L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC turns night operator
Razes religious encroachments after dark
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Taking advantage of the intense cold conditions, the municipal corporation has begun razing illegal structures located at the city’s places of worship at night to ensure there are no problems. The civic body is presently conducting an anti-encroachment drive clandestinely at these locations to avoid any backlash.

As many as eight such structures of the 25 identified have already been removed. On the weekend the MC finally began acting against the estimated two dozen such encroachments that have posed a hindrance for smooth traffic flow. However, the drive has been kept a low-key affair to avoid any public outrage.

The MC staff conducted the drive late in the chilly night amidst a police security cover during which eight encroachments near places of worship were demolished. A team of the civic body’s building branch led by assistant town planner SS Bindra removed the encroachments from Sunet, Ferozepur Road near Lovely No 1 orchestra, Ghumar Mandi chowk, Model Town Extension near the cremation ground, bus stand near the Chatar Singh park and from near the MC swimming pool in Rakh Bagh.

The MC staff also managed to placate the residents and those at laces of worship by involving the public representatives of the area concerned. Moreover, they chose to conduct the drive quietly at night, giving no chance to any one to oppose it.

Similarly the MC staff also told them that as the Supreme Court had given the orders for the removal of the religious encroachments that pose hindrance in way of the smooth flow of traffic so they have to conduct the drive. In the similar manner the Police force played a key role in conducting the drive. However a strange thing was that the officers of the MC who usually invited the media for giving pose during such encroachment drive kept the media away from the spot and didn't let them know about any such drive. When contacted Bindra, though confirming encroachments near places of worship in the city had been demolished, refused to divulge any details.

In the past, whenever the MC had taken action against such encroachments severe protests and even mob fury had ensued. Not taking any chances this time, the civic body began contacting responsible citizens in the areas concerned prior to the drive and asked them to ensure there was no untoward reaction from the public.


Inter-state gang of vehicle thieves busted, 1 held
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 11
The Dehlon police has busted an inter-state gang of criminals that has been stealing and snatching luxury cars in Punjab and neighbouring states. While cars stolen from other states were sold in a local market after getting fake documents prepared from various transport offices, those stolen from Punjab were disposed of in other states.

While one member of the gang, identified as Amandeep Singh of Lasoie village in Sangrur district, has been arrested others are still at large. One Bolero MUV (UP 80 BN 7968) has been seized from his possession.

Other members of the gang have been identified as Jagdish Singh of Lasoie village, Rajwinder Singh of Khasi Kalan in Ludhiana district, Anoop of Tabar village in Saharanpur district (Uttar Pradesh) and Satwinder Singh Raju of Kalaha village in Ludhiana district.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused had been exploiting mindset of innocent farmers to own luxury cars. At least six vehicles, stolen from different places, had been brought to the area with an intention of selling these to the innocent farmers.

SHO Harvinder Singh Cheema had deputed Swaran Singh to lay a trap. Amandeep was nabbed when he came to sell Bolero to a dummy customer sent by the police.

Narinder Singh Ruby, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, said the gang used to target vehicles parked in front of government offices or factories.

Having identified the target, the accused used to park their vehicle near the one to be stolen. The gang members, who had got electronic keys prepared in advance, used to open windows of the targeted vehicle with help of glasscutters.

While two of gangsters used to take away the stolen vehicle, others, with an intention to block the way of owners if needed, used to stay in their car for some time. The police is trying to identify officials who had been facilitating Satwinder Singh in preparing fake documents of stolen vehicles.



Too late to turn back the hand of time
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Though she is more than 85 years old the inmates and other staff members at the women’s jail here call her by her nickname ‘Nikki’. Though she has been trying hard to “make amends” for the crime she committed in the past, she realizes it is too late to wish she had not done it.

She along with her daughter-in-law had killed a neighbour over some dispute in Sham Churasi in Hoshiarpur district. Both were later convicted for murder and are undergoing life imprisonment at the prison.

Hard of hearing and having poor vision, ‘Nikki’ is the oldest inmate in the jail and the others "respect" her for being caring and affectionate. She told the Ludhiana Tribune: "At the time of partition of India (1947), I had two small kids. I got married at a tender age. You can make a guess but I don't know my actual age. I’m friendly with every one here. Anger is something on which one should’ve control, otherwise you may suffer for the whole of your life".

