Monday, September 25, 2017

Camel Safari expedition reaches Fazilka covering 1052 KMs distance

Fazilka, September 23, 2017:  Camel Safari expedition by 20 brave women  squad of Border Security Force and Air Force, on International Balika Divas via Hindu Mal Kot, was given a warm welcome on entry the Punjab territory, after covering 1052 KMs, to make people aware about gender discrimination and Beti Bachao beti Padhai Abhiyan.

Among those who welcomed the Camal Safari on the international border were Commandant Murari Parshad Singh, Assistant Commandant Narender Singh Bhati and Deputy Commandant, J.R,Choudhary besides Sarpanch Mahender Singh Bhobhria along with number of prominent persons of border village Roopnagar were present.

It may be mentioned that the concept of joint Camal Safari by BSF and Air Force was given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a message of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' in the border villages.

Today, the Camal Safari entered the Punjab after covering 443 KMs in Gujarat  and 609 KMs in Rajasthan along with Pakistan border.  They will cover another 316 KMs distance to reach on Gandhi Jayanti at Attari border.

Welcoming the Camel Safari, Commandant Murari Parshad Singh said, the mission of expedition will be successful, if 5 to 10 percent of daughters of villages are motivated.

He said, BSF is already working various social events in the border villages to put them wiser about the pluses and minuses of illiteracy, superstitions besides touching the issues of Swachh Bharat and Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao and have high expectations on reaching of Camel Safari in border village Bekanwala.

Monday, September 18, 2017

TAPI remains of high regional importance

By Kamila Aliyeva

The energy-rich Turkmenistan is eager to successfully deliver the multi-billion dollars Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, which has been in the making for nearly three decades.

The pipe will link the regions of Central Asia and South Asia and transport up to 33 bcm of natural gas. Turkmen gas will help cover the growing need for blue fuel in India and Pakistan, where by 2030, the needs could jump up by half. The pipe will also reduce the constant shortage of energy resources in transit Afghanistan.

The construction of the Turkmen section of the TAPI was launched in December 2015. The total length of the pipeline is 1,814 kilometers, including 214 kilometers - on the territory of Turkmenistan, 774 kilometers - Afghanistan, 826 kilometers of Pakistan to the settlement of Fazilka on the border with India.

The trans-regional energy project expected to be inaugurated in 2019 is being hailed as a major initiative for bringing peace and enhancing connectivity in the region.

The construction pace and importance of TAPI was mulled at latest meeting between Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on September 17.

Ghani stated that the large-scale projects such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India initiated by Ashgabat will be an invaluable contribution to the peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan and the sustainable social and economic development of the entire Central Asian region.

Turkmenistan, a de-facto leader of the project, will hold an international tender for the purchase of pipes and other equipment necessary for the TAPI pipeline construction in September 2017.

Preparations are also being made for the projects of the gas compressor station and other associated facilities that will be built on the pipeline route.

Currently, the Turkmen section of the gas pipeline is being laid in line with the schedule. The pipeline will run from Galkynysh – the largest gas field in Turkmenistan – through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar, and finally reach the Fazilka settlement located near the India-Pakistan border.

Time frame for the Afghan and Pakistani sections of the pipeline construction has not yet been determined.

Nevertheless, the TAPI Pipeline Company Limited consortium developing the project has signed a contract with German ILF Beratende Ingenieure GmbH for the provision of services for the preliminary design and management of the project in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The technical work in the territory of these states has already started.

Why TAPI is of high regional importance?

Turkmenistan is a landlocked country with huge gas reserves. The three main export routes include Central Asia – Center Pipeline (CAS) to Russia, Central Asia – China pipeline (CACP) and two routes to Iran which are Korpedzhe-Kurt Kui (KKK) and Dauletabad-Sarakhs-Khangiran pipelines.

Turkmenistan lost Russia as a customer a year ago, and has since provided gas only to China and Iran. The country's relations with Iran were also seriously damaged by the gas dispute over Iran's debts. China remains Turkmenistan's biggest consumer.

However, Turkmenistan doesn't want to be solely reliant on a single customer. Therefore, the Central Asian country began to look for alternative consumers in the European and Asian markets.

The TAPI will make it possible to deliver gas from Turkmenistan, which ranks fourth in the world for its gas reserves, to large and energy starved markets of South and Southeast Asia.

The pipeline also has the potential to contribute to reconciliation in Afghanistan, by creating economic opportunity for the Afghan people. It could create jobs in the war-torn country.

The project also could help to improve relations between India and Pakistan reducing chances of conflict between these two nuclear powers.

From India's perspective, TAPI project will provide an alternative supply source of gas with dependable reserves leading to enhanced energy security. It will further diversify the fuel basket to the benefit of Indian economy as it would be used mainly in power, fertilizer and city gas sectors.

The main pitfalls for project's implementation

One of the main problems for the project's implementation lies in security issue as the pipeline is to pass through the territory of Afghanistan. Moreover, any downturn in India-Pakistan relation, while there is no guarantee that this would never happen, can negatively affect TAPI project.

