Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chandigarh-based IFFPIL plans to develop mega food park in Punjab

Vijay C Roy  | 2010-08-31 02:40:00

A consortium led by Chandigarh-based International Fresh Farm Products India Ltd (IFFPIL) would develop Punjab's first mega food park at Fazilka under a scheme of the Ministry of Food Processing. The project would involve capital investment of Rs 140-150 crore. The park, spread over 60-70 acres would not only boast of modern infrastructure, but would also promote agro-processing industries by offering plug-andplay type facilities. The company would submit its DPR in next 3-4 months.

The scheme involves 50 per cent of the project cost as grant from the Centre. The company has also written to the Punjab government for its equity participation to the extent of 15 per cent, which is under consideration. Officials in Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC), said IFFPIL had been awarded the project after Mumbai-based Unity Infraprojects Ltd consortium failed to make any headway.

Besides, general infrastructure, the proposed park would have capacity to accommodate atleast 35 agro-processing units. Speaking to Business Standard, IFFPIL, Managing Director, Sukhinder Singh said, "The Food Park Scheme will be implemented by a SPV, namely International Mega Food Park Ltd in which the stakeholders will be investors in the park, farmers, FII's, FI's, service providers, etc. Further, we have written to the state governments for its equity participation in the SPVs. The park would be spread over 60-70 acres and the total project cost would be Rs 140-150 crore. We will promote agro processing units in the par."The company has already acquired the land for the project.

The proposed park ia likely to benefit thousand of farmers in the area which is one of the backward area of the state and the cropping pattern is restricted to wheat and paddy. " We plan to change the cropping pattern in next 4-5 years, " added Singh.

According to the scheme, the mega food park would have three tier system in the supply chain(backward linkage) including producers. Also, it will have collection centres, primary centres(products specific clusters) for each producer group with pre cooling facilities. Depending upon the need; sorting, grading & packing facilities will be provided at these centres alongwith transfer of technology as information kiosks.

The General infrastructure will include road, water supply, administrative building, internet, electric sub station etc. The Technical Infrastructure would have basic refrigeration plant with puff insulated panels (18,000 MT), pre cooling units, packaging R & D & quality control lab, variable humidity store (6,000 MT).


Monday, August 30, 2010

Punjab''s first Mega Food Park to come up at Fazilka

Chandigarh, Aug 30 (PTI) Punjab''s first mega food park, which will involve capital infusion of up to Rs 150 crore, would be developed at Fazilka in Ferozepur district by a consortium led by agro unit International Fresh Farm Products.
"The Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries has awarded the Mega Food Park project to International Fresh Farm Products Ltd for its development, which will see an investment of Rs 130 crore to 150 crore, and the Park will be set up at Fazilka," a senior official of Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC), which is the nodal agency for agro and food processing industries, said here.
To be spread across 50 acres of land, the park would boast of hi-tech infrastructure meant for agro or food-processing sector along with value chain from farm to market that would help in attracting investments in food processing sector and fetch remunerative returns for farmers.
The proposed park would also have Central Processing Centre (CPC), where food processing units would be set up, supported by common infrastructure and farm level facilities in the form of collection centres and primary processing centres and other need based infrastructure.
Punjab is among the four states, which have been termed as potential location for setting up a park by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
Following the invitation by PAIC seeking applications for setting up of Parks, six companies including Bector�s Food (Cremica Group), Brattle Foods and International Farm Fresh had submitted their proposals.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

TAPI to bring significant economic benefit to the region: US

Lalit K Jha
Washington, Aug 28 (PTI) US has welcomed the proposal of tran-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAPI), running through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India � saying that this would bring significant economic and political benefit to the region.
If realized, the "TAPI pipeline could bring significant economic and political benefits to the region," a senior Administration official told PTI.
The official was responding to questions on news reports that leaders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan would meet in New York next month to discuss TAPI project, to which the countries of the region have agreed to.
Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, said in Kabul this week that he would meet his Turkmenistan counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session to discuss the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline.
The official, however, said US is not aware of the details of the agreement.
"We understand that there are many issues that need to be addressed before the project can be implemented," the official said.
First proposed in 1995, it was originally called TAP or Trans-Afghan Pipeline but with Pakistan and India now involved it was renamed TAPI.
The gas pipeline would stretch 1,043 miles from Turkmenistan''s Dauletabad gas field to the northwestern Indian town of Fazilka.
The USD 3.3 billion pipeline''s annual throughput of 33 billion cubic metres will be delivered to consumers in Pakistan and India after transiting Afghanistan.
The project is expected to generate revenue to Afghanistan.
Despite the fact that security in Afghanistan has been a key deterrent for the project to take off, US has been supportive of the project, as this would bring much needed revenue to Afghanistan.
Simultaneously, the US has been opposed to the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, as such a project, it believes, would help Iran economically.

Monday, August 23, 2010

WATER LEVEL RISING IN SUTLEJ - Residents reluctant to shift despite warning

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Mohar Jamsher (Fazilka), August 22
The authorities concerned have been urging the residents of the village to shift to safer places following flood threat as the water in the Sutlej has been rising.On the one hand, a section of residents of this village have shifted to the neighbouring village Mauzam along with their belongings, where they also have their houses and on the other, a number of residents are reluctant to shift. They said they cannot move to a safer place leaving their cattle behind.

"How can we leave our cattle to die in case of floods as they are the only source of livelihood for us," pointed out Kala Singh.He added that they would not be able to arrange fodder and other things for their cattle, if they go to their kin living in the nearby villages, which were out of the reach of floods.

Gurmeet Singh, another resident, said how long could they stay with their kin as every year, the water rises in the Sutlej and they have no other option but to move out of this village. The authorities concerned must take necessary steps to save them from the floods without asking them to leave their village, he demanded.

However, Malkit Singh has left the village along with his family fearing flood. Lal Singh, whose piece of agricultural land has come under the water, has also left the village.Interestingly, only one boat is available to transport people from this village to safer places in case of floods.

On the other hand, the district administration has asked the residents to leave this village at the earliest as the water level in Sutlej could rise anytime and hence, this area could be flooded.

As per the information, this situation would snap all the links of this village with the rest of the country. SDM Fazilka Ajay Sood said, "We have opened a relief centre in a school at Fazilka where the arrangements for the stay of the people, fodder for cattle and medical care for both men and animals has been arranged. So far, no one from this village has come to the relief centre."

However, Parminder Singh, media in-charge, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), alleged that the flood protection measures being taken by the Punjab government at a time when the floods had become imminent, would not serve any purpose.He added that the people of the border areas had been made to suffer on account of the 'inhuman' attitude of the SAD-BJP combine government towards their plight.

Meanwhile, braving the threat of floods in the Sutlej, two women, namely, Soma Rani and Preeto Bai, visited this village today by crossing the river in a boat to tie rakhi on the wrists of their brothers, residing here in this village.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

GRAVE CONCERNS - 1965, 1971 war cemetery untended for decades

Amit Sharma, 21st August 2010
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh Edition
Every September and December, political leaders and governments file in to pay homage at Aasifwala, but this unremarkable cemetery has never received any such visitors Navdeep Asija, Graduates welfare body chief..

The milestone reads Sania road. Travel down from the border with Pakistan and a magnificent memorial to largely Hindu and Sikh soldiers of 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars comes into view. Further up, barely 3 km, is an untended cemetery where lie the abandoned graves of nearly 36 Christian and Muslim soldiers martyred in the same wars.

Soldiers from the Northeast and South India were laid to rest here. The cemetery is now overrun by weed, the graves have been dug up and the area serves as a public facility where locals living in vicinity come to relieve themselves.

In the past three decades, neither the administration, army nor political leaders have visited the site to lay wreaths or acknowledge their sacrifice. Village elders say they have tried to take up the issue with the district authorities, in person, and through the local media, time and time again. "Army officials shrug off blame saying that graveyard upkeep does not fall within their purview".

The administration has only doled out false assurances, says Raj Kishore Kalra, president, Social Welfare Society. Raj Kumari, who lives nearby, said during the initial years post-1971, locals took care of the graves, but in time, the martyrs and their sacrifices faded in memory. No one in the village, not even the caretakers of the cemetery, can recall the exact numbers of the buried. More than 17 maybe, says Kumari.

Graduates Welfare Association, a non-profit body from Fazilka, had researched the issue a few years back and learnt from army archives that more than 200 soldiers from various regiments, including 4 Jat, 15 Rajput and 3 Assam, lost their lives in Fazilka sector in the two wars with Pakistan and were cremated or buried in nearby villages.

Since the majority casualties were from 4 Jat and 15 Rajput Regiments, they were cremated en masse at Aasifwala, where now stands a war memorial to them and three Musilms from the Horse Riders Regiment (Ashvarohi). The remaining victims, mostly Christians and Muslims, were buried at Gharumi village or at a graveyard on Sania road, they learnt.

