29122022-ATR-01.qxd 12/29/2022 12:18 AM Page 1 c m y b Amritsar TRIBUNE FARMERS THREATEN TO EXTEND THEIR PROTEST AT TOLL PLAZAS PAGE 2 Farmers protesting outside the DC's office here for the past 33 days pay tributes to Chhote Sahibzaade. GENERALLY CLOUDY Brace for power shocker Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 28 After offering free electricity to domestic consumers up to 600 units in every billing cycle, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) enhanced schedule of general charges such as meter rent, meter security, meter testing fee, security consumption, etc., by 100 per cent or more. This is considered to be the sharpest hike of this year as per the PSERC order released on December 21. Kamal Dalmia, an industrialist, said: “We have faith in the PSERC, but any increase will pinch the power con- PSERC enhances schedule of general charges sumers. Eighty-seven per cent of the households in the state received zero electricity bill in the past billing cycle. It was not less than a feat”. Consumers from different strata of society reacted sharply to the move, but most of them want nominal power tariff in place of free electricity. Vipan Sharma, a shopkeeper, said his electricity billing cycle, which fell between September 20 and November 17, showed the consumption of 347 units. Since the units consumed fell way short of 600 units, the entire charges were waived. He, however, voiced his concern over free power tariff. His previous bill was ~5,590 as 1,131 units were consumed in the last bill cycle between July 18 and September 19. He said nominal charges would ease financial burden from the middle income group families. Gurinder Singh, an agriculturist, who has a 4-kV electricity meter, was not lucky enough as he got a bill of ~11,138 for the period between September and October. He also favoured nominal charges, instead of raising the power tariff. PAGE 3 GURMEET, DEBINA TO HAVE A WORKING NEW YEAR’S EVE After the success of Mani Ratnam’s magnum-opus Ponniyin Selvan 1, makers are back with the second installment. MAX 13°C | MIN 6°C | YESTERDAY MAX 15°C | MIN 6°C SUNSET THURSDAY 5:35 PM PAGE 4 Gurmeet Choudhary and Debina Bonnerjee are going to perform at the Country Club on the eve of Dec 31. SUNRISE FRIDAY 7:29 AM THURSDAY | 29 DECEMBER 2022 | AMRITSAR Pay property tax before Between cold & curtailment, homeless people on horns of dilemma in holy city Jan 1 to avoid penalty Neeraj Bagga Tribune News Service Employees of the Property Tax Department, Municipal Corporation, work on a public holiday in Amritsar on Wednesday. TRIBUNE PHOTO Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 28 Only three days are left to pay property tax without penalty. After December 31, property owners will have to pay a 10 per cent penalty on the payment of tax. The Property Tax Department of the Municipal Corporation has asked the residents to deposit the tax by the end of the month. On the directions of MC Commissioner Sandeep Rishi, officials of all five zones are making people aware of paying their property tax before January 1, 2023 to avoid penalty. Daljit Singh, Nodal Officer of the Property Tax Department, said on the directions of MC Commissioner, SMSes are also being sent to residents on their mobile phones informing them about paying property tax by December 31 to avoid penalty. To facilitate the residents, MC offices were open on public holiday too. Daljit stated that orders had FILE PHOTO FORECAST MANI RATNAM’S MAGNUM OPUS PONNIYIN SELVAN-2 TEASER OUT SMSES BEING SENT TO RESIDENTS Daljit Singh, Nodal Officer of the Property Tax Department, said on the directions of the MC Commissioner, SMSes are also being sent to residents on their mobile phones informing them about paying property tax by December 31 to avoid penalty. Amritsar, December 28 Given a choice between liberty in their daily life or saving themselves from the biting cold, the homeless begging on the streets of the holy city in a large number prefer the former. Under a grant from the Union government, the Municipal Corporation (MC) spent crores on building a night shelter at Gol Bagh, outside the railway station, and another was housed in an abandoned hospital building situated close to the Company Garden. Yet, these hardly find takers. Despite the freezing cold coupled with a thick cover of fog, the homeless can be seen living on the pavement, cooking meals and performing other daily chores. They can be seen settled on the pavements of the Mall which belongs to the colonial era, using wood as fuel to cook and warm themselves. Similarly, homeless migrants have settled in large numbers on the Qila Gobindgarh road. They have erected shanties. Not only are they an eyesore as tourists frequent the road to see the historic fort, but also slow down the flow of Homeless people cook food on a pavement on the Mall Road in Amritsar on Wednesday. VISHAL KUMAR CIVIC BODY SPENT CRORES, YET NO TAKERS Under a grant from the Union government, the Municipal Corporation (MC) spent crores on building a night shelter at Gol Bagh, outside the railway station, and another was housed in an abandoned hospital building situated close to the Company Garden. Yet, these hardly find takers. traffic by begging. The destitute can be seen spending nights out in the open even in the cold weather conditions because going to a night shelter would cause them a loss of liberty in terms of smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking and consuming oth- er intoxicants, activities which are not possible there. Sushma, a destitute woman, said they cannot put up in night shelters as they have a separate space for men and women, whereas there are families with women and kids. In the night shelter at Gol Bagh, separate bathrooms and halls for men and women are available. It means that to stay at a night shelter, these families have to split. So, the homeless can often be spotted lying under the bridges, on pavements, in parks and at public places. Most of them are into begging and some are even hooked to drugs and alcohol, making them reluctant to move to shelters set up by the administration. Seeking warmth CFCS TO REMAIN OPEN ON DEC 31 Orders have been issued to keep Citizen Facilitation Centres (CFCs), established at head office Ranjit Avenue, zonal offices at Bhagatanwala, Chheharta, Lahori Gate and Company Bagh, open on December 31 for the convenience of property taxpayers. been issued to keep Citizen Facilitation Centres (CFCs), established at head office Ranjit Avenue, zonal offices at Bhagatanwala, Chheharta, Lahori Gate and Company Bagh, open on December 31 for the convenience of property taxpayers. Residents can pay property tax for year 2022-23 before December 31 online too, said Singh. Year saw more political activities, less development works in city LOOKING BACK2022 Residents huddle around a bonfire to keep themselves warm on a chilly day in Amritsar on Wednesday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR Charanjit Singh Teja Two of robbers’ gang land in police net Tribune News Service Amritsar, December 28 Year 2022 was unenthusiastic and hapless for dispirited councillors and members of the Municipal Corporation’s General House. On February 16, three days before the Assembly elections, city Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu shifted his loyalty from the Congress to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Congress councillors, led by Senior Deputy Mayor Raman Bakshi, initiated efforts to conduct floor test to replace the Mayor, but it was not possible until the Mayor called the General House meeting. With the formation of the new government on March 16, councillors from the Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP also started joining the Mayor’s camp. Congress leaders, who were confident of winning the no-confidence motion against Mayor Tribune News Service Councillors attend a General House meeting in Amritsar. FILE PHOTO Karamjit Singh Rintu, witnessed a major setback as more than 15 councillors left the Congress and joined AAP one by one. Bakshi and the Congress made efforts to press the Mayor to call the General House meeting for floor test, but calling the House meeting was only Mayor’s prerogative. Bakshi moved the court on April 7 to conduct the floor test. The mat- ter was sub judice till the court dismissed the petition of the Senior Deputy Mayor in September. City residents paid a heavy cost for this theatrics of the MC’s General House. The city witnessed several political activities across the year, but also saw stagnation in development works as the General House was defunct most of the time. Only one General House meeting was held on November 3. The issue of reinstating 130 streetlight wing employees was the major concern of the meeting. The MC House failed to conduct Budget meeting this year. The dog sterilization project also got delayed due to the dysfunctional House. The Senior Deputy Mayor claimed that several works needed discussion and approval of the House. c m y b Amritsar, December 28 The police arrested two members of a gang, which used to rob commuters, here today. The suspects have been identified as Deepak Kumar, alias Dhumman, and Hardeep Singh, alias Bholu, both residents of Gwal Mandi, Ram Tirath Road. Prabhjot Singh Virk, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police-II, said a video of the robbers went viral two days ago. A team, led by Kawalpreet Singh, ACP (West), and Sub-Inspector Khushbu Sharma, SHO, Cantonment, arrested two members of the gang, who looted people by threatening them with sharp weapons (datar) at night. Shamu, a resident of Putlighar area, in his com- The suspects in police custody in Amritsar on Wednesday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR BASEBALL BATS, KNIVES RECOVERED The police recovered baseball bats used at the time of the incident and two knives from their possession. Police officials stated that the suspects would be produced in a court to get their remand for further investigation. plaint to the police stated that he was heading toward the railway station around 9.30 pm to drop his cousin brother, Paras. When they reached Radha Krishna temple road in Putlighar, three persons intercepted them. The suspects, who were carrying baseball bats, started thrashing them badly. They threatened them and took away ~7,800 from him. The incident was captured on a CCTV camera. The video went viral on social media. The police team investigated the case from all aspects. They arrested the suspects, Deepak Kumar, alias Dhumman, and Hardeep Singh, alias Bholu. The police recovered baseball bats used at the time of the incident and two knives from their possession. Police officials stated that the suspects would be produced in a court to get their remand for further investigation.
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