L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Day 1, ban up in smoke
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The government may have chosen Gandhi Jayanti as the most appropriate occasion to bring in its ban on smoking in public places, but it was hardly implemented in the city today and no one was challaned for the offence.

The efforts of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to make people aware of the law through advertisements in newspapers and television, too, seemed a wasteful exercise.

People were easily spotted having puffs at public places like railway station, bus stand, complexes, Rose Garden and Rakh Bagh, as they said they were not aware of the law. People in uniform were also seen smoking, raising a question mark over the implementation of the law.

When Vineet, a passenger who was smoking and waiting at the railway station, was asked was he aware of the law, he replied in negative and said no one had raised an objection on his smoking. He pointed out at another person and some coolies and said even they were smoking. "First stop them and then ask me not to smoke at a public place," he added.

Similarly, a cop, who was spotted smoking at the mini-secretariat, said rules are made to be broken. "Every third person in India smokes and you can not challan everyone. What would you do to them who smoke beedis and don't have enough money to pay the fine,” he questioned.

Interestingly, this is not for the first time. According to information, moves were also made earlier to ban smoking in the city, but failed as no one was ready to take the responsibility to check the menace.

Talking to The Tribune, SP (Headquarters) Harish Kumar said, "At present we have not challaned anyone, but we would start it soon." He added that if some police official was found smoking in duty hours, he would be punished.

When contacted, deputy commissioner S.S. Gurjar said if there had been some shortcomings in the implementation of law, we would see to it. He, however, said it was not possible to run after every person as the administration had limited resources.

Meanwhile, Guinness World Records holder Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury claimed to have invented a device "Cigavaccine" which could help a smoker to quit the habit. The vaccination is scheduled to be launched by November 15 this year. 


Boozers desecrate Gandhi’s memorial
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Phillaur, October 2
As the entire country was observing a dry day to mark Gandhi Jayanti, it was a boozer’s day out at the Gandhi memorial situated on the banks of Satluj in Phillaur here today.

However, a sweeper tried his best to clear the liquor bottles from the Gandhi memorial before the local leader’s visit, but as soon as the politician left the venue it was again swarmed by anti-social elements.

The smokers were seen enjoying the puff despite the ban imposed by the Central government on smoking at public places from today.

Dharminder Kumar, who works in a school and is also a caretaker of the shrine situated close to the Gandhi memorial, rued over the desecrations of the memorial.

“There is no one to look after the memorial of such a historic significance. However, we sometimes shoo away the drinkers with the help of the police, but as soon as we leave the place more such people gather for drinking liquor,” he added.

The memorial, situated a furlong from the GT Road, is at present home to urchin and anti-social elements.

Mani Dhaliwal, a resident of Phillaur, said”While politicians, officials and self-proclaimed followers of Gandhiji pay tributes to him at a memorial situated on the banks of the Sutlej, the place is ignored for the rest of the year and provides a safe shelter to all kind of anti-social elements.”

The memorial is of significance in the region as Mahatma Gandhi had chosen this place as one of the sites in North India where his ashes should be immersed. But, thanks to the people and the government apathy, the place gets due attention only at his birth and death anniversaries.

The place has been ignored since long as wild grass, bushes, stray dogs, waste papers and polythene bags dot the area. A few devotees and schoolchildren cleaned the area for today’s function. No emphasis has been laid on its upkeep since it was set up. The board reading the historical importance of the place has got rusted.

An urn containing ashes of Gandhiji was immersed in the Sutlej, near the old railway bridge, on February 12, 1948.

Jagtar Kaur, an octogenarian, recalls how politicians of Ludhiana and other places used to visit this memorial every year on the birth and death anniversaries of the Mahatma in the past, but the place, now, remains utterly neglected. She said till 1970 a fair used to be held here with people spinning Khadi and participating in various competitions and functions.

Unfortunately, no one except a few old leaders and believers of the Gandhian ideology are familiar with the memorial.

The place was just beside the then GT road bridge over the Sutlej. However, with the passage of time the bridge became too narrow to cope with the ever-increasing traffic and another bridge was constructed at a distance. This shifted the focus from the memorial also.

As the administration is shying away from the memorial’s upkeep, the day is not far when it will only remain in the history books.



Hoax bomb caller nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The city police nabbed the hoax caller, who created panic in the city by making calls about bombs being planted at crowded places of the city.

