L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Development Works
Cong councillors appease mayor
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Congress Councillors, who happen to be in the Opposition in the municipal corporation, today bent backwards to appease the Mayor to get their delayed development works done.

It came as a surprise to everybody, who attended the meeting as 10 Congress councillors led by Sham Sunder Malhotra resorted to tactics like flattering and sycophancy to please Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura.

It is hardly expected from any Opposition party leader to bow in front of ruling party leaders. Rather then accusing the Mayor, who is the head of the civic body for the mess, the Congress councillors squarely blamed officials for not listening to public representatives.

A few of them even went to extent of accusing Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal, who was not present in the meeting, for delaying the work. But for “Mayor Sahib” beleaguered Congress councillors were full of praise.

They sang paeans in his praise for never stopping any of their file and also listening to them very generously, despite the fact that they had on numerous occasions accused the Mayor of adopting pick and choose policy in carrying out the developmental works.

A few councillors had put even the clever fox to shame when they said they respect the Mayor a lot, but as civic officials were not doing their works so they have to raise voice against him in public.

The councillors also made him realise that how they have supported him in his tough times when a few SAD and BJP councillors had opened a front against him.

A few of them also reminded Giaspura how they had helped him by not fielding any candidate against him in 2007 Municipal elections. The Mayor kept on smiling throughout the meeting and also narrated a few incidents of his personal experiences.

Sham Sunder Malhotra, leader of the Congress councillor’s group, said the main aim of the meeting was to solve problems faced by the councillors. 


...While he berates indiscipline among civic officials
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Is the municipal corporation top brass ineffective in ensuring its instructions are carried out by the civic staff? The answer may lie in mayor Giaspura’s observations when he told Congress party councillors present at a meeting that civic officials did not pay heed to the orders issued by him or by the MC commissioner.

A number of times I asked the officials to undertake tasks that were approved by the general house after being raised by councilors. However most of the time the officials ignored orders due to which the civic body’s functioning has been adversely affected”.

“Not only my orders but even those issued by the MC commissioner are not obeyed by the MC staff”, he added. Calling the commissioner an “honest” officer, he claimed the civic body had become more efficient under his leadership.

Addressing officials present at the meeting, Giaspura said a number of instructions issued by him and the commissioner had not been followed. “Why aren’t the elected representatives not given due importance by MC officials despite the fact I had asked them (officials) to do so on several occasions? I won’t tolerate any indiscipline by civic officials and will take strict action if there is any lapse on this count”, he added.



GLADA nets Rs 2.83 cr 
3 residential properties auctioned; 15 remain unsold
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 7
Unlike earlier occasions when there used to be a virtual scramble for grabbing prime properties put on sale through public auction by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), only three out of 18 residential plots in Urban Estate (Phase II) in Dugri put under the hammer attracted buyers today. And the sales proceeds, too, yielded a marginal premium of just about 1.24 per cent over the reserve price.

One each free hold residential plot of 300 square yards, 200 square yards and 150 square yards were sold at a highest bid of Rs 44,000 per square yard and lowest successful bid of Rs 43,300 per square yard as against their reserve price at Rs 43,030 per square yard. The total amount raised by GLADA from the auction of three plots was Rs 2,83,15,000 while the reserve price of the properties stood at Rs 2,79,69,500.

GLADA had made an offer for sale of two plots each of 300 and 200 square yards, four each of 150 and 100 square yards and six plots of 125 square yards in what is considered a prime residential locality. Additional chief administrator Jaswant Singh, along with estate officer of GLADA Jeet Ram conducted the auction proceedings in which 12-odd bidders participated after payment of an eligibility fee Rs 50,000 each.

Sources in the property development and real estate sector attributed the lukewarm response of buyers and investors to the reserve price of residential plots, which was on a very high side. “The reserve price of the plots put under the hammer today (Rs 43,030 per square yard) is rather equal, if not a little more than the prevailing market price in this colony. It was due to this reason that the buyers as well as property dealers and investors did not evince much interest and majority of the plots remained unsold.” 



Kuttu atta poisoning
Traders suffer loss 
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Following numerous reports of buckwheat flour (kuttu atta) poisoning from various parts of Punjab, city traders have lost considerable business over the past couple of days with consumers shying away from buying the “Navratra” special flour.

While most of the city-based traders have returned the stocks to the suppliers; others have had to suffer losses in the wake of suppliers’ refusal to take the stocks back. Whatever stocks are lying unsold, too, have become a liability for the traders as they can neither sell them off to consumers nor can they dispose them off in the absence of any directive on their proper disposal from authorities concerned.

