Friday, March 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Baruah for crop diversification
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
It was WTO all the way at Kisan Mela at Punjab Agricultural University campus here today. With its theme as “Precision Farming for High Profits” the mela concentrated on educating the farmers about the cut throat competition to be faced by them in the international market after the implementation of World Trade Organisation (WTO) treaty from April 1.

The speakers at the main function of the mela spoke about the WTO treaty and advised the farmers to get prepared for the competition. The speakers were of the opinion that the best quality of the produce at reasonable prices would only help them survive in international market.

Expressing his views on the occasion Mr Bhaskar Baruah, former secretary, Department of Agriculture, Government of India, said the implementation of WTO treaty was infact going to pose serious problems for the farmers of the country but if the farmers were determined to face the challenge the day was not far when new opportunities would be knocking at their door.

Addressing the gathering at the main pandal which was filled to its capacity, Mr Baruah said the challenge was not difficult for the farmers of Punjab as they were the ones who had brought the Green Revolution. He said if the quality of the produce was assured nobody could turn it down. He said the price of the produce also played an important role due to the competition.

Mr Baruah said if the requisites of the WTO were well understood then it would not be a problem for farmers. He called upon the farmers to go in for diversification of the crops for maximum benefits and to add value to their produce by adopting various methods, including post-harvest technology and management.

Dr G. S. Kalkat, Vice-Chancellor of PAU while addressing the farmers said the farmers should decrease the area under rice cultivation to conserve the underground water. He said in the state around 66 lakh acres of land was being used for rice cultivation whereas the experts had suggested that it should not exceed more than 40 lakh acres. He said due to the injudicious cultivation of rice the farmers were facing the shortage of water as well as paddy glut.

Dr Kalkat asked the farmers to improve the quality of the produce in order to survive in the coming times when the market would not only be at the national level but at the international level also. He said methods like bed planting, lesser use of water and judicious use of pesticides should be adopted by the farmers.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor designate of PAU said there was no confusion in the free economy adopted by the country. He said the farmers would face the challenges offered by it.

Two progressive farmers of the state were awarded the Dalip Singh Dhaliwal memorial Award at the mela. Mr Avtar Singh, a progressive farmer from Malerkotla got the award for his contribution in the field of floriculture, invention of useful agro machines and taking the floriculture to all parts of the state and some parts of the country.

Mr Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, another progressive farmer from Bathinda, was also awarded for his contribution in the field of vegetable cultivation, fruits and flowers.

The other highlights of the mela including the release of crop calender for the new production year, exhibition of various books helpful for the farmers in adopting new methods, seeds of improved varieties, exhibition and demonstrations by the students of all departments of the university.


Farmers queue up for seeds
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
Thousands of farmers who had thronged the Kisan Mela 2001 being held at PAU grounds, were a worried lot due to the uncertain future and doubts regarding the policies of the government and due to the threat posed by WTO. Talking at random to farmers from different cities of Punjab, this correspondent discovered that some of the farmers were not aware of the implications of WTO whereas some had only basic knowledge about it.

Karnail Singh of Kamalpura, Jagraon, owner of five acres had come to the mela to get more knowledge about dairy farming. According to him, if the government gave farmers a fixed price for wheat of last year only with the condition that they would buy back all the produce, the farmers would be happy. He said: “According to my information the prices of seeds will go up and we do not know what will be the outcome. Uncertainty regarding weather conditions and the prices to be fixed by the government always cause a lot of misgivings among the farmers.”

“The farmers suffered a lot last year as the wheat was not picked up by the government. We do not know what will happen this year. We want to have alternative crops instead of the traditional crops like wheat and paddy, but we do not know which ones to grow. The government is not farmer friendly. PAU gives us some information about the diseases of cattle, so I have come to know about the latest diseases of the cattle as I have 15 buffaloes. Moreover, I want to get better calves. The government should help us because farming is becoming increasingly difficult due to lowering of water table. Last year, due to lack of rains, we suffered a lot of loss. We are not taught how to store rain water like in other states of India. We, the farmers, are a worried lot as we do not know what the future holds for us specially when we have to compete with other nations as far as quality and prices are concerned,” said Bhupinderjit, a farmer from Amritsar.

