18AT01A.qxd 9/18/2012 12:38 AM Page 1 Hip and happening AMRITSAR TRIBUNE tuesDay | september 18 | 2012 | AMRITSAR WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY FAIR: FARMERS ADVISED TO ADOPT TRAFFIC SENSE: WRONG PARKING TO ORGANIC FARMING Þ PAGE 2 INVITE HEAVY PENALTY Þ PAGE 2 32° MAXIMUM 2 DIE IN ROOF COLLAPSE, 3 HURT GS Paul Tribune News Service Amritsar, September 17 Two persons were killed while three got seriously injured when a portion of an old structure’s roof collapsed this morning. Pamma, Kaka Singh, Sahib Singh, Sona and contractor Surinder Pal were engaged in demolishing the rickety structure located in the Mahan Singh Gate area. Pamma and Sona succumbed to their injuries in a hospital, while the others are still under treatment. The condition of Kaka Singh, Surinder Pal and Sahib Singh was stated to be out of danger. All belonged to Fatahpur village in Amritsar district. It is being viewed that the vital portion of the building got weakened apparently due to rains that have been lashing the city for the past few days. The structure, recently purchased by Amarjeet Singh, was reportedly being demolished for constructing a new one. Today at about 9.30 am, the victims were demolishing portions of the building on the ground floor, little realising that it could weaken the support of the upper floors. Apparently, due to vibrations in the walls, the already weak roof gave way and came crashing down on the victims working beneath. Before the Fire Brigade or MC’s rescue team could reach the spot, the trapped Þ PAGE 3 24° MINIMUM Get ready to surrender multiple LPG connections Neeraj Bagga Tribune News Service The old structure, which collapsed in the Mahan Singh Gate area, Amritsar, on Monday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR Injured Sahib Singh (top) and Kaka Singh receive treatment at a hospital in Amritsar on Monday. PHOTOS: VISHAL KUMAR persons were pulled out by a team of Ambulance 108 service. The injured were rushed to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH). Sunil Gandhi, district manager of the Ambulance 108 service, said all injured were taken to GNDH within today was not on their list, Des Raj, Head of the Municipal Town Planning Department, said the building could not be called a century-old, but it was certainly a risky structure. In charge of the Kotwali police station confirmed half an hour of the incident. “We got them admitted to the hospital after giving them first aid. The two among them had received severe head injuries, which led to their death,” he said. While admitting that the structures which collapsed While MC 'sleeps', dilapidated buildings keep collapsing that Pamma and Sona died and said a case would be registered after noting down the statements of the injured. “Since the survivors are under treatment, we would have to consult doctors before recording their statements,” he said. Amritsar, September 17 The Union Government’s announcement of banning multiple LPG connections with a view to curtail subsidy on it has send the people with more than one connections in a tizzy. It is learnt that the district office of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has received guidelines from its head office to proceed to identify persons with multiple connections. However, with 52 gas agencies and lakhs of customers the task will not be a smooth sailing. Over 90 per cent LPG supply in the city is handled by the IOC. The officials are urging people to voluntarily surrender their LPG connections or face the music. Consumers with multiple connections will be liable to face permanent disconnection and even penal action under the Essential Commodities Act. Officials of the Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) companies said letters were being dispatched to the consumers with multiple connections to surrender their connections at the earliest. They said thereafter the PSU companies would use database to identify the consumers with multiple connections with same names and similar addresses. They said each consumer was expected to shell out anything between Rs 750 and Rs 900 per cylinder. A gas agency dealer said rising cost of petrol drove people to go for easily available LPG and many households used more than one gas connections to exploit the subsidised refills for their own convenience. He said the government’s move was anticipated to stem the trend of a large number of old cars of all makes being run on illegal LPG kits. Officials of the Transport Department and Food and Civil Supplies Department would have a tough time ahead in keeping a tab on the illegal used of domestic LPG in cars. Besides, he stated that even as the FCI sleuths checked the misuse of domestic LPG cylinders by commercial shops and vendors yet the violators take the risk to curtail invest- ment costs. Apparently, the reason was a wide gap between the rates of domestic and commercial LPG cylinders. It acted as a lure for owners of these commercial units of flouting the norms. As a commercial LPG cylinder costs Rs 1,150 and a domestic cylinder Rs 420, hence the cost of a kilogram of commercial LPG is over Rs 52, whereas that of the domestic LPG is about Rs 30 per kg. He expected that this misuse would also be stopped. A consumer, Parminder Kaur, said the restriction of six cylinders in a year was impractical as many families comprised eight to 10 members and even more. She said the people already battered by the rising inflation would be forced to