Not only this, traders are being asked by the consumers to take back the stocks sold over the past few day and refund the money, which is adding on to their woes.

“Most of the stocks have been returned but whatever little is lying unsold has become the source of worry for us. We can neither sell it nor dispose it off,” rued Harinder Singh, a trader at Gur Mandi.

Another trader Harbhajan Singh of Kesar Ganj Mandi adds, “I have been unable to return the stock to the supplier. I was left with no option other than storing it safely so that it does not get mixed with other food items.”

Another retailer at Gur Mandi Prakash adds: “ This is most sought after commodity during Navratras. This year, it seems to be the most avoidable product. We are definitely feeling the pinch.”

Traders, however, confirm that this has led to a sudden rise in the sale of “singhara atta.”



High on protein, ‘kuttu atta’ unfit for consumption
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Buckwheat flour referred to as “kuttu ka atta” is relished by devotees during Navratra festival. The flour has a higher content of protein that causes stomatitis (oral inflammation and ulcers) and cramps in stomach in people with digestive disorders.

A large number of people are unaware of the fact that sickening caused during Navratra festival is due to the adulterated or fungal-infested “kuttu ka atta”. But the recent reports of food poisoning that even claimed several lives were like a wake up call for people who immediately discontinued the consumption of the flour.

Buckwheat flour is not recommended for people suffering from arthritis. The flour acts as a poison for people having renal problems or a high uric acid.

Also, excessive use of buckwheat flour results in stomatitis (oral inflammation and ulcers) and causes parched mouth.

A city physician stated that the flour was recommended in weight reduction programmes in the west, as it had a higher content of protein and a lower content of carbohydrates. After learning about the fact, some people have even included it in their regular diet.

At the same time, a temple priest stated that “kuttu ka atta” was not referred to as a substitute for cereals in any of the religious books.

However, a dietician at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) said except for the taste and a convention, there was nothing much attached to the consumption of “kuttu ka atta” adding, “It is high in fibre and causes dry mouth when consumed in excess. Thus it is best to use it moderately and its consumption should be stopped on the first signs of any reaction.”



2 female foetus found
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
After the recent revelation of Ludhiana’s skewed gender ratio in 2011 Census, two incidents of female foetus found from different parts of the city yesterday has put authorites in the backfoot. These foetus were found from Sarabha Nagar and the Kalsia Street of the city.

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under Sections 313 of the IPC for causing miscarriage without woman's consent and under 318 of the IPC for secretaly disposing of the body against an unknown woman.

Police said, Balbir Singh, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh, told them yesterday that a female fetus was lying in a vacant plot in Sarabha Nagar.

SHO of the Sarabha Nagar police station Dharampal said a case had been registered and investigations started.

In the second incident, Inderpal Singh, a resident of Jujhar Nagar, informed the police about a female foetus lying near a vacant pot on the Kalsia Street in Shimlapuri. 



Making learning more interesting
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 7
Keeping in mind the importance of visuals, the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has introduced posters that have pictures as well as text.

These posters are self-explanatory.

For example, Shaeed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh’s poster has his childhood picture. Be it the time when the great martyr was in jail, or the bloodshed of Jalianwala Bagh in 1919, everything has been described in the poster.

Another poster has a brief account of Mata Gujri ji, mother of Tenth Sikh Guru (Guru Gobind Singh ji). It includes--a picture of Mata Gujri ji, Guru Teg Bahadur ji, Mata Gujri ji and her two little grandsons while going with Gangu Rai to his village. Other pictures are of Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib, and both Princes.

These posters will make learning more interesting.

A primary teacher Jaskeerat Kaur said, “As in nursery classes, kids are shown the pictures of fruits, animals and other things that help them learn alphabets, this innovation will surely help kids grasp the basic concepts.”



Polluted water sparks fears of disease outbreak
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 7
For the past couple of days residents of Lakkar Mandi and Prem Gali, falling in wards no 10 and 11, have been complaining about getting contaminated water supply, which they allege is drinking water mixed with water from leaking sewage pipes. On Thursday the residents staged a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) to protest against what they called the callous attitude of civic officials in failing to get broken sewer lines in the area repaired over the past several years.

Although municipal employees have begun temporary repairs of sewer pipes, no sooner do they leave the sewer water starts leaking again.

