Human Service Society, Tarn Taran, with the assistance of Bharat Vikas Parishad, is managing a scheme to provide meals at cheaper rates to the needy, particularly the attendants of patients at the Civil Hospital complex. The scheme has now been running for six years in a planned manner. The needy are being provided lunch at the rate of only Rs 10 per thali (plate). As many as 350 heads are taking advantage of the scheme daily. The step was initiated by the District Red Cross Society on the instructions of the State Government in 2017 but was dropped midway for want of funds. When the Red Cross Society stopped it, a group of 15 dedicated social workers came forward to run the welfare scheme. Most workers are retired employees from the revenue department who under the ‘Mata Ganga Daa Chullha’ scheme have been managing the kitchen. Mata Ganga was the wife of fifth Sikh Guru Sri Arjun Dev. At the very beginning, the 15 workers started to share Rs 1,000 per head from their pocket but their dedicated services were acknowledged later by a large number of other donors. Presently, the Rice Millers Association, Tarn Taran, led by Avtar Singh Teneja with the assistance of other millers, has been donating food grain for the last five years regularly. The millers donated 12 quintals of rice recently. Some of the NRIs and other donors too have been contributing according to their capacity for the noble cause. People donated coolers, refrigerators, fans etc to the society. A shed under which as many as 40 persons can sit for meals was constructed with the efforts of Baba Jagtar Singh, head of Kar Sewa sect at the site. Dilbag Singh Tharu, president, Jaswinder Singh, general secretary and Avtar Singh, treasurer of the Human Service Society, said the six women cooks who prepare food are given Rs 4,000 per month. The total expenditure on the chullha (kitchen) is to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh per month while the income is just Rs 1 lakh which is compensated jointly by the members and other social activists. The society has its own 400 steel plates to serve lunch. Society members come to the Chullha site by rotation to supervise the preparing of lunch in the morning and stay there till 3 pm without break. The Chulha is run in a well planned manner to serve society.
Unlocked boxes for electric meters make power theft easier in Patti area.
Powercom employees allege vindictiveness
The ‘victimisation’ of Powercom officials working in Patti sub-division has not just discouraged the employees but also encouraged power theft. The higher-ups had shifted a large number of officials in a single day in the Patti area and without their consent. The officials include the lone XEN of Patti division, an SDO of Patti city sub-division, two junior engineers (JEs), an assistant JE and a lineman who were transferred out to far away places. The ‘victimised’ employees and their supporters who were at the office of the Deputy Chief Engineer in Tarn Taran with their request said they had been made a scapegoat while performing their duty sincerely. They said that the Powercom had issued instructions to decrease losses by locking the electric meters in the boxes installed in localities. They had performed their duties sincerely resulting in the stoppage of power theft. They said that the elements involved in power theft had been affected by the move and those calling themselves supporters of the ruling party had been threatening them. They said the department without hearing their version had packed them off to far away stations. It had created terror among the officers and employees working in the border area. The department was already facing a shortage of staff in the area. The authorities while transferring the staff had ignored the ground realities whereas a large number of posts were already lying vacant, they alleged. After transferring the XEN, the lone top post at the division level has been affected. The four sub-divisions do not have the post of SDOs. The area is also facing an acute shortage of field staff too. Repeated attempts to have the Powercom version by contacting senior officials like Gursharan Singh Khehra, Deputy Chief Engineer, Tarn Taran circle, Bal Krishan, Chief Engineer of the border zone and Baldev Singh Sran, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, failed as they did not respond to phone calls. Reports from the border area said the Powercom was facing huge losses to the tune of 80 per cent as in Bhikhiwind like in Patti, consumers were reluctant to pay electricity bills with naked wires making power theft easier. (Contributed by Gurbaxpuri)