L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hosiery dealer robbed of Rs 2 lakh
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Four armed assailants robbed a hosiery dealer of Rs 2 lakh at pistol-point in the old city's Chaura Bazar area here today. The incident took place around 5.30 pm when the assailants entered the office of Shri Ram Fabrics, located on the first floor of a building, in Old Kotwali.

Shashi, a manager of the dealer, said he along with his accountant was counting cash in the office when three men carrying pistols entered the premises and made them hostage.

Rakesh Kumar, owner of Shri Ram Fabrics, was not present at the spot when the incident took place.

Shashi said the men had covered their faces with cloth and pointed weapons at them. "They told us to hand over the cash or else they would kill us. I was terrified and handed over the cash. After taking the cash, they made a quick exit. I saw one of their accomplices standing downstairs and keeping a watch," said Shashi.

Both employees claimed that they had raised an alarm, but the accused soon mixed in the crowd.

Sources said that the loss would have been more but the owner allegedly undervalued the robbery amount to evade the attention of the Income Tax Department.

The investigating officer said the robbery might be the handiwork of an insider, as the accused knew where the close circuit television (CCTC) camera was installed.

Before entering the office, the accused broke the CCTV camera.

The recent incident lays bare the tall claim of the police department of providing high security in the place.

The area is heavily populated. How the robbers managed it and fled from the place without even being noticed has left the police perplexed.

SHO Raj Kumar said the police was investigating the case from all angles.

3rd broad daylight incident

On November 17, armed assailants fled with Rs 20 lakh from an industralist at pistol-point on the RK road. Next day, two motorcyclists robbed a teacher in Model Town and snatched her chain and purse at pistol-point.


Mall Road
Loose wire causes big jam
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

The subsequent traffic jam. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, November 21
A loose overhead high-tension cable led to a massive traffic jam on the Mall road here today.

The incident took place around 11 am when the high-tension wire got loose and hung in the middle of the road. The hanging cable led to a major traffic jam on the road.

Residents complained that the wire got loose around midnight and watchmen of the area had made some make-shift arrangement to fix it.

However, the wire again became loose and hung in the middle of the road.

Shopkeepers were seen frantically calling electricity employees, but the effort proved to be in vain.

"We have lodged a complaint at the complaint cell, but none of the employee visited the spot to fix the snag," said a shopkeeper of Mall Road.

Fortunately, the incident did not turn tragic, as commuters were seen holding the high-tension wire to make way for the vehicles that were stuck in the traffic jam.

"What can we do? For how long we would remain stuck in jam. The electricity department employees do not bother to rectify the snag. I believe they are awaiting for some tragedy," said Kultar Singh, while holing the high- tension wire to create way for his vehicle.

It was nearly after an hour that the overhead wire was lifted.



House tax
MC seals building, recovers Rs 4.98 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
A team of the municipal corporation today sealed a commercial building located in the Focal Point area here following the non-payment of house tax. The building owners owed Rs 67,000 in house tax to the civic body.

The team, headed by MC Zonal Commissioner PS Ghuman, also recovered Rs 4.98 lakh pending as house tax from five properties.

Ghuman said eight properties in zone C owed around Rs 12 lakh to the corporation.

“We visited all eight properties today. While owners of five properties paid Rs 4.98 lakh on the spot, two gave an undertaking that they would pay the pending amount by 11 am tomorrow. The owner of one building in Focal Point failed to pay the amount and his building was sealed.”



Leaders have their 5-stars ‘cut out’ for them
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
As the state Assembly elections are coming closer, some of the high-end hotels of the city are being “singled out” by political parties for holding their meetings and even for the stay of party bigwigs visiting the city.

Whenever a senior Congress leader visits the city, he stays or meets party leaders in Hotel Park Plaza, which is owned by Congress MLA Jassi Khangura, while Akali and BJP leaders prefer staying in a particular five-star hotel near the local bus stand.

