19102020-ATR-01.qxd 10/18/2020 10:26 PM Page 1 c m y b Amritsar TRIBUNE CINE-GOERS EAGER, BUT LITMUS TEST AHEAD FOR MULTIPLEXES Residents feel reopening of cinema halls with precautions and protocols is as justified, but extra caution needed. FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY PAGE 2 BATTLE WITH COVID WAS TOUGH, SAYS GENELIA DESHMUKH PAGE 3 PYAAR TUNE KYA KIYA BACK WITH LOVE-FILLED SEASON Actress Genelia says her battle with coronavirus was difficult as no digital immersion can kill your loneliness. MAX 33°C | MIN 16°C | YESTERDAY MAX 33°C | MIN 17°C SUNSET MONDAY 5:54 PM PAGE 4 After a successful run for six years and 10 seasons, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya is all set to come back with season 11. SUNRISE TUESDAY 6:37 AM MONDAY | 19 OCTOBER 2020 | AMRITSAR 2 yrs on, kin of victims still wait for justice PANDEMIC C VID-19 DASEHRA TRAIN TRAGEDY Victims’ families take out candlelight march as govt fails to fulfil job promise Neeraj Bagga Tribune News Service Amritsar, October 18 On the eve of the second anniversary of the train tragedy which claimed 60 lives on Dasehra, the families of the victims took out a candlelight march from Ram Talai Chowk to the Joda Phatak here on Sunday evening. Apart from paying tributes to the deceased, their objective was to draw the attention of the government to their plight and its failure to fulfill the promises of giving them jobs and fixing the responsibility. The gruesome accident and shrieks of victims and injured people still haunt residents of the area. All bereaved families belong to the low-income group earning their living by engaging in jobs like driving, daily wage earners, vendors and others. Gurjit Singh is driving an electronic rickshaw to earn a living after his father Abhay Singh, a daily wage labourer, who was among the victims, is waiting for the promised job. His mother was injured Two fall prey to virus, 31 new cases reported Tribune News Service REMEMBERING THEIR LOVED ONES Family members of the victims take out a candlelight march on the eve of the second anniversary of the train tragedy in Amritsar on Sunday. SUNIL KUMAR in the tragedy. His sister Sandeep Kaur had lost two minor children in the accident. She said the job would only keep her engaged though the loss of two kids would never be fulfilled. Navjit Singh, a driver whose 15-year-old son Sachin was also killed in the accident, was blessed with another son last year. “My daughter still talks about her lost brother,” he said. Vijay Kumar, whose son Ramesh was killed in the tragedy, got his daughter-inlaw remarried and handed over the compensation to her. He wants his widow daughter Puja to get the job. “This could provide a livelihood to the family as he is unable to do any job owing to pain in the knees and joints due to being aged.” Deepak, who earns his livelihood by ironing clothes, is keenly awaiting a job as the pain in his knees has resurfaced. Doctors after examining had recommended him surgery again. He had lost his three-year-old daughter Nandini and eightyear-old son Vansh. His had got his knee injured in the train accident. The victims’ families had held a 12-day sit-in in December seeking jobs which were announced by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and the then Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu immediately after the tragedy. After completion of the formalities, the district administration had forwarded 34 files of the applicants for jobs to the head office in Chandigarh. Three files were sent back after some objections. A special investigation team (SIT) of the Govern- ment Railway Police (GRP) and the state government carried out separate probes to fix the responsibility for the train tragedy. However, the final outcome of these probes has yet to come out. During the candlelight march, the Akali Dal supported them as Akali leader Talbir Singh Gill took part in it. Amritsar, October 18 With two more deaths, the Covid toll in the district has reached 431 on Monday. The deceased have been identified as Baba Singh, an 85-yearold from Mangu Sohi village and Jagtar Singh, a 72-year-old from the Fateh Singh Colony. The district health authorities have also reported 31 new positive cases. The new cases include 17 influenza-like illness cases and 14 contacts of positive patients. With this, the total count of infections in the district has reached 11,430. Meanwhile, a total of 10,632 patients have been cured so far. The district, at present, has a total of 367 active cases. Schools resume for classes IX to Fury over farm laws: Political parties XII today; arrangements in place trying to torpedo agitation: Farmers Tribune News Service Tribune News Service Amritsar, October 18 After a gap of seven months, the Education Department is all set to resume schools for classes IX to XII tomorrow. It will be a challenging task for teachers to hold orientation sessions in order to reintroduce students to classroom teaching after online classes. District Education Officer (DEO) Satinderbir Singh said as per the Covid guidelines and SOPs, all classrooms had been sanitised and disinfected. Arrangements had been put in place to ensure social distancing in classes. He appealed to all parents to send their wards to schools without any fear. Welcoming the move, Principal, Government School, Parminderjit Kaur Tapiala, said students of senior classes required personal attention. Cop dies as carbine goes off accidentally A worker disinfects a classroom at a government school in Amritsar. Amritsar, October 18 The protest by farmer associations at Buttari railway station entered the 18th day on Sunday. The farmers also paid tributes to activists Harbans Singh of Sangrur and Jagtar Singh of Mansa, who have lost their lives during the protests, recently. The farmer leaders stated that all political parties were trying to torpedo their agitation. “The political class is presently