L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cash-strapped MC fails to collect Rs 160-cr dues Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Even though the municipal corporation claims it faces a funds crunch and has withheld several developmental projects, it has neglected to recover water supply and sewerage arrears to the tune of a whoppingRs160 crore.

Data available from the civic body reveals it has not bothered to collect the arrears from houses and commercial establishments in the city for the past many years. This despite the fact that the financially hamstrung MC has been securing loans for undertaking various civic projects.

The data shows officials of almost all the zones in the city have failed to collect the arrears. The biggest laggard in this respect is zone D, followed by zone A - both of which are the city’s most commercialized zones. While recovery ofRs53.35 crore is pending in zone D, it is aboutRs41.34 crore in zone A. Similarly, an amount ofRs30.5 crore is pending in zone B and Rs34.44 crore in zone C.

According to sources, when the matter was brought to the notice of MC commissioner AK Sinha a few days ago at a review meeting he had pulled up officials of the operation & maintenance (O&M) branch for not recovering the arrears on time. The sources added he had warned the officials tough disciplinary action would be taken against them if they failed to act fast.

However, the sources said it was not that easy for O&M branch officials to collect the dues because of a lot of political interference. They claimed the area councillors did not want the MC staff to take any sort of tough action against defaulters in their respective area. It was only because of this that civic officials had not evinced interest in collecting the arrears, the sources added.

Though admitting arrears totalling Rs159.65 crore are yet to be recovered, VP Singh, superintendent engineer of the O&M branch, claimed his staff had already begun a “drive” to collect the money. “I appeal to city residents to clear their pending dues so that the funds could be utilized for development”, he said.

Water & sewerage arrears in Rs

Zone A 41.34 crore

Zone B 30.50 crore

Zone C 34.44 crore

Zone D 53.35 crore


3 water connections severed
Rs1.2 lakh recovered from water supply, sewerage defaulters 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The operation and maintenance (O&M) branch of the municipal corporation (MC) set the ball rolling for collecting pending water supply and sewerage arrears by severing three water connections and recovering more thanRs1 lakh from defaulters.

In a major drive, under the leadership of executive engineer Kamlesh Bansal, a team comprising superintendent Sanjeev Uppal, subdivisional officer Rajinder Singh and RP Gupta initiated action against major defaulters in the Tajpur dairy complex.

The MC collected around Rs1.20 lakh. The staff dealt strictly with the defaulters who had not paid arrears for a long time and disconnected three water connections.

Ditch machines of the civic body were used to plug the points from where sludge of the area was entering the Buddha Nullah. The drive was not a smooth affair.

The civic body staff had to face pressure from all sides. Repeated telephone calls were made to them from political leaders of the ruling alliance and the opposition.

The MC staff remained adamant on take action against defaulters.

Unruly scenes were witnessed as residents tried to obstruct the drive, during which they had heated arguments with the MC staff. The MC staff continued the drive till late in the evening.



Traffic lights add to chaos
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Instead of easing the growing traffic chaos, the new traffic lights installed at six key intersections of the city have virtually turned into a nightmare for commuters.

The installation of traffic lights has not only annoyed commuters, but has left the traffic police and road safety experts red-faced.

Lambasting the municipal corporation’s step of installing traffic lights, Kamaljit Soi, vice-chairman of the Punjab Road Safety Council, said, “It is a bizarre decision of instal traffic lights at the intersections. Putting a traffic light is no solution to traffic chaos. Why did they did not take the advice of road safety experts before setting up traffic lights? It is sad that decisions are taken in air-conditioned offices and commuters are made to suffer in traffic snarls.”

The new traffic lights had been put up near the Session Judge’s residence at Mall road, PAU’s Gate No. 4, near ESI Hospital, Rajpura Chowk, and near Pahwa Hospital. The traffic lights near the Transport Nagar functioned for only two days.

The traffic police, already facing acute staff shortage, blamed the corporation for creating the new mess. A cop deployed at PAU’s Gate No. 4 said, “Though the road used to receive heavy traffic during office hours, the condition was not that bad. Ever since traffic lights have been installed, the road has turned into a major traffic bottleneck. Earlier, there were no hiccups in crossing the road. But now, it takes over 10 minutes to cross the road.”

The traffic lights outside the PAU’s Gate No. 4 was installed as the intersection was witnessing many accidents, said an MC official, on the condition of anonymity. Soi had a different take on it.

“If accidents are the criterion for installing traffic lights, we need to put traffic poles at every inch on NH-1. Installing traffic lights is no solution to the problem. Actually, we need to tighten norms so that no one gets away with a driving licence easily.”

A commuter, who was stuck in traffic near PAU’s Gate No. 4, said, “It is a crime to put up traffic lights in an erratic manner. Are we looking for traffic solutions or creating more problems for commuters?”

Who’s Call?

Technically, it is the job of the MC to install and maintain traffic lights. The traffic police has to ensure that everyone obeys traffic rules. Due to mismanagement, the public has to suffer.



Pak trap for Indian money
Luring residents with jackpot through SMS
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Gullible residents of the city are falling in the trap of a Pakistani intelligence agent, who is currently sending scores of short messaging service (SMSes) to people, claiming that they have hit the jackpot.

A detailed scrutiny of the account shows a staggering figure, running into lakhs, as people are generously pooling money in the account.

The message states that residents have to deposit between ` 15,000 and ` 18,000 in order to get a cheque for ` 10 lakh.

The illegal funding would perhaps have gone on unnoticed had retired excise and taxation officer SC Vashisht not applied his intelligence.