Recently, when BJP National President Nitin Gadkari as well as veteran BJP leader LK Advani visited the city this month, both leaders stayed overnight at the five-star hotel located near the bus stand. Gadkari even held his press meet in the same hotel. Even former Pakistan PM Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, who was in city yesterday to attend Kabaddi World Cup finals, stayed in the same hotel.

Also whenever Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal visits the city, he meets his party workers in the same hotel. On the other hand, former CM Capt Amarinder Singh prefers to hold meetings and press meets in Hotel Park Plaza. Even other Congress leaders such as CLP leader Rajinder Kaur Bhatal and others prefer to stay in Park Plaza.

When Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh visited the city during the last Lok Sabha elections, his press conference was held in Park Plaza.

A senior politician of the city, who is associated with the Akali Dal, informed, “As MLA Khangura has been raising his voice against the Akali Dal, Sukhbir does not like staying in Hotel Park Plaza. Though Sukhbir attends marriage functions at Park Plaza, he doesn’t like holding party meetings there,” said the leader.

Congress MLA Jassi Khangura, who is owner of Hotel Park Plaza, said Sukhbir Singh Badal last stayed in the hotel in December 2006. “I feel that it is likely that because I am a Congress MLA, Sukhbir as well as other senior Akali leaders don’t stay in my hotel. Personally speaking, I am more than happy not to have them in my hotel because whenever they come, they create a lot of problem for other people visiting the hotel. Moreover, they might be thinking that if they hold a meeting in our hotel, we must record it, which is funny,” said Khangura.

A foregone conclusion

Whenever a senior Congress leader visits the city, he stays or meets party leaders in Hotel Park Plaza, which is owned by Congress MLA Jassi Khangura, while Akali and BJP leaders prefer staying at a particular five-star hotel located near the local bus stand.



Accessing village stadia no cakewalk
Most roads leading to rural arenas in the region need repairs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 21
Promotion of kabaddi as the “mother sport” of Punjab and construction of stadia in the rural areas of the state are welcome, but who will repair potholed roads leading to these arenas, question residents of the region.

The residents, who wish Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal travel on roads linking various villages and towns of the area with main roads, regret that even their (CM’s and Dy CM’s) aides have started taking alternative routes to avoid a bumpy ride.

“We want the government to promote sports in general and kabaddi in particular, but not at the cost of overall development of the state. Priorities should be fixed, keeping in view the basic needs of the common man,” feel residents.

Social activists Vicky Tondon and Jaswinder Singh Sond of local Jandali Road allege that almost all roads connecting various village stadia in region are in bad shape.

Grewal Sports Stadium at Kilaraipur, Sports Stadium Gujjarwal, Chahal Sports Stadium Kanganwal, Football Stadium Mehma Singh Wala and stadia at Latala, Dhulkot, Pakhowal, Sarabha, Jodhan and Kalakh villages are among those playgrounds that can only be accessed by undertaking bumpy and tedious journeys.

Residents say a few decades ago, roads leading to stadia at villages used to be repaired at least once a year, as dignitaries, including chief ministers and ministers, used to visit these places by road. However, with dignitaries rarely using roads to reach their venue now, even patchwork is no longer being carried out on such roads.

A ride to these stadia from Ludhiana, Khanna, Malerkotla, Mullanpur, Sandaur and Raikot reveals that not a single road is in ideal state.

The situation becomes worse during the rainy season. Though legislators and leaders of various political parties have been claiming of getting funds from governments of their respective parties, little seems to have been done for the improvement of link roads. The condition of link roads, including Jodhan-Ahmedgarh, Lohatbaddi-Ahmedgarh, Maholi-Ahmedgarh, Jandali and Jagera roads, is extremely bad.

With huge potholes and eroded berms, these roads have emerged as a deathtrap for motorists.

No patchwork

Earlier, roads leading to the stadia used to be repaired at least once a year, as dignitaries, including chief ministers and ministers, visited these by road. However, with dignitaries rarely using roads to reach the venue now, patchwork is no longer being carried out on these roads



Sanitation at railway station remains off track
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 21
Amidst tall claims of the railway administration and their political masters to provide all modern facilities and also to make the railway station a world class station, poor sanitation level and overall unclean looks all around, tell an altogether different story.

