Friday, February 22, 2013

Modern jail proposed for Fazilka dist

Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, February 18
Following the seizure of narcotics and other banned items, and an increase in the number of prisoners at the sub-jail here, a modern jail has been proposed for the district headquarters.

The proposal to replace the 133-year-old sub-jail, which has been housing the prisoners of Abohar and Jalalabad sub-divisions also, with a district-level modern jail came after the elevation of Fazilka as district headquarters about 20 months ago.

Surinder Singh, a senior architect from the office of the Chief Architect, Punjab, accompanied by a team of local officials, conducted a survey of the sites for the proposed jail.

The team visited a location four km away from here and falling under villages Rampura and Banwala Hanuwanta on the National Highway. The land measuring about 15- acres is owned by the panchayats of the two villages.

Further, the team visited a site measuring about 20 acres at Salemshah village on the outskirts of the town.

"The final decision on the site shall be taken after receipt of a report from the office of the Chief Architect, Punjab," said Fazilka additional deputy commissioner Charandev Singh Maan.

The proposed modern jail shall have the capacity to house 1,000 prisoners. The jail shall have different projects and agricultural fields to keep the jail inmates busy.

The present jail at Fazilka came into existence in 1880. It was upgraded to a sub-jail on September 12, 1957.

The sub-jail, which is meant to accommodate 48 inmates, has remained overcrowded for the past several years. With setting up of the courts of additional district and sessions judge at Fazilka about two months ago, the number of inmates has risen.

Official sources said presently, around 130 inmates were lodged in the jail. The strength of watch and ward staff and the security personnel to take the prisoners for their appearance in the courts, however, continues to be the same.

"It is difficult to manage an overcrowded jail and meet the needs of the inmates," said Deputy Superintendent of the sub-jail, Sucha Singh.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Model rail station promise delights Fazilka residents

Our Correspondent

Fazilka, February 6
The announcement by the railway of making Fazilka a model (Adarsh) station has brought cheers to the residents. The announcement to this effect was made on Tuesday in Delhi. Besides Fazilka, two more railway stations, Muktsar and Gidderbaha, in Malwa region, would also be developed as Adarsh railway stations.

Patron of the Northern Railway Passengers Samiti, Babu Vakil Chand Dawra of Muktsar, president Dr Amar Lal Baghla of Fazilka, vice-president Raj Pal Gumber, general secretary Babu Ram, secretaries Sham Lal Goyal and Sham Lal Chhabra, finance secretary Liladhar Sharma, office secretary Puran Singh Sethi, Beopar Mandal president Ashok Gulbadhar, Social Welfare Society president Raj Kishore Kalra and others hailed the decision.

"Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had announced to upgrade the status of these railway stations during his visit to Muktsar on Maghi Mela this year and he has fulfilled his promise," said the president of the samiti, Dr Amar Lal Baghla.

The station will depict the local ethos. The architecture may also replicate a local landmark, said an official. An Adarsh station has all basic facilities like toilets, drinking water, waiting rooms and catering services. These stations also have dormitories, especially for women passengers.

A railway official said "The focus will also be on improvement in all areas like ticketing, circulating, signage, easy access, exit and adequate lighting at the station."