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Customers cry foul as two post offices closed
Amritsar, December 28
Customers of the Department of Posts alleged inconvenience as two of its branches were closed recently. The department shut down its branches at Kot Ralia Ram and at Rani Ka Bazar recently. This led to resentment among the customers as they now have to walk down an extra mile, negotiate with traffic snarls and brave long queues to receive the same old services.

With no bills for 2 months, BSNL customers a harried lot 
Amritsar, December 28
Many Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited customers are a harried lot, as they have not received their bills for the past two months. Baffled customers are contacting BSNL offices to enquire about the change. They then resort to clearing the dues of their bills at bill receipt windows.


EARLIER EDITIONS


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Members of the Youth Congress carry out a road show to mark the foundation of the Congress in Amritsar
Members of the Youth Congress carry out a road show to mark the foundation of the Congress in Amritsar on Tuesday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Even if primary education is compulsory and free, will the government bother to take this bunch of ragpickers in Amritsar to school?
They remain neglected: Even if primary education is compulsory and free, will the government bother to take this bunch of ragpickers in Amritsar to school? Photo: Vishal Kumar

Yearender-Real Estate
Last quarter of 2010 brightens New Year mood

Amritsar, December 28
Last quarter of the year saw prices of real estate look upward in Amritsar, thus in a way promising a bright New Year for the investors. The global recession, which was triggered by a liquidity shortfall in the United States banking system in early 2008, did make its impact on the real estate of this border district.

Admn faces embarrassment at advisory committee meetings 
Members point out problems, inefficiencies
Tarn Taran, December 28
The district administration had to face an embarrassing situation in all the meetings of the district advisory committees, formed to bring transparency in the function of the different departments.

Gender Imbalance
Fortis hospital holds awareness programme

Amritsar, December 28
A medical team of Fortis Escorts Hospital distibutes saplings among children in Muddal village near Amritsar. A medical team of Forits Escorts Hospital, in collaboration with ML Memorial College today, held an awareness programme at Muddal village, wherein they spread awareness against the social evil of female feticide.






A medical team of Fortis Escorts Hospital distibutes saplings among children in Muddal village near Amritsar. A Tribune photo

Biz Buzz
T.P.S. Wallia, Regional COO, Tata Teleservices Limited, launches Tata Photon Plus in Amritsar.
T.P.S. Wallia, Regional COO, Tata Teleservices Limited, launches Tata Photon Plus in Amritsar. Photo: Vishal Kumar
The inaugural issue of AlphaTimes, a monthly in-house tabloid of AlphaOne, being released in Amritsar
The inaugural issue of AlphaTimes, a monthly in-house tabloid of AlphaOne, being released in Amritsar. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Amritsar: AlphaOne, retail store and multiplex, launched its in-house tabloid AlphaTimes here today. Director and CEO, Alpha G:Corp, promoter of AlphaOne, S.K Sayal said the aim of the journal was to share practical and interesting information with all patrons and guests about the ongoing as well as planned activities and opportunities for recreation at AlphaOne. — TNS

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Customers cry foul as two post offices closed
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 28
Customers of the Department of Posts alleged inconvenience as two of its branches were closed recently.

The department shut down its branches at Kot Ralia Ram and at Rani Ka Bazar recently. This led to resentment among the customers as they now have to walk down an extra mile, negotiate with traffic snarls and brave long queues to receive the same old services.

A senior citizen Naresh Johar, while slamming the department, said private courier companies were working towards providing services at the doorsteps of customers. The government department, however, is squandering away the advantage that it has in the form of infrastructure in every nook and corner of the city.

Amandeep Kaur, a housewife, said there were numerous advantages of the Rani Ka Bagh post office due to its strategic location. Since the area was mainly residential, with ample wide roads, it was easy to walk down to the post office.

The residents of the area now have to negotiate traffic snarls to reach the busy Court Road to reach the General Post Office (GPO). Long queues and parking problems are other great handicaps which discourage customers from enjoying smooth services.

When contacted, Superintendent Post Office (HQ) MS Negi said as per the department rules issued about three years ago, all the offices situated within a distance of two km from each other were to be closed.

He said both the closed branches fell under this category. He agreed that there was no economic problem as both the branches were doing good business.

When asked about the serpentine queues which will ensue at the GPO, he said ample arrangements of opening more windows had been made to meet the increased rush of customers.

He said the Department of Posts had closed two branches at Islamabad and Naraingarh, under the same revised plan last year. He said keeping in view the convenience of customers, the branches were being closed gradually.

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With no bills for 2 months, BSNL customers a harried lot 
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 28
Many Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited customers are a harried lot, as they have not received their bills for the past two months.

Baffled customers are contacting BSNL offices to enquire about the change. They then resort to clearing the dues of their bills at bill receipt windows.

Som Nath, a customer from Batala road, said he didn’t receive his bill for the past two months. He only saved the situation by voluntarily visiting the BSNL office and submitting the amount to the receipt clerk, who deducted the amount, keeping in view the average of the previous bill paid.

However, he added that it was written in bold letters near the windows of receipt clerks that no late fee would be charged. Amit Kumar of Kashmir Avenue said it was through word of mouth that he came to know that telephone bills are not being dispatched this time.

He said he did not see advertisements regarding the non-issuance of bills in newspapers by BSNL.

Guru Dutt of Lawrence Road said BSNL must have made requisite efforts to intimate customers about the non-issuance of bills.

“In the highly competitive telecommunications market, government-run BSNL is facing tough competition from private players. In such a scenario, it cannot afford to lower its guard”, said Mahesh Mittal of Hall Gate.

When contacted, general manager, BSNL, Labh Singh, said the delay was caused as the department was working towards switching over from the old system to the new call detail record.