“Last year too we encountered the same problem. It now appears we’ve almost become used to living in such miserable conditions. How can the authorities be unmindful of an issue as serious as that of providing safe drinking water to the town’s residents? When we convey our problems to the officials concerned instead of hearing us out we’re rebuked. No one is ready to listen to us. We’re now tired of lodging complaints, both written and verbal” said Meean Vinayak, a newspaper agent residing in the Prem Gali locality.

“My daughter Kritika got a severe stomachache for which I had to get several medical tests conducted on her at a local hospital. I’m positive she has contracted a stomach infection by drinking the polluted water. Sushama and Saroj, two other residents, have been down with jaundice for the past several months. Many more people in our area are either suffering from jaundice or have contracted stomach infections. We’re surely heading towards an epidemic, all because of the callous attitude of municipal councils who are completely oblivious of our travails,” another resident said.

“After we lodged several complaints with civic officials they installed a motor in the street to pump out the sewer water. However the motor often develops a fault. With contaminated water flowing from our taps our lives have become miserable,” rued a resident who was full of anger over the failure of civic officials to resolve the problem.

“Seldom does any sanitary official bother to visit our ward. As result area residents are forced to put up with filth, squalor, overflowing sewage and disease all around. Sewer water not only floods the streets but also enters homes”, said another resident.

The area residents, who are living in the squalid conditions, are susceptible to various infectious waterborne diseases like diarrhea, gastroenteritis, jaundice and typhoid. The fear of an outbreak of swine flu too hangs heavy in the air.

When contacted EO Mahesh Sharma said: “As soon as I received complaints from area residents a five-member committee comprising an AME, SO, SI and two other officials was set up. They will conduct surveys in the ward every day and resolve all sanitary problems on priority basis”.



Crusade against corruption: City backs Anna Hazare 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Ludhiana has risen to extend support to social activist Anna Hazare in his crusade against corruption as people from all walks of life are doing their bit by taking out candle light marches, skipping meals and sitting on hunger strike, all as a mark of solidarity.

Putting up a fight against corruption in his footsteps, the city intelligentsia, including doctors, professors, lawyers, businessmen, students and NGO activists today took out a candlelight march in front of the local mini secretariat.

It was a straight no to the local politicians who indirectly offered to join the candlelight march with the locals. A group of young entrepreneurs have even stopped eating two meals a day as Ranjit Rai, an environmentalist, said, “Skipping meals will boost our resolve. Anna Hazare has shown us the way and now it is the duty of every Indian citizen to come forward and fight for his/her rights.”

With a few schoolchildren joining the candlelight march, the campaign against corruption became an all-encompassing event. Projecting the participation of the children in the movement as a “renaissance”, Dr Ravinder Vatsyayan stated that it was right time for the new generation to take the reigns in their hands.

The RTI Activists’ Federation of Punjab in a memorandum handed over to Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari. The federation also requested him to send it to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. To effectively contribute to the mass movement, a few individuals got special SMS packages from their respective service providers and forwarded invitations to their relatives, friends and acquaintances.

Auto parts makers join in
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 7
As the drive for ridding the nation of corruption, launched by social activist Anna Hazare, gains momentum, more and more people are joining in the crusade.

Demanding adoption of Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament, the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) has sought cleaning up of the system.

It demanded that corrupt politicians and bureaucrats be dealt with sternly.

Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president, and Ranjodh Singh, secretary of the association, said the demon of corruption was eating up the roots of democratic system and no one was spared from this menace.

“Accepting bribe has rather become a way of life all over the country, and it is very rare to get any work done in a government department without greasing the palms of the officials concerned.”

They said the industrial sector, like all others, was suffering badly at the hands of corrupt leaders, officers and employees.

Lauding the initiative taken by Anna Hazare and many other social activists for creating a corruption-free India, members of the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association said the industry would lend its whole-hearted support to the movement and help achieve the goal that Hazare and others like him had been aiming at. “We shall do whatever is required to rid the country of corruption.”

The members appealed to the government to take up the Jan-Lokpal Bill as envisaged by a committee of eminent lawyer, jurists and social activists, and send it to the Prime Minister. 

Lokpal Bill Features

* Once implemented, the Lokpal Bill will become the institutional head in the Centre and Lokayukt will head the state.

* Anti-Corruption Bureau and the CBI will be merged.

* Office-bearers will not require any permission from the government for framing and investigating corruption charges levelled against politicians and officials

* The investigation and pronouncement will be completed within two-year.

