06012022-ATR-01.qxd 1/5/2022 11:38 PM Page 1 c m y b Amritsar TRIBUNE PAGE 2 SHOWERS END DRY SPELL, LOCALS STAY INDOORS The intermittent drizzling in the last 36 hrs ended the dry spell of the season and brought cheer. FORECAST RAIN OR THUNDERSHOWERS PLAYING A FREEDOM FIGHTER WILL BE A DREAM ROLE: BHUMI PAGE 3 Bhumi Pednekar revealed that she would now like to play the role of a freedom fighter on the big screen. MAX 16°C | MIN 10°C | YESTERDAY MAX 13°C | MIN 10°C Amritsar, January 5 In an alarming rise in the number of positive cases, a total of 105 cases besides Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira tested positive here on Wednesday. Sources in the district administration confirmed that the DC has tested positive. With the cases reported on Wednesday, the district tally increased to 47,657. Of these, 94 are new cases, while 11 are contacts of positive patients. The number of positive cases from the district has exponentially increased in the last few days. The district had reported 20 cases on January 3. The number increased to 33 on January 4, which has further gone up to 105 on Wednesday. The health authorities have reported recovery of only two patients, with which the recovery count improved to 45,862. The district, at present has a total of 196 active cases. Meanwhile, a total of 14,497 residents were inoculated SUNSET THURSDAY 5:41 PM SUNRISE FRIDAY 7:31 AM INBRIEF YOUTH NABBED OVER ‘SACRILEGE’ Amritsar: A youth was nabbed for the alleged sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at a gurdwara in Bhagupur village. The unidentified person, who seemed to be in an inebriated condition, entered the gurdwara and removed “rumalas” from Guru Granth Sahib. He took the “Bir” and put it on a table lying nearby. The incident was recorded in the CCTV cameras. The granthi nabbed the youth and called the police, which reached the spot and took him in custody. Meanwhile, various Sikh organisations condemned the incident and demanded fair probe. Eyewitness claimed that the suspect consumed several tablets of a banned drug as soon as he was nabbed. SP (D) Manoj Thakur said the youth was being questioned. A large number of residents gathered and asked the police to handover the youth to them. The police pacified them. They claimed that the suspect may be a drug addict. The suspect was roaming in the same village from the last several days. Residents were providing him food and money for helping them in their fields. TNS IMA CONDEMNS ARREST OF DOCS Amritsar: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) expressed resentment over registration of FIR and arrest of directors of Amandeep Hospital and their staff, on Tuesday. They said despite the fact that they were cooperating with the police in the investigations, doctors were being kept in a prolonged custody. “They willingly went to Pathankot to join the probe but were arrested without any notice,” IMA president Dr Kuldeep Singh Arora said in a statement. IMA demanded an immediate release of Dr Avtar Singh, noted orthopaedic surgeon, his wife Dr Amandeep Kaur and son Dr Shahbaz Singh and requested the police to probe the case in an unbiased manner. They were arrested for the alleged ECHS scam that surfaced at the hospital’s branch in Pathankot. TNS COVID UPDATE NEW CASES TOTAL CASES NEW DEATHS TOTAL DEATHS NEW RECOVERY TOTAL RECOVERY ACTIVE 105 47,657 0 1,599 2 45,862 196 Shutdown orders hit school transporters, gym trainers hard NO LESSONS LEARNT? In view of the imminent third wave, residents still fail to adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour. None here are seen wearing face masks. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR MC COMMISSIONER ALSO POSITIVE Amritsar: Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner Sandip Rishi also tested positive for Covid-19 late on Wednesday evening. Rishi attended office and participated in official meetings. In the evening, he tested positive and quarantined himself. He advised people in his contact to take precautions and get tested. TNS 3, a total of 738 children have received the first dose. 15 test +ve in Tarn Taran As many as 15 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in the dis- trict on Wednesday, taking the active caseload to 43. On Tuesday, 16 persons tested positive. Deputy Commissioner Kulwant Singh said out the total 43 active cases, 28 have been quarantined at their respective homes. The DC said so far, 9,18,413 jabs have been given to 6,38,567 citizens, of which 3,464 persons were vaccinated on Wednesday. — OC Amritsar, January 5 With the government ordering closure of schools, colleges, gymnasiums and a few other businesses, the third wave of the pandemic has already started to impact people engaged in these establishments. As the number of Covid cases is further increasing, more sections of society including shopkeepers and small traders fear that the government might impose further restrictions, which would impact their livelihood. Abhijit, who runs a school bus, said: “Our work started in the end. While most of the parents continued paying school fee, they had not paid the transporters.” He said the last two years have been very hard, as he had switched to