There were old as well as young farmers carrying bags of seeds of paddy and cotton. Two young farmers Karamjit and Narinderjit Singh from Materia Wala, a village in Moga, had bought four bags of PRX-116-seeds of paddy. They said: “Last year, we got income of Rs 13,000 per acre but we expect much less this year due to competitive prices. We know that with the WTO treaty coming in, even the milk prices will crash. Presently, we sell milk at Rs 11 a kg but we are told that with the milk coming from foreign countries, the prices will fall to Rs 5 or 6. We have 10 buffaloes but the future appears very dark. When asked why they did not switch over to vegetables or flower farming, they said they had no way of transporting them from their farms and no knowledge was given to them regarding this.

Another farmer, Gurdev Singh said the least the government can do is to issue Kisan Cards to the farmers which will enable them to get loans directly from the bank. At present, everything has to go via Patwari. Moreover, the prices of all crops should be fixed so that farmers feel secure.

Hazara Singh from Kheri Jhameri near Thakral, had come to the mela for the first time. He said all farmers in his village were into paddy farming. But we do not know what will happen if we are unable to sell paddy. Let us wait and watch. I have no knowledge about any latest variety of paddy, but I am told PRX-116 is the most popular one”.

Several farmers told this correspondent that they had been waiting in queues from last night as the process of issuing the seeds was very slow. Lakhwinder from Muktsar said: “We have been waiting for Kisan Mela for the past two months. But our enthusiasm has turned into a big disappointment. We have been standing in the queue for hours now without any food or water.

The process of giving the seeds is very slow as first they take around 10 minutes per farmer to note down the particulars and then only the seeds are issued from another counter. They could have simplified this procedure”. 


Implementation difficult: farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
While the speakers at Kisan Mela were all for adopting the various methods of diversification of crops farmers at the mela aired the problems in adopting the same.

A cross section of farmers whom Ludhiana Tribune spoke to at the mela said they were being told to go in for diversification but the problems for adopting the same were a plenty. They said while the implementation of WTO treaty would ruin the small farmers of the state, the lack of government’s judicious strategy to encourage diversification would render them helpless.

Mr Kewal Singh, a farmer from Kutwa village in Sangrur, said he had also resorted to the new method of diversification and sown maize in his fields.”I spent a lot on the labour required to produce it but the government had no fixed procurement price for the same. I sold around 200 quintals of it and the rest kept lying with me for a year because I could not strike good price with the buying agencies. Now they are talking of diversification without understanding the bottlenecks involved.’’

Another farmer Mr Gurpreet Singh from Saina Bhadaur village said the government should relate the wholesale price of the produced commodity with the index. He said every time this job is assigned to the price commission without understanding the cost of production.

Mr Jasmer Singh, another farmer from Moga district, said, “How can we go in for diversification. My paddy crop faced all you know last year even then I am cultivating it again with a hope that it would be sold this year but not go in for other crops. Take the case of vegetables. If you grow them within the limit then it’s okay otherwise it always results in glut. Take the case of potato now. 


Consumer awareness
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 15
The district administration would set up block level Consumer Awareness Committees, with the participation of NGO’s and other consumers’ organisations, with a view to create awareness among the people about consumer rights and to work for speedy disposal of the complaints of the consumers. The committees, comprising officers of the departments concerned, would organise meetings and seminars frequently and distribute literature regarding the consumer protection laws.

This was stated by the Deputy Commissioner Mr S.K. Sandhu, while addressing a district level seminar jointly organised by Ludhiana Consumer Protection Forum and Food and Supply Department to launch the Consumer Protection Week to be observed from March 15 to 24, to create awareness among the consumers, here today.

He said to further strengthen the forum, the representatives of the government departments, engaged in providing services and manufactures and traders, would be enrolled in the forum and bi-monthly meetings of the forum would be organised to accelerate the awareness programs.


16 hostellers sick after mess dinner
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
Nearly 16 hostelers of Devki Devi Jain College of Education were admitted to the Christian Medical College and Hospital last night after eating contaminated food from the mess.

It is learnt that all students had their lunch. At around 7 pm some of the them approached the Hostel Warden and complained about acute stomach ache, while some started vomiting. The Principal called the doctor and the girls were admitted to the CMC.

The girls belong to Malout, Dhuri, Bathinda, Jalandhar, Khanna, Abohar and Malerkotla. According to the college authorities, parents and local guardians have been informed.

Meanwhile, doctors said the students might have had contaminated food. However, all girls are out of danger.


Hurrah! we have won...
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Today people surfed TV channels faster than yesterday. They wanted to know about the latest on the tehlka expose of National Democratic Alliance leaders and India’s cricketeers march to win against the Australians at Eden Gardens.

