Foolproof security module framed 
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, December 30
The warning signal sent out by the terror attacks on Mumbai perpetrated by the Pakistan-trained terrorists have set in motion a thought process for the local police for framing a perfect security module to save the key city of the country from a similar attack.

The drawing board planning by the think tank of the police under the command of SSP Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh said they had been working on a similar situation on a hypothetical basis but the audacious Mumbai killings have made the police redefine its position and plan a foolproof security mechanism to save life and property of people in this most important historic and religious centre.

He said that the module had several components with the strong involvement of public and civil defence volunteers and had the police intelligence to work as watchdog in the city. He said the police scouts had been placed at several important locations in the walled city as well as in the Civil Lines who had been given a clear task to spot suspicious elements roaming near these sites.

The SSP said the entire operations would be monitored by senior police officers sitting in the control rooms and give proper directions for rescuing the city from such killers. He said the role of the public was very important in running this module as they were to act as eyes and ears of the police force.

He said the civil defence volunteers had been given specialised training to act as a vanguard force for the police which would fan out in different areas in case of an attack. They would provide first-aid and conduct rescue operation and also give intelligence feedback to the police during any crisis. He said they would also provide the ground map and conditions to the other security agencies in case of need and requirement to run the entire planning in tandem and avoid any confusion as happened in Mumbai and other cities.

He said a crisis management team had had been planned and given the specific task to manage outbreak of any hostility or fire during national calamities. He said the civil administration, the police and the Municipal Corporation had been given the instructions to work as a team without overlapping the command. The SSP assured the public that Amritsar was properly secured and the administration would ensure that no harm was caused to the residents. However, he said the plan to secure the sensitive locations had been kept secret.



Rahul’s visits generated political heat
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 30
Even as the voter of the Majha region (border belt) has been a deciding factor in the formation of governments in Punjab for a long time, the three consecutive visits of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and several visits of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and former CM Capt Amarinder Singh to the holy city have generated a lot of political heat in the region.

However, the three visits of Rahul Gandhi failed to bring rapprochement among the local warring leaders of his party. Another significant development in Amritsar was the election of Punjab Youth Congress president Ravnit Singh Bittu, a grandson of late Beant Singh, in the presence of Rahul Gandhi.

Earlier, it was exemption of 32 acres of land of New Amritsar by the Amritsar Improvement Trust which led to expulsion of Capt Amarinder Singh from the Vidhan Sabha. Local former Congress MLA Jugal Kishor Sharma had to remain underground for pretty long time to escape arrest for exempting 32 acres during his stint as chairman of the Improvement Trust. Similarly, former Congress leader and former president of Durgyana Management Committee Arjun is still underground even as the local court has declared him a proclaimed offender.

The victory of Inderbir Singh Bolaria, an Akali MLA, during the byelection of Amritsar boosted the morale of he Shiromani Akali Dal. However, he has been in the web of controversies due to serious allegations levelled by his opponents. On the other hand, BJP MLA Anil Joshi has been in the news for staging protest dharnas against his own government and the police.

Former chairperson of Improvement Trust Ratna has been elected Punjab’s Mahila Congress president. This election, when the Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, would help the Congress to mobilise women party workers in the region.

However, the revoking the expulsion of Harjinder Singh Thekedar, former Congress MLA, by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chairman of the Congress Campaign Committee, has sparked off a controversy. Thekedar was expelled for six years by Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the then PPCC president, when the former refused to support party candidate Navdip Singh Goldi during the Amritsar assembly byelection. However, Bhattal alleged that Capt Amarinder Singh had no locus standi to revoke the expulsion of any party leader.

Three stalwarts who hail from the holy city died during this year, including India’s greatest soldier Field Marshal Sam Mankeshaw, Mohinder Kapur, a noted playback singer, and Hans Raj Khanna, retired Supreme Court judge.



MC chalks out development plans
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Amritar, December 30
The Municipal Corporation (MC) took up a flurry of development activities in the passing year while promising to kick off more projects in the next year.

MC commissioner D.P.S Kharbanda said the four-lane elevated road from Maqboolpura Chowk to Bhandari Bridge costing over Rs 210 crore was started. With the completion of 60 per cent work, the project was expected to be opened to public before March 31, 2009, he added.