He explained, “A few days ago, I received a SMS from a Pakistani mobile number (00923027093299), stating that I am an old subscriber of the mobile company and my name has been shortlisted for the grand prize of ` 10 lakh.

“The message further read that in order to get the money, I have to deposit ` 15,000 in an account (number 11309155217) with the State Bank of India. I called  up the mobile number to check the authenticity of the claim.

“Vinod Kumar, claiming to be an executive with the mobile company, stated that after depositing the amount, I would have to to rush to a nationalised bank. I would have to show the receipt there and bank officials would hand over the cash to me.”

Vashisht got suspicious and called up the helpline to check the authenticity of the claim. The company told him that it had not launched any such scheme and warned him not to fall into any such false claim trap.

The retired excise and taxation officer probed the issue further and got to know that the account was in the name of Anisa Khatun of Bhubaneswar in Orissa. He claimed that in the last two months, over 100 persons had submitted the cash.

Witnessing that more people had been falling into their trap, the cons have jacked up the price from Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000.

Modus Operandi

Nigerian gangs used to con people by sending them e-mails and SMSes, stating that they had won a prize. The victim, to get more money, used to deposit cash in the bank account mentioned. The Pakistan-based operator was operating in a similar manner to dupe people of their savings.

Probe Ordered

Taking into account the sensitivity of the matter, the Police Commissioner has ordered a probe into the issue. Additional Deputy Commissioner (Detective) Kuldip Singh is handling the case.



Pedalling to catch criminals for  rs 40 !
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 1
Can you imagine, cops are being given Rs 40 and Rs  180 cycle allowances per month for chasing criminals? Sounds strange, isn’t it? But, it is a fact. It’s just a meager amount in the age where criminals are using latest cars to give the police a slip.

The police department is paying Rs 40 to other ranks (ORs) and Rs 180 to non-gazetted officers as cycle allowances, respectively. This is not enough. The allowance was doubled just a few days ago. The amount is so less that majority of cops don’t even bother to enquire whether they are getting it or not.

Terming the allowance as a mockery of the police department, office- bearers of a few social organisations and NGOs have urged the government to review the system governing fixation of allowances and correlate it with average consumption of fuel for performing routine duties by the cops.

Perusal of the police department’s manual revealed that the cops below the rank of non-gazetted officer were entitled to get ` 90 as conveyance allowance before it was revised recently. Though it has been doubled, the cops are yet to enjoy the benefits.

While it is almost impractical for a cop of any rank to perform his duties on the bicycle daily, other rank officials will continue to get the allowance.

About 20 bicycles, which were presented by a business organisation to the Circle Police at Malerkotla a few years ago, ware being rarely used for patrolling.

Expansion of area of operation for constables and havildars has also made the use of bicycle unrealistic. What to talk of chasing criminals riding on motorcycle and four-wheelers, a paddling cop can’t even think of doing routine patrolling.

Regrettably the successive governments have failed to realise the necessity of correlating conveyance allowance with the consumption and fluctuating prices of the patrol and diesel.

On an average the monthly allowance being paid to non-gazetted officers is utilised by them within a day.

Majority of cops feel humiliated by fixation of such a low conveyance allowance, but none wanted to be quoted for demanding rationalisation of the facility.

Admitting that in certain cases complainants were even asked to arrange vehicles for raiding hideouts of suspects, the cops argued that the tendency could have been checked had the conveyance allowance been genuine.

Cops demanded that the allowance should be correlated with prices of fuel depending upon the nature of job.



Sexagenarian couple injured in roof collapse
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
A sexagenarian couple was injured after a roof collapsed in the Islam Gunj area here today.

The incident took place here this afternoon when Kesar Lal (65) and Munni Devi (66) were at home. The roof of their room suddenly gave in.

The loud noise created panic in the area as residents took it to be an explosion and ran for cover.

They realised that it was not an explosion after they saw dust emitting from the house of Kesar Lal.

They launched a rescue operation and pulled out the couple who were buried under the rubble.

They were rushed to the Civil Hospital in an unconscious state.

Besides sustaining severe head injuries, the couple also sustained wounds on other parts of their bodies. Their condition is stated to be serious.

The residents said they had expressed apprehension over the poor condition of the house, but the couple’s son had paid no heed to them, resulting in the incident.

He was not present in the house at the time of the collapse.



MC to build winter roof for homeless
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
In a humanitarian gesture, the municipal corporation (MC) is all set to provide a roof to homeless poor people at night to protect them from the cold in winter.

The MC will make temporary arrangements in the initial stages, but later, permanent arrangements will be made.

According to information available, the MC has geared up for providing shelter to the homeless on directions of the state government.

The MC has identified two sites, one at the Dhandari station and the other near the veterinary hospital on the Tajpur road.

The MC will build big sheds at these places for the homeless. In the initial phase, the MC has identified 116 such homeless people around the Jagraon bridge for the purpose.

Sources have revealed that the building branch of the civic body has made the proposal, which will be put before the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) for approval.

Realising that winter is critical for such persons, the MC has made temporary arrangements in all four zones.

In zone A, a hall, proposed as restaurant, on the top floor of the multi-level parking at the Mata Rani chowk will be used. In zone C, an abandoned octroi office will be used. For zones B and D, the MC has tied up with the management committees of Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran and Durga Mata Mandir.

An MC team led by Senior Town Planner Blakar Singh Brar inspected the sites in zones A and C. He asked officers of the buildings and roads branch and the operation and maintenance wing to provide infrastructure like water supply and toilets at these places.

