Saturday, January 13, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sambhar killed in road accident
by Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — A sambhar died in a road accident near Ladhowal about 15 km from here late last night. The body of the sambhar was buried in the premises of the tiger safari here today, without any postmortem.

The sambar had reportedly lost his way and wandered onto the road which proved fatal for him. Wildlife experts say, there was possibility that the sambar might have come from the Mattewara forest range or from the Central Seed Farm, Ladhowal.

According to police officials at Laddowal police station, the accident occurred around 11.45 p.m. near Hardy’s world. Mr Bakshish Singh, SHO, told The Tribune that Munshi Manjit Singh,who was on duty at that time, sent Constable Dimple and Avtar Singh to the spot.

When the two constables reached the spot, the injured sambar was struggling for life. One of the constables reported, ‘’I rushed to Hardy’s World, where I collected some twigs to light fire and provide some warmth to the sambar.” But the trolley could come, the sambar breathed his last. It is conjected that some heavy vehicle had hit the animal. The body showed serious injuries on the back and legs.

A team of the People For Animals (PFA) also reached Laddowal today morning to investigate the matter along with Mr Varinder Chawla, Inspector, Wild Life. Mr Sandeep Jain, president, PFA, said that the sambar suffered serious internal injuries after the accident occurred and was also under shock, which ultimately cost him his life. Mr Ajay Jain, general secretary, PFA, said that there was possibility that the sambhar was being chased by some dogs and hunters, when it came to the road.

Mr Chawla informed that the sambar was buried in the Tiger Safari at around 2 p.m. today. 

Peacock dies in Tiger Safari
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan,12—The peacock which was released at the Tiger Safari by PFA on January 1 last, died here today.

It may be recalled that this peacock had been injured in December and was treated at Jaya Daya Sadan before it was released at the Safari. Volunteers of the PFA rescued it after it got entangled in thorny bushes at Morkrima village near Jagraon. The bird was then brought to the PAU veterinary clinic. The injured foot of the bird had to be amputated.

Officials at the Tiger Safari were surprised at the death of the peacock. Mr Joshi told The Tribune that the peacock had been recuperating since its release. He maintained that the bird may have died due to spreading of infection or cold weather. Back


Avtar case: another man gets police remand
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — Another accused in the Avtar Singh murder case, Paramjit Singh Pammy, was today sent to the police custody till January 17 after he was produced in the court of Mr B.K. Mehta, Senior Sub-Judge, today.

Earlier, it was claimed that Pammy had been arrested by the police yesterday along with another accused. However, it was also said that Pammy had also surrendered like Bittu Gill. He was subsequently produced in the court of Mr Mehta and sent to the police custody for one week.

Pammy is a gun dealer and was in hiding for the past four days. He is alleged that he was present on the spot when Avtar Singh was shot. The people here are demanding that his licence for running the gun shop be cancelled.

Pammy was taken to the police station of Division Number 5, where the FIR in this case has been registered. Mr Santokh Singh, SHO of the police station, is investigating the case. Pammy was not allowed to talk to the media, since the police officials believed that it might hamper the investigations.

Another accused in the case, Bittu Gill, was sent to the police custody for 12 days yesterday after he surrendered before the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh.

The police said it had conducted several raids on the suspected hideouts of Gurmeet Singh Pinki at various places, including Delhi.

Pinki, who an inspector in the Punjab police, has been suspended and demoted to the rank of a havaldar after the shootout. Despite several raids on his possible hideouts, he continues to be at large.


Youth invents money-saving electrical device
From Our Correspondent

MACHHIWARA, Jan 12 — A youth man, Satnam Singh Bajwa of Gaunsgarh village near here, has challenged the PSEB that an electrical device invented by him could save the department millions of rupees for executing 24- hours single phase energy supply. Dismissing the recently announced single phase supply scheme, which would cost lakhs of rupees on a single feeder, this youth has introduced a device which costs only Rs 2,000.

Endorsing his claim, Mr Harjodh Singh, SDO, PSEB, said that he had found that the instrument, when applied to the output bush of a transformer, provided single phase supply enabling household appliances and tubewells to run continuously. It has been learnt that in the absence of the three phase supply, farmers used to run their tubewells at two phase supply by joining a capacitor which was prohibited many times, but in vain.

