L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC fails to see light of day
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
While the region is reeling under power crisis, employees of the municipal corporation do not seem to care. They leave the streetlights switched on even during the day in several areas everyday wasting electricity.

The lights were switched on today in the Feroze Gandhi market and shopkeepers of the area were criticising the MC for the wastage. They said the MC would always protect such employees stating that repair work was on but no so work was witnessed in the market throughout the day.

The bulbs were not switched off in the morning and the situation remained the same throughout the day.

All this is happening despite the fact that the residents are suffering due to power cuts in the hot weather. The state government too is directing the people to switch to CFSL bulbs instead of tungsten lamps to save electricity.

But the MC employees do not seem to care. They prefer to leave the lights on no matter how much electricity is wasted.

‘‘It is surprising that the MC is indulging in wastage of power while we all are suffering due to shortage. But nobody cares. We were expecting that they would switch over to CFSL lamps in place of sodium lamps on streetlight poles but they are hell bent upon wasting electricity even during broad daylight, ’’ said K.S. Monga, a trader in the market.

The residents said the lit bulbs could be spotted in many areas everyday. ‘‘We often see the lights when the sun is shining bright. We were in fact expecting that the MC would reduce the streetlight timings considering the shortening of the day’s length during this weather, ’’ said S.M. Sharma, a resident.

He added that the lights were switched on and off as per the winter schedule. It was not revised according to the weather. There was no need to switch on lights at 6 p.m. as the sun was setting around 7: 15 p.m.



Ankur Kakkar to play for English county
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 2
Local cricketer Ankur Kakkar has made a big leap as he has been selected to play for the Evenwood Cricket Club Division I for the Durham County Cricket League in England. He has inked a contract for five months with the club.

Ankur, working as district sports officer, Moga, began playing cricket in 1991 and was immediately picked up to represent the Ludhiana district u-16 team in the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournaments organised under the ageis of the Punjab Cricket Association. He played for Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, and made memorable contributions in various tournaments.

A middle order batsman and left arm spinner, Ankur hogged limelight in 1994 when he excelled for Punjab with the ball against Jammu and Kashmir during the inter-state cricket championship.

On his debut, he impressed one and all scalping five wickets. During that year, for his outstanding performance with the red cherry, Ankur receieved appreciation from the then coach of the Punjab Ranji squad, legendary and former captain of the Indian cricket team Bishan Singh Bedi.

For his consistent contribution with the bat and ball, Ankur was selected in the Punjab Ranji team and did not disappoint the selectors as he made his presence felt with a half century in his maiden appearance. He too batted well against Bengal and chipped in with 41 runs.

Ankur also toured Kenya as a member of the Punjab squad in 2002-03 where he grabbed three wickets and scored 80 runs. For his fine performance, Intkhab Alam, former captain of Pakistan cricket team, who trained the Punjab team for a couple of years, appreciated Ankur for his learning abilities and transform the same into match winning performance.

Chaman Lal Malhotra, chairman, selection committee, Punjab (seniors), Father Davis, Sister Sobel, director and principal, respectively, of Sacred Heart School and Newton, head of the sports department of the school, wished Ankur good luck to bring fame to the city and state.



Fire in a godown at Bhadaur House
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
A godown in the Bhadaur House market today caught fire spreading panic in the area as the fire threatened to spread in the neighbourhood where packing material was stored.

The fire broke out in the morning in a shop converted into a godown used for storing packing material and waste products.

The fire brigade reached the place soon after it was reported as the shop was located very near to the fire office. Firemen had a difficult time in checking it to spread further. They had to manually remove the packing material like cardboard, paper and plastic sheets from the neighbouring godown as it could have spread further to the neighbouring buildings.

They said had the fire broken out at night it could have damaged the building of a hotel in the neighbourhood. It took just a fire tender to douse the fire. It was caused due to a short-circuit.



PCCTU factions fail to bury hatchet
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
In yet another unsuccessful attempt to overcome difference, the specially convened meeting of two factions of the PCCTU (Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers) ended in a deadlock.

