11112023-ATR-01.qxd 11/11/2023 12:37 AM Page 1 c m y b Amritsar tribune AZAD HOUSE, MOTILAL HOUSE OVERALL CHAMPIONS CAR SNATCHING: TWO SONS OF COPS AMONG FOUR NABBED The police have cracked a car snatching case and arrested four persons, including sons of two cops. P2 MAINLY CLEAR MAX 25°C | MIN 14°C YESTERDAY MAX 18°C | MIN 16°C DIWALI CELEBRATED AT MHR DAV INSTITUTE OF NURSING Azad House got the Best House (Cock House) trophy and Motilal House got title in the junior category. P2 FORECAST Diwali was celebrated at MHR DAV Institute of Nursing with theme ‘Ecofriendly Diwali Fest 2023’.P2 » » SUNSET SATURDAY 5.34 PM SUNRISE SUNDAY 6.55 AM » SATURDAY | 11 NOVEMBER 2023 | AMRITSAR Power, water supply affected in Tarn Taran Tarn Taran, November 10 Unseasonal rain along with hailstorm in different parts of the district today spelled trouble for farmers. It started raining in the early hours on Friday with the spell of showers lasting more than eight hours till afternoon. Harpal Singh Pannu, Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO), called today’s rain as normal and said it was not harmful for any variety of paddy as a major part of the crop has been harvested while some late variety that is yet to be harvested may get affected. The CAO said that the sowing of wheat had been delayed by about 10 days as rainwater had accumulated in the fields and it may take a few days for the fields to dry. The CAO said that farmers who have sown the wheat crop recently after burning paddy stubble were repenting as the seed got covered with a thick layer of soil because of rain. Owing to rain, normal power and water supplies were suspended in most parts of Tarn Taran town which caused inconvenience to the employees. — OC Rain brings respite from smog Tribune News Service Amritsar, November 10 Moderate rain brought some relief to the city residents from smog this morning. The residents also witnessed hailstorms in isolated areas in the district. The average AQI (air quality index) had gone up to 150 in the past 10 days. With this rain, visibility and air quality have increased. Rain at this time came as a blessing as many people defy a ban on firecrackers, causing a spike in air pollution. Meanwhile, the city witnessed heavy traffic jams due to rain in inner and outer areas of the city. Commuters faced a heavy traffic jam on the Vallah-Verka bypass as the road alongside the under-construction bridge was waterlogged. The potholes on the road were filled with rainwater, further affecting the movement of vehicular traffic. Heavy rain caused water accumulation in the Bhagtanwala grain market where paddy produce was lying in the open. Heaps of grain soaked in rainwater. The slow lifting of grain led Despite ban, sale of harmful crackers goes unchecked Only 10 shops allowed to sell green crackers in new market Neeraj Bagga Tribune News Service Bags of paddy drenched due to rain at the Bhagtanwala grain market in Amritsar on Friday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR to lustre loss of the rice, worrying commission agents. The workers and commission agents at the grain market claimed that the residue of the grains, not lifted from the mandi, blocked the storm sewer chambers resulting in waterlogging in the Bhagtanwala grain market. However, rain also led to a dip in the temperatures, but it would be favourable for the wheat crop and vegetables. The farmers, who had sown the wheat crop during the last few days, are worried as rain may stop the germination of seeds and they would have to sow the crop again. “Moderate rain in the area has brought a respite to farmers as a dip in the temperatures is conducive to farmers. The winter is good for the growth of vegetables, fodder and wheat crop. A layer of smog, which occurred due to air pollution, was causing irritation in the eyes. Today, the day was much clearer than the past few days and the air quality has also improved,” said Devinder Singh, a resident. Amritsar, November 10 A temporary retail firecracker market has started functioning at New Amritsar colony in the city. The stalls in the market will sell only green crackers. But besides green crackers, harmful crackers too are being sold secretly in the market. Traders on condition of anonymity said the final decision of the court on the sale of harmful crackers came a bit late or when people had purchased stocks of crackers and now they would try to clear their stocks this season. Crackers made illegally in local areas would prove to be a hindrance in the way of imposing a curb on the use of toxic crackers. Green crackers on sale are free from barium salt, compounds of antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic, lead, strontium and chromate which emit innocuous gases. Children buy crackers from a vendor ahead of Diwali in Amritsar on Friday. PHOTO: VISHAL KUMAR Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Parminder Singh Bhandal said the police had been keeping a vigil to check the sale of the prohibited crackers and their illegal manufacturing. Several cases were filed, especially at the Gate Hakima police station. Harish Dhawan, a cracker seller, said only green crackers were being sold at the 10 kiosks installed after due permission from the district administration. Green crackers can be identified by the distinctive green colour logo of CSIR-NEERI, PESO and a Quick Response (QR) code printed on the boxes of the crackers. Scarcity of balers hampers Green crackers won’t do, complete ban stubble disposal in district needed to check pollution, say experts Tribune News Service Charanjit Singh Teja Tribune News Service Amritsar, November 10 Though there is a scarcity of baler machine operators in Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur, still around 3.25 lakh