Now, with the help of this device, PSEB officials could overcome that problem. Mr Harjodh Singh informed that Machhiwara subdivision’s Jhar Sahib feeder would have to arrange nine new transformers with loads of 25 KVA and 63 KVA at a cost of Rs 3 lakh and extra conducting wire to separate household supply from the agricultural one. An expenditure of millions of rupees was likely be incurred if the process was carried out all over the state. In contrast to PSEB’s new single phase supply scheme for 24 hours, especially for villages, the application of this gadget to every transformer would prove to be much cheaper.

Satnam Singh said that decreased load supply to villages and improper supply of energy to village houses inspired him to invent the instrument. He thanked Mr Gurdeep Singh Rai, acting principal and lecturer of Government Senior Secondary School, Hambowal Bet, for helping him achieve the desired goal.


VC calls for inquiry into Jorhat episode
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — The administration of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has initiated proceedings against members of the Executive Committee of the Dance Drama and Music club of the university, who have been held responsible by an enquiry, for disqualification of the varsity’s contingent at the youth festival held at Jorhat in Assam in the third week of October last year. According to sources in the university, all members of the panel have been issued letters on the directions of the Vice-Chancellor, asking them to explain the reasons for sending a contingent in excess of the prescribed limit. They have been told to send their replies through the president of the Club, Dr H.S. Sekhon, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering, within 10 days.

It may be recalled that the PAU students’ contigent, that was sent to participate in the second All India Inter-state Agricultural Universities Youth Festival at Jorhat was disqualified by organisers and stripped of all the medals it had won in different items/events. The contingent allegedly consisted of 35 participants, instead of the maximum prescribed number of 27.

Following the unseemly episode, which had brought a bad name to the university, the Vice-Chancellor had asked the Registrar, Mr Alok Shekhar, to conduct an inquiry into the matter and to identify officials responsible for it. Mr Shekhar was also asked to recommend action against the officials concerned.

In his enquiry report, which he submitted to the Vice-Chancellor about a month ago, Mr Shekhar held chiefly the Executive Committee of the Dance Drama and Music Club, which had decided to send participants in excess of the prescribed number responsible. He recommended that all members of the Executive Committee should be asked to explain the reasons for sending students in excess of the specified number and action be taken against them in accordance with the rules of the university.

Having accepted the recommendations of the enquiry officer, the Vice-Chancellor, it is reliably learnt, has asked Mr. Shekhar to call an explanation of the members concerned. In identical letters to members, Mr Shekhar has reportedly written that as per their (students’) performance, they attained the maximum score on the basis of which they were entitled to an over-all trophy. However, the team has been scrapped and all their medals forfeited. The participants have been disqualified on account of some lapses, including the excess number of participants, which has brought a bad name to the university.”

Interestingly, a member of the Executive Committee of the said club confided on condition of anonymity that in no meeting of the committee was it ever decided to send participants in excess of the prescribed limit. He had no knowledge about who had flouted the norms, he said. However, he was critical of the fact that two junior officials had been deputed to accompany the contingent as teachers-in-charge.

He was confident that nothing untoward would have happened, if the team had been accompanied by a senior faculty member.


Traffic police marks sensitive spots
Teens, migrants worst drivers
by Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — To prevent road accidents in the city, the traffic police here has identified certain areas of traffic hazards. These areas will be regularly monitored by traffic policemen, and traffic lights and roundabouts will be set up at such points.

The areas that have been identified include the road that connects Bharat Nagar Chowk with Ferozepore Road, the crossing outside Gate Number 2 of Punjab Agricultural University, the Aggar Nagar Chowk crossing, the bus-stand road and the other roads that do not have proper dividers, traffic lights or traffic signboards.

Traffic police officials said after the traffic was controlled at these spots, the number of accidents would also come down steadily. In 2000, 145 persons died in road accidents in the city, whereas in 1997, 188 persons died in such accidents. The death toll in road accidents increased to 226 in 1998. In 1999, 174 persons lost their lives in road accidents.

Traffic personnel say that most of the identified areas do not have proper road dividers. Accidents are also caused because the roads are narrow.

Traffic personnel always blame the public for the accidents. A senior official of the traffic police said the number of road accidents in the city was increasing because residents did not observe traffic rules properly. Cases of rash and drunken driving were also common here.