The meeting was organised at the PAU faculty club wherein the warring factions, headed by PCCTU state president professor S.S. Hundal and general secretary professor Kuldip Singh, differed on various issues pertaining to union elections.

PCCTU state president professor Hundal, while speaking to Ludhiana Tribune, said the union executive at a recent meeting held in Amritsar had scheduled union elections on May 18 but the opposition group has refused to comply to the same stating that it was against the PCCTU constitution to hold elections after May 15.

"We do not have a choice as a large number of college teachers will be busy in duties of Zila Parishad elections on May 12 and they have to move to their respective places on May 11," informed Hundal.

The venue of elections is another bone of contention between the two groups as Hundal group which forms majority in executive has opted for DAV College Jalandhar whereas group headed by professor Kuldip Singh wanted RK Arya College Nawan Shehar as the venue.

Despite heated debate that went on for more than two hours, the groups were not even able to resolve the issue of inclusion of colleges that opened after year 2004 in election voting list.

However, PU area secretary professor MS Komal urged upon the government to exempt college lecturers from election duties. 



10-year jail for drug trafficking
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 2
Taking a strict note of rising incidents of drug-trafficking, the special judge M S Virdi has sentenced Davinder Singh of Raqba village, Dakha, to undergo rigorous imprisonment of 10 years on the charges of possessing narcotics.

Pronouncing the verdict, the judge held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges levelled against the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. The judge declined the plea of leniency raised by the accused and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the accused.

According to the prosecution, the accused was apprehended by the police on September 28, 2002, on suspicion near chowk of Radha Swami Satsang Bhawan on Mullanpur Dakha. He was having a bag in his hand. When his bag was searched, the police seized 3 kg of opium which was kept concealed in a tin box.

However, during the trial, the accused pleaded his false implication. He submitted before the court that actually he was picked up from the taxi stand of Mullanpur on September 27, 2002.

He alleged that he was implicated at the behest of Gurvinder Singh, who had taken a loan of Rs 2 lakh from him.

But after appreciating the evidence of record and hearing the arguments of additional public prosecutor A S Chadha, the court found the accused guilty and sentenced accordingly. 



Ranchi paper stirs up anger among Muslims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Activists of the All-India Majlis Ahrar Islam today put the effigy of the Chief Minister of Jharkhand on fire in protest against terming Hazrat Muhammad as an invader in the history paper set by Ranchi University.

Led by Shahi Imam Maulana Habib-ur- Rehman Sani, the agitators raised slogans against the Jharkhand government and burnt the effigy of CM Madhu Gowda in front of Jama Masjid.

The activists demanded from the Jharkhand government to take action against the persons who were responsible for such serious goof-up that had hurt the sentiments of their community.

Shahi Imam, while addressing the agitators, said if action was not taken, the Jharkhand government would be responsible for the situation.

‘‘Muslims can tolerate anything but the insult of Hazrat Muhammad.

The teacher of the university who had made such a mistake should be punished as he had hurt the religious sentiments of not only Indian Muslims but the community world over. He will be responsible for the consequences,’’ said Shahi Imam.

He demanded that the vice-chancellor of Ranchi University should be suspended and arrested for hurting their religious sentiments. Moreover, the act of the Jharkhand Police by lathicharging Muslim students, who were protesting against the act, was also criticised by the Shahi Imam. He demanded action against the responsible officials.

‘‘We are shocked that the coalition government of Jharkhand had not taken any action to settle the issue. All Muslims love Hazrat Muhammad more than their lives. If need be, they would not think twice before laying their lives, ’’ they said.



Power cuts hit industrial production
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Industrial production here has received a major blow, thanks to frequent unscheduled power cuts. Production has already recorded a decline of 25 per cent to 30 per cent within the last two-three weeks, according to rough estimates.

Dismayed over the poor power supply, industrialists fear the situation may worsen in the coming days.

Erratic power supply is not just causing production losses, it is also harming the quality of production and in case of segments like the engineering industry, burning losses, too, have risen due to frequent withdrawal of electricity.

