Finally, historic Sultanwind gets govt’s attention
The government has sanctioned about Rs 1.25 crore each for development of its three wards
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
The historic Sultanwind village, which is a picture of neglect due to the apathy of the authorities, can now see a ray of hope of development as funds have been sanctioned to the councillors of the area.

The area that came under the jurisdiction of the municipal corporation in 1978 still waiting for its development with all the political leaders of consecutive governments only giving lip service to them.

The village is said to be about 800 years old and settled much before the inhibition of the holy city of Amritsar.

However, now the government has sanctioned about Rs 1.25 crore each to its three wards for providing water supply, concrete and brick flooring in its roads and lanes, said MC commissioner D.P.S. Kharbanda while talking to The Tribune.

He said the Sultanwind area, which was situated in the periphery of the city, came under three municipal wards and funds had been allotted to councillors of these wards for carrying out developmental works.

The village also came under the ambitious Rs 360-crore Japan Bank International Consortium (JBIC) Scheme under which sewerage would be laid, besides construction of road and other infrastructure of the city.

He said at present planning work was going on and work was likely to be started next year.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would lay the foundation stone for the construction of a Sultanwind bridge on December 11. The bridge would connect the main city with the village.

The century-old bridge was damaged, causing great inconvenience to the commuters. The CM has directed the authorities to complete the bridge within three months.

The corporation has also decided to set up a sewerage treatment plant in the village. Three such plants would be established in the city. The other two sewerage treatment plants would be set up at Bharariwal and Ram Tirath.

Named after Pir Sakhi Sultan, Sultanwind has a historical importance. Guru Hargobind stayed here when he was returning after solemnising his marriage.

Besides Guru Hargobind, prominent Sikhs who came here included Baba Buddaji, Bhai Gurdasji, Bhai Bahloji, Bhai Saloji, Bhai Bidhi Chand.

An old tree of “karir”, where the sixth Guru tied his horse, still exists in the gurdwara.

The residents of the area alleged that the authorities and the political leaders had turned a blind eye towards them. There is no facility to provide clean and safe drinking water to the population of about 35,000 of this area.

The village made the city proud by making supreme sacrifices in all the world wars, Jaiton Morcha, Morcha of Guru Ka Bagh or freedom struggle.

Over 1.38 lakh Indian troops fought in Belgium and France during World War I, many of them Sikhs. The marble slab outside the police station displays that 135 residents of this village participated in World War I.



BJP MLA threatens stir
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
The citizens of Amritsar and especially the residents of the Batala Road have been up in arms in protest against the abject apathy of the state government and Public Works department in relaying of about five-km stretch of the vital Batala Road which connects the border region to Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Taking up the cudgels against this deliberate neglect, BJP MLA Anil Joshi today threatened to hold protest dharna in front of Public Works Department (PWD) office for not reconstructing the road.

Speaking at a press conference, he said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has instructed the authorities to complete the reconstruction of the road as soon as possible. However, the authorities of the PWD have turned a blind eye to the inconvenience being suffered by the commuters and residents of the nearby areas, 
alleged Joshi.

Joshi pointed out that all the funds allocated by the central government have been with the department for last several months now.

BJP MLA Anil Joshi said the issue was taken up with PWD minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, who had assured to complete the work on priority basis in July last year. However, till now nothing has been done so far. He said that even the municipal corporation has completed work of cementing both sides of the road while PWD was still looking other way.

The BJP MLA said he had promised the residents of the area to rebuild this road during elections and he would leave no stone unturned to fulfill his promise.

Meanwhile, the Public Works Department authorities could not be contacted even after repeated attempts.



AIHRA seminar on human rights today
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
The All-India Human Rights Association (AIHRA) will organise a two-day seminar on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights on December 10.

Shalini Dewan, director, UN Information Centre-India, and Ansar Burney, former human rights minister, Pakistan, and member secretary, UN Human Rights Council, would grace the occasion.

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court P.N. Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court and former Rajasthan Governor N.L. Tibrewal and Punjab health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla will attend the seminar.



Reconsider luxury tax decision, hoteliers urge govt
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
Dismayed over the levy of 8 per cent luxury tax on hotels, the Hotel Restaurant and Bar Welfare Association (HRBWA), Amritsar, has urged the government to reconsider its decision to save the hotel industry in the border region.

In a missive to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today, Satnam Singh Kanda, a senior SAD leader and vice-president of the HRBWA, said luxuries, including pubs, wine ahatas, gambling and dancing, were not provided by the HRBWA.

He said due to lack of vision on the part of the taxation department and faulty industrial policy, the fan industry has already become extinct while the textile industry was on the verge of collapse.

He said this luxury tax would have a shattering impact on the entire hospitality and tourism industry.