The official said most of the young boys and girls in the city did not have even learner’s licences for driving. He said, “It is not possible for us to check the driver’s licence of every person. The number of vehicles in the city is about 6.5 lakh.”

Most of the traffic personnel said the city youth were addicted to late-night parties, after which, most of them consumed alcohol and then drove their vehicles rashly on roads, causing accidents. There are persons who do not obey the traffic signals and bang their vehicles into those of others after jumping the red light.

Migrant labourers do not understand traffic signals, signs or symbols. They keep on pulling their rickshaws and bicycles unmindful of the traffic rules. Most of the accidents happen when the other drivers try to save them.

The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, said patrolling on motor cycles by traffic police personnel had recently been introduced at Ghumar Mandi, on College road and Mall Road under the supervision of the Deputy Superintendent of Police (traffic), Mr Satish Malhotra. These personnel rush to the spot whenever there is a mishap as their vehicles are equipped with wireless sets. The department has also set up posts to check overspeeding in the identified areas.


Boy missing, abduction feared
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — A six-year-old boy, Amit, has been reported missing since yesterday from his residence in the Kote Alamgir area near the police station of Division Number 2 here. The police has registered an FIR in the case.

According to Raj Kumar, father of the boy, Amit left his home at about 2 pm yesterday for playing, but did not return till late in the evening. All efforts to search him were fruitless. The family, ultimately, approached the police and lodged an FIR.

Raj Kumar fears that his son might have been abducted. About two weeks ago, the son of their servant had been abducted by some unidentified persons from the same spot. He was let off after two days with injured hands and eye. Raj Kumar feared that because he had actively pursued that case, those persons had abducted his son now to seek revenge.

The police has began the search for Amit. No arrest was made in the previous case of kidnapping. The servant’s boy could not identify the persons who had abducted him.

All residents of the locality are scared after the second incident of suspected kidnapping here. There is also resentment among them as no action was taken on the earlier occasion.


Farm situation ‘quite alike’ in Ethiopia, Punjab
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — A high-powered Ethiopian delegation consisting of Dr Teklehalmanot Hailesclassie, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Education and leader of the delegation, and H.E. Ato Belay Ejigu, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, and senior officers of the two ministers concluded its visit to Punjab Agricultural University here today.

During their visit to the College of Home Science the visitors evinced keen interest in the home science education, particularly the day care laboratory school of the Department of Human Development. This day care school is being used as a laboratory for imparting vocational education to the girls in order to start such centers in rural and urban areas. They also found the Museum of Rura History of Punjab quite interesting and educative. Later they visited the farm of Capt. Rattan Singh, former Agriculture Minister, Punjab, and discussed the possibilities of implementing the Agro-forest model adopted by Capt Rattan Singh’s farm in Ethiopia.

At their meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat, and other senior officers of the university the delegates said that in view of the many similarities in the agriculture situation in Punjab and Ethiopia, there is a great scope for exploring the possibilities of mutual interaction with Panjab Agricultural University.

Applications invited from farmers

The Director of Extension Education, PAU has invited applications from interested farmers for the S. Dalip Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award for innovative farmers. The application forms are available from the office of the Director of Extension Education, PAU, Ludhiana, and also from the offices of Farm Advisory Service, PAU, and Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Chief Agricultural Officers of different districts. The last date for receipt of applications is February 15. The award will be given on the eve of Kisan Mela in March, 2001 and carried a cash prize of Rs 5000 along with a plaque and a citation. This award is given to the outstanding farmers who have made contributions towards innovative farming.

New projects for research on cotton

A group of seven scientists led by Dr G.S. Chahal, Professor of Plant Breeding and leader of a research group on cotton in PAU negotiated the approval of seven research projects worth Rs 21.4 million under the Cotton Technology Mission at a national-level meeting held at CICR, Nagpur.