Another problem which stems from the previous two is the financing issue. Though Asian Development Bank is assisting the project but funding from other sources is required which is difficult because international investors are doubtful about the project's success.

Over the past 22 years since the project was first approved by the four nations with the support of international companies, many important regional developments, which should be taken into account when talking about TAPI's implementation, have taken place, a senior oil and gas analyst at Vienna Energy Research Group Dr. Fereydoun Barkeshli said.

He told Azernews that pipelines diplomacy works well only through long-term security and stable regional territories. Therefore, it is important to resolve the issues of geopolitical threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan and then between the two adversaries namely India and Pakistan in order to successfully implement the project.

Barkeshli also noticed that during the last two decades, LNG has found to be less costly and time-consuming compared to building pipelines.

Currently, Pakistan and India are heavily investing in their LNG import infrastructure, thus their enthusiasm to complete TAPI soon is getting diminished. However, once LNG prices increase the TAPI project will regain its competitiveness and actuality, experts say.

This ambitious project has come a long way since it was first proposed in 1993, but it still has a long way to go.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

National Highway Toll : "Commercial Vehicles for Toll Plazas in Registered District to be Charged at 50% user fee"

"Commercial Vehicles for Toll Plazas in Registered District to be Charged at 50% user fee"
जिन व्यक्तियों का अपना कमर्शियल व्हीकल (नैशनल परमिट की गाड़ियों को छोड़ कर), उसी जिले में रजिस्टर्ड है, जिस जिले में नेशनल हाईवे का टोल पड़ता है, राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग फीस (दरों का निर्धारण और संग्रहण) नियमावली 2008 , की धारा 9 , के  उप नियम 3A, के तहत उनको निर्धारित टोल फीस का 50% ही देना है | यानी अगर आपकी बस स्टेट परमिट के अधीन लुधिआना ज़िले में रजिस्टर्ड हैं तो , नेशनल हाईवे पर लुधिअना ज़िले में जितने भी टोल आते है वहां पर आपको टोल का मात्र 50% फीस ही देनी है | यह नियम 12  January 2011 के बाद के सभी टोल कॉन्ट्रैक्ट पर लागू होगा | पंजाब में नैशनल हाईवे के ऊपर 10 टोल प्लाज़ा हैं | एग्रीमेंट और टोल प्लाजा ने फीस किस दिन से शुरू की की पूरी जानकारी आप इस टोल प्लाजा की वेबसाइट ( से देख सकते है, NHAI  ने हर टोल प्लाज़ा को एक यूनिक ID दिया हुआ है 

Cricketer Kapil Dev and Fazilka

#ILoveFazilka #1947PartitionStories
After Partition in 1947, Mr. Ram Lal Nikhanj,
father of famous Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, came from Rawalpindi and settled here in Fazilka. He was a Timber trader, later in 1956, he along with his family finally moved to Chandigarh.

A clip from the recent Interview of Kapil Dev Ji, where he narrated the saga of partition

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hundreds of needy persons benefitted from wall of kindness in Fazilka

FAZILKA: The initiative of neki ki deewar(wall of kindness) is proving beneficial for the needy persons of the border district. A total of 3352 persons have been benefited from the wall in nearly 9 months. Fazilka deputy commissioner Isha Kalia had started the wall of kindnessnear the Shastri Chowk on December 15, 2016 with assistance from District Red Cross Society.

Deputy Commissioner Isha Kalia said that "the purpose behind starting "neki di diwar" is to provide necessary clothes for the poor and needy. The goods which were not used by the people were either thrown or burnt in the garbage but the district administration urged the people to handover these goods for needy persons as it is best to get rid of their household waste. Now general public is coming forward to handover their old clothes and other things which are now being used by the poor and needy persons". She said that by reaching the virtue of the noble wall of the city, many residents of the district have given their old clothes or other things which are further provided to the needy.

She said that whenever people have any extra things, they can send it to the "neki di diwar" and urged the needy people to take these things without hesitation if they need any clothes.

Secretary, Red Cross Society, Subhas Arora, informed that a women employee has been appointed by the Red Cross society to run the wall of virtue. On any working day from 9 AM to 5 PM, residents can deposit their spare clothes and other unutilized things here and the needy people can get the same as per their requirement.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

8 teachers to get national award - Lavjeet Grewal, Fazilka

Tribune News Service
Faridkot, September 1

Eight teachers of government schools in Punjab have been selected for the National Award to Teachers, 2017.

Four of these teachers are from government primary schools and the rest from senior secondary schools in the state. Teachers of government primary schools are Gurjant Singh of Punnawali village (Sangrur), Lavjeet Singh of Dona Nanka (Fazilka), Jaswant Singh of Rajgarh Pakhowal (Ludhiana) and Manmohan Singh of Bhatton (Ropar). In Government Senior Secondary Schools category, the teachers selected are Gopal Krishan of Pakhi Kalan (Faridkot), Sukhdarshan Singh of Kalyan (Patiala), Jatinder Pal Singh of Mahna Singh Road (Amritsar) and Paramjit Singh Kalsi of Aliwal (Gurdaspur).

The awards are given by the President on September 5 to give recognition to meritorious teachers in primary, middle and secondary schools.