* In case of delay due to officials of any department, the Lokpal and Lokayukt will be empowered to levy a fine ` 250 per day, which in turn would be compensated, to the complainant.

* The vigilance departments at the Centre and the state will be merged under the new system

* Lokpal and Lokayukt will not require any permission to investigate and initiate a trial against judges.

* All complaints will be heard and not be dismissed without hearing

* The records of all proceedings will be available for public scrutiny.

* The minimum sentence will be of five years, which will extend up to life sentence depending upon the severity of crime. 

Students’ Campaign

Six members (between 18 and 25 years) of Art of Living Foundation- Taranvir Singh, Natasha Goyal, Gaytri Chopra, Manisha Goyal, Richa Dawar and Harmandeep Singh-are sitting on a chain fast since April 5. They said, “This crusade against corruption has steered the nation towards a vacuum followed by anarchy. It is not going to end on its own.”



Industry unhappy with GST proposal
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 7
Raising doubts over the proposed goods and service tax (GST) regime, the industry here has opined that the model conceived in the Bill was not the one it had been clamouring for.

The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, as tabled in the Parliament, widely differs from the GST model conceived by the 13th Finance Commission. Besides states, even several Cabinet Ministers are said to have expressed concerns, whereas the affected sector (trade and industry) has not been consulted at all.

Making these observations, PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, said he had already made a plea with the standing committee to give opportunity to the industry to present their case. “There are many serious lacunas in the proposed GST model that will create lot of difficulties for the industry which has to face global competition.”

He alleged that the concept of the GST had been badly mauled by political “gives and takes” between the Centre and the states. The Centre bowed down before the states to allow increase of tax rate on declared goods from 4 to 5 per cent. It may be worthwhile to note that the sales tax on declared goods like iron and steel has been constantly at 4 per cent right from the beginning.

Now with the scratching of entry taxes by the court, the Punjab government is likely to increase the VAT rate on declared goods by 1 per cent, which will harm the industry.

Similarly, in the proposed GST model, petroleum, natural gas, real estate and alcohol have been kept outside the GST domain. These are the core infrastructural items and if there is exemption from the GST, it will result in distortion. These sectors are the foundation of all commercial and industrial activity. The cascading in petroleum sector alone is estimated to be over Rs 35,000 crore per annum.

Sharma further said that electricity duty had also been kept outside the GST. Entry tax, octroi and entertainment tax would be kept alive to the extent levied and collected by a panchayat or municipality. Thus the continuation of these levies outside the GST would perpetuate problems in the existing structure. There would be a hurdle in attaining the simplicity and efficiency that the GST sought to achieve.

He pointed out that in addition to the inherent harmful provisions in the VAT structure, the promises were not kept. It was agreed that after implementing VAT, the central sales tax (CST) would be phased out within three years by reducing it by one per cent every year. However, after reducing the CST from 4 to 2 per cent, the process had made no further progress.

“Now in the GST model, the government is almost completely silent on the CST issue. In the CST issue, the states, the Centre and also the industry and trade are affected. The GST has to be shared by the Centre, the originating state and the destination state. This as well as all other related issues should be clearly settled and made known to the industry and trade in clear terms as they will have very wider implications,” he added.



Council chief to face no-confidence motion
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 7
Having failed to win the confidence of a majority of councillors, the chief of the local civic body, Usha Sood will have to face a no-confidence motion soon.

Requisition for special meeting to discuss the motion was handed over to the authorities at the civic body today. Jagwant Singh Jaggie, a SAD leader and former councillor, led the councillors moving no-confidence motion.

Jaggie said a requisition to call a meeting to consider the no-confidence motion against the council chief had been submitted to the authorities concerned today. The requisition was signed by councillors, Gurpreet Kaur Jaggie, Harbans Kaur, Bhag Singh Bhagga, Khushi Mohammad and Jiwan Singh.

The councillors had alleged that the council chief had been ignoring their suggestions that led to unhygienic conditions in a major part of the town.

Though the council had received enough funds for development, the alleged arbitrary decisions taken by the chief led to chaos and unequal allocation led to unnecessary spending in deserted areas, while thickly populated areas got ignored.

The councillor said Abdul Gaffar, former minister and then SAD in charge of the constituency, had persuaded the councillors to elect Usha Sood, the president of the council unanimously around three years ago.

Though everything went smoothly for some time, some of the councillors started feeling ignored and started accusing the chief of adopting partisan attitude about development of the town.

