L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


6-year-old girl abducted
Bike-borne youths picked her up from outside her house
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
A six-year-old girl was kidnapped by two motorcycle-borne youths from Dhandari village here yesterday. The incident took place last evening when the victim, identified as Nisha, was playing outside her house with her friends.

The accused came on a motorcycle and picked her up before speeding off. Initially, her family took it to be a prank, but when she did not return in a long time, they informed the police.

Today, the police launched a massive hunt for the kidnappers and questioned several suspects. The area is infested by drug addicts and it is feared that some addicts may have taken away the girl.

Arvind Puri, SHO, Sahnewal police station, said: “The motive behind the kidnapping is not clear yet. The girl is from a humble family. We are investigating the case from all angles. The children playing with Nisha failed to take down the number of the motorcycle. They could not even help the police with the physical appearance of the accused.”

The police is hoping that the kidnappers may contact the victim’s parents for ransom. Nisha’s mother is inconsolable. “I do not know what has happened to my child. I just want my girl back,” she cried. Residents of the village are also helping the police in searching for the child.


Nine nabbed for various offences
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
In a major crackdown, the city police nabbed nine persons including, snatchers, rape accused, pirated CD and DVD sellers and habit-forming drug peddler. The massive manhunt operation was supervised by ACP Swapan Sharma.

Among four snatchers, Surinder Kumar and Jagpreet Singh alias Jaggu, were nabbed by the Jadowal Basti police. Beside mobile and gold earrings that they had snatched from a woman two days ago, the police has also recovered gold earrings from the possession of the accused.

Mandeep Singh and Manpreet Singh were nabbed by the Moti Nagar police. The duo was wanted in two separate cases of snatchings.

The police has recovered a sharp-edged weapon and cash from the possession of the accused. The police has also launched a hunt to nab Amrik Singh and Durgesh, close aides of Manpreet and Mandeep, who managed to give the police a slip.

Jagdish Kumar, a chemist of Basti Jodhewal, was booked under sections 22, 6 and 85 of the NDPS Act for peddling habit-forming drugs.

The police seized a huge stock including 20,000 capsules, 70 cough syrups from the possession of the accused.

Satish Kumar, who was booked by the Salem Tabri police for raping his daughter, was today arrested by the police.

Munish Kumar and Ashok Kumar were nabbed for selling pirated CD and DVDs in the Chaura Bazar area. The police seized nearly 7,000 pirated CD and DVDs from the possession of the accused persons. While a roadside CD and DVD seller identified as Rajan was booked for blocking traffic in the Chaura Bazar area.



Compensation under disaster fund enhanced
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
The compensation amount under the National Disaster Fund by the Government of India has been enhanced. In a letter to all the Chief Secretaries, the Centre has asked them to follow the fresh norms while disbursing the amount under the fund as and when required.

According to sources, the letter was received on January 16. In case of death, the compensation amount to the family would now be Rs 1.30 lakh as against Rs 1 lakh earlier. For the loss of a limb, earlier the compensation was Rs 25,000, but has now been increased to Rs 43,000.

An official in the district administration, on the condition of anonymity, said the compensation for the deceased’s family had been increased on July 31, 2009. “After about three years, the government has again enhanced the compensation amount. The amount is provided in case of losses occurred due to natural calamities like earthquakes, floods and drought. This is a corpus fund created by the Centre and the Government of Punjab for the rehabilitation of affected families,” said the official.



Complaint against boorish policemen on FB
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
In a unique method, a city resident has lodged a complaint on the Ludhiana police’s Facebook page against boorish policemen.

A day after being challaned for numerous traffic violations, Sunil Vinayak, a designer, levelled character assassination charges against the policemen. “If you are stopped by the city police, be ready to hear abusive and objectionable language and if you dare to argue, you would face a hefty challan. The words politeness and courtesy do not exist in their book,” he writes.

Vinayak said he and his colleague Gurdip Singh were returning on a motorcycle when they were signalled to stop at a police check post near Ishmeet Chowk.

“They stopped us, but we were caught in heavy traffic and it was not possible to pull over immediately. They thought we were trying to flee,” the page reads.

“After we stopped, a police constable approached us and rudely said ‘thhalle utar oye’ (get off the bike). I asked him to talk politely. He then took the key of the motorcycle and asked for the papers. My colleague showed the papers to him,” Sunil says.

The matter took an ugly turn when a constable, Sukhdev Singh, asked the name of the RC holder and Gurdip Singh thought that he was asking for his father’s name.

The constable then asked for the motorcycle owner’s affidavit. “We told them that the motorcycle belonged to a family friend and it had been taken with his consent,” he says.

To this, the constable got furious and remarked: “Kal nu tu keh keyanga ki munda gawandiyaa da hai” (tomorrow you will say that the boy is a neighbour’s son).

“We then told them to issue a challan and not use such language,” he says.