Friday, September 1, 2017

90 साल फाजिल्का के सिनेमा का सफर - A 90 Years Journey of Fazilka Cinema

फाजिल्का सिनेमा के सुनहरे इतिहास में आज जुड़ेगा नया अध्याय 
1st September 2017

फाजिल्का के सिनेमा का इतिहास भी देश के सिनेमा के साथ साथ आगे बढ़ा है। डॉक्टर भूपिंदर सिंह बताते है की सन 1921 में जब सुलेमनकी हैड सतलुज दरिया पर बन रहा था तो चलता फिरता सिनेमा फाजिल्का में आना शुरू हो गया था। पाकिस्तान की तरफ से चाननवाला गांव तक लोग पैदल या बैल गाडिय़ों पर बैठ कर आते थे और वहां से ब्रॉड गॉज ट्रेन पकड़ कर सिनेमा देखने फाजिल्का आते थे। 1931 में भारत की पहली बोलती फिल्म 'आलम आरा' आयी और यह चलते सिनेमा का प्रचलन और बढ़ा। बिजली न होने के कारण यह सिनेमा रात को खुले में जनरेटर चला कर फिल्म दिखाया करते थे। डॉ भूपिंदर बताते है की, फाजिल्का के जगन नाथ ग्रोवर ने 'रीगल टॉकीज' के नाम से शुरू किया गया था जो काफी देर तक चला। जहां पुराना राधा स्वामी सत्संग घर होता था, और गौशला के पीछे खाली मैदान में फिल्में दिखाई जाती थी। टिकट का रेट पांच आना, दस आना होता था और प्रतिस्पर्धा इतनी थी की एक टिकट पर तीन फिल्में दिखाई जाती थी। चलते फिरते सिनेमा का दौर राजा सिनेमा के बनने के बाद भी रहा, वह बताते है की उन्होंने एक टिकट लेकर दिलीप कुमार की 'जुगनू', 'मदारी' और 'थीफ आफ बगदाद' फिल्मे चलते सिनेमा में देखी। विजय टॉकी भी इस दौर में काफी मशहूर था। यह कहना गलत नहीं होगा की रीगल और विजय टाल्कीस फाजिल्का के पहले सिनेमा थे जो करीब राजा सिनेमा के बनने से 30 साल पहले से प्रचलित थे ।
आजादी के बाद की बात की जाये तो पहला सिनेमा फाजिल्का में जो आया वह 'सावनसुक्खा' परिवार की बदौलत 'राजा सिनेमा' के रूप में आया। 24 जुलाई 1953 में इसकी शुरुआत फिल्म 'अनारकली' की स्क्रीनिंग से हुई। जो फिल्म देखने आता था उसे लड्डू दिये जाते थे। प्रदीप कुमार, बीना रॉय, नूर जहां जैसे सितारों से जगमगाती फिल्म ने कामयाबी के सारे रिकॉर्ड तोड़ दिये। इस फिल्म के गीत 'यह जिंदगी उसी के है, जो इसी का हो गया' ने हिंदी संगीत को नयी कामयाबी की और पहुंचाया, उस समय के कुछ फाजिल्का वासी अपनी यादें तजा करते हुए बताते है , की अक्सर वह टिकट लेकर राजा सिनेमा में सिर्फ गाने के समय सिनेमा जाते थे। 1954 की बात है जब वैजयन्ती माला की 'नागिन' फिल्म राजा सिनेमा में लगी तो बीन की आवाज सुन कर असली सांप हाल के अंदर आ गया था । 1971 की भारत-पाक की जंग हुई तो जो पाकिस्तानी सिपाही पकड़े, उन्होंने माना (आर्मी के रिकॉर्ड में दर्ज है के अनुसार) जब जंग का ऐलान हुआ तब वह चोरी छिपे बॉर्डर पार करके राजा सिनेमा में फिल्म देखने आये थे ।
सिनेमा के 60 व 70 के दशक में सिनेमा का प्रचलन बहुत तेजी से बढ़ा। 1971 की भारत पाकिस्तान जंग के बाद फाजिल्का ने फिर से तरक्की की राह पकड़ी। फाजिल्का की आबादी के लिहाज से और सिनेमा की जरूरत महसूस हुई, फिर फाजिल्का के जमींदार सेठ राजा राम नागपाल ने अपने इकलौते बेटे के नाम पर 'संजीव सिनेमा' खोला। इसमें पहली फिल्म अमिताभ बच्चन, विनोद खन्ना, ऋषि कपूर की भारी भरकम स्टारकास्ट वाली मनमोहन देसाई द्वारा निर्देशित फिल्म 'अमर अकबर एंथोनी' से सिनेमा की शुरुआत 23  दिसंबर 1977 को हुई। अब फाजिल्का में दो सिनेमा हो गए थे, और लोगो ने राजा और संजीव सिनेमा को पुराना सिनेमा और नया सिनेमा के नए नाम भी दे दिए। 80 के दशक तक पाकिस्तान में बनी फिल्में भी फाजिल्का में लगती थी, मुझे याद है जब 1956 में बनी पाकिस्तान की ब्लैक एंड वाइट फिल्म 'दुल्ला भट्टी', 18 साल बाद 1983 में  राजा सिनेमा में लगी थी, उसका एक गीत  मुनावर सुल्ताना का गया हुआ 'वास्ता इी रब्ब दा तू जाई वे कबूतरा, चि_ी मेरे ढोल नूं पहुंचाई वे कबूतरा' आज भी बहुत मशहूर है। इस गीत को सुनने के लिए मुझे मेरे पिता जी स्पेशल गीत के समय राजा सिनेमा में लेकर गए। तब मेरी उम्र करीब छह साल थी। 1957 में आई पंजाबी पाकिस्तानी फिल्म 'यकके वाली' ने भी राजा सिनेमा में धूम मचा दी थी । मनोरंजन का साधन सिनेमा ही रहे, और साल में दो-तीन बार स्कूलों से भी बच्चो को फिल्म दिखाने लेकर जाते थे, जो प्रचलन अब शायद बंद या कम हो गया है ।