The supporters of the president, on the other hand, maintained that Sood had been doing her best for the development of the town, but some councillors were opposing her, as she had not succumbed to their pressure in various corners.

Sources revealed that the councillors seeking ousting of the chief will have to present at least 11 members, out of total 16 at the meeting, which has to be called within stipulated period.

Legislator of the constituency, Razia Sultana who is associate member of the council, and Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, MLA Dhuri, in charge SAD, are yet to clear their stand on the issue.



Councillors, sanitary workers at loggerhads

Ludhiana, April 7
Unruly scene was created at the Mayor’s official residence as councillors and sanitary staff had heated arguments with each other in front of the Mayor on the issue of getting the attendance of sanitary workers registered with the councillors.

On the sidelines of a meeting of Congress councillors with Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, a few councillors, including Sham Sunder Malhotra, Prithpal Singh Ghayal, Sanjay Talwar, Rakesh Prasshar and Congress leader Ravinder Singh Chaddha, raised the issue regarding the absence of the sanitary workers from work due to which cleanliness in their wards was adversely affected.

Some of the councillors also raised the matter regarding the discrepancies in the list of sanitary workers who were to be regularised. The councillors said it was very unfortunate that the MC authorities were paying a huge amount of money to the sanitary workers and yet they were not doing the work.

Chaddha alleged that the salaries of some of the sanitary workers, who were not even working, were being illegally drawn by sanitary supervisors. He suggested that it should be ensured that the attendance of the sanitary workers was marked by the councillors of the respective areas.

However, a leader of the sanitary workers and a sanitary inspector of civic body Ashwani Sahota, who was present at the venue, vehemently objected to the proposal of the councillors.

Sahota accused the councillors of exploiting the sanitary workers and blamed them that they wanted to treat the sanitary workers as their slaves. The Mayor, however, intervened in the matter and shunned the proposal of attendance by councillors. He assured the councillors that he would ensure that work of cleanliness was conducted in an efficient manner. — TNS



Building Bylaws
Additional Commissioner inspects sites
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
In order to ensure that the building bylaws are implemented in the city in proper manner, Additional Commissioner of Municipal Corporation (MC) Kuldeep Singh inspects sites of various under construction buildings.

The Additional Commissioner, who is also the in charge of the building branch, inspected a number of buildings under construction in the city today.

Accompanied by officials of the building branch, he asked about the status of the site plan of the buildings and inquired whether the building bylaws have been followed or not. Similarly, he inspected the under construction road at Tajpur leading to the garbage dump.

He also asked officials about the status of a colony being carved out near the Jalandhar bypass. He also expressed satisfaction over the working of the branch. Similarly, he said they would be conducting the checking in future also to ensure that the violation of the building bylaws do not take place.



Mayor bypasses govt order on building site plans
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Posing a challenge to the state government’s authority, city mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura on Thursday issued instructions that from now onwards site maps of buildings to be constructed in an area of over 500 square yards would be approved at the local level.

In 2002 the government had reportedly issued an administrative order to the municipal corporation saying the former would clear the site plans after being passed by the MC. Subsequently all plans for sites measuring over 500 square yards were approved by the government.

“I was told by councillors that residents were facing a lot of harassment due to the state government’s instructions on this matter. A representative of the government in the form of the senior town planner, who is posted in the city, could pass these maps”, said Giaspura.

The mayor asserted the Municipal Corporation Act of 1976 clearly stated any site plan - commercial or industrial -could be passed by the MC commissioner, adding there had been no notification of any amendment.

“From April 7 all the maps will be cleared at local level. If the MC commissioner needs the advice of any body in this regard then the necessary technical advice could be taken from the senior town planner. Though the decision has been taken after keeping in mind the pending applications of such cases in Chandigarh along with the political mileage for coming elections however the sources in the civic body said that the orders are totally illegal,” said Giaspura.

However, sources said the mayor did not have the power to amend the state government’s orders. When contacted Giaspura said he had issued the instructions in the “public interest” and there was no illegality involved.



World Health Day
Experts dwell on ill-effects of antibiotics 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Various city hospitals and organisations observed World Health Day today.

The Rising Youth Association organised a lecture. Dr Neeraj Bansal, chief joint replacement surgeon and in charge at Medicity Hospital, was the key speaker.

Dr Bansal said anti-microbial resistance was also known as drug resistance and occurred when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites changed in a way that rendered the curative medications ineffective.