The special financial grant is to be utilised for developing the required infrastructure to meet research requirements within a period of two years. The main thrust of research would be to make use of wild germplasma, identification of a new plant of cotton for the existing agroclimatic conditions, enhancement of fibre quantity of desi cotton to match the fibre quality of narma, improvement in quality and quantity of oil in cotton seed, and for complete mechanisation of the cultivation of cotton. A special research programme has been planned for the management of insects/pests especially through IPM. Dr Joginder Singh, Senior Entomologist, has been assigned the responsibility at the national level as principal investigator for a project aimed to forecast the incidence of pests and diseases, which would entail establishment of weather station and collection of information of vital importance to monitor the incidence of key pests and their elimination and economical control to revive the cultivation of cotton in Punjab.

PAU got a distinction in light of the pioneering work on insect biotechnology in the lab of Dr V.K. Dilawari, which led to a special grant to Rs 1.4 million to strengthen the ongoing work on use of molecular markers for the diagnosis of biotypes of cotton pests.

Cotton is an important cash crop of Punjab, as a consequence of which Punjab remained the leading state of India with respect of the average yield per hectare. Abnormal weather, especially the late season rains for the last couple of years, rising underground water table in areas around Muktsar, Malout, Faridkot and even Abohar, constantly increasing incidence of American bollworm (Heliothis) and appearance of new deadly disease of cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) led to a distressing level of reduction in yield and production of cotton in Punjab. Dr Chahal said that new research efforts are expected to reverse the decline in cotton production in the state.


Doctor alleges threat to life
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 2 — Dr A. Goswami, a medical practitioner, has alleged that he was being threatened by a person who lived in his neighbourhood in the Model Town area. Although he had filed a written complaint to the police, but no action has been taken yet.

According to Dr Goswami it all started with an argument between him and his neighbour on December 28. Within no time, his neighbour picked up a pistol and pointed it towards Dr Goswami threatening to kill him.

Dr Goswami alleged that his neighbour was harassing one of his patients and when he tried to intervene he picked up a quarrel. He claimed, despite his persistent pleas, he could not be pacified. Instead he started abusing him.

Although the matter cooled down for a while, his neighbour reportedly returned again with a few youth threatening and bullying Dr Goswami again. Besides threatening to kill him and his family, he warned him to close down his hospital.

Dr Goswami alleged that on January 9 his neighbour again descended at his hospital and started abusing and threatening him. He was carrying a revolver with him. The doctor alleged that his entire family was feeling insecure as it was for the second time that their neighbour had threatened them. He said, despite meeting the SHO personally, no action has been taken yet.

The Indian Medical Association has taken up the case with the police. In a letter addressed to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Kuldeep Singh, the district president of the IMA, Dr Gursharan Singh, expressed grave concern over the threat to the life of a doctor and the inaction by the police. He appealed the SSP to take immediate note of the situation and punish the guilty.


Owner of medical store fined
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed the proprietor of the Punjab Medical Store, Halwara Air Force Station, to pay Rs 1,500 as compensation and Rs 500 as cost of the petition to the complainant, Ms Nirmal Chauhan, wife of an Air Force Officer.

The complainant bought a supari pack for Rs 37 on November 25 last as per the prescription for her ailment. Her health started deteriorating after consuming the medicine and she started feeling uneasy.

Ms Chauhan filed a complaint against the manufacturer of the supari, Hamdard Laboratories, and the chemist shop owner. The complainant alleged that the said medicine was not sold in the sealed packs.

After hearing both the councils, the forum observed that the consumption of the supari was the cause of deteriorating health condition of the complainant. The manufacturer of the supari proved that the medicine was produced under the strict quality control of the qualified pharmacists. In a letter to the forum, the manufacturer mentioned that the supari pack may have not been properly stored.

The forum observed that there was a possibility of selling spurious supari pack by the retailer. The retailer neither produced any evidence that the said medicine was sold in sealed condition nor contested the complaint. 


Sampooran Singh, a great humanitarian
by Asha Ahuja

Jan 12 — Bespectacled, white bearded, unassuming, frail — Sampooran Singh, is the biggest example of selfless service to humanity. Sampooran Singh has willed his healthy organs for transplant to the needy after his death. He has made a legal will to this affect and has instructed his wife and three sons to deliver his dead body immediately to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital after he dies. He also feels, students of that college may also benefit by learning about organ transplant.

Not only will he donate his body after death, but he is also actively involved in urging people to donate their eyes after death so that the blind can see the world through their eyes. He has travelled many villages persuading 1,600 people to donate eyes. He has submitted their forms to Sri Guru Ram Das Charitable Hospital, Amritsar.