Garbage and leftovers scattered all along the railway tracks, poor upkeep of platforms, waiting area, foot-over bridges, ticket booking counters and reservation complex at the railway station make it clear that sanitation and cleanliness are among least of the priorities of the railway administration.

On rare occasions, when top brass of the Railways or senior political functionaries come visiting, the railway complex, including platforms, are cleaned by hiring help from outside. But otherwise, common man has to put up with unclean surroundings, stench emanating from the railway tracks when waiting at the platforms.

Senior railway officials of the Northern Railway are also aware of the ground reality and poor level of sanitation. It was only on Saturday late in the evening that director health of Northern Railway divisional headquarters at Ferozepur, RK Teke reprimanded local officials for gross insanitary conditions prevailing in the railway complex.

During his surprise check at the railway station, Teke expressed his strong displeasure and sought a written report from the officials for lack of sanitation and cleanliness.

Enquiries made by The Tribune from several railway officials here revealed that there is not only severe sanitation staff shortage but even those on the rolls are in a habit of shirking. “There are 35 vacancies of sanitary workers at the Ludhiana railway station, but only 26 are on the rolls. To make the matters worse, many of those remain perpetually sick or absent on one pretext or the other,” said an official.

The interference and undue support of the trade union activists to non-performing staff was yet another reason for lack of cleanliness at the railway station, claimed another official. “Trade union leaders interfere in the outsourcing work for carrying out cleaning of drains, maintenance of pay and use facility for public conveniences and proposal for mechanised cleaning on the pretext that these would threaten the job security of regular employees,” asserted another railway official requesting anonymity.



Electrocution of youth
Rights panel orders fresh probe
Khanna SSP to submit report by Feb 2
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 21
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission has ordered a fresh probe into a youth’s electrocution around six months ago. The commission has issued the instructions following a complaint filed by the Universal Human Rights Organisation.

In its complaint to the commission, the organisation had alleged that the victim, Baldev Singh, had died due to negligence on part of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited officials and contractors and demanded reinvestigation of the issue by an independent authority.

The commission has now instructed the Khanna SSP to reinvestigate the matter.

Baldev Singh, hired by a PSPCL contractor, was electrocuted on June 24 while repairing a new power line laid by the contractor allegedly without the permission of the PSPCL authorities.

Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur, general secretary, Universal Human Rights Organisation, alleged that the PSPCL contractor had not taken permission for laying the power line.

“After Baldev Singh’s death, the PSPCL officials and the contractor assured the victim’s family of providing them with suitable compensation but failed to give them even a single penny even after the passage of over five months,” he alleged.

The Universal Human Rights Organisation brought the matter to the notice of senior police and PSPCL officials.

“Though the senior authorities promised to conduct an impartial inquiry into the matter, they also failed to act,” he added.

The organisation then approached the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and demanded a fresh probe into the incident.

Taking serious notice of the issue, the commission has now ordered the Khanna SSP to reinvestigate the matter and submit his report by February 2, 2012.



From schools
Declamation contest to make students aware of social evils
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
An inter-house English declamation competition was organised at Green Grove Public School. Students from Classes I to IX participated in the contest. The aim of the contest was to make students aware of moral values, health and social evils. President JPS Jolly presided over the function and judges were Dinesh Kumar from AS College, Kirti Sethi and Kanwalpreet Kaur from Doraha College. Principal S George and vice-principal Ronald de Rozario graced the occasion. Students spoke on various topics like “Importance of trees”, “Value of discipline”, “Environment pollution”, etc.