Tears rolling down her wrinkled cheeks, she added: "I feel great when my son comes here to meet me and my daughter-in-law. Some time back we both got to go home for 28 days on parole. Those were unforgettable moments. We were like free birds, enjoying life with my sons and grandchildren. But I had to part with them again with a heavy heart. I wish I could rewind my life but it’s too late now. I’m in the sunset of my life and I pray to God the end comes when I get freed from here".

Jail superintendent Snehjot Kaur said there were about 200 inmates at the women’s prison. “Of these some have been incarcerated for over eight years. All these female convicts are serving sentences for various crimes committed by them”, he added.

"According to instructions from the state government, for the female prisoners whose behaviour remains good during punishment period of at least eight years, a mercy application can be put up by the jail officials to the district magistrate’s office. After verifying everything the case is sent to the main office and then ultimately to the state government, which decides on the fate of such prisoners. We’ve sent eight such cases under ‘premature mercy’ application’, all of which are pending approval at various stages”, said Snehjot.



Bicycles for school kids under SSA
Small units want level playing field
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
With the Sarv Sikhiya Abhiyaan (SSA) inviting tenders from big cycle manufacturers under its scheme to provide free bicycles to poor students, small scale cycle manufacturers have cried foul over the alleged discrimination and favouritism by the government.

As per the tender notice, only Avon, Hero and Atlas or any other “equivalent company” can apply for providing cycles under the government scheme in Punjab.

The inclusion of “equivalent company” in the notice leaves only big manufacturers in the race.

In October, the government had invited tenders from the three companies alone. Small manufacturers had then made several representations to the government, pleading that they had been providing bicycles to neighbouring states under the same project. However, when it came to their state, the privilege had been reserved for the top few.

This year, tenders were invited for 634 ladies’ bicycles and 170 men’s bicycles for students studying in class IX and X under the education department’s scheme.

However, small manufacturers had been kept out of the tender process even though the Prime Minister had recently clarified that at least 20 per cent share had to be given to the MSMEs in all government projects.

KK Seth, senior vice-president, Indian Bicycle Manufacturers Association, said a meeting of controller of stores would be held on January 13.

“We will take up the matter with the authorities and request them to replace the condition ‘equivalent company’ with ‘equivalent quality’ in the tender,” he said.

“Ludhiana is a hub of the bicycle industry and many small manufacturers have been providing bicycles to other states under this scheme. But when the turn came to Punjab, only big producers have been given the chance,” he said.

The government has set a three-point criteria for any company to file tenders for government projects — The company should be in the business for the past three years; the company should be registered; and the government department must have carried out the capacity assessment of the company.

“Our units meet all three parameters and the quality of our products cannot be challenged,” said another small scale cycle manufacturer from the city.

Tender Trouble

As per the tender notice, only Avon, Hero and Atlas or any other “equivalent company” can apply for providing cycles under the government scheme in Punjab. The inclusion of “equivalent company” in the notice leaves only big manufacturers in the race.



18 building inspectors, but none qualified
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, January 11
In what may be a major reason for the unabated construction of illegal buildings across the city, the building branch of the municipal corporation does not have a single technical inspector to check the maps as required under the statutory building bylaws.

According to sources, the state government had, in a communiqué sent to the civic body, asked about the total number of technical inspectors working with it.

In its reply, the MC had specified that it had 18 building inspectors but none was technically qualified for the job.

Sources revealed that the 18 inspectors were either promoted from lower ranks or had been shifted from other branches of the civic body. As a result, they lacked the basic technical know-how of the work in the branch.

Also, the number of inspectors is not even half of the total sanctioned posts of 50 inspector in the civic body.

Consequently, chaos prevails in the building branch and due to lack of effective check, construction of illegal buildings goes unabated in the city.

Col Jagdish Singh Brar, a member of the MC’s encroachment monitoring committee, said the main reason behind the haphazard construction of buildings in the city is the inability of the building branch to keep a check on illegal construction.

Attributing staff crunch as one of its major reasons, he said it was impossible to keep a check on the construction of buildings without adequate manpower.

He added that as promotees from the lower level were conducting technical work without any know-how, the work of the branch was adversely affected.

Rohit Sabharwal, another member of the committee, rued the fact that nobody was bothered about checking illegal construction in the city.

He said it was unfortunate that inspectors who had to assess and pass the site plans for buildings were technically unqualified for the job.

“Though there is staff crunch, even those who are working at various posts take little interest in checking the menace,” added Sabharwal.

Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal said the government was already in the process of filling vacancies in the corporation.