The ministry of road transport and highways funded central verges, footpath for pedestrian, the latest technology based automatic traffic signal, improvement and beautification of entry gates at a cost of Rs 80 crore.

Building of two entry gates on the Amritsar-Jalandhar road and at the Attari border was also started, he said and added that a provision was also made to provide laser beam on the Jalandhar side gate which could be seen from a distance of 5 km. A cafeteria would be opened at the Attari gate, while on the Jalandhar gate static screens of the Golden Temple and the Durgiana Temple would be installed. Beautification of the gates would be done by planting ornamental trees, palm trees, shrubs along with flash lights and landscaping.

According to him, under the poverty alleviation plan funded by the ministry of urban development to improve the living standard of the people, 320 dwelling units for economically weaker sections, currently living in shanties, would be provided two-room flats with ownership rights in the name of the female members.

Construction of much-awaited gateway of India on 2.5 acres at a cost of Rs 4 crore in the memory of one of the renowned Sikh generals in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Sham Singh Attariwala, commenced this year.

Funded by the Bank of Japan, the MCA prepared an ambitious sewerage project at a cost of Rs 360 crore. The project is expected to take off in the middle of the next year in which sewerage treatment plants would be set up to treat the sullage water which, in turn, could be used for agriculture purposes. The scheme is aimed at maintaining natural sub-soil water table. There are two projects under it - augmentation of sewerage in the walled city at a cost of Rs 36.90 crore and the other laying of water supply and providing deep tubewells with reservoirs at a cost of Rs 19.02 crore - are under progress.

Kharbanda asserted the city bus service project would see light of the day in the first quarter of next year. Initially, buses would be run on four routes under public-private partnership.

The much-hyped solid waste management project was allotted to a private consultant for implementation, but it is was yet to take off. The project includes door-to-door collection of garbage, transportation and treatment while converting into electricity.

Five railway overbridges at Joura Phatak, 22 Number Phatak, Verka level crossing, San Sahib road, Chheharta, and Tarn Taran road would be constructed.



Association condemns attack on engineers 
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 30
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB)Engineers Association at its meeting held here today condemned the increasing incidents of attack on engineers while on duty.

Association joint secretary Jagjit Singh Suchu, who presided over the meeting, expressed solidarity with the family of Manoj Kumar Gupta, Uttar Pradesh engineer who was beaten to death allegedly by an MLA of the ruling party and his musclemen.

The meeting also condemned the attack on an JE of Kairon and an SDO of Fatehbad during the past few days in the area. In a resolution the government was urged to take stern action against the persons responsible for the attacks on engineers.

Senior executive engineer G.S. Khehra was elected state joint secretary and SDO Tejinder Singh was elected zonal member of the association. Sukhdev Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Sunny Bhagra, Harpreet Singh, Sukhwinder Singh and Ashwani Kumar were elected regional grievance committee members. 



Shyam Sharma - A man with a mission
Convinces the people to adopt the improved furnace that saves 40 per cent firewood in cremating the dead 
Neerj Bagga/TNS

Amritsar, December 30
Shyam Sharma, a retired mechanical engineer from the PWD, has taken upon himself the task to minimise the use of firewood during cremation of bodies.

A resident of Yol Camp in Himachal Pradesh, he was a key member of the team comprising Germans, besides Indians, has designed and developed improved furnace to cremate the dead.

He recalled that the visiting team was alarmed at the rampant use of precious firewood for cremation that led to huge deforestation and disturbed ecological balance.

The innovated device ensures the use of 40 per cent less wood in a cremation, besides reducing the pollution level. The team was actually entrusted with the task of studying and developing non-conventional energy resources and water management under the Indo-German Dauladhar Project in Himacal Pradesh some time back.

“Cremating dead drew the attention of Germans who along with the Indian experts evolved the indigenous crematorium with the easily available and inexpensive material,” Sharma recalled.

The indigenous instrument is called improved furnace with a rectangular shape. It is made from fire bricks, iron and fire clay.

According to Sharma, each furnace costs about Rs 10,000 which was strikingly low in comparison to electric crematorium. Besides, society has not adopted the electric crematorium due to religious dogma, he said.

Currently, Sharma has taken the project to various NGOs and is drawing their attention to the matter and taking it forward to the public. He said that since the NGOs work in a selected region or area and could convince crematorium societies to adopt the technique. While extending his network to introduce the new cremation technique, Sharma got in touch with a local art and culture preservation organisation, Punarjyot which found favour with the new concept.