सिनेमा देखना ही नहीं बल्कि फाजिल्का की प्रतिभाओं ने सिनेमा का निर्माण भी किया। इससे भी बढक़र फिल्म में अभिनय कर भी योगदान दिया। सिनेमा में योगदान की बात की जाये तो मुख्य तौर पर दो लोगों का नाम सामने आता है, 1949 में फाजिल्का की बेटी पदमश्री पुष्प हंस की पहली फिल्म 'अपना देश' आई जिसका निर्देशन उस समय के जाने मानेे निर्देशक वी शांताराम ने किया। इससे पहले उन्होंने 1948 में पंजाबी की हिट फिल्म 'चमन' में 'चन्न किथा गुजारी ए रात वे', गाकर अपनी आवाज का लोहा मनवाया। यह वह दौर था जब शायद लड़कियों को घर से निकलने भी नहीं दिया जाता था पर, फाजिल्का क बेटियां अभिनय और गायकी में अपना सिक्का दुनिया में जमा रही थी ।
इसके बाद 1974 में फाजिल्का के मशहूर उर्दू शायर कुँवर मोहिंदर सिंह बेदी, ने पंजाबी फिल्म 'मन जीते जग जीत' को बतौर निर्माता बनाया । सुनील दत्त की मुख्या भूमिका में यह फिल्म सुपर हिट रही ।
टीवी कुछ एक घरो में था तब, तो फाजिल्का के लोगो को दुनिया को देखने और मायावी नगरी की बातें बॉर्डर तक पहुंचने का सिनेमा ही एक मात्र जरिया रहे। लेकिन 80 के दशक में जब टेलीविजन पर लाइसेंस सिस्टम खतम किया गया और उसके बाद प्रधान मंत्री राजीव गांधी के कार्यकाल में, टेलीविजन घर घर हो गया, उसके बाद वी.सी. आर का दौर आया और 90 तक टीवी ने फाजिल्का में अपनी पकड़ बना ली। फाजिल्का के सिनेमा ने यह सारे दौर देखे 90 और सन 2000 के दशक में सिनेमा को नयी टेक्नोलॉजी की खूब मार पड़ी, जो सिनेमा दर्शको से खचाखच भरे रहते थे वहां से भीड़ नदारद हो गई। एंटरटेनमेंट टैक्स की मार ने सिंगल स्क्रीन सिनेमा की कमर तोड़ दी। लेकिन फाजिल्का के सिनेमा ने अपना वर्चस्व नहीं खोया और अपनी होंद की लड़ाई लड़ता रहा।
पुरानी सदी का अंत और नयी सदी सिनेमा के लिए खुशखबरी लेकर आई, ऑनलाइन टिकट, यूएफओ टेक्नोलॉजी , डिजिटल डॉल्बी के दौर ने डिजिटल सिनेमा की और रुख किया,  सरकार ने  लगने वाले टैक्स कम करके सिनेमा को अपने पैरों पर फिर खड़ा होने का मौका दिया। भीड़ वापिस सिनेमा की तरफ आनी शुरू हुई तब 1994 में हिंदी सिनेमा की दो फिल्म 'दिलवाले दुल्हनियां ले  जायेंगे' और 'हम आपके है कौन' ने सफलता के नए आयाम स्थापित किये। फाजिल्का में यह दोनों फिल्में 7  से 10 हफ्ते से अधिक चली और कई रिकॉर्ड बनाये। करीब 2009-2010  के आस पास आते आते दोनों सिनेमा डिजिटल साउंड के साथ आगे बढ़ते गए, यूएफओ टेक्नोलॉजी के कारण जो फिल्म हिट होने के करीब 1-2 महीने बाद फाजिल्का के सिनेमाघरों में आती थी, पहले हफ्ते ही रिलीज होने लग गई। यादें ताजा करते हुए संजीव सिनेमा के प्रोजेक्टर ऑपरेटर श्री घनश्याम शर्मा जिनकी उम्र अब करीब 73 साल है, वह संजीव सिनेमा से पिछले 40 सालों से जुड़े है, बताते है की उन्होंने सिनेमा से जुड़े वह सारे उतार चढ़ाव देखे है, 'मामला गड़बड़ है', 'नूरी' और कई ऐसी सुपर हिट मूवी आई जिससे सिनेमा में दर्शको की भीड़ इस कदर होती थी कि कुछ लोग उनके साथ प्रोजेक्टर रूम में फिल्म देखते थे। पहली फिल्म 'अमर अकबर एंथोनी' चार हफ्ते चली थी। हर हिट फिल्म को देखने फाजिल्का के सभी परिवार आते थे। गौरतलब है कि रील वाले सिनेमा से लेकर अब राजा व संजीव सिनेमा पूरे डिजिटल दौर में पहुंच चुके है, घनश्याम जी संजीव सिनेमा में आज भी संचालन कर रहे है।
1 सितम्बर 2017 को फाजिल्का के सिनेमा इतिहास के सुनहरी दौर में गिल्होत्रा परिवार एम.आर कार्निवाल सिनेमा जोडक़र एक और अध्याय जोडऩे जा रहा है। दो स्क्रीन वाले, डिजिटल डॉल्बी साउंड व् यूएफओ तकनीक से फाजिल्का का तीसरा और सबसे बड़ा सिनेमा शुरू होने जा रहा है। नवीनतम तकनीक से लेस सिनेमा में अजय देवगन की नयी फिल्म 'बादशाहो' से शुरुआत की जा रही है । गिल्होत्रा परिवार और फाजिल्का को सिनेमा के इस स्वर्णिम दौर में जिसने 90 सालों का सफर तय किया है, दिल से बधाई।