The Achilles’ Heel

The 18 inspectors with the MC’s building branch have either been promoted from lower ranks or shifted from other branches of the civic body. As a result, they lack the basic technical know-how of the work in the branch. Also, their strength is far less than the sanctioned posts of 50 inspector in the civic body


It is unfortunate that the officials who have to assess and pass the site plans for buildings are technically unqualified for the job

Rohit Sabharwal, Member, MC’s Encroachment Monitoring Committee

‘The government is in the process of filling vacancies in the corporation to ease staff shortage

— Praveen Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor



Akhand path, nagar kirtan mark Gurpurb celebrations
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, January 11
The birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh was celebrated with religious fervour here today. Kirtan darbars were organised in all city gurdwaras. Shabads were recited and devotees partook of langar to mark the occasion.

Besides gurdwaras, the festival was celebrated at religious institutions as well.

A programme was organised at Sarjit Gurdwara under the guidance of Khalsa Dewan by Malwa Central College of Education for Women.

Students of Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School for Boys, Khalsa College for Women, Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, Malwa Central College of Education for Women recited hymns.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: The birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh was celebrated at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Gurdwara Bahadurgarh and Gurdwara Bhagat Ravidas, Jandali road, today. Akhand path and kirtan were organised and langar served to devotees on the occasion.

Poetry recitation and lectures on the life and philosophy of Guru Gobind Singh marked the occasion. Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, MLA, and Gurlovleen Singh Sidhu, SDM, Malerkotla, called upon people to imbibe teachings of the guru in their lives.

Various organisations, including the Shri Ram Mandir Committee, the Kalgidhar Federation, the Sukhmani Seva Society and the Baba Budha Parchar Trust also took part in the function.

A nagar kirtan was organised by religious organisations of the Sikhs in various parts of the town yesterday. The celebrations were organised under the aegis of the Kalgidhar Federation and Parbhandak Committee, Gurdwara Singh Sabha.

The procession started from the Guru Teg Bahadur Chowk and passed through various the railway road, main bazaar, Bhagat Singh Chowk, Bazaar Bazazan, Gandhi Chowk and Mahavir Marg.

Panj Piaras, gatka and bhangra artistes, and school bands accompanied the devotees. A bedecked palanquin, carrying the holy Guru Granth Sahib, followed the Panj Piaras. Devotees sang Gurbani and performed kirtan.



EPFO, banks short-changing pensioners
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 11
Retired private sector company employees, covered under the Employees Provident Fund Act, are sore over frequent delay in remittance of payment by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to the disbursing banks, and then time taken by the nodal branch of the bank concerned to forward the same to its branches in the mega city for affecting credit to the beneficiary.

Information procured by CR Verma under the Right to Information Act (RTI) from the Employees Provident Fund Organisation and Punjab National Bank, reveals that during past 105 months (from March 2002 to November 2010), it was only in 12 months that the pension was paid on time-on first day of the month which is a statutory requirement-while for 33 months during this period, the amount of pension was credited after 10th of the following month with the result that the pensioners were deprived of monthly interest on deposits.

According to information provided by the organisation and the banks, there were at least 6,700 odd beneficiaries entitled to monthly pension under the EPF Act Verma, a retired manager from Verka milk plant here, claims that both EPFO and the disbursing bank (PNB in this case) have admitted the delay in payment of pensions, which had rather become a routine than an exception. For example, the organisation had admitted that between June 2006 and May 2009, amount of pension was remitted to the disbursing bank with a delay of three weeks to two months at least 14 times.

Dealing with Verma’s application under the RTI Act, the EPFO has not taken the delay on the part of the bank in affecting credit to the pensioner as a serious matter. “The matter has been taken up with the bank concerned… deficiency of service has been pointed out by other pensioners... and there is no other specific complaint in this regard,” says the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner-II.

The bank (PNB) did appear to be sensitive to the complaint of the pensioners over delay in crediting the amount of pension by disbursing branches. The AGM-cum-Appellate Authority under the RTI Act wrote to Verma that while the nodal branch were trying to cut down any delay in sending pension scrolls to branches immediately on receipt from the organisation, a system was being introduced shortly which would enable the nodal branch itself to credit the amount directly to account of the pensioners.



MC erects central verge to ease traffic
Mohit Khanna /TNS

Ludhiana, January 11
In order to streamline the ever-increasing traffic, local police along with municipal corporation authorities have stated erecting central verge in small chowks of the city, which were the main cause of traffic chaos.

