to announce the list by the end of this year.

Disclosing the development, Dr Balraj Gupta, director of CAAN Wings, an immigration company, said in-addition to it, the applicants must score at least 67 points in the point test. The applicants, having a work experience of at least one year, in any of the occupations figuring in the list, during the last 10 years, would be considered eligible to apply.

According to new rules, the applicants who applied after 27 February 2008 had not fulfilled the eligible criteria earlier.

Hence their applications will not be processed and the application fee would be refunded to them.

However, the applicants who applied before February 27, 2008, will remain unaffected, revealed Dr Gupta.



‘Make parking arrangements’
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 4
Deputy commissioner Ajeet Singh Pannu yesterday held a meeting with the owners of city-based marriage resorts at the district administrative complex.

He said the district administration would soon implement new laws for the resort owners from December 15 onwards. “And those found violating the laws would have to face action from the officials concerned,” he added.

Pannu urged the marriage resorts owners to arrange separate parking facilities for vehicles.

The vehicles lined outside the resorts during the functions lead to chaos and accidents at times.



BSP flays govt

Jalandhar: The members of BSP, Jalandhar wing, on Wednesday flayed the Punjab government as well as the Amritsar administration for not making proper arrangements prior to the army recruitment rally held in Khasa. “Had the district administration made right arrangements, for the rally, the stampede could have been avoided,” said BSP leader Surjit Singh. — TNS



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