नवदीप असीजा, चंडीगढ़/फाजिल्का
Story Published in Sarhad Kesri, Fazilka

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Curfew re-imposed in 3 districts : Movement also restricted in Fazilka, Jalalabad and 11 villages of Lambi segment

Gagandeep Sharma
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, August 28

Curfew was re-imposed in Bathinda, Mansa and Faridkot districts at 2 pm today. In Bathinda, however, curfew was relaxed between 7 pm and 10 pm. The district administration will review the situation and decide whether or not curfew should remain enforced.

The police and security forces, meanwhile, carried out flag marches in several districts of Malwa after the CBI Special Court announced 20 years' imprisonment for the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. No incident of violence was reported in Bathinda, Muktsar, Mansa, Faridkot and Barnala districts.

Sources in the police said dera followers in the five districts had gone into hiding after the police had booked them.

Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) HS Sidhu remained in Bathinda throughout the day. Senior Superintendent of Police Naveen Singla said 11 companies of the paramilitary forces had been deployed in Bathinda district.

The Barnala police have arrested a man on the charge of violating Section 144. He has been sent to judicial custody.

Muktsar/Fazilka: Curfew was imposed today in Assembly constituency, and re-imposed in Malout and Abohar. A curfew-like situation prevailed in Muktsar as the police stopped commuters from moving on roads.

The Malout police, meanwhile, seized 34 petrol bombs, sharp-edged weapons and chilli powder from five bags lying abandoned near a marriage palace on the Fazilka-Delhi National Highway.

The damages to public property in Muktsar district during the violence on August 25 have been pegged at Rs10.41 lakh and that to private property at Rs14 lakh.

In Fazilka, the police reportedly forced shopkeepers to shut their shops. But on the intervention of Beopar Mandal president Ashok Gulbadhar, shops remained open till 1.30 pm.

Dampener on festivities

Abohar: With the town under curfew again, the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations has been cut short. Devotees assembled at Gandhi Grounds here on Monday and performed aarti. At 11.30 am, an announcement was made from police vans that an indefinite curfew would be imposed at 2 pm. To avoid any trouble, devotees collected their belongings and returned before afternoon. — OC

Saturday, August 12, 2017

For Swachh Bharat: Will Punjab be third time lucky on cleanliness? Schools on test now

22 schools from state are among 643 vying for the first national Clean School Awards

After faring poorly in national rankings of cities and railway stations, Punjab will face another cleanliness test soon — in the schools this time.

Twenty-two government elementary and secondary schools are in the race for the first national-level Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskars (Clean School Awards) expected to be announced by the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry in the last week of this month. They are among the 643 government schools vying for top honours for "excellence in sanitation and hygiene practices". The Centre plans to award 100 schools each at elementary and secondary levels.

Punjab's schools in consideration are located in 12 districts with the maximum number of entries being from Fazilka, at five. Three entries are from Ferozepur, two each from Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana and Tarn Taran, and one each from Nawanshahr (SBS Nagar), Faridkot, Sangrur, Patiala and Mohali.

These schools have been selected by the state education department and the MHRD after they emerged on top in the state on parameters of cleanliness, sanitation, availability of facilities such as toilets, clean and safe drinking water, clean and green campus, hygiene habits among children, and teachers' involvement in ensuring cleanliness.

Puraskar and process

The awards are part of the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya (Clean India, Clean School) campaign started by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. The selection process, which was started 10 months ago, saw thousands of schools from across the country submitting their entries and go through a lengthy selection process. Besides Punjab, 25 schools from Haryana, 27 from Himachal Pradesh, 40 from Rajasthan and three from Chandigarh have been shortlisted.