In the first step the civic authorities erected a central verge near Darpan Palace at the bus stand road, Preet Palace and at the Atam Nagar chowks that witness massive traffic jam daily.

The police authorities said this step was taken following a survey and similar verges would soon be erected in other parts of the city.

The cops are planning to conduct similar experiments at the Pakhowal and Ferozepore roads. Traffic lights would soon be erected at main chowks, a senior traffic official said.

However, this seems to have not gone down well with residents of the area and commuters. They complained that instead of constructing the central verge, the civic authorities should have removed illegal encroachments from roads. The police should also levy heft fine on auto-rickshaw drivers, who were responsible for the traffic chaos in the city.



Internship Programmes
US varsity delegates hold talks with PAU counterparts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
A two- member delegation of the University of Wisconsin, USA, today held a meeting with Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), and deliberated on the course curricula and collaborative students’ internship programmes.

Kang told the visiting delegation that PAU had a number of collaborative programmes with the various universities of US and would like to further strengthen the collaboration with Wisconsin University in various disciplines with the focus on academic exchange in terms of faculty and students.

Highlighting the contribution of PAU in meeting the food needs of the country, he said that the PAU had made a vital contribution to the central pool. The farming community had taken innovative steps in the farm sector as designed by the university. He shared the ongoing agricultural research and technology of transfer programmes. “Such international linkages for the all-round development of students and faculty are one of the major features of the development of university in the near future,” said Kang.

Dr Laura Van Toll, assistant director, international programmes and Dr Srinivasan Damodaran, professor of Food Chemistry, Wisconsin University, evinced their interest in becoming academic partners with PAU, which would be beneficial for the students, faculty and farmers. Lauding the academic, research and extension programmes of PAU, which have brought about the transformation in the agriculture sector, the delegation expressed that the subject of food science and technology was of international significance and should be explored from academic and research angles. Laura and Damodaran said that PAU had got an elevated status in the world research collaborations and added that the Wisconsin University had a number of academic and research programmes, which could be highly beneficial to Indian students. They elaborated that there were many expectations regarding international development from this collaboration with India.

The deans and directors of the university briefed the delegation about the extension activities, latest farm techniques and equipments, research in the biotechnology, studies on the sociological aspects, training to the farmers on and off the fields, training in nutrition, health and hygiene and the use of farm implements by the farmers and farm women. The delegation was also apprised of the new academic courses -the 6 year B.Sc Agriculture (Honours) and 6 year B.Sc Home Science (Honours) programmes which had attracted the ruralites.



BSNL employees demand merger of IDA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Workers of the BSNL Employees Union held a massive daylong dharna on the call of United Forum of BSNL Unions. A massive rally was also organised during the lunch hours in front of the General Manager’s Telecom office, Bharat Nagar.

Addressing the gathering Balwinder Singh, district secretary, BSNLEU, said that the merger 78.2 per cent IDA was still pending despite the assurance given to them. On the issue of payment of bonus for the year 2009-2010, he questioned the policies of the management due to which the department was going into a loss. He further demanded the rectification in non-executive employees promotion policy as per the points raised by the union.



‘West Canada hub of skilled workers’

Ludhiana, January 11
Saskatchewan, one of the provinces in west central Canada, has become a melting pot for professionals seeking Canadian immigration and permanent residency within 12 to 15 months.

“A new hub for skilled workers, Saskatchewan province is facing acute shortage of skilled workers. This has prompted authorities to promote the Saskatchewan Skilled PNP Provincial Nominee Programme in a big way,” said Col BS Sandhu, CMD, WorldWide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS). — TNS



MC dives headlong into another dud project
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, January 11
Five years after stalling a project for covering Ganda Nullah, only after spending Rs 2 crore of public money, the MC is set to allot the work of covering the nullah from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran to Shingar Cinema at a cost of Rs 24 crore.

Not learning from past experience, this time again coordination among the two branches of the MC is missing.

The building and roads (B&R) branch of the MC recently allotted the work to a contractor but the operation and maintenance (O&M) branch that plays a viatl role in the maintenance of the nullah has not been assigned any supervisory role. The O&M branch plays a crucial role in de-silting the nullah and redressing the complaints of the public. Experts feel that since the nullah carries a lot of waste water as well it would be a daunting task for the B&R authorities to cover the drain in the absence of coordination with the maO&M branch.

Earlier the design of the project was stated to be faulty and was dropped. This time the MC got the design made from the IIT, Roorkee, but coordination is lacking.