Annual day

Bal Bharati Public School dedicated its annual day (junior wing) to celebrate the unhampered innocence of animals that live coherently with nature without violating its purity and originality. About 800 children of pre-primary and primary wing participated in the function. Dr MS Saini, principal, Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana, presided over the function as the chief guest. Principal Punam Dogra greeted the audience and presented the school annual report. The colourful peacock dance (Dancing Miracles) by students of Mont-I A and B mesmerised the audience. The students of Mont-I presented a skit “Search for a wise king” that depicted revolting birds, who were discontented with their king and decided to dethrone and elect a new king to solve their problem. The colourful dance performance of the fluttering butterflies (Mont-II C,D) on the number “I am your little butterfly” glued the audience to their seats.

Students win laurels

Students of GMT Public School won laurels for the school by bagging the first runner-up trophy in the taek-won-do competition. The winners received a trophy and individual gold, silver and bronze medals, along with certificates of appreciation. Principal Amarjit Dhaliwal congratulated the winners on their achievement.

School Carnival

Carnival spreads a lot of cheers, smile and happiness among people who participated in various fun-filled activities. School Carnival was inaugurated by Ishwar Chander Sharma, director-cum-chairman, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur. Various game stalls were installed and science, mathematics, commerce and social studies models were exhibited by the students. Rajasthani, western dance and bhangra added colour to the carnival. Healthy baby and fancy dress competitions in various categories were also held.

Annual function

Message of universal harmony and love for the motherland marked the annual cultural-cum-prize distribution function of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar. Chief guest Rajneesh Arora, Vice-Chancellor, PTU, Jalandhar, and guest of honour, Ajay Pal Sharma were extended a warm welcome. The banjara dance added flavour of desert to the show. “Odessey of strings”, a puppet dance show beautifully lit up the stage with the lost tradition of Rajasthan. A Hindi play “Shakti Swaroopa Nari” highlighted the importance and strength of women in society. Senior boys and girls through their zealous and vibrant presentation “Virsa Punjab da” left audience spellbound. Meritorious students were honoured in the prize distribution function.



No end to MC president’s problems
Municipal councillors threaten to take their support back
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 21
There seems to be no end to the problems of Jagraon Municipal Council president Baldev Krishan Dhir, who is now facing a new challenge of saving his presidentship after as many as five municipal councillors, including independent and those belonging to opposition party, threatened him of taking back their support.

Dhir was elected as the president with the support of opposition municipal councillors. But these councillors are seemingly not happy with the president and they are rethinking on their support to the president.

These councillors have been alleging irregularities and rampant corruption in the MC and have been demanding an investigation into the allegations of the use of substandard material in various development works carried out in the town.

Though president Dhir has been assuring them of conducting inquiry into the matter, none of his promises have materialised so far, as a result of which the president is facing the revolt of municipal councillors.

Even during the recent General House meeting of the council, these councillors had openly threatened the president of taking back their support if the issues raised by them are not resolved soon. According to sources, some of the councillors who were considered close to the president have also told him that they are going to take back their support if their demands are not met.

Though Dhir is facing a threat to his presidentship under present circumstances, political observers feel the threats being issued to the president by the municipal councillors are only a part of the pre-planned political drama aiming to distort the attention of the people from the rampant corruption and misuse of funds in the MC.

Though Dhir has not given much importance to the reports of the four municipal councillors thinking to take back their support, it is learnt that he is leaving no stone unturned to convince these councillors to continue their support to him.

When contacted, Dhir said there was no danger to his presidentship. Dhir further added, “There is no truth in such reports and all municipal councillors are standing with me. Though some of the councillors have problems regarding irregularities in the development works in their respective wards, I have promised them to resolve their problems on priority basis,” added Dhir.



Safai workers to get fresh IDs
Move to assign responsibility, curb proxies

Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Safai karamcharis will soon have to carry IDs on them while cleaning the city roads. This has been done to keep a check on proxy workers in the city. The municipal corporation has decided to issue new IDs, bearing the name, photograph, municipal ward and beat, to the workers.

In his orders, MC Commissioner AK Sinha has specified that safai workers posted in the city will have to carry their new IDs at all times during work, so that the menace of proxy workers can be checked.