Brar said once facilities were provided, the homeless would be shifted to these places. “This is just a temporary arrangement and we will provide permanent structures for them soon,” he added.



Student rusticated for lewd remarks on Facebook

Ludhiana, December 1
Social networking website craze among children claimed another victim when a Class VIII student of a convent school was rusticated here today.

The student was rusticated for posting lewd comments on the Facebook profile of one of his classmates. According to sources, the girl brought the matter to the notice of her parents, who in turn complained to the school authorities.

Acting swiftly on the misconduct complaint against the student, the school authorities immediately rusticated the boy. The vice-principal of the school refused to comment on the issue. — TNS



World AIDS Day
HIV+kids discriminated against, die young
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
With the country still having no laws protecting the rights of HIV/AIDS patients, children afflicted with the disease are the worst affected as is evident from the discrimination they encounter every day.

However, what is alarming is that HIV positive children die young due to lack of proper treatment. A class 6 girl from Issru village who tested positive for HIV died recently as she could not get her timely dose of medicine after her death of her mother who was also afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

The Punjab State Aids Control Society (PSACS) claims to have made best arrangements for HIV/AIDS patients but shortage of medicines is a problem that hinders the ant-AIDS campaign. As Prem Chand, father of an HIV positive boy, said: “I’ve to get his medicine from PGI, Chandigarh as it’s not available at the ART centre in Ludhiana.”

However, Dr NM Sharma, PSACS additional project director based in Chandigarh, said the society was doing its best to help HIV/AIDS patients in the way of treatment and counselling.

Each day is a battle for dozens of HIV positive kids in Ludhiana district, who had acquired the disease in their mother’s womb or due to the use of infected needles during blood transfusion. However, thanks to the role played by NGOs working for the cause of HIV/AIDS patients, most of these children are getting emotional support and financial help and are putting up a brave front.

Citing the example of three siblings residing in the city’s Sarpanch colony, Jagjit Singh Mann, the founder-chairman of the Punjab Networking of Positive People’s Society (PNPPS), said: “Their parents died after fighting HIV/AIDS for a long time and now one of the three kids has tested HIV positive. The couple had taken a bank loan to build a house but after their death the children are unable to repay the loan installments and the bank has approached the courts to take possession of their house”.

Quacks exacerbating problem

District president of the Indian Medical Association Dr Narottam Dewan said reused needles and syringes used by quacks in villages were a major source of HIV infection. City-based doctors have come across numerous cases wherein children going to unqualified doctors were tested HIV positive later on. 



NGOs Savdhan youngsters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Department of health and family welfare, Indian Medical Association, and various NGOs observed the World AIDS Day by organising seminars and awareness campaigns to educate people on HIV/AIDS.

The health department organised a seminar at ITI Gill road, wherein Dr Jasbir Singh, blood transfusion officer at Civil Hospital, and Dr Geetika, AIDS officer, spoke on varied issues concerning the disease.

Documentary film “Savdhan” was also shown to the students.

IMA, Ludhiana, observed World AIDS Day with a theme on “Universal Access and Human Rights”, and pledged to work towards universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention and care, as fundamental human rights.

A function was also organised for industrial workers at the ESI dispensary, Industrial Area, Focal Point.

Dr Sarita Kaushal, deputy director-cum-medical superintendent, ESI, Ludhiana, was the chief guest.

NSS wing of R&D Technical Institute, Focal Point, and NGO Sarav Kalyan Mission also participated. Along with industrial workers about 300 persons attended the function.

Dr Narotam Dewan, president, IMA, Ludhiana, spoke on prevention of HIV infection and AIDS.

Dr Hardeep Singh, secretary at IMA, Ludhiana, said million of people continue to get HIV infected every year. In low-and middle-income countries, less than half of those in need of anti-retroviral therapy are at the receiving end, and a lot of them have no access to adequate care services.

Rising Youth Association also organised a programme to create awareness on World AIDS Day today.

Gurinder Chahal, president of the NGO, said they, too, had taken pledge to spread HIV/AIDS awareness among youngsters.



Angry residents burn council officials’ effigies
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 1
A few residents of ward Nos. 4 and 5 staged protest and raised slogans against Nagar Council officials and administration for making false promises and for their failure to get the roads repaired at the earliest. People, who were protesting under the banner of the Khanna Samaj Sewa Club, also burnt effigies of the officials concerned.

They reached the Nagar Council’s office and raised slogans against officials concerned for about an hour. Karmjit Singh, president, and Sachin Angrish, general secretary of the club, respectively, alleged that due to the Nagar Council’s negligence residents of Nandi Colony and the Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar are facing hardships. They alleged that there is no outlet to drain the muddy water and the dengue is again spreading in areas falling in these wards. Several cases of dengue were reported from these areas, but the Nagar Council remains unmoved. A resident of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar is struggling for life at the PGI due to the dengue, they added.

Iqbal Singh, president, Nagar Council, said Rs 14 lakh had been earmarked for repairing this road. A police team was rushed to the spot to prevent the situation from worsening after the protestors and Nagar Council officials entered into heated arguments. SDM Khanna Inderjeet Kaur Kang she said she would look into the matter. 



Finding solution without spending a penny
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Finding solutions to problems faced by the city and that too without spending even a single penny seems to be the Municipal Corporation’s new mantra. To prove this point, municipal engineers had a brainstorming session with representatives of a private company. for finding solution to the problems faced by the city on the public-private partnership mode.

