L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 5-cr fabric reduced to ashes
4 injured in fire at factory on Kohara-Machiwara highway
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
Four persons were injured, one seriously, while they were trying to control a fire that broke out at a factory located on the Kohara Machiwara highway here today. Blankets and other fabric material worth over Rs 5 crore were destroyed.

One of the injured has been identified as Malkit Singh (55) while three others who were rushed to a local hospital were discharged after first aid.

Malkit sustained burns on his leg. It is learnt Malkit got injured after the fire extinguisher he was holding to put out fire exploded in his hand. The cause behind the explosion was not yet known. He was rushed to SPS Apollo Hospital where he is stated be stable.

The incident took place around 5am here this morning when the fabric lying on the ground floor of the factory caught fire due to suspected short-circuit.

As the factory was closed, fire soon spread to the other floors and reduced stocks, including fabric, blankets and polyester yarns worth crores to ashes.

The security guard soon informed the owner of the factory, Harbhajan Singh, about the incident. The fire tenders, emergency ambulance and police reached the spot. It was after four hours that the fire fighters managed to put out the fire.

Harbhajan Singh, owner of the factory, Udhay Craft, said: “I have yet to make an estimate of the loss, but it would run into crores of rupees.”

Nearly 12 fire tenders, two belonging to the factory, were pressed into service to douse the fire.

Harbhajan Singh said his unit had made adequate arrangements to tackle fire. “We have followed all the security norms laid down by the government. Further we have our personal fire tenders that helped douse the fire. A security guard and Malkit Singh, who were present in the compound when the fire broke out, were injured.”

Harbhajan Singh said the factory employees were fully insured. He said he would take care of the household expenses till the time their workers were on medication.

The fire had even damaged the machinery. Experts said the fire had damaged the lentil and the building would not be safe now.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rahul Tiwari said he would look into the matter and action would be taken in case there was negligence. 

Tragedy averted

The residents who gathered around the factory said had the fire incident took place during daytime it could have been catastrophic. According to an insider, over 300 employees work at the factory. Many residents said it would have been a second tragedy after the Jalandhar factory collapse had the fire broke out during daytime. 



Pvt fire brigade comes handy
Lovleen bains

Sahnewal, April 25
Despite the fact that the official fire brigade reported in time, had it not been for the private fire brigade of the factory, the loss of property may have been doubled.

Harbhajan Singh Namdhari, the owner of Uday Crafts where a major fire broke out in the wee hours today, though apparently disturbed by the incident, was still thankful to the Almighty for saving all precious lives, which according to him, are above every material loss. As the fire broke out, the personal fire brigade of the owner sprung into action.

“Till the time the fire brigade of the corporation could reach the spot, fire had been controlled on a good portion of the factory with the help of two fire brigades, which the owners of Uday Fabrics and Arora Fabrics, another factory on the Chandigarh road, have set up to handle emergencies. Although the Municipal Commissioner sent the fire brigade that reached almost in half an hour from Ludhiana, action in the first half an hour of the incident assumed significance in controlling the fire,” said an onlooker.

Harbhajan Singh, the owner of Uday Crafts, talking to this correspondent, said: “It was an year ago when we took two fire brigade vehicles in a discarded state from the municipal corporation and got them repaired. It has not been more than two months till they were made suitable to be used and stationed on the premises of the factory. I am sure these private fire brigades shall be a great help to the public especially the farmers whose standing crops sometimes catch fire and are reduced to ashes within seconds”.

“The idea of setting up a personal fire brigade came to my mind when I saw that on the Chandigarh road the fields of poor farmers generally catch fire and till the time the rescue operations actually begin, nothing is left. I have myself given the emergency number to all the farmers and the factories on the road so that they may inform immediately and help can reach in time. I have given my number even to the police personnel so that if they are in need of help, they can approach us any time”.

"As the fire broke out early in the morning, it was the time when prayers were going on at Bhaini Sahib. Hundreds of devotees rushed towards the factory and kept on with their relentless efforts till the moment the fire was extinguished”.

Sahnewal SHO Kulwant Singh said: “It is a real selfless service they are doing towards humanity, saving lives”. 


Staff surplus yet people prefer private schools
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
It is a general perception that government schools do not have sufficient staff to teach students. It may be true in rural areas where the government schools have been facing a shortage of teachers but contrary to the fact, the schools in the urban areas have been facing the shortage of students and the teachers are surplus in some of the schools of Ludhiana.

The worst example of teacher-student ratio can be seen in Government Girls High School, Lakar Bazar, here where services of 10 teachers are being taken to teach just 44 students. The school has got a good building with satisfactory infrastructure, still the faculty has failed to win the students’ confidence. Still the school has miserably failed to show fruitful results. Such "poor" performance by the students also raises a question over rationalisation of education.