Though Punjab had sent a list of 40 schools to the Centre, 11 primary and secondary schools each have made it to the final round. They are mostly located in rural areas.

Government Senior Secondary School in Dhaliwal Bet village of Kapurthala district, which is spread over four acres and has 350 students, is among them. Principal Mohinder Kaur said her school filled the self-evaluation form online last year. "The school has five parks and lawns with medicinal plants, constant supply of clean drinking water, 10 toilets, and a big auditorium. We take particular care of sanitation," she said.

Hoping for redemption

A school education department official said the HRD ministry has, in collaboration with UNICEF's water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) team, done its own independent assessment of the recommendations sent by the states. "The final awardees will be selected by a national-level committee headed by the Union secretary, school education. We are hopeful some of our schools will do well, but are keeping our fingers crossed," he said.

Maneesh Garg, joint secretary, school education, MHRD, has, in a letter to the state government, asked to complete the process of giving district- and state-level awards by August 15 and inform the ministry.

Under the Swachh Bharat campaign, the state has been a laggard so far. Not a single city from the state was among the top 100 in rankings released this year due to serious shortcomings in solid waste collection and processing and disposal. Barring the Beas railway station, most other stations in the state also did not do well in cleanliness rankings released three months ago. The Beas station, which was among the cleanest stations, is primarily maintained by Radha Soami Satsang's volunteers.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dastan-E-Azadi : यहां जलती थीं गुलामी के प्रतीक विदेशी कपड़ों की होली -

अमृत सचदेवा - फाजिल्का : यहां का आर्य समाज चौक कभी स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में भाग लेने वाले शहर के अधिकांश सेनानियों का गढ़ था। ब्रिटिश अधिकारी उस क्षेत्र को 'उग्रवादियों का डेरा' बताते थे। इसी चौराहे पर स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की बैठकें होती थी। विदेशी कपड़ों की होली जलाने जैसे साहसिक कार्य भी इसी चौक में हुए थे। आज भी यह चौक स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की याद दिलाता है। 11903 में स्थापित आर्य समाज मंदिर में ज्यादातर आजादी के परवाने एकत्रित हुआ करते थे। इसकी मुख्य वजह यह थी कि आर्य समाज मंदिर के आसपास ही स्वतंत्रता सेनानी लाला सुनाम राय, हरीकृष्ण दास जसूजा, नंद लाल सोनी, दूनी चंद बाघला व पिता जी के नाम से मशहूर गौरी शंकर के आवास थे। इन्हीं के मार्गदर्शन में ही पूरे जिले के स्वतंत्रता सेनानी बैठकों के लिए इकट्ठा होते थे। यहीं पर महात्मा गांधी के आह्वान पर विदेशी वस्तुओं के बहिष्कार के तहत विदेशी कपड़ों की होली जलाकर पूरे क्षेत्र में स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की आग को हवा दी गई थी। लाला सुनाम राय के नेतृत्व में अंग्रेजों को भारत से निकालने के पक्षधर लोगों ने अपने घरों से विदेशी कपड़े लाकर उसकी होली जला ब्रिटिश सरकार को संदेश दिया था कि आर्य समाज चौक से चल रही मुहिम का समर्थन हर प्रदेशवासी कर रहा है। उससे पहले तक अंग्रेज सिपाही जब मर्जी आकर यहां रहने वाले स्वतंत्रता सेनानियों को उठाकर ले जाते थे और जेल में बंद कर देते थे, लेकिन इसी चौक से मजबूत हुए स्वतंत्रता संग्राम ने हर गली मोहल्ले को 'अंग्रेजो भारत छोड़ो' मुहिम का ध्वजवाहक बना दिया। आज भी इस चौराहे पर लाला सुनाम राय सहित अन्य स्वतंत्रता सेनानियों के परिवार रहते हैं और आजादी की लहर को अपने बुजुगोर्ं के जन्मदिन व पुण्यतिथि मनाकर ताजा करते हैं। 1अमृत सचदेवा ' फाजिल्का 1यहां का आर्य समाज चौक कभी स्वतंत्रता संग्राम में भाग लेने वाले शहर के अधिकांश सेनानियों का गढ़ था। ब्रिटिश अधिकारी उस क्षेत्र को 'उग्रवादियों का डेरा' बताते थे। इसी चौराहे पर स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की बैठकें होती थी। विदेशी कपड़ों की होली जलाने जैसे साहसिक कार्य भी इसी चौक में हुए थे। आज भी यह चौक स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की याद दिलाता है। 11903 में स्थापित आर्य समाज मंदिर में ज्यादातर आजादी के परवाने एकत्रित हुआ करते थे। इसकी मुख्य वजह यह थी कि आर्य समाज मंदिर के आसपास ही स्वतंत्रता सेनानी लाला सुनाम राय, हरीकृष्ण दास जसूजा, नंद लाल सोनी, दूनी चंद बाघला व पिता जी के नाम से मशहूर गौरी शंकर के आवास थे। इन्हीं के मार्गदर्शन में ही पूरे जिले के स्वतंत्रता सेनानी बैठकों के लिए इकट्ठा होते थे। यहीं पर महात्मा गांधी के आह्वान पर विदेशी वस्तुओं के बहिष्कार के तहत विदेशी कपड़ों की होली जलाकर पूरे क्षेत्र में स्वतंत्रता संग्राम की आग को हवा दी गई थी। लाला सुनाम राय के नेतृत्व में अंग्रेजों को भारत से निकालने के पक्षधर लोगों ने अपने घरों से विदेशी कपड़े लाकर उसकी होली जला ब्रिटिश सरकार को संदेश दिया था कि आर्य समाज चौक से चल रही मुहिम का समर्थन हर प्रदेशवासी कर रहा है। उससे पहले तक अंग्रेज सिपाही जब मर्जी आकर यहां रहने वाले स्वतंत्रता सेनानियों को उठाकर ले जाते थे और जेल में बंद कर देते थे, लेकिन इसी चौक से मजबूत हुए स्वतंत्रता संग्राम ने हर गली मोहल्ले को 'अंग्रेजो भारत छोड़ो' मुहिम का ध्वजवाहक बना दिया। आज भी इस चौराहे पर लाला सुनाम राय सहित अन्य स्वतंत्रता सेनानियों के परिवार रहते हैं और आजादी की लहर को अपने बुजुगोर्ं के जन्मदिन व पुण्यतिथि मनाकर ताजा करते हैं। 1