Mrunal Jhaveri and Yogendra Naik, representatives of Dara Shaw and Company, which had successfully implemented the public-private partnership mode in numerous cities gave a presentation on decongesting the city and the multi-modal transport system.

Top brass of the municipal corporation’s engineering branch tried hard to find viable solutions for the major problems. Right from traffic congestion to parking problem, municipal officials enquired about every problem from this company hoping that they would suggest some method by which they could solve the problem.

After it, the municipal staff talked about the haphazard truck parking in Transport Nagar and sought solution from the company. Similarly, the officers raised the issue of poles in the mid of road that creates traffic congestion and enquired about the method of uprooting so as to earn money. They also asked about the method by which the work undertaken by the cable companies to lay down underground wires could be checked so that it could become a source of income for the civic body. In the end municipal officials asked companies to find some solution for the traffic congestion in important commercial places by constructing the parking lots on the public-private partnership mode.



Kissan swaraj yatra to reach city tomorrow 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Kissan Swaraj Yatra, a nation-wide mobilisation drive to draw people’s attention towards “continuing agricultural crisis in India,” will reach the city on December 3. A public meeting will be organised in front of the PAU. It will be addressed by eminent personalities like Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, Dr Inderjit Kaur of Pingalwara, Singar Manmohan Waris, Prof Jagmohan Singh and journalist Satnam Singh Manak. Representative of various farmers’ union, environmental and consumer right groups, human right organisations and literary figures are reaching the city to participate in the yatra.

It will cover Ludhiana, Dhudhike, Bhotna, Jaitu, Bathinda and Badal in its Punjab leg. This bus-yatra began at Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram on October 2. It will pass through 20 states before reaching Rajghat, New Delhi, on December 11. This yatra has been organised by all-India network of more than 400 organisations-Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture.

Terming the Kissan Swaraj Yatra as a caravan for the third war of Independence, Umendra Dutt, executive director, Kheti Virasat Mission, said: “It is the time to reassert our Independence and at same time we have to protect our sovereignty. Imperialism is coming in new avtar. Now several East India Companies are descending to do business and we must remember that earlier business by it pushed us to slavery. Today, we are at a stage where key policy makers in the country are dreaming about displacing millions of farmers from their agriculture and want to create business opportunities around everything for big multi-national corporations.” 



‘Pig farming to come up in big way’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The department of veterinary and animal husbandry extension education, GADVASU, organised a seminar for members of the progressive piggery farmers’ association here yesterday.

Dr KS Sandhu, director, extension education, was the chief guest. He said pig farming in the coming times would catch up in a big way.

Alferd Wahl, general manager of Polar Genetics, Canada, and a pig expert, delivered a lecture on artificial insemination in swine.

He said by adopting artificial insemination, there could be maximum utilisation of excellent germplasm as well as fast multiplication of the same and additionally the spread of various diseases like swine fever can be checked.

Penny Jones, logistics manager, Polar Genetics, provided information on transportation biosecurity and swine health.

He stressed on the importance of cleaning and disinfecting trucks and trailers used for the transportation of animals. Polar Genetics supplies live animals as well as semen to various countries.



Horticulture experts discuss challenges in marketing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
A meeting of the Punjab State Agricultural Implements Manufacturers Association was organised at the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COA&E), PAU, by the Punjab Chapter of Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) under the aegis of National Horticulture Board (NHB) yesterday.

Bijay Kumar, managing director, NHB, Gurgaon, was the chief guest. He discussed about the problems and challenges in the marketing of fruits and vegetables and emphasised on the need for machinery to handle the produce. 



Dhabas, tea kiosks removed
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 1
The forest department removed illegal encroachments near the banks of Sirhind Canal around the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road at Neelon with the help of the police and other teams under Duty Magistrate Surinder Singh today.

The teams reached the spot in the morning with about 150 employees of the department and a strong police contingent and an anti-encroachment team of Nagar Nigam, Ludhiana, besides medical teams.

After warning 19 illegal occupants spread in about half hectare area, the team started the demolition drive with JCBs. The occupants did not resist the drive and all dhabas and kiosks were removed.

According to officials, they had undertaken the drive on the directions of the High Court and the violators had been given prior notice.

The dhabas were creating hurdles for commuters as vehicles would be parked wrongly. Before the demolition, the power supply was disconnected and the teams took about four hours to clear all the encroachments.



BSNL strike hits life
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 1
Causing inconvenience to residents, billing centres and offices of the BSNL remained closed today.

Members of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Employees Union (BSNLEU) went on strike against the management of the public sector undertaking for making unwarranted payment of Rs 18,500 crore to the government towards 3G and BWA spectrum charges.

The protest would continue for two more days. The employees held a demonstration in different offices of the BSNL here.

Addressing the agitators, district BSNLEU secretary Balwinder Singh said the BSNL management had no reason to pay such a huge amount to the government as it had not participated in the 3G spectrum auction.

Focusing on other demands, he said another major issue causing resentment among employees was the non-absorption of ITS officers even 10 years after the formation of the BSNL, despite several assurances by the Union Communications Minister.

Other demands raised included the merger of 78.2 per cent interim DA for wage revision from January 2007, speedy procurement of mobile equipment and a strict no to disinvestment, unbundling and VRS.



Sanitary workers seek regularisation 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
A delegation of the sanitary workers’ sangarsh committee met Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha in the wake of the Municipal Corporation’s core committee’s decision to recruit sanitary workers on DC rates and sought regularisation of their services.