According to Sunil the police did not have a challan book. “Constable Sukhdev Singh told us that the challan book was lying at the police station. If the book was lying at the police station, what were the policemen doing at the check post?” questioned Sunil.

After being made to stand there for nearly half-an-hour, Sunil was challaned for a broken number plate, driving without helmet and not having a pollution certificate.

“When I was leaving they told me ‘putter hor lai panga’ (now mess with us). This is not done,” the page reads.

Sunil brought the matter to the notice of the ACP (Traffic), Swapan Sharma, and posted his complaint on the police’s Facebook page.

He said there was no response from the police. “Challan is not the issue, but being policemen, does not give them a right to abuse us,” said Sunil.

The police, however, said Sunil was levelling baseless allegations to evade the challan.



GLADA spends Rs 3.44 crore on upkeep, draws flak
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 19
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) had spent a staggering amount of Rs 3,44,57,903 between 2002-03 and 2010-11 on the maintenance of Urban Estates developed by it in the industrial capital of the state more than a decade ago without realising that the expenditure was irregular and violative of the Punjab Regional and Town Planning Act (commonly known as PUDA Act).

The internal and external audit report has recorded an objection against this glaring financial irregularity while seeking an explanation from the GLADA authorities.

A copy of the audit report obtained by the Council of RTI Activists under the Right to Information Act (RTI) has noted that as per the provisions of Section 35 of the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Act, where any area has been developed by an authority (GLADA in this case), the authority shall entrust the local authority, discharging municipal functions within whose local limits the area so developed in situated, with the responsibility for the maintenance of the amenities which have been provided in the area by the authority or for the provision of the amenities which have not been provided by the authority but which in its opinion should be provided.

The report further said as per the provisions of the PUDA Act, the maintenance of Urban Estates was not the responsibility of PUDA/GLADA and these should have been handed over to the Municipal Corporation for further maintenance, which had not been done till August 2011.

The report also disagreed with the plea of the GLADA authorities that the expenditure on maintenance works was urgently required and was incurred in public interest.



Rocking the music world with toombi
Vijay Yamla carries forward his grandfather’s legacy
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Twentyfour-year-old Vijay Yamla, the grandson of the legendary Yamla Jatt who redefined Punjabi music with the “toombi”, is set to carry forward the legacy. He is making waves as a folk artist and is working with the youth welfare department of Punjabi University, Patiala.

Going by the wide repertoire of playing different folk instruments, he has taken it upon himself to save such instruments from extinction. He started playing “toombi”, which is grandfather invented, and “dholak” when he was 14 years old. He can play “dhol”, “tabla”, harmonium, tambourine, “dhaddh”, “nagara”, Haryanvi “nagara”, and Gujarati and Assamese “dhol”.

He can also play the “been”, “algoze”, “vanjhali”, “chimta”, “bugdu”, “ghara”, “khanjri”and Pakistani instrument “morchang”. Among the western instruments, he can play the synthesiser and the drums.

“If we don’t play these instruments, they will end up as antique pieces and the world of music will not be the same,” he says.

His father Jagdev Yamla, and brother Suresh are also singers. “Music runs in my family and we are carrying forward this tradition,” he says.

His passion for music has won him several awards. He won the gold in North India in the inter-zone youth festival in Patiala and two gold and two silver medals in the group folk orchestra in national youth festivals.

He was part of the group representing India in an event on percussion music during Delphic Games held in Korea in 2009. The team had won the second position among 56 countries. He also performed at the International South Asia Youth Festival in Bangladesh last year.

He has worked with Kuldeep Manak, Surinder Shinda, and Hans Raj Hans. The music of “toombi”, composed by him, was part of films like “Singh is King” and “Rang De Basanti”.

“Music directors come and get music recorded and sometimes use it in songs,” he says. Unperturbed over not getting credit for the original music, he is satisfied that “toombi” is rocking 
music lovers.

“I am learning to sing. I want to show that hearts can be won through clean and beautiful songs as well instead of the current culture of sleazy songs,” he adds.



Steel prices soar as demand goes up in city
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Industry players finally have a reason to smile as the demand for steel has gone up. Three quarters of the current financial year saw a downward trend in the demand followed by an upswing in January and February.

Satpal Singh, a trader said: “There is a revival in demand. The demand in January was the highest during the current financial year.

The construction and infrastructure activity is adding to the momentum.”

During the first six months of the current financial year, the demand for steel had grown by a mere 1.8 per cent.

“An increase in the demand for steel has been seen in the current quarter,” he said.

Meanwhile, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has raised the steel prices by Rs 3,000 per tonne in the past few weeks. Tata Steel and Essar Steel, too, has revised the prices.

An analyst pointed out: “Though the demand has been weak and is now reviving, the increase in prices was a bold move by the companies. Buyers have accepted the rise in prices and the demand is up.”

The long product market has been doing well, given that several small producers have been forced to shut down their business due to iron ore scarcity.

In the first week of January, long product prices were raised by 3 per cent and in mid-January a further increase of 1.5 per cent took place.