Swaran Singh Jhandhu, a former Superintendent Engineer (SE) and Additional Commissioner of the MC, said it was not possible to execute the project without proper coordination between both branches.

The MC has already wasted a whopping amount on its earlier project conceived for covering the nullah. Work on the project was started in 2005 at a cost of Rs 13 crore, only to be stalled after spending Rs 2 crore, saying that the project was not feasible due to its faulty design.

Later, a report submitted by a former Joint Commissioner Ashok Bajaj on July 4, 2007, claimed that rules were ignored and the project was started without bringing on record the complete design, drawing, feasibility and the economics of the project.

The report had highlighted how MC officials had gone out of the way to favour some contractors despite the fact that the PWSSB had told the MC that it was feasible to cover the open drain.

Report also highlighted that the MC had approved the execution of the project without following rules laid down in the Punjab Municipal Works Rules and Punjab Municipal Account Code.

VP Singh, SE of the O&M branch, said they would take up the matter with the MC Commissioner.



Residents bask in year’s first sunshine
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, January 11
Residents got a big respite from the biting cold today after the sun emerged from the clouds in the city after a fortnight. The maximum temperature rose by about 2-3 degrees Celsius to 15.2 degrees while the minimum recorded was as low as 3.8 degrees.

According to the forecast by the meteorological department, Chandigarh, the weather will remain dry in Punjab and Haryana while ground frost may occur in isolated places in Punjab during the next two nights.

After a foggy morning people were relieved when the sun shone brightly at around noon. As Tuesday was a holiday, they were seen sitting outdoors in the sunshine to soak in the much-awaited warmth.

The bright sunshine also brought smiles on the faces of children who went outside to fly kites. Dharmender, a ten-year-old child of a tea-vendor, said, "I had collected about a dozen kites but my mother didn’t let me go out due to the intense cold. After the sun appeared today she allowed me to enjoy the day, which luckily was a holiday in schools too".

The sun also brought the much needed relief for agricultural crops. Joginder Singh, a farmer near Hambran here, said: "The crops can breathe afresh. The sunshine will bring respite to tender vegetable crops like peas, capsicum and potatoes. The dust and sand on the crops was already washed away by the recent rainfall and now the bright sun has brought respite from the severe cold".

"It’s for the first time this year that that the sun remained bright throughout the day. A sunny day has brought all the difference. The maximum temperature, which fell to as low as 6 degrees C during the past few days, went up to 15 degrees today.



Riders without helmet on cops’ radar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Acting tough with under-age drivers and those driving two-wheelers without helmets, the traffic police today initiated a challan drive against violators. On the first day today, till the filing of this report, more than 350 persons were challaned at various points in the city.

Sajjan Singh Cheema, ADCP (Traffic), said the drive was initiated as the drivers were not obeying traffic rules.

“It is very risky to drive two-wheelers without helmets but residents, especially the youngsters, are flouting rules. Head injuries can prove fatal. Hence, the traffic police has initiated the campaign. We hope the residents will cooperate with us and start obeying traffic rules,” the ADCP stated.



Local shuttler bags national title
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 11
Ace shuttler Pranav Chopra brought laurels to the city by winning the mixed doubles title at the 75th National Badminton Championship held at Rohtak here yesterday, according to a communiqué issued by the District Badminton Association. Pranav and Prajakta Sawant outclassed top seeds Arun Vishnu and Aparana Balan 18-21, 21-11 and 21-14.

Aparana Balan is a Commonwealth Games gold medal winner in the doubles category, while Arun Vishnu is a senior international player.

Pranav is currently honing his skills at Pulela Gopi Chand Academy in Hyderabad.

The Government of India and Badminton Association of India have spent a lot of money on him for his training abroad. In 2009, he was sent to Indonesia for 70 days’ training.

The District Badminton Association has decided to honour its national champion on his arrival. 



Honorarium for cagers, coaches
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 11
A large number of players from Punjab figure in the list issued by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) for honorarium for their outstanding performance.

The BFI distributed cheques under three categories for October to December, 2010 at a function in Delhi recently.

Besides players, seven coaches and 10 members of the support staff also received the honorarium, according to an information with Teja Singh Dhali Dhaliwal, honorary secretary, Punjab Basketball Association.