cut down on other essential items. GS Paul Debates, quizzes fail to attract crowds at Zonal Youth Fest Tribune News Service Neha Saini Amritsar, September 17 Today's instance of building collapse is not the first one in the city, as six to seven old structures had collapsed in the walled city during the monsoon last year and caused several deaths. Even as the MC had identified unsafe buildings located in the walled city area, but there was no follow-up action to get them evacuated. Despite such "repetitive disasters", no concrete plan could ever be adopted to demolish them safely or rehabilitate the occupants while making some alternate arrangements for them. Around 119 buildings found mentions like "dangerous" and "highly dilapidated" in the MC's survey list. The chances of their crumbling down increase manifold during the rainy season, yet the MC could not take any concrete action against their occupants - Tribune News Service OFFICIAL SPEAK repeatedly served ❝ We hadthe occupants of notices to these dangerous buildings, but they seldom take note of them. We have even demolished some of them in areas like Katra Dullo, Dhab Khatikan, Gali Tiwarian Wali and Cheel Mandi a year back. But it could not be continued as over 60 per cent of these old properties have been entangled in court cases on account of conflict between owners and tenants. When we ask them to vacate, they show us HC stay orders. So we refrain to interfere. ❞ — DES RAJ, HEAD, MUNICIPAL TOWN PLANNING DEPARTMENT Century-old unsafe buildings in the Golden Temple area of Amritsar. PHOTOS: VISHAL KUMAR either owners or the tenants. Corporation officials claimed that they had demolished some buildings a year ago, but were hesitant to proceed it as a rigorous drive because of the legal hitch. Majority of the occupants of these buildings had procured stay orders from the high court against vacating the place. Yet, the occupants of these buildings should learn a lesson from such incidents, the officials maintained. "Such unsafe buildings not only put the lives of those who live in them in danger, but also of those living in the adjoining buildings," he said. "Whenever rain comes, we get scared and pray to God only to save these dilapidated structures because no one knows when these buildings would come down damaging our house too," said Jagdish Singh, who lives next to such a dangerous building in the Bagh Ramanand area. Nevertheless, century-old buildings, built with Nanakshahi bricks, could be located near Dharam Singh Market, Katra Ahluwalia Bazaar, Namak Mandi, Gali Chhajju, Guru Bazaar, Pratap Bazaar, Cheel Mandi, Ghantagarh and Haveli Zamadara areas. Amritsar, September 17 Call it human nature, but we are least interested in anything that comes attached with knowledge. Well, at least the empty seats and auditoriums during the literary events at the ongoing Zonal Youth Festival at Guru Nanak Dev (GND) University is a proof of that. While the cultural evenings and folk performances get overflow with audience, brimming with energy and enthusiasm, the literary events like debates, elocution, quiz et al find the only audience in those who are participating. And the concerning fact is that this is nothing new. “It has been happening every year. Most times the venue where literary events are held have only five to 10 people in the audience, that, too, those who are either participating or judging,” shares Nishtha Mehra, MA (Psychology) student at GND University, who has been a regular participant in debate and elocution competitions. “There is hardly any enthusiasm among youngsters for such events, when mostly topics discussed in debates have issues concerning them,” says Nishtha. A national-level competitor, Nishtha, finds the cold attitude toward literary events startling in a city that boasts of its literary legacy. “It’s become a norm of sorts, give anything serious to the city youth and they will choose to ignore it completely. These competitions have some of the finest speakers from various colleges and universities across the region, who feels disap- A full house during a cultural performance; and (right) girls present a group song at the Zonal Youth Festivel at GND University in Amritsar on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTOS pointed without any cheers from the audience.” Another participant Prabhpreet Kaur, pursuing English (Honours), too feels that the lack of audience makes it pointless to host such events. “Who would you speak to when there is no one listening? There is a lot of hard work and research that goes into preparing topics for literary competitions and without any encouragement, it’s disappointing,” she says. The maximum crowd pullers in the youth festivals are bhangra and giddha performances, followed by folk and other cultural events. Mono-acts, mimes, stage plays, too, struggle to find a good audience. Jagjit Kaur, in charge, Students Welfare and Youth Festival, agrees when she says that it is difficult for serious events to become crowd-pullers. “Unless one makes it mandatory to attend such events, nobody is interested in watching them. The reason being the cold attitude toward all things too serious for their entertainment. Students choose entertainment over knowledge these days and so their preferences too are the same.” She shares that the interest has to come from within, “You cannot force students to be an audience to something they find boring.”
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