Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fazilka road mishap: Next of kin of six victims given government jobs

In a measure to apply balm on the wounds of families of road accident victims, Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jiyani handed over appointment letters for government jobs to the next of kin of six victims of the Fazilka mishap on Wednesday.

Further, cases of four victims were sent to the head office for further permissions. Additionally, heirs of two victims were found to be minors. Work to provide jobs to the rest is under process.

13 persons, including 12 teachers, had died in a massive accident between a jeep and a truck on Friday, near village Chandmari on Ferozepur-Fazilka road.

The victims, including five women, were posted in Ferozepur district and had pooled in to engage the jeep for their daily commute.

The accident occurred near Chandmari village, 5km from Fazilka, on the road to Ferozepur when the jeep driver tried to overtake another vehicle in the fog. The jeep hit the truck and the impact was such that half of it went under the truck. The truck driver is absconding.

"Nothing can compensate for the death of young nation builders. Punjab government stands by the families of victims and to help them in such a crucial time, we are not only providing jobs but will also ensure that they may get posting at the nearest place to their respective houses," Jiyani said.

Meanwhile, a family of Sonu, the driver of the jeep, also demanded a job for the one of the family. A candle march was also held in this regard.

Caption: State Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jiyani, handing over the appointment letter to one of the family members in Fazilka on Wednesday.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary - Fazilka Tourism

The city of Abohar is located in the Fazilka District of Punjab towards the north-east of Sri Ganganagar city and southeast of the city of Fazilka. The Fazilka District was previously a part of the Firozpur District. The city is located close to the intersection of Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab and is also close to the international neighbour Pakistan. For this reason the city is also known as the Trinity of Culture, Civilization and Ethinicity of Punjab. Abohar is famous as one of the largest producers of cotton in the northern zone of India. The city was originally found in the 12th century by Raja Abheraj Bhatti and was named as Abhegarh and later was named as Abohar.

Close to the city is the private wildlife sanctuary, the Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located about 15 Km from Abohar. The sanctuary sprawls over an area of 186.5 Km2. The sanctuary spreads over thirteen villages that are home to the Bishnoi community. A unique initiative has been started by the Bishnoi community which has shown concern and taken up the responsibility to protect the black buck deer. The black buck is the State Animal of Punjab and is considered to be sacred by the Bishnois. The community also protects the blue bull popularly known as the Neelgai. The initiative taken by the community has been successful and the number of black bucks has risen by 3000. Visitors to the sanctuary can enjoy the scene of black bucks racing in the sanctuary.

The flora in the Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is classified under the tropical dry mixed deciduous forest. The sanctuary is also home to several other animals apart from the black buck and blue bull. Porcupines, wild boars and black ducks can also be spotted easily in the sanctuary. Unlike other wildlife sanctuaries that are located over public or government land, the Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary spreads over private land. The Bishnois protect the animals in the sanctuary from the hunters by not allowing them to hunt in the area.

The Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is conveniently connected by road and is best visited during the winter months when the temperatures are favourable and visitors can enjoy the natural surroundings and see the wildlife of the sanctuary at its best. The Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is a must visit for visitors who want to see the native black bucks in their natural surroundings.


The Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary was originally notified as a sanctuary in 1975 and again in 2000. It is a private nature reserve located in the Fazilka District of Punjab. The sanctuary was initially established temporarily in 1975 and later in 2000 it was established as a sanctuary under the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act. The sanctuary is home to several varieties of flora and fauna indigenous to the area.


Flora: Albizia lebbeck, Acacia nilotica, Azadirachata indica, A. tortilis, Dalbergia sissoo, P juliflora, Prosopis cineraria and Melia azedarach.

Fauna: Wild Boar, Blue Bull, Porcupines, Hare, Jackal and Black Duck.

Best Time to Visit

The Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is best visited during the winter season from October to March. At this time the weather is nice and visitors can enjoy roaming around the sanctuary. The summer season is not recommended as the temperatures are soaring and the monsoon season receives heavy rains.

How to Reach Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary can be reached from all parts of Punjab. The sanctuary is well-connected by road and is located within easy reach of the city of Abohar. Buses, taxis and cars are available from Abohar to reach the sanctuary. Abohar is located on NH 10 and NH 15. Bhatinda is located about 77 Km from Abohar and 225 Km from Amritsar. The city is conveniently connected by bus and train to different parts of Punjab.

The city of Abohar has a railway station located about 1 Km from the city centre. The Abohar railway station is connected by broad gauge railway line on the Ganganagar-Delhi railway route. The other closest major railheads to Abohar are in Sri Ganganagar about 50 Km and Bhatinda about 77 Km from the city.

There is no airport in Abohar. The closest airports are the Raja Sansi International Airport in Amritsar and the Sahnewal Airport in Ludhiana. These airports offer good connectivity to Chandigarh and Delhi. From these airports visitors can take buses or taxis to reach the Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Friday, December 9, 2016

13 schoolteachers killed in road accident near Fazilka

Praful Nagpal
Fazilka, December 9

Thirteen government school teachers, including five women, were killed in a road accident near Chandipur village, 9 km from here, on Friday morning.

They were going to their schools in a jeep. Eyewitnesses said there was a head-on collision between the jeep and a truck.

Those killed have been identified as Sanjiv Bagla (Shatirwala village near Fazilka), Shankar Lal (Fazilka), Manohar Lal (Abohar), Ram Pal (Abohar), Satinderjit Singh (Fazilka) Ashish (Faizlika), Nazam (Killianwali), Sanjeev Kumar, Bindia (Abohar), Tejinder Kaur (Fazilka), Shetal Kakkar (Fazilka), Natasha (Balluana) and Kiran Bala (Fazilka).

In all, 15 people were traveling in the jeep.

Gopi Chand, who was injured critically, was shifted to a hospital at Abohar.

The bodies of the deceased have been shifted to Civil Hospital at Fazilka. Senior officials of the district administration have reached the spot.

Among the deceased were newly appointed ETT teachers.

Following a bandh call given by the local Beopar Mandal, shops were closed in the town to show solidarity with the bereaved families. Senior leaders, including Congress MLA Sunil Jakhar, Akali MP Sher Singh Ghubaya and BJP Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani, reached the local civil hospital.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed grief over the incident and condoled the deaths.

He said the loss of teachers, who chiselled young minds for the future of the nation, was "irreparable" and it had not only traumatised their families, but their students as well.

The Deputy CM and SAD chief said he and his government were with the bereaved families at this critical hour. He also advised all to use utmost caution while driving in the coming days when dense fog dominated during early and later hours of the day.

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh and AAP state convener Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi also condoled the deaths. They said the incident was a sad moment.

Amarinder asked the state government to change the school timings in order to ensure that "schoolteachers, students, and other staff are not exposed to the risk of such accidents due to fog". With PTI

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

No place to walk in car capital: Activist files case on behalf of pedestrians, cyclists

LUDHIANA: Ludhiana has the most four-wheelers in Punjab. The city has precisely two and a half times more cars than the national average, says Navdeep Asija, a Mohali-based traffic advisor, who was so concerned by the figures he filed a case of 'Right to walk' in Punjab and Haryana High Court. According to data compiled by Asija, a copy of which is with The Times of India, there are four cars for 100 persons in Ludhiana and Jalandhar. But Ludhiana has a higher percentage of four-wheelers at 16% with Jalandhar following closely at 15%. The number of four-wheelers per 100 persons for the state is two, or half the value for Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

As per the figures, which were compiled a few years ago, the projected estimated vehicle population for 2016 from the year 2000 is 10,29,199 for Ludhiana followed by Jalandhar at 6,46,980. But the total vehicle count per 100 people in Jalandhar is 28, followed by Ludhiana at 27.

"We compiled the data of four-wheelers because most of the public money is going to facilitate 4% of the population and nothing is left for the poor who walk or cycle. Crores are being spent on that but there's not a kilometer long footpath where people can walk. I have been fighting for the right to walk since 2010 and have filed a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. I think no citizen should be deprived of walking. Pedestrians and cyclists are a minority community on roads and my fight is for them. The one who has less in life should have more in law", said Navdeep. After studying the MC budget, he said spending on footpaths for pedestrians and cyclists is negligible

This is corroborated by cyclists and walkers who are hardpressed for space. "Though it is good that the government is spending money on roads, they should not ignore the fact that a sizeable percentage of people in Ludhiana also walk and cycle. They should be given better facilities on roads, including footpaths and cycling tracks", said Davinder Nagi, President, Ludhiana Peddlers Club.

The traffic advisor says he wants walking to be included as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which would guarantee a healthy life to every citizen as walking is good for health. MC officials said this year's budget for repair and construction of roads in the city was Rs 280 crore. Of this, they said, around Rs 2 to Rs 3 crore was for repair of footpaths.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

JK Rifles honours families of Kargil war martyrs

TNN | Updated: Oct 15, 2016, 07:40 IST
Fazilka: Kin of soldiers martyred during the Kargil war of 1999 were honoured by the JK Rifles Regiment at Fazilka on Friday. Among those felicitated on the occasion included Kamla Devi, mother of Sepoy Ashok Kumar, who sacrificed his life in Operation Vijay during the Kargil conflict 17 years ago. Sepoy was the only son of Kamla, who had come from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh for the felicitation ceremony held to mark the Golden Jubilee of JK Rifles. Speaking on the occasion, she said: "The mere sight of a soldier reminds me of my son in olive green who died young fighting for the nation. This honour brought back memories of the day he died."
While recollecting her memories, Neena Singh, wife of Sepoy Sandhur Singh, said their elder daughter Dipika was just two years old, while the other daughter Yashika was just one month old when her husband sacrificed his life for the nation. "It was a very tough time, but at the same time, I feel proud to be the wife of a martyr. The government supported us at that critical time, and now both my daughters are pursuing higher studies," said Neena, who had come to attend the celebration with her two daughters.
Another Veer Naari (war widow), Lata Bhardwaj, wife of Sepoy Gian Chand from Bilaspur in HP, said though she lost her man, such honour ceremonies reminded her of the supreme sacrifice made by her husband. "My world had come crashing down the day we received the news of my husband's martyrdom. But I have decided to send my only son Vivek to the army. It has to be a family legacy, and my son will carry it forward," she added. Like Lata, there were many other war widows who expressed their desire to send their children to the army, as second generation soldiers. Anju Lata, widow of Sepoy Veer Singh from Kangra in Himachal, also expressed her wish to send her daughter Mansi to serve the Indian Army.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Focus and celebrate your commitment & results will come: Isha Kalia DC Fazilka

DC Isha Kalia proves it again

Focus and celebrate your commitment & results will come: Isha Kalia DC Fazilka

Dedication to work is her first and foremost priority

By : Amrit Pal Singh Brar
First Published : Tuesday, Oct 04, 2016 08:25 PM
Updated : Tuesday, Oct 04, 2016 09:12 PM
  • Fazilika: 4 October, 2016: Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A 'you can do it' when things are tough. This is what a young lady IAS officer, Isha Kalia is made off. Dedication to work is her first and foremost priority. Her smiling face, her hope to do things and devotion works as a magic wand.

    Isha Kalia have proved it, the way she had handled the relief camps in Fazilka, it's a remarkable work. She has won the hearts of the people.

    It was the afternoon of the 29th September, when she received orders from the state government to set up relief camps for people who are going to be evacuated from the border villages. A decision was taken by the state government to immediately evacuate the villagers from the 10 km deep area near the Indo-Pak border.  

    (Isha Kalia interacting with a woman at relief camp)

    Time has come for action, process and carrying out a duty towards the nation. Following the orders, Isha Kalia convenes an "urgent situation" meeting of her team, ADC Charandev Mann, SDM Subash Khatak and all her district heads. The issue was to set up relief camps and side by side to motivate the villagers for evacuation. Within six hours the entire set up was given a practical shape and by midnight 22 relief camps came into being.  

    Same day, Isha Kalia started her mission to visit each relief camp personally and by late night, she covered all the camps. "Never seen such a bureaucrat filled up with devotion & humane approach. My head bows before her commitment towards duty" said one of her team member, who accompanied her.

    (Food being served in the camp)

    Now more than 4000 (four thousand) people are in the 16 operational relief camps. Day to day requirements of the evacuees are being looked after by the teams set up for this purpose. One officer has been made in charge of four villages. Whattsapp group has been created to monitor the relief work. CCTV cameras have been installed for surveillance. Sanitation teams, medical teams, cleaning teams and cooking teams are working round the clock. Fogging is being done in all camps, mosquito coils, soaps for washing & bathing are being provided for peoples comfort. Isha Kalia herself visits almost all the camps daily to get feedback and improve the things. team visited the camps and met Isha Kalia to know the status of the camps. Isha Kalia said "Initially, we have setup 22 relief centres, at present 16 centres are operational. People did not turn in rest of the centres".

    Isha further disclosed 'We have also arranged schools and anganwadis at the camps. A movie is screened on every evening in the camps for entertainment". From today, I have started holding "Nari Choupal" also from camp at Churiwala Dhanna. I go and speak to kids & ladies regarding general issues added Isha Kalia.

    Isha Kalia further said "We are monitoring the status of the relief camps and the requirements needed there on a whattasapp group, besides holding meetings. I am personally visiting the camps on daily basis. My district officers are working with zeal and taken it as mission". Focus and celebrate your commitment & results will come says Isha Kalia. (

    (Medical team on work in the camp)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

"आज का दिन बड़ा महान, आज के दिन दो फूल खिले थे, जिनसे महका हिंदुस्तान"

"आज का दिन बड़ा महान, आज के दिन दो फूल खिले थे, जिनसे महका हिंदुस्तान"

- I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent - Mahatma Gandhi 

- An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind - Mahatma Gandhi 

- I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life - Mahatma Gandhi 

- We want freedom for our country, but not at the expense or exploitation of others, not us to degrade other countries…I want the freedom of my country so that other countries may learn something from my free country so that the resources of my country might be utilized for the benefit of mankind - Lal Bahadur Shashtri

Sunday, September 25, 2016

ख़ून अपना हो या पराया हो

ख़ून अपना हो या पराया हो
नस्ले-आदम का ख़ून है आख़िर
जंग मग़रिब में हो कि मशरिक में
अमने आलम का ख़ून है आख़िर

बम घरों पर गिरें कि सरहद पर
रूहे-तामीर ज़ख़्म खाती है
खेत अपने जलें या औरों के
ज़ीस्त फ़ाक़ों से तिलमिलाती है

टैंक आगे बढें कि पीछे हटें
कोख धरती की बाँझ होती है
फ़तह का जश्न हो कि हार का सोग
जिंदगी मय्यतों पे रोती है

इसलिए ऐ शरीफ इंसानो
जंग टलती रहे तो बेहतर है
आप और हम सभी के आँगन में
शमा जलती रहे तो बेहतर है। 

Sahir Ludhianvi

Monday, August 22, 2016

Isha Kalia DC of Fazilka :A smiling face with a strong mind

Ushering a new era based on transparency and development


Fazilka : The high profile Deputy Commissioner, Isha Kalia has captured many tags in the recent past, such as, Udaan girl, Sanitation champion, due to her hard working frame of in the last two years. After taking over as Deputy Commissioner of Fazilka, Isha Kalia took several steps to provide fair and transparent administration, formulated beautification plan for public places and also outlined an agenda to accelerate the development works. She is famous for doing things in her own way. Media team tracked her activities and spent a day with her in the district administrative complex on Wednesday. True to her style, after joining at Fazilka, Isha Kalia created history by starting construction of 967 latrines in a single day in the whole district. This endeavor was named as "Mission 1000". This first of its kind massive action of district administration was designed by Isha Kalia with an aim to give an impetus to the swatch Bharat mission. The action got the positive reception from the state administration. Later on, many other districts followed this model. To mitigate the problems and to solve the grievances of the people, Isha Kalia has decided to dedicate the first day of the each month to redress the grievances in a special open public grievance redress camp, which is held in the DAC. Besides this, she is open to the public meets whole day, without any fixed meeting hours. People flock at her office; she gave an audience to more than 500 people in her office on Wednesday. "It is regular feature," says one of her subordinate officials. It denotes people's reliance on her. To speed up the development works and to keep on regular monitoring of the projects, Isha Kalia introduced a new monitoring mechanism, named as "Field Friday" (FFD). It mandates that every Friday of the week, teams of administration including her (Isha) will fan out in the field to check out the ongoing developments works in the rural & urban areas, besides interacting with people to get feedback. FFD has proved very successful as the unreasonable delay in the works has been cut down. How did you conceive the idea of massive action named "Mission 1000"? Asked media Isha Kalia said "I wanted to send a strong message across that this is an important task and we need to get serious. So to give a mass effect, we wanted to celebrate mission 1000". It breeds a sense of collective responsibility added Isha. Isha Kalia further disclosed "We have formulated a plan to beautify the public places in the city. We are focussing on aesthetics. Fly over and school buildings have been chosen for this purpose". NGOs have been involved in this task. We are also revamping the anganwadi buildings said Isha. We are organising health camps in the slum areas especially for the women and children disclosed Isha Kalia. Answering a query, Isha said "My top priority is to provide transparent and accountable administration to the people along with maximum monitoring of the development projects". We want to finish all the works in a stipulated period added Isha Kalia. DC Isha Kalia is ushering a new era based on transparency and driven by a desire to foster real and lasting perfection for the people in the district.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Rs 100-cr beverage manufacturing unit to boost economy of Fazilka

Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, Ferozepur

In a major boost for the economy of the border district of Fazilka, Schreiber Dynamix Dairies Private Limited (SDDPL) launched its Rs 100 crore project of a fully-integrated aseptic beverage manufacturing facility with support from Tetra Pak in a plant located at International Mega Food Park, Fazilka.

The facility was inaugurated by the organization's president Francois Salamon, chairman and managing director Amitabha Ray and Kandarp Singh, managing director of Tetra Pak South Asia Markets.

Salamon said, "The market for aseptic beverages in India is growing exponentially and there is a lot of untapped potentials. This, along with Indian government's support in developing food parks has given us the impetus to invest in a second facility."

"With Tetra Pak, we will continue to build strong relationships with beverage manufacturers, to offer consumers safe and high-quality products," he claimed.

Aseptic beverages offer high quality and safe products with long shelf life without the need for refrigeration or preservatives. SDDPL is India's first dedicated contract packer for food in Tetra Pak cartons and uses Tetra Pak's advanced processing and packaging technology to partner leading food and beverage companies like PepsiCo, Nestle, Danone, Britannia and Hector Beverages.

"Currently, brands like Tropicana, Nestle and Paper Boat are processed and packed in SDDPL's plant at Baramati, Maharashtra," said an official.

"With our existing plant at Baramati running at full capacity, this new integrated facility will increase our production capabilities and give us a geographical advantage to cater to consumers in north India, who account for 50% of the country's aseptic beverage consumption," said Ray.

"We have set the benchmark for contract packaging in the country and are committed to assisting them in bringing more beverage manufacturers into the aseptic beverage sector," he added.  

"This investment of using Tetra Pak technology is the first major investment in the International Mega Food Park. I am glad, SDDPL chose to partner us," said Sukhinder Singh, chairman & managing director of International Mega Food Park Ltd.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

पेड़ हमसे बड़े क्यूँ होते हैं - एक सामाजिक पहलू

जब हम इस दुनिया को छोड़ के जाते है, जब सभी रिश्तेदार और मित्र हमें आग के हवाले कर घर की और वापिस चल पड़ते है तो यह पेड़ हमारे सच्चे दोस्त , हमारे साथ ही जल रहे होते है । जब इस दुनिया में आते हैं , पहली साँस लेने से लेकर अंतिम यात्रा तक यह हमारे सच्चे दोस्त हमेशा साथ । धुप, छाओं , बारिश , सर्दी, गर्मी हमेशा साथ, एक सच्चा दोस्त । आईये इस मौसम में हम भी, दोस्ती निभाए, एक पेड़ लगाये । एक जगह ढूंढिए जहां आप अपने इस दोस्त को महफूज़ रख सके, और घुमा दीजिये एक फ़ोन हमें 9915184000, और स्मार्ट फ़ोन हैं तो "Anand Utsav" app डाउनलोड कीजिये हमें लोकेशन बताईये। हाज़िर हो जाएगी टीम आपकी सेवा में । दोस्ती के इस वैलेंटाइन मेँ आइये पेड़ लगाईये ।Anand Utsav

Monday, July 11, 2016

Anand Utsav to kick off in Fazilka today

  • This environment festival, which was started in 2010 by local residents, has seen around 50 per cent survival rates in the saplings that they have planted till date

The annual two-week long Anand Utsav will begin on Sunday in Fazilka district. The fifth edition of the festival celebrates nature and this year, the theme is 'save the house sparrow and increase biodiversity in the district'.
"Under Project Sparrow, the idea is to increase their nesting spots by planting shrubs and plants," said Navdeep Asija of Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka, the main organisation behind the festival. "Over the years the house sparrow numbers have been dwindling. We have sought help from leading horticulturists and nurseries in the effort."
Dial-a-Tree service
Also planned is a unique phone service called Dial-a-Tree. Under this, residents who wish to plant a tree at a spot can call on 99 151 840 00 or e-mail the organisers at
"A green ambulance with saplings, manure, tools and volunteers will help to plant saplings," said Asija. "This is a free service intended to serve the higher cause of making our district, and the planet, a little greener."
One resident can get up to five saplings, which organizers say is to ensure that the caretaker takes good care of saplings instead of going on a planting spree only to see them die later.
"We have a target of planting 5,000 saplings. We do not go by trend of planting lakhs of saplings. The idea here is that an individual who gets one saplings planted takes care of it and see it growing into a tree. To plant saplings in bulk and then seeing them dying is not our motive," said Asija.
The non-planned town Fazilka, close to the Indo-Pak border, has a green cover of less then one percent at present.
This environment festival, which was started in 2010 by local residents, has seen around 50 per cent survival rates in the saplings that they have planted till date.
"The sapling will be planted only if the caller undertakes an oath in front of our 'green warriors' along with a written pledge that he/she will take care of it," said Asija. Additional deputy commissioner Fazilka Isha Kalia will inaugurate the green festival on Sunday.
"The ambulance service will start on Monday and continue till the end of the festival. We may extend it if the response is overwhelming," he said.
Isha Kalia told The Sunday Express, "Due to their busy schedule, people who would love to plant a tree are unable to do so. We try to bridge that gap."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

बॉर्डर पर है मजार, अपनी-अपनी सीमा में ऐसे माथा टेक कर चले जाते हैं श्रद्धालु - Peer Baba Rehmat Shah Mazar at Fazilka Indo-Pak Border

फाजिल्का (पंजाब).भारत-पाक सीमा की जीरो लाइन पर तारबंदी के पास भारतीय क्षेत्र में बनी मजार पीर बाबा रहमत शाह में दोनों देशों के बाशिंदों की आस्था है। हर साल जून महीने में यहां मेला लगता है। इस बार भी मेला लगा है। भारत की ओर से हजारों श्रद्धालु माथा टेकने तो आते ही हैं, हजारों पाकिस्तानी भी यहां सजदा करने आते हैं। ऐसे टेक कर चले जाते हैं माथा...
- शनिवार को पाकिस्तान की ओर से कुछ श्रद्धालु ट्रैक्टर पर पाक रेंजरों के सख्त पहरे के बीच पीर बाबा रहमत शाह की मजार पर माथा टेकने आए।
- लेकिन दो देश की सरहदों की मजबूरी के चलते उन्हें दूर से ही पाक क्षेत्र की जमीन पर खड़े होकर माथा टेकने की इजाजत मिली।
- श्रद्धालु यहां कुछ देर रहे और दूर से ही माथा टेककर अपने क्षेत्र रवाना हो गए।
69 साल से है आस्था का केंद्र
- मजार पर माथा टेकने आए सुखदेव सिंह व गुरविंदर सिंह का कहना है कि उनके पिता व दादा बताते थे कि बंटवारे से पहले सीमा के दोनों ओर बसे लोगों में पीर के प्रति काफी आस्था थी।
- लोगों का यह मानना था कि मजार पर सिर झुकाने वाले हर श्रद्धालु की मुराद पूरी होती है।
- इसीके चलते बंटवारे के 69 साल बाद भी भारत-पाक के श्रद्धालुओं की इस मजार के प्रति आस्था कम नहीं हुई है।
- भले ही दोनों देशों के बीच सरहद के रूप में सीमा हो। पर आज भी बाशिंदों की आस्था सरहद पर भारी है।

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Punjab upset with traffic adviser Navdeep Asija, to replace him

The Punjab government on Friday told the Punjab and Haryana high court its intent to drop state traffic adviser Navdeep Asija, whose series of reports have put the SAD-BJP government in the dock.
State advocate general Ashok Aggarwal told the high court bench of justice Surya Kant and justice Ajay Tewari that Asija's appointment was not done under the rules for public appointments. Hence, state would advertise the post afresh.
During the hearing, Aggarwal said Asija thought that he was a "tribunal in himself" and would not report to anybody. "Such terms and conditions are not acceptable to me.," Aggarwal told high court bench during the hearing of traffic-related issues of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Asija, who has been assisting the high court on traffic-related issues for over four years now, was appointed traffic adviser by the state government in September 2015. The high court had made suggestion in this regard in 2014. Asija's reports had been embarrassing the government in the court as well as in public.
The big-ticket project of the Samrala-Ladowal elevated road was stayed by high court in April this year on Asija's report. On Friday, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had to field senior advocate of Supreme Court Gopal Subramaniam and Aggarwal represented the state to defend the project.
It was also on Asija's report of that high court had ordered that the SAS Nagar administration should not spend more on foot overbridges as they were not constructed in keeping in view road traffic engineering. The foot overbridges were cleared in a meeting chaired by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. In another embarrassment to state government, Asija had alleged lapses in award of contract for bus shelters in Ludhiana.
"How do you make your appointments in advocate general office? We are aware of it. He is here for a public cause and has been doing so for years. We have not stopped anybody (from assisting court in public interest matters). Let your experts also come here," the high court bench observed clarifying that Asija's name was suggested by the court as he was assisting court in traffic-related issues for four-five years.
Later, the court said that the state should not make a big issue out of it and could amend terms of engagement with Asija, if desired so as it was state that had employed him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

CM clears site plan for Nature-cum-Monument at village sitogunno in Fazilka district

Chandigarh, May 24: The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today approved the site plan of the nature park-cum-monument to come up over an area of five acres in village Sitogunno (Abohar) in district Fazilka in the fond memory of legendary nature lover Amrita Devi Bishnoi and 363 other residents from Bishnoi community.

Presiding over a meeting to develop the nature park-cum-monument, the Chief Minister asked the Financial Commissioner (Forests) to complete the entire project within four months. The Chief Minister also decided to plant 363 Jand trees also known as Khejri (Prosopis Cineraria) in the upcoming nature park with the inscription of their names on each tree to eulogize the supreme sacrifice of Bishnoi community for saving trees. He also gave a nod to install 363 ft. tall minaret (minar) in memory of these passionate lovers of nature.

It may be recalled that the nature lover Amrita Devi Bishnoi sacrificed her life along with her three daughters' viz. Asu, Ratni and Bhagu in the year 1730 to save green tress being felled by the Maharaja of Jodhpur at a place known as Khejarli in Marwar, Rajasthan, where all the 363 persons laid down their lives in order to protect trees.

The Chief Minister also directed the Technical Advisor Lt. Gen. (retd.) BS Dhaliwal, to visit the site along with the officials of Departments of Architecture and Forests, to chalk out the modalities for execution of this prestigious project within the stipulated time frame.

Briefing the Chief Minister about the project, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests said that the village panchayats of Sitogunno would soon transfer the requisite land for this purpose to the Forest Department to initiate the project forthwith. He also informed Mr. Badal that the department had already obtained the list of the members of bishnoi community, who sacrificed their lives for this noble cause so as to enable us to inscribe their names on the plates to be fixed along with the planting of jand saplings.

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Financial Commissioner Forests Mr. Viswajeet Khanna, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Kuldeep Kumar, Joint Additional Principal Secretary to CM Mr. Kumar Amit, Technical Advisor to Punjab Government Lt. Gen (retd.) BS Dhaliwal and Senior Architect (East) Mrs. Abha J Sharma.

Monday, May 23, 2016

400 trees axed for raising PUDA colony in Fazilka

Praful Chander Nagpal
Fazilka, May 22

At least 400 trees planted during the British era in the eco-sensitive zone of Fazilka town adjoining extinct Badha Lake have been axed for constructing the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) colony.

The cutting of trees and the construction of the colony is in progress, even though the National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently ordered that not a single tree would be axed in the state without its permission.

The state government had transferred 5.5 acres in favour of PUDA under the optimum utilisation of vacant government land scheme in 2011 at meagre amount of Rs 2 crore.

The PUDA decided to raise a colony and allotted 56 freehold residential plots. Residents of Fazilka opposed the proposal tooth and nail. They also launched the Chipko movement (embrace the trees campaign) to save the rare varieties of trees planted more than a century ago during the British regime. The trees were providing a natural shelter to the Fazilka wildlife and also home to national bird peacock.

Following the eco-fragile zone, Vans Pat Agnew, the first British Officer stationed in the area selected this place for setting up surveillance station of East India Company in 1844 and built a bungalow on the banks of the horseshoe lake of Badha on the outskirts of Fazilka town due to beautiful flora and fauna. The bungalow still exists and is currently the official residence of the Deputy Commissioner, Fazilka.

The residents alleged that the impact on the ecology of the town had not been redressed while carving out the colony.

"Fazilka already has less than 1 percent area under forestation and cutting of old trees has further worsened the situation. The PUDA should plant new saplings in Fazilka to compensate for the loss," said Navdeep Asija, General Secretary of a leading NGO, Graduates Welfare Association, Fazilka.

On May 19, the NGT had asked the government to produce original records pertaining to permission for felling trees, particularly in Nawanshahr and Jalandhar districts. It directed that a senior officer be present on the next date of hearing on July 8 and an affidavit be filed by the Principal Secretary of the department concerned.

Monday, May 16, 2016

E-rickshaws okayed for city as fleet - Chandigarh E-Rickshaw

Deepak Yadav
Chandigarh: Times of India, Page 1 16th May 2016

The State Transport Authority (STA) has finally prepared the e-rickshaw policy following a detailed study by Navdeep Asija -a national awardee of excellence, and founder of Dial-aCycle Rickshaw. The policy suggests that e-rickshaws should largely provide connectivity from within the sectors to the main roads. The policy -which is going to be submitted to senior UT officials for implementation -also speaks about a proper system for registration of vehicles and distribution of licences.
As connectivity from sectors to main roads is one of the key points in policy , the focus will be to avoid e-rickshaws in large numbers on main roads.Moreover, experts suggest handing out e-rickshaws as a fleet to entrepreneurs and companies, instead of individuals. Availability of proper recharging stations for e-rickshaws is also one of the crucial elements of the policy .

The policy also speaks of providing proper registration cards (RCs) and licences for these e-rickshaws. The e-rickshaws also need to be technically approved as per the guidelines of the central government. Then, there are issues related to their power capacity and certification. Once the policy is notified, the number of e-rickshaws introduced in the first phase will be decided.As introducing e-rickshaws is one of the prime projects to strengthen the city's transport system, the administration has been working on it for several months. Sources confirmed once the policy is notified, people will get better transport for shorter distances. Asija said: "Chandigarh is an ideal place to introduce e-rickshaws, but it should be introduced as a fleet, and not to individuals, keeping financial viability in mind.There is a need for multi-modal integration of transport, proper connectivity , and backup infrastructure. Some people have the wrong impression that e-rickshaws are a replacement for cycle rickshaws, but the fact is they will replace auto-rickshaws."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Untreated sewage flowing into drain causing havoc in Fazilka

Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, Ferozepur
 |  Updated: May 11, 2016 14:42 IST

A drain conceptualised and constructed to tackle the problem of waterlogging in Muktsar, the home district of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, is causing havoc with soil, groundwater, and health of inhabitants of the villages situated along the drain in Fazilka district.
"Untreated sewage water from areas of various municipal councils is being thrown into Abul Khurana and Asspal drains, whose water further flows into a drain, which carries water to Pakistan," said Boota Singh, who owns 50-acre land at Odian, one of the affected villages, situated along the drain.
Following the flow of untreated sewage flowing into the non-concrete drain, it has become a stinking zone for the adjoining areas during the past two years, he rued.
"Untreated water had not only polluted all the bore wells, but also hand pumps all along the drain. While the worst-affected villages include Mohar Jamsher, Mohar Kheewa, Mauzam, Kotha, Salemshah, Alamshah, Awa, Karnikhera, Kerian and Odian and many more up to Abohar, a subdivision of Fazilka district," said Pargat Singh of Kotha village, tiling 57 acre land.
"Water in hand pumps had turned green and stinky and various test reports of water have proved that it has not only polluted the soil of more than three dozen villages, resulting in drastic fall in the crop yields, but also adversely affected the health of villagers. It has also led to increase water-borne diseases. It is a clear-cut case of man-made disaster causing socio-economic crisis," he lamented.
"It's our basic right to have clean water, soil and air, but the same is being denied following apathetic attitude of the authorities. It's high time that no untreated waste is thrown into the drain and water does not remain stagnant due to faulty design or silt deposits," demanded Sulkhan Singh, another farmer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

यह इंजीनियर दिलों को जोड़ता है - Navdeep Asija

यह इंजीनियर दिलों को जोड़ता है

Dainik Jagran, Ferozpur Edition, Page 3

अमृत सचदेवा, फाजिल्का 1 May : कोई इंजीनियर मशीनें जोड़ता है तो कोई इमारतें बनाता है। लेकिन, फाजिल्का में एक ऐसा इंजीनियर है जो दिलों को जोड़ने का काम करता है। हम उस इंजीनियर की बात कर रहे हैं जो जन्मे और पले बढ़े तो फाजिल्का में हैं और अब चंडीगढ़ में रह अपनी काबलियत से पूरे पंजाब को लाभ पहुंचा रहे हैं। लेकिन, जब भी फाजिल्का के लोगों को एक साथ जोड़ने, उनमें एकता के बीज अंकुरित करने और सभी को एक मंच पर इकट्ठा करने की बात आती है तो यह इंजीनियर अपने सभी काम धंधे छोड़ फाजिल्का पहुंच जाते हैं। 1यह इंजीनियर हैं ग्रेजुएट्स वेलफेयर एसोसिएशन के महासचिव सिविल इंजीनियर नवदीप असीजा। वह पिछले 10 साल से लगातार फाजिल्का में विरासत मेले का आयोजन करते आ रहे हैं। अब यह विरासत मेला पूरे पंजाब में फाजिल्का की शान बन चुका है। क्योंकि आयोजन में लगातार आ रहे निखार के चलते पंजाब के पर्यटन विभाग ने इसे पंजाब के मुख्य विरासत मेलों की सूची में शामिल कर लिया है। 1इसलिए खास है मेला1इंजीनियर असीजा के अनुसार यह मेला उन्होंने लाहौर की विश्व प्रसिद्ध फूड स्ट्रीट की थीम पर शुरू किया था। लेकिन, इसका उससे अलग और ज्यादा अच्छा स्वरूप सामने आया है। मेले का उद्देश्य शहर को जोड़ना है। उन्हें खुशी तब होती है जब लोग कहते हैं कि अपना मेला कब है। कोई ये नहीं कहता कि आप का मेला कब है। इस मेले में वार्षिक तौर पर यहां की कला, खानपान व संस्कृति के रंगों को उभारा जाता है। विरासत मेले के 10 साल के सफर में असीजा का साथ निभाते आ रहे लोगों में समाजसेवी राकेश नागपाल, मनीष भठेजा, पंकज धमीजा, रवि खुराना, संदीप अबरोल, भूपिंदर सिंह, नितिन सेतिया, एडवोकेट उमेश कुक्कड़, मनोज नारंग आदि शामिल हैं।अमृत सचदेवा, फाजिल्का 1कोई इंजीनियर मशीनें जोड़ता है तो कोई इमारतें बनाता है। लेकिन, फाजिल्का में एक ऐसा इंजीनियर है जो दिलों को जोड़ने का काम करता है। हम उस इंजीनियर की बात कर रहे हैं जो जन्मे और पले बढ़े तो फाजिल्का में हैं और अब चंडीगढ़ में रह अपनी काबलियत से पूरे पंजाब को लाभ पहुंचा रहे हैं। लेकिन, जब भी फाजिल्का के लोगों को एक साथ जोड़ने, उनमें एकता के बीज अंकुरित करने और सभी को एक मंच पर इकट्ठा करने की बात आती है तो यह इंजीनियर अपने सभी काम धंधे छोड़ फाजिल्का पहुंच जाते हैं। 1यह इंजीनियर हैं ग्रेजुएट्स वेलफेयर एसोसिएशन के महासचिव सिविल इंजीनियर नवदीप असीजा। वह पिछले 10 साल से लगातार फाजिल्का में विरासत मेले का आयोजन करते आ रहे हैं। अब यह विरासत मेला पूरे पंजाब में फाजिल्का की शान बन चुका है। क्योंकि आयोजन में लगातार आ रहे निखार के चलते पंजाब के पर्यटन विभाग ने इसे पंजाब के मुख्य विरासत मेलों की सूची में शामिल कर लिया है। 1इसलिए खास है मेला1इंजीनियर असीजा के अनुसार यह मेला उन्होंने लाहौर की विश्व प्रसिद्ध फूड स्ट्रीट की थीम पर शुरू किया था। लेकिन, इसका उससे अलग और ज्यादा अच्छा स्वरूप सामने आया है। मेले का उद्देश्य शहर को जोड़ना है। उन्हें खुशी तब होती है जब लोग कहते हैं कि अपना मेला कब है। कोई ये नहीं कहता कि आप का मेला कब है। इस मेले में वार्षिक तौर पर यहां की कला, खानपान व संस्कृति के रंगों को उभारा जाता है। विरासत मेले के 10 साल के सफर में असीजा का साथ निभाते आ रहे लोगों में समाजसेवी राकेश नागपाल, मनीष भठेजा, पंकज धमीजा, रवि खुराना, संदीप अबरोल, भूपिंदर सिंह, नितिन सेतिया, एडवोकेट उमेश कुक्कड़, मनोज नारंग आदि शामिल हैं।

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fazilka admin awaits funds for heritage buildings

A dilapidated building of Raghuvar Bhawan in Fazilka

Praful Chander Nagpal, The Tribune

Fazilka, April 17

After Fazilka residents held several agitations to save the ancient monuments of the town, the state government had granted the "heritage" status to three buildings by issuing separate notifications in October 2014.

The Culture Affairs, Archaeology, and Museum Department (CAAMD), Punjab, had granted heritage status to Raghuvar Bhawan, the Goal Kothi and the Bangla.

It seems that the heritage status was accorded only on paper. "The CAAMD has failed to restore the structures and the government did not provide any amount for the maintenance of these buildings. The condition of the already dilapidated Raghuvar Bhawan is deteriorating day after day as most of its part has already collapsed," said a local historian Lachhman Dost, who had spearheaded the agitation to get the heritage status for the buildings.

Raghuvar Bhawan, which was constructed in 1901 by a local philanthropist Seth Sunder Mal Bansal, is now on the verge of collapse. At present, the Raghuvar Bhawan is located on the Freedom Fighter Road and is a part of the Improvement Trust colony. Goal Kothi, also known as Bosworth Smith Recreation Club, at the local Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, was constructed during the British regime in 1913. The British officers including women used to carry out recreation activities in Goal Kothi. At present, the office of the District Education Officer (DEO) is being run in this building.

Historical building Bangla (bungalow) was constructed at the behest of British officer Vans Agnew in 1844 on the banks of the Sutlej river and the Badha Lake in lush green area of the town to keep vigil on various kingdoms under the British regime.

The bungalow was later on converted into the Deputy Commissioner's residence. It is a well-maintained building as the then Deputy Commissioner Basant Garg had spent a hefty amount for the renovation of the building in 2012.

Deputy Commissioner, Fazilka, Isha Kalia said no funds had been received for the upkeep of the buildings.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Farm equipment to be a call away Farmers can rent tractors, other implements over the phone

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e-way to prosperity

  • NABARD has launched a pilot project in Fazilka and Muktsar districts wherein farm machinery will be a call away from the farmers who can't afford to purchase expensive farm implements
  • The rent charged from farmers will be divided between drivers of the equipment and the trust
  • Drivers will pay part of their income to the trust in the form of monthly instalment to settle the cost of equipment so that they ultimately get the ownership of the implement

Maninder Pal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13

Farmers having marginal landholdings will soon be able to hire tractors and other agricultural implements much similar the way urbanites hire cabs in cities.

Unlike cabs, where the ownership of the vehicle remains with the original owner, the new arrangement entails the transfer of ownership rights of equipment to the drivers, who will be selected from among landless farmers of various villages.

This would be a step ahead compared to similar such centres being run by cooperative societies, where the ownership of implements remain with the society.

In a first-ever government-sponsored initiative, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has launched a pilot project in Fazilka and Muktsar districts, wherein farm machinery will be just a call away from the farmers who can't afford to purchase expensive farm implements.

The bank plans to replicate the project in other districts and has decided to launch it in Faridkot, Ferozpur and Moga districts this year.

"These services will be available on quite a similar mechanism as is the case with taxi services such as Ola cabs. NABARD has associated with Fazilka-based Jawala Bhai Nathu Ram Trust and sanctioned Rs 25 lakh budget for the project. The trust will purchase pre-owned implements worth Rs 22 lakh. The remaining Rs 3 lakh will be in the form of grant to be used to train drivers," said Dr PM Ghole, Chief General Manager (CGM), Punjab Regional Office, NABARD.

Gohle said: "The trust is already running such services in the Fazilka area for some years and got a good response. NABARD wishes to replicate it in other pockets of Punjab."

The CGM said the trust had contact details of around 3,000 farmers. "Needy farmers can make a call to the trust's call centre and avail themselves of the services," he said.

Another salient feature of the project is the transfer of ownership of the implements to drivers. "Rent charged from farmers will be divided between drivers and the trust. However, drivers will pay part of their income to the trust in the form of monthly instalment to settle the cost of equipment. This will facilitate the transfer of ownership to the driver," Gohle said.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Abohar Centre demarcates eco-sensitive zone, lauds local Bishnois for preserving area

The local Bishnoi community was credited by the government with respect to its immense contribution towards maintaining the area spread over 13 villages of Abohar

Lauding the efforts of the Bishnoi community in Abohar in Fazilka district, the Centre on Friday declared an 186 so km of private and open wildlife sanctuary as the eco-sensitive zone. Notification to this effect has been done under environment protection act-1986, informed DC Fazilka Isha Kalia.
The local Bishnoi community was credited by the government with respect to its immense contribution towards maintaining the area spread over 13 villages of Abohar. The village residents protect the wildlife from poachers and participate in its upkeep.

"With the area declared eco-sensitive, there will be no mining in this area and within 100 metres radius of this sanctuary," said district forest officer Charanjeet Singh. "No new industry that can deplete water quality or cause any type of pollution will be allowed to be established in this area and around."
An Eco-tourism master plan will, however, be made according to which people will be encouraged to visit the sanctuary. "But at the same time, the ecosystem will be preserved and efforts will be made to not encourage hotels and related industry. Tourism will be controlled," he added.

The wildlife sanctuary has over 3500 black bucks, Neel Gai and other wild animals also roam around freely in this private wild life sanctuary.
A private monitoring committee will be made to look into irregularities if any and also to increase the wildlife in this sanctuary, informed DC Kalia.

The area residents have expressed happiness over the Centre's announcement

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Benefits of TAPI Gas Pipeline to Fazilka, Punjab

The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply today that the on 13th December 2015, the Ground Breaking ceremony to start the work on the Turkmen leg of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline was held at Mary, Turkmenistan. Earlier in November 2014, the Pipeline Consortium, TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) was incorporated in Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency. The Share Holders Agreement of TPCL was also signed on 13th December 2015. The shareholding percentage in the TPCL would be Turkmenistan 85%, India 5%, Pakistan 5% and Afghanistan 5%. 

With the Ground Breaking Ceremony on 13th December, 2015 work has begun on the Turkmen leg of the pipeline. The technical study of the TAPI project has estimated an overall project duration of 6? years from the start of the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) process till handing over of the pipeline for commercial operation. 

The Pipeline will enter India at Fazilka, Punjab. The gas available from the project is expected to boost development of industrial and commercial activities in Fazilka district, including start of CNG and City gas distribution and associated employment generation.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sangat Darshan: Punjab govt offers Rs 16-crore grant to Fazilka villages

summary: Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal distributed grants worth Rs 16 crore in 57 Fazilka villages in his day-long Sangat Darshan. This was the deputy CM's first Sangat Darshan in the constituency of a BJP MLA. Fazilka is the constituency of BJP MLA and state Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani. Talking with mediapersons, Sukhbir said that state government has waived almost Rs 6,000 from power bills of farmers. Farmers have become a focal point for almost all political parties in Punjab.

Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal distributed grants worth Rs 16 crore in 57 Fazilka villages in his day-long Sangat Darshan. This was the deputy CM's first Sangat Darshan in the constituency of a BJP MLA. Fazilka is the constituency of BJP MLA and state Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani. At the event, Sukhbir said his government always stood for the implementation of Swaminathan Commission for permanent solution of agrarian crisis and wants minimum support price of crops to be linked with wholesale price index. He also said that the government is leaving no stone unturned to make it a profitable venture. Farmers have become a focal point for almost all political parties in Punjab. The Congress began its farmer outreach campaign Pagri Sambhaal Kisana, while AAP's national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will meet with farmers soon. Talking with mediapersons, Sukhbir said that state government has waived almost Rs 6,000 from power bills of farmers.

He also said that state government is connecting farmers with cashless health insurance scheme under which families engaged in farming would be able to avail free treatment upto Rs 50,000 annually from designated hospitals and its premium would be paid by government. "The state government is giving subsidy to tune of 33 per cent to make available tractors and other agricultural implements to farmers in order to mitigate rising cost of agriculture," he said.. . .