Crackers started bursting here when Sachin Tendulkar claimed three wickets in three successive overs. As crackers were bursting jubilant youth distributed sweets and were out on roads to dance.

Indians really pulled up their socks after a disappointing performance in the first match and also in first innings of this match, says Paras of Civil Lines.

It was not only a historical win for India, it was an epic defeat for Australia as well. Because it was for the first time in 17 matches that Australia was defeated. “They had assumed a halo of invincibility which only we managed to banish”, remarked Peyush Raka. For Peyush and his friends it was a double celebration. Their exams finished today and Indian team beat Australia.

According to Mr Vijay Verma, it was sheer luck that helped India to romp home to victory. Otherwise, he observed, Indian team was no match to the Australians. He said, Australians lost the match in excitement as they tried to turn it into a limited overs match and win it also and in the process they were defeated.

Probably it is unprecedented in the cricket history that a team which was made to follow on could make such a brilliant come back and win the match. “Usually any team in the world no matter how strong it may be only tries to save the match. But the Indians proved it wrong as they turned a probable defeat into a certain victory”, said Raja, a car dealer in Feroze Gandhi market. He said, the victory will regenerate interest in cricket and boost the sagging moral of the Indian players.


Holla Mohalla celebrations conclude
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The Hola Mohalla celebrations organised by Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Ludhiana Zone, concluded here with great fanfare yesterday.

According to Mr Surjit Singh, zonal secretary of the circle, this time the theme of the celebrations was drug deaddiction. The programme was devoted to a drug free society, a cause espoused by the circle vigorously among the youth.

He disclosed that three venues had been chosen for sports competitions as part of the celebrations at Baba Isher Singh Public School in BRS Nagar Gurdwara Sahib of Phase I Dugri and Government Primary School at Narangwal Khurd village. Mr Singh informed that a notable feature of the Holla Mohalla celebrations was the “no drugs” rally taken out by children dressed in traditional Khalsa attire.

He also disclosed that the circle would organise Drug awareness exhibitions at various melas organised in Punjab next year. He added that an 11- member foreign delegation also participated in the celebrations.


Oppn parties seek dismissal of NDA govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana March 15
Several political parties and other bodies have condemned the involvement of several top leaders of the constituents of the NDA government in the Tehalka exposure’ and have demanded the resignation of the Union Defence Minister Mr George Fernandes. Some others have urged the President of India to dismiss the Vajpayee government for compromising the security of the nation.

The former Punjab Minister Harnek Singh Mangewal and many other activists of the Congress have said in a joint statement that the BJP leadership stood exposed and the people had seen the real face of the party, which claimed itself to be more nationalist and patriotic than the others. The Shiromani Akali Dal a partner in the NDA government, was also caught in an embarrassing situation as if it did not sever its links with the BJP immediately, the party will also have to share the blame in the scandal.

The other signatories to the statement are Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan, former M.P., Mr Santokh Singh Gill, Ms Barjinder Kaur and Mr Om Parkash Angrish, all councillors, Mr Piara Singh Dhillon, general secretary, DCC (Rural) and Mr Amarjit Singh Matharoo, district president, Backward Classes Cell of the Congress.

Mr Manjit Singh Malerkotla, OSD, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, in a statement, has asked the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal to make clear his stand on the bribe taken by senior leaders of the ruling party in a so called defence deal because the SAD was an ally of the BJP in the Centre and in Punjab.

He demanded resignations of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the Defence Minister George Fernandes while calling upon Mr Badal to withdraw support from the NDA government in Centre and to drop the BJP ministers in the Punjab Cabinet.

The Lok Bhalai Party, headed by former Union Minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, has called for the dismissal of the NDA government and prosecution of those who had accepted bribe in a sensitive matter of defence procurement, which could jeopardise the security of the country. A party spokesman, Mr Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, has said it was most unfortunate that the ruling party functionaries had chosen to compromise the security of the country.

He urged all other constituent parties of the NDA to withdraw their support from the BJP, failing which they will also be considered equally guilty and would have to pay a heavy price.

The Anti-Corruption Council of India has urged the President of India, who is also the Supreme Commander of Armed Forces, to dismiss the NDA government if the Prime Minister fails to tender the resignation of his Council of Ministers. The Council has also appealed to the President to take other effective measures to safeguard the national security and to salvage the prestige of the country.


Police told to register case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
It has been a desperate, long and unending search by Mr Shivinder Singh, an ex-serviceman, for his son, Paramvir, who is missing after the police tried to arrest him in his village, Bhutahari, on January 17. However, the police claimed that they had no information about Paramvir and alleged that he tried to hide in order to avoid arrest.