Everyday of the year, he is out travelling by bus, train or on foot. Neither rain nor sun deter him from his mission. Since December 13 last to January 11, i.e yesterday, he toured 76 villages. Speaking about his experiences he said, “People in villages feel that I am doing a good thing. But most of them are reluctant to fill out the forms. After a great deal of persuasion, some, but much to my sorrow, only very few fill up the forms. But I feel if the people are motivated constantly, more and more people will come forward for this noble cause.”

“I want NGOs or government agencies to help so that we can pay some people to become agents of this wonderful cause. Shopkeepers can keep the forms and also notify the administration and the hospital, about the demise of a donor so that the hospital may make necessary arrangements. Then carneas have to be removed within 6 hours of death. I spend Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,300 on my travels from my own pocket. My family makes this money available for me. I feel quite exhilarated when I walk eight to ten kilometers everyday and motivate people.”

He says that he himself was motivated by the example of donation and transplants people who had donated their organs. He came know about the media. He makes a serious plea to all individuals to donate eyes through. In India, there are large number of blind people who are waiting for some generous soul to donate the eyes.


Handicraft fair reopens amid security
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — The Handicraft Fair organised by DSIDC, which started on January 10 and was disrupted by some Shiv Sainiks yesterday, resumed today after the ‘objectionable’ paintings were removed. Organisers of the fair maintained that it was due to the oversight that the paintings had been displayed and they never meant to cause hurt to anybody’s sentiments. The artist who had painted the picture and the organiser, Mr J. S. Rawath who were detained by the police for questioning, were let off and the fair resumed today. The sainiks were objecting to the nude portrayal of Gods, which, they said hurt their sentiments.

Ms Surinderjit, one of the organisers, appeared shocked at the turn of events. She said it was unfortunate that such an incident had occurred. Without defending the painting, she explained that the artist, Mahapatra, regularly depicts Khajurao frescoes in his paintings which are displayed everywhere. She regretted any hurt caused to people.

Mr S. Kannujia, Assistant Manager, Exhibition, rushed from Delhi after learning about the incident. He said, he was dismayed at the reaction of the people. He observed even if anyone had found something objectionable, it could have been sorted out. The artists, who come here, are poor. Moreover, they are new to the place. The mob disrupted the exhibition, which caused financial loss to the artists. Moreover, artists have developed a fear psychosis. “We have re-opened the exhibition under police protection”, he said.



LUDHIANA, The thick fog in the air for the past week has disrupted the life here. It has forced the people to move at a snail’s pace, but there still have been many accidents. The Deputy Commissioner changed the timing of schools as children were finding it difficult to reach school on time.

The poor and the homeless are miserable as they have no means to face the onslaught of the cold. They burn wood, cardboard or whatever they can find for warmth.

Fog or no fog, Ludhianvis would celebrate Lohri in the true Punjabi spirit. It is a wonderful sight is to see children holding kites almost as big as themselves. Kites can be seen entangled in branches of trees as well. These kites that are brought to the city from Bareilly mean big money and big business here. Fierce kite-flying competitions would be witnessed on Lohri. There is no English word that can tell what a pecha is. The word sums up the tension that is seen in a kite-flying contest. Sometimes, kids meet with serious accidents when, while trying to capture the kites, they fail to see the approaching vehicles. Today being Lohri, there will big parties and bonfires here at night.

The Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch held a seminar to on the problems that the Punjabi culture is facing in view of globalisation. The body also honoured 11 distinguished persons, including Hans Raj Hans and Sirdool Sikander. Ludhianvis were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the BBC newsman Mark Tully and Ramandeep, former captain of Indian hockey team, but they did not turn up.

Farz, directed by Raj Kanwar, was released here today. This is first action thriller of the year, but whether it will prove to be a hit is what everybody is waiting to see. Jaded Sunny Deol and Priety Zinta star in this movie. Contray to his image, Jackie Shroff appears in the role of a villain.

People are more bothered above how to keep themselves warm, so fashion has taken a backseat. People wear bright colours to counter the depressing weather.