The average long product price has jumped up to Rs 37,500 a tonne.



Depressed, 32-yr-old man hangs himself
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
A 32-year-old man committed suicide by hanging himself with a ceiling fan in his room at Adarsh Colony here today.

The victim, who has been identified as Shiv Prasad, was reportedly suffering from depression. His younger brother got married just two day ago and the family was busy with the celebrations.

The incident came to light here this morning when one of the relatives opened the room of Shiv Prasad’s room and was shocked to find his body hanging from the fan. He raised the alarm and informed the police about the incident.

The police has taken the body in its possession and sent it for a postmortem to the Civil Hospital.



Road not repaired for years
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 19
Like many other rural link roads of the area, the link road connecting Kaunke Kalan, the largest village of Ludhiana district, with Jagraon is in a bad shape. Residents of the village said the link road was repaired over five years ago. The residents have started using alternative roads to reach their respective destinations.

The link road connects thousands of residents of villages like Kaunke Kalan, Kaunke Khosa, Dangian, Gurusar and others with Jagraon. The residents of these villages lamented that though they had repeatedly raised the issue of the construction of the road at different levels, nothing concrete had been done to re-carpet it so far.

The officials of the Punjab Mandi Board, the department responsible for constructing the link roads, have not even bothered to repair the road.

The residents said they had requested chairman of the District Planning Board Bhag Singh Mallha, local Congress MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini and leaders of the ruling party for getting the road constructed, but all pleas fell on deaf ears.

Charanjit Singh, former sarpanch of the village, said no political party had ever done anything to solve the problem.

“The road has been in a bad shape for long. We have even raised the issue with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his Sangat Darshan programme at Jagraon in May, last year. Though the Chief Minister had assured us of doing the needful, nothing had been done. He had promised us to release funds for the construction of the road,” lamented Darshan Singh, a resident of Kaunke Kalan village.

The residents said it became difficult for them to commute on the road as it was full of potholes.

When contacted, Jagraon Mandi Board SDO Gurmel Singh said, “The board has prepared an estimate for the construction work of the road. It has been sent for the approval of the government.” 



From schools & colleges
Declamation contest

Ludhiana: The Parent Teacher Association of SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazuri Road, organised “Ram Lal Bhasin Memorial Inter School Declamation Contest”. Twenty teams participated in the contest. The judges were Parkash Verma, Neelkamal and Nivedita Arora.

Farewell party

Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, organised a farewell party for the students of Class XII. The function started with the lighting of the lamp. Rahat Verma of Class XI-C welcomed Ashwani Kumar, school manager, Navita Puri, principal, head of various sections, teachers and students. Students of Class XI presented a song. Various contests like Mr and Miss Smile, Mr and Miss Witty, Mr and Miss Scholar, Mr and Miss KVM was held. Rohan Goyal, head boy of the school, delivered the farewell speech. Meanwhile, the Class XI students of Guru Nanak Public School, Mullanpur, held a farewell party. Charanjit Singh Gahour was the chief guest. Charanjit Singh delivered a speech.

Administrative body formed

The new administrative body of primary students of GNPS, Model Town Extension, was formed here today. A Japanese dance was presented by students. Headmistress of the school, Harjit Kaur Dua, welcomed members of the new council. Badges were given to the new management members.

Birth anniversary celebrated

Students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, today celebrated the birth anniversary of Veer Chhatarpati Shivaji. The school also observed a “National Integrity Week”.

Health, eye check-up camp

The PCTE Institute of Pharmacy organised an eye check-up camp under the guidance of Dr Azad Gaurav and under the supervision of BK Goyal. Director Administration GS Gill inaugurated the camp. More than 400 people from nearby villages availed the opportunity.

Experts guided and diagnosed the problems related to eyes and free medicines were provided to the patients. During health check up, the participants’ body fat levels, BMI, BMR and other relative parameters were tested free of cost.

Seminar on entrepreneurship

A seminar was held for the students of the Post Graduate department of Commerce in the multimedia hall of the college. Speaking on the occasion, Principal Dr Assa Singh Ghuman said that the future is always bright for people who are creative and are not averse to taking risks.

Dr Sukhdev Singh, professor and head of department, business management, GNE, Ludhiana, advocated the concept of social entrepreneurship. He quoted extensively from the Gurbani highlighting the importance of social entrepreneurship.

Dr HS Dhall, reader in the same department, highlighted the new areas which needed to be focused up by the current generation of students. Prof Avtar Singh, head of the department, commerce, opined that even rural students can open enterprises and make it big. Prof Manpreet Kaur said that the Punjab SMEs and MSMEs were facing many problems which the government needed to address.

Awareness programme

Lions Club Ludhiana (Vegetarian) and NSS Unit Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Model Town, organised an awareness programme against drug abuse. The speakers addressed the students and apprised them of different types of drug abuse, their affects, precautions, and remedies. Competitions such as poster-making, speech-making, and slogan writing were held during the event. The prizes were sponsored by the Lions Club and were given away by Dr HS Singha, Director GNIMT. In the speech-making competition, the first prize was won by Amania, BBA-IV, second by Randeep Kaur, BBA-VI, and third by Ravneet of BBA VI.

