01042021-ATR-01.qxd 3/31/2021 10:55 PM Page 1 c m y b Amritsar TRIBUNE TARN TARAN DIARY: HITTING SIXERS IN LIFE, FAMILY’S PRIDE PAGE 2 Six ‘well-educated’ daughters of a family from Benwalipur village have got their photos displayed at the ‘Pink Corridor’. FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY INBRIEF GNDU EXAMS POSTPONED Amritsar: As per directions of the state government, Guru Nanak Dev University has postponed all theory exams (including courses being run under Education Colleges and under Credit-Based Evaluation and Grading System), which were scheduled from April 1 to April 10. “The new dates will be declared in due course of time,” said Dr Manoj Kumar, in-charge examinations, GNDU. “More information can be obtained from principals of colleges/head of departments, centre superintendents and from the university website. The time and venue of examinations will be same,” he said. TNS WORKSHOP DWELLS ON PC-PNDT ACT Amritsar: The district Health Department organised a workshop to create awareness on Pre-conception- Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Prevention Act (PC-PNDT) here. Presiding over the event, Civil Surgeon Dr Charanjit Singh said efforts were being made to balance the sex-ratio in the country and surprise inspections were being conducted at ultrasound centres in the district to check violation of the laws. Dr Singh said registration of all patients undergoing the ultrasound scans and maintenance of record was compulsory for all centres. TNS BIKE SNATCHED AT GUNPOINT Amritsar: Three unknown armed persons snatched a bike from a man near Verka bypass on Tuesday. The victim, Sarabjit Singh alias Sabha, stated in his complaint at the Verka police station that he was going to home on his motorcycle from work. Around 6.30 pm, when he reached the bypass near DAV International School he stopped his bike and went to attend nature’s call on roadside. Meanwhile, three unidentified persons came on motorcycle. They took key of motorcycle from his pocket and fled. TNS PAGE 3 ANUSHKA SHARMA IS BACK TO WORK AFTER WELCOMING GIRL NEW ENTRY: KUNAL JAISINGH JOINS KYUN UTTHE DIL CHHOD... Anushka Sharma has resumed shooting two months before she was expected to face the camera. MAX 31°C | MIN 12°C | YESTERDAY MAX 31°C | MIN 16°C SUNSET THURSDAY 6:50 PM PAGE 4 Kunal Jaisingh is all set to join the cast of Kyun Utthe Dil Chhod Aaye as the new hero opposite Gracy. SUNRISE FRIDAY 6:17 AM THURSDAY | 1 APRIL 2021 | AMRITSAR Worrisome March: Dist witnesses MC staff resumes sanitation work 719% rise in cases, 575% in deaths Tribune News Service 5,278 +ve cases, 81 fatalities reported against 644 infections, 12 casualties in Feb Manmeet Gill Tribune News Service Amritsar, March 31 The health authorities reported a total of 5,278 positive cases in March against 644 cases in February. With an increase of 719.56 per cent as compared to previous month, the district witnessed second highest number of positive cases in March. The authorities had reported 5,939 cases (highest number) in September 2020 during the first peak. In March, casualties also increased by 575 per cent as compared to February. The district health authorities reported a total of 81 Covid19 related deaths in March. In February, the authorities reported 12 deaths. As a major relief, the mortality rate has decreased considerably as 203 deaths were reported in September 2020. The surge in positive cases and casualties started during the second half of February. In January, 533 cases and 26 deaths were witnessed in the HELPLINE NUMBERS FOR COVID PATIENTS ■ City Control Room Numbers: COVID UPDATE NEW CASES TOTAL CASES NEW DEATHS TOTAL DEATHS NEW RECOVERY TOTAL RECOVERY ACTIVE 296 21,010 3 676 246 17,315 3,019 0183-2500398, 2500498, 2500598 ■ Health Department helpline: 0183-2535322, 0183-2535323 ■ Medical helpline: 104 ■ Contact a doctor: 1800 180 4104 ■ Bed availability and status: Punjab Covid App (updated daily at 5 pm) As many as 5,939 cases were reported in September last year, highest so far. In Jan, there were 533 infections & 26 casualties district. With a daily average of 170 cases, fourth highest number of casualties were reported in March due to the pandemic since January 2020. Meanwhile, the health authorities reported a total of 296 new positive cases and three deaths on Wednesday. With this, the total count of positive cases and death toll increased to 21,010 and 676, respectively. The fresh cases include 216 influenza like illness cases and 80 contacts of positive patients. The deceased have been identified as Dalbir Kaur, a 67year-old from Airport road, Narinderpal Singh, a 67-yearold from Ram Nagar on Sultanwind road and Hardeep Kaur of Pheruman village near Beas. In the ongoing drive against the Covid-19, the district achieved a milestone