The corporation is going to regularise all 1,908 safai workers in the city and issue them fresh IDs.

A senior MC official said a decision to this effect was taken because some workers had been avoiding work in their respective areas and even using proxy workers to do their job.

“People other than designated safai workers had been work on their behalf. This was causing problems related to cleanliness in some areas. Residents can now identify safai workers in their areas by checking their IDs. And if their work is not up to the mark, they can complain against them to the corporation.”

Once these IDs are issued to the workers, copies would be sent to the MC Commissioner and the area councillor. Another copy would be kept in the MC record.

Sinha, who chaired the meeting in which the decision was taken, said the aim was to maintain cleanliness in the city.

“Having a valid ID would mean only permanent workers would be performing their duties. Moreover, if any area is not cleaned properly, it would be easy for us to fix the responsibility.”

Officials to keep copies

Once new IDs are issued to the safai workers, copies will be sent to the Municipal Corporation Commissioner and the area councillor. Another copy will be kept in the MC record



Industrialists make hay as income tax officials on warpath
No surveys since November 3; Now, no raids from December 5

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
While income tax officials are up in arms against their higher-ups for not granting them promotions, industrialists are having a field day in the city in the absence of any surveys since November 3. As many industrialists/traders in the city continue to evade tax, the income tax department is incurring huge losses, as there has been no revenue generation due to the halt of surveys/raids.

According to sources in the income tax department here, in order to strengthen their agitation, the income tax officials have decided not conduct raids/searches from December 5.

A leading industrialist in the city, dealing in hosiery goods, on the condition of anonymity, said: “For most industrialists, it is a good news. We can continue to work without any fear of raids/searches on our premises/houses. Last month, the department had generated around Rs 5 crore by conducting surveys on three leading business houses in the city and Khanna alone. So one can understand that in the absence of raids, the department will incur huge financial losses.”

Meanwhile, the Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association has decided to stop conducting searches and raids from December 5 in protest against the department’s dilly-dally approach towards promoting ITOs to Assistant Commissioner Income Tax (ACIT).

Due to this, the department is expected to suffer huge revenue losses as even income tax surveys have not been carried out since November 3.

Rajiv Puri, general secretary, Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association (Ludhiana unit), said the association held a meeting on November 18 in Delhi and decided to further intensify the agitation.

“On November 30, we will hold a lunch-hour demonstration throughout the country. We have already stopped surveys since November 3 and from December 5, we will not go anywhere for searches and raids. The department will suffer huge revenue losses, as the surveys and raids will not be conducted till further orders by the association,” Puri added.

The income tax officials had earlier staged a mass walkout on November 15 at their office.

Bone of contention

The Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association has decided to stop conducting searches and raids from December 5 in protest against the department’s dilly-dally approach towards promoting ITOs to Assistant Commissioner Income Tax



PAU scientist to get President of India’s Award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Dr VP Sethi, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has been conferred with the President of India’s Award by the Government of India.

Dr Sethi has been awarded for his research paper “Development of a modified screen net house using low cost technology” published in the Journal of Institutions of Engineers (India).

His paper was considered as the best research paper of the year 2010-11 in the agricultural engineering division at the national level. The award will be presented to him at the Indian Engineering Congress to be held in Bangalore from December 16-18.

Dr PPS Lubana, dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, and Dr VK Sehgal, head, department of mechanical engineering, congratulated Dr Sethi for bringing laurels to the university.


Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will be organising the research and extension specialists’ workshop for vegetable, fruit and flower crops on December 8-9 at Dr Borlaug wheat auditorium at the university campus. PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon will inaugurate the workshop. PAU specialists will share their findings on production, protection, post-harvest handling, mechanisation, marketing, etc, of vegetables, fruits and flowers.

The event will discuss new recommendations on these crops and gather feedback from the field-level functionaries, as it helps to reorient research and technology transfer programmes at PAU. The new recommendations on these horticultural crops will be finalised for inclusion in the package of practices.