Lovely Pal Dishawar, one of the committee leader’s, said a delegation led by Hansraj Gagat, Khelar Chand Gupta, Gurjeet Singh Jagpal, Gurmeet Singh Sidhu and others met the Municipal Commissioner to pressurise him to accept their demands. He said the delegation expressed their anguish over the core committee’s decision while ignoring the interests of the employees.

They emphasised that rather then recruiting the sanitary workers on DC rates or in phase-wise regularisation, the Municipal Corporation must ensure that the workers were recruited in a single phase. 



Bidding adieu to singledom with stag & doe parties
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The city’s youngsters are making the most of their precious "single" days before they tie the knot. Yes, bachelor/bachelorette parties are the biggest celebratory events these days, next only to the actual wedding parties. In many cases the bride-to-be and her prince charming “go dutch” to have a combo youngsters’ bash.

Chic ambience, loud music, drinks on the rocks and sumptuous mouth-watering food add to the fun and excitement. Be it one of the city’s five-star hotels, dad's farmhouse or a picturesque outdoor location - the soon-to-be-wedded guys and gals are keeping it big and fat.

"A lavish ‘stag’ or ‘doe’ party is the time youngsters can let their hair down and have crazy fun along with their closest pals before (reluctantly) relinquishing their single status and getting hitched. I’ve attended many of such bashes thrown by my friends’ and now it’s my turn to throw one," said Harpreet Sandhu, who is set to tie the nuptial knot on December 10 - but not before celebrating the end of his singledom on December 6.

For businessman Jaskiran Singh, a stag party is a way to soothe the butterflies in the stomach that get bigger with the D-Day approaching fast. Says the strapping young man: "I’m really nervous and guess a stag bash will help me feel a lot better. Having friends and cousins around will definitely give my morale the much-needed boost and drinks can make anyone feel brave (winks)."

Like Jaskiran, Simran Kaur Garcha too is nervous as her wedding day approaches. However, her reasons for throwing a doe party for her friends are different.

"It’ll be my one last chance to have the time of my life before I become the ideal ‘bahu’ (daughter-in-law). My entire gang of girls will head towards Kasauli for my bachelorette bash on December 8. We’re going to have really blast in the hills," says the young entrepreneur.

For Priyanka and her childhood love Ashish, having a pre-wedding party is all about making their friends feel an important part of the biggest day of their lives.

"We want all our friends to know how important they are for us and how much we love them. And, for us the pre-wedding bash is the way. Treating them to some great music with food and drinks unlimited, away from the prying eyes of endless relatives is our way to make our friends special," says the duo that has planned their youngsters’ day out at a disco in Chandigarh over the coming weekend.

Priyanka and Ashish have been dating for a long time and know each others’ friends well. So they are inviting around 100 pals to the "no-seniors-allowed" party.

Another city youngster, Bhawan, feels, "At ‘sangeet’ (traditional music session) youngsters, especially the bride’s or the groom’s friends, are hesitant about dancing in front of elders, but at such a party you can be yourself. Ours will be a combo youngsters’ party wherein my fiancé and I’ll have my friends over for a dance party."

It appears the city surely is in a party mood. So all you betrothed ones out there - take out your dancing shoes and rock the dance floor with your beloved friends before you say ‘I do’!



Workshop on vet laparoscopy concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
A two-day workshop on "Clinical applications of laparoscopy and endoscopy in small animals practice" was organised by department of veterinary surgery and radiology, GADVASU, in collaboration with Karl Storz Company.

Dr VM Chariar, director, Academy for Veterinary Endoscopy, Karl Storz, Mumbai, imparted training to the faculty members of the departments of veterinary surgery and radiology and animal reproduction, gynaecology and obstetrics.

Diagnostic and surgical aspects of laparoscopy and gastroscopy were demonstrated.

A case of Golden Retriever bitch suffering from remnant ovaries and stump pyometra was also successfully operated by laparoscopic surgery during the workshop.

Dr Narinder Singh Saini, professor-cum-head, department of veterinary surgery and radiology said GADVASU had procured laparoscopic surgery instruments and established laparoscopic surgery unit for dogs and cats, which was operational since two years.

Laparoscopy was a minimal invasive technique and can be used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

It had many implications like ovarectomy (ovaries removal), spay (ovaries and uterus removal) surgery, gall bladder removal, foreign bodies removal lodged in esophagus and stomach. Above all, laparoscopy was helpful in diagnosing tumours, cysts, abscess of various abdominal organs like liver, kidney, splenic, intestine, urinary bladder etc.

Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, dean, College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, said laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery was a new technique in veterinary practice.

Hands-on training was a must to generate expertise and to improve surgical skills of veterinary surgeons. 



Thumbs down to dress code in colleges
Shivani Bhakoo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
“I don't feel there is any need for dress code in colleges. We are all grown-ups and not school kids anymore that we should come in uniforms,” said Anjana Gupta, an Arts student at Khalsa College for Women when asked about dress code for college students.

Majority of college students, especially girls don’t like the idea of dress code. Students term it to be an “arbitrary” attitude and feel that by wearing uniform for a day things won’t change either for management or for students. But orders are obeyed mostly by students to avoid punishments and penalties, say students.

Most colleges in the city, especially women colleges expect students to wear white coloured salwaar suits for one day in a week.

"White is simply a dull colour and we want to look bright. I can’t carry salwaar suits well, so on dress code day, I get confused,” said Kiran, a student of Ramgarhia Girls College.