working for the corporate sector and is indifferent about the farmers and farm workers,” said farmer leader Rattan Singh Randhawa. The farmers also demanded from the government to take action against the nexus of traders and officials involved in the purchase of paddy from Uttar Pradesh at very low prices and its sale in Punjab Farmers raise slogans and burn effigies of the Union Government and owners of big corporate houses (Adani and Ambani ) at the Jandiala toll plaza, near Amritsar, on Sunday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR at Minimum Support Price. The leaders stated that while the farmers in UP were forced to sell their produce at low prices, the traders earn huge profits by selling the same in Punjab markets. They reasoned that with the agriculture market becoming solely dependent on private traders after implementation of three farm related acts, the Punjabi farmers too would be exploited. The farmer leaders stated that the protest would continue till the government is ready to revoke all the three acts. Reaching Asia’s largest wetland a tough affair for eco-tourists Our Correspondent Tarn Taran, October 18 A cop, who was Cabinet Minister Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi’s gunman, was killed at his native village Jauhal Dhai Wala when his carbine went off accidentally here on Sunday. The Goindwal Sahib police have started inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC. Inspector Harinder Singh, SHO, said the victim had been identified as Ranjit Singh (45) and was posted with the Ferozpur police district. The SHO said the victim had come to his house on leave on Saturday and he was cleaning the weapon when it went off accidentally. He was hit on the head and died on the spot. After the postmortem, the victim was cremated with state honours. Moreover, their syllabus was vast and they required the guidance of teachers at every step. She said the last seven months had made all of them aware of all precautions needed to keep the infection at bay. Moreover, senior students were enough mature to understand the importance of wearing a mask, besides following social distancing. Adarsh Sharma, a lecturer at Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Mall Road, said online classes could not match the kind of knowledge a student could attain in classroom teaching. Students could clear their doubts one-on-one. Tarlochan Singh Gill, whose ward studies in Class 12, appreciated the move and said students learnt many things with exchange of information, besides holding discussions with subject teachers. ROAD ROT Ravi Dhaliwal Tribune News Service Gurdaspur, October 18 All four roads leading to the 800-acre Keshopur wetland, one of Asia’s largest, are in a wretched condition, and this despite the fact that government agencies responsible for maintaining the road infrastructure have got the requisite funds to set the things right. Over the last decade, the footfall of eco-tourists has gradually dropped. Locals claim before 2010, scores of ornithologists would visit the wetland almost every day when migratory birds from Central Asian countries and Siberia started arriving at their winter abode from November till March. “The micro-economy of the entire area has gone for a toss with tourists refusing to flock the area like in earlier times. Before the roads became a disaster, the economy of nearly 50-odd villages located in the vicinity used to be sustained by bird watchers. This is no longer the case now. Times have changed now,” said Manjit Singh Dala, whose native village is located nearby. In 2017, the then Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had announced a grant of Rs 3 crore during his Independence Day speech in Gurdaspur. The funds were meant to re-carpet a 6-km stretch of the road originating from Government College till the wetland. Locals were elated. The money did ❝ If things did not improve, the wetland may turn out to be a relic of the past. The area is the abode to more than 25,000 birds belonging to 75 species during the peak season. It may mark a sad end to a glorious past. The fund crunch could be solved to a great extent if visitors, like they have in foreign countries, are asked to pay a fee. If the roads remain in a shambles, so will the wetland and its micro-economy Poor road infra has affected the economy of nearly 50 villages located in the wetland’s vicinity. arrive, albeit after a gap of two years, following which work commenced. The passages were given a fresh coat of tar and were also widened. However, this c m y b development was short-lived as villagers, particularly small-time shopkeepers of Barnala hamlet, were quick to make encroachments. At many places, the road which should have been 30-ft wide has been reduced to barely 10 feet. Commuters just about manage to drive through. Fatal accidents have become common, but offi- ❞ A PWD official cials are not bothered. A 4-km stretch of thoroughfare coming from Paniyar, branching off from AmritsarPathankot National Highway, is in a similar condition. “In the period stretching from 1950s till the 90s, this road was commonly used by ecotourists. Now, as things stand, it has developed potholes and seldom do tourists take this path,” said Dala. Likewise, a 6.5-km stretch of the road originating from Gurdaspur city, via the Central Jail, which leads to the wetland too, is in a deplorable condition. The responsibility of maintaining the road infrastructure is of the PWD and to some extent the Tourism Department. However, officials of both departments admit that the paucity of funds is acting as an impediment in improving connectivity. “It is a classic case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Multiple agencies maintain the roads and their functions often overlap leading to chaos and confusion,” said a Wildlife Department official. continued on page 2
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