But Mr Shivinder Singh has a different story to tell. He said Kuldeep Singh, a son of Mr Amrik Singh, of the same village had taken Rs 500 from his son. When Paramvir demanded the money Kuldeep allegedly refused. Paramvir, according to Mr Shivinder Singh, snatched Kuldeep’s bicycle in lieu of the money.

The matter was referred to the local panchayat. It was decided that Kuldeep will return Paramvir’s money and his bicycle was handed over to him in the presence of the panchayat. Later, Kuldeep reportedly refused to pay the money and threatened Paramvir, he alleged.

Next day, Kuldeep’s father, Amrik Singh, descended on the residence of Paramvir along with several youths and policemen, including ASI Amar Singh. They allegedly beat Paramvir.

When Paramvir tried to flee policemen and youths accompanying Kuldeep ran after him. Since then Paramvir never returned home.

Paramvir’s father today met the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.R. Kaler, at sangat darshan and apprised him of his son’s disappearance. Taking serious note of the matter, Mr Kaler asked the police to register a case.

In another case, doctors met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, here today and alleged that Dr A.K. Banerji, who runs the Indian Institute of Paramedical Training, Raikote, was threatening students who had complained against him.

The doctors distributed the photostat copies of the prospectus which mentions that the institute has been “approved by the All-India Council of Technical Education, Ministry of Human Resources and Development.” They pointed out that it was a false claim aimed at misleading the students. Substantiating their claims, they also produced a letter from the Director of the AICTE, Dr Narender Singh, which clearly mentions that the institute is not approved or affiliated to it.

According to IMA officials, there are 105 students admitted to the institute and hefty fee was charged on the assurance that all courses were job oriented.

Among others who met the DC were Dr Manbir Singh, Dr Ramesh Jain, Dr S.S. Sandhu and Dr B.L. Bansal.

Meanwhile, the DC assured them that the inquiry would soon be completed and the ADC(D) had been entrusted with the job. 


Cheques distributed under scheme
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 15
A total of 150 cheques, each worth Rs 5100, were distributed under Shagun Scheme by Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, general secretary, youth wing, Akali Dal Badal, in and around Sahnewal.

The places where the cheques were delivered in Sahnewal include Ravidas gurdwara and Valmik Mandir. The surrounding villages where cheques were distributed are Natt, Dharaur, Paddi, Harnampura, Jaspal Bangar, Sangowal, Sarih, Umaidpur, Dugri, Tibba, Duburji, Majara, Bilga, Ajnaud, Pawa, Khagat, Sagar, Gobindgarh, Jugiana, Dhandari, Ranian, Kanganwal, Jarkhar, Dullo, Jassowal, Veela, Bhagpur, Khanpur, Daba and Dogora. Among those who were present on the occasion were Mr Shamsher Singh Kaile, president, nagar panchayat, Mr Gurmail Singh Sangowal, Member, SGPC, Mr Tejinder Singh Sahnewal, Mr Jagdeep Singh Dhillon and sarpanches and panches of the surrounding villages.

Mr Sharanjit Dhillon, while distributing the cheques among the villagers, said such type of novel schemes were the product of Badal Government. He was confident that the next government would be formed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal as had been proved by their victory in the past three elections.


Grewal, Dawar honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
The Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, has said the civic body was committed to provide better civic amenities to the people and various measures were being taken to make the city a better place to live in. Addressing a function organised by the Punjab Peace Council at Kidwai Nagar here he outlined many ambitious plans to bring about an overall improvement in the quality of life in the industrial hub of the state.

Mr Grewal, along with the District Congress Committee President, Mr Surinder Dawar, were honoured by the council for rendering valuable services to the city people.

Mr Dawar lauded the work done by the council to redress the problems of the residents and its contribution for the cause of the weaker and neglected sections of society.

Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, chairman of the council, explained in detail the aims and objects of the body, which he said was striving to provide relief to the people, who were suffering harassment at the hands of any government departments. While the council was raising its voice against corrupt and negligent officials, at the same time, it had taken upon itself to honour those public servants and organisations, who were performing their duties with dedication and devotion.

The president of the council, Mr Sunil Maini, and the vice-chairman, Dr R.S. Behl, also addressed the function. Prominent among those present on the occasion were Mr Shammi Lehar, Mr Rajesh Malhotra, Mr Sunil Sharma, Mr Somesh Aggarwal, Mr Inderjit Chattwal, Mr Kewaljit Singh Mokha, Mr Jaswinder Singh Kochar, Mr Naresh Garg, Mr Rakesh Kapoor, Mr Deepak Sood and Mr Jatinder Bhalla.