The NGO decided to set up the device at the cremation ground of Narli, ancestral village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

Directors of Punarjyot, Dr Shivinder Singh Sandhu and his wife Manveen Sandhu, said panchayats of nearly 11 villages located around Narli were also in touch with them to establish the new crematorium. According to Sharma, its use assured 40 per cent saving of firewood.



Campus Buzz
Scientist award for research fellow 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 30
Tilak Raj, a senior research fellow from the department of pharmaceutical sciences of Guru Nanak Dev University, has been awarded the “Young Scientist award” for the year 2008 for his work “Synthesis and anti-cancer evaluation of some chromone- based compounds”.

The award was presented at the 27th annual conference of the Indian Council of Chemists which concluded on December 28 at Gurukul Kangri University, Hardwar, and his work was highly appreciated by the eminent scientists of the Indian Chemical Association.

Tilak Raj is presently working on synthetic and bio-organic medicinal chemistry and photochemistry under the supervision of prof Dr MPS Ishar who had recently developed photochemical routes to some new anti-cancer molecules and his paper entitled “Synthesis and cytotoxic activity of some novel polycyclic y-butyrolactones” was published in a reputed international journal. It encompassed results on development and evaluation of the highly anti-cancer molecules, which had been selected as "lead molecules" for development of the new anti-cancer agents and featured in every prestigious lead Discovery's “Daily Update”, viewed by all academic and industrial R and D establishments.

Selection trials

The trials to select Guru Nanak Dev University’s softball (women and men) teams would be held on January 4 and 8 on the university campus here, informed sports director Dr Kanwaljeet Singh.



From prose to humour writings
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 30
Balwinder Singh Fatehpuri, a prose writer of social essays, has ventured into writing pen portraits in his two back-to-back release of “Mere Pind Da Shuglastan” and “Mere Pind Da Bhadar Pursh”.

Both the books reflect his minute observation of some of the “interesting” persons in the village where the writer had grown up and resided for a long. The books make humorous and light reading of flaws and follies of conduct of various characters therein.

The Title of the book “Bhadar Pursh”, meaning gentleman, was deliberately given to heighten humorous tone. Since characters in it are those who are wicked and criminal by nature, but kind and forgiving at heart. They resorted to unfair and illegal means at a point of time in their life to earn their livelihood.

For instance, an anecdote humorously unfolded the tale of a widow who resorts to illegal vocation of running a distillery in order to bring up his two daughters and subsequently marries a policeman.

While “Mere Pind Da Shuglastan” is all about those persons who were more given to leading frolic and happy-go-luck life. They look for fun and laughter at each passing thing and are not bothered at pressing and demanding needs of life.

The writer said he has changed names of the characters to conceal their identities and considers them part and parcel of rural life. According to him, their work was narrow and limited but interesting and meaningful.



Portable trap for mosquitoes
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 30
Inderjit Singh Dhanju, agriculture officer, Department of Agriculture, Punjab, claimed that he has developed a portable mosquito trap.

According to him, adult mosquito was not only responsible for various types of diseases like dengue and malaria but their bite style was also different.

Use of pesticide against mosquito was not only unsafe but also create environmental pollution and pest resistance.

Unhygienic surroundings, especially in summer, provide conducive environment for growth of mosquito He said even the extreme temperatures (like summer and winter) had negligible effect on adult mosquito population. He said the trap was made after minutely studying the behaviour of mosquito. He added that neither chemical nor pesticide was required in the trap making it eco-friendly.



2 arrested with 110 gm smack
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 30
The police arrested Ajit Kumar of Fateh Singh Colony, Bhagtawala locality, here and seized 100 gm of smack from his possession. SSP Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh in a press release issued here today said that the accused was arrested after a tip-off. The Kotwali police party headed by ASI Kulwant Rai arrested him from Chowk Butt Malkan and seized the contraband. 

During investigation it was found that the accused was a notorious drug peddler and earlier also he had been arrested in the similar cases under the NDPS Act. A case under 22/61/85 of the NDPS Act has been registered. In another incident Gurpinder Singh of Mohalla Sekhupura, Jandiala, was nabbed by the police for possessing 10 gm of smack. A case under 22/61/85 of the NDPS Act has been registered at Jandiala police station.



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