“When microorganisms become resistant to most anti-microbials, they are often referred to as "superbugs". This is a major concern, as a resistant infection may kill, can spread to others, and imposes huge costs to individuals and society,” Dr Bansal added.

A talk on "Combat Antimicrobial Resistance’' was organised at Gujrawalan Guru Nanak Khalsa College of Pharmacy, Ludhiana.

Dr Rajinder Gulati said anti-microbial resistance had a negative impact on health, as it led to a longer treatment, higher mortality, treatment with expensive drugs and an increased burden on the health system.

Moreover, a patient acts as a reservoir of resistant organisms which are passed on to the community and health care workers resulting in a huge economic loss. The department of health and family welfare also organised a lecture on drug resistance at Dr BL Kapoor Memorial Hospital. Experts spoke on the ill-effects of the injudicious use of antibiotics while delivering an awareness lecture.



Classical vocalist honoured
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
The young Indian classical vocalist from Ludhiana, Kapil Sharma, who was recently given the President Award, has now been conferred with Awadh Bharat Samman.

The award was conferred on the vocalist in a special function “Sham-e-Awadh” at the Bharat Kund Festival organised at Aayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

Kapil Sharma despite being a Punjabi was specially chosen for this award, as he has dedicated eight years to learn Indian classical music under Padma Vibhushan Gurija Devi of Banaras gharana.

Also, Kapil was acknowledged for his selfless service towards the promotion of the Indian classical music, Punjabi and UP folk music.

The duet song with the playback singer, Rekha Bhardwaj was well received by audience at the Sham-e-Awadh.

Kapil’s song “Hori khele raghubira aavadh me” was applauded by the audience at the festival and soon after the performance, he was invited to perform at Ram Janam Bhumi in coming August at the famous “Jhoola mahotsav”.

“I want to promote the Indian classical music among the youth in Punjab and India at large and this is just the beginning,” Kapil went on to add.



Jail inmates learn puree making
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 7
The technology of making green chilli powder and puree was introduced to inmates of Ludhiana Central Jail here today.

The Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) has begun a series of training programmes with an aim to provide respectful livelihood to prisoners after they are released from jail.

Dr Dilip Jain, senior scientist explained the process of making powder and puree to jail inmates.

Dr Nilesh Gaikwad, scientist, transfer of technology division, said jail inmates were keen on entering into a food processing sector.

Dr Anil Dixit, senior scientist, provided inputs on marketing and financial support.

Jail superintendent SP Khanna said such training programmes were of a great importance. Amrik Singh, deputy superintendent, said food processing sector could provide ample employment opportunities.

Director CIPHET Dr RT Patil and head of the transfer of technology division Dr Deepak Raj Rai said they would provide all support to interested inmates. 



Poland’s envoy interacts with LMA members
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 7
Advantage of Poland’s location in Eastern Europe, tax exemption in SEZ, grants given by the European Union (EU), access to European transport corridor, huge domestic market, skilled and cheap workforce and strong educational infrastructure are a few key factors that make it one of the most attractive business destination in Europe. This was stated by Piotr Klodkowski, Ambassador, Republic of Poland in India, while addressing members of the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA).

He was in the city to interact with Ludhiana Management Association members on “Focus on Central and Eastern Europe and Business Opportunities with India” recently.

Klodkowski said Poland had transformed in the past 20 to 25 years. It is the third largest country in the European Union in 2010. The major areas, which give Poland a competitive advantage, are strong education infrastructure, grants by the European Union and tax exemptions in SEZs, along with access to the European Transport corridor for doing business in all over Europe.

Unfolding the huge business potential in the country the Polish ambassador stated that Poland had access to single market of 500 million consumers with 3.8 per cent GDP growth in 2010 alone as compared to 1.8 per cent of the European Union. 



Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan a hit with students
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 7
The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has become a hit with students of Classes V to VIII, as the students have not only received free textbooks of science, mathematics and English, but also practical notebooks of science and mathematics.

Punjabi-medium government schools and government-aided school students would be beneficiaries of the scheme.

According to a city-based bookshop owner, these practical notebooks cost around Rs 80 to Rs 90 per copy. Thus free copies given to the students would decrease the pressure on the pockets of the parents of the students belonging to economically weaker sections.

According to information, the SSA has given a total of 47,388 copies of science practical notebooks, including around 2,200 for Class VI students, around 21,262 and 23,926 copies for students of Classes VII and VIII, respectively.

Similarly, a total of 63,303 copies of mathematics practical/activity notebooks have been given. This is for the first time that the SSA has been providing practical notebooks to the students of the middle classes, said Tejinder Pal Singh, district coordinator for textbooks under the SSA.

Government Senior Secondary Model School principal Sanjeev Thapar, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, demanded that the SSA should provide practical books in English medium also.

“It takes time. Earlier, we had received computer books in Punjabi medium. On demand, we have provided same books in English medium this year. In this case, we will definitely send our feedback through a proper channel and I am sure we would get the practical notebooks in English medium,” said Thapar, adding that it’s a good initiative of the SSA for felicitating the poor students.



School’s failure jeopardises students’ career 
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 7
Failure on the part of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, to provide pre-board examination report cards to students seeking admission to Class XI, has put their career in a jeopardy.

Parents of students today gathered on the school premises to collect report cards of their wards.

Dr Vandeep Kaur said her nephew wanted to take admission in science stream, but the school refused to take him.

“On the other hand, the school is pressurising him to go for art or commerce streams,” said Dr Vandeep, adding that finally they decided to withdraw the student’s name from the school.

She further said: “We just wanted to withdraw his Class X report card which is an important document to get admission to any school, but the public relations officer of the school misbehaved with us.”

“Disappointed with the negative reply of the school, we have applied in another school, but I have to deposit the annual report card by tomorrow morning or my son will not be considered eligible for the entrance examination to be conducted tomorrow,” asserted Tejinder.

Veena, a parent, said on the one hand the school was denying admission to the student, on the other hand it was not giving report cards to students.

Instead of giving a report card, teachers had verbally informed parents about their wards’ performance, said Veena, adding that her daughter was under stress, as she wanted to seek admission to science stream , but was denied the same by the school.

“The PRO misbehaved with us, added Veena.

Vice-principal of the school Sister Veena said: “If any student or a parent has some problem, they can approach me.”



Treat for food lovers

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 7
A five-day food festival “Taste of India” organised by the RIMT Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology concluded here last evening.

As many as 10,000 students from 10 colleges of the RIMT Group of Institutes participated in the festival.

The festival was an exclusive, ground-breaking Indian culinary event and aimed at promoting traditional Indian cuisines.

About 40 students of the RIMT Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology showcased their prowess in culinary art. The festival was the brainchild of principal Varinderjit Singh and was meticulously executed by a team of students led by department head Sandeep Mittal, Rajesh and Chesta. — OC



Principals to maintain attendance records of lecturers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Taking serious note of the “carefree” attitude adopted by government college lecturers while marking their regular attendance in colleges, government college principals in the state have been asked to maintain an attendance record of the lecturers.

In case, the lecturers “refuse” to obey directions, disciplinary action will be taken against “defaulters”.

A meeting of higher education officials and government college principals was held at the Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh, on April 5, which was chaired by Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan.

In a communication sent by the director, education department (colleges), Punjab, to all principals, it has been asked to ensure that the college lecturers marked their presence in attendance registers regularly. The letter further says if any lecturer or office employee did not maintain the record or say “no” to work entrusted upon him/her by the principal, the department will take disciplinary action against the “erring” person.

Further, the education department has asked the government college principals to send the attendance record of the teaching and non-teaching employees for March.

Though, many college lecturers feel if such directions were issued by the department, they will adhere to it, while there are others, who stress if other Class I officers (in any other department) were not asked to maintain their attendance record, why were the government college lecturers being targeted by the government.

Government College Teachers’ Association (GCTA) president, Punjab, Prof Jaipal Singh said the union had always opposed this move. “If the Class I officers in several other departments are exempted from marking their attendance, why are the college lecturers being asked to maintain the attendance register? We are also Class I officers. We will call a meeting of the union to discuss the issue,” said Prof Jaipal.

While Prof Ashwani Bhalla, a senior lecturer at SCD Government College, here said the college lecturers had no problem while sitting in the colleges till 5 pm but proper facilities like rooms, chairs, tables and computers had to be given to the teachers by the government. “We are committed to work and will sit longer if the government wants. We just want proper facilities,” said Prof Bhalla.



PAU Notes

Ludhiana: The world is one civilisation as far as the food security is concerned. This was stated by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), while interacting with Thom Wright, Attaché for Agricultural Affairs in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, American Embassy, New Delhi, and Dr Santosh K Singh, agricultural specialist, Foreign Agricultural Service in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), American Embassy, New Delhi, who visited the PAU today.