Barring a few like Satwinder Kaur, who believes that adhering to dress code just for a day was definitely not too demanding by managements, most students "hate" to wear white salwaar suits.

Satwinder, however, says: “If there is a compulsion then why object? Five days should be more than enough to showcase new clothes or dresses.”

The dress code is imposed in almost all women colleges in the city, including Khalsa College for Women on Wednesday, Malwa College of Education for Women on Monday, Government College for Women on Monday, Guru Nanak Girls College on Monday, Ramgarhia Girls College on Wednesday etc.

Mild punishments or minimal fine is imposed on defaulters. Dr Charanjit Kaur Mahal, principal Guru Nanak Girls College, said: “White salwaar suit was imposed on students so that they learn to maintain discipline. We don’t give any harsh punishment, but we impose penalties so that they follow the rules properly.”

Dr Ravinder Kaur, principal, Malwa College of Education for Women, said students were asked to wear white salwaar suits on Mondays only. "We hold our assembly on Monday. Five students speak on different topics teaching moral values. A sense of discipline, integrity and dedication is developed. Students must support us. Teachers, too, make it a point to wear white salwaar suit or saree that day.”



PAU Notes
Training programme

LUDHIANA: Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), in collaboration with M/s Syngenta India Ltd, organised the second training programme on herbicide application spraying techniques for Hoshiarpur and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar districts at Paddi Sura Singh village on Tuesday.

The training programme saw participation of more than 250 dealers, farmers and scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendras and agricultural department officials. Dr MS Gill, director (extension education), PAU, was the chief guest while Rajesh Jain, vice-president of Syngenta, was the guest of honour.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Gill stated that adoption of PAU recommendations, regular contact with experts and using proper equipment can help farmers in raising their agricultural production. PAU experts have been reaching the farmers through its Krishi Vigyan Kendras, added Dr Gill.

Jain highlighted the contribution of Syngenta for Indian growers for productivity enhancement through new technology. Dr US Walia, an expert on weed management and Dr Surjeet Singh, professor, agronomy, brushed up the participants’ knowledge about the usage of recommended herbicides with proper nozzles and gave special presentations on application techniques. Live spray demonstration with different spray equipment and nozzles was also given. On this occasion, wheat basket, cruiser/topik etc were displayed at the training venue.

The chief agriculture officer, Hoshiarpur, also attended the camp along with his team. An interactive session was held where the queries of the participants pertaining to the spray nozzles and applications etc were responded to.


The PAU Kisan Club is meeting on December 2 at Kairon Kisan Ghar of the University. Giving details, Dr TS Riar, in charge of the club, said that special lectures on agricultural processing by Dr MS Alam, integrated nutrient management by Dr DS Bhatti, farm literature and the role of electronic and print media by Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, and cardiac care by Dr HS Bedi from Christian Medical College and Hospital would be arranged for the club members.

The event will be inaugurated by PAU director of extension education Dr MS Gill. The in charge of women wing of the club, Rupinder Toor said the programme would have an interaction of farm women with PAU experts. — TNS



From Colleges
Virasti Mela

LUDHIANA: A function was organised to honour and the services of the staff members at a state-level "Virasti Mela Dhian Da" at Government College for Women here today.

Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabaria presided over. Gabaria appreciated the efforts of principals of the other colleges, for their contribution, dedication and work culture in the successful completion of the event.

The members who were honoured included Ranjodh Singh, president Arts Council, principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar, principal Parveen Kaur Chawla, principal Narinder Sandhu and principal Gurminder Kaur.

Members of the core committee who were honoured included Sudarshan Mehta (vice-principal), Dr Harpreet Gill, Dr Sarbjot Kaur, Dr Surinder Gill, Prof Krishan Singh, Dr Mohinder Kaur Grewal, Prof Jaswant Singh, Paramjit Kaur, Sukhwinder Kaur, Kumud Ghai, Maninder Kaur, Parminder Kaur, Jaspreet Kaur, Prof Kuldeep Singh, Prof Baldev Singh, Dr Sukhwinder Singh and Dr Mamta Kocharr.

Ranjodh Singh appreciated the efforts of the staff and students who participated in the mela.


A seminar hall was inaugurated at GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) here last evening.
Justice RS Randhawa from the Punjab and Haryana High Court inaugurates a block at the GGNIMT in Ludhiana.
Justice RS Randhawa from the Punjab and Haryana High Court inaugurates a block at the GGNIMT in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph  

Justice RS Randhawa from Punjab and Haryana High Court was the chief guest. MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira was guest of honour.

Prof Prithipal Singh Kapur, president Khalsa Education Council, welcomed the guests.

Justice Randhawa inaugurated the new block and seminar hall, which is dedicated to S Jeet Singh Chawla and Giani Lal Singh. This was followed by a cultural event where students sang melodious songs and recited poems.

Kuntal Jain, Sachin Lakra, Surabhi Kathuria and Azaljot Singh were honoured with the award of excellence for their achievements in the field of business and sports respectively. The Institute also set up a scholarship fund. Scholarships worth Rs 1 lakh were given to the meritorious students.

Talk on HIV

An expertise talk on AIDS by Dr Paramita Sen Gupta was organised at DD Jain College here today.

A professor in the department of community medicine, CMC&H, Dr Sen expert gave detailed knowledge about the deadly disease.

The officiating principal Dr Vijay Lakshmi urged students not to discriminate AIDS persons as they have the right to live peacefully.

Awareness rally

The NSS department of SDP College for Women observed World AIDS Day and International Day of Disabled Persons here today on the college campus.