by inoculating 1,01,484 beneficiaries today. The health authorities 87,452 persons have been partially vaccinated (given the first shot) and 14,029 have received their second dose as well. The health officials said 19,682 healthcare workers (HCW), 23,319 frontline workers (FLW) and 44,551 persons above 45 years have been partially vaccinated. Additionally, 7,581 HCW, 6,263 FLW and 185 persons above 45 years have reveived their second dose. A total of 3,294 persons were vaccinated today at different health centres in the district. Amritsar, March 31 The safai karamcharis and other employees of the Municipal Corporation (MC) resumed their duties and started lifting heaps of garbage here today. In the last five days, around 600 metric tonne of garbage had piled up on the city streets. After ending the strike, the safai karamcharis have to make hard efforts to lift the heaps of garbage. However, the union leaders claimed that they would clean the entire city in two days but the workers have to make extra efforts to tackle the situation. Ashu Nahar, president, Municipal Youth Employees Federation, said, “We have resumed the work and major heaps would be lifted till the evening. The city would be cleaned within one or two days”. The union activists claimed that MLA Inderbir Singh Bolaria had assured them to fix their meeting with Local Bodies Minister Brahm Mohindra to address the issues. “We are demanding to recruit 800 safai karamcharis to streamline the sanitation A safai karamchari on duty at Ranjit Avenue on Wednesday. work in the city. Apart from this, 195 sewermen should be recruited. The MC has sacked 46 frontline workers, who were recruited after outbreak of Covid-19. We are struggling for their reappointment. Other demands would be addressed on local level,” said Ashu Nahar. It is worth mentioning that on the call of five separate unions of MC employees, the workers had suspended the lifting of garbage on Friday. Even after meeting with Mayor Karmajit Singh Rintu the employees not ended the strike. Finally after the intervention of MLA South, the employees called off their strike on Tuesday. Former ITBP officers Civic body falls way short of property tax target to hold rally on April 4 Collects ~22.50 crore out of ~34 crore | Covid main reason behind shortfall Tribune News Service Amritsar, March 31 To mark its third anniversary, the All India ex-ITBP Personnel Welfare Association (AIEPWA) is organising a contact and idea exchange rally on April 4 at 50th battalion campus in Amritsar. Commandant Mohinder Singh (retd), ITBP and secretary of AIEPWA, Punjab, said today that in rally the regular members, including retired officers, widows and dependants of deceased ITBP Himveers will also take part. MS Bhurji, ITBP Inspector General (retd) and AIEPWA president will also participate in the rally. Formed on April 25, 2018, the AIEPWA is a maiden initiative of retired ITBP personnel, which aims to unite ex-ITBP Himveers to work constructively in the welfare of their brethren, widows and dependants to ameliorate their well-being and dignity. The association is the only national-level organisation of ex-ITBP officials. Charanjit Singh Teja Tribune News Service Amritsar, March 31 The Amritsar Municipal Corporation (MC) collected around Rs 22.50 crore as property tax till Wednesday evening (last day of the fiscal year). The MC had set a target of Rs 34 crore for 2020-21. Officials of the property tax wing said as residents were making payments online, thus final figure could be ascertained after midnight. The MC has witnessed a shortfall of around 4 crore as compared to 2019-20 in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. During the financial year 2019-20, civic body had collected Rs 26.34 crore till March 31, however, this year, the department collected Rs 22.50 crore. The pandemic has been a major factor behind the low recovery. Even after relaxations in the lockdown, recovery of property tax could not be revived. Officials of the property tax wing claimed that rented properties contribute a good amount in property tax. Moreover, a large number of tax payer property owners claimed in their self-assessment forms that their tenants didn’t pay rents from March to September. “Property owners made such claims that tenants didn’t pay rent, but we will scrutinise their self-assessment forms and verify buildings physically,” said civic body officials. As there was slow down in market, the MC didn’t press commercial establishments on humanitarian grounds, else, the collection would have been more, officials said. Pardeep Rajput, Nodal Officer , Property Tax Wing said, “We witnessed major shortfall in rented commercial buildings. Last year, we collected Rs 1.44 crore from a shopping mall, but this year they have paid only Rs 1.26 crore. Apart from this, hospitality and tourism sector has not revived and owners of such properties were reluctant to pay tax.” Now, the MC has set a target of Rs 35 crore for 2021-22. Interruption in early childhood learning poses big challenge for parents, schools COVID Those seeking admission in kindergarten going through uncertainty Tribune News Service Amritsar, March 31 The spike in the Covid-19 cases and subsequent curbs by the state government has made parents wary again. Especially those, whose kids were supposed to attend kindergarten and nursery classes. Post reopening of schools, admissions for new sessions for early learning classes had begun, but extension of curbs till April 10 and further uncertainty about resumption of offline classes for primary classes has made parents delay kindergarten enrolments and wait till the chain of infection slows down. This situation has made it challenging for early childhood education sector to continue the process of learning that usually begins at the age of 2.5 years to 3 years. Anupama Mehra, principal, Spring Blossoms, said: “It’s unfortunate situation for kids who are at the age where school learning begins and for parents as well, as they have to go through the phase of uncertainty. Last year, parents were apprehensive because shift towards online learning was new and took time to find its place in the usual system.” TOLL ON TODDLERS: Regular classes for children seem to be a distant dream. “This year, despite interruptions in regular offline learning, school system is well equipped to take up challenge of online learning for kindergarteners and primary classes. For most parents apprehensive of online classes, it is challenging to sit down with toddlers and make them learn, but depriving the child of a learning experience is also not a solution,” said Mehra. While enrolments for nursery and playschools were quite slow and most primary schools have been addressing prevalent issues by reaching out to parents. Adapting by creating virtual playway tools, storytelling and keeping convenient timing for classes, schools have been promoting hybrid model of learning. Manjot Dhillon, director, Mount Lit- c m y b era School, said, “Playway or kindergarten learning happens mostly by experience and through alternate education tools with a lot of planning. Challenge for teachers as well as parents remains to make the child connect with what’s being done virtually while also ensuring that learning continues. Education system has to be put back on track through hybrid model of schooling and delaying early education can impact child’s speech, cognitive and other learning patterns.” While educators insist that early education must not be delayed despite the pandemic, parents remain skeptical of the whole situation. Shivani, a mother of a four-yearold said, “My son was supposed to start school last year, but due to the lockdown we delayed his admission and made use of digital learning platforms to keep him apprised. This year, we planned to begin with his schooling, but with another surge in the Covid-19 and uncertainty over when physical classes will begin, we are left stranded again. Managing zoom sessions, organising learning tools and helping with home assignments take up a lot of time and its not feasible with working parents.” A farmer raises slogans at Bhagtanwala Grain Market in Amritsar on Wednesday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR ‘BJP dividing people on religious lines’ Tribune News Service Amritsar, March 31 The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) organised a massive protest at Bhagatawala Dana Mandi (the district’s biggest grain market) on Wednesday against the three controversial agri laws. Speaking on the occasion, farmer leaders accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to divide community on religious lines, especially after the recent manhandling of BJP’s Abohar MLA Arun Narang. Farmer leaders said the BJP was trying to portray the incident as a clash between Hindus and Sikhs. They said the incident, though shameful and condemnable, happened with a member of the party which has been hell-bent on destroying the livelihood of the farming community. Sarwan Singh Pandher of the KMSC said, “Today’s gathering was a meeting of farmers to chalk out the future course of action. We will hold dialogue with diverse groups of society, including shopkeepers and traders to inform them about the ill effects of three agri laws.” He said the intended laws would not only destroy the agrarian sector, but would also make lower economic groups miserable. Pandher said more than 4,000 farmers took part in the event today. Meanwhile, sources in the CID Wing said more than 6,000 farmers were present.
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