In most areas, industrial enterprises are facing cuts for four-five hours every day, which has drastically reduced working hours.

"These days we are facing a cut after almost every one hour. No sooner do we begin work than we have to stop due to a power cut. Besides there already is one compulsory weekly off for the industry. On a daily basis, there is no power for almost four-five hours, which means that we barely have two-three working hours.

“Industry will be in a deep mess if the situation continues like this," rued Varinder Kapoor of Mallik Industries.

For industries like units and engineering manufacturers, keeping up production has become a tedious task due to the nature of processes that require continuous power for manufacturing. Production quality also suffers as a result. "Once the metal is heated, the process should continue. But these days, there are frequent cuts. As a result, burning losses, too, have increased. The government should take a serious view of the situation if it is to save industry," said S.C. Ralhan, an exporter.

Labour shortage due to ongoing harvesting is already creating troubles for the industry. In the case of erratic power supply, industrialists have to bear fixed costs and also pay labour charges, which means that despite loss in production costs remain high.

Industrialists also said they would not be able to meet their orders if the situation continued. "The textile industry is gearing up for the next season and preparing samples. We are worried that we may suffer heavy losses as our industry works only for a couple of months and peak season for us is about to begin," said Vinod Thapar of Knitwear Club.

Apart from encouraging captive power plants, industrialists feel the government must ensure better power supply by adopting means like regular maintenance or by purchasing additional power from other states.



‘Paardarshi,’ penned by Gurbhajan Gill released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
“Paardarshi”, an anthology of poems, ghazals and “nazms” that can be pronounced as a distinct confluence of past and present was released at a special function organised in Punjab Agricultural University. The book is an ideal birthday gift from Gurbhajan Gill, who turned 55 today. The poet is working as editor (Punjabi) at the university.

Referring to the autobiographical element explicitly evident in the book, the poet says “The work is reminiscent of my carefree childhood, teenage turmoil, and aspiring adulthood. I have attributed poems to my wife and mother who played an elemental role in evolving me as a poet and an individual.”

Dilemma is another ruling component in poems like “Ikiwin sadi da Aurangzeb”, “Ajgar and Las Vegas vich mom diyan gudiyan” wherein poet hints at lost values in the contemporary world.

In what could be termed as a successful attempt of an awakened poet, Gill imbibes pulsating moments with phrases combing the “bare realities” of life, pricking the conscience of each one of his readers.

“Gharon turdiyan, ma da bhareya thanda haunka, jad vi mainu chete aaye, din wele nazar paatdi, raati akhan neend na aawe”, the phrase from “Ghar nu mur aa” refers to the son recalling his mother’s distress following his departure for foreign land.

The ensemble of veteran writers at the function accredited him as the true son of soil.

Like a true veteran, Gurbhajan Gill weaves a spell in the minds of his readers in “Paardarshi”, his eighth publication. His earlier publications earned him accolades in India and abroad. The poet has been conferred with Bhai Vir Singh Award, Shiv Kuma Batalvi Award, Baba Balwant Singh Award, Professor Puran Singh Award, Safdar Hashmi Award and Waris Shah Memorial award in the past three decades.



Fire destroys stock of rice, jute bags
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 2
Timely help by villagers and passersby saved a rice- sheller plant from being engulfed by fire that destroyed thousands of jute bags and some stock of rice. The precise loss and cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained. The fire broke out in a rice sheller on the Ahmedgarh road at Pohir village, near here, today.

However, residents and employees of rice shellers of the area doused the fire well in time to prevent it from spreading to the adjoining rice-sheller plant and tons of rice husk lying in the open.

The fire broke out in the godowns of Cockade Hatcheries and Feeds Mill Pvt Ltd at Pohir village near here at around midnight but was noticed at around 5 am today. The workers of the mill informed Inderesh Singh, a director of the mill, at around 6 am.

Eyewitnesses said guinea bags worth lakhs of rupees were reduced to ashes within a few minutes. The building of the factory also suffered major damage. Had the fire not been controlled in time, it would have spread to plant and machinery and the transformer installed close to the boundary wall of the unit.

The owners called up the police and the fire office. Two fire engines summoned from Ludhiana were pressed into service. While the fire was controlled from spreading further, dousing operations continued till the filing of this report. 



PSEB member gets extension
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 2
The Punjab government has extended G.S. Sra’s term as member (generation) of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) by one year.

Sra, an engineering graduate with honours from Thapar University, joined the PSEB in 1972. He spent 35 years with the organisation and was credited with mastering the operation of thermal plants. Earlier, he was chosen for training in thermal plant maintenance course in west Germany.

It was under his tenure that first time in the history of the PSEB, all three thermal plants had achieved record power generation.

He has also been instrumental in improving efficiency parameters of thermal plants.

Sra said he would try to to make Punjab a power surplus state.



Senior lawyer dead
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 2
A noted senior lawyer, Mohan Lal Jhanji (91) passed away yesterday night in sleep. He is survived by a daughter, Rekha Jhanji. His wife had expired a couple of years back.

He was a stalwart and had actively practised in the legal profession for around 65 years. He had remained president of the District Bar Association, Ludhiana. He was a master in civil cases and enjoyed good reputation in the legal fraternity.

He was cremated this evening at the Civil Lines crematorium. District and sessions judge G K Rai, additional sessions judge M S Virdi, president of the District Bar Association Parupkar Singh Ghumman, former Bar presidents K R Sikri, Balwinder Goel and numerous lawyers attended his cremation. Local courts remained closed for the second half as a mark of respect to the departed soul.



Harvesting of wheat crop
Armed group attacks school staff
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 2
Teachers lectured and students studied under tight security at Rajjoana Publlic School, Rajjoana, near here, today. An armed group of about 20 persons had attacked members of the staff and damaged property at the school yesterday.

The assailants had also attacked houses of two employees at Buraz Naklina village, near here. The incident had left many injured and one woman had received bullet injuries.

Meanwhile the Raekot police has registered an FIR under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act against Avtar Singh, alias Tara, Ujjagar Singh (his brother) and Devinder Singh (his son) and their accomplice.

Despite claims of repeated raids by the Sudhar and Raekot police, no arrest has been made so far.

It is learnt that a police party led by DSP Narinder Singh Ruby and Balwinder Singh, SHO, Sudhar, had visited Rajjoana Public School to boost the morale of students and members of the staff, who had become panicky after being attacked by an armed group led by a farmer, Avtar Singh. Two cops were deputed on the school premises.

Gulshan Jain, organiser of the school, had tried to stop Avtar Singh from harvesting wheat crop near the school during school hours on Wednesday. Both groups ended up threatening each other of dire consequences.

The dispute that seemed settled on Wednesday, took a violent turn when an armed group of about 20 persons led by Avtar Singh attacked the school yesterday and later attacked houses of some employees at Buraz Naklian.

The suspects were accused of attempting to murder Jaswant Kaur and assaulting other persons after entering the premises of the school and houses. They had allegedly damaged the property of the complainants and taken away valuables also.

The assailants had also opened fire to scare residents of surrounding villages who tried to intervene.



Biz Word
Delegation returns from China
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
A delegation of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association visited the China Cycle Show in Shanghai from April 25 to 28 under the leadership of Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president of the association.

The members gained knowledge of manufacturing technologies being used by Chinese companies. They also visited several factories to know about the latest technologies.

"We were quite impressed with the infrastructure and an industry-friendly environment. There are no labour- related problems, power supply is regular.”



Degrees conferred on 400 students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
As many as 400 graduate and postgraduate students of SCD Government College received degrees at annual convocation. Panjab University vice-chancellor R.C.Sobti conferred the degrees and called upon the students to stay close their roots by mustering faith in traditional values. He specifically asked the parents not to impose their decisions on students stating that the pressure results in stress further giving rise to suicidal instincts in some cases.

Talking to the mediapersons later, Sobti said stern action would taken against the colleges that had not send internal assessment marks to the varsity. He further informed that paper setters responsible for anomalies in question papers too would be summoned by the university. Further referring to the compensation of students the vice-chancellor said students' interest would be taken into consideration while taking a decision on the same.

The vice-chancellor turned down the request of teachers for increasing the remuneration of practical exams stating that the university could not bear the burden yet. He also rebuffed the teachers for their intimidating attitude for pressurising the varsity to submit to their demands. "Boycotting examinations on petty issues is uncalled for keeping in mind the future of students," he went on to add.

Taking the cause of the Punjabi language in the state, Dr Sobti congratulated the Chief Minister for making Punjabi compulsory in government offices and said the university too would plan something similar.



From Schools
BCM students organise mock IPL press conference
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Senior students of BCM Dugri organised a mock IPL press conference to mark World Press Freedom Day on the school premises here today. With students and teachers posing as celebrities, argumentative cricketers and persistent journalists; it had all ingredients of an action-packed and controversy-laden press conference.

After being informed about the colossal power of media and freedom it enjoys sustaining a throbbing democracy and just society, the students witnessed the dynamics of IPL-Media interaction in a simulated situation.

From Bhajji-Sreesanth spat to vulgarity charges of cheerleaders, the student-journalists touched upon all relevant issues. Their volley of questions was effectively and tactfully batted by the IPL student-members.

“Such innovative activities help us to gain practical knowledge through the fun-way,” opined a school student named Kashish, who was the Saurav Ganguly of IPL.

“Media is the voice of courage and echo of common man. World Press Freedom Day is a salute to the spirit of fearless journalism and we wanted to celebrate it by exposing our students to the whiff of this exciting and challenging field through this mock press conference,” commented school principal Vandna Shahi.

Labour Day celebrated

May 1st, Labour Day, was celebrated in Spring Dale Senior Secondary School, Sherpur, with great fervour and enthusiasm. The students of primary section were told about the importance of the day in Hindi, Punjabi and English, respectively. A paper-reading contest was also organised on the occasion. The results are as under: English-Ayush Khanna Ist; Gurman Preet Kaur IInd and Naman IIIrd. Hindi-Kamya Ist; Ritika Aggarwal 2nd and Gagandeep Kaur IIIrd.A special prize was given to Bableen Kaur for Punjabi- paper reading.

GRD Academy Labour Day was celebrated at GRD Academy here today. Addressing the assembly organised for children, teachers, administrators, drivers, conductors and sweepers, principal Aneeta Kundra spoke on its significance. A few students read out speeches pertaining to the day. At the end of the assembly, the Class IV employees were honoured by the principal.

GMT PUBLIC SchooL International Labour Day was also celebrated on the premises of GMT Public School. Class IV employees of the institution were honoured by the principal and directors. The students also actively took part in the function.

Orientation programme

Bal Bharati Public School organised an orientation programme for the parents to give a deep insight into the educational methodology followed by the school. The programme was held at Nehru Sidhant Kendra. Principal Punam Dogra welcomed the guests and informed them about the child education society, the apex body running 23 Bal Bharati Schools in the country. Prabhjot Kaur highlighted the importance of environmental education in schools.



1,700 students’ future in dark
Warring groups vie for control of school
Mahesh Sharma

Raekot, May 2
Apprehending a clash between two groups warring for the control of management of SGG Senior Secondary School, Goindwal, Mukand Singh Sandhu, SDM, has directed Mohan Lal, tehsildar, to keep a watch on the situation.

The development followed the election of Virender Jain as president of the governing body of the school at a meeting convened at the home of Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, MLA, yesterday.

Jaswant Singh Khela was declared vice-president and Surinder Singla, Jaidev Singh and Ravinder Jain were elected secretary, joint secretary and cashier respectively.

As the group led by Satish Aggarwal, administrator, did not recognise the management committee, the administration advised leaders of both the groups to maintain peace and tranquillity at the institute.

"As the school is a private body and its functioning does not lie under our jurisdiction, we did not interfere in the process of election. However, to avoid any untoward incident, we deputed a duty magistrate and provided security at the venue of the meeting yesterday," said SDM Sandhu, adding that nobody would be allowed to disrupt peace of the area.

Two warring groups of the governing body of the school, supported by Pardhan and SAD leader Jagjit Singh Talwandi, had locked horns over the issue of control of the institute.

While the Congress-supported group had sought police protection for the election to the body yesterday, the BJP-SAD-backed administrator had demanded a probe into the alleged misappropriation of funds worth Rs 70 lakh by the former president, patronised by the Congress MLA.

Future of over 1,700 students seems to be dark as both the groups, claiming their office-bearers to be authorised, will be fighting to take control of the institute. Astonishingly both groups have been accusing each other of swindling funds worth tens of lakhs of rupees.

Parents of the students have urged the administration to intervene in the matter and prevent the institute from becoming a battlefield for politicians.



Seminar on ERP solutions held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Quest Infosys, Regional Centre, Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, organised a seminar on ERP solutions under distance education programme at GGNIVS, Civil Lines, Ludhiana.

HR manager,Webcom Technologies,USA, Naveen Kumar, told the gathering about the company’s plan to share the expertise in the latest technologies, including Net/ERP/ Java/ Oracle and the company, also excels in enterprise resource planning, Microsoft Technologies, data base, web designing and development.

Technical head of its Ludhiana office Anil Bhardwaj explained about ERP, its importance, its features and benefits. He opined that the best ERP software was SAP. He further stated that SAP was the world’s leading provider of business software solution.

Elaborating on the prospects of job employments in this field, he stated that after being proficient in ERP Solutions, one can look for job opportunities with MNC’s. Corporate and abroad with lucrative salaries.

Personality development

The Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, Ludhiana, in its ongoing personality development programme organised training programmes in international business etiquette, make-up, hair and skin care and styling, art of dressing, Yoga and meditation, social etiquettes and public speaking, dietics and table setting, dinning and restaurant etiquette. The programme will begin tomorrow and conclude on May 5.

MBA, MCA, BBA and BCA students are being trained by experts. Tripatdeep Singh Dua and Amanpreet Singh Brar of GNIMT were the coordinators.

Placement at GGNIMT

Summer placements for MBA IInd semester students are in full swing at the Gujjaranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology. A large number of students from GGNIMT were picked up by Nahar fibers, HDFC, Standard Life, Reliance Money, SPS Apollo hospital for summer internship programme while six students have been offered a live summer project with ICICI Prudential. 



Kidney check-up camp on May 5
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 2
Ludhiana Mediciti Hospital here will hold a renal diseases awareness and check-up camp on May 5. Dr P.M. Sohal, nephrologist, along with other doctors and supporting staff, will examine the patients and render expert follow-up advice.

Stressing the need for early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) through simple urine and blood tests, Dr Sohal said this would lead to better management of the patients, positive results of treatment and timely identification of those at risk of renal problems.

"CKD is a major public health problem and now the leading cause of death in developed countries. The number of persons on hemo-dialysis worldwide is 147 million but the major problem remains that the condition has minimal symptoms and is not easily recognised. Those with history of smoking, diabetes, hypertension, family history of kidney disease, obesity and dyslipdemia stand a greater risk for chronic kidney disease."

In a country like India, a majority of the people could ill-afford the high cost of caring for patients with end-stage kidney problems with dialysis and transplant involving enormous expenditure.

Therefore, prevention of CKD was all the more necessary, Dr Sohal emphasised.

Asthma camp

To mark the World Asthma Day falling on May 6, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here will observe asthma awareness week starting from May 4. A free asthma and paediatric check-up camp will be organised on May 4 in the OPD block of the hospital.

The patients coming to the camp for consultation will be entitled to free registration, including free medicines, free spirometry (lung function) test, free urine (routine) and blood sugar test besides concessional OPD investigation and indoor treatment in general ward, excluding usage of medical equipments.

The consultants available for consultation at the camp will include Dr Anil K. Kashyap and Dr Sushil Gupta, among others.



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