29042021-ATR-01.qxd 4/28/2021 11:02 PM Page 1 c m y b Amritsar TRIBUNE 30 YEARS ON, FARMERS STILL AWAIT WATER FOR IRRIGATION 22 villages still requesting MC to stop throwing waste into canal distributary meant to supply water for irrigation. FORECAST PARTLY CLOUDY SKY PAGE 2 PAGE 3 MEERA CHOPRA OPENS UP ON HER STRUGGLE IN BOLLYWOOD DIVYA KUMAR GETS EMOTIONAL ON MTV’S FORBIDDEN ANGELS Cousin of Priyanka Chopra, Meera says her relationship with PeeCee hasn’t helped her journey in showbiz world. MAX 39°C | MIN 23°C | YESTERDAY MAX 40°C | MIN 21°C SUNSET THURSDAY 7:09 PM PAGE 4 The show that gives a platform to girls from a common background to prove their mettle will see her as a guest. SUNRISE FRIDAY 5:46 AM THURSDAY | 29 APRIL 2021 | AMRITSAR Toll mounting: 18 Covid deaths reported in dist RECORD BREAKING STATSDeath toll nearing 1,000 mark, reaches 931 |501 persons test positive taking count to 31,512 Tribune News Service Amritsar, April 28 With 18 deaths (highest since the pandemic began) reported due to Covid-19 in the last 24-hours, the district toll increased to 931 on Wednesday. The district health authorities have also reported 501 new positive cases with which the tally increased to 31,512. The new cases include 373 influenza-like illness cases and 128 contacts of positive cases. The health authorities have reported recovery of 730 patients with which the recovery count improved to 25,676. The district, at present, has a total of 4,905 active cases. The district health authorities said a total of 3,524 residents were given the Covid19 vaccines on Wednesday. The health officials said 23,732 healthcare workers, 31,603 frontline workers and 1,71,161 residents above 45 years have been partially vaccinated so far, while 12,215 healthcare workers, 11,620 frontline workers and 21,901 residents above 45 years have been completely vaccinated. 3 die, 82 +ve in Tarn Taran Three persons succumbed to HELPLINE NUMBERS FOR COVID PATIENTS Roads choke as clock strikes 6 in the evening ■ Control Room: 0183-2500398, DIST COVID UPDATE NEW CASES TOTAL CASES NEW DEATHS TOTAL DEATHS NEW RECOVERY TOTAL RECOVERY ACTIVE 501 31,512 18 931 730 25,676 4,905 0183-2500498, 01832500598, 0183-2500698, 0183-2500798 (Open 24*7) ■ Health Dept helpline: 01832535322, 0183-2535323 ■ Medical helpline: 104 ■ Contact a doctor: 1800 180 4104 ■ Bed availability and status: Punjab Covid App (updated daily at 5 pm) THOSE WHO LOST BATTLE TO THE DEADLY VIRUS The deceased have been identified as Kewal Singh (51), a resident of Raipur Kalan village; Hira Singh (40) of New Jawahar Nagar; Gurbachan Kaur (58) of Laharka Road; Angoori (70) of Putlighar area; Kirpal Singh (84) of Ramanand Bagh; Jasbir Singh (60) of Jaura Fatak; Chattar Singh (85) of New Partap Nagar; Kawaljit Singh (53) of Nag Kalan village; Surinder Mehta (62) of Tej Nagar; Rajan Rawala (44) of Ranjit Avenue; Sushila Jain (74) of Attari; Rashpal Singh (48) of Guru Nanak avenue; Veena (58) of Jaura Pipal area; Kulwinder Kaur (70) of Majitha; Sham Lal Khurana (72) of Vijay Nagar; Nishan Singh (55) of Kakkar village; Satbir Singh (63) of Ranjit Avenue; and Hardeep Singh (74) of Pandori Waraich village. the virus on Wednesday taking the death toll to 210 in the district. Not only this, 82 persons tested positive for Covid in the district, taking the active case load to 1,068. Deputy Commissioner Kulwant Singh said of the 1,068 ‘STOP TOBACCO USAGE TO FIGHT VIRUS’ active cases, 598 had been isolated at their respective homes. Regarding vaccines, total 89,906 persons have been given the jab so far. The DC had appealed to people to take all precautions and keep the virus at bay. — OC As all workers, shopkeepers and residents start returning home at the same time, several roads start witnessing traffic snarls Charnajit Singh Teja Tribune News Service Amritsar, April 28 Though the district administration imposed weekly curfew from 6 pm to 5 am to check the spread of the virus, residents, who usually stay inside due to hot weather outside in the day prefer going out after 4 pm only, thus creating chaos in local markets and roads. The cops start making announcements at 5 pm in the main markets to close shops but as all workers, shopkeepers and residents start returning home at the same time, several roads start witnessing traffic jams. Traders’ associations and shopkeepers are against the move of the government, but the administration is successfully imposing the curfew at 6 pm. The cops also register cases under Section 188 of the IPC against violators and impose fine to individuals. As per the orders, not more than 20 persons would be allowed to attend a wedding after 6 pm till April 30 and those attending the wedding would have to obtain a curfew pass from the Sub Divisional Magistrate concerned. The closing time of the wedding ceremony would be 9 pm. The District Magistrate issued the order saying that all dates of marriage after May 1, 2021, should be rescheduled by the families concerned as per the new instructions. Under these orders, all shops including restaurants, malls and multiplexes will have to close daily at 5 pm but home delivery can be done till 9 pm. Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira said: “The curfew, which was earlier in effect from 8 pm to 5 am, will now continue daily from 6 pm to 5 am the next day to curb non-essential activities. << Heavy traffic witnessed before the curfew near Hall Gate in Amritsar on Wednesday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR ESSENTIAL SERVICES EXEMPTED The orders said in view of the daily needs of people, some essential services have been waived during the curfew, including chemist shops and sale of other essential items such as milk, dairy products, vegetables and fruits during the curfew. In addition, the manufacturing industry, employees or labourers working for the transportation of such essential goods will be allowed to travel, but the industry concerned will issue necessary approval letter to such employees and labourers for this purpose. Those traveling in flights, trains and buses have been exempted during the curfew. Apart from this, construction workers in urban and rural areas have also been exempted. Those involved in wheat procurement, agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, veterinary services, e-commerce and transportation of all commodities, as well as vaccination camps for the convenience of people have been exempted. The orders stated that the weekend curfew will be from 5 am on Saturday to 5 am on Monday, but essential activities will be exempted.” The District Magistrate has directed strict enforcement of orders issued by the Punjab Government to prevent the spread of the virus under National Directive for Covid-19 Management Ain’t no pandemic? GUIDELINES FOR MARRIAGE CEREMONIES Residents need approval to attend wedding ceremonies to be held after 6 pm till April 30, 2021. Those attending the wedding would have to obtain a curfew pass from the Sub Divisional Magistrate concerned. The closing time of the wedding ceremony would be 9 pm. All dates of marriage after May 1, 2021, should be rescheduled by families as per the new instructions. Guidelines, SOPs (standard operating procedures). The DM also said violators would be punished under Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and the IPC. Legal action will be taken under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. The service industry, including all private offices, will be allowed to operate from home only. 26 FIRS REGISTERED FOR VIOLATING CURFEW NORMS IN THE DISTRICT ❝ Amritsar: Quitting tobacco Within 20 minutes, usage can help in the fight against Covid-19 infection in a the better way, said district nodal elevated officer for tobacco control heart rate programme and district dental health officer Dr Sharanjit Kaur and blood Sidhu. Dr Sidhu said as the viral pressure drops. Within 12 infection is spreading at an hours, the carbon monoxide alarming rate and government level in the blood drops to has imposed lockdown on weekends, tobacco addicts can normal. Quitting helps lungs use this time to shun this habit. and heart to function in a “Medical studies world over have better way. suggested that cigarette smokers and tobacco users are Dr Sharanjit Kaur Sidhu, DISTRICT NODAL at greater risk of Covid-19 than OFFICER, TOBACCO CONTROL PROGRAMME non-smokers and non-tobacco users,” said Dr Sidhu. She said quitting tobacco starts helping a user 20 minutes after he stops substance abuse. “Within 20 minutes, the elevated heart rate and blood pressure drops. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal. Quitting helps lungs and heart to function in a better way,” she said. TNS Amritsar: More than 26 individuals and shopkeepers were booked for violating night curfew late on Tuesday night in the district. The Ranjit Avenue police booked a restaurant owner for violating curfew norms by serving meal at his restaurant — Coffee Bean Tea Leaf — at Ranjit Avenue. A tutor at SR Consultant IELTS Centre in D Block, Ranjit Avenue, was also booked. The Verka police have booked a barber, identified as Sunny, for opening his shop. Meanwhile, the rural police ❞ have registered 22 FIRs against 24 persons under Section 188 of the IPC, Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act at various police stations. Senior Superintendent Police Dhruv Dahiya has asked all senior officers to strictly enforce the curfew norms. “Strict action should be taken against anyone found violating the Covid-19 guidelines,” said Dahiya. He appealed to people to not risk their life and that of others by violating restrictions. TNS << Residents stroll freely on the Heritage Street without face masks in Amritsar on Wednesday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR O2 CORRIDOR: AUJLA WRITES TO LS SPEAKER Amritsar: After writing a letter to the PM for an oxygen corridor with Pakistan, Lok Sabha member Gurjit Singh Aujla has now written a letter to LS Speaker Om Birla and told him of the shortage of the gas in state. Aujla said the daily demand of oxygen in district was around 30 tonne but it was getting around 15 tonne from Panipat, which is 350 km away. “The shortage is causing emotional distress among doctors and patients,” he said. He asked the Centre to ensure uninterrupted supply of oxygen, saying that another way was to set up a corridor with Pakistan as Lahore was 20 km from Attari. He said a barter system could be adopted and India can share resources with it to set up an example. Aujla said Centre has set up a quota of 145 tonne for Punjab and even this was not reaching state due to logistic issues. TNS Rising to occasion amid Covid chaos As restrictions return, taxi drivers left in lurch Neha Saini Tribune News Service Amritsar, April 28 Reaching out to those affected with Covid-19 in these trying times, an organisation ‘PhulkariWomen of Amritsar’ has decided to start free home delivery of home-cooked food for Covid patients. The women organisation has tied up with Zomato’s ‘ Feeding India’ campaign that offers free food deliveries across multiple cities for Covid affected people. Phulkari president Deepa Swanin said the Phulkari Tiffin Service would provide free home cooked meals to Covid affected families. “Our volunteers will prepare meals hygienically at their home, keeping in mind the nutritional balance. We have a lot of volunteers willing to cook food and sharing the responsibility. We will be catering to lunch and dinner service for now.” The tiffin service will be open 24 hours for orders. Rid- An organisation 'PhulkariWomen of Amritsar' has decided to start free home delivery of home-cooked food for Covid patients Those interested can order or avail the service by calling at: 98882-29010 and 98881-47793 hi Khanna, a nutritionist and diet consultant for the service, said nutritious food is an important aspect in the process of recovering from Covid. “Most Covid affected families are not in the physical and mental state of health that they can take care of their meals. So, helping them with freshly cooked, nutritious meals to keep their immunity up is our goal. The meals would generally include seasonal veggies, lentils, chapatis and rice. The meals will be planned without any specifications so that everyone can consume them, irrespective of any previous ailment. The thought behind the initiative is to do whatever we can to help those battling with Covid.” Apart from the service, the organisation will also execute vaccination drives and other initiatives to reach out to the community. “We have charted out a sixweek long programme for all of us to come together and find the silver lining behind the dark Covid clouds. We will organise multiple programmes, including vaccination camps, initiatives of reaching out to infected people through social media or calls and talk and share with them their stories of isolation or home confinement. We will conduct workshops to enhance the members’ outreach and have also formed Covid support groups for people and patients dealing with mental health issues due to the pandemic,” shared Praneet Bubber, founder member of Phulkari. Neeraj Bagga ONE PUTS ALL HIS TAXIS ON SALE Tribune News Service Amritsar, April 28 Intensified restrictions in the wake of the Covid pandemic’s second wave have ravaged the business of taxi operators in the city. Anil Arora, a taxi operator, has put all his three taxis on sale. About six years back, he had procured a 12-seater tempo traveller in advance and its ~22,000 per month instalment was still continuing. Encouraged from its success, soon he procured two more taxis — Innova Crysta and Etios. The EMIs of these two vehicles — ~22,000 and ~10,500 — are also being paid. Awaiting the response of buyers, he asked all his three drivers to search for jobs as he would not be in a position to pay them from the next month. This is not the only such case. Most of the taxi operators are out of job for the past over a year. Many drivers had financed a vehicle to augment their income but are in deplorable condition. c m y b No longer in demand, taxis parked on a roadside in Amritsar on Wednesday. VISHAL KUMAR Harjit Singh, a driver, said he had been a driver for the past two decades. “With the surge in tourists’ footfall, I had financed a vehicle four years ago. After finding me unable to repay the loan, a finance agency seized the vehicle in September,” he said adding that most of the drivers were paid a paltry salary of ~3,000 to ~4,000 per month and their income mainly came from per km charges and night stays during a trip, which was not being paid since March last year, when the lockdown was introduced. Unlocking of the nation paved the way for reopening of hotels and restaurants on June 8. But, it did not benefit us much as the tourism industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Another taxi operator Bhupinder Singh said there was no change in the situa- tion and the near future continued to remain bleak as the infections were again rising at an alarming rate and people were reluctant in making travel trips. Also, the governments were intensifying restrictions to curtail the movement of people. He asserted that hoteliers and restaurants did manage to earn something out of the unlocking of the lockdown but taxi operators were affect- Anil Arora, a taxi operator, has put all his three taxis on sale. About six years back, he had procured a 12seater tempo traveller in advance and its ~22,000 per month instalment was still continuing. Encouraged from its success, soon he procured two more taxis — Innova Crysta and Etios. The EMIs of these two vehicles — ~22,000 and ~10,500 — are also being paid. Awaiting the response of buyers, he asked all his three drivers to search for jobs as he would not be in a position to pay them from the next month. ed the worst. Retreat ceremony at the Attari-Wagah joint check-post was closed in March last year and it continues to remain out of the bound of people. Situated nearly 36 km away from the city, the demand of taxis used to be the highest on this route. He said the government was not taking a note of the plight of taxi operators who earned their bread from tourism.
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