Ludhiana scan
CME on diabetes

IMA Ludhiana organised a CME on diabetes on Saturday. About 200 delegates attended the CME. Dr Parminder Singh, head of the department of endocrinology, DMCH, was the key speaker. Dr Parminder delivered a talk on “Managing diabetes through patho-physiologic perspective”. Genetics, obesity, high calorie diet, lack of exercise and stress are important contributors to rising incidence of diabetes. Dr LS Chawla launched the website www.imaludhiana.com.


The Noble Foundation Trust, an NGO, on Sunday honoured 257 persons who donated for the destitute and terrorist victims of Jammu and Kashmir through a vernacular daily. Rajinder Sharma, NGO founder, said, “In the last 12 years, 302 trucks loaded with ration and other materials have been distributed among the destitute of Jammu and Kashmir.” Students of Ma Sharda Vidyapeeth performed a cultural programme on the occasion.

Harmony campaign

The Communal Harmony Campaign and Fund Raising Week under the aegis of National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) was celebrated on Sunday at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. DMCH principal Dr Daljit Singh stressed on the need of promoting communal harmony in the country. The aim of the campaign week is to raise funds for the support of destitute. — Tribune Reporters



Lajpat Rai Park faces Municipal Council apathy
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 21
Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai was remembered on his 83rd martyrdom day. A function was organised by the local administration to pay tributes to the legendry freedom fighter and martyr at the Lala Lajpat Rai Park here.

SDM Jagraon Isha Kalia was the chief guest and paid rich tributes to the legendry martyr. But the situation became embarrassing for organisers when the SDM got angry after seeing the poor condition of the park named after the legendary freedom fighter.

Irked over the bad condition of the park, she instructed MC officials to immediately make arrangements for the proper maintenance of the park.

The park is in a shambles. Neither the municipal council nor any NGO came forward in the past for the maintenance of the park.

However, the MC officials had got the park cleaned before the function, still there were many things which were telling about the apathetic attitude of the MC officials towards the maintenance of the park, as the boundary wall of the park was found broken from many places. Besides, wild growth was also seen on all corners of the park.



Teachers urged to work for Punjabi language
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 21
A five-day seminar-cum-teacher training programme on Punjabi language organised for government school teachers of Ludhiana district concluded at Government Senior Secondary School, Halwara, near Gurusar Sudhar yesterday.

A large number of Punjabi teachers participated in the seminar. Hardeep Singh and Nirpal Singh were the resource persons.

Dr Davinder Singh Chhina, seminar coordinator and lecturer at GISTC, Ludhiana, urged the teachers to work and contribute for Punjabi language, culture and heritage and propagate its great folkloric traditions among school students.

Dr Chhina also appealed to the teaching community to voluntarily contribute for upgrading the quality of education in the schools and work for the improvement of school environment. He also spoke about Punjabi teaching “modules”, which had been provided under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) to the participating teachers, so that they could utilise the latest techniques for the promotion of Punjabi language.

Talking about the new educational policy proposed by Punjab Education Minister speakers appreciated the pro-teacher and pro-student approach of the minister.



‘Follow path shown by Gurus’
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 21
The Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, Jagraon, organised an extension lecture on “Gurmat Da Sankalp: Jeevan Jaach Te Ruzgaar” on the college premises today.

The lecture organised by the Punjabi Literary Society and career guidance cell of the college was dedicated to the life of great saviour Guru Teg Bahadur. Eminent scholars, Dr Ravinder Singh from Kurukshetra University and Dr Sukhjinder Kaur shared their views on the topic with college students.

Resource person, Dr Masroor enlightened audience about how to lead a successful life by following the teachings and path of truth shown by the Gurus. He urged everyone to work towards eradicating social evils like drug addiction, female foeticide and environmental pollution.

College principal, Dr Paramjit Kaur thanked the resource persons for enlightening young minds and motivating them towards the path of truth.