The NSS department, under the supervision of Dr Parkash Verma, Parveen Lata and Seema, programme officers, organised paper-reading contest, awareness rally and visit to school of disabled persons near Habowal.

In paper-reading contest, NSS volunteers declaimed upon the topic AIDS- a dreaded disease and problems faced by disabled persons.

Babli Ahuja, HoD English and Neelkamal were judges.

Results: Ist- Shlipli Singh (BCom I); 2nd- Sukhbir Kaur (BCom I); 3rd- Surbhi Sharma (BCom I).


The "Aagman Purab" of Shri Guru Nanak Dev was solemnised with devotion at Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women here today.

Sucha Singh Langah, Agriculture Minister, was the chief guest.

While addressing students, Langah exhorted students to tread the spiritual path shown by great saint and first Sikh Guru.

He persuaded them never to deprive themselves of moral and religious values which were part and parcel of earthly existence. The students recited hymns from Gurbani. Students also presented their views and opinions highlighting moral values taught by Guru Nanak Dev.

Paper-reading contest

A paper-reading contest was organised at Malwa College Bondli, Samrala, by the English Literary Society. About 22 students presented their papers on different topics and themes.

The function was presided over by president of college managing committee Balbir Singh Rajewal. He advised students to hone their creative skills. He dwelt upon the importance of learning English in competitive world.

Principal Jagmohan Singh praised the efforts of the students. He said such performances lay the foundation stone of students' lives and make them responsible citizens. — TNS



From Schools

LUDHIANA: World AIDS Day was celebrated by students and staff members of Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School, Sherpur, today.

Students, under the guidance of their teachers, prepared posters and slogans to spread awareness about this dangerous and incurable disease. Red ribbons were pinned on the shirts of the teachers as well as their parents.

Teachers and students highlighted the need to check it. Director and founder principal of the school Avinash Kaur Walia, principal Sandeep Raikhi and headmistress Kamalpreet Kaur spread awareness among students about the disease.

Annual day

The annual function of the primary wing "Bahar-e-BCM" was celebrated on the school premises with fun and frolic.

Paramjit Kaur, principal, BCM School, Shastri Nagar was present for celebrations.

The scintillating attires and excited spirits of the performers ignited the audience and converted the dull and chilly morning into a bright and colourful one.

The major attractions of the event were a play promoting good and healthy eating habits. The regional and cultural dances of various states and peppy numbers like "Chandu ke chacha ne", "Rock and roll sohniye", "Mera naam chin chin chu", "Bawre-Bawre" etc.

Bhangra at the end served as an icing on the cake. School Principal Dr Vandna Shahi remarked that such events were a source for exposing and expressing the real inner-self of the students and provided them with an opportunity to outshine their personalities.

Declamation contest

Ludhiana Sahodaya School Complex organised Punjabi declamation competition at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School today.

A total of 25 teams of different schools participated and expressed their views on issues like pop culture and price rise.

Prof Kamlesh Chopra of DD Jain Girls College and Dr Inderjit Kaur of Ramgarhia Girls' College were the judges.

First prize was bagged by Jaspreet Kaur Kang of GGN Public School. Second prize went to Guneet Kaur of Tagore Public School. Third prize was won by Harleen Kaur of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar. Consolation prize was given to Sakshi of BCM School, Basant Avenue.

Special prize was given to Jaskaran Kaur of Sacred Soul Convent School.

Overall trophy was won by team of GGN Public School. Green Land Senior Secondary School, GT road, and Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School were first and second runners-up, respectively.

Computer carnival

Computer Carnival, an inter-school three-day event of competitions, on computers and information technology started at Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, here today.
A participant of cyber quiz reacts after giving a wrong answer at Sacred Heart Convent School in Ludhiana
CAUGHT ON THE WRONG FOOT: A participant of cyber quiz reacts after giving a wrong answer at Sacred Heart Convent School in Ludhiana on Wednesday.Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

A total of 350 students from 20 different schools are participating in the event. Principal Sister Chantal, in her inaugural address, mentioned that students had to play an important role in this field and had to be trained properly.

Sanjay Shroff, whose team designed the event in 2002, said initially the event started with the participation of six local schools and around 50 students.

Results: Cyber Splendour (painting): 1st Mehar Bhatia, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana; 2nd Tanisha Gaur, KVM, Civil Lines, Ludhiana; 3rd Jasarjun Singh, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana; Appreciation prize: Manpreet Kaur, Spring Dale Senior Secondary School and Rajvir Singh Matharoo, Nanakana Sahib Public School.

Cyber quiz (classes VI-VIII): 1st Sukirat Singh and Shivansh Bhalla, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana; runners-up: Yuvraj Verma and Sourabh Gumber, BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh road.

Cyber quiz (classes IX-XII): 1st Livnoor Brar and Manmeet Kaur, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana; runners-up: Abhishek Mehta and Agam Bhandari, St Anne's School, Chandigarh.

Cyber promo (web designing): 1st Abhishek and Akshay, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, Ludhiana; runners-up: Mayank Jain and Rahul Gupta, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana; appreciation- Mayank Puri and Tushar Sharma, Spring Dale Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana. — TNS



Gang of robbers busted, two held
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, December 1
The Goraya police has busted an inter-district gang of robbers with the arrest of two of its main members today. Phillaur DSP Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh said a naka was laid near Dallewal village on the basis of a tip-off and two motorcyclists arrested under Sections 25/54/59 of the Arms Act. 