another business of selling clothes, which did not go well either. “Just when I hoped things will be normal, it has started Waste segregation kicks off in walled city Charanjit Singh Teja ❝ Tribune News Service Amritsar, January 5 Averda, a solid-waste management firm, provided segregation bins (dry and wet waste) to the walled city residents. The company officials claimed that in the next six months, 50 per cent households in the walled city would be segregating waste into wet and dry at the source itself, while by the end of 2022, 80 per cent of the households would be adopting this task. Deputy Chief Minister Om Prakash Soni, said, “It is a matter of pride that serious efforts are afoot to ensure better management of household waste in the walled city.” He urged the residents to two ❝The lastbeen very years have Tribune News Service ■ Control Room: 0183-2500398, during the vaccination drive on Wednesday. The health officials said 223 children in the age group of 15 years to 17 years were inoculated on Wednesday. Starting January THURSDAY | 6 JANUARY 2022 | AMRITSAR Manmeet Singh Gill HELPLINE NUMBERS FOR COVID PATIENTS 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) I call upon the residents of the walled city to use bins, which have been provided to them (blue bin for dry waste and green for wet). It will help us to keep the city clean. Karamjit Singh Rintu, MAYOR ❞ Residents of the walled city will get separate bins to segregate dry and wet waste. cooperate with civic body and other agencies to ensure total cleanliness. The Amritsar Municipal Corporation and Averda have also joined hands to create awareness among the residents to ensure that they dis- pose their household waste correctly by separating them into wet and dry. In the next six months, 35,000 households in the walled city of Amritsar will be receiving the bins. Mayor Karamjit Singh Rin- PAGE 4 The actress took to her Insta account and shared a statement saying that she and her mother tested positive. DC, 105 others test positive in dist Tribune News Service ERICA URGES FANS NOT TO RELY ON HOME TESTING COVID KITS tu, said, “I call upon the residents of the walled city to use bins, which have been provided to them (blue bin for dry waste and wet waste in green bin). It will help us to keep the city clean.” MC Commissioner Sandeep Rishi, said, “We are happy that these steps are helping the city look clean. We have also improved our rankings in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.” Amit Bajpai, general manager, Averda India, said, “Waste segregation is an essential component of waste management. Over 30 per cent of the residents across the wards in Amritsar have started segregating waste. We are aiming to increase it to 50 per cent in the next six months and 80 per cent by the end of 2022.” Councillors Vikas Soni, Mahesh Khanna, Health Officer Dr Yogesh Arora and Chief Sanitary Officer Sahil Malhotra were also present. hard. I switched to another business of selling clothes, which didn’t go well either. Just when I hoped things will be normal, it has started all over again. ❞ Abhijit, SCHOOL BUS OPERATOR all over again,” he said. If the Covid cases continue to increase at the same pace, residents feel the government might have to take harsh steps, which would directly impact their businesses. Vinay Kumar, a shopkeeper, said: “It is just a matter of time now. Fear has gripped shopkeepers and daily wage earners.” He said people were yet to recover from the loss during the last lockdown. Though the number of cases is increasing at an alarming rate, it has not stressed the health sector so far. At present, the bed occupancy for level-II case category is merely 5.01 per cent and for level-III category is 0.72 per cent. The district has a total of 918 beds reserved for level-II category patients and 550 beds for level-III patients. Meanwhile, the recent spurt in the positive cases coupled with government instructions to stop salaries of its employees who have not been vaccinated yet resulted in long queues at vaccination centres on Wednesday. Pvt school accused of violating RTE Act DEO seeks response from BEO (Elementary) Tribune News Service Amritsar, January 5 The DEO has sought response from the Block Education Officer (Elementary) of Block Rayya 2 on a complaint against allegations of selling reserved seats under the RTE Act and noncompliance of filling 25 per cent seats for students of economically weaker section. The complaint was made by non-profit Minorities Public Welfare Organisation that submitted a complaint to the DEO. In a letter issued on January 3, 2022, the DEO had directed the BEO (Elemen- tary) concerned to carry out a probe into the matter. Satnam Singh Gill, president, Minorities Public Welfare Organisation, said the DEO office had asked the BEO to look into the allegations and reply till January 6. “It’s not the first instance that a private school has not complied with the guidelines on 25 per cent reservation for economically weaker students. The private school management in the mentioned case had violated the rights of eligible children and we had raised the issue after a school in Butala was found Continued on page 2 Dist admn all set for Assembly elections Cong likely to field incumbent MLAs from 11 seats in district Tribune News Service Amritsar, January 5 The district has 19,44,090 voters in the final voter list unveiled here on Wednesday. Total 2,211 polling stations would be set up in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha election. District election officials announced their full preparation to enforce the Model Code of Conduct. These developments and others were announced during two separate meetings held here on Wednesday. The final publication of photo voters’ list for 2022 has been made in the district and as per the Election Commission’s instructions, a hard copy of the final list and one CD without photo voter list have been supplied to recognised national and state parties by Assistant Commissioner-cum-District Revenue Officer Arvinderpal Singh. He appealed to the representatives of all political parties to appoint BLAs at every polling station. Meanwhile, a special meeting was also held by the District Election Officer-cum-DC Gurpreet Singh Khaira with the nodal officers of various teams formed for the election process at the district administrative complex. Final voter list out, says prepared to conduct fair poll Assistant Commissioner-cum-District Revenue Officer Arvinderpal Singh hands over a copy of voters’ list to the representatives of political parties in Amritsar on Wednesday. DISTRICT STATS AT A GLANCE 10,23,975 9,20,047 19,44,090 Male Female Total voters Constituency Ajnala Rajasansi Majitha Jandiala (reserve) Amritsar North Amritsar West (reserve) Amritsar Central Amritsar East Amritsar South Attari (reserve) Baba Bakala (reserve) Males 81,259 91,415 85,906 94,696 1,01,663 1,10,786 76,844 87,619 90,096 1,00,613 1,03,078 Khaira said: “The forthcoming Assembly elections could be announced by the Election Commission of India any time. So, necessary preparations are Females 73,755 82,125 78,781 84,429 93,914 99,351 67,793 77,423 80,394 86,801 95,281 68 Others Others 2 11 0 2 9 9 13 1 3 4 14 being made by the district administration in this regard.” To comply with the election code of conduct, the district administration has set up c m y b various teams, including flying squads, static surveillance, video viewing teams, video surveillance, media certification, monitoring committee and accounting teams for the 11 Assembly constituencies of the district. These teams include officers of various departments and police officers. He said the civil and police officers involved in these teams have been given the necessary training to perform their duties properly during the election process. As per the ECI guidelines, the district administration is fully committed to conducting the elections in a fair and transparent manner. He directed the officers concerned to immediately send a detailed report on the ongoing development works in the district to the DC office before the imposition of the code of conduct and said no new work should be started during this time. He directed them to ensure that no government building or office is used for electioneering when the code of conduct is in force and no poster, banner or flag etc. is affixed. He said any complaint or suggestion regarding election can be contacted on toll-free number 1950. Neeraj Bagga Tribune News Service Amritsar, January 5 Barring a couple of seats, the Congress is likely to field most of its incumbent MLAs from the 11 Assembly seats in the district. The grand old party controls 10 out of the 11 seats. This single seat out of its fold is the Majitha Assembly seat, being held by senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia. Wresting the seat from Majithia would be a gigantic task at hand, as its old guard Sukhjinder Raj Singh Lalli Majithia had switched over to the Aam Aadmi Party, probably splitting the party votebank in the rural segment. Congress rural president Bhagwant Pal Singh Sachar had openly staked claim for the seat. But the final decision still rests with the party. A surprise could unfold in the North Assembly segment, where Sunil Dutti is the sitting MLA, who had defeated BJP’s Anil Joshi with a difference of 14,236 votes in the previous election. Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu, who had unsuccessfully contested the 2012 election and Navjot Sidhu (Amritsar East) Rajkumar Verka (West) Om Prakash Soni (Central) Inderbir Sukhbinder Harpratap Singh Bolaria Singh Sarkaria Singh Ajnala (South) (Rajasansi) (Ajnala) Sukhwinder Singh Danny Bandala (Jandiala) polled 45,394 votes in his favour, could be a forceful contender. While Virat Devgan, son of a Congress councillor Usha Devgan, has already thrown his hat for a party ticket from the seat, signalling that senior party leaders were mulling a change. PPCC president Navjot Sunil Dutti (North ) Tarsem Singh DC (Attari) Santokh Singh Bhalaipur (Baba Bakala) Singh Sidhu (East), Deputy CM OP Soni (Central), Raj Kumar Verka (West), Inderbir Singh Bolaria (South), Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria (Rajasansi) and Harpratap Singh Ajnala (Ajnala) are considered heavyweights keeping in view their past Continued on page 2
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