"Every September and December, political leaders and governments file in to pay homage at Aasifwala, but this unremarkable cemetery has never received such visitors," says association president Navdeep Asija. Army officials, who are in charge of Aasifwala war memorial, refused to come on record saying they are not authorised. Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Fazilka, Ajay Sood, said he was not aware, but would summon a report and take action if the matter fell within his purview.

Friday, August 20, 2010

हम और हमारा फाजिल्का

उर्दू के प्रख्यात शायर अल्लमा इकबाल ने कहा था के "जो कौम अपना ख्याल नहीं रख सकती, उसका कोई ख्याल नहीं रखता", इकबाल की कही यह पंक्तिया शायद फाजिल्का वासिओ के लिए सही बैठती है. दिन बा दिन शहर में कब्जो व चोरियों के घटनाये बढ़ रही है, और हम, हम से मेरा मतलब इस फाजिल्का शहर का आम आदमी, हाथ पर हाथ धरे चुप करके बैठा है | मुझे याद है 1988 के वह रात जब, अनुमान था की शायद फाजिल्का में बाढ़ आ जाये, पानी मौजम बांध से सिर्फ  एक फुट हे निचे रह गया था, कुछ भी हो सकता था उस रात | सारे फाजिल्का वासियों को मैंने सारी रात सडको पर घुमते देखा है  , एक दुसरे की मदद करते हुए, छोटे छोटे बांध बना कर बढ़ से अपने व दोसरों के घरो की रक्षा का इंतजाम  करते हुए| क्या हो गया है उस प्यार भरे शहर हो, क्या हम सब सच में इतने स्वार्थी हो गए है की हमारी जिंदगी घर से शुरू होकर घर पर हे ख़तम होने लग गयी है | 
फाजिल्का को सँभालने वाले हे फाजिल्का को लूटने में लगे है, और हम खड़े तमाशा देख रहे है | बीते दिनों, आज़ादी के शुभ अवसर पर ही फाजिल्का की एक पुराने शिक्षा के मंदिर के गेट पर रातो रात दो दुकाने बना दे जाती है, और सारा शहर चुप के सन्नाटे में बैठा देखता रहता है, कुछ राजनितिक आन्दोलन और फिर शांति  | सिर्फ एक फाजिल्का वासी राजनीती और अपने हितो का त्याग करते हुए अपनी आवाज़ बुलंद करता है, पर अकेला क्या | आब डर यह है के वह भी आवाज़ शायद इस 80000 के भीढ़ में कहीं कुछ दिनों के बाद गुम न हो जाये | फाजिल्का में आजकल जा तो चोकीदार आजकल जागते है, जा मीडिया से जुड़े लोग | आम आदमी तो FLORIDE का पानी पी कर सो रहा है | में मीडिया के उन सभी पत्रकारों का धन्यवाद करता हो, की  जिनके कारन आज फाजिल्का में हो रही घटनाये, चंडीगढ़ या दिल्ली तक पहुँच पा रही है, वर्ना एक आम आदमी इस शहर का, लड़ने से पहले हे हार चूका है | आज़ादी से पहली भी मुठी भर अंग्रेजो ने इस देश पर राज किया, कयोंकि हम इकठे नहीं है, हालत आज़ादी के बाद भी नहीं बदले है, कुछ मुठी  भर, उन से भी ज्यादा खतरनाक इरादों के साथ फाजिल्का को लूट रहे है | हमारे लिए तो अंग्रेज ज्यादा अच्छे थे, कम से कम उन्होंने इतना सुन्दर शहर तो बसा दिया था | यह "सवाले" तो "गोरो" से भी ज्यादा बुरे है | लगता है फाजिल्का का इतिहास दुबारा लिखने के जरूरत है, जो पढ़ा है वह झूठ लगता है |
यहाँ एक मिसाल देना चाहूँगा, इससे यह मत समझना के मेरी देश भक्ति में कोई कमी आई है, पर अगर बात हम पडोसी मुलाक़ के करे तो जो फाजिल्का वासी, 1947 के बटवारे के समय दूसरी तरफ चले गए थी, अपनी इस फाजिल्का की मिटटी के प्यार के लिए उन्होंने "पाकपटन" में जाकर "फाजिल्का इस्लामिया हाई स्कूल" का निर्माण कर दिया, ताकि फाजिल्का उनके दिल में हमेशा बस्ता रहे | और बदले में हमने क्या किया, उनके बनाये हुए इस्लामिया स्कूल के पहले मिनी सचिवालय और बाकि बची भूमि को भी किसी सरकारी संस्था को दे कर, पैसे कमाने में लगे है |   सोचा जाये तो आज भी अगर नगर कौंसिल अगर अपने करमचारियों की तनखाह दे पाई है तो, उस स्कूल की  बदोलत| शिक्षा के मंदिरों को बेच कर अपना पेट भरने लगे है | गलती उन के भी नहीं है, जो खुद ही नहीं पढ़े वह क्या समझे स्कूल और शिक्षा का महत्व | बचपन से यही पढ़ते आ रहे है के पडोसी दुशमन है, पर सच बात तो यह है के दुश्मन तो हमारे बीच बैठा है, हमारा अपना, आज इस प्यारे से शहर को पडोसी से शायद कम, लेकिन अपनों से खतरा ज्यादा है | आब आप हे सोचिये के दुश्मन कौन है ?, जिनको हम वोट डालके अपने आप को लूटने के आज़ादी देते है 
आब बात जिला बनाने की बारे में के जाये, मेरा कहना तो यह है, हम तो जो हमारे पास है, हम तो उसको सँभालने के भी लायक नहीं है, जिले का क्या करेंगे | मेरा तात्पर्य यहाँ जिला न बनाना नहीं, बल्कि उन सभी लोगो को कहना के जिले के इलावा फाजिल्का पहले हमारा शहर है, इसका भी ख्याल हमें ही रखना है | मेरी इस लेख के जरिये, उन सभी संस्थाऊ से विनम्र निवेदन है की, आओ कभी सभी बैठ के कभी अपने पुराने स्कूल नंबर १, २ व ३ को बचने के लिए भी मरण व्रत रखे | उन सभी बेरोजगार अध्यापको से भी निवेदन है, के अक्सर आपके और सरकार के नौकरियों पर पक्का न करने, व समय पर तन्खाये न देने के लिए आन्दोलन करते देखा है,कभी मटका चौक चंडीगढ़ पर तो कभी पानी के टंकी पर चढ़ कर | कभी एक स्कूल को बचने के लिए आपको कभी आगे आते नहीं देखा | आओ मिल के इक आन्दोलन फाजिल्का के शिक्षा के मंदिरों के हो रहे व्यवसायीकरण के लिए भी कर दे | अगर स्कूल ही न रहे तो कहाँ से आयेंगी नौकरियां | आब आपका ज्यादा समय न लेता हुआ, सिर्फ यही कहूँगा, दोस्तों अभी भी कुछ नहीं बिगड़ा, आप सारे मिल के दुनिया को बता दे के क्या है हम फाजिल्का वासी, इस देश के सचे नागरिक, जिनके लिए हकों के लडाई बाद में  है, पहले देश और इस मिटटी के लिए दिए गए फ़र्ज़ | अगर इसी तरह चुप बेठे रहे तो जो आज सडको पर हो रहा है, शायद कल तक हमारे घर ता आ जाये, पर देखना कहीं तब तक काफी देर न हो जाये | "सब कुछ लुटा के होश में आये तो क्या किया" | सूचना के अधिकार का प्रयोग करो, हमेशा मतदान में हिस्सा लो और लोकनिर्माण में अपना योगदान दो, पूरे दिन के २४ घंटो में से  पांच मिनट आपके देश और समाज के लिए भी निकालो | नुक्सान ज्यादा नहीं हुआ, जरूरत है बस एक शुरुआत की | फाजिल्का के उस सच्चे और इकलोते नेता को मेरा नमन, में ही नहीं इस शहर का हर युवा जो इस मिटटी के लिए सोचता है, आपकी तहदिल से इज्ज़त करता है | बाकि फाजिल्का वासियों के लिए, अगर हम अपने बजुर्गो के बसाये हुए शहर को आगे नहीं बढा सकते तो कम से कम उसी हालत में हे अपनी आने वाली पीढ़ी को दे जाये | आओ सब मिल के बनाये "एक शहर हमारे सपनो का, एक शहर हमारे अपनों का" | 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aquaculture in salt affected waterlogged areas: A ray of hope for destitute Malwa farmers

Thursday, 13 May 2010

LUDHIANA: Inland salinization is increasing at alarming rates due to both natural and anthropogenic activities. About 1.25 lakh hectare of land in south-west districts of Punjab (Mukatsar, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Bathinda and Mansa) are affected by salinity and water logging. 

