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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Surprise checking by civil surgeon
Bathinda, January 9
It seems to be a week of surprise checkings in the city. Only a day after Punjab Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka conducted a surprise checking at the offices of the DEOs at the District Administrative Complex, Civil Surgeon Dr Ajay Sahni conducted a surprise checking at the Civil Hospital and Women and Children Hospital.

Speaking out on hike in railway fare
Bathinda, January 9
Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced a fare hike today and also assured that there would be no hike at the time of the Railway Budget. The revised fare will be applicable from January 21. Tribune News Service spoke to a few people to gauge what they think of the hike in the railway fare.

Schools for course on gender studies
Bathinda, January 9
While the entire country has been seething with rage after the gang rape and death of the 23-year-old paramedic student in Delhi last month, the Central Board of Secondary Education has taken it upon itself to sensitise children towards gender issues.

2 NRIs booked for forging passport
Bathinda, January 9
Four persons, including two Canada-based NRIs have been booked by the police in a case of cheating. In a complaint to the police, Jaswant Singh, a resident of Mansa, accused a woman of pasting her photograph on her sisterís passport to go to Canada in 1996.


EARLIER STORIES



Fertiliser, pesticide samples fail purity test
Bathinda, January 9
Seven samples of fertilisers and eight samples of pesticides have failed the purity test and were found to be sub-standard. The agriculture department had collected these samples during the current financial year.

MCB notifies zones, invites objections
Bathinda, January 9
The city has been demarcated into eight zones under the property tax. Municipal Corporation Bathinda (MCB) has notified the eight zones and invited objections from general public over a period of next 30 days. After 30 days, the objections received will be reviewed and a final notification will be passed. Municipal commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said after the demarcation of the areas, the unit rate for zones will be fixed and again objections will be invited through the same procedure. 

No traffic signals on accident-prone stretch
Caught in a crawl 4
Commuting on Dabwali road is always a risky affair during the day as well as at night. The Bathinda-Dabwali road is fast becoming notorious as it is used to bring drugs into Punjab by the dug peddlers who commute during the odd hours to ferry the contraband through Dabwali in Haryana.


Going gets tough

A man pushes a van which broke down at a crossing on a busy road in Bathinda.
A man pushes a van which broke down at a crossing on a busy road in Bathinda. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma







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Surprise checking by civil surgeon
 Directs staff to provide heaters, blankets, quilts to patients in hospitals to protect them from cold
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 9
It seems to be a week of surprise checkings in the city. Only a day after Punjab Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka conducted a surprise checking at the offices of the DEOs at the District Administrative Complex, Civil Surgeon Dr Ajay Sahni conducted a surprise checking at the Civil Hospital and Women and Children Hospital.

At both the hospitals, he directed the staff that heaters, blankets and quilts be provided to the patients to keep them safe from the cold weather.

He directed that the emergency ward be whitewashed and scrubbed clean to keep infections at bay. The senior medical officer (SMO) was directed to make heaters, thick blankets and quilts available for patients and other weak patients to be given hot water bottles.

The SMO was also directed to ensure that no windows or door is damaged and every door has a closer installed so that cold air does not reach the patients.

The staff was also directed to put up curtains in menís and womenís ward. The doctors, staff nurses and paramedical staff was directed to wear their I-cards everyday. The ultrasound centre at the hospital was also checked and its working was found to be perfect.

In order to ensure the regular supply of medicines to patients, pharma staff was directed to give a list of medicines available at the hospital to the doctors. ďThe patients should be given medicines from hospital only and the list provided to doctors should be updated every week and put on public display as well," he said.

He added that in event of a doctor being on leave, his or her room should be kept closed so that patients know that doctor is not available for the day.

The Civil Surgeon also visited the dental OPD wherein he directed that instruments be sterilised.

At the Women and Children Hospital, patients did not have pillows. The nursing staff was directed to give the pillows, which were stacked up in a closet, to the patients.

Thge beddings of patients were also found outside the wards.

The hospital staff was directed to get racks made so that such additional belongings of the patients could be stored properly. The staff was also directed to arrange for more chairs for the patients.

Fact file

* Emergency ward to be whitewashed and scrubbed clean to keep infections at bay.

* SMO to ensure that no windows or door is damaged and every door has a door closer installed.

* If a doctor is on leave, his room to be kept closed.

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Speaking out on hike in railway fare
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 9
Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced a fare hike today and also assured that there would be no hike at the time of the Railway Budget. The revised fare will be applicable from January 21. Tribune News Service spoke to a few people to gauge what they think of the hike in the railway fare.



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Schools for course on gender studies
Nikhila Pant Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 9
While the entire country has been seething with rage after the gang rape and death of the 23-year-old paramedic student in Delhi last month, the Central Board of Secondary Education has taken it upon itself to sensitise children towards gender issues.

At a time when debate on how the increasing number of criminal activities can be lowered is refusing to die down, such a course will certainly help in addressing the problem, say the heads of CBSE-affiliated schools in the city.

Starting the coming academic year, the CBSE will introduce 'Human Rights and Gender Studies' for students of classes XI and XII. The subject will be elective. The National Council for Teachers Education will also introduce a handbook 'Women Safety and Empowerment through Curriculum' in the training courses for teachers.

"The introduction of a course on gender studies is well-timed. These days, women are safe neither outside their homes nor inside. Introduction of such a course will help in addressing the issue in the formative years. Such a curriculum will help in focusing on the severity of the situation," said Monica Singh, principal of Police Public School.

However, she pointed out that gender sensitisation should not be confused with moral education. "In moral education, we teach the children that good eventually wins over the evil. But a course in gender sensitisation will help in ingraining in the conscience of students, especially the male students, that women are to be respected," she added.

Dr Arunjee, principal of Delhi Public School, also hailed the move and argued that education can be the best tool to address the issue of crime against women.

"The move is a good one but we should not forget that this is not the only way of addressing the problem. We should also keep in mind that the CBSE is one of the many boards in the country. Children receive education from the family, school and society. Introduction of such a course in schools can ensure that formal education is used to address the issue," he said.

"If we want to combat the issue, we need to change the mindset since the society teaches discrimination between genders," he added.

Anju Dhawan, principal of Millennium School, called it a good step, "only if it is used and taught properly". She added: "We can't have teachers simply walking into classrooms and start discussing gender issues. These are sensitive topics and students' minds are highly impressionable. We need counsellors to teach the subject. A course on gender sensitisation will be of help only if it is followed up properly," she said.

Meanwhile, the CBSE has launched a nationwide slogan-writing contest on gender equality and empowerment of girls. The competition is part of a series of activities scheduled to celebrate the National Girl Child Day on January 24. The competition is open to the students in the age group of 14 to 18 years (classes IX-XII).

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2 NRIs booked for forging passport
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 9
Four persons, including two Canada-based NRIs have been booked by the police in a case of cheating. In a complaint to the police, Jaswant Singh, a resident of Mansa, accused a woman of pasting her photograph on her sisterís passport to go to Canada in 1996.

Police have registered a case against Gurcharan Kaur, a resident of Moga, presently residing in Canada, Beant Kaur, residing in Canada, Mahinder Kaur and Satnam Kaur of Diyalpura Mirza village.

A case under sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 474, 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and section 12 of Indian Passport Act at Dyalpura police station.

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Fertiliser, pesticide samples fail purity test
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 9
Seven samples of fertilisers and eight samples of pesticides have failed the purity test and were found to be sub-standard. The agriculture department had collected these samples during the current financial year.

Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Rajinder Singh Brar said the department collected 197 samples of fertilizers and 387 samples of pesticides from across the district to check the quality available in the market.

The samples of fertilizers that failed the tests include a sample of Chambal Fertilizers and Chemical Limited Company's NPK 13.0.45, Sonia Overseas Private Limited's two samples of zinc sulphate 33 per cent, one sample each of Ganesh Chemical and Fertilizers' micronutrient mixture grade 11, Nandi Chemicals and Fertilizers' zinc sulphate 33 per cent, Jaishree Chemicals' zinc sulphate and Jubilant Industries Limited's SSP 16 per cent.

Similarly, samples of Meghmani Organic Limited's amidachlorpid 17.8 per cent, Vikas Organics Industries Corporation's cartap hydrochloride 4 per cent, Haramba Industry Limited's cartap hydrochloride 4 per cent, and others failed the purity test.

Dr Brar said legal proceedings have been initiated against these companies for selling sub-standard products in the market. He added that the exercise of collecting samples and getting them checked will continue under the quality control movement.

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MCB notifies zones, invites objections
 Objections received over next 30 days will be reviewed before passing final notification
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 9
The city has been demarcated into eight zones under the property tax. Municipal Corporation Bathinda (MCB) has notified the eight zones and invited objections from general public over a period of next 30 days.

After 30 days, the objections received will be reviewed and a final notification will be passed. Municipal commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said after the demarcation of the areas, the unit rate for zones will be fixed and again objections will be invited through the same procedure. Zone one consists of Mall Road area from Hanuman Chowk to railway station (both sides) and Dhobi Bazar Dev Samaj Chowk to Sadbhavna Chowk (both sides).

Zone two consists of areas of Mall Road, Hanuman Chowk to railway station, railway station to Mal Godam Road, Mal Godam Road to Singla Fancy Cloth House along to Aggarwal street to Des Raj School, Des Raj School to Qila gate, Qila gate to Arya Samaj School, Arya Samaj School to Court Road, court road to Mithu Wala turn and Mithu wala turn to Mata Rani Wali galiís middle area. The middle area includes both the cloth markets, Hospital Bazar, post office bazar, Sadar Bazar, Kikkar Bazar, Sirki Bazar, Middu Mal Street, Aggarwal Street, Court Road, Arya Samaj Chowk, Mata Rani Wali gali and other areas. Mall road and Dhobi bazar are not included for taxation purposes but for geographical continuation.

The third zone starts from Gole Diggi to Amrik Singh Road to Mann Petrol Pump to GT Road, GT road to Sirhind Banal, Sirhind canal to Kotkapura railway line, Kotkapura line to railway station, railway station to Gole Diggi's middle area including areas of Bhupindra Flour Mill, Veer Colony, Shakti Nagar, New Shakti Nagar, Vishal Nagar, Panchvati Nagar, Tagore Nagar, Madhokpura etc.

It also includes areas from Bibiwala road to 100-feet road towards Barnala bypass, 100 feet road right side North Estate, Kamla Nehru Colony, New Kamla Nehru Colony, Bharat Nagar, Patel Nagar, Shant Nagar, civil lines, Model town 1, 2 and 3 and other areas. It also has areas of GT road, Bibiwala road and Bibiwala Road to 100 feet going towards Bhagu Road both sides.

Zone IV includes areas of Prajapat Colony, Shiv Colony, Namdev Nagar, Ganesha Basti, Basant Vihar, Aggarwal Colony, Harpal Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Ghanaiya Nagar, Malviya Nagar, Nai Basti, Arya Nagar, Chandsar Basti, Housefed Colony, Ganpati Enclave, Sheesh Mahal, Green city near BDA phase 4 and phase 5, Homeland Colony, Thermal Colony, NFL Colony, North Estate, Manocha Colony, Pukhraj Colony, Shiv Mandir Gali wala area Power House road, Jujhar Singh Nagar, Ajit Road, Guru Treg Bahadur Nagar, Green Avenue near Patel Nagar, left side of 100 feet road North Estate running from Bibiwala road to Barnala bypass, DD Tower Multania road, Barnala bypass road till Rose Garden, mini secretariat road to Qila road, Qila road to Arya School, along court road to Mithu wala turn, Mithu wala turn to Hanuman Chowk, Hanuman Chowk to GT Road till the mid of mini secretariat road.

Zone V consists of areas from Bibiwala Chowk to Rose Garden right side areas including Jivi Nagar, Hazura Kapura colony, Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, Balla Ram Nagar, Preet Nagar, Bank Colony, Teacher Colony, Dhillon Nagar, Baba Farid Nagar, National Colony, Maheshwari Colony, Engineer colony, Kartar Colony, Indraprastha Colony, Vishwas Nagar, grain market, vegetable market, Haji Rattan area, Pujjan Wala Mohalla, Guru Nanakpura, old thana, Telian Wala Mohalla, Singla Fnacy cloth house to bridge (both sides), HVM Colony and Sushant Colony, civil hospital etc.

The sixth zone includes areas of ITI industrial area Mansa Road, growth center Mansa Road, oil depot focal point Dabwali road, Vardhman Polytex, Giani Zail Singh engineering college, milk plant, thermal plant, Ambuja factory, Bathinda chemical, Roshan oil mill, Roshan oil paper mill, Bhai Mati Dass Nagar, Bhagwati Enclave, Gaurav Enclave Multania road, near Patiala railway crossing FCI godowns, Government Rajindra College, Patiala railway crossing to mansa road, Nachhatar Nagarm Joga Nagar, Badal Road, Dabwali Road, Guru Nanak Nagar near lakes, Captain Amrinder Singh Nagar (back portion of transport nagar), Kothe Amarpura, Kothe Kameke and others.

The seventh zone has areas trans railway line including Paras Ram nagar, Pratap Nagar, Gurukul road, Arjan Nagar, Jogi Nagar, Surkhpeer Road, Multania Road, Lal Singh Basti, canal colony, Naruana road, Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Harbans Nagar, Balraj Colony, Guru Ki Nagri etc.

The eighth zone includes areas of Janta Nagar, Sanjay Nagar, Bangi Nagar, Usham Singh Bagar, Awa Basti, Amarpura basti, Mehna Basti, Sanguana Basti, Kheta Singh Basti, Dhobiana Basti, Kothe Sucha Singh Wale etc.

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No traffic signals on accident-prone stretch
In the fourth part of the series, Tribune reporter Gurdeep Singh Mann and photographer Bhupinder Dhillon travel on Dabwali road up to the refinery T-point ó the area most prone to accidents ó to determine the reason behind the large number of mishaps and why drug peddlers prefer the route

caught in a crawl 4

Commuting on Dabwali road is always a risky affair during the day as well as at night.

The Bathinda-Dabwali road is fast becoming notorious as it is used to bring drugs into Punjab by the dug peddlers who commute during the odd hours to ferry the contraband through Dabwali in Haryana.

The volume of traffic on this road has increased manifold after the commissioning of Guru Gobind Singh Refinery as heavy vehicles and SUVs have started plying on this stretch in large numbers.

"The refinery T-point is the most accident-prone area on the road where the maximum fatal accidents are reported.

Eight major accidents have been reported this winter so far. While one person lost his life, seven to eight others have received serious injuries," said Rampal, the volunteer of the NGO Sangat Sahara, that works to help the victims of road accident on the road.
It is the most accident-prone area on the highway. The road leading to the refinery is wider than the highway and the vehicles coming out often get involved in collision
T-point near the refinery: It is the most accident-prone area on the highway. The road leading to the refinery is wider than the highway and the vehicles coming out often get involved in collision.
Heavy vehicles parked by the roadside are a common sight on the Dabwali road. Collision with stationary trucks have been reported here many times.
Common Scene on the highway: Heavy vehicles parked by the roadside are a common sight on the Dabwali road. Collision with stationary trucks have been reported here many times.
A beggar courts danger by refusing to leave the road while vehicles travelling at high speed zoom past.
Near the PTU GZS campus: A beggar courts danger by refusing to leave the road while vehicles travelling at high speed zoom past. 

Rampal said the refinery road is wider than the Bathinda-Dabwali highway. Very often, the vehicles coming from the refinery side after reaching the highway often collide with vehicles travelling at great speed on the highway. There are no speed-breakers or traffic lights at the T-point and many vehicles even jump off the highway and fall into the agricultural fields at night or during the foggy weather, said Rampal. Many accidents have been reported in which young boys returning or going towards Dabwali met with accidents.

"Two youths carrying huge quantities of tablets and vials collided with a stationary truck on the road near Sehnewala village over a month ago," said Pali Mashana, another volunteer of the NGO Sangat Sahara.

Pali Mashana said the youths were riding a bike under the influence of drugs and collided with the stationary truck. ďMany more such accidents take place on this road which has given the stretch the notorious status of being a 'drug road'," Pali added.

The residents of the area said the parking of heavy vehicles by roadside too has lead to many accidents on the road.

There are many death traps on the road due to the lack of traffic signals as people continue driving at break-neck speed.

The menace of stray animals like cattle and dogs has lead to many accidents, said Gurmohan Singh, a resident of Jodhpur village. He said there are six villages up to the refinery T-Point and the traffic coming from the villages tend to collide with the traffic on the highway. The volunteers of the NGO said two residents of Delhi and three of a family of jewellers lost their lives in accidents on the road this year and a similar number of people have lost their lives this winter so far.

Geri Route

Dabwali road is fast turning into Geri route as away from the prying eyes of the people, the Tribune team today witnessed two cars in which youngsters were making rounds on the road.

A couple in a white colour BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) with a temporary Chandigarh registration number made four rounds of the stretch.

The boy and the girl were seen driving alternately on the road while two girls in school uniform were also seen making the rounds with two young boys between Sangat Kenchiyan and the Refinery T-Point. 

Problems you have to grapple with
Kind of traffic: The exit points of the villages, stray cattle and the vehicles traveling at high speed increase the possibility of road accident on the road. The heavy vehicles do not care for the smaller vehicles and driving becomes quite risky for the smaller vehicles, especially at night, when the heavy vehicles use high beam.

Kind of vehicles: Majority of the vehicles include trucks, cars, two-wheelers, buses and heavy vehicles.

Presence of policemen managing traffic
There are no traffic policemen deployed on the entire stretch starting from the ITI Chowk to the refinery T-Point. The victims of the road accidents get help only from the volunteers of NGOs. Even in case of major accidents, the policemen hardly turn up to remove the vehicles involved in the mishaps or those who have been injured.

Speed-breakers: There are no speed-breaker on the road and the one constructed on the refinery road too has worn out which has lead to many accidents on the road. 

Choke points
PTU GZS College, Jodhpur Romana, Gurusar Sehnewal, Gehri Buttar, Sangat Kenchiyan, Lasara Drain, Gurthari and refinery T-point. .

Accident points identified on the stretch

Accidents are reported on the entire stretch of the Dabwali road and the recent accidents wherein people have lost their lives are the refinery T-Point, Sehnewala village, Sangat Kenchiyan, PTU GZS College, Lasara Drain, Gurthari village and near Gehri Buttar village.

The cemented road divider on the stretch near Jodhpur Romana village is usually not noticed by the commuters. Residents of the village said vehicles collide with the divider as reflectors have not been installed on the road. The divider is not at all spotted during the fog or late at night, the residents said.

No survey conducted by the officials so far
Despite numerous deaths on the road so far, no initiative has been taken by the district administration, the police or the government to conduct any kind of survey or to ascertain the reasons behind the large number of accidents taking place on Dabwali road.

Beggar creates chaos on the road amid traffic
A mentally upset beggar on the Dabwali road near Punjab Technical University GZS Campus on Wednesday created problems as he sat in the middle of road without any fear of vehicles at high speed passing him by. Identifying himself as a resident of Rajpura in Patiala, he refused to move aside on the road, inviting trouble.

A passerby then offered him liquor in lieu of moving aside and he then sat at a distance, safe from the speeding vehicles making their way on the road.

Later, volunteers of the NGO Sahara Jan Sewa took him away. 

word of caution
The NGOs helping the victims of road accidents on the stretch said most accidents have taken place on the stretch between the ITI Chowk and the refinery T-point due to wrong overtaking.

"Since the road is too smooth to drive, vehicles travel at more than 100 kmph and always try to overtake the slow moving vehicles and collide with the approaching vehicles," said Rampal, one of the volunteers of the NGO. Rampal said people, no matter which vehicle they are driving, should not increase their speed to more than 80 kmph as they are not able to control the vehicle if they are driving at a speed more than this on the road. 

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