As per the new plan, paper bills for the entire Northern Telecom Project (NTP) Circle would be printed at a centralised place and then they would be distributed to each state and districts.

He said the customers were duly informed about the change through advertisements in various newspapers. He added that the department had not levied any kind of late fee for late deposit of monthly bills and said his department had printed the bills locally this month.

The NTP Circle, with its headquarters at New Delhi, comprises Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh, besides Chandigarh. The department was expected to outsource the work of printing the bills to a company, he added.

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Yearender-Real Estate
Last quarter of 2010 brightens New Year mood
Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 28
Last quarter of the year saw prices of real estate look upward in Amritsar, thus in a way promising a bright New Year for the investors.

The global recession, which was triggered by a liquidity shortfall in the United States banking system in early 2008, did make its impact on the real estate of this border district.

Having invested heavily, large and medium investors were keeping their fingers crossed. End users were missing while small-time investors were stalking to buy a small chunk of land at less than the market rate.

Opening of a flyover from Bhandari Bridge to the Amritsar-Jalandhar GT Road in the middle of the year and coming up of a multiplex, a five star hotel and other private investments on the same road proved to be the energiser for the real estate.

Parvinder Singh of Dashmesh Properties said, “However, the positive impact was seen only in the last months of the year.”

He felt that the positive point was that end users turned out apprehending that the property rates would increase further in the coming years. Keeping a close tab on the movement of end users, the real estate investors have also started buying large chunk of lands in the areas famous among the people.

He said the upside move in real estate prices was seen on Ajnala and Loharka roads, besides the Amrisar-Jalandhar GT Road. All these roads have seen arrival of a number of townships in past some years.

They are promising state-of-the-art facilities, quality civic amenities and many more things to woo people to inhabit these areas.

Rates of residential properties have increased 10 to 20 per cent in these areas depending upon location and road during this year. Highest increase was recorded on the Amrisar-Jalandhar GT Road.

The Amritsar Improvement Trust earned Rs 16,000 per square yard by selling some plots in its developed New Amritsar colony on the same road a couple of weeks back. On the other hand, Rs 12,000 per square yard prices were prevailing in the middle of this year.

Gurdhir Singh Virk of Big Deal Properties, said on the Ajnala road, a square yard is being sold for Rs 10,000 to Rs 15000. Developed streets on Loharka road are attracting buyers with Rs 10,000 per square yard and above while the colonies under development are getting Rs 5,000 per square yard, which was Rs 4,000 in earlier months of this year. Though these colonies are illegal, it is not deterrence for the buyers.

Meanwhile, he said, old Civil Line area comprising residential localities situated on either side of the Mall Road are invariably hit among people. It is maintaining the same price level, which ascended to higher pedestal during the property boom which happened across the northern India some years back.

For instance, a square yard in Green Avenue costs Rs 37,000 to 45000, in Kennedy Avenue it’s Rs 35,000 to 45000 and in White Avenue it is Rs 28,000 to Rs 32,000. Ranjit Avenue with ample wide roads is offering residential space at Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per square yard.

However, rise in prices of property augurs bad for people with meagre resources, who are in need of dwellings.

Verbally, they have to pay from their nose to meet the expenses of house rent. The realtors are of the view that implementation of the master plan for Amritsar, approved by the state government, would offer regularised and disciplined growth for the city. They felt that it would give thrust to the real estate industry in 2011.

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Admn faces embarrassment at advisory committee meetings 
Members point out problems, inefficiencies
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, December 28
The district administration had to face an embarrassing situation in all the meetings of the district advisory committees, formed to bring transparency in the function of the different departments.

In a meeting of the Cooperative Department held under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Khushi Ram, the nominated members said the farmers were facing difficulties at the hands of the Cooperative Agriculture Service Society (CASS), Mundapind. The members also said the urea fertiliser was being sold in the black market in the district.

In a meeting of the Punjab State Power Corporation (Powercom), the members said the installation of 100 KV transformers was being delayed purposefully.

Prabhjit Singh Rataul, senior vice-president of the local Municipal Council, brought the matter of frequent road blocking by the school vehicles parked on the road sides. He said the vehicles of local Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School were seen parked on the Jandiala Road while the vehicles of Saint Francis School were parked on the main road in the morning and evening times for hours together.

The members also brought to the notice of the administration the inconvenience caused to the residents due to the sewerage work being done in the town. The members said the work area had not been marked as a result of which lot of accidents had occurred.

The authorities assured the members to redress their problems soon.

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Gender Imbalance
Fortis hospital holds awareness programme
PK Jaiswar/Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 28
A medical team of Forits Escorts Hospital, in collaboration with ML Memorial College today, held an awareness programme at Muddal village, wherein they spread awareness against the social evil of female feticide.

Dr Gaurav Thukral, deputy medical superintendent of the hospital, while speaking on the occasion, said, “The gender ratio in India, far from stabilising or self-correcting, has been dropping continuously for years, standing now (as per the last census) at 927 girls per 1,000 boys. One out of five girls dies before attaining the age of five.”

The medical team also examined the women and children to mark the occasion and educated them about various health concerns.

Dr Praveen Thukral, principal of the college, pointed out that the impact of not recognising the rights of the girl child is detrimental to all forms of society’s progress, both socially and economically. There is an increase in the dropout rate of girls in the education system, violence against women and girls, as well as the serious economic deprivation of women and girls’ access to services, skills and information which could have enabled them to lead just and healthy lives, he added.

He said the school, along with the hospital, has adopted the village under the Nanhi Chhaan Programme, under which plants were also distributed to girl students of the school, in order to spread awareness regarding skewed sex ratio and various environmental issues concerning the society. 

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