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ode to Fazilka - by Dr Meeran Chadha Borwankar

Dear Fazilka

Dear Fazilka, it was a great moment when I visited you after a long time. Yes I agree this was a huge gap and highly avoidable too. Considering what you have done for me and my family, this long wait to befriend you again is unpardonable indeed. I apologies Fazilka.

It was most heart warming to be greeted by citizens and receive a photograph of my father, a Punjab police officer of repute, awarding a student for his brilliant academic performance that saw him through BITS Plani. The student had turned grey and my father is no more. He held the citizens of Fazilka in the highest esteem and valued their bravery, their steadfast fortitude in holding on to the  last inch of land as a sensitive border town. As the commandant of 22nd battalion of BSF, he had steered the border during 1971 Indo-Pak war and watched many of his young colleagues from 3rd Assam and 4 Jat loose their lives. He mourned for them deeply but duty came first for him and his team, so BSF fought the enemy with all its might.

Fazilka town had been evacuated. But soon came back the hardy citizens and took charge of their lives again. While constructing ' Asafwala' war memorial for the martyrs, they restored the prosperity of the region by tilling their land with that extra vigor  for which they are known all over Punjab. I admire you Fazilka, for your capacity to bounce back be it after a border conflict or an agriculturally disastrous year. Your love for innovation in agriculture, in water management,  new crops and cropping patters has earned you the place of pride in the country.  You are most deserving,  Fazilka.

Meeting with my Hindi teacher was overwhelming indeed. She has turned eighty and I have greyed too. But the pride she takes in all her students has made us what we are today. Fazilka, you should be proud of the fact that one of your daughters became the chairperson of Central Board of Direct Taxes. The honesty you grilled in her made her the most efficient tax collector in the country, so that we can invest in our infrastructure and upgrade the lives of poor and needy. As early as 1960s you had believed in equality of genders and invested in educating your daughters, I am so proud of you Fazilka.

How can I forget our teachers who went around house to house encouraging children to enroll in schools and excel in studies! Today if one of your sons has graduated from IIT and Wharton USA and another from Purdue USA it is because of you Fazilka. The culture of rigorous studies and a dedicated teaching community shaped future leaders. The air filled with inspiration, the right balance between studies and recreation was bound to develop versatile personalities. How can we forget our baths on tube wells, open green fields with us running all around, the hide and seek and 'chor sipahi'? The ludo and snake and ladder? You inculcated right values and encouraged creative thinking, credit rightly belongs to you Fazilka.

Can I share a small secret with you? I had cried when my cousins from Delhi mocked  at my vernacular school, calling the building shabby and there being no chairs in our classrooms. We sat on the ground and learnt How was I to understand that it is the quality of education and not mere infrastructure that matters. I was so young. Pardon me for under-estimating you, Fazilka.

But were you not  greener and cleaner? More open too. I did not hear the usual birds chirping in the morning nor the peacock chanting, I was so used to as a child. Where have the birds disappeared? I remember the heaps of cotton and groundnuts on the sides of roads. We would cycle our way to school passing by them. I remember the only cinema hall,  outside which we would buy goodies in paper bags. Women weaving ropes from our house in the BSF campus till the town. Roads were better too and parking not an issue. The area around 'Ghantaghar' was broad; spic and span too. Yes I do remember the bazar with lot many cycles. Why are you choked with polluting traffic today?  Restore your cycles and become pedestrian friendly. Go back to the green, clean town that you once were Fazilka. I am told many young and old are trying to restore the beauty, plant trees and ban plastic, strengthen their hands. Get your trees and birds back Fazilka.

Local industry has done well and shops are full. The enthusiasm is palpable. Fazilka heritage festival showed me the spirit. I saw high energy Bhangra, heard classical music, admired the local art and craft. Met the men and women who are interested in academics and environment, who have formed forums to invigorate the local administration with fresh thoughts and initiatives. Do not let selfish leaders kill your spirit Fazilka. Let the youth take over. Let them revive your spirit and reconstruct your broken roads and electric poles. Shun the selfish and value the ones who love you and take pride in their heritage. They are proud of you, we are all proud of you.

I am sorry I have been so late in showing my love for you but I am sure you were always aware of this deep affection that we all have for you. You are our roots, how can we not value you Fazilka!

Meeran Chadha Borwankar

Former Commissioner of Police Pune. Currently Director General Bureau of Research and Development BPRD, is Maharashtra cadre IPS officer.

The writer (and her family) spent her childhood in Fazilka. Her sister, Anita Kapur retired as Chair Person CBDT

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fazilka’s Daara, Sikander among country’s big bulls

Archit Watts
Tribune News Service
Muktsar, July 27

Murrah bulls Daara and Sikander from Fazilka district have been selected for the 17th Progeny Testing Programme of the Central Government. These are the only two privately owned bulls in the country to be included in this programme.

These bulls are the offspring of "Rani" buffalo, which had made the record by producing 26.335-kg milk in a day in the National Livestock Championship, 2016, in Muktsar.

Dr Inderjeet Singh, Director, Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB), Hisar, said, "Apart from 14 bulls belonging to government-run institutes, two private bulls from Fazilka district have been selected under the programme for the first time."

He added, "To include the bulls in this programme, several conditions were laid, including the DNA test of bulls and milk yield of their mother buffalo. Now, 4,000 doses of semen of each bull will be tried on the farm buffaloes for next about one-and-a-half years. Then calves from these bulls will also be observed."

"Sikander was the young bull champion in the National Livestock Championship-2016, while the younger one, Daara, bagged the award in this year's championship," said Sherbaj Singh, proud owner of these two bulls, who owns Lakshmi Dairy Farm at Chak Vairoke village in Fazilka.

"We have signed an agreement with the CIRB. The CIRB, by including these bulls in the programme, can provide bulls of high genetic record," he added.

Offspring of Rani buffalo

These bulls are the offspring of Rani buffalo, which had made the record by producing 26.335-kg milk in a day in the National Livestock Championship, 2016, in Muktsar
Sikander was the young bull champion in the National Livestock Championship-2016, while the younger one, Daara, bagged the award in this year's championship

Thursday, July 27, 2017

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NGO plants saplings at border, reaches out across to Pak

Jul 18 2017: The Times of India (Chandigarh)

Aiming to improve the micro-climatic conditions and ecosystem on the India-Pakistan border, a Fazilka-based NGO is making efforts to involve like-minded people from across the border to engage in environmental diplomacy. The NGO Graduate Welfare Association of Fazilka (GWAF) is in touch with some outfits and individuals from Pakistan through Facebook and is planning to organize planting of saplings on the border.

The idea is also to create conducive atmosphere by planting trees for security personnel from both countries working in hot and humid conditions, sometimes above 45 degrees Celsius. After the routine `Beating the Retreat' ceremony held in Fazilka sector, GWA planted a sapling with the help of Border Security Force (BSF) at the zero line from where Pakistan is clearly visible, hoping the message would go a long way in preserving the eco system.

"Under prevailing circumstances, people-to-people contact to carry out such environmental activities is not permitted but we are in touch with certain groups in Pakpattan, Haveli Lakha and Depalpur towns of Pakistan Punjab, which are near to Sadqi border in Fazilka through Facebook.We ask each other to plant saplings and want to create a congenial atmosphere. We plan to plant 1,000 saplings on our side of the border and hope of the similar effort from our associates in Pakistan," said GWAF secretary Navdeep Asija.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Area under cotton crop may rise in Fazilka

Praful Chander Nagpal
Mar 7, 2017

Fazilka, March 6 : Fazilka district, which is known for producing quality cotton in North India, is likely to witness an increase in the area under cotton cultivation due to remunerative prices being offered to cotton producers. The raw cotton (narma) is fetching Rs 6,000-6,100 per quintal these days in Fazilka.

Sources in the market committee said they had been getting Rs 4,000-4,500 per quintal in the last few years but after about five years, the cotton prices had touched the Rs-6,000 mark. Cotton was sown in 36,320 hectares last years. As per the recommendations of Punjab Agricultural University, the best period for sowing cotton is from April 15 to May 15. After witnessing financial losses in the last few years, cotton producers are delighted due to remunerative prices of cotton in Fazilka market.

Pawan Kumar, a farmer of the cotton producing belt of Kandhwala village, said he cultivated cotton in 9 acres and sold it at a price of Rs 6,010 per quintal. Farmers said this year the quality of cotton had also improved, resulting in increase in the yield to 8-10 quintal per acre this year as compared to 6-7 quintal per acre last year. Satinder Kaur, Chief Agriculture Officer, Fazilka, said 151 camps would be organised in cotton-producing 145 villages in Fazilka district in March. (Source: