Inaugural stone evidence of history


A foundation stone laid in Dhotian village about 70 years back has become an eyewitness to history. The stone was laid by Surjit Singh Majithia, the then Union Defence Minister. Surjit Singh Majithia was elected a member of the Lok Sabha in the first General Election held in 1952 from Tarn Taran parliamentary constituency. This was the first election after Independence. The minister laid the stone of Baba Veer Singh Khalsa High School, Dhotian.

The school was established by the residents of the area with their own efforts and the staff was given salary with their own collections. The school was later taken over by the Punjab Government and is now known as Government High School, Dhotian. There were many educational institutions, schools and colleges opened by the locals after Independence. These were later taken over by the government. In Kairon village, Nihal Singh Kairon, father of Partap Singh Kairon, chief minister of undivided Punjab, had opened one such school in Kairon village which was only for girls. It is known as Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Kairon. It was also taken over by the government in 1955. Sri Guru Arjun Dev (SGAD) Government College, Tarn Taran, too before being taken over by the government was run by a private management which was known as SGAD Khalsa College, Tarn Taran.

Tarn Taran, a town with several unresolved issues

Tarn Taran, a historic town with rich religious importance having been established by the fifth Sikh Guru Sri Arjun Devji in 1596 is facing a lot of problems like the poor condition of roads which get converted into parking lots, creating traffic jams. The residents have been raising issues like lack of sanitation and inadequate supply of potable water with several localities receiving the supply of contaminated (sewerage mixed) water. Streetlights, encroachments are among the other problems afflicting the town.

A damaged part of the GT Road, which was repaired with waste material. Photo by writer

On the Jandiala road, due to the repeated closing of railway crossing, commuters have to wait for more than 40 minutes once the railway gate is closed to let a train pass. Not just the opposition parties, even the common people and volunteers of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of ward 5 led by Jatinderpal Singh, the party’s ward president, pointed out the town’s real picture to AAP MLA Dr Kashmir Singh recently. The volunteers expressed their resentment over the traffic jam on Jandiala road where the railway gate is often seen closed six to seven times in a day, causing delay in the restoration of normal flow of traffic. For the last 30 years, the residents have been getting assurances of the problems being resolved but to no avail. Politicians had announced the construction of an over-bridge on the crossing but nothing has been done. The ward residents also brought the defective street lights to notice. The problems do not just affect a particular area but the whole town. The street lights on roads leading to Darbar Sahib were not functional. Jaswant Singh Mohalla, Guru Ka Khooh Mohalla, Noorda Mohalla, Tonk Kashatry Mohalla, Valmiki Mohalla, Muradpur locality, Gokalpur Mohalla and several other localities are lacking in thse amenities. Sewerage water was seen accumulated at several places. The GT road passing through the town was seen damaged at many places and has been repaired with waste material which has made the condition of the road more critical. MLA Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal, while talking of solutions to the problems, assured that development work in the town would be expedited.

(Contributed by Gurbaxpuri)