The following players, coaches and support staff received honorarium: category A: Rs 30,000 per month per head: Men: Jagdeep Singh (Punjab), Yadwinder Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (Railways), Trideep Rai (Uttarakhand); Women: Geetu Anna Jose and Anitha Pau Durai (Railways), Prashanti Singh and Akanksha Singh (Delhi).

Category B: Rs 20,000 per month per head: Men: Dishant Shah (Gujarat), Hareesh Karoth and Dinesh CV (Tamil Nadu), Eudrick Preira (Kerala), Jay Ram Jat (Services), Arjun Singh (Railways), Bobby Singh (Uttar Pradesh) and Amjyot Singh (Punjab); Women: Raspreet Sidhu, Pratima Singh and Harjeet Kaur (Delhi), Sneha Rajguru (Maharashtra), Bharti Netam and Kikila (Railways), Raj Priyadarshni (Tamil Nadu) and Jeena PS (Kerala).

Category C: Rs 10,000 per month per head: Men: Ajay Pratap Singh, Shyam Sunder and B Dinesh (Chhattisgarh), Sambaki Kadam (Services), Harpal Singh (Gujarat), Harinder Singh Rathore and Anant Singh (Rajasthan), Rakesh Kumar Yadav and Abhishek Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Barnet Carmel Joseph (Tamil Nadu), Rajan Sharma, Jaskaran Singh, Loveneet Singh, Harmandeep, Khushmeet Singh, Amrit Pal Singh, Komal Preet, Pal Preet and Manpreet (Punjab), Shabad Khan (Railways), Sunny Raunt and Kirti Goswami (Madhya Pradesh), Sunil Kumar Rathee (Delhi) and Karan Josua (Karnataka); Women: Smruthi Radhakrishnan, Pushpa M and Reshma G (Railways), Madhu (West Bengal), Soniya Joy and Anjana PG (Kerala), Kruthla Lakshman, Navneeta PU and Ashika Kuruvila (Karnataka), Amruta Bhuskute and Sara Vohra (Maharashtra), Aruna Kindo, Kavitha, Sangeeta Mandal and Sangeet Kaur (Chhattisgarh).

Coaches: Rs 30,000 per month: Ram Kumar, Rajinder Singh, Sat Parkash Yadav, SK Bhaskar, Sheeba Maggon, Prasanna Menon and Abdul Hamid Khan.

Support staff: Rs 20,000 per head for three months (October to December, 2010): Sudhir Rathore, Kunjul Gada, Nilesh Shah, Rajeshwar Rao, PJ Sabestian, Zareen Zaidi, V Senthilselvan, RS Gaur, Divya Singh and Sridhar.



45 girls show up for handball trials
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 11
As many as 45 junior girl aspirants turned up for trials conducted by the Punjab Handball Association (PHA) at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

A selection panel, consisting of Sports Authority of India (SAI) coaches Harinder Sharma and Inderjeet Singh, Punjab Sports Department coach Jaswant Singh and Ludhiana’s assistant education officer (sports) Rupinder Singh Ravi, assessed the participants.

According to PHA honorary general secretary BS Brar, besides shortlisting Punjab probables, other outstanding girls who could not make it today either on account of inclement weather or due to personal reasons would be included in the list for the training-cum-coaching camp scheduled to be held at Guru Nanak Stadium from January 12.

At the conclusion of the preparatory camp, the Punjab girls’ squad would be finalised for the forthcoming Junior National Handball Championship slated to be held from January 27 to 31 at Raipur in Chhattisgarh.



Rural Olympics
Attractive prizes for winners
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 11
In order to boost the morale of sportspersons, the organisers of the platinum edition of the Kila Raipur Rural Sports Festival a.k.a. Rural Olympics have announced attractive prizes for the winners of various events.

The event is scheduled to commence at Grewal Sports Association Stadium, Kila Raipur, in February.

Gur Sandeep Singh and Paramjit Singh Grewal, president and secretary of the Grewal Sports Association, said all participating kabaddi academy teams would be given Rs 20,000 and winners and runners-up would be awarded Rs 1 lakh and Rs 75,000, respectively.

Holders of top three positions in each athletics event would be awarded Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000.

The event would be formally inaugurated by food and civil supplies minister Adesh Partap Singh on February 4.

The main attraction of the four-day festival will be the Bhagwant Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, both for men and juniors. Competitions in air pistol shooting, cycling, track and field, equestrian, tent pegging and tug-of-war will also be held.

Besides, traditional rural sports events like bullock cart, camel and dogs races, sack lifting and team events like kabaddi will also be organised.



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