The Jodhewal police arrested Pardeep Kumar, hoax caller, from the Ram Nagar Chowk near Tibba Road late last night.

This sent the alarm bells ringing and the people and the administration were on their toes.

The police traced the mobile number of the accused and nabbed him. During the interrogation he admitted having committed the crime.

The accused also created panic among residents by claiming that he has alleged links with a terrorist.



Man held for killing father
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The city police has arrested Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Lalton village, for allegedly killing his father on the intervening night of September 29-30.

Atma Singh (60), a farmer, was allegedly murdered at the crematorium of Lalton village. After two days of interrogation, the police cracked the case and nabbed the accused.

Initially, it seemed to a property dispute, but the accused said that his father indulged in “lecherous” activities and tried to establish physical relations with his wife.

The accused said that his father used to harass them.

On the intervening night of September 29-30, when Atma Singh was drinking liquor at the crematorium, the accused attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon, resulting in his death.



Peace rallies mark Gandhi Jayanti
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
Prayer meetings, peace march and rallies marked the Gandhi Jayanti as political activists, mostly Congress functionaries, paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his birthday today.

Blood donation camp

Mandi Ahmedgarh: A blood donation camp was organised on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti at the Hind Hospital here on Thursday today. As many as 46 persons donated blood. The camp was organised by the blood bank society, Civil Hospital, Malerkotla, in collaboration with the local unit of the Lions Club. The camp was inaugurated by district health officer, Sangrur, Dr K.C. Goel. — OC

The District Congress Committee (Urban), along with Youth Congress and SC cell of the party organised a "prabhat pheri" and a prayer meeting. Party workers, led by DCC president Jagmohan Sharma marched towards Daresi Road garlanding the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on the way.

Former minister Rakesh Pandey and party councillor Parminder Mehta led a prayer meeting after offering floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the old town hall.

Gandhi Jayanti was observed as "International Non-violence Day" and party workers recited "bhajans” and hymns to remember Father of the Nation.

The Akhil Bharatiya Congress Committee Rajiv Gandhi Panchayti Raj Sangathan organised a function at Valmiki Dharamshala in Dugri where seven children were adopted for providing free education.



At The Crossroads
Exploring art through camera

Ludhiana can boast of such photo-artists as can blend the beauty of form and truth of existence in their creations. Earlier T.P.S. Sandhu and Ranjodh Singh had captured the varied moods of nature in their photographs.

Over the period of seven years, both these photo-artists have held four exhibitions, under the logo of “Drishtikon”, in Ludhiana. In a way they have changed the scenario of this mega city, which has otherwise been caught in the process of manufacturing, advertising and marketing.

The exhibition of paintings, photographs and handicrafts, from time to time, creates an aura that is not easily blurred by the din and noise as well as smoky landscape and hazy skyscrapers of the city. Of course, it is not pertinent to assert that the world of capital is insensitive to the spectacles of the artistic forms. In fact persons, who are holding the strings of the purse too crave for a glimpse of the ethereal beauty that the artists create in their works.

Recently two photo-artists have emerged on the horizon of the city with aplomb. They are basically poets and have received appreciation for their contribution to Punjabi literature. But the poetic urge can take recourse to other mediums for expression besides, metaphors and images, which are the products of words.

This is what Swarnjit Savi and Jaswant Zafar have done in their individualistic way.

Swarnjit Savi is a painter-artist par excellence. Now he has created a new image of "the city by night" through the lens of his camera. His photo-exhibition, “The Dancing Line”, was held at Gallery Artmosphere, Ludhiana, from September 17 to 27. What prompted him to put aside, even for a short while, his pen and brush so as to catch the every-evolving patterns of decorative lights during night?

"Traditionally, photography is based on an object that already exists. But in my case the object is not pre-existing. I have tried to catch the glowing colours of light, which have no pre-eminent existence. At nightfall a city like Ludhiana dons a different kind of apparel, which bewitches the viewer.”

Does he intend to blend poetry, painting and photography in such a manner so as to reveal three dimensions of a thing of beauty?

"Basically all arts are complementary to one another. For example, poetry, painting, photography, sculpturing and music converge on the same human quest for harmony and poise at the heart of the universe. On my part, I try to dig my own path and explore the unexplored so far.”

Jaswant Singh Zafar, in an earlier period, tried to seek the hidden reality of life in caricatures. His exhibition of cartoons in PAU, a long time ago, is still fresh in memory. But now he has viewed historic monuments and natural objects through the lens of the camera. He held his photo-exhibition “Picturesque” in PSEB Hall, Ludhiana, from September 27 to 29. Now the same has been shifted to Gallery Artmosphere, Ludhiana, where it will be open till October 13.

What has he to say about his creative work in the field of photo art?

"My quest for the immediate reality of human existence has led me to the camera. In my opinion life is not static or linear but cyclic. The universe is in the process of rejection, renewal and acceptance. This process ultimately leads to the aesthetic vision of life. Beauteous forms are the outcome of artistic endeavours.”

His creativity seems to be focused on the display of chiaroscuro. These photographs can be termed as a study in light and shade. From his deep involvement in the interplay of words and drawing sketches, he has emerged as a photo-artist. What are his future plans?

"In my poems and prose writings I have tried to comprehend the mystique of the metaphors and symbols. Now camera is my constant companion and I may be considered a dilettante in photography. But I know that camera can reveal to me such beauteous forms as are palpable and abstract at the same time.”

— N.S. Tasneem 



Sub-registrar on leave, another arrives at 12.30 pm 
Hapless people made to wait for hours in hot weather 
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Resentment prevailed among hundreds of visitors who had been standing in long queues since morning as there was no sign of work at the sub-registrar West and East offices here yesterday till 1.30 pm.

People rued that there was no official to address their apathies or intimidate them whether someone would be coming to pursue the work or they should return.

Besides, the hot weather added to their woes, as there was no shade or place to sit and potable water to drink. Even a few senior citizens fainted after waiting in long queues.

As per information, the work has been suffering since sub-registrar (W) A.P. Verma was held in a graft case by the vigilance bureau.

Prem (70) said she had been waiting since 5 am along with her daughters. “We pay so much revenue to the government and even then they are not bothered to give us good service,” she said adding that even tomorrow was a holiday.

Amarjit Singh, who had come from Delhi, said,” I was asked to appear on September 30 which was a holiday in Punjab. The office didn’t even bother to check whether they are calling people on a state holiday.”

He said he had been standing in the queue since 8 am and was doubtful whether his sale deed work would be done today or not. He added that even October 2 was a holiday and the work would be once again postponed if the official do not return.

Similarly, 75-year-old Nirmal Singh, who had come from Gujjran near Ladowal, said he had been coming for the past six days. It was not possible for him to make frequent rounds of the government offices at this age. Besides, there were all women in his family, he added.

NRI Sukhdev Singh, who had come from the USA said, “My wife is sick but her presence is required for signing the deed. We had been coming to the sub-registrar office since Friday but could not find any respite.”

When an official sitting in the office was asked whether someone was coming or not he replied in negative and said he knows nothing.

Talking to The Tribune, district revenue officer Inderjeet Kahlon said the sub-registrar who was deputed for today’s work was on a leave and she had submitted her application at the Samarala office. “We came to know about it in the morning only and would be sending someone to do the work,” he added.

Finally the deputed sub-registrar came around 12.30 pm and started the work after 1.30 pm when half of the people had returned after waiting for him.



City bus service awaits CM’s nod 

Despite tall claims of senior government functionaries, including Punjab local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia, the much-awaited city bus service is still to hit the road. In the absence of a mass public transport system, the burgeoning population in the industrial hub of the state is solely dependent either on personal modes of transport or three-wheelers and as a result, have to cope with chaos on the congested roads as also alarming level of environmental pollution, caused by modified kerosene-run engines of auto-rickshaws. The announcement by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation that it is ready with the launch of city bus service and nod of a VVIP (read chief minister) is awaited for formal inauguration, has come as a big relief, but will the CM, who is currently focusing on Patiala, spare some time to make this dream a reality.

Pupil or dictator?

My friend was perturbed over the strange behaviour of her 10-year-old daughter. She complained that her daughter never took her tutor (female) seriously. She even scolded her many times, but in vain. Since the friend is working, the moment she leaves the house, her daughter dictates her terms to the tutor. Recently, when she came home for an urgent work, she saw the tutor frying chips for her daughter. Poor teacher said that her student was hungry. The other day she came home to check whether daughter took her lessons seriously, the house was locked. After waiting for 10 minutes, she saw both daughter and tutor coming on the latter's two-wheeler. She was given a reply that her daughter wanted to have bread sandwich and she (tutor) had gone to get bread. My friend is planning to take the smart daughter to a psychologist now.

Picture perfect

The desire to see their pictures published in newspapers is no longer limited to grown ups. It seems the kids have also developed a craving for the same. This is what a recent visit to one of the city's slum schools revealed. When asked about how was it like to study on the footpath in absence of a proper school building, a seven-year-old child agreed to give his "quote" provided he was assured that his picture would appear in the newspaper the next morning. The kids surely have their way with things.

The ‘great’ Aulakh

Former PAU vice-chancellor K.S. Aulakh is certainly a tall figure in the arena of experimenting and propagating information about correct cropping patterns for maximum yield. Known for his no nonsense and uncompromising attitude, he has always stuck to the principles which he holds dear. In the process, he even surrendered his vice chancellorship about a year ago.

When the Congress general secretary, Rahul Gandhi, visited the PAU, he was at the forefront to explain to him the problems related to agriculture and the farmers. It was not for the first time. When Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the President, Aulakh had been invited to the Rashtrapati Bhawan for his opinion and advice on the herbal garden there.

Witty Rakhi

Rakhi Sawant is known for her presence of mind and is always quick to answer the queries of the media. During the press meet for ICL at Mumbai recently, one of the journalist asked her that since now she was doing a film with Yash Raj banner, will she be the next Shah Rukh Khan of Bollywood? To this, she quickly replied that Saha Rukh Khan is the “moon” of Bollywood while she is the “star”. Adding, she said, "Everybody and anybody can reach the moon, but nobody can reach the star. 'Taare par aa kar dekhiyo to janu' (I will acknowledge if you reach the star) and this is how she is different and special". Everyone present there was stunned after listening to her answer and comparing herself with the star. The media had no option but to applaud his quick reply. A journalist present there was heard listening "Hats off to Rakhi for her quick wit".

Consumer not the king

The retail industry might have recorded an influx of players, but there is no improvement in customer’s plight. You might be welcomed with great enthusiasm at any of these outlets, but when it comes to return or exchange or product-related guarantees, most of the leading brands fail to treat the "customer as king". A buyer was appalled to read that "there would be no refund on goods once sold". The buyer from foreign lands was even more shocked when she saw that the invoice also mentioned that the present fashion did not allow the said company to offer any product-oriented guarantee. It looks that profit-making would continue to be the sole motive of retailers in coming times, too.

Designer’s house crumbling

Ace designer Ritu Beri's ancestral house lies unattended in Jassowal village. When the Tribune photographer was clicking pictures of the towering building recently, an elderly woman from the adjacent house came out and said: "What are looking for in the shambles? Rather than capturing the leftover morsels of a visual feast, the building now needs an immediate repair. I don't even allow my grandchildren to play near the building in the evenings because it can collapse any time.” The building marked with “Vande Matram” slogan was constructed in 1908.

Are journalists VIPs?

I went to attend two conventions on Sunday and was astonished by the way I was treated at these meetings. As soon as I entered the venue hall, the official spokesperson took away the mike from the person who was addressing the gathering just to announce that a mediaperson from The Tribune has arrived. Interrupting and breaking the continuity of the event, the spokespersons took away the mike immediately to welcome and thank me for the coverage. I don’t know whether it was a gesture of sheer respect or a method to keep in touch with the journalists. What I really know is that it is a part of my job and I am being paid for it. I had not gone to the conventions to oblige anyone. The incidents have forced me to introspect that are journalists a VIPs?

(Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Charu Chhibber, Rajesh Bhambi, Manav Ghuman, Shveta Pathak, Sanjeev Sing Bariana and Jyotika Sood) 



Govt must own up the responsibility

The condition of roads in Ludhiana is alarming. Who is to blame for this? Of course, those in power. Both the Congress and the SAD-BJP combine should stop blaming one another and start working with honesty. The government must own up the responsibility and make contractors use good material while laying roads. The roads of the city were never so bad around 40 years ago. The then contractors used to use quality material. Government officials used to supervise work till its completion and were held accountable to the government in case of complaint. Today’s system has gone corrupt.

M.P. Kapila, Civil Lines

Private hands may help

The city is passing through its worst stage of governance. All infrastructure parameters are at their lowest ebb. The state government, district and local administration and politicians are all responsible for this. Residents also shirk from their responsibilities. Mere announcements of plans, mega plans or master plans are useless until they really mitigate the suffering of people. An autonomous nodal agency invested with powers to work in participation with private partners can be effective in solving problems pertaining to road, traffic, transport, water supply, sewerage, lighting and garbage removal.

Logistical support is urgently needed for strict compliance with laws.

Brish Bhan Ghaloti, Janta Enclave

Ease excess traffic

Roads within the city limits should be handed over to private hands for upkeep and maintenance because the government has apparently washed its hands off it. We are willing to pay extra money. The government must take an undertaking on maintenance of roads from the firm engaged for the work. Road patchwork is a futile exercise. It neither solves the problem nor does it offer any lasting solution.

The excess traffic on city roads needs to be eased out. Heavy vehicles often cause damage to roads, which are meant for light traffic.

The police and the administration should also chalk out a plan to regulate traffic movement in the city. For instance, roads near the Clock Tower, including the Chaura Bazaar and several others in the old city, need to be made one-way.

Ajay Pal Singh Sandhu, Sarabha Nagar

Bureaucracy equally to blame

Every now and then we read about announcements made by the chief minister regarding spending crores of rupees on building new roads and repairing old roads in the state. However, the government seems to be doing precious little on the ground to justify its claims. It is surprising to see how government has turned a blind eye to the “Manchester of India”, which houses premier hosiery and other industry of the country, contributing a major chunk to the national budget. However, politicians alone are not to blame for the mess. The bureaucracy is equally responsible for the shoddy job on city roads.

Potholes continue to stare motorists when leading politicians, including Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Badal and Bikramjit Singh Majithia are regular visitors here.

Navjot Singh Bhullar, Model Town

Is Opposition asleep?

We blame the government for the poor condition of city roads, but seldom question the role of the opposition parties. The concerns raised in the house meetings of municipal corporation are not adequately followed up on the ground.

Bad roads delay traffic, disturb motorists and damage the machinery. The authorities seem to stay mum on the issue in spite of the public outcry.

The Samrala Chowk-Jalandhar bypass and Jagraon bridge-Jalandhar bypass, in particular, are among the worst stretches of roads in the city. A stretch near a religious structure on the Samrala chowk-Jalandhar bypass road has deep potholes. It is a shame that even roads travelled by politicians and their convoys continue to be in disrepair.

Amanjit Singh Dhindsa, Near Division-III Police Station



Unscheduled power cuts hit production 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Prolonged power cuts have reduced industrial production to half here. Unscheduled cuts of two-three hours, along with two compulsory offs in a week and daily six hours of cuts in residential-cum-industrial areas, have badly hit the functioning of all categories of enterprises.

Unable to cope up, a few industrial units in engineering segment are even planning to set their base in other states, said industrial sources.

As diesel costs, too, have increased in the recent past, manufacturing enterprises are finding it unaffordable to even run generator sets for long hours.

“Peak hour cuts, unscheduled power cuts and weekly offs have reduced our working hours to 50 per cent. It is not possible to incur costs on generators for such a long period. Production is suffering badly and industry will not be able to cope up if the situation continues to remain the same,” rued S.C. Ralhan, regional chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council.

While residential areas with heavy concentration of industry are facing six hours of cuts on a daily basis apart from unscheduled cuts, enterprises with more than 100 kW of sanctioned load face peak load restrictions of three hours daily.

Industries like auto part manufacturers; hand tools, cycle and cycle part units have been bearing the brunt of fluctuations in steel rates and insufficient labour as well. Even as prices of steel have remained stable for the past few weeks and the problem of labour shortage also tackled, industry has been unable to function smoothly on account of an erratic power supply.

“Power crisis should have been dealt on a priority by the government but the situation is only worsening. The overall performance would be hit and given the situation we fear we may not be able to cover up for the past losses in production. Worse is, now that labour is available they are forced to stay idle due to power cuts. Costs are rising but business is deteriorating,” said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.



Residents lament poor amenities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
Residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, a posh residential colony on the Pakhowal Road here, developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), are sore over bad roads, neglected green belts, unsanitary conditions, besides having to face serious threat of outbreak of diseases from heaps of garbage and stagnating water at several places.

Residents complain that LIT officials have virtually closed their eyes towards pathetic condition of roads and service lanes. There is no one to take care of the parks and green belts; streetlights in many blocks are either non-functional or partially functional.



Commandos to man Dussehra venues: SSP
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Adequate security arrangements have been made in the city in view of Dussehra celebrations after the serial blasts that rocked New Delhi and other states. The local police is on alert in and around the Dussehra venues in the town.

Ishwar Singh, DIG, Ludhiana range, told The Tribune that SSP R.K.Jaiswal met the representatives of the Ramlila and Dussehra committees on September 28. They were briefed about necessary steps to be taken for guarding their venues. They were advised not to enact anything that could arouse communal hatred. The DIG further said the organisers were asked to enrol intelligent workers or volunteers who should man the entry and exit point of the venues.

“Two companies of armed commandos and one company of IRB (Indian Reserve Battalion) have been deployed to man the venues around the city. Another 200 police personnel had been deputed to maintain the law and order,” the SSP added.

The SSP further stated that the organisers had been asked to ensure that vehicles were parked 500 mt away from the venue. The Women and men must be segregated.

“All Ramlila and Dussehra committees have been provided with the door frame metal detectors and hand held metal detectors for frisking people,” he added.

Meanwhile, the temples in the city are all decked up to celebrate Navratras and Dussehra.

Krishen Bawa, Mahant, Thakur Dwara Nauhrian Temple, said, “My forefathers have been taking out the “Dola”, depicting the various facets of Lord Rama’s life for the past 150 years. It starts from the temple everyday and passes through the main roads and ends at Daresi Ground where Dussehra celebrations had been place before the Partition. The “Dola” returns from Daresi Ground to the temple on the same day.

K.K.Marwaha, chairman, Ramlila committee, Daresi Ground, said “There is great rush in the evening particularly after 8 pm. We have all arrangements for people’s entertainment, eating out and amusements. We have our own security, supplemented by 50 policemen deployed by the administration. We have recruited 20 private security guards as well. The other major Dussehra grounds attracting crowd are Focal Point, Urban Estate, Jamalpur Sector - 32, Upkaar Nagar, Rishi Nagar and Aggar Nagar.



New series of Logan launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Mahindra Renault has launched the new collection Logan, a new line-up of its popular passenger cars.

The collection retains the core strengths of the Logan while incorporating an array of exciting new features and greater luxury. The new fully loaded Logan is available for Rs 5.12 lakh (ex-showroom Ludhiana). The new collection is available in two colours - rocky beige and java brown.

Modular kitchen co opens studio

The company also announced a 'Chaabi mein gaadi', a contest which gives prospective customers across the country the opportunity to win a Logan. Select prospects will receive a car key with an invitation to visit a Logan showroom and try their luck. If the key starts the engine of any of the new collection cars on display, the lucky contestant gets to drive away with the car.

Cucine Lube, one of Italy’s leading kitchen manufacturers, has launched its studio in Ludhiana under the name of PM Cucine Lube India Pvt Ltd. 



No headway in sexual harassment case
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The authorities at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here may have constituted a committee to probe into the alleged sexual harassment case against the Director, Students Welfare, Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, but those attached with the farm varsity feel that there needs to be a quick investigation into the matter to end the ongoing controversy.

On September 26, Vice- Chancellor M.S.Kang had constituted a new committee to look into the matter. The earlier standing committee had Dr Dulcha Singh Brar as one of its members. Dr Neelam Grewal, dean, College of Home Science has been made the chairperson of the new committee.

When asked about the inquiry, Dr Neelam Grewal said: "We have started the process. It is difficult to say how long it will take but we will try to submit the report as soon as possible". She however refused to name the other members of the committee or the details attached to the inquiry.

Eminent economist S.S.Johl, while talking to The Tribune, said complaint of this nature was never filed during his tenure at the farm varsity. He said the authorities must not linger on. "The reputation of two individuals is involved in the case. If there’s any doubt, it must be cleared at the earliest. Justice must be given to the female employee. Any delay will be torturous to the victim", said Dr Johl.

According to sources, though the written complaint against the DSW was filed on September 14, the authorities were told about the "misbehaviour" by much before that. One of the senior faculty members disclosed that the case had become the topic of discussion in PAU circles. 



Cornell varsity team visits PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
A group of three scientists from Cornell University visited the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and held discussions with the varsity scientists on wheat crop.

The group included Dr Ronnie Coffman, international professor of plant breeding and director of international programmes at Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dr K. Vijayraghavan and Dr Robert Tripp from Surrey, UK. The team held discussions with V-C Dr Manjit Singh Kang, director of research Dr P.S. Minhas and additional director of communication and inter-disciplinary team of wheat scientists Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman. The V-C said that PAU seeds were in great demand during the recently held kisan melas. Over 12,000 quintals of seed of the new variety PBW-550 were supplied to farmers.

Dr Coffman highlighted the global efforts in view of the UG-99, a new race of wheat rust and expressed that global research community was not fully mobilised to deal with the new race. He said that the Gates Foundation had a focus on Africa and off late, it was considering South-Asia in a faced manner. 



Scrap Sept tests: Teachers, students
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 2
Students pursuing graduate and postgraduate degree in various streams in the colleges affiliated to Punjab University have demanded scrapping of September examinations as they term it to be a sheer wastage of time and energy.

The university has based internal assessment of these classes on lectures and house examinations held in September and December. The assessment is 10 per cent of the total marks of the written and theory examinations. The weightage of this assessment is 30 per cent of the September and 50 per cent of the December examinations and 20 per cent will be based on the attendance.

“Teachers feel that the whole session passes in the oragnisation, conduct and preparation of the examinations, which continue for the whole session and teaching actually receives a back seat”, views a senior lecturer.

The students feel that the September tests can be easily scraped and they should be taken once in December, as was the practice earlier. “By that time maximum syllabus is covered and the students too would take these examinations seriously as compared to the September examinations”, remarks another college lecturer.



Navratras bring little cheer to retailers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The beginning of festive season has failed to bring the desired buoyancy in business. Retailers, who recorded a heavy turnout of customers on the first day of Navratras on Tuesday, were disappointed with the significant decline in the number of buyers on the second day.

Traders said sales were reduced to 50 per cent of what they were last year on the festival of Eid.

Jewellers, another segment that had been waiting for the festive season due to a major decline in their business, too are sceptical this time. The impact of inflation, feel entrepreneurs, may hamper the expected growth.

"On the first Navratra, we recorded nearly 100 per cent rise in the number of customers but the scenario was pretty disappointing yesterday as the number reduced to less than half. We are quite worried as inflation has already hit our business in a major way. There was a decline of more than 60 per cent. We had been banking on the festive season but now the uncertainty has added to our worries," said Gurvinder Singh, president of the Akalgarh Market Shopkeepers Association.

Tightening of money market along with inflation has led to a decline in business in most segments. Among the worst-hit segments are retail, textiles and hosiery. As festival season is expected to give a jump of even more than 100 per cent in sales, most sectors have been hoping that the season would help cover up the previous slowdown.

The impact was multiplied for hosiery industry which got a setback on account of fall in orders from Jammu and Kashmir this year. Jewellers, on the other hand, suffered due to the continually rising gold rates.

"There was no increase in business on the first day of Navratras as gold rate kept fluctuating. We have no option but to wait and watch. We hope the coming days will reverse the slowdown," said Vinit Dhanda of the Ludhiana Jewellers Association.



Eid celebrated with fervor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
After 30 days of fasting, today was time for the Muslims to feast on the occasion of Id. The sweet fragrance of “sewiyaan” captivated everybody. Muslims in lakhs offered prayers outside the Jama Masjid today morning.

Nearly one lakh Muslims offered namaz, which was read out by Punjab Maulana Habib ul Rehman Sanhi Ludhianvi.

After offering the namaz, Id Milan programme was organised in which people from all walks of life congratulated their Muslim brethrens. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also congratulated them over the phone.

“Sewiyaan” were distributed among those present. While speaking on the occasion Punjab Maulana said Id stands for brotherhood. “At present terrorists are trying to split the people on the basis of religion but we would not allow them to do so,” he added.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: EId-ul-Fitr was celebrated with fervour in the city here and the surrounding villages. Leaders of various Hindu and Sikh organisations also greeted their Muslim brethren on the occasion.

Clad in colourful garments, Muslims gathered in the morning at idgahs on the Dehliz road, and in the surrounding villages of Dehliz Kalan, Rohira, Kanganwal and Rasoolpur.

Before performing "namaz" at the idgahs, members of the Muslim community gave alms to the poor.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited the Malerkotla Jama Masjid and greeted the Muslims, who had come in large numbers to offer prayers there. The prayers were led by the Imam of the masjid Hafiz Mohammad Unis.

Addressing the devotees, Mohammad Ibrahim, chief of the Ahmedgarh Jama Maszid, said Eid reaffirmed the belief of sacrifice among human beings. He said Islam preached peace and brotherhood among different communities. He condemned certain vested interests which were trying to identify Islam with violence and terrorism. 