Prolonged water logging has resulted in heavy accumulation of salts which has made the land permanently unfit for crop production and hence forcing the farmers to commit suicide or migrate to cities for labour work. Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana took up the challenge of developing these salt affected waterlogged areas through aquaculture, said Dr. A.S. Nanda, Director of Research, GADVASU. 

Through financial support from the Punjab State Farmer's Commission, on-farm carp culture trials were conducted (2008-2010) in salt affected water logged areas of village Shajrana, Block Fazilka- District Ferozepur (underground water salinity 15-20 ppt (part per thousand). 

Punjab State Farmer Commision team inspecting fish stock. The studies have revealed encouraging results indicating carp productivity of 2.50 tonne /ha/yr, if the salinity is maintained below 10 ppt. This was achieved by constructing raised ponds in waterlogged areas and utilizing canal water for lowering the salinity and compensating water loss due to evaporation and seepage during the culture period. 

By adopting carp culture in these salt affected waterlogged areas the farmers are expected to earn Rs. 75,000- 90,000 per hectare from their zero earning land.

After successful on-farm carp culture trials in inland saline waters, another breakthrough has been achieved by GDAVASU by succeeding in rearing of brood stock and breeding of common carp in these waters. 

Encouraging results in terms of fertilization, hatching, survival and growth of seed in salinity up to 8 ppt have produced a strong ray of hope for aquaculture development in salt affected waterlogged waste lands as carp seed produced in saline water is expected to grow faster than the seed procured from freshwater. 

Positive results in this direction will not only lead to higher fish survival but also higher productivity which is further expected to improve with every successive generation. 

The success of on-farm trials have been appreciated by the Punjab State Farmer's Commission. On recommendation of the honourable Chief Minister of the State S. Prakash Singh Badal, a team of experts from Punjab farmers commission, Mohali comprising Dr. G.S. Kolar and Dr. Karam Singh (Consultants) had a meeting on 11.5.10 with Dr. A. S. Nanda, Director of Research, GADVASU, Dr. O. S. Parmar, Director Extension, GADVASU, Dr. Kamaldeep Kaur, Dean, College of Fisheries and Dr. Asha Dhawan, Senior scientist and Head, Department of Aquaculture, the principle investigator of the project. 

Envisaging the immense potential of the findings of the concluded project on utilization of salt affected waterlogged waste lands for economic gains through aquaculture, the university has been asked by the Commission to submit a 3-year Pilot project for testing and demonstrating saline water aquaculture technology in other salt affected districts. 

Dr. O.S. Parmar, Director Extension, GADVASU stated that under this project, one hectare fish cum poultry and fish cum piggery demonstration units will also be established for recycling of wastes and enhancement of profitability of the farmers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SO NEAR YET SO FAR - Families meet across border and barbed wire-Hindustan Times


"Aag lag jai iss kandyali taar ku, ab mui tassalli saath paar dekhan bi nai deti (damn this barbed wire, now it doesn't even allow us to see across to our heart's fill).

This was 65-year-old Kaaki Sen from Rajasthan grumbling in frustration as she tugged at her `kurta' caught in the fence separating India and Pakistan. She was at the border to have a glimpse of her grandfather, whom she last saw at the age of two, before Partition, i.e.

Unmindful of the torn kurta, she takes a step into the wire from the Indian side before a making a hugging gesture to the old man, her eyes shut from emotion.

On the other side, grandfather Khadim Sen could be seen -tears in eyes -requesting the BSF and Pakintan Rangers to lower the volume of loudspeakers blaring patriotic songs. "Allah baksh kare," he mutters, before he's given a detailed introduction from the family members accompanying Kaaki, seeing him the first time since August 1947.

Kaaki is among the hundreds of Indians who cannot afford to travel to Pakistan to meet their separated relatives either due to financial constraints or visa restrictions. People on the two sides are allowed to have a "face to face" meeting at this joint check post every year on August 14 and 15.

However, 6 feet is the closest they can come.BSF officials say people come in from as far as Mumbai, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The Hindustan Times team that spent a day at the border post also spotted Reshma, an 87-year-old woman who "lost" her parents to Pakistan during Partition. Now, having lost her vision, she often visits the border post to hear the voices of her brother and sisters living in the family home in Kanipur in Pak Pattan district of Pakistan.

She had first visited the border in the early Nineties when she could not travel to Pakistan to attend the last rites of her father. "I wanted to have one last look at my father, so I requested my brother Chaudhary Muneer to bring the body to the border. I paid my tributes across the fence.
Since then, I have been coming here nearly every year," Reshma told HT.

BSF officials say often newborn children are brought to the check post. "We can never forget the day when a blind woman in her eighties came to hear the cries of her 25-dayold grandson born to her daughter living in Rawalpindi," a border guard said.For 78year-old Raj Rani -who, separated from her husband Vishambar Nath in 1947, has been living near Fazilka -the check post has been her only reason to live. She recalls how she discovered her husband in the early Sixties, only to learn that following Partition he had remarried and embraced Islam, renamed Ahmed.

"Before the 1965 Indo-Pak war, we would walk across the border and meet him and his new family," she remembers, "but since then, this post is the only link between our divided families".

Whenever she wants to meet her husband --in joy or sorrow -her son Jagannath informs his father in Haveli Lakha in Pakistan, and a rendezvous is fixed at the border. As Jagannath told HT, "This very barbed wire that separated her from her family has become her lifeline."

एक माह में लगाए दो हजार पौधे-Anand Utsav Concluded

18th August 2010
फाजिल्का को ग्रीन एंड क्लीन बनाने का सपना लेकर चली समाजसेवी संस्था ग्रेजूऐटस वैलफेयर एसोसिएशन फाजिल्का की ओर से जमींदारा फार्मसोल्यूशन से सहयोग से शुरू की गई डायल-ए-ट्री परियोजना के तहत शहर में करीब दो हजार पौधे मात्र दो सप्ताह में लगाए गए हैं। बता दें कि इस परियोजना के तहत लोगों ने अपना फोन घुमाया और पौधे लगाने के माहिर ग्रीन एम्बूलेंस लेकर उनके घर पहुंच गए, जहां उन्होंने पौधा लगाया और पौधे की देखभाल का श्पथ पत्र भी भरवाया।

कहां-कहां लगाए पौधे : डायल-ए-ट्री परियोजना का आगाज आनंद उत्सव के तहत एक अगस्त को शुरू किया गया था। इसके तहत नईं अबादी इस्लामाबाद, धींगड़ा कालोनी, बस्ती चंदोरां, कांशी राम कालोनी, राधा स्वामी कालोनी, एमसी कालोनी, टीचर कालोनी, आदर्श कालोनी, बाबा नामदेव नगर, बस्ती हजूर सिंह, मलकाना मौहल्ला, आंनदपुर मौहल्ला, साईकिल बाजार, पंचायत समिति और महाजन मार्किट के अलावा स्कूलों में 1992 पौधे लगाए गए। जबकि 500 पौधे लगाए जाने बाकी हैं। जमींदारा फार्मसोल्यूशन के प्रोजेक्ट मैनेजर सूबेदार बाग चंद व काल सेंटर की संचालिका सुमन कवातड़ा ने बताया यह पौधे भी जल्द ही लगा दिए जाएंगे।

वर्कर हुए सम्मानित

जमींदारा फार्मसोल्यूशन के कार्यालय में सम्मान समारोह का आयोजन किया गया। जिसमें ग्रेजूऐटस वैलफेयर एसोसिएशन अध्यक्ष एडवोकेट उमेश कुक्कड़, जमींदारा फार्मसोल्यूशन के निर्देशक सुरिन्द्र आहूजा और विक्रम आहूजा की ओर से पौधा लगाने में माहिर ट्रेंड वर्करों और सहयोग देने वाले सूबेदार बाग चंद, काल सेंटर संचालिक सुमन कवातड़ा, राज सिंह व अन्य को सम्मानित किया गया। सुरिन्द्र आहूजा  ने सचिव इंजी. नवदीप असीजा व अन्य सदस्यों को परियोजना के सफल बनाने पर बधाई दी । परियोजना में वन विभाग के रेंज अफसर जसवीर सिंह व ब्लाक अधिकारी बरिन्द्र सिंह ने योगदान दिया।

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Partition nostalgia : Partition pain still endures : Separated, families flock to Sadiqi for a glimpse

Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Sadiqi (Fazilka), August 16
Partition of India, done by the British rulers under the garb of giving independence to India and Pakistan in 1947, have brought everlasting pain for a number of families. Hundreds of families living in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan and in various parts of neighbouring Pakistan, visit Sadiqi (a joint check-post in Fazilka sub-division) on August 14-15. to see their loved ones and convey their 'unspoken feelings' through gestures.

Deepak Kandpal, commandant, 199 Battalion, BSF, said, "Though there is no physical contact among people standing on both sides of Zero Line, we allow them to exchange their feelings by waving their hands. Sometimes, these people shout to express their pain of separation from kin," he pointed out.

"I have come with my grandson to see my kin, who were separated during the bloody partition and to introduce him to them," said Shafinya Bibi, from Rajasthan.

"What has been adding insult to injury is the fact that the physical barriers between India and Pakistan have become stronger due to bitter relations between the two governments," said Dina Nath, who came to see friends of his grandfather, who was uprooted from Lahore during partition. Some locals said they were depressed that the two countries could not cover a distance of about ten feet, between the barriers erected on Zero Line by the BSF and Pakistan Rangers on their sides in the past 63 years.

Praful C. Nagpal adds: "I and my family have come to meet the family of my maternal uncle Gul Mohammad. We had fixed the meeting on telephone" said Asif Mohammad of Suratgarh. Asif had a glimpse of his relatives but could not talk to them due to the huge rush at the border.

Meanwhile, 600 BSF personnel, volunteers of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Youth Club, Radha Swami sect and Border Sangharash Samiti members managed the crowd on the border. Shaheed Bhagat Singh Youth club organised a cultural programme in which visitors were seen dancing bhangra at the Zero Line.

Ferozepur: The BSF jawans and Pak Rangers manning the Sadiqi and Hussainiwala JCPs exchanged sweets to mark the Independence Day. Deepak Kandpal, commandant, 199 Battalion of BSF and PK Rathore, commandant, 143 Battalion of the BSF manning Sadiqi and Hussainiwala JCPs gave sweets to company commanders of Pak Rangers.

पाक रेंजर्स ने बीएसएफ को भेंट की मिठाई

फाजिल्का-भारत-पाक बंटवारे की त्रासदी बयां करता प्रसिद्ध पंजाबी गीत 'करीं किदे मेल रब्बा दिल्ली ते लहौर दा' आज भारत-पाक सीमा की सादकी चौकी पर उस वक्त बिल्कुल सही साकार होता नजर आया जब बंटवारे में बिछड़े परिवार 14 व 15 अगस्त को एक दूसरे से बात करने की छूट मिलने से पहले दूर से खड़े होकर अपनों को निहार रहे थे।

14 अगस्त को पाकिस्तान के स्थापना दिवस के मौके पर दोनों ओर जमा हुए भारतीय व पाकिस्तान के बाशिंदे सुबह 11 बजे तक एक-दूसरे से बात करने की छूट का इंतजार कर रहे थे। जीरो लाइन से करीब सौ-सौ मीटर से भी पीछे खड़े रिश्तेदार एक-दूसरे से बात तो नहीं कर रहे थे लेकिन उनकी अपनों को देखने, उनसे बात करने की ललक में छलके आंसू व आंखों के इशारे आपस में बातें कर रहे थे। बाद में बीएसएफ व पाक रेंजर्स द्वारा बातचीत की छूट मिलने पर करीब 30 फुट की दूरी पर सभी ने एक-दूसरे से बात की। पाकिस्तान के बहावल नगर से आई बीबी शुक्रां ने अपने भांजे असीम खान से अपने भाई की खैरियत जानी तो राजस्थान के भागसर से आए मोहम्मद अफजल ने पाकिस्तान रह गए अपने भाई मोहम्मद आसिफ से बात की। इससे पहले पाक रेंजर्स ने अपने स्थापना दिवस पर अपना राष्ट्रीय ध्वज फहराया, सलामी दी व पाकिस्तान की ओर से विंग कमांडर रियाज ने अपने भारतीय समकक्ष कंपनी कमांडर मनोज बराला को मिठाई भेंट की। बराला ने उन्हें स्थापना दिवस की बधाई दी|

जब पाकिस्तानियों ने भी डाला भारतियों संग भंगड़ा

15th August 2010
फाजिल्का-स्वतंत्रता दिवस के मौके फाजिल्का क्षेत्र में पड़ती भारत-पाक सीमा के सादकी चौकी पर रिट्रीट के समय एतिहासिक भीड़ जुटी। 30 हजार से अधिक लोगों ने आजादी पर्व देश की सरहद पर शान से लहरा रहे तिरंगे की रिट्रीट सेरेमनी में शामिल होकर मनाया। सीमा सुरक्षा बल के सहयोग से एक ग्रामीण यूथ क्लब ने भारत-पाक सीमा पर देशभक्ति पर सांस्कृतिक समारोह आयोजित किया। जिसमें पाकिस्तानी सीमा में खड़े वहां के नागरिकों ने भी नाच गाकर भारतीयों के आजादी दिवस की खुशी में उनका साथ दिया। समारोह में मुख्यातिथि नगर सुधार ट्रस्ट के चेयरमैन महेंद्र प्रताप ढींगरा, वरिष्ठ अतिथि इडो-पाक सुलेमानकी इंटरनेशनल ट्रेड के महासचिव लीलाधर शर्मा, हनुमान गढ़ से हरि मोहन महर्षि थे। क्लब के युवाओं ने भंगड़ा, कोरियोग्राफी पेश की व देशभक्ति के गीत गाए।

विभाजन की भेंट चढ़ गए सरहद के 153 गांव

देशभर में आज स्वतंत्रता दिवस का जश्न मनाया जा रहा है लेकिन भारत-पाक सरहद पर सटे पंजाब के सरहदी जिलों के 153 गांव आज भी विभाजन का दंश झेलने को अभिशप्त हैं। जिला फिरोजपुर के 39, अमृतसर के 39 और गुरदासपुर के इन 75 गांवों को बेचिराग गांवों के नाम से जाना जाता है। इन गांवों के हिस्से में आई बदकिस्मती कुछ इस तरह की है कि बसासत वाला भाग पाकिस्तान में चला गया और कृषि वाला हिस्सा भारत में है। भारत की सरजमीं से अपनी पहचान खो चुके इन गांवों की भूमि का हदबंदी नम्बर भारत के रेवेन्यू रिकार्ड में दर्ज है और बाकायदा नहरी पानी की बारी भी लगती है।

जनसंख्या पाक में, नाम भारत में: विभाजन से पहले इन गांवों में हजारों की संख्या में लोग बसे हुए थे लेकिन विभाजन के बाद और आजादी के 64 वर्ष बीत जाने के बाद भी किसी ने यहां बसेरा नहीं किया। ग्रेजूऐटस वैलफेयर एसोसिऐशन के सचिव इंजीनियर नवदीप असीजा बताते हैं कि विभाजन के बाद दोनों देशों में रैड क्लिफ आयोग ने हदबंदी की तो जनसंख्या वाला इलाका पाकिस्तान में चला गया और कृषि क्षेत्र वाला इलाका भारत में रह गया। भारत विभाजन के बाद कुछ लोगों ने यहां बसने का प्रयास किया, मगर पाकिस्तान के साथ 1965 और 1971 में दो बार युद्ध के दौरान उन्हें यहां से पलायन करना पड़ा। इसके अलावा दोनों देशों के बीच तनाव और तारबंदी से पैदा हुई परेशानियों के चलते भी लोग यहां बसना मुनासिब नहीं करते।

क्या कहते हैं तहसीलदार: तहसीलदार अमरजीत सिंह बताते हैं कि ब्रिटिश साम्राज्य की और से 1880 और 1912 में हदबस्त नंबर  दिए गए थे। उसके बाद आज तक हदबस्त नंबर नहीं बदला और वह हदबस्त नंबर आज भी चल रहे हैं।

जीरो लाइन पर मिले भारत पाक लोगों के दिल: विभाजन के दौरान बिछड़े भारत पाक के बाशिंदो को आखिरकार भारत के स्वतंत्रता दिवस की पूर्व संध्या पर दो दशक बाद एक दूसरे की झलक पाने का मौका मिला। वे आपस में उतनी बातें नहीं कर पाये, जितना समय उन्होंने अपने रिश्तेदारों का चेहरा देखने में गुजार दिया। उनकी जुबां से यही अल्फाज निकले कि काश, दोनों देशों में सरहद न होती। यह दर्द भरा दृश्य था भारत सरहद पर सटी बीएसएफ की सादकी चौकी का, जहां करीब दो दशक बाद जीरो लाईन के इधर और उधर बसने वाले लोगों को मिलने का मौका दिया गया। दोनों देशों की ओर से राष्ट्रीय ध्वज फहराने और उतारने के लिए रिट्रीट सेरेमनी का आयोजन किया गया।

रिश्तों में बही भावुकता की बयार: हरियाणा, राजस्थान और पंजाब के कई शहरों से लोग पाकिस्तान में बसे अपने रिश्तेदारों से मिलने के लिए आये हुए थे। राजस्थान के हनुमानगढ़ जिला के गांव ढालीया से पाक में स्थित लाला बंबे जिला बहावल नगर में रहने वाले अपने मामा रमजान और मासी जेबा को मिलने आई 70 वर्षीया मुमताज पत्नी कादर बख्श ने बताया कि उसके रिश्तेदार 27 साल पहले भारत उससे मिलने आये थे, लेकिन उसके बाद आज उनकी एक झलक देखने को मिली है। जीरो लाइन के कारण वे ताउम्र के लिए बिछुड गए हैं। डालिया की ही जन्नत पत्नी नूर मोहम्मद ने बताया कि वह दो साल पहले पाक स्थित लाला बंबेके के रहने वाले अपने भतीजा आरिफ सोदा से मिलकर आई है। उसने फोन पर बताया कि वह परिवार सहित 14 अगस्त को सादकी चौकी पर उनका इंतजार करेंगे। जिस कारण आज वह यहां आई है। इके गांव भागसर से आई कलीमा पत्नी आद दयाल ने बताया कि वह पाक के बहावलनगर जिला के गांव नाईवाला में रहने वाले अपने मामा जीवा से मिलने आई है।

भागसर जिला श्री गंगानगर निवासी अहसान अली अपनी बुआ सुकरा देवी वासी 37 चक बहावल नगर, सोबत अली वासी दोसोयोधा हरियाणा अपने दादा खसी खान वासी 20 चक बहावल नगर, ओम प्रकाश वासी अमीर खान अपने चचेरे भाई गुलाम अवास वासी हुजरे शाह मुकीम दे से मिलने आये हुए थे। सीमा सुरक्षा बल के जवानों ने पहले इन्हें जीरो लाईन से करीब दो सो मीटर की दूरी पर रखा, लेकिन बाद बीएसएफ के आलाअफसरों से आदेश मिलने और पाक रेंजरों से हुई बातचीत के बाद इन्हें करीब तीन चार मिंट तक अपने रिश्तेदारों से बातचीत करने का मौका दिया गया। इस दौरान एक एक परिवार को आपस में बातचीत करने का मौका दिया गया। जब तक वे सादकी चौकी पर रहे तब तक उनकी आंखें बार पीछे की झांकती रही।

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blinding pollution-Fazilka

By Vikas Kahol in Fazilka
Mail Today, Page 14, 16th August 2010
Kids in Punjab villages losing sight to polluted drinking water

SHANKAR Singh, 22, lost his eyesight a decade ago. His younger brother, Visakha Singh, who had no vision problem when he was born, too, lost his sight as he grew up. Welcome to Dona Nanka, a village on the Indo-Pak border where children are going blind apparently after drinking contaminated water.

At least a dozen children were either born blind or have been gradually losing sight within a few years of birth. "I started losing my sight when I was studying in the fifth standard. Gradually, I turned completely blind," Shankar says.

It's the same story in several villages nearby. At Teja Ruhela and Noor Shah villages, scores of children are similarly going blind. Residents say together these villages have at least 50 children and adults who have lost their vision to contaminated water.

At Teja Ruhela, Veena, now 7, lost sight in one eye when she was barely two years old. Veena's father Gurnam Singh took her to Sriganganagar in Rajasthan to restore her eyesight. She underwent an operation but it was not successful.

Shimla Bai, who will turn 11 this year, was born blind. She cannot keep her eyelids open for long as it hurts. Thirteen-year-old Saroj and her friend Jyoti have also been losing sight slowly. These villages drink groundwater hoisted to the surface by several hand-driven pumps.

Shankar's father Mohinder Singh draws water from a hand pump and pours it into a glass.

In about 20 minutes, the water turns yellowish.

" This is what we have been drinking for years," he says.

" There is no other source from which we can draw clean drinking water," he adds.

The government, on its part, has simply painted warnings on the walls of houses that the groundwater is unfit for human consumption.

Some NGOs, or non- government organisations, carried out a survey in these villages. They suspect that the groundwater has become toxic as there is a high incidence of blindness in addition to mental and other physical abnormalities among villagers.

In Laduka village, there has been a spate of deaths blamed on hepatitis. In the past two years, about a dozen persons have also died of jaundice linked to water contamination.

Pritpal Singh from the Baba Farid Centre for Special Children in Faridkot says they have collected samples of hair, urine and water to establish the possible cause of the ailments.

" The samples are being tested.

A cocktail of toxins and pollutants in the water could be the culprit. In addition to losing vision, children have early greying of hair, skin problems and mental retardation. No one — human beings, cattle, crops or birds — appear healthy," he says.

Neeraj Atri, chairman of NGO Active Voice, says the affected cluster of villages is situated near a drain called Chand Bhan, which carries industrial waste and untreated toxin to the villages.

He adds that these villages have recorded a considerable drop in yield from farms and milch animals.

Villagers say they do not have access to potable water. While the government asked villagers to stop drawing water from hand pumps, it made arrangements to provide clean drinking water in one village only.

" At Teja Ruhela, only 80 out of 500 families have access to the erratic water supply now. What about the remaining villages?" asks villager Rajo Bai. She says water is supplied by tankers only if some VIP has to visit the village.

Experts at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research ( PGIMER) in Chandigarh, however, say that attributing the blindness afflicting villagers to groundwater contamination is not right.

" The matter sounds serious. It calls for a thorough investigation," says Prof Amod Gupta, head, Advanced Eye Centre at PGIMER. According to him, the department of community medicine at PGIMER is equipped with facilities to carry out such a study and find out the reasons for the rising cases of blindness that he says he is hearing for the first time.

The authorities at the Punjab Pollution Control Board ( PPCB), however, rely on their own samples and findings. " The groundwater is not toxic," says Babu Ram, member- secretary of PPCB. The PPCB recently carried out a survey in the area and collected water samples. The results indicate the presence of inordinately high total dissolved solids ( TDS) in groundwater. There was no trace of toxins, including arsenic, chromium, nickel and zinc.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Patiala peg: A new venture proves that agriculture too can work

Vikas Kahol, Mail Today, 11 August 2010

A small initiative by a Punjab youth - who set up blended value agribusiness - has made a major contribution towards environment protection and bringing down the cost of farm production.The social venture - Zimidara Farm Solutions (ZFS) - started by the commerce postgraduate, Vikram Aditya Ahuja, in the border town of Fazilka has resulted in the training and employment of rural youth in the agricultural sector in addition to bringing some farmers out of the debt trap.

Vikram has now expanded his venture to Punjab's Malwa region including Ferozepur, Jalalabad, Fazilka, Arniwala, Tahliwala, Mamdot, Malout, Mukatsar, Abohar, and parts of northern Rajasthan like Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh.

Vikram's father Surinder K Ahuja, an agriculturist, motivated him to start his venture about six years ago. He started a farm equipment bank - the first of its kind in the private sector.
The equipment offered on rent by Vikram to farmers aimed at dissuading them from raising loans for buying farm machinery.He motivated about 500 families against investing in equipment and offered machines on pay-for-use basis which promoted his business interests too. The proposition suited the farmers and they started saving about Rs 2.50 crore yearly on interest since they did not buy expensive equipment on loan.

They collectively spend less than Rs 25 lakh on renting the farm machinery. At present, Zimidara Farm Solutions has been undertaking mechanisation of farms owned by about 6000 families in the region. A majority of them relied on laser leveling of land before sowing crops which resulted in water and energy conservation.

Teams of management professionals, agricultural experts and NGOs support the young entrepreneur in promoting environmentally responsible farm practices.They have been promoting direct seeding of rice to save money on labour, water and check emission of greenhouse gases.These teams hold village level meetings at least 4 times a week. They have been training farmers to use rice straw as manure after harvesting.

Straw is usually set on fire for clearing the field for the next crop. The practice leads to environmental pollution and loss of moisture in the field. Burning straw also kills crop friendly insects and deprives the land of natural nutri- ents. It is a menace which successive governments could not control despite a ban.

Since reaching out to every farmer is sometimes difficult, Vikram came up with another solution. He offers call centre services in Punjabi and Hindi languages. The service is operational for over eight hours daily. The female staff at the call centre, drawn from rural areas, assist farmers with solutions.

Vikram - who is also a recipient of a state award for helping small and marginal farmers - believes agriculture can be profitable if its input costs are reduced and avocation made sustainable. The key lies in the conservation of fuel, water and creating job opportunities in the rural sector.