Sanjeet Kaur of BBA-VI won the first in poster-making competition, while Navneet Kaur of BBA-IV won the second. Gurmeet Kaur, BBA-VI, won third prize.

In slogan-writing, Sureecha Ahuja, BBA-II, got the first prize. The second was won by Harman Singh Sekhon and third by Gurmeet Kaur of BBA-VI.

Pulse Polio campaign

‘Rotractors’ of GGN Khalsa College participated in a pulse polio campaign at Dr Ambedkar Nagar near Model Town. About 145 slum houses were covered during the campaign and polio drops were administered to nearly 220 children under the guidance of Rajesh Kumari and Kiran. President Rohit Jindal, secratory Bharat Jain, treasurer Amarpal Singh, Rahul Kwatra, Abhinav, Reepak and other members participated in the campaign. — TNS



Sahnewal girl 16th in Haryana judicial exam
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, February 19
Prabhjot Kaur has done her parents and town proud by securing 16th rank in the Haryana Judicial examination. Daughter of Baljinder Singh and Hardev Kaur, Prabhjot owes her success to her grandfather Major Budh Sing Grewal. Prabhjot said, “I did my Class XII from Radha Vatika School in non-medical stream in 2006. I opted for this stream as my parents wanted me to become an

engineer. But I wanted to be a judge. I appeared in the entrance test conducted by Rajiv Gandhi

National University of Law and was able to crack it. After that there was simply no looking back for me and I was able to convince my parents as well. I did my BA (LLB) from the university in 2011. As the posts for the Haryana Civil Judges were advertised, I filled in the form and took the test. About 16,000 students appeared in the preliminary examination. I qualified for the mains. A total of 154 students in the general category qualified for the viva voce. Out of the total 58 general category students, who were finally selected, I ranked 16th.”

“Now, I am at the top of the world. My parents have always supported me, despite financial constraints, they enabled me to achieve my goal,” said Prabhjot.

Her father Baljinder Singh seems to be the happiest of all. He said, “What more can a father expect from a child. Prabhjot has been an aspiring child from the very beginning. It is rather her will and determination that forced us to think of her and assist her in reaching the target that she had planned years ago.”



Principal Secy conducts surprise check at Civil Hospital
Finds emergency drugs missing

Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, February 19
Satish Chandra, principal secretary, health, visited Civil Hospital, Khanna, and found emergency drugs missing during his visit and took serious note of this irregularity. The Deputy medical commissioner, Ludhiana, was also with the principal secretary on the occasion.

According to information available, Chandra entered the civil hospital and took stock of the situation after short interactions with the employees of the civil hospital. The principal secretary also enquired about the health of the patients in the hospital. Some patients complained that they purchased the medicines from outside.

When the principal secretary was contacted in this regard he confirmed the incident and added that during his visit he found that emergency drugs were not available at the civil hospital and he ordered that all steps should be taken to benefit the public. He said that it was the duty of the CMO to make arrangements for the medicines in the hospitals of the district. He said that he would issue a warning letter to the CMO, Ludhiana, and if his answer was not found to be appropriate then action would be initiated against him.

While on the other hand, senior medical officer, Civil Hospital, Khanna, when contacted in this regard said that the much -needed medicines were procured from the local market and all arrangements regarding the pulse polio campaign were complete. The SMO further claimed that 6,657 children took the polio drops today in the polio booths.



Reporters’ Diary
Auto-rickshaws posing threat to commuters

Thousands of auto-rickshaws plying on the city roads are emerging as one of the biggest threats to the commuter-the motorists, two-wheeler drivers and also the pedestrians. With their utter lack of traffic sense, the auto-rickshaws often obstruct the flow of vehicular traffic, stop right in the middle of the road to pick up or drop passengers, and as if all this is not enough, almost without exception, the three-wheelers do not have direction indicators, and even head lights which make them more dangerous for other road users during night hours. The transport department and traffic police might be blamed for the lack of regulations and enforcement to discipline the auto-rickshaw drivers, but once any kind of drive is launched to check the three-wheelers for their roadworthiness, the drivers, who are well organised start crying foul on the plea that their livelihood is at stake. Well, the lot of auto drivers must realise that if they have a right to earn their livelihood, they simply cannot get away with putting lives of other human beings at risk.

Week dedicated to love

The Valentine’s Day has just passed. The whole week was "dedicated" to the loved ones by celebrating Rose Day, Kiss Day, Chocolate day, Teddy day, Propose day, etc by the youngsters. On "Kiss-day", a principal of a local college, who was not at school, called up a senior professor telling him that he (the principal) got to know that certain outsiders would enter the college premises. The principal asked the senior teacher to be vigilant and very strict with all students. The poor teacher, sharing his "plight" with another colleague said, “Now what should I do? Should I take the classes or start searching for love-birds here and there?”

Designed entrance to MC’s office

The entrance to the MC Building in Zone D is all "designed" with pigeon droppings. A visitor asked someone why the civic body had not got the area cleaned up. The person replied, “This simply exposes its concern for the environment. They are so dedicated about taking care of ecology that not only the birds, they also have utmost respect for the "associate particles" of the birds.

Special chief guest

Usually chief guests attend a function and come back after addressing a gathering. But on Saturday, SK Goyal, chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, New Delhi, who was the chief guest at an annual prize distribution function of SCD Government College took the round of the college campus along with college principal Jasbeer Kaur Makkar and recalled his good old days when he was a student here. He visited the classrooms and interacted with teachers. He asked the college principal if Santa Singh's canteen was still there.

Going down memory lane

A few days ago when I was going out of the city I came across a group of women who were making vermicelli on a roadside and drying those. The scene instantaneously reminded me of my childhood days when my mom used to make vermicelli at home and I as a kid used to insist on taking the charge of the machine for making vermicelli as I love the way vermicelli used to come out of it. Then comes the time for drying it and I and my sister used to run around on the rooftop and put those for drying. Finally, comes the time for relishing the tasty mom made vermicelli in milk garnished with dry fruits like almonds, raisins and cashew. Sometimes in milk and sometimes in ghee, vermicelli was one of my favourite dishes and I still misses the homemade vermicelli cooked by mom.

Strict boss

An employee wanted to go home early but when he asked his boss, the latter denied curtly. He suddenly realised that the boss was a pet lover. So he went to his boss saying his pet was hungry and alone at home. The boss told the employee to go home immediately and take proper care of the animal.

— Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Gurvinder Singh, Anupam Bhagria, Manav Mander and Charanjit Singh Teja



Rights panel seeks report from DC, officials
Non-availability of doctors at Civil Hospital

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 19
Taking up a complaint on the non-availability of senior doctors in the Civil Hospital here, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has sought a report from the Deputy Commissioner and other departments concerned before the next date of hearing on April 24, 2012.

A city-based RTI activist, Varinder Singh, had lodged a complaint with the PSHRC highlighting the pathetic plight of patients visiting the hospital, a majority of whom come from the poor families. He had complained that senior doctors were not available in the Civil Hospital for consultation. “Many senior doctors either do not come to the hospital regularly or are busy attending to the VVIPs.”

The complainant said the outpatient department (OPD) remained under the charge of junior doctors due to which many patients suffering from serious diseases were examined and treated by junior doctors while many others had to go back in despair. Varinder Singh, in his complaint, also named several patients who were suffering from serious diseases but were not attended to or treated properly at the Civil Hospital due to the absence of senior doctors.

In its orders, the PSHRC said, “On consideration of the facts as mentioned in the complaint, the commission prima facie takes cognisance of the matter and seeks a report from the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, under Section 17 (i) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, before the next date of hearing.

The commission further directed that the copy of the order, along with a copy of the complaint, be sent to all the authorities concerned for necessary action.



Senior citizens’ body felicitates Dr Surjit Pattar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Punjabi poet Dr Surjit Pattar was felicitated by the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association here today. He was recently awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India.

SP Karkara, president of the association, said he was honoured for his contribution to Punjabi poetry and literature. Dr Amarjit Singh, former head of the department of languages and culture, PAU, while introducing Dr Pattar, said being a writer of 16 Punjabi books and many television programmes, Dr Pattar had awards like Bharati Sahitya Akademi Award and Saraswati Sanman Award in his kitty.

Dr Sarjit Singh Gill, general secretary of the association, said senior citizens had a special reason to be proud of Dr Pattar as by continuing his literary journey, Dr Pattar had proved that advancing age could not come in the way of creative activities.

Dr LS Chawla, former Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, who is also a member of the association, said he was a great admirer of Dr Pattar.

He added that poetry of Dr Pattar brought out ethos of Punjabis beautifully and served as a mirror of current scenario of society.

Dev Dildar and Neelam Khosla regaled the audience by doling out ghazals of Dr Pattar.



Fresh instructions issued to postal employees
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
As a part of streamlining the postal system, fresh instructions have been issued to the postal staff by assistant director Jaspal Singh, from the circle office, against booking of any speed post articles that do not bear pin code of the destination.

The instructions have been sent in order to improve the delivery of the articles.

The absence of the pin code leads to problems. People file complaints against the postal department at consumer forums when articles get lost or do not reach in time, leading to further hassles and extra costs.

So the postal staff has been instructed that the speed post articles without pin should not be booked under speed post and rather the customers should be informed that these articles are to be booked under registered post only.

Large-scale bookings for places where a pin code is not confirmed should only be booked under registered post to save time.

Without the pin code, problems arise on both the sides, increasing hassles for both the postal department as well as the customers.

Although people are expected to know the exact pin codes of the places where they are sending the articles, an official or counter is expected to be set up at post offices for assisting the people with the pin codes.

“All information is available online, so submitting the articles for speed post will only ease their own work,” said an official.

“It is good that pin codes are being made mandatory. It will assure the delivery of articles at the right place and in time,” said Vinod Sharma, a resident.



Sutlej club polls
Wooing of members begins

Shivani Bhakoo and Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
The biennial elections of the Sutlej Club are likely to be held in the end of March, but "wooing" of members by the contestants has already begun in the club circles. Get togethers, small parties are being organised in and outside the club premises and "strategies" are being made to bring the new executive.

A senior member of the club, on condition of anonymity disclosed that in the next one month, the club will be abuzz with "activities". "This is a routine affair. Before every elections, in the club, some names are suggested and then withdrawn in favour of others. We get a number of calls and messages daily to support the candidates. Lavish parties will be thrown once the date of election is announced by the Deputy Commissioner. And the members miss no chance to be pampered by the respective candidates", said the member in a lighter vein.

Major posts, including general secretary, bar secretary, mess secretary, sports secretary, cultural secretary, vice-president etc have always "lured" the contestants. To be on these key posts, contestants leave no stone unturned to "convince" the members, who are about 3,000 in number.

"The elections of Sutlej Club have always been in the news as politicians, certain bureaucrats, leading industrialists, extend support to their favourite candidates. Many in fray for the club elections, had wholeheartedly supported several politicians in the assembly elections and now it was their turn to get support from all quarters. All cards will be opened once the new government will take over on March 6", said another active member of the club.

The Deputy Commissioner-cum-president of the club Rahul Tewari when asked about the date of club elections, said, "Nothing has been finalised yet, but everything will be decided as per the club norms".



Road or dumping site?
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 19
Residents of the town are a harried lot. Even though the civic body has its own dumping site on the outskirts of the town, yet the employees continue to dump the garbage collected from various parts of the town on the Disposal Road. As a result, foul smell emanating from the area has made the lives of the residents miserable.

The area residents said they had asked the MC employees to stop the practice but they did not do so. “Though we have barred the employees from dumping garbage in this area still they continue to dump the litter. The whole area has turned into a garbage dump. We have been facing a lot of problems due to this,” complained Dinesh Kumar, a resident of Shastri Nagar locality.

The worst hit are the residents of the localities like Shastri Nagar, New Shastrri Nagar, Agwar Khuwaja Baju, Bajwa Colony, Geeta Colony and New Gaushala Road. They said they had even taken up the issue with the municipal council authorities a number of times, but all their efforts had gone in vein.

“We are facing a lot of problems. The stink has aggravated our woes. We are forced to spend our time in such dirty surroundings where one cannot stay even for a minute without covering his or her face,” said Inderpal Singh Chawla, a resident of New Gaushala Road.

The area has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The residents said they had even brought the issue to the notice of MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir and he had assured them of doing the needful, but nothing concrete has been done so far.

The residents demanded that the civic body should ask its employees to stop the practice.

MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir said he would take up the matter with MC employees.



Meeting by traders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
The local units of All-India Trade Union Congress, Central Indian Trade Union, Indian National Trade Union Congress and Central Trade Union held a meeting here today. The units will be observing a nationwide strike on February 28 seeking revision of minimum wages for workers as Rs 10,000 per month, filling of all vacant posts on a regular basis and not on a contractual basis, provident fund and bonus to all workers without any conditions, increase in gratuity rates, pension to all workers/employees, compulsory registration of trade unions within 45 days of filing registration papers and implementation of labour laws as per ILO convention 87 and 98.

Members during the meeting took a serious note of the fact that despite workers raising these demands for a long time, the government under the pressure of corporate sector is ignoring the demands of the workers which has led to violation of labour laws with impunity not only by the private but also by the public sector.

There is no provision for social security to the unorganised workers. The government has failed to curb the rising prices and solve the problem of unemployment causing serious effect on the lives of toiling masses.



PAN to become a powerful tool for I-T department
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Come next financial year and permanent account number (PAN) card is likely to become the most powerful tool for the Income Tax Department to unearth black money, tax evasion and instances of criminal financing.

Recently, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has given a directive to the Income Tax Department asking its officials to launch a special drive against those who had not furnished PAN while entering into high value transactions.

The committee was set up under the I-T Director General (Administration) to examine pending cases on I-T demands under the categories "assesses not traceable" and "no assets/ inadequate assets for recovery".

“These measures have been taken on the recommendations of a high-level committee appointed by the CBDT last year to find those taxpayers who had gone missing without paying taxes,” said a senior official of the department.

I-T officials from across the country will be preparing data during the drive. The new PANs will be fed into the system and then whenever a transaction is done using that identity, a flow chart of all credit/debit card, banking and other transactions from it will get displayed for the investigating officer,” the official said.