Eid passes off peacefully
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 2
The Sangrur police heaved a sigh of relief after it succeeded in thwarting attempts to create disturbance in and around venues of Id celebrations in Malerkotla town and surrounding villages today.

The cops remained on toes till the conclusion of Id celebrations at nearby Malerkotla, Dehliz Kalan, Rohira, Kanganwal and Rasoolpur villages. The police department was tipped off about some anti-social elements plan to create disturbance at or near venue of Id celebrations in the Muslim-dominated areas of the Malerkotla subdivision.

At least 600 cops were deployed to seal the area and video cameras installed all along the roads leading to mosques today. 



Bank guard found murdered
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 2
A security guard, who was on a night duty at a Cooperative Society bank, was found murdered outside the bank at Kaddon village, 2 km from here, yesterday.

Menga Singh (65), who belonged to the same village, was working as a security guard for the past couple of years. Villagers found his body lying in the pool of blood and informed Maghar Singh, bank manager, who in turn informed the police.

The villagers said the outer lock of the safe room was broken, but the once inside was intact.

According to them, Menga Singh might have resisted after recognising the suspects who in a hurry killed him.

Gurjit Singh, president, Cooperative Bank Society, said the suspects might have used a sharp edged tool, which was recovered from the spot, as the neck, arm and head of the deceased bore deep cut marks.

According to him, iron wire recovered from the spot reveals that the security guard might have been strangulated during the scuffle with the suspects. The sources affirm that the loot might have been the motive behind the guard’s blind murder.

Police officials, including the SSP, DSP Payal, SHO Payal and station in charge of Doraha reached the spot to probe into the murder.

However, the SSP Khanna said it was, too, early to ascertain the actual reason behind the gruesome murder and detailed investigations could alone throw a light on the actual facts.



Police registers 14 cases of gambling 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
With the onset of the festive season, cases of gambling have witnessed a spurt in the city with the police registering as many as 14 cases on the first Navaratra, most of them from Division Number 6.

The police claims to have arrested several people and recovered lakhs of rupees during the raids.

During the festival season, gambling in the city reaches its peak and the police faces tough time to nab the gamblers. It is not always the habitual gamblers who try their luck during the festive season, but most of the city residents, including women, indulge in gambling. Money worth several lakhs of rupees gets exchanged in a single day, say police. 



Excise dept seizes 21 hosiery boxes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Officials of the mobile wing of the Excise Department have seized 21 boxes of hosiery goods from a godown in Nanak Nagar, near Jalandhar bypass, here today. The boxes were not being supported by proper bills, sources added.

With hosiery business at its peak, the department expects crack more such cases in the coming days. “Peti mafia,” known for sending goods without bills or under billing, does brisk business during the festive season.



Jalandhar eves, BSF cagers win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 2
Jalandhar eves and Border Security Force (BSF), Jalandhar, emerged winners in the first leg of the 18th edition of the Punjab Annual Basketball League organised by the Punjab Basketball Association in the memory of the former captain of the Indian team and Arujna awardee Gurdial Singh Bhaiya at Gure village, near here, yesterday.

In their last league fixture, women team of Jalandhar district faced little resistance from their opponents from Ludhiana district. They romped home with a final score of 50-29.

In the men's section, BSF, Jalandhar, beat its arch rival Punjab Police, Jalandhar, by 69-64.

Chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab, Harish Rai Dhanda and the chairman, Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, Manpreet Singh Ayali along with the office-bearers of the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA), Gurpreet Singh Toor, SP (Detective) and president, Ludhiana District Basketball Association, former international cager and DSP, Batala, Kulwant Singh and coaches were present on the occasion. 



Over 300 athletes attend trials
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 2
More than 300 aspirants (boys and girls’ u-16, u-18 and u-20) attended the trials conducted here today at the Guru Nanak Stadium to select the Punjab contingent for the Junior National Athletics Championship slated to be held at Mysore from November 12 to 16, said Ishar Singh Deol, honorary general secretary, Punjab Amateur Athletics Association.

The qualifying mark set for attending the trials was the timings recorded by the participants during the last edition of the national meet. The selected boys and girls will attend a preparatory camp prior to their participation in the upcoming national championship, Deol said.

Besides, Ishar Singh Deol, Kanwalpreet Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh Maan and Sanjay Kumar and other athletic coaches were present during the trials.



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