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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Poor water supply troubles locals
Bathinda, May 22
Youths swim in the Sirhind Canal in Bathinda on Thursday As the mercury is on the rise, the shortage of drinking water and unscheduled power cuts have added to the residents' woes.


Youths swim in the Sirhind Canal in Bathinda on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Thefts rock city on Wednesday night
Bathinda, May 22
Theft incidents are on the rise in the city and have become a cause of concern for the residents. Gursewak Singh, a resident of Model Town, has registered a complaint of car theft with the Cantonment police.

Agriculture Dept warns farmers against sowing paddy before June 15
Bathinda, May 22
The Agriculture Department today warned farmers against sowing paddy before June 15.


EARLIER STORIES



With better price, potato growers rejoice
Jalandhar, May 22
Potato growers in the Doaba region seem to be rejoicing this season as they have been getting a higher price as compared to the last few seasons. One of the factors behind the higher price is that potatoes are being exported to Pakistan this season, through the Wagah border.

Railway authorities remove encroachments
Bathinda, May 22
Workers remove encrochments Railway officials, along with the railway police, today carried out a demolition drive in the Thandi Sadak area and removed the structures raised by slum dwellers on the land belonging to the railway department. The slum dwellers have been living there for the past several years.


Workers remove encrochments. Photos: Vijay Kumar

Manpreet Badal claims moral victory in LS poll
Bathinda, May 22
Manpreet Singh Badal meets the family of the deceased golgappa vendor Shashipal at the Civil Hospital in Bathinda on Thursday In a stark contract to Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Manpreet Singh Badal, who contested unsuccessfully against the SAD-BJP leader in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, is beaming with confidence and holding thanksgiving functions in the constituency.

Manpreet Singh Badal meets the family of the deceased golgappa vendor Shashipal at the Civil Hospital in Bathinda on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Court acquits murder accused
Bathinda, May 22
A man accused of burying his sister-in-law’s body after murdering her following an illicit relationship three years ago has been acquitted by the court of the Additional Sessions Judge MPS Pahwa.
Devotees take part in the Sai Baba palanquin procession in Bathinda on Thursday
devotion Unlimited: Devotees take part in the Sai Baba palanquin procession in Bathinda on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Vijay Kumar

60 government schools inspected
Bathinda, May 22
Following the directions of the Education Department, about 60 government primary, middle and higher secondary schools were inspected in the district today. Various inspection teams were formed under the supervision of the District Education Officers (Elementary and Secondary).

Ayurvedic college seeks eight days to fulfil agitating students' demands
Bathinda, May 22
The management of Saint Sahara Ayurvedic Medical College, Kotshamir, sought eight days to fulfil the demands of the students who have been staging a dharna for a week now.

Punjabi movie stars visit city for film promotion
Actress Natasha Rana with film director Rajeev Sharma and co-star Zafar Dhillon (in black turban) at a promotional event for their film ‘47 to 84’ in Bathinda on ThursdayBathinda, May 22
After the critically acclaimed film "Nabar", director Rajeev Sharma is back with the movie, "47 to 84". Rajeev was in the city today to promote the film. He was accompanied by actors Natasha Rana and Zafar Dhillon. Nabar had won the national award for being in the best Punjabi film.



Actress Natasha Rana with film director Rajeev Sharma and co-star Zafar Dhillon (in black turban) at a promotional event for their film ‘47 to 84’ in Bathinda on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vijay Kumar

Agriculture Department collects soil samples
Bathinda, May 22
As per the directives of the Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) and the Project Director of the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Rajinder Singh Brar, teams were constituted under the supervision of the Deputy Director, ATMA, Dr Narinder Singh and the Block Agriculture Officer Dr Kawal Kumar Jindal to collect water and soil samples from the Jaid village of Rampura block.

international biodiversity day
Officials discuss environmental issues
Bathinda, May 22
Stressing upon the need to save the flora and fauna, an NGO today organised a workshop on the occasion of International Biodiversity Day at the meeting hall of the Zila Parishad office.

GZS PTU students excel in GATE
Bathinda, May 22
The engineering students of the Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University Campus, brought laurels to the college by performing well in GATE 2014. More than 10 per cent of the students admitted in the 2010 batch have cleared the examination which was held in February this year.

 







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Poor water supply troubles locals
Unscheduled power cuts add to suffering, make scorching sun unbearable
Sukhmeet Bhasin
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
As the mercury is on the rise, the shortage of drinking water and unscheduled power cuts have added to the residents' woes. As many parts of the city are getting irregular and rationed water supply, the residents remain alert even during the night to get enough water for their needs.

The inadequate water supply have forced the residents to rely on underground water. Notably, Bathinda is well known for its contaminated underground water.

Many residents in Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar and it’s nearby areas have installed motors to pump out underground water but it is not fit for consumption.

Indra Kaushal, a resident of Bibi Wala Road, said they were dependent on the RO plant installed in their area as they were getting irregular water supply. Sometimes, they get up at 3 am in the morning to fill their canisters.

Sukhpreet Kaur, a resident of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, blames political leaders for their problems. She said during the elections, politicians had promised to provide adequate water in the area but after the completion of the electoral process, they forgot to fulfil their promise.

Meanwhile, the residents are also suffering from unscheduled electricity cuts and fluctuation in voltage. There are unscheduled power cuts for four to six hours in the city every day.

Yogesh, a city resident, said the power supply remained interrupted for a couple of hours in the morning and when it resumed, they faced voltage fluctuation.

"Fearing damage to electrical appliance due to voltage fluctuation, we do not use air-conditioners, washing machine and other electrical appliances," he added.

Powercom Xen (City) HS Sidhu said with the increase in temperature, the demand for power had gone up while its supply was less.

Water woes

  • The inadequate water supply has forced the residents to rely on underground water.
  • Notably, Bathinda is well known for its contaminated underground water.
  • Many residents in Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar and its nearby areas have installed motors to pump out underground water but it is not fit for consumption.

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Thefts rock city on Wednesday night
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
Theft incidents are on the rise in the city and have become a cause of concern for the residents. Gursewak Singh, a resident of Model Town, has registered a complaint of car theft with the Cantonment police.

In the complaint, he stated that his Swift Dzire car was parked inside his house on Wednesday night but when they woke up this morning, they found their car missing.

Gursewak Singh said it was hard to believe that their car equipped with a central locking system was stolen from his house. He said he had met company officials and asked them how his car was stolen despite the fact that it had a central locking system.

Another theft incident took place at three shops in Hospital Bazaar on Wednesday night.

Material worth lakhs was stolen. Parveen, owner of an electronics showroom, said the thieves broke open the locks of his shop and took away three Sony cameras and Rs 25,000 in cash.

Jeewan lal, owner of Sham Trading Company, said the thieves had stolen Rs 15,000 in cash and some expensive material from his shop.

Another shopkeeper, Krishan Aggarwal, said the thieves had taken away Rs 3,000 in cash and other expensive material from his shop.

Meanwhile, the Kotwali police has started investigation into the matter. Notably, a year ago, a theft had taken place near these shops, in which goods worth Rs 20 lakh was looted.

The residents said that police had hardly abeenble to trace the culprits.

Senior police officials said they were lagging behind in the absence of a dog squad, which proved instrumental in cracking theft cases.

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Agriculture Dept warns farmers against sowing paddy before June 15
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
The Agriculture Department today warned farmers against sowing paddy before June 15. In a press release issued today, the department stated that the decision to delay the sowing of paddy was taken to check the depletion of underground water.

The decision has been taken after the state government amended the Punjab Subsoil Preservation Water Act, 2009. Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Rajinder Brar said a major share of basmati rice grown in Punjab was exported but farmers grow it along with other varieties, which had lowered its quality. He said at the time of ripening, temperature should remain low so that the basmati variety of the crop develops fragrance.

He added that there were various other benefits of sowing basmati after July 5 as the problem of labor shortage also mitigated at that time. Meanwhile, he asked officials of his department to take stringent action against the farmers who sow paddy before June 15.

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With better price, potato growers rejoice
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 22
Potato growers in the Doaba region seem to be rejoicing this season as they have been getting a higher price as compared to the last few seasons. One of the factors behind the higher price is that potatoes are being exported to Pakistan this season, through the Wagah border.

The crop had suffered around 15 to 20 per cent loss due to unexpected rains in winter which caused waterlogging in potato farms. Hopefully, the loss will be covered by the higher price this season.

Speaking to Jalandhar Tribune, Jagat Parkash Singh, a potato grower, said in the last few seasons, the rates of potatoes had never gone so high, which actually came as relief to the farmers whose crop had already been damaged due to rain. The wholesale price of good quality potatoes is Rs 15 to 17 per kg. Last year, the wholesale price was nearly Rs 10 per kg. The other fact is that the area under the crop was 5 per cent less this year as compared to last year. Apart from Doaba region, the potatoes in Ludhiana and Amritsar districts are also of good quality.

Deputy Director, Horticulture, Dr Satvir Singh said 20,000 hectares of land in Jalandhar was under the potato crop this year. The higher rates of potatoes this year are proving to be encouraging for the potato growers. There are various factors behind the development. Potatoes are being exported to Pakistan this year which has come as a morale booster. “Perhaps the potato crop in Pakistan has not been good. Therefore, the private contractors come to Punjab to procure potatoes as it costs them less here,” he added.

Dr Satvir Singh said the other thing is that the potato crop in other states, including Uttar Pradesh, has not been good. Therefore, Punjab’s potatoes are going for sale across the country.

He said the number of cold stores has increased in the region over the last few years, where farmers can save their crop for off season sale. They are forced to sell their crop at rates which do not suit them.

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Railway authorities remove encroachments
Drive renders several slum dwellers homeless in Thandi Sadak area
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
Railway officials, along with the railway police, today carried out a demolition drive in the Thandi Sadak area and removed the structures raised by slum dwellers on the land belonging to the railway department.
A woman weeps after her house was demolished in the Thandi Sadak area in Bathinda on Thursday
A woman weeps after her house was demolished in the Thandi Sadak area in Bathinda on Thursday

The slum dwellers have been living there for the past several years.

When the demolition drive was on, slum dwellers were seen crying as their belongings were lying in the open.

The demolition drive left the slum dwellers worried as they have no home to live. They were seen requesting the officials to save at leat a cement shed over their buildings.

An elderly lady, Yamuna Devi, said they were living there for the past many years but now they did not know where to go as they had been left homeless.

Anil Goyal, senior XEN, Railways, said these people were living on the land belonging to the Railway Department and nobody was a railway employee. They had been issued notices more than a year ago, but they did not bother about it due to which the authorities had take action to evict them from the department land.

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Manpreet Badal claims moral victory in LS poll
Visits city markets, thanks residents of Bathinda Urban for showing faith in him
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
In a stark contract to Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Manpreet Singh Badal, who contested unsuccessfully against the SAD-BJP leader in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, is beaming with confidence and holding thanksgiving functions in the constituency.

Manpreet today visited the crowded markets of the city, met several shopkeepers and thanked them for helping him gain a thumping lead in the Bathinda Urban segment. Notably, Manpreet had led by more than 2,9000 votes in the segment.

Starting from Dhobi Bazaar, he visited Hospital Bazaar, Sadar Bazar, Bank Bazar, Kikar Bazar, Sirki Bazar, Arya Samaj Chowk and Gol Diggi and thanked the people for supporting him in the Lok Sabha elections. “Though my opponent has won on paper, I feel like an MP. I am indebted to the peopleof the Bathinda constituency for reposing their faith in me,” he said.

He added that the residents of the constituency could contact him for any of their problems as he was now to serve them. PPP district president Sukhdev Chahal, the general secretary of the PPCC, Harmander Singh Jassi, former chairperson of the Bathinda Improvement Trust Jagroop Singh Gill and District Congress Committee (Urban) president Mohan Lal Jhumba accompanied him.

Promises financial help to vendor's family

Manpreet Badal also visited the Civil Hospital to meet the family of Shashipal, the "golgappa" vendor who succumbed to his injuries after he was hit by a PCR van on Wednesday. Expressing grief over the demise of Shashipal, Manpreet promised a financial help of Rs 31,000 to the victim's family. He also promised to extend every kind of help to the family in future and expressed condolences.

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Court acquits murder accused
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
A man accused of burying his sister-in-law’s body after murdering her following an illicit relationship three years ago has been acquitted by the court of the Additional Sessions Judge MPS Pahwa.

The accused, Inderjit Singh, a resident of Dhipali village under Phul Tehsil, was also accused of usurping one-and-half acres of agricultural land belonging to his sister-in-law, Baljeet Kaur, after eliminating her.

Counsel for the accused, Harinder Singh Khosa said the prosecution failed to prove the motive behind the murder and the court dismissed the claims of the complainant and the witnesses and acquitted the accused. Since the complainants and their counsel failed to prove the motive behind the murder, the court acquitted the accused. The accused had surrendered before the police after a case was registered against him.

Makhan Singh, father of the deceased, got a case registered against Inderjit Singh under Sections 364, 302, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Sadar Rampura in April 2012. The accused was also booked under Section 309 of IPC after he tried to commit suicide in police custody during police remand by hanging himself.

The deceased, Baljeet Kaur(33), married at Gharaili village of Rampura, was survived by his two sons, after her husband died of a heart attack three years ago in 2012.

She was taken to Inderjit’s house for help after his (Inderjit’s) wife hurt her leg while performing daily chores.When she did not turn up after many days, her relatives pressed the panic button and reached the house of Inderjit. The family members, however, could not find Baljeet there and lodged a complaint against Inderjit.

Later, they learnt that a badly-mutilated body of Baljeet was lying beside the bank of a canal. They also learnt that the body was first buried in an agricultural field and when foul smell started emanating out of it, it was taken to a canal. Advocate Khosa said the complainant’s allegations were found to be false and could not be proved during the prosecution and the court acquitted the accused in the case.

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60 government schools inspected

Bathinda, May 22
Following the directions of the Education Department, about 60 government primary, middle and higher secondary schools were inspected in the district today. Various inspection teams were formed under the supervision of the District Education Officers (Elementary and Secondary).

"Eight teams were constituted under my supervision. While one was headed by me, another was headed by the Deputy DEO. The remaining six teams were headed by the block primary officers. We checked more than 30 schools. Though I found that the activities in the school were as per directions, the attendance of students was a problem," said DEO (Elementary) Amarjit Kaur Kotfatta.

Similarly, various teams were also constituted under the supervision of DEO (Secondary) Harkanwaljeet Kaur Kotfatta. The reports sent by the teams will be studied by the DEOs and a consolidated report will be sent to the department.—TNS

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Ayurvedic college seeks eight days to fulfil agitating students' demands
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
The management of Saint Sahara Ayurvedic Medical College, Kotshamir, sought eight days to fulfil the demands of the students who have been staging a dharna for a week now.
Students of Saint Sahara Ayurvedic Medical College at the SDM office in Bathinda on Thursday
Students of Saint Sahara Ayurvedic Medical College at the SDM office in Bathinda on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pawna Sharma

During a meeting held by SDM Damanjeet Singh Mann, members of the college management assured the students that they would give their registration cards, DMCs of their last examination and the documentary proof of the affiliation of the college to Guru Ravidass Ayurvedic University by May 30.

The chairman of the college, Dr Naresh Pruthi, said, "We have told the SDM that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has now cleared the admission of the students and a copy of the ruling will reach the university within a week ."

He added that the management had tried to convince the students that the university did not issue registration cards but gave only registration numbers, which had already been issued to them, but they continued demanding registration cards.

Meanwhile, the students said that they were satisfied with the decision taken during the meeting. They said they would continue the dharna till their demands were not met. The students also accused the college management of imposing a fine on the students for remaining absent from the college for 10 days. "We give a miss miss to Dean Dr Ravinder Bharadwaj's classes as his behaviour towards us is derogatory. The college management counts lectures and imposes a hefty fine on us," the students said.

However, the chairman of the college denied the allegation levelled against Dr Bharadwaj. "While they has been accusing Bharadwaj of torturing them mentally, the Dean is a disciplinarian so he is not liked by the students," Dr Pruthi said.

The bone of contention

  • Every year, a team sent by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) inspects the ayurvedic colleges. On the basis of the report submitted by the team, the permission to admit new students is given or reserved. Before the start of the 2011-12 academic session, the CCIM gave nod to Saint Sahara Ayurvedic Medical College to admit new students but another government body reserved the decision. The college authorities, supported by the other colleges facing the same problem, filed a case in the HC, demanding permission to admit new students.
  • As per the college authorities, the 2011-12 batch of students was admitted after the getting permission from the court and the students were told about it. However, Guru Ravidass Ayurvedic University withheld the result of the students, awaiting the court verdict . Now, as the court has ruled in favour of the college, the university will release the result soon.

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Punjabi movie stars visit city for film promotion
Nikhila Pant Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
After the critically acclaimed film "Nabar", director Rajeev Sharma is back with the movie, "47 to 84". Rajeev was in the city today to promote the film. He was accompanied by actors Natasha Rana and Zafar Dhillon. Nabar had won the national award for being in the best Punjabi film.

Talking about the film, Rajeev said, "The film raises a serious issue and is not a routine Punjabi film. The movie is based on a book written by Sukhmani, who was just 9-years-old when she came to India from Pakistan. She suffered a lot and lost her family."

"I have done a lot of theatre and the kind of background I come from makes me a rebel. I feel only such films should be made that influence the masses and raise a voice against injustice," he added.

Natasha, who is a popular face on TV, said, "I wasn't convinced initially. But when I reached Chandigarh, I met the team and saw the set-up. I felt that something serious was being done. I felt there was nothing better than this. I am playing the protagonist, Sukhmani, who symbolises women empowerment."

Zafar, who plays Sukhmani's son in the film, said, "I learned a lot on the movie sets and as a youngster I think that films on serious issues should be made so that the audience could relish the real cinema."

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Agriculture Department collects soil samples
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
As per the directives of the Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) and the Project Director of the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Rajinder Singh Brar, teams were constituted under the supervision of the Deputy Director, ATMA, Dr Narinder Singh and the Block Agriculture Officer Dr Kawal Kumar Jindal to collect water and soil samples from the Jaid village of Rampura block.

Elaborating on the procedure, Dr Dharaminderjeet Singh Sidhu and Dr Gursewak Singh, who were also part of the teams, stated that the village was divided into five parts and separate teams collected samples from the areas designated to them. The teams collected 340 samples of soil and 60 samples of water.

The CAO inspired the farmers of the area to plant paddy directly to save money and labour and to do their bit to conserve the groundwater. He also offered the farmers to come to his office to seek help, whenever required. He also requested the farmers not to burn the wheat stubble.

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international biodiversity day
Officials discuss environmental issues

Bathinda, May 22
Stressing upon the need to save the flora and fauna, an NGO today organised a workshop on the occasion of International Biodiversity Day at the meeting hall of the Zila Parishad office.

Officials from the Education Department, Forest Department, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Child Development Project Officers (CDPOs) and lawyers were present during the workshop, organised by Abhilasha Foundation. ADC (Development) Sonali Giri presided over the function and shared her views on environment.

She stressed upon the need to plant saplings in view of the large-scale felling of trees for widening of roads. She quoted a number of instances when disasters struck due to human intervention with the natural habitat.

A slideshow depicting data related to various species of birds, animals, forests and trees in the country was also put on display during the workshop. The speakers discussed the importance of stem cell preservation, harmful effects of congress grass and the need to save the natural habitats of birds and animals.

Dr Sunil Mittal from the Central University of Punjab, resource person of Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration, advocate Gurwinder Mann, Dr Jatinder Sehgal, Ravinder Monga, Dr Navdeep Singh and Kuldeep Gandhi also expressed their views on the occasion.

The speakers urged the people to offer food and water to birds and animals in view of the rising temperature. — TNS

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GZS PTU students excel in GATE
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 22
The engineering students of the Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University Campus, brought laurels to the college by performing well in GATE 2014. More than 10 per cent of the students admitted in the 2010 batch have cleared the examination which was held in February this year.

A total of 35 students, including 15 from mechanical engineering, one from textile engineering, three from electrical engineering, four from computer science engineering, seven from electronics and communication engineering and five from civil engineering departments cleared the examination with good scores. Dr Jasbir Singh Hundal, Campus Director, congratulated the students on their performance in the national-level test.

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Feedback

Bathinda Tribune invites feedback from its readers on issues of public concern relating to Bathinda and the nearby areas. Readers can email their views to [email protected] .

They can also send their views to: Feedback, Bathinda Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh - 160029.

Letters sent by post must not be more than 150 words.

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