MT of stubble was successfully tied in bales in Amritsar district, 3.70 lakh MT in Gurdaspur and 40,000 MT in Taran Taran. There are around 80 to 100 baler-andraking combo machines available in each district of Majha. A number of baler operators from Malwa region also visit the area as harvesting in Majha region starts early as compared to Malwa. After tying bales in Majha region, local baler operators move to Malwa region. Still, the baler machines were not available for a large number of farmers, who were willing to tie bales instead of setting the stubble on fire. In Gurdaspur district, around 30 per cent of the total produce of stubble has been tied in bales. There are two major factories in Pathankot which store bales. Similarly in Amritsar, three major factories in Mehta area procured around 2 lakh MT. The demand for bales in the industrial sector is also negligible in Tarn Taran. Apart from this, the cattle grazer and nomad tribe of Gujjars is the main buyer of stubble bales in the region, especially Gurdaspur and Pathankot. Amrik Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer, Gurdaspur said, “There were around 145 operators in the district, who tied bales. The farmers used to call us but the number of balers was insufficient. The number of firm fires can be reduced if more balers are available in the area. There should be at least one baler machine in each cluster of five villages. Several blocks in the district witnessed rain during the harvesting season which affected the operation of balers. Last year, one of the factories in Pathankot stored one lakh MT of bales.” The baler operators used to charge Rs 2,500- Rs 3,000 per acre from farmers during the previous years. Now, they offer to collect the stubble free of cost. In some blocks of Gurdaspur district, the factory owners pay Rs 3,000 per acre to farmers for collecting stubble with balers. Due to continued on page 2 Seminar marks National Education Day at GNDU Amritsar, November 10 The Department of Education of Guru Nanak Dev University celebrated National Education Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of the country’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad by hosting a special seminar-cum-workshop for students of School of Education. Prof (Dr) Amit Kauts, head, Department of Education, and Prof (Dr) Deepa Sikand Kauts, Dean, Faculty, Department of Education, GNDU, initiated a talk on the life history of the first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. “Abul Kalam Azad’s name is very popular in the Indian education system because of his innumerable contribution to the field of education. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was not only an eloquent orator and a prolific writer, but he was also the youngest person to have served as the A seminar underway at GNDU in Amritsar on Friday. TRIBUNE PHOTO president of the Indian National Congress. His passion for education and his unwavering commitment to the betterment of the nation earned him the epithet “Maulana”, an honorific title meaning learned one,” explained Dr Kauts. Students of the Department of Education attended an online live telecast programme that was organised by the School of Education of IGNOU under the guidance of Ministry of education of India on the main theme “Building a knowl- edge Economy: Lessons from India’s History”. The first talk in online programme was given by Padma Shri Prof Dinesh Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University. He highlighted the need for building an Indian knowledge system with India culture and Indian ethos. Further, the talk on the main theme was graced by Prof Nageshwar Rao, Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University, and by Prof (Dr) C B Sharma, Director IGNOU. — TNS Amritsar, November 10 With the Supreme Court banning the use of barium salts in fireworks along with the production and sale of crackers that use banned chemicals like antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic and lead, Diwali and other festivals have seen a trend toward ‘greenification’ of firecrackers. These green crackers, sold in the market a few days ahead of the festival, come with the promise of less emission and low sound, with experts claiming 30 per cent less discharge of harmful chemicals and no release of particulate matter in the air. At a time when cities like Mumbai and Delhi are gasping for breath with the AQI (Air Quality Index) crossing the severe GREEN CRACKERS FIRST INTRODUCED IN 2018 Green crackers were first introduced and developed by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), a part of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in 2018. category and the situation getting even worse in Punjab, one is bound to question the logic that these ‘green’ crackers offer an alternative to traditional crackers, when they too only add to the pollution in the skies. Experts from the city, including environmentalists, call green crackers a sham as they support a complete ban on firecrackers as solution to air quality control. Things are getting from bad to worse! With stubble burning not being controlled, the least that one can do is not to allow the bursting of firecrackers. For most people, Diwali is all about bursting crackers and when you have an AQI hovering from 250-300, these socalled green crackers, even with limited emissions, would only add to smoke in the air. Sadly, it’s not about religious sentiments being hurt as every community and religion is equally responsible,” said Indu Aurora, hub member, Clean Air Initiative, Punjab. Aurora says that nothing short of a complete ban on firecrackers throughout the year would offer any solution. “But the political will to bring about such a change is lacking in our