Kanda said devotees who came here to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple preferred to stay for a night in their guest houses due to the low rents.

He urged the Chief Minister to intervene in the matter as the delay might force them to close their units.



Trust to give awards to rural meritorious students
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
To promote education in the rural areas, Mata Mohinder Kaur Memorial Trust (MMKMT) has decided to give awards to six children of Government Secondary School, Chawinda Devi village, here, who had topped in 10+2 exams in the past three years. The awards will be presented tomorrow.

The Niranjan Singh and Pandit Dina Nath memorial awards would be given to boys and girls for academic achievements.

The trust has adopted four schools - Government Higher Secondary School, Talwani Dassaundha Singh, Government Higher School, Fatehgarh Shukarchak, Government Higher Secondary Girls School, Kathunangal, and Government Secondary School, Chawinda Devi village.

The trust was formed after the name of Mata Mohinder Kaur, a native of the region who devoted all her life to social causes. She believed that all social ills were due to the neglect of education  of the girl child.

The trust provides infrastructure and other necessary items, besides providing building for imparting quality education to the children of the rural belt.

Amrik Singh Gill, Chairman of the trust, said, “We have to be cautiously alert to preserve our heritage and hand it down to the future generation as we have received from our elders, which is possible to achieve only through all-round quality education, which is the main aim of this foundation.”



Bhai Gurudas Academy organises ‘Virasat’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
Bhai Gurudas Academy organised “Virasat” to mark the seventh annual prize distribution function on December 7. Col Parduman Singh Pune gave away prizes to students for their achievements in academics and various cultural and sports activities. Tiny tots of the school held the audience spellbound by presenting shabad gayan, skits and dance. They also performed gatka (martial art) on the occasion.

Giani Kewal Singh, chairman of the school and former jathedar, Akal Takht, talking to The Tribune said the school, which was started in 2002 with 140 children on its roll has now 650 students, besides getting affiliation with the the Central Board of Secondary Education three years ago. He said he started the school to promote Sikhism by making the students aware of the rich Sikh heritage and culture.



Book on history of Sikhs in Holland
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
Amritsar-born Bhupinder Singh of Holland has come up with his third book, “The Dutch Singh: A brief history,” on the accomplishments of Sikhs who have adopted Holland as their country.

Known for his great work on the world wars depicting Sikhs’ contribution to the world during the wars, the book revealed the history of Sikhs living in Holland.

The book contained a large number of coloured and black and white photographs about the Sikhs activities in the country, besides preserving several precious documents, including letters of the government officials about the Sikhs position, rights, role and their identity.

The present work disclosed that the Sikhs were known to the Netherlands since the times of Sikh general Banda Singh Bahadur.



School Buzz
‘Bitya Rani’ receives Signal award 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 9
Students of Spring Dale Senior School have won the Signal award in the ninth International Children Festival of Performing Arts held at National Bal Bhavan, New Delhi, in which about 100 schools from 25 countries participated.

The theme of the show was “Imagine the world as one”. The team of the school participated in the theatre competition. Class XI student Shikha Arora, who played the role of a protagonist, was declared the best actress of the festival in the play “Bitya Rani” which sent out a message against the menace of female foeticide.

The act, originally written by noted Pakistani writer Shaheed Nadeem, was adapted by school principal Manveen Sandhu in 2005. Since then it has been performed by different teams in English, Hindi and Punjabi. Sandhu said the play was performed in more than six districts of Punjab during the “Beti Sneh Sanjivi Yatra” in association with UNFPA and the Arts of Living.

Heritage Quiz-2008

A team of three students of DAV Public School bagged the third position at the CBSE National India Heritage Quiz-2008, making it the first school in the city to bag a place at the national-level quiz competition where 3,000 schools from India and abroad participated.

The winner team of class X students Saransh Gupta, Himanshu Verma and Ishan Anand was awarded Rs 7,500 by the secretary, Human Resource Development, Government of India, Subhash Kuntia in the presence of CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi at New Delhi.

The national trophy was received by a team from Rajasthan, while the second prize went to a Gujarat school.



NRI donates $1,100 for school
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 9
NRI Inderjit Singh from the USA announced $1,100 and Punarjot director Dr Shiwinder Singh Sandhu donated Rs 1 lakh for the development of the Baba Gurmukh Singh Uttam Singh Senior School, Khadoor Sahib, at the annual function of the school organised here yesterday.

The function was held under Baba Sewa Singh, head of Kar Sewa sect, Khadoor Sahib. Sandhu was the chief guest and Lakhwinder Singh of Jalandhar presided over the event.

A cultural programme was the highlight of the function in which students sent out a message against the social evils.



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