Kulveer Singh Kang, Head Master, Government Girls High School, Lakar Bazar, said: "There are a number of private schools in the city, which are enough to attract both the students and their parents. The other government schools are even more worse than ours".

Not only Government Girls High School, Lakar Bazar, many other schools in the city have also surplus teachers. A survey conducted by the Ludhiana Tribune reveals that almost all the government schools in the city have full strength of teachers compared to an acute shortage of staff in rural areas.

A teacher from Middle School, Basti Abdulapur, said: "We tried a lot to bring students for admission in the middle school but people only trust private schools. The children of only the poor and migrant labourers take admission to our schools. Not a single post of teacher is vacant in our school but people don't trust the government eduction system". 



Road cleanliness drive begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has started its special cleanliness and beautification drive on all the six roads identified by it for the purpose. Since early morning, the MC personnel were seen cleaning rubble and garbage from these roads with the help of machines.

These six roads are the ones which remain chock-a-block throughout the day.

The road stretch from Jalandhar Bypass Chowk and passing from Elevated Road to Vishwakarma Chowk till Sherpur Chowk, from Samrala Chowk till Chandigarh Road Octroi Post, from Samrala Chowk and passing through Cheema Chowk, Partap Chowk, Gill Chowk, Bus Stand till Bharat Nagar Chowk, starting from Vishwakarma Chowk till Gill Road Octroi Post, starting from Bhai Bala Chowk till Pakhowal Road Octroi Post and the road stretch starting from Jagraon Bridge till Ferozepur Road Octroi Post are being cleaned.

A total of 12 teams have been formed. These would be deputed on these roads for a period of 10 days, starting from today.

On the first day of this drive, the MC officials laid emphasis on collecting rubble and garbage into MC trucks by using ditch machines.

“Due to traffic, a lot of rubble and garbage gets accumulated along the roads and it stays there for several months. That is why, we are using ditch machines to collect it so that the roads can actually give a neat and clean look,” claimed an MC official.

The MC Commissioner, Malwinder Singh Jaggi, said this drive has nothing to do with the MC elections. “We are carrying out this drive so that our industrial city can look clean. I can assure the residents of the city that after 10 days, these roads will give a much cleaner look,” claimed Jaggi.



Parties brace for civic body elections
Pushpinder made BJYM in charge
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
The young brigade of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Ludhiana, has been asked to gear up for the MC poll. The district BJP vice-president Pushpinder Singla is the new in charge of the BJYM.

District BJP president Parveen Bansal, while addressing a meeting of the morcha at the BJP office here today, asked its members to reach out to the public. The district office-bearers of the morcha were assigned special duties in this regard.

"Our objective is to strengthen the organisational base," said Bansal.

About the BJP's strategy for the Municipal Corporation (MC) poll, he said the party was adopting a policy of wait and watch. "We would keep a watch on the policies of other parties also and accordingly work out our strategy," he added.

"At this point, it is imperative for us to ask the workers to prepare themselves for the polls. Besides, a proper feedback on the candidates is our priority," he said.

He emphasised that the party would ensure that there was a consensus on the issue of the selection of the candidates.

Meanwhile, the BJYM leaders claimed that the youth would play an active role in the MC poll. 



Ex-Mayor not to contest poll
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
In an interesting development ahead of the Municipal Corporation elections, former Ludhiana Mayor Apinder Singh Grewal has decided not to contest these elections this time. In this case, it is likely that some other member of Grewal’s family will contest the elections.

Grewal became a municipal councillor for the first time in 1992 and during the MC elections held in 1997, he became the Ludhiana Mayor. He had remained the Mayor from 1997 to 2002.

He could not contest the 2002 MC elections because at that time his ward was reserved for a woman candidate. During the last MC elections held in August 2007, Grewal, a Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidate, had lost to Congress candidate Amrit Varsha Rampal from ward number 56 of the city.

Ward number 56 consists of one of the most posh areas of the city like Sarabha Nagar, Gurdev Nagar, Jagjit Nagar and even Punjab Agricultural University.

While speaking to The Tribune, Apinder Singh Grewal, who now resides near Magnet Resorts on Ferozepur Road, confirmed that he had decided not to contest the upcoming MC elections.

“When I was the Mayor, I performed my duty with utmost devotion and that is why, the city got Elevated Road, Leisure Valley in Sarabha Nagar, besides several other development projects including parks, roads and bridges. But now I have decided not to contest the MC elections and would concentrate on strengthening my party, the SAD in the city. If any other member of my family wants to contest in my place, I will support his candidature and will also take up his case with my senior party leaders,” he said.