Dr Kang while welcoming the visitors apprised them of the ongoing and futuristic research, education and technology transfer agenda of the university. Throwing light on Indian agriculture, before and after the green revolution, Dr Kang highlighted the contemporary agricultural concerns. He said food insecurity was a subject of great concern to scientists, administrators and policy planners. The other concerns included inadequate storage structures, depleting natural resources and user friendly agro-technologies, he added.

Wright, while appreciating the PAU for its need-based programmes, said to curtail losses during the post-harvest handling of produce, focus on marketing challenges and storage structures was needed. Director of research Dr SS Gosal spoke on the impact of fluctuating weather on crop productivity and added that the year was normal for wheat. — TNS



From Schools

A party marked the commencement of the new session at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass. Students were dressed in colourful dresses and participated in various games. Chairman-cum-director of Green Land School Rajesh Rudhra, principal Baldeep Pandher and headmistress Ruby Sharma were present on the occasion.


World Health Day was celebrated at Shifaly International School. Theme of the programme was “Eat Healthy and Stay Healthy”.

Vedant, Suraj and Shivam of Class V, Harjot, Shivam, Riya, Manvi, Harjot of Class VI and Sonmali of Class VIII presented a skit.

Vishal, managing director, Shifaly International School, gave tips on healthy eating habits. — OC 



39-yr-old mason found murdered
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 7
The police has initiated probe into death of Naresh Kumar Nechhi (39) of the Azad Nagar area, whose body was recovered from a pond near railway track near here yesterday.

The victim went missing on Tuesday evening and his body, bearing multiple injuries inflicted with sharp edged weapons, was spotted by passers-by yesterday.

Investigations revealed that Nechhi had left his house around 8.30 pm on Tuesday on the pretext of meeting some of his friends. His family members started searching for him when he did not return home till midnight.

Some passers-by spotted the body in a pond near the railway track yesterday and informed Dakha SHO Prem Singh about the same.

Sukhwinder Singh Sonu, Nechhi’s brother, identified the body and lodged a complaint with the police.

A pool of blood near the railway track suggested that the suspects, at least two in number, had killed him with sharp edged weapons and later threw the body into the pond.

The police suspected that the victim and the suspects had spent some time together as a partially empty liquor bottle was recovered from the spot.

Preliminary investigations conducted jointly by teams of cops, led by Baldev Singh Randhawa, in charge of the GRP chowki, and Prem Singh, Dakha SHO, revealed that the victim was working as a mason.

On the fateful day he went to work as usual and had come home only to hand over some money to his wife Geeta.

Nechhi’s friends and relatives could not give any clue about his rivalry with any of known persons. The dog squad, which was pressed into service, also failed to give any clue to the investigation team.

The body was handed over to the family after getting the postmortem conducted at the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. The deceased is survived by two sons and one daughter besides wife.



NRI crushed to death
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 7
An NRI was killed in a road accident near Sawadi Khurad village on the Sidhwan Bet road, about 5 km away from Jagraon, last night.

The deceased was identified as Manjit Singh, alias Bablu (30), of Sangatpura village. Manjit Singh had returned to his village about one month back after spending many years in Manila. He was scheduled to fly back to Manila on April 16.

As per information, Manjit had gone to meet one of his friends at Sawadi Khurad village yesterday on his tractor. The accident took place when Manjit was returning to his village after spending some time with his friend.

He had travelled only a few kilometres when he met with the accident. According to an eyewitness, Manjit lost control over his vehicle while trying to save a two-wheeler rider and the tractor overturned.

He remained lying under the tractor for more than one hour, which proved fatal for him. After some time a passer-by informed the police about the accident. The police reached the spot and pulled out Manjit from under the tractor. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

A case was registered at the Sidhwan Bet police station. Manjit is survived by his wife and a child.



FCI inspector assaulted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
A food and civil supplies inspector was allegedly attacked with rods and sticks when he was coming out of his office on Tuesday evening. Victim Nirpaksh Mattu is presently undergoing treatment at the DMCH.

When Mattu came out of his office in ‘Zone D’ building of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in the Sarabha Nagar area and was going towards his car, a grey-coloured Mahindra Scorpio vehicle stopped near him.

He told the Sarabha Nagar police that four person came out of this vehicle and attacked him. The road remains crowded throughout the evening, but no eyewitness saw Nirpaksh Mattu being thrashed.

PCR cops patrol the area frequently, but even they did not spot the attacker.



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