country,” she said. Environmentalist Rajneesh Sharma, who has been batting for stricter curbs and air monitoring, said, “So much money was being wasted on installing air monitoring systems in city, called Vayu, but nothing happened. No air monitoring system has been installed anywhere, how can we check whether the air quality in city during the festivities can bear anymore emissions or not,” he said. He also stressed on a complete ban on firecrackers of all types for at least the time till air quality improves during the season. The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) had decided to begin with air monitoring vans in major districts through the Clean Air initiative but the process has been delayed for now. This time 1,292 people took part in the draw of lots, conducted by the district administration, to select 10 persons for selling crackers in the retail market. Each of them paid Rs 41,500 to set up a stall for a brief period not extending beyond five days. Dhawan said the stalls recorded a negligible sale during the first two days as heavy rain dented the sale of crackers on the second day of trading on Friday. Environmentalists said people, especially children and elderly people, would not face breathing problems on the night of Diwali. Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said the time for bursting green firecrackers had been fixed from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali night. He said the sale of nongreen crackers was strictly prohibited in the district and if a person was found selling the toxic crackers would be strictly punished. Police book 25 for burning paddy straw Our Correspondent Tarn Taran, November 10 Following strict instructions issued by the Supreme Court on checking the burning of paddy straw, police have registered 25 cases in the last two days against the farmers for violating instructions issued by the District Magistrate. No incident reported on Friday because of rain The police said that six of the farmers were arrested and later released on bail. No farm fire case had been reported on Friday, a rainy day. The fields were wet and the rainwater had accumulated in the fields. The farmers have been booked under Section 188 of IPC. Car robbers sent to Two Andhra Pradesh fake travel 3-day police remand agents arrested at city airport Tribune News Service Amritsar, November 10 The police got three-day police remand of three car snatchers who were arrested by the police following a brief exchange of fire at a marriage palace in Varpal area falling under the Chatiwind police station here on Thursday. Those arrested were identified as Rajbir Singh, alias Bir, Lovejit Singh, alias Love, of Gohalwarh village in Tarn Taran and Baljinder Singh of Pheloke village in Goindwal Sahib area in Tarn Taran. They were produced before the court on Friday. According to the police, they had snatched two cars — Hyundai Verna and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz – from Tarsikka area on October 22 and 29. The police had recovered a .32 bore pistol along with two magazines, two live bullets, three empty shells and a sharpedged weapon, besides a Ciaz car from their possession. c m y b The police also scanned the CCTV cameras installed at the wedding palace in Varpal to identify their accomplices who might have come to attend the shagun function. The Chatiwind police station SHO had received a tip-off that the three miscreants were present in the marriage palace where they arrived with the snatched Ciaz car. They parked the car along the wall of the marriage palace and sat in another Kia car in the parking of the palace. When the police spotted the accused who were sitting in another car, they fired at the police party. Cops had a narrow escape in firing and following retaliation the three suspects were nabbed. Superintendent of Police Gurpartap Singh Sahota said the police were also probing the ownership of another car which was seized from spot. He said the police were trying to identify their accomplices and also previous instances in which they might be involved. Amritsar, November 10 CIA staff have arrested two fake travel agents of Andhra Pradesh for allegedly duping people and sending them to Arabian nations on tourist visa illegally after tampering with their documents. They were arrested from near Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport here on Thursday. They were identified as Illa Satya Narain Murty and Chilu Kuri Balaji of Godawary of Andhra Pradesh. They were booked under Sections 420, 259 and 263-A of the IPC and Section 13 of the Punjab Travel Professionals Regulation Rules Act. Dilbagh Singh, in-charge, CIA Staff 2, said a police team was standing at Mirakot Chow on Airport Road when they got a tip-off that two persons of some other state were standing near a hotel near the railway station. They were putting up here for the past three days and were involved in Two suspects in custody of CIA staff in Amritsar on Friday. sending people to Arab countries on tourist visa and were tampering with their documents. The informer said they had passports, fake rubber stamps and such pens that are used for erasing words and tampering with documents. They were accompanied by two women. They had come to drop two women who had to take a flight to Arab countries. Dilbagh Singh said the police team was rushed immediately to the spot and it arrested the two Andhra Pradesh men. The police recovered four passports with visa, two rubber stamps and pen, six mobile phones of different brands from their possession. They did not have any licence for the same. He said the accused were produced in a court, which remanded them in police custody for further investigations.
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