7,654 teachers not getting salaries
Charanjit singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 19
The tenure of the SAD-BJP government has already concluded with several promises, but the teachers of the state government are still facing problem due to the financial mismanagement of the government. Now the teachers are expecting that the new government will solve their financial problems and they will get the pending salaries.

Teachers are struggling to get their salaries. A few months before the election, the Punjab Government recruited computer teachers under the ICT programme. According to sources, the government recruited them without taking permission from the finance department of the state. Now, after seven months of joining, they are still waiting for salaries.

As many as 7,654 teachers have been affected. After a long struggle, protests and lathicharges, they got the jobs. But it has been several months since they were paid salaries. "We had joined the education department in July last year. Even after eight months of joining, we haven't received any salary or allowance. It is hard to meet the daily expenses without receiving salary. We are fed up visiting the DEO office time and again. There is little hope with the constitution of the new government", Ramanpreet Singh, secretary of the teachers union. Apart from the newly recruited teachers, other teachers too are facing financial hardships due to delay in salaries. Some of them are now hopeful that the new government in the state will come to their rescue.



High boots taking city by storm
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Fashion trends seem to be catching on the women in the city as they seem ready to catch the winds of change with a vengeance.

If it was the capri-like slacks and jeans that had become ubiquitous in summers, the high boots of the winters do not lag behind.

Interestingly, these trends do not owe their provenance to the previous seasons as they seem to be becoming a phenomenon within the seasons. High boots of all kinds are gaining popularity amongst girls and young women.

"High boots look cool and just awesome. There is a certain style about them and because these come in various designs, they have become the new cool thing to wear, says Maneet Kaur, a resident of Model Gram.

"I always yearned to wear these high boots whenever I saw these on TV or movies, but did not have the audacity to wear them in public as these were considered ostentatious by many. My friends teased me when I wore them once," said Sheetal Tyagi, a student. But now she is elated to see everyone wearing them, and has got three pairs of boots with varied colours, she admits.

"High boots seems have become very popular and we are selling at least three-four pairs every day," said Ashok from a shoe-store in Model Town. Different sizes of boots are available in myriad colours and material, he says. Different length and sizes are also selling with the length varying from just-above-ankles to upto-the-knee lengths.



Cycle industry demands technology upgradation scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
Since Chinese cycles are giving a tough competition to the local manufacturers, Ludhiana’s cycle industry wants a technology upgradation scheme in the coming budget.

“The local industry lacks research and development. To compete with China, the technology upgradation scheme on the lines of technology upgradation fund scheme (TUFS) should be launched.

“TUFS has worked wonders for the textile industry and a scheme on these lines should be introduced for us as well. We need to improve our technology if we want to compete with the business giant, China,” said Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association.

Meanwhile, representatives of the cycle industry are going to China to know the secret behind its success.



1,74, 692 given polio drops
Tribune News Service

An NCC cadet administers polio drops to a child during a pulse polio campaign near Krishna Mandir, Model Town Extension, in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 19
The district health department today administered pulse polio drops to 1.74, 692 children by visiting 1,57, 880 houses.

Dr KS Saini, district immunisation officer, Ludhiana, said, "As many as 2,426 teams of the health department helped in this campaign.

They visited homes in the city, Sahnewal Block and the Koomkalan block.

While in the other eight blocks, booths were set up by the health department for administering these drops."



Seminar on eradicating female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 19
The Voice of Youth Foundation, an NGO, held a seminar on eradicating female foeticide at Pratap College of Education here, Ludhiana.

Dr Subash Batta, Chief Medical Officer, was the chief guest. Dr Sunita Goyal was the key speaker.

Dr Subash Batta said society needed to change its mindset.

Amandeep Singh, general secretary, said the government had started a number of schemes for the girl child.

Female foeticide has been plaguing are society for generations.



coca-cola cricket
Govt School (PAU) secure berth in final
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 19
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), wrapped up all their three-league matches to secure a berth in the final of the ongoing PCA Inter-School Cricket Tournament (U-16) for the Coca-Cola Cup. It is being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College ground here today.

Today, Government School, PAU, prevailed over Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM), Civil Lines, by three wickets to settle for the title clash match. In the final, they will meet the winners of the match to be played tomorrow between Kundan Vidya Mandir and St. Thomas Senior Secondary School.

In the match held at SCD Government College ground, KVM, batting first after winning the toss, made 124 runs in 34 overs with main contributions coming from Nikhil Chowdhary and Nitin Malhan who chipped in with 40 and 23 runs, respectively. Simranjeet Singh scored 9 runs.For Government Model School, Karan Singh, Parul Mehdiratta, Noor Alam and Sher Bahadur shared the bowling honours taking two wickets each while Mayanak accounted for one wicket for 19 runs.

In reply, Government Model School played cautiously and achieved the target in 46.3 overs after losing seven wickets.

The main scorers were Parul Mehdiratta (39), Gopal (21 n.o) and Sher Bahadur (14).For the losing side, Nitin got rid of three batsmen conceding 29 runs, while Nikhil Chowdhary grabbed two wickets for 26 runs. Arshdeep and Anmol captured one wicket each after giving away 7 and 9 runs, respectively.

However, the match played at Arya College ground between Teja Singh Swatantar Senior Senior Secondary School and St Thomas Senior Secondary School turned out to be a lack-lustre affair in which the former came out triumphant by 141 runs in which Parveen played the pivot role making 115 runs.

Batting first, Teja Singh Swatantar School scored an imposing score of 256 runs in 32 overs. Parveen scored a century while Prince contributed 53 runs. For St Thomas School, Deepanshu was the main wicket taker who bowled 8 overs and claimed 7 wickets for 37 runs. Ravneet Singh got 2 wickets for 20 runs.

Chasing a big score, St Thomas School could muster 115 runs in 16 overs thus falling well short of the target.bOnly Kushwinder Singh (33), Deepanshu (19) and Rishabh (12) were able to put up some semblance of fight back.

For Teja Singh Swatantar School, Jai excelled with the ball chipping in with 5 wickets for 11 runs. Rajneesh took two wickets for 18 runs while Prince claimed one wicket for 22 to help their side to register a comprehensive victory.

Neelam Kansih, senior vice-president of Ludhiana District Cricket Association, was the chief guest today. He motivated the players to concentrate on the game and their studies.



City lad wins gold in junior kurash championship
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 19
A city lad, Karan Batish, won gold and silver medal in the Junior Kurash National Championship that was held in Jammu recently. Karan won a gold medal in the 60-kg weight category and silver medal in the open category and now he is focusing on the National Kurash Championship that will be held in Ludhiana in March.

Karan Batish shows off his medals in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Karan, a resident of civil lines, said that he was very much delighted with his performance in the national tournament. He said that in the 60-kg category he had beaten a player from Haryana and in the open category, he was beaten by Delhi players, but both fights were very tough and interesting.

He said that Kurash is also a kind of wrestling and its upright-jacket wrestling is a popular game of Uzbekistan. there are very few players of this game here. Eighteen-year-old Karan said that he used to practice this game under the supervision of coach Rakesh Singh and Praveen Thakur and they both motivated him to take up this game. He said that Praveen Thakur was an international player of Kurash and he influenced him.

He said that this game was still in a nascent stage in Ludhiana, but those who had taken up this game were very talented and were best in the country. He said that his aim was to represent the country in the international kurash competition so that he could bring laurels for the country. He said that there was need to promote the game in the country so that more youths could be associated with the game.

Karan said that he used to practise for five hours in the multipurpose hall of Guru Nanak Dev Stadium and he hoped that he would achieve his aim very soon.



City to host bodybuilding federation cup
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 19
Ludhiana will play host to the next edition of the Federation Cup Bodybuilding Championship. This was informed by Prem Chand Degra, Padma Shree awardee, former world champions and president, Punjab State Amateur Bodybuilding Association (PSABB), at a press conference here today.

Nearly 350 competitors from across the country will be vying for top honours in this mega event slated to be held here at Guru Nanak Bhawan on March 2 and 3. Degra urged upon the state government to promote bodybuilding like game of kabaddi so that the youths in Punjab could be weaned away from drugs and helpful in nation building.

The former world champions also released the names of boys who would represent the state in the upcoming federation cup.

The names of the bodybuilders are:

Below 55kg: Ramandeep Singh, Ravi Kumar and Honey Kumar;

Below 60kg: Inderjit Singh and Mandeep Sharma;

Below 65kg: Munish Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumar and Daljit Singh;

Below 70kg: Karamjit Singh, Rakesh Kumar and Hem Raj;

Below 75kg: Vinit Marwaha;

Below 80kg: Balwinder Singh and Ramesh Kumar;

Below 85kg: Gurdeep Singh and Amritpal Singh;

Above 90kg: Raghav Sharma.

The office-bearers of the PSABB, including Ramesh Bangar, Navneet Singh, Pardeep Kumar, Sumit Puri, Kiranpreet Singh and Parveen Kumar were present at the press conference.



PTU inter-college cricket
Narottam shines as LCET emerge champions
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 19
The Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) beat CEC, Landharan, by 36 runs to emerge as champions in the Punjab Technical University (PTU) Inter-College Cricket Tournament held at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College ground here today.

LCET scored 183 runs in which Aditya made 42 runs and played the anchor's role. In reply, CEC, Landharan, were shot out for 147 runs.

Earlier, LCET defeated North-West Institute, Moga, by 122 runs; outplayed Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College, Malout, by 48 runs to set up the title clash.

Narottam, student of fourth year of Mechanical Engineering from LCET for his outstanding contribution in the tournament in which 70 engineering colleges affiliated to the PTU competed, was named the best player.

He scored 165 runs and grabbed 16 wickets to steer his college to reach the final.

Dr Pawan Kumar, principal, LCET, Landharn, congratulated the students and their coach Satish Sharma for this achievement.



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