‘Promote nutrition security in country’

Ludhiana, November 21
Keeping in line with the old adage, “You are what you eat”, the nutritional wellness is the science that looks at the relationship between diet and human health, remarked Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, dean academics and professor and head of gastroenterology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here, who was recently elected secretary of the Nutrition Society of India (NSI) at its annual conference held in Hyderabad. Dr Chhina said there were several projects being undertaken by the Government of India to promote food and nutrition security in the country but the success of these programmes depended upon the efficiency with which they were implemented at the grassroots level.

Any deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in the food ingredients, can produce negative impacts on the body’s function. — OC



Shagun Scheme
HC orders govt to release money
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 21
The long wait of as many as 159 beneficiaries of the Shagun Scheme undertaken by the state government for girls belonging to Dalit families seems to be come to an end with the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordering the state government to release the scheme money this month.

However, it took about 10-year wait and year long legal battle for providing the Shagun Scheme money to the beneficiaries. As per the information, the total amount of the Shagun Scheme to be provided to 159 beneficiaries accounts to around Rs 8 lakh. Now the cheques of the Shagun Scheme money will be issued to the beneficiaries at the office of public welfare department.

In fact, the High Court has issued these instructions to the department of the state government following a petition filed by the Universal Human Rights Organisation general secretary and RTI activist Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur in February 2011.

In the instruction issued to the public welfare department, the court has strictly asked the department to release the money to these beneficiaries at the earliest. According to petitioner Iqbal, the government has agreed to provide the Shagun Scheme money to the beneficiaries on November 23.

Iqbal had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court about an year ago. In his petition, Rasoolpur had informed the court that the state government has failed to provide the Shagun Scheme money to 159 brides belonging to Dalit families of various villages falling under Jagraon tehsil. He had also demanded from the court to instruct the state government to release the money to the beneficiaries.

Giving details, Iqbal said, “These girls had got married between 2001-2003 and even as about 10 years have passed after they got married, they are still waiting for the Shagun Scheme money.”



Powercom’s plea for Rs 3.48 lakh quashed
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
The Permanent Lok Adalat (PLA) has quashed the demand for Rs 3,48,559 raised by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (Powercom) on charges of theft of energy.

Permanent Lok-Adalat chairman Lakhbir Singh, and members RS Khokar and Nand Lal held that the theft charges could not be proved. It further held that the demand was illegal and unsustainable.

It also ordered the Powercom to refund the amount deposited by the complainant. The PLA pronounced the order while deciding the complaint moved by Kabir Cooperative House Building Society, Pakhowal road. The complainant had submitted that they had developed the colony having roads, parks and streets. Further, streetlights had been installed in the colony and it was paying electricity charges for their use. Powercom’s enforcement wing had conducted a check at the society in September, 2009 and thereafter raised a demand for Rs 3,48,559. The complainant claimed that none of their society members was ever associated in the checking. On the other hand, Powercom officials stated that the complainant had indulged in energy theft by using kundi connections for streetlights. So, the demand had been rightly raised.

After appreciating the evidence on record, the PLA held that as per the rules, the consumer was required to be associated at the time of checking.



Huge rush for filing of VAT returns

Ludhiana, November 21
A large number of taxpayers submitted their annual VAT returns at the excise and taxation office, mini-secretariat, here today, as it was the last day of filing the annual return.

Though the department had announced the last date of filing the returns on November 20, being Sunday yesterday the department allowed the taxpayers to file the annual VAT returns today.

The VAT returns have been filed for the last financial year 2010-2011. The taxpayers who sold the goods on the basis of Form C and H, the VAT return had to be manually submitted. With this, the taxpayers had to submit the prescribed forms, too.

An employee working at the office said the assessment proceedings would not be completed if the prescribed form was not filled by the taxpayer. Those who failed to submit their annual returns today will have to pay a penalty of Rs 100 per day as per the Punjab VAT Act Section 54 (A). tns



Two held with 5-gm heroin
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 21
The Ludhiana (rural) police has arrested two youths and recovered around 5 grams of heroin from their possession. Both accused were arrested near Guru Nanak School, Kailpur road, Chaunkiman, on Saturday evening during a routine check up.

The accused have been identified as Rajwinder Singh of Mullanpur Dakha and Manjinder Singh, alias Babloo of Chaunkiman village. According to sources, the youths belonged to well known families.

The accused were arrested by a police team led by Chaunkiman police post in charge Karamjit Singh.

Karamjit stated that the police party had erected a police check post near Guru Nanak School on Saturday evening.

“The police saw a black Maruti Zen car coming from Chaunkiman side. Policemen signaled the car driver to stop the vehicle, who tried to flee from the spot but failed to do so. This made the police suspicious and both youths were nabbed. When searched, the police found 2 grams of heroin from Rajwinder and 3 grams from Manjinder,” said Karamjit Singh.

During investigation, the accused have admitted that they are addicted to heroin. They also claimed that the drug recovered from them was meant for their use and not for selling.

However, the police has registered a case against both youths at the Chaunkiman police station under the NDPC Act and started investigation.



Expensive cloth, Rs 2 lakh stolen from shop
Tribune News Service

The camera that was damaged by the thieves before committing the crime.
Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, November 21
Thieves struck at a shop in the Mali Gunj area and decamped with expensive dress material and cash worth over Rs 2 lakh.

The incident came to light here this morning when the owner of Kuldeep Cloth House located in Mali Gunj opened the shop and was shocked to see the place ransacked. He immediately informed the police about the incident.

According to the owner, the thieves entered the shop by breaking open the door located on the roof.

"I had kept Rs 1.5 lakh in the safe. The thieves might have been aware of it. They entered the shop from the roof and made way with cash and costly dress material. I am yet calculating the loss. So far I have suffered a loss Rs 2 lakh," said the owner.

The investigating officer said though the police was investigating the theft from all angles, it appeared to be the handiwork of an insider. Fingerprint experts and a dog squad were also pressed into service.



kabaddi world cup
Tipplers’ spirits soared at finale
Lacklustre performances by players, stars disappoint fans

Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Tipplers had a field day during the final of the World Kabaddi Cup, as was evident from scores of liquor bottles found scattered across the Guru Nanak Stadium a day after the event.

The consumption of liquor at the venue of the kabaddi final has not gone down well with the sports fraternity of the city.

As Indian men and women teams proved their might to their opponents, the Rs 7-crore kabaddi cup was reduced to self-projection by the ruling SAD government.

While spectators anticipated nail-biting encounters, they were disappointed to see lacklustre performances by Canada in the men’s section and England in the women’s section.

Bored by the kabaddi matches, spectators were seen guzzling down liquor.

“It was an all-out political show with a glimpse of kabaddi and Bollywood. The state government spent such a huge amount on a flop show,” said a spectator while leaving the stadium.

Barring the fireworks and Akshay’s performance, there was nothing to hold the crowd to their seats. Even Deepika Padukone and Chitrangada Singh occupied the centre stage for barely five minutes.

“All they did was waive at the crowds and speak a few lines,” said another dejected spectator.

The SAD government was in a freebie-distribution mode, as they announced government jobs for both men and women kabaddi players.

“Ask the players if they truly deserve these jobs. They were up against a meek opposition. With over 41 players being found positive in dope tests during the world cup, little competition was left in the game,” said Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association.

He added that girls, too, were up against weak opponents.



KCW bag baseball trophy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 21
Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, walked away with the overall trophy in the Inter-College Women’s Baseball Championship held at Punjab University.

In the league matches, KCW girls drubbed Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women 9-5 and Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana, 12-2. In the final played between Khalsa College for Women and Punjab University Campus, Chandigarh, KCW girls won the match 13-1.

Sukhpreet, Daljeet, Sundeep and Raj Rani were the main scorers for their team, enabling it to win the championship. Principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind congratulated the team besides the coach for the victory.



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