“Mainu katal na karo mapiyo”
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
To commemorate International Women’s Day, the Ludhiana Literary Society held a function here today. A poem — Mainu katal na karo mapiyo — was recited by Kamaljit Lalton. The poem expresses the anguish of a girl child, who is to be destroyed in the foetus.

A play — So kyon manda akhiye — written by Rajkumar and directed by Hira Singh Randhawa, touched problems like female infanticide and inequality of women. Mr H.S. Randhawa, the district coordinator, informed the audience that a project of teaching the general public had been going on for two years. 


Scooterist succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 15
A scooterist, Amrik Sood of Doraha, who met with an accident on the evening of March 12, died in DMC this morning. Amrik Sood’s scooter bumped into another scooter, being driven by Resham Singh of Manki. Resham Singh and Gurdev Singh were admitted to the local hospital while Amrik Sood, who was seriously injured was taken to DMC, Ludhiana, where succumbed to his injuries today.

Two injured

Two cyclists were injured when a Gypsy hit them at Kaddon Chowk, yesterday. According to the report, a Gypsy (PAL-5624), driven by Tejpal Singh, was coming from Doraha to Payal when it hit two cyclists, Paramjit Singh and Buta Singh of Sunder Nagar, Doraha, who got seriously injured and were admitted to Sidhu Hospital, Doraha. 


ASI suspended
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
Ajaib Singh, ASI, posted at Sarabha Nagar police station, has been placed under suspension for manhandling Tarsem Deogun, city crime reporter of Danik Jagran, a couple of days ago and for snatching his camera.


Case registered against six
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
The Haibowal police registered on Wednesday a case under Sections 427,186,353,436,506,148 and 149 of the IPC against Jarnail Singh, son of Ditta Mall; Kesho Rai, son of Raja Rai; Amarjit Singh, son of Darshan Singh; Raju, son of Dhani Ram; Mohan, Pumma Puncturewala, residents of Haibowal Khurd and some other persons for stoning government vehicles, officials and the police force during the anti-encroachment drive yesterday in the area.

Mr Surinder Singh Bindra, Building Inspector, complained that he along with some officers of the Corporation had been ordered by the Additional Commissioner of Nagarnigam, Ludhiana, to remove encroachments in the area. The accused not only pelted stones at the demolition squad but also burnt some jhuggies and threatened them.

2 dowry cases

The city police also registered two separate cases of dowry harassment during the past 24 hours.

In the first case registered at Sarabha Nagar police station, under Sections 498 A, 427, 232 and 506 of the IPC, Ram Labhaya, son of Mr Khushi Ram, resident of PAU, complained that Makhan and Vipan Kumar, sons of Mr Karam Chand, also residents of PAU, had demanded more dowry and also damaged his scooter. No arrest has been made so far.

The other case was registered at Focal Point police station under Sections 406 and 498 of the IPC. Swinder Pal Kaur, wife of Kamaljit Singh, resident of Baba Fateh Singh Nagar, complained on Tuesday that her husband Kamaljit Singh, son of Mr Jasbir Singh, Kasbir Singh, son of Kartar Singh, Rajinder Kaur, wife of Jasbir Singh, Harbhajan Kaur, alias Baby, daughter of Jasbir Singh, Manjit Kaur, daughter of Kasbir Singh, Rupinder Kaur, daughter of Jasbir Singh, Manmohan Singh, Inderjit Kaur, wife of late Ajit Singh. All the accused demanded more dowry from her. No arrest has been made so far in the case.

Dubai aspirant duped

The Haibowal police has registered a case of fraud under Section 406 of the IPC against a travel agent, Mukesh Chopra. The accused allegedly promised Mr Rajinder Singh, son of Mr Darshan Singh, a resident of Parkash Puri near Dhuri railway lines, that he would be sent to Dubai. He gave Rs 40,000 to the accused who neither sent him to Dubai nor returned his money. 

Car stolen

A car was stolen from Flora Marriage Palace yesterday, while the owners were attending a marriage party inside the palace. According to an FIR registered at Payal police station, Sukhjinder Singh of Bhikhi Pind came to Flora Marriage Palace in his car (PB 26-7471) at 11.30 am yesterday. In the evening when he came out of the palace, he found his car missing.

A case has been registered under Section 389 of the IPC.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |