Fresno County's Street signboard "Punjab Avenue" disappear about 10 times
Due to protest and E-mails bombardment by NRIs- county authorities backed down.
Fresno, Dec. 29, 2010
Mohan Vema/ Gary Singh
In 1980, NRI Dr. Harcharan Chann, a well known cardiologist, developed a housing project and named one street- Punjab Avenue. These houses have two-acre lots complete with circle driveways and rich neighbourhood.
Mostly media and local officials are saying:
- Punjab Avenue has become such a favourite with thieves
- Street sign divided neighbors in Fresno County
- Some people think it's a prank -- or that people just like to collect street signs with unusual names.
Can we accept these statements?. not really. Such a statements never exists in democratic Countries, said Dr. Rajinder Singh
Interestingly, there is one more street--"Punjab Street" in San Joquin city where the population is 3000, but this sign never stolen or taken away, unscrewed or hacked off.
Now question arise.....WHY THIS SIGN Disappear about 10 times.
According to Harry Gill, owner of Gill Insurance Company told our representative that there are about 9 houses on this street. Long time ago, there was one real estate Agent/ or broker liked to buy 5 houses but suggested to change the name of the street but Dr. Harcharan Chann did not accept this offer.
Later on, another real estate agent bought one house and statred to convince other residence to change the name of the street.
- He got signature of 5 residences out of 9 residences and forwarded this proposal to City officials.
- He proposed a solution: Change the street name to Sierra Hills Avenue. This would put an end to the theft save residents up to $200 for each replacement.
The officials established "Consent Agenda" for further actions. CONSENT AGENDA means (one vote required for approval of all items).
NRI leaders approached to city and requested Consent Agenda to change to"hearing". Before the hearing, NRI community leader started protest through popular radio station and requested to send email to officials. This protest and E-mails bombardment says:
- I request that you all keep in mind the feelings and sentiments of thousands of Sikh Americans residing in Fresno County.
- This is flat out discrimination
- On Dec 14's meeting, NRIs and neighbours said:
- This proposal "distasteful, racist and insulting
Dr. Harcharan Chann does not own any property on this street, but as a developer he named this street- Punjab Avenue. He gave a statement that he would sue the city if name changed to to Sierra Hills Avenue.
Due to these protest and E-mails bombardment by NRIs- county authorities backed down.
The county supervisor ordered "Weld them, put the poles in heavy cement - do whatever it takes."
Now the authorities proposed to do a better job of securing the signs.The officials have now mooted the idea of planting hidden tracking devices inside it.
Punjab Avenue: a signboard that keeps disappearing in California county
Los Angeles, Dec 29, 2010
By Gurmukh Singh
The signboard for Punjab Avenue, a street in California's Fresno County, has become such a favourite with thieves that officials have now mooted the idea of planting hidden tracking devices inside it.
Fresno County, which is home to the first Sikh immigrants in the late 19th century, has a 40,000-strong Punjabi community today.
Punjab Avenue is the one of three streets at a housing project developed by local Sikh cardiologist Harcharan Chann in the late 1980s.
All is well in the rich neighbourhood with its posh, two-acre lots complete with circle driveways, manicured lawns and grand entrances except one thing - someone keeps stealing the street signs for Punjab Avenue.
No one knows why and no one has been caught, according to the local Fresno Bee newspaper.
Fed up with thieves when county officials called a meeting to consider the idea of changing the street name from Punjab Avenue to Sierra Hills Avenue, it raised a storm in the local Sikh community, with a Punjabi radio station leading the protest, according to the newspaper.
E-mails bombarded county authorities. "I request that you all keep in mind the feelings and sentiments of thousands of Sikh Americans residing in Fresno County," read one. "This is flat out discrimination," read another.
So when many Punjabis at the Dec 14 meeting opposed name changing and found some support among neighbours who called the proposal "distasteful ...racist, and insulting", county authorities backed down.
As an alternative, the authorities proposed to do a better job of securing the signs. "Weld them, put the poles in heavy cement - do whatever it takes," ordered county supervisor Judy Case.
County workers followed the orders. But smart vandals simply sawed off part of the pole and vanished with the street sign, according to the paper.
Helpless county authorities have now decided to explore the possibility of installing a remote tracking device on the sign and asked their officials to find out whether they could hide a "satellite emitter" in the sign to catch thieves.
But senior engineer Robin Quinn has some issues: How do you power the tracking device? How do you make sure thieves don't find it and pull it off?
So as an alternative, Quinn also is considering the possibility of installing a device that would spray dye when the sign is removed - similar to what banks use to tag stolen money.
But what if the spray system malfunctioned?
Indeed, the Punjab Avenue sign board has become a big headache for county authorities.
Sixty-year-old Harcharan Chann, who no longer owns any property on the street he named in the 1980s, says he will sue county authorities if they change the name.......IANS/NRIpress.com