Protest by teachers,Sholay style

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal's visit to Bathinda to lay foundation stones for a cancer and cardiac hospital...

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Bathinda | Published: February 23, 2009 5:18:19 am

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s visit to Bathinda to lay foundation stones for a cancer and cardiac hospital,a five-star hotel and four hospitals under the Urban Slum Health Programme with a combined outlay of more than Rs 200 crore was today marred by a vehement protest by EGS teachers’ union.

Taking a cue from Sholay,nine EGS teachers,including six women and three men,climbed atop a water tank near Gol Diggi and threatened to commit suicide,putting the district administration and the police on


After more than five hours and hectic parleys between the representatives of the union and the district administration,the deadlock ended when a fax from the Punjab government assured that they would enrol the agitators in an ETT course from June 2009. The union had been demanding that they be offered an ETT course,as promised by the state government.

Tense moments marked the protest on a number of occasions. An agitator was seen almost trying to jump after a police official made an attempt to climb the tank. The cop,however,returned immediately.

It was learnt that one of the agitators also carried a bottle of petrol. “Yes,I carried a bottle of petrol with me. It was not a drama. We had warned that if our demands were not met,we will take the extreme step,” said Kulbir Singh,one of the agitators.

The worried district administration discontinued the power supply of the wires passing along the water tank to avoid any mishap. Some NGOs were also seen putting nets along the water tank.

The agitators atop the water tank were constantly in touch with the union representatives below through the mobile phones.

“We have received a fax from Chief Minister Secretariat,assuring the ETT course to agitators,beginning June 2009,” confirmed Bathinda Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari.

Earlier in the day,the protesters were cane-charged by police near local Fauji Chowk. Some of them were also taken into police custody.

“We had detained some protesters in the morning. Now,they have been released,” said Bathinda SSP Ashish Chaudhry.

Sukhbir lays foundation stone of multi-speciality hospital
During the day,Sukhbir laid the foundation stone of Rs 100-crore multi-super-specialty hospital being set up by Max group under public-private partnership (PPP) mode. The 200-bed hospital with specialisation in cardiac and cancer care would be built over 4.80 acres of land on the district civil hospital complex. Sukhbir also laid the foundation stone of four hospitals at Lal Singh Basti,Janta Nagar,Kamla Nehru Colony and Dhobiana Basti to be constructed at the cost of Rs 2.5 crore each. Punjab Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla was also present on the occasion.

Sukhbir also laid the foundation stone of the first five-star hotel in the Malwa region to be set up by Vipul Hospitality Limited at the cost of Rs 100 crore under PPP mode. The hotel is coming up on an area falling between two lakes of the thermal plant. Speaking on the occasion,the deputy CM said besides tackling the problem of underground water by installing RO system in every village,the government had taken a major step to set up super-specialty cancer hospital in Bathinda. Emphasising on the need of upgrading the infrastructure,he said with the completion of five-star hotel in the next two years,industrial and economic scenario of this region would take a giant leap.

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