He also helps organise awareness camps for apprising farmers of the benefits and shortcomings of traditional farm practices. His ZFS also partners with public and private organisations to make agriculture a sustainable activity. Recently, Vikram trained youth for launching the country's first " Dial-a-Tree" and Green Ambulance project for improving the green cover in Punjab's border town Fazilka. The service was launched in association with Graduates' Welfare Association of Fazilka (GWAF) and the Forest Department, Punjab.


पंजाब के मालवा क्षेत्र में सेम और जमीन के खारेपन से निपटने के लिए परियोजना को मंजूरी

चंडीगढ़ (अमरजीत रतन) पंजाब सरकार ने मालवा क्षेत्र में सेम और जमीन के खारेपन की समस्या से युद्ध स्तर पर निपटने के लिए एक नवीन संगठित एग्रोबिजनेस पायलट प्रोजेक्ट को हरी झंडी दी है | यह प्रोजेक्ट नासा  एग्रो इण्डस्ट्रीज द्वारा फिरोजपुर जिले के सजराना में शुरू किया जायेगा | इस सम्बन्ध में फैंसला मुख्यमंत्री प्रकाश सिंह बादल ने नासा के प्रबंध निदेशक संजीव नागपाल की विस्तृत पेशकारी देखने के बाद लिया | प्रोजेक्ट में खाली जमीन पर मछली पालन, धान की पराली से बायो-गैंस प्लांट चलाने और खाद्य प्रसंस्करण के लिए सेंटर आफ एक्सीलेंस स्थापित करने का प्रस्ताव है | प्रोजेक्ट पर 82  करोड़ रूपये की लागत आएगी | नासा इस प्रोजेक्ट को सम्पूर्ण एग्रोवेंचर के माध्यम से पूरा करेगी | किर्लोस्कर इंटीग्रेटिड टेक्नोलोजी लिमिटेड और पंजाब एग्रो इण्डस्ट्रीज लिमिटेड भी इसमें हिस्सेदार होगी |
मुक्तसर, फिरोजपुर और फरीदकोट जिलो में सेम और जमीन के खारेपन की समस्या पर चिंता प्रकट करते हुए मुख्यमंत्री प्रकाश सिंह बादल ने कहा कि इन जिलो में किसानो की एक लाख पच्चीस हजार हैक्टेयर भूमि बेकार पड़ी है | इससे किसानो के लिए बड़ी समस्या उत्पन्न हो रही है | इस समस्या से युद्ध स्तर पर निपटने के लिए इस योजना को शुरू किया गया है | 
नासा के प्रबंध निदेशक संजीव नागपाल ने प्रोजेक्ट के सम्बन्ध में विस्तृत जानकारी दी | किसानो की दो सौ एकड़ भूमि में मछली पालन, संजीव नागपाल की मलकियत वाली पचास एकड़ भूमि में सेंटर आफ एक्सीलेंस और एक सौ एकड़ भूमि में खाद्य प्रसंस्करण उद्योग लगाने का प्रस्ताव है | नीदरलैंड की डीएचवी कम्पनी पानी के खारेपन को दूर करने के लिए टेक्नोलोजी मुहैया करवाएगी | डीएचवी के प्रतिनिधि आशीष कटोच ने बताया कि नीदरलैंड में यह टेकनिक पिछले पच्चीस वर्षो से काम कर रही है | किर्लोस्कर के दीपक पलवानगढ़ ने बताया कि उनकी कम्पनी धान की पराली को बायो-गैंस में बदलने के क्षेत्र में अग्रणी है | पराली से पांच मेगावाट बिजली पैदा करके खाद्य प्रसंस्करण उद्योग को देने का प्रस्ताव है |

Badal restores 12.5 acres to Fazilka trust

Rakhi Jagga, Thu Aug 12 2010, 01:04 hrs

Failure to construct an engineering college on panchayat land in Chuwarianwali village has cost the Sri Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Charitable Trust dear.

The trust was allotted 25 acres of land free of cost by the village panchayat in 2001, and it was supposed to construct a college within three years according to the terms and conditions.

The allotment was cancelled by the panchayat and rural development department around three months ago. With the intervention of local MLA Surjit Kumar Jayani, however, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal ordered to restore only 12.5 acres. The remaining land has been given back to the village panchayat.

The trust, meanwhile, has pleaded innocence in the case. Members claim the land had been entangled in a litigation since its allotment and the case was finally settled in 2003 after which the CM laid the foundation stone. Another case cropped up soon after and construction of the college had to be stopped midway.
Jayani said due to the pending court cases, the trust could not complete the project on time.

The trust also plans to file another appeal before the rural development department to restore the entire 25 acres. "If all goes well, the college affiliated to Punjab Technical University will start functioning from next year," said a trust member.

J P Singh, Divisional Deputy Director, Rural Development and Panchayat, Ferozepur, confirmed the development and said the government had decided to restore only half of the land to "teach a lesson" to the NGO and set an example for others not to take the government for granted.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Punjabi jutti chali phoren

Available in simple shades as well as bright colours with attractive embroidery, the jutti is now making waves in cities like London and New York, writes Anuradha Shukla

The Tribune, Lifestyle, Friday, November 10, 2006, Chandigarh, India  
JUTTI Kasuri Pairin Na Poori, Hayo Rabba Ve Sannu Turna Peya goes the famous line of the Punjabi folk song sung by Surinder Kaur. The damsel in the folk song may be having trouble walking in ill-fitting juttis but the jutti itself has walked far and wide and has reached far-off lands, thanks to the NRPs (Non-Resident Punjabis) and the jutti's newfound fans among foreigners there.

The juttis from Patiala and not Kasur (now in Pakistan) rule the popularity charts not only here but also around the world. These 'pieces of art' are an inseparable part of Punjabi attire. Available in simple shades as well as bright colours with attractive embroidery, the juttis rule the heart of ethnically chic Punjabis everywhere. It is now making waves in cities like London and New York. None other than craftsmen in the streets of Patiala are fanning the rage for the Punjabi jutti among its newfound fans.

The humble shops at Top Khana Mod and Churianwala Bazar have now become export stops for traders from cities like New Delhi, who are busy making big bucks taking these juttis abroad. Ruling hearts of residents of countries like the UK, the USA, South Africa and even Korea, the jutti, is undergoing its share of changes, too, to suit the tastes of connoisseurs in these lands.

Made of buffalo skin and goat skin (despite Maneka Gandhi!), the jutti has come of age from the silver and gold hand-embroidered juttis still made in the Muktsar and Fazilka belt of Punjab to countless colours and embroidery patterns it has acquired now.

The most flexible of all footwear famous in the region, the jutti is made distinctly in states like Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. The juttis made in Patiala by far win the crown for the sheer variety of designs, shapes and patterns available. "The jutti can be combined with a jean, suit and even a sari or with an anklet on your feet", says Sarika, a college student. "Going by the price (Rs 125 to 1,500), you can have as many pairs and have fun the funky ethnic way", she gleams.

"The juttis made in Patiala caught the eyes of traders in Delhi and they decided to sell these to Punjabi NRIs among other export items some three years back", says Sandeep Narula, who has one of the oldest shops in Churianwala Bazar. "The samples disappeared fast once they were put on the shelves of shoe stores run by Indians as well as foreigners. Of late the latest rage in New York is the Punjabi jutti", says Narula. Though the simple flat jutti suits summer wear, sales go down only in snowy winters, says Narula.

"The Punjabi jutti covers your feet like second skin and you never have to worry about it breaking because of flexibility. It comes from the refinement the buffalo leather is given at the workshop and makes it score over its counterpart from Rajasthan in terms of flexibility and softness as compared to the hard camel leather, Mangat Ram, an artisan, is quick to tell you. The same quality with features like a cushioned sole for comfort is popular in the UK and the USA, he adds.

Beads, sippi, sitara, dabka and even the bejewelled stone look is in with these juttis getting popular and increasingly accepted by the young abroad. As the local tastes have changed to duller shades nowadays, the UK and the US markets demand more flashy and brighter designs.

"Maharaja Ranjit Singh is said to have got the jutti made for his Rani from Patiala and the craft flourished under his patronage", says Satish Kumar who heard it from his buzurgs. Peasants beat up buffalo skin and make it suitable for making the sole of the jutti. The upper portion of the jutti is made with softer goatskin. The most traditional of the designs you can still find in the city is the unembroidered plain jutti in skin colour. To add to its looks, the tilla (gold thread) work was added, says Kamal. For daily wear, there was the plain simple jutti for men and women while for a formal do the juttis were hand embroidered in silver and gold tilla. The Khussa jutti with a pointed top was for men while the juttis for women were the simple round edges at the top.

While the men prepared the leather, the designing was always done by the women artisans and no wonder the embroidery patterns readily transferred on to the juttis. So now we have the most popular design abroad of embroidery with shining sitare in heart-shaped juttis known as Lucky jutti in this bazar, says Satish Kumar. "The jutti covered with synthetic silk cloth and in sandle shape is also getting accepted abroad", he adds. If you are still wondering how to find the best jutti, go for a jutti with a thicker sole and a hard base and don't worry about it biting your feet for some time because your leather shoes do the same to you, don't they.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ministry grants in-principle approvals to three mega food parks

These proposed projects will come up in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab; new proposals to be examined for a similar venture in Uttar Pradesh.

August 09, 2010 12:29 PM
Pallabika Gangul

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI) has given in-principle permissions to three food parks in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab. The government was in the process of approving four food parks (including the three which have already been approved) since the past four months. But the project proposal for the park in Uttar Pradesh had some lacunae, therefore, the in-principle approval has been granted only for the above-mentioned three food parks. The government will invite new proposals for the fourth food park in Uttar Pradesh this week.

Every food park will have a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) comprising around three companies and representatives from banks, financial institutions and the food processing ministry. The Karnataka food park will be developed in Mandaya, Kolar. The three companies involved in this project are Capital Foods Ltd (which holds 40% share in the company); Pantaloon Retail (30% share) and Chordia Foods (30% share). Chordia is a Pune-based manufacturer and exporter of pickles.

The Maharashtra food park will come up in Sindhudurg (in the district of the same name) and the three companies in the strategic alliance are Temptation Foods Ltd (40% share); NNR Biofuels (40% share) and Valecha Engineering Ltd (10% share). A few other minor players are also part of this project.

In Punjab, the food park will be developed in Fazilka (Firozpur district) led by International Farm Fresh Ltd which will have 16% share in the company. Sukhinder Singh and Associate will hold 34% share; Narain Export Import Corporation (10% share) and Citrus State Tahliwala Jatta will hold 1% in the project. The promoters will decide on how to distribute the balance stake.

"We have given in-principle approval to three food parks. We were supposed to give approvals to four but we could not find relevant project proposals. We would be soon inviting proposals for the remaining project," said Ashok Sinha, secretary, MOFPI.

The final proposals for these three projects (which have obtained in-principle approvals) will have to be submitted in the next six months for a final nod from the government before these ventures are initiated. The SPV for each project will require an investment of around Rs120 crore-Rs150 crore, which includes the government's contribution of Rs50 crore.

Every food park will have around 27 processing and ancillary units which will process about 1,80,000 tonnes per annum of raw material-primarily comprising fruits, vegetables, rice and spices. MOFPI had received 37 proposals for the four mega food parks out of which 16 were for Maharashtra, 10 for Karnataka, six for Punjab and five for Uttar Pradesh. In Punjab, Mrs Bector's Food Specialties (a part of the Cremica Group), Brattle Foods Ltd, International Fresh Farm Products Ltd, Maninder Rice Mills, Kolkata-based LMJ Ltd, and an entrepreneur from the US have shown their interest.

In Karnataka, Capital Foods Ltd had shown interest in these food parks. In Maharashtra, Pantaloons Retail (India) Ltd, Paithan Mega Food Park, Temptation Foods Ltd, Dhoot Developers Pvt Ltd and Skil Infrastructure Ltd have shown their interest in these units. Temptation Foods Ltd is one of the applicants among the five with interest in the facilities in Uttar Pradesh.

The government is encouraging a public-private partnership model for setting up these food parks as these ventures will require huge investments. "We are encouraging three-four private players to come together to set up a food park so that the investments are shared. The government gives Rs50 crore as assistance for each food park, but that is not enough," said Mr Sinha.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

जस्ट ‘डायल-ए-ट्री'

पौधे लगाने की हसरत हो और लगे कि पौधा कैसे लगायें तो चिंता ना करें 'डायल-ए-ट्री' हेल्पलाइन है ना...

पंजाब के फाजिल्का शहर में हरियाली के लिए एक अनूठी पहल की गई है। पेड़ों की संख्या में होती लगातार कमी के चलते शहर में फैली हरियाली की चादर के सिकुड़ने को देखते हुए सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं के एक समूह ने एक नई पहल करते हुए 'डायल-ए-ट्री' हेल्पलाइन की शुरुआत की है।  इसके तहत एक अगस्त से एक फोन आने पर पौधे की आपूर्ति और निशुल्क पौधारोपण किया जाएगा।

'डायल-ए-ट्री' परियोजना की संयोजक चंद्रिका आहूजा ने बताया कि हमने लोगों के घर जाकर पौध रोपण करने के लिए तीन साइकिल रिक्शों को 'ग्रीन एंबुलेंसेज' में तब्दील कर दिया है। उन्होंने बताया कि इनमें से प्रत्येक एंबुलेंस में पौधे लगाने में प्रशिक्षित दो लोग होंगे और उनके साथ तरह-तरह के पौधे व उनके रोपण के लिए आवश्यक हर प्रकार की सामग्री होगी। फजिल्का निवासियों को केवल 9915184000 नंबर पर फोन करना होगा और अपने लिए पौधों की बुकिंग करना होगी। 'ग्रेजुएट्स वेलफेयर एसोसिएशन फजिल्का' (जीडब्ल्यूएएफ) ने एक कृषि संसाधन केंद्र 'जमींदार फार्मासोल्यूशंस' और पंजाब सरकार के साथ मिलकर यह शुरुआत की है। जीडब्ल्यूएएफ एक अगस्त को 'आनंद उत्सव' के रूप में मनाता है। पर्यावरणीय संरक्षण के प्रति जागरूकता फैलाने के मकसद से इस वार्षिक उत्सव की शुरुआत की गई है।

आहूजा ने कहा कि ये सेवा निशुल्क प्रदान की जाएगी। प्रशिक्षित स्वयंसेवक पौधे लगाएंगे और घर या जमीन के मालिक से उनकी देखभाल और सुरक्षा करने के लिए कहेंगे, बाद में उन्हें 'ग्रीन सिटीजन' पुरस्कार से नवाजा जाएगा। स्कूलों व अन्य संस्थानों में बड़ी संख्या में पौध रोपण के लिए जीडब्ल्यूएएफ ग्रीन एंबुलेंस के जरिए पौधों की निशुल्क आपूर्ति करेगा। भारत के स्वतंत्रता दिवस मतलब 15 अगस्त तक यह सेवा जारी रहेगी।

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fazilka municipal officer to pay Rs 50,000 for failing to provide info in separate cases

Rakhi Jagga, Indian Express,Fazilka, 5 August 2010

Taking strict action on non-compliance of orders, the State Information Commission (SIC) has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Tilak Raj, the executive officer (EO) of the Fazilka Municipal Council.

Raj will also have to shell out a compensation of Rs 9,000 to the complainant in two separate cases. The EO reportedly failed to provide information to one Amarnath, a resident of Ravidas Nagar, Khatika Mohalla regarding how an encroachment in the area was converted into a legal structure. The SIC imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 in the first week of July and a compensation of Rs 5,000 on the officer. Apart from this, the EO did not appear in person before the commission.
Raj, however, seems to have failed to learn a lesson and did not reply to another complaint of Amarnath regarding the regulation of the council constituted for construction of a road in the locality.

It needs to be mentioned that Amarnath had sought information in both the cases more than four months ago and later had approached SIC with the help of RTI activist Deepak Moudgil. State Information Commissioner D S Kahlon on July 24 slapped another fine of Rs 25,000 on Tilak Raj who is now posted in Jalalabad.
Interestingly, on the last hearing on July 24, the new EO appeared before the panel and provided information about a wrong road.
The commission has now given a last chance to the municipal council to give information to the complainant till August 30 or face the music.
Sources said the civic body does not have the relevant data as no resolution was passed for construction of the road and even the record of encroachments is not available.

Kahlon, meanwhile, has sent a copy of the order to the deputy director (local bodies) to deduct Rs 12,500 each from the salary of Tilak Raj for the month of August and September and the receipts should be presented before the commission.
Meanwhile, the earlier Rs 25,000 fine is yet to be deposited by the EO and even Rs 9,000 compensation is pending.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Green flash in Fazilka, `ambulances' out

Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, 2 August 2010


In the tiny border town of Fazilka, a citizens' organisation has started an innovative green drive to provide saplings, along with services of trained gardeners, free of cost and on call. The scheme, `Diala-Tree', a brainchild of the Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka (GWAF), was launched on Sunday at Anand Utsav, an annual GWAF initiative to spread awareness about environment.

Three `green ambulances' were launched for tree plantation, for replacing the dying saplings and for treating injured plants, which would be available on 9815184000.

"A local private firm, Zamindara Farm Solutions, and the Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab, have joined hands with us for the scheme," said Navdeep Asija, secretary (administration) of GWAF. "People want to plant trees; but lack of knowledge or technical flaws are hindrances. We are only trying to assist such people," said Vikram Ahuja of Zamindara.

Navdeep said an RTI query had revealed that the municipal authorities in Fazilka planted less than 800 trees in the past whole decade, of which only about 30 survived. "The 10-sq km town has only 0.5 per cent green cover," he added.

The association now plans to motivate people to plant trees on their birthdays or other special occasions. For bulk plantation at institutions, GWAF would ensure free supply of saplings till August 15, added Navdeep.

Chandrika Ahuja, coordinator of the project, said they had divided Fazilka into three zones and converted three rickshaws into `green ambulances'.

"Last year, during Anand Utsav, we planted more than 1,200 saplings, of which more than 600 survived; we made it possible through community participation. Our idea is not only to plant more saplings but to help trees grow with care", said Dr Bhupinder Singh, patron of GWAF.

Forest Dept begins to plant saplings - Ditch Drain

10000 saplings to be planted by Aug 15
Praful C Nagpal
Fazilka, August 1
The forest department, Punjab, has initiated an ambitious project to bring more area under afforestation in the Fazilka sub-division. Under the project, it has started planting saplings on the eastern bank of the Ditch Drain on the border road. So far, more than 6000 saplings have been planted on the vacant track on the bank of the seepage drain.

"We would achieve the target of planting 10000 saplings in the first phase till August 15," claimed Forest Range Official, Jasbir Singh Grewal.

The Tribune had highlighted in these columns more than a month ago that the forest department has turned a blind eye to the fact that a vast track of about 18.5 kilometers and about 100 feet wide from village Sabuana to village Dilawar Bhaini on the eastern bank of the Ditch Drain is lying vacant for the last 10 years and afforestation can easily be carried out there.

After the highlighting of these facts, the Deputy District Forest Officer, Ferozepur, Daljit Singh visited the Ditch Drain and worked out an ambitious project.


Dial-a-tree scheme: Plantation drive launched in Fazilka

Tribune News Service

Fazilka, August 1
As many as 74 dwellings of this border town were brought under the green cover after saplings of different trees were planted by the volunteers of the Graduate Welfare Association Fazilka through its two green ambulances, which were flagged off by the prominent residents, here today.

The plantation drive was launched under the Dial-a-Tree scheme initiated by the GWAF to increase the green cover of this town.

Over the past few years, the town has lost its green cover significantly due to cutting of trees in a large number due to massive urbanisation. The town is already equipped with eco-friendly rickshaws and car-free zone.

About 125 saplings were planted in about 74 dwellings on the first day of Dial-a-Tree scheme. Those who attended the ceremony, included Jai Pal Sandhu, Capt. (retd) MS Bedi, Navdeep Asija, Vikram Ahuja, Jasbir Singh, Raj Kishore Kalra, Sanjeev Marshal and Umesh Kukkar.

"We hope to cover about 3000 dwellings out of about 12000 dwellings of this town under this scheme by August 15," pointed out Navdeep Asija, secretary (administration), GWAF.

मंदबुद्धि बच्चों का गढ़ बना कबूलशाह खुब्बन

फाजिल्का-मालवा के पानी में हैवी मैटल की मात्रा ज्यादा होने से कई इलाके तो इतने ज्यादा प्रभावित हुए हैं कि वहां लोग विभिन्न बीमारियों की चपेट में हैं। फिरोजपुर जिले के गांव कबूलशाह खुब्बन में दूषित पानी की वजह से यहां बच्चों के सफेद बाल, उदर रोग, जोड़ों के दर्द के रोगियों की बड़ी संख्या है। छह सौ घरों वाले इस गांव के करीब 100 घरों में मंदबुद्धि, पोलियोग्रस्त, सेरेबल पालिसी, गूंगे बहरे व अपाहिज बच्चे मौजूद हैं। इस गांव में नि:संतान दंपतियों की संख्या में भी लगातार इजाफा हो रहा है।

दैनिक जागरण की टीम ने इस गांव का दौरा कर पाया कि गांव के सरकारी हाई स्कूल के कुल सात सौ बच्चों में से 10 फीसदी से अधिक बच्चों के बाल काफी मात्रा में सफेद हो गए हैं। इसके अलावा आए दिन पेट रोग से पीड़ित छुट्टी लेने वाले बच्चों की संख्या भी लगातार बढ़ रही है। गांव की सरपंच रामेश्वरी देवी के पति साहब राम ने बताया कि दूषित पानी की वजह से गांव के सैकड़ों लोग भी उक्त रोगों के शिकार हैं। गांव में 13 बच्चे मानसिक रूप से बीमार, 32 अपाहिज, सात गूंगे बहरे, 10 दिमागी रूप से पीड़ित व तीन बच्चे लर्निग डिसएबिलिटी के शिकार हैं। यह संख्या 18 वर्ष तक के बच्चों की है। उससे अधिक उम्र के भी करीब 40 युवक युवतियां अपंगता, मंदबुद्धि जैसे रोगों के शिकार हैं।

मालवा में दूषित पानी के कहर पर रिसर्च कर रहे खेती विरासत मिशन के कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष डा. अमर सिंह आजाद का कहना है कि इसके पीछे पानी व मिट्टी में नीरोटाक्सिक हैवी मैटल होने से इंकार नहीं किया जा सकता। उन्होंने कहा कि उनकी संस्था गांव के पानी और मिंट्टी की जर्मनी की मिनरल लैब में जांच करवाएगी।

दुर्भाग्य: गांव में नहीं डिस्पेंसरी व वाटर व‌र्क्स

फाजिल्का: दूषित पानी के कहर से बचने के लिए आरओ सिस्टम लगाना तो दूर बल्कि गांव में वाटर व‌र्क्स ही नहीं है। पड़ोसी गांव रामकोट के वाटर व‌र्क्स से पानी सप्लाई किया जाता है। सरपंच के पति साहब राम व गांव के पंच राजिंदर सिंह ने बताया कि दूषित पानी की समस्या के निदान के लिए तो गांव में वाटर व‌र्क्स स्थापित करवाने के लिए और साथ ही आरओ सिस्टम का प्रबंध कर लिया है। लेकिन अभी न जाने उस प्रोजेक्ट को पूरा होने में कितना समय लगेगा। बीमार हो रहे इस गांव के स्वास्थ्य के लिए कोई सरकारी डिस्पेंसरी नहीं है। मवेशियों की हालत भी दूषित पानी के कारण दयनीय है। उस पर पशु डिस्पेंसरी न होना भी कोढ़ में खाज का काम करता है

Green Ambulance Service begins at Fazilka

Punjab Kesri, Page 3, Ferozpur-Mukatsar Section
2nd August 2010

एसोसिएशन ने शुरू की ग्रीन एंबूलेंस सेवा

ग्रेजूएट्स वेलफेयर एसोसिएशन ने रविवार को ग्रीन एंबूलेंस सेवा शुरू कर दी है। ग्रीन एंबूलेंस चौक घंटा घर से एसोसिएशन के अध्यक्ष एडवोकेट उमेश कुक्कड़ और सीनियर एडवोकेट जयपाल सिंह संधू ने हरी झंडी देकर रवाना किया। ग्रेजूएट्स वेलफेयर एसोसिएशन की ओर से दूसरा वातावरण मेला आनंद उत्सव के तहत डायल- ए- ट्री का आयोजन 15 अगस्त तक चलेगा। इस मौके पर एसोसिएशन के सचिव इंजीनियर नवदीप असीजा, कैप्टन महिन्द्रजीत ङ्क्षसह बेदी, जमींदारा फार्माश्ल्यूशन के संचालक विक्रम आहूजा, जंगशेर बहादुर, राजेश अंगी, वन विभाग के रेंज अफसर जसबीर सिंह के अलावा डा. रजनीश कामरा आदि मौजूद थे।

९८ लोगों ने घुमाया फोन: प्रोजेक्ट के तहत रविवार को पहले दिन 98 लोगों को फोन घुमाया गया और पेड़ लगाने वाले ट्रेंड वर्कर ग्रीन एंबूलेंस लेकर उनके घर पहुंच गए। ट्रेंड वर्करों के साथ पौधे, मिट्टी और खाद थी, जिन्होंने फोन आने के बाद घर- घर पहुंच कर पौधे लगाए।

जमींदार फार्माशल्यूशन के संचालक विक्रम आहूजा ने बताया कि डायल- ए -रिक्शा की तर्ज पर डायल- ए- ट्री की निशुल्क सेवा शुरू की गई है। इसके लिए हैल्प लाइन के नंबर पर रोजाना सुबह नौ से शाम पांच बजे तक फोन नंबर 99151-84000 पर फोन करके पौधा मंगवाया जा सकता है। उन्होंने बताया कि पौधा लगवाने वाले से पौधे की संभाल का शपथ पत्र लिया जा रहा है।