Dates, oranges and papayas are all available now. It is a treat to visit a vegetable market these days. — FOC


4 booked under Dowry Act
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Jan 12— The local police has registered a case under the Dowry Act against four persons of Salani village under the Amloh police station.

According to SSP, Khanna, a complaint was filed at the Sadar police station by Daljit Kaur, daughter of Mr Harnek Singh of Nolari village. The complainant stated that she was married four years ago with Sukhwant Singh of Salani village. Her father gave enough dowry in her marriage which also included a scooter.

But a few days after the marriage, her in-laws started demanding a Maruti car saying that her father had insulted them by giving a scooter in dowry.

A case under Sections 498 A and 406 of the IPC has been registered against her husband, Sukhwant Singh, father-in-law, Mukhtiar Singh, mother-in -law, Jasmail Kaur and daughter-in-law, Saran Jit Kaur.

Opium smuggler held
The local police today claimed to have arrested an opium smuggler and recovered 2.5 kg of the contraband from his possession.

According to Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Khanna, Gulzar Singh, SHO, Samrala , while checking suspicious persons under a special drive launched by the police against anti- social elements, stopped a man with a trunk from which 2.5 kg opium was seized. The man was identified as Ram Pal, a resident of Saharanpur. The police has registered a case .


Bail denied
The bail plea of Mandeep Singh Brar, accused of submitting forged documents for getting a job on compassionate grounds, was today rejected by the District Sessions Judge, Mr S.S. Arora.

Mandeep had applied for a government job on compassionate grounds after the death of his father. He had allegedly submitted a forged degree certificate of Magadh University of Bihar to get the job.

In another case, Mr Dalwinder Singh, Harnek Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Jagdish Singh and Harminder Singh were each granted bail under Sections 438 of the CrPC by the Sessions Judge.

They had been accused of causing injuries to Sardara Singh, Balwinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh on October 29 past year in Bhatta Dua village in Ludhiana district.Back


Panel to review adverse effects of WTO
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 12 — The Punjab Government will take up the matter of the adverse effects of the WTO regime on the farming community with the Union Government and a high level committee of experts had been set up, which will collect the necessary data and will prepare a case, projecting the detrimental effect of the WTO and suggesting remedial steps, said Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister, Punjab, while addressing a cultural function at the Baba Peer Zahir Wali Samadh at Lakhowal village about 30 km from here last evening.

The Finance Minister observed that the WTO regime, which is to come into effect from next year, will wreck the domestic agriculture and industry, which were at present, in no position to compete with the global players. “The Congress had played havoc by joining the bandwagon of the WTO without giving much thought to the repercussions, ”he added.

With the opening up of the Indian market, the country was being flooded with cheap food grains and other farm products. The Union Government, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said, will have to evolve a system under which adequate subsidies were given to the farmers to protect them from the adverse impact of the WTO. “The condition of the farmers in the entire country was pathetic. In particular, debt ridden small and marginal farmers will not be able to survive whereas the country would need more food grains to meet the needs of the increasing population”, he said.

Recounting various welfare schemes for different sections, launched by the state government, the Finance Minister claimed that free power and water to farmers, shagun scheme for scheduled castes and tribes, homes to the homeless, simplification of tax structure and exemption from house tax, had provided massive relief to the respective category of people in the state.

Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, speaking on the occasion, claimed that development grants worth Rs 1.75 crore, announced by the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, during his sangat darshan programme in Koom Kalan on January 2, were being disbursed to the respective village panchayats. He said the development works in the villages would be carried out under the direct supervision of concerned panchayats and development committees to ensure good quality of work and proper utilisation of funds.

The Finance Minister announced a grant of Rs.25,000 for construction of a road from Baba Peer Zahir Wali Samdh to Lakhowal village, while Mr Atwal presented cheques of Rs 2 lakh for pavement of streets and drains and another Rs 1 lakh for the school building to the sarpanch of village. He also announced that the Government Middle School in the village will be upgraded to high school.

Among others Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, President, Bhartiya Kisan Union, Mr Sharanjit Dhillon, Senior Youth Akali Dal leader, Mr Santa Singh Umedpuri, Chairman, Market Committee, Sahnewal, and Baba Jagroop Singh, Circle President, SAD(B), also addressed the function.

More than a dozen noted singers and other performers regaled the audience during a colourful cultural programme on the occasion.  

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