02092017-ATR-01.qxd 9/1/2017 11:33 PM Page 1 c m y b SATURDAY | 2 SEPTEMBER 2017 | AMRITSAR AMRITSAR TRIBUNE Commuting woes Hoc-key to success I am a very positive person Ram Nagar Colony road slushy after showers, residents blame govt apathy. Khido Khundi, a Punjabi film based on hockey, is all set to promote the game among the audiences. P3 Shraddha Arya, the leading lady of Zee TV’s latest primetime show Kundali Bhagya, talks about the show. P4 FORECAST P2 THUNDERSTORM | MAX 30.6°C MIN 23.9°C | YESTERDAY MAX 31°C MIN 25°C | SUNSET SATURDAY 6.53 PM SUNRISE SUNDAY 6.07 AM SNIPPETS Man shot at, injured Amritsar: A group of armed men opened fire at Gurmeet Singh (55), a resident of Tungbala, Majitha road, leaving him injured. He has been admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital. Gurmeet said he had lodged a complaint with the police against some people involved in drug peddling. The accused got a wind of his complaint. He said the accused used to park their vehicle outside his house and sell drugs to youths. He was raising objections. The police are investigating the matter. TNS Two employees illegally withdraw ~17 cr from AIT Accountant Daman Bhalla and clerk Satnam Singh at large Chief Vigilance Office conducts probe Neeraj Bagga One arrested with fake visa The immigration authorities at Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport here have arrested Amandeep Singh, son of Ranjit Singh of Randhawa Barotan village in Hoshiarpur, for allegedly possessing a fake visa. Satish Kumar, immigration officer, said during checking Amandeep Singh’s visa was found to be fake. A case has been registered and the accused was arrested by the police. TNS Two girls elope, 2 booked The city police have booked two youths in separate instances after two girls eloped from their homes. Those booked were identified as Lovepreet Singh, son of Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Bhai Manj Road here, and Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi of the Mustafabad area. Cases were registered on the complaints filed by the mothers of the victims. Meanwhile, a boy identified as Sandeep Kumar also went missing on August 4. As the police failed to trace him, it has now registered a case of kidnapping against unknown persons. TNS Tribune News Service Amritsar, September 1 A departmental inquiry initiated by the Local Bodies Department has traced illegal withdrawal of Rs 17.23 crore of the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) by its two employees, Daman Bhalla, accountant, and Satnam Singh, a clerk. The Local Bodies Department’s Chief Vigilance Office is conducting the probe. Both the suspects are at large. Despite being an accountant, Bhalla had been working as Deputy Controller Finance and Accounts (DCFA) at the ■ Sources say the amount was part of over Rs 600 crore collected from people as earnest money before the launch of the 97-acre scheme in 2006. ■ Interest being accrued on this whopping amount was converted into FDRs, but the accused did not register the account, which was opened in a private bank. Chief Vigilance Office is probing the case. . AIT for years together. It was only in June that he was shifted to Jalandhar in the capacity of an accountant. He was given the DCFA as current duty charge. As an official of this rank was not available, Bhalla used his textile family’s political links to “grab” the financially crucial job. Sources in the AIT stated that the amount was part of over a Rs 600 crore amount collected from people as earnest money before the launch of the 97-acre scheme in 2006. Interest being accrued on this whopping amount was converted into FDRs. However, these employees, especially Bhalla being the DFCA, did not reg- No civic body check on unsafe buildings in city Around 90 buildings unsafe; several structures collapsed over the years but MC apathetic Charanjit Singh Teja Tribune News Service Amritsar, September 1 There are several unsafe residential buildings in the city which can collapse anytime. Several incidents of building collapse have been reported here in the rainy days over the years, but the Municipal Corporation (MC) appears to have not waken up from its slumber. The town planning wing of the MC did not take any precautionary measure this year. Two years back, the building wing of the civic body had conducted a survey to identify the unsafe buildings in the walled city. On the basis of the survey report, 122 buildings were declared unsafe. Before the start of the rainy season, the then Municipal Town Planner Narinder Sharma had claimed that almost 30 buildings had been either demolished or renovated by their owners. Now, there are around 90 unsafe buildings in the city. The MC had reportedly issued notices to owners of such buildings a few years ago. According to MC officials, out of the total 90 unsafe buildings, 24 are occupied by their owners and 14 are given on rent. As many as 10 such buildings are sub judice. Some of these are locked. However, a number of unsafe buildings have collapsed due Of 122 unsafe buildings reported in a survey two years ago, owners of 30 have either demolished or renovated their structures. VISHAL to rains in the past, claiming several lives. Residents of the walled city, Ghee Madi, Katra Ahluwalia Bazaar, Guru Bazaar, Pratap Bazaar, Cheel Mandi and the areas around Golden Temple have witnessed mishaps over the years. Ironically, the MC did not take strict action or demolish any building in the recent years. In 2013, the I have joined ❝office. Irecently aware the am not about the current status of the unsafe buildings. TEJPREET SINGH, Municipal Town Planner ❞ building wing of the MC had demolished some buildings in Dholi Mohalla, Laksh- mansar area and Tabela Jagatram. So far this season, no untoward incident has been reported. Municipal Town Planner Tejpreet Singh said, “I have recently joined the office. I am not aware about the current status of the unsafe buildings.” A large numbers of build- ings in the city are centuries old. Sikh shrines, akharas (sects), bhungas and seminaries are in good condition as theses have been renovated a number of times. A number of buildings of the British era are still in a good shape. Most of the unsafe buildings are residential which owners are not keen to demolish or renovate. ister the account, which was opened in a branch of a private nationalised bank, in the cash book. They said a major amount of Rs 17.23 crore was withdrawn by Daman Bhalla himself, but he released it in favour of his family members and to the firm of his father, who was running a textile company. Residing in the posh Police Lines area of the city, Bhalla and his family are said to be now unavailable at the house, which was now locked. Since the departmental probe is still under progress, more irregularities could come to light. Three held for fuel theft Amritsar, September 1 The Jandiala police have arrested three persons for allegedly stealing petrol or diesel from oil tankers in connivance with drivers. The accused were identified as Sukha Singh, son of Bachan Singh of Jotisar Colony, Kulwant Singh, son of Lal Singh, a resident of Preet Nagar, and Narinder, son of Mukhtiar Singh of Bagichi Hari Ram, here. Kulwant was the driver of the oil tanker. Avtar Singh, the investigating officer, said the police received a tip-off from an informer that the accused used to steal petrol or diesel from oil tankers at service stations in Jandiala. The informer said a tanker was stationed at a service centre in Jandiala. He said immediately a raid was conducted and the accused were arrested while stealing oil from the oil tankers. Preliminary investigations revealed that they later used to sell petrol or diesel at higher prices. The police have registered a case under Sections 420, 406, 411, 379 and 34, IPC. — TNS Tribune News Service Wholesale fruit and vegetable merchants oppose government Tribune News Service Amritsar, September 1 The Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Union has flayed the government for raising the market fee and the rural development fund from 2 to 3 per cent. Union president Ravinder Singh Sekhon held Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu responsible for taking a one-sided decision without considering the ground reality. He said the decision irked commission agents of fruit and vegetable markets across the state. He stated that many state ❝The government never bothered to fulfil its commitments like providing a cold storage, shelters for farmers, toilets and a dispensary at the market. ❞ SURINDER BINDRA, gen secy, Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Union governments had done away with market fee while other states have imposed a negligible fee. On the other hand, the state government was increasing it gradually, he regretted. He said his organisation had been raising the demand for waiving the market fee for long. He said farmers were not able to get back their input costs on vegetable produce due to the continuous fall in the prices of vegetables. So farmers were also committing suicide. Union general secretary Surinder Bindra said wholesale fruit and vegetable traders and growers were denied any facilities at the Vallah market on the city’s outskirts. He said the government never bothered to fulfil its commitments like providing a cold storage, shelters for farmers, toilets and a dispensary at the market. Robbers snatch cell phone from woman Tribune News Service Amritsar, September 1 Two unidentified youths snatched a mobile phone from a local resident here today. The victim, Meenu, was going to a market along with her three-year-old son Aryan when she was targeted at Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar on Tarn Taran road. The incident was captured in a CCTV camera in the area. The Division B police, upon getting the information, reached the spot for investigation. She said the bike-borne snatchers came from behind, put a dagger on her neck threatening to kill her and snatched her mobile before fleeing. Sharanjit Singh, investigat- c m y b ing officer, said the pictures of the robbers were captured in a CCTV camera installed at a shrine. These have been circulated to all police station and the accused would be arrested soon, she said. In another incident, the Sadar police arrested a snatcher, identified as Talwinder Singh alias Maana of Galowali village in Majitha. His accomplice Mela Nath managed to escape. The police said they had got a tipoff about the accused, who along with his accomplice was intercepted while entering the city on a bike. After seeing the police party, they took a U-turn to escape, but one of them was nabbed. A mobile phone was recovered from his possession. PK Jaiswar Tribune News Service Amritsar, September 1 Shubham Singh, a notorious gangster who was freed by armed gunmen at Rayya, was wanted in over a dozen criminal cases, including attempt to murder and under the NDPS Act in the city. The broad daylight incident has time and again pointed towards the intelligence and security lapses. Though the Amritsar rural police claimed to have initiated a number of steps including declaring a high alert in the border zone and constitution of special raiding parties to arrest the culprits, a number of questions remain unanswered. The incident highlighted the fact that the Punjab Police and the Central Jail authorities were ill-equipped when it came to transport prisoners from the jails to the court and vice-versa during their hearing, especially when they were to taken to the courts outside their districts. In today’s incident, the police party was taking the notorious criminal for hear- ing in Amritsar court in a Punjab roadways bus therefore always involving a risk of such attempts. The prisoner could also managed to escape taking the advantage of huge rush at the bus stands. Shubham was arrested by the police in August 2016 in connection with the murder of a tavern owner, Hardev Singh, and his employee, Raju, on July 25 last year. While Hardev Singh had died on the spot, Raju succumbed to his injuries a few days later. Shubham was the son of a former head constable of the Punjab Police. Following the Nabha jailbreak incident and ahead of the Assembly poll, he was shifted to Kapurthala Jail. A police official said, on condition of anonymity, that this was the failure of the Intelligence Department. Intelligence agencies are always active in the central jails and keep a record of the visitors coming to meet the prisoners including gangsters and drug smugglers. Sahil of theTarn Taran area, who is suspected to be behind this escape, had met Shubham in the Kapurthala jail, it is learnt. Absence of fruit-ripening plant bane for residents Neeraj Bagga HIKE IN MARKET FEE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT FUND Gangster’s escape points towards ‘intelligence failure’ Amritsar, September 1 The Punjab Mandi Board has established fruit-ripening plants in many districts of the state but ignored the holy city. As a result, people here are forced to consume fruit ripened with infectious chemicals. Residents have been demanding establishment of a modern pack house for natural ripening of fruits through scientific methods in the fruit market. Sanjay Budhiraj, former CEO, Council for Value Added Horticulture, says these pack houses serve an important purpose of ripening fruits in cold stores using ethylene gas under a controlled temperature of 15 degree Celsius. “The city has a population of about 15 lakh that enjoys a range of fruits available here,” he says. So the consumption of fruit is high but fruits like papaya, banana and apple are sold after being ripened through ❝ Pack houses serve an important purpose of ripening fruits in cold stores using ethylene gas under a controlled temperature of 15 degree Celsius. ❞ SANJAY BUDHIRAJ, former CEO, Council for Value Added Horticulture crude chemical calcium carbide (CaC2), popularly known as ‘masala’. According to him, fruit merchants use the cheapest form of CaC2. The chemical compound has the traces of impurities of poisonous carcinogenic compounds of arsenic and Phosphorous Hydride. He elaborates that the use of calcium carbide for ripening of fruits is banned under prevention of food adulteration (PFA) rules 1955 and also under Food Safety and Standards (prohibition and restrictions on sales) Regulation 2011. Calcium carbide, when it reacts with water, produces acetylene gas which quickens the ripening of fruits, but the fruits ripened using this method are inferior in taste and flavour. Being cheap and easily available in the market, calcium carbide is indiscriminately used in preference to other recommended practices of ripening fruits, said Dr Gurpreet Singh. “Fruits ripened artificially using calcium carbide on consumption cause several harmful effects to human health,” he said. Due to its hazardous effects, use of calcium carbide for ripening of fruits is banned in many states. Officials of the market committee said the proposal for setting up a fruit-ripening plant and other modern installations at Vallah Sabji Mandi were there, but these could not materialise as the area of the mandi came under the restricted zone of the Army ammunition depot at Vallah.
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