The DSP said two .32 bore country-made revolvers and 15 cartridges were recovered from accused. They had been identified as Inderjit Singh of Rajpur Bhaian village and Ranjit Singh of Kutbewal village. A motorcycle with a fake registration number of Hoshiarpur district was also impounded, the DSP added.



Chinese co. agent booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The police booked an agent, who claimed to be working as a middleman for a Chinese polyester company, in a fraud case here today.

The accused, identified as Amanpreet Singh, a resident of Sargodha Colony, was booked following a complaint of Gaurav Kumar of Sunder Nagar.

Gaurav claimed that he gave Rs 1.25 crore to Amanpreet for purchasing polyester from China on October 2009, but he pocketed the entire amount and did not deliver him the yarn.

A high-level probe was launched in the matter following which the accused was booked. Sources in the police alleged that the case had seen many twists as a councillor came out in the support of the accused and tried to put pressure on the police officer investigating the matter.

Gaurav said he was under debt as he had borrowed money from the market and mortgaged his property to arrange for the cash.

The police has launched a manhunt to nab the accused.



Sand mining racket unearthed 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 1
It is literally turning sand into gold. That several groups of influential and politically-connected persons are running a racket of illegal sand mining along the banks of the Sutlej at several places in the district came to the fore today when three trailers loaded with sand on the periphery of the city, failed to produce any permit for sand mining. Documents required under the Motor Vehicles Act were also missing.

Illegal sand mining, which causes loss of crores to the exchequer, in addition to having adverse impact on the interests of licensees of land mining, came to light when SDM (West) Prem Chand inspected the Ladhowal-Khaira Bet area along the Sutlej this morning in the wake of complaints.

Prem Chand said labourers along the loaded trailers near the Ladhowal seed farm did not have any permit or authorisation from license holders and said they were reportedly working for a political leader.

The vehicles and the labourers were handed over to the police for further action. The SHO of the Ladhowal police station said the vehicles had been impounded and would be released only after the settlement of challan at the district transport office and payment of penalty.

Vishwa Bandhu, general manager, District Industries Centre, who is also the District Mining Officer, said a team of officials had been sent to look into illegal mining. “It will be too early to say anything until we have more information,” he said.

According to sources, sand mining involves big money and the cartels comprise either political functionaries of major parties themselves or those enjoying political patronage. As many as 31 locations for sand mining in Ludhiana were auctioned for Rs 3.3 crore in August.



Mr India winner felicitated
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 1
Local lawyers felicitated Mr India Sandeep Kumar, who had secured fourth position in the World Bodybuilding Championship, held recently at Los Angeles in the US, at the district courts complex here today.

The lawyers also honoured Padmashri recipient and Arjuna awardee Prem Chand Dogra, who had earned fame in the field of bodybuilding.

The function was organised by the Lawyers Brigade, headed by Sanjeev Malhotra.

He said the association would launch a campaign against drug menance and corruption.



Handball trials on Dec 4
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 1
Trials to select handball probables (women) will be held here on the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground on December 4.

According to BS Brar, general secretary, Punjab Handball Association, the selected players will attend a coaching camp prior to their participation in the 39th Senior National Handball Championship scheduled from December 20 to 25 at Jaipur.

Interested players can contact handball coach Harinder Sharma.



Sunny dazzles in KVM’s win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 1
Sunny Pandey hammered 79 runs off 43 balls and fashioned Kundan Vidya Mandir’s 63-runs victory over BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh road branch, in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Cricket Tournament, Central Zone (U-19) that began at MGM Public School, Dugri, here today.

Batting first, KVM made 161runs for the loss of just two wickets in the stipulated 15 overs.

Sunny top scored with 79 runs, which included 13 hits over the ropes while Abhinav Bhatia chipped in with 33 runs. Himanshu Garg and Abhishek Talwar contributed 15 and 11 runs, respectively.

For BCM School, Abhishek grabbed one wicket for 38 runs, while Ankit took one for three.

In reply, BCM Senior Secondary School were all out for 98 runs in 14 overs. Neeraj contributed 27 runs, followed by Varun (13), Uday (7) and Abhishek (6).

For Kundan Vidya Mandir, Abhinav was the most successful bowler, claiming three wickets for 15 runs. Kunal Partap captured two wickets for 10 runs, while Mrinal Partap and Nimit Malhan secured one wicket each conceding 7 and 5 runs, respectively.



District TT tourney on December 11, 12
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 1
The Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association (LDTTA) will organise the District Table Tennis Championship-2010 here at the Punjab Agricultural University campus hall on December 11 and 12, according to the secretary of the association, Fang Jenn Chiu.

During this two-day meet, competition will be held in the cadet boys and girls (u-12) -- born on or after January 1, 1999, sub-junior boys and girls (u-14) -- born on or after January 1, 1997, junior boys and girls (u-17) -- born on or after January 1, 1994, youth boys and girls (u-20) -- born on or after January 1, 1991, senior men and women besides veterans’ singles.

Interested players may confirm their participation with secretary, LDTTA at 7-8, Bhadaur House, cell no 9876191001, or senior table tennis coach, Jaspal Singh, PAU, Ludhiana, cell no 9888576655.

Matches will be played on knockout basis in the cadet, sub-junior and youth sections while matches in the junior, women and men category will be conducted on the league basis. Participants have been advised to bring their age proof certificates.

On the basis of their performance in this tournament, paddlers will be selected to represent Ludhiana in the Punjab State Inter-District and Open Table Tennis Championship slated to begin on December 15 at Jalandhar, added Chiu.



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