02012019-btd-01.qxd 1/1/2019 10:55 PM Page 1 WEDNESDAY | 2 JANUARY 2019 | BATHINDA BATHINDA TRIBUNE Sikh bodies protest Do you fit in? Honeymoon in Maldives Dal Khalsa and Sikh Youth of Punjab protest over not releasing Sikh political prisoners. P2 Almost every third New Year resolution is about getting fit and following a strict fitness regimen. P3 Parul Chauhan got hitched to beau Chirag Thakkar at a private ceremony. P4 FORECAST PARTLY CLOUDY | MAX 20°C MIN 6°C | YESTERDAY MAX 20°C MIN 6°C | SUNSET WEDNESDAY 5.41 PM SUNRISE THURSDAY 7.27 AM Farmers launch 5-day agitation At peak of winter, Edu Dept releases ~76 cr for uniform Members of BKU say blank cheques signed by farmers being misused Sukhmeet Bhasin Tribune News Service Bathinda, January 1 Farmers, under the banner of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), on Tuesday started a five-day protest near Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank over farmers affected due to debt and other issues. While addressing the protesters, BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) district president Shingara Singh Mann and others speakers said banks and money lenders while giving money to farmers take blank cheques signed by the farmer illegally, but they have started misusing these cheques, which led to more mental pressure on farmers. They said the farmers, who were unable to repay their debt, were being put behind bars in cheque bounce cases. “They are reeling under financial crisis and many have taken the extreme step. But the state govern- Members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) stage a dharna in Bathinda on Tuesday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: PAWAN SHARMA ment continues to pursue anti-farmer policies. The banks are depositing blank cheques taken from the farmers and the latter are being booked in cheque bounce cases and sent to jail,” BKU leaders said. Civic body fails to take over maintenance work from Triveni SEWERAGE IN CITY Sukhmeet Bhasin Tribune News Service Bathinda, Janaury 1 The Municipal Corporation of Bathinda (MCB) has failed to take over the maintenance work from Triveni Company by merging the Sewerage Board in it by December 31. Municipal Commissioner Rishipal Singh had claimed in the recently held General House meeting that the civic body would take up the sewerage and water supply maintenance work from Triveni Company by December 31 by merging the Sewerage Board in it, but till date Triveni Company is continuing with the work in the city. In the General House meeting, many councillors had raised the issue of poor sewerage and water supply in their areas. Moreover, they had also complained that despite repeated complaints, there issues were not addressed. The Municipal Commissioner had stated that the issue of taking over maintenance work from Triveni Company by taking over the Sewerage Board was in his notice and it would be addressed soon. However, Triveni Company DGM SV Shivangi claimed that they had no correspondence regarding the MCB taking over maintenance work from them and they were continuing with the work at present. Rishipal Singh accepted that “the MCB has not been able to take over the Sewerage Board yet as there are many things which are to be taken under consideration”. In August as well, in a meeting held by MCB senior officials, it was decided to take over the Triveni Company’s work in their own hand. It was also planned to give a final notice to Triveni Company. The MCB had planned to recruit temporary workers of Triveni Company and retired Sewerage Board workers so that the works which Triveni Company had not been able to do, could be done as per their requirement. Noida-based Triveni Company was allotted Rs 288 crore 100 per cent sewerage and water supply project in the city and it was to be complete it by the end of 2016, but till date it has been able to complete only 30-40 per cent work. Since the initial stage, Triveni Company and Sewerage Board officials are putting blame on each other for poor progress of the project. The firm claimed that they were ready to complete the work but the Municipal Corporation was not giving them ‘work front’. On the other hand, the Sewerage Board said they had repeatedly asked the company, during its meetings, to speed up the work as residents were suffering due to this, but there had not been any improvement. They further claimed that under pressure, farmers had to sell their land or put houses on mortgage and some- Muktsar police website inaccessible Muktsar, January 1 After developing some snag three days ago, the official website of the Muktsar district police was not accessible even on Tuesday. On Saturday, the police website srimuktsarsahibpolice.in was showing the homepage of the Ludhiana police. Thereafter, it was showing the photograph of the previous SSP on the home page and later the website was closed for the public. When asked whether the website was hacked, Manjit Singh Dhesi said, “I will check it.” Notably, the Supreme Court in 2016 had directed all states to upload all FIRs within 24 hours online. However, here the website has crashed. It is presently displaying the message of ‘under construction’. Even earlier, FIRs were not being uploaded on regular basis. People have time and again complained that the website was not being updated timely. — TNS time have to go to jail. They alleged that due to misuse of these blank cheques, farmers were committing suicides. The union leaders hit out at the state government accusing it of refusing to waive the entire debt of farmers, claiming that the Congress had promised such waiver before the Assembly polls last year. They also sought Rs 10 lakh compensation for the family of growers who committed suicides, government job to one of their family members and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations. BKU leader Shangara Singh Mann said the state government should stop “forced debt recovery” and release the arrested farmers. He said on the one hand, the state government was boasting of extending farm debt waiver benefits to farmers, and on the other it had directed banks to recover money from them. and birds kept in the zoo, they must install CCTV cameras at every enclosure and at entry point. There is 15-ft fencing wall in the zoo that anyone can trespass and cause harm or steal animals easily. Notably after the owl theft incident at the Bir Talab zoo, all other zoos across the state were put on alert. Sources added that the authorities didn’t seem to be serious about the security of animals and even after the theft incident, CCTV cameras have not been installed in the zoo till now. Even Chhatbir zoo is covered by CCTV cameras to ensure round-the-clock surveillance of animals and birds. It is high time that the authorities install CCTV cameras at the Bir Talab zoo as well. Divisional Forest Officer Amritpal Singh Brar could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Bathinda, Janaury 1 A man was beaten up for supporting a sarpanch candidate in the panchayat election at Ablu village in the district. Some people of the same village surrounded him and later beat him up. The Nehiawala police have registered a case against the accused on the statement of Balwinder Singh In a complaint lodged with the police, Balwinder Singh, a resident of Ablu village, has stated that he supported sarpanch candidate Sukhjit Kaur in the panchayat election held on Sunday. Irked over it, Kulwant Singh, along with his aides, beat him up after the polling got over on December 30, he added. On his statement, a case against Kulwant Singh, Shamsher Singh, Rajdeep Singh, Manpreet Singh and Rajinder Singh has been registered and the police have started process to arrest them. — TNS Bathinda, January 1 The owl theft incident that occurred around three months ago does not seem to have rung alarm bells as the Forest and Wildlife Department authorities have failed to ensure proper security arrangements for hundreds of animals and birds kept inside the Bir Talab zoo. There are no CCTV cameras installed at the zoo to ensure round-the-clock surveillance of animals. There are forest guards appointed, who move inside the zoo to ensure the security of animals, but for them too it is a difficult task to cover long distance. Sources said leave aside covering animal enclosures under CCTV surveillance, the authorities did not install CCTV cameras at the entry and exit points, thereby making the animals vul- No CCTV camera has been installed at the entrance to the Bir Talab zoo in Bathinda. PHOTO: VIJAY KUMAR nerable to thefts. Two owls of rare barn species went missing under mysterious circumstances from the zoo in September 2018. Following this, the Forest Department authorities suspended guards who were on duty when the theft incident occurred. An employee of the department said it was not possible to cover the entire zoo area by guards and if the authorities were genuinely concerned about the security and safety of the animals c m y b Faridkot, January 1 At the peak of winter season when the mercury level is hovering below normal, the School Education Department on Monday announced to release Rs 76.57 crore to purchase uniform for 12,76,303 students in government elementary school in the state. Prashant Goyal, Director General School Education (DGSE), on Monday directed all district education officers (DEOs) and school heads in the state to ensure the distribution of the uniform among all students before January 31. The School Education Department has fixed Rs 600 per student for purchasing of uniform and school management committees will be constituted in every school to purchase these for students. While most of the students in private schools in the state Jan 31 deadline ■ Prashant Goyal, Director General School Education (DGSE), on Monday directed all district education officers (DEOs) and school heads in the state to ensure the distribution of the uniform among all students before January 31. . had switched over to winter uniform a month ago, over 70 per cent of girl students and SC boys in primary and middle government schools are waiting to get the winter uniform yet, which the School Education Department is supposed to supply free. Out of total 12,76,303 students in Class 1 to VIII in government schools, eligible for the uniform, 7,12,794 are girl students, 77,997 are BPL boys and 4,85,512 are SC boys. Launched in 2010-11, the scheme of providing uniform to all girls, SC and BPL boy students in government schools from Classes I to VIII is funded by Union Human Resource Development Ministry. The uniform is provided once a year and Rs 600 per student is earmarked under the scheme for 2018-2019. In Faridkot district, out of total 35,324 eligible students of Class I to VIII in government schools, the School Education Department has released Rs 2.11 crore. For 68,172 eligible students in Bathinda, the Education Department has earmarked Rs 4.09 crore, followed by Rs 3.47 crore for Muktsar and Rs 2.65 crore for Mansa district. The number of eligible students in Muktsar and Mansa is 57,905 and 44,310, respectively. This set of uniform includes a trouser, a shirt, a pair of shoes, socks, a cap or turban and a warm sweater for a boy and a ‘kameez’, ‘salwar’, ‘dupatta’, warm sweater, a pair of shoes and socks for girl students. Devotees pay obeisance at Gurdwara Qila Mubarak on the first day of New Year in Bathinda on Tuesday. PHOTO: VIJAY KUMAR No CCTV cameras at Bir Talab zoo Tribune News Service Tribune News Service A beginning with prayers Man beaten up post polling Sameer Singh Balwant Garg Repairs of Civil Hospital to be taken up shortly Sameer Singh Tribune News Service Bathinda, January 1 The repair work for the Bathinda Civil Hospital is most likely to start soon as the hospital authorities have moved a proposal with an estimate to the Punjab Health System Corporation authorities. In the proposal, the district unit of the Health Department has demanded funds for the repair work of the government hospital building, blood bank (rooms would be added), mortuary and repairs of roads in the hospital. The proposal also sought funds for medical equipment and construction of ‘dhobi ghat’ (washing point). A senior functionary in the hospital said after the proposal was cleared for the repair work, the PWD would initiate the tendering process. The repair/renovation work mentioned in the proposal is likely to incur an expenditure of approximately Rs 4 crore. He added that for the past many days, the district unit of Health Department was putting forward the demand for the repair/renovation work at the Civil Hospital. The state government had made the announcement to carry out the work long time back but funds were not released. Now, the government would release funds and the PWD has been roped in to carry out the work. The building of the hospital was quite old and needed repairs badly for a long time. The old building in the government hospital houses the emergency unit, ART centre, malaria unit, surgical ward, medical ward, operation the- atre, prisoners’ ward, dengue ward and special ward. The building of the Civil Surgeon’s office is quite old now and need repairs. As part of the project, electronic boards would be installed outside OPD rooms, digital X-Ray machine at women and children hospital, and MRI scan service would also be introduced in the hospital. An oxygen concentrator machine would be installed at a cost of Rs 3 lakh that will assist the medical staff in administering oxygen to patients without delay. Dr Satish Goyal, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, “The proposal for the repair and renovation work of the Civil Hospital has been sent to the PHSC and after receiving the funds, the work would start soon.”
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