People close to Grewal said his younger brother Mahinder Singh Grewal is trying hard to get the party ticket from ward number 56, the ward was twice represented by his elder brother.

When contacted Mahinder Singh Grewal, he showed his willingness to contest from ward number 56. He said he would contest the MC elections only if the SAD allots him party ticket.

“I have been a member of several NGOs as well as sports and religious organisations and have been serving people of this city for many years. And if my party gives me the opportunity to serve the people of this ward, I will accept it and will surely win the seat,” claimed Mahinder, who has been a resident of G Block of Sarabha Nagar since 1959.



Bains brothers likely to rejoin Akali Dal
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
As they say there are no permanent rivals in politics. And the same holds true for the Bains brothers, independent MLAs Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains. It is likely that both the brothers, who were expelled from the party in December last year, are all set to rejoin the SAD.

They have already held a series of meetings with both Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Youth Akali Dal president and cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia and the formal announcement in this regard can be made anytime soon.

Sources within the Akali Dal said a senior Akali leader of the city, who holds good position in the present government, has been instrumental in breaking the ice between the Bains brothers and Sukhbir Singh Badal.

“They had met Sukhbir Singh Badal at Chandigarh and have sorted out differences. A function in this regard can be held anytime soon and it is likely that the Bains brothers would be supporting the Akali Dal candidates in the upcoming MC elections,” said sources.

Both the brothers, who were once most trusted lieutenants of Sukhbir Singh Badal and Youth Akali Dal president Bikram Singh Majithia, were expelled from the party after they announced that they would contest as independents against the party candidates. While Simarjit, one of the accused in the infamous Tehsildar GS Benipal stripping and assault case of 2009, defeated the then cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria from the Atam Nagar constituency, Balwinder defeated Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura from the Ludhiana South constituency.

After winning both the seats, Simarjit Singh Bains had announced that he would be fielding his candidates from all the 75 wards of the city. Ever since this announcement, the Akali Dal was trying to win over both the brothers, who hold good influence in many wards of the city and could have dented the Akali candidates’ prospects.



Garbage, stagnant water a common sight
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
Heaps of garbage, overflowing water storage tank and stagnant sewerage water are an invitation to diseases in the Railway Colony, situated at the backside of the railway station.

The overflowing water storage tank used to supply water to the colony is making the condition worse.

Moreover, uncovered sewerage of the colony is full of polythene bags and garbage. Some people are using parks of the locality as dumping grounds.

Residents of the Railway Colony rued that even after several complaints, no one lifted garbage and stopped overflowing of the water tank. The residents seem well aware that poor sanitary conditions can cause malaria, dengue and other diseases, but they are helpless, as the Railways authorities do not care about their complaints.

“We often read the instructions of the health department to keep the surroundings clean to avoid diseases, but with so much mess around, it is impossible for us to maintain cleanliness,” said a resident requesting anonymity.

Dharampal Singh, health inspector Railways, said, “Maintenance of overflowing water tank is the responsibility of engineering section, so we cannot do anything in this case.”



Water wastage goes unchecked
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
With the summer season starting, water wastage in the city is going unchecked with a large number of persons indulging in morning washing of cars. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) seems to have closed its eyes when it comes to challan violators.

However, MC officials claim that they keep on issuing challans to all violators “regularly”, but this thing seems far from reality.

At a recent workshop held in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), experts stated that it is estimated that around 80 per cent of water consumed by household goes to the drains of sewers as wastewater. Besides this, Punjab is also facing depletion of ground water and many blocks of the state being declared black zones by the state government.

Environmentalists, who are concerned about this depleting natural resource, have been urging people not to waste water. But residents seem to be in no mood to listen to their pleas.

It is learnt that the civic body officials started this drive only in April. The reason for this delay was that the officials claimed that they were busy in election duties and that is why, they could not keep a check on this water wastage.

A senior MC official said in posh areas such as Sarabha Nagar, Gurdev Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar, Tagore Nagar and Model Town, most of the residents own more than one car.

“These people are well connected and whenever our official catches them washing cars in the morning, they start dropping names of either senior MC officials or of politicians. So it becomes hard for us to issue challans to these violators. They forget that whatever action we are taking is for their own interest, as if underground water keeps depleting at the same pace, the coming generations will not spare them,” claimed the official.

MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi, however, claims that the civic body officials keep on issuing challans to all violators. “We issue a challan worth Rs 500 to all violators that are caught by our teams. But if anyone feels that some violators are not taken to task, they can inform us and we will issue challans to them as well,” claimed Jaggi.



Gadkari to attend BJP meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
The state-level executive meeting of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) will be held on May 6 and 7 at the Rotary Bhawan in Ludhiana and it will be presided over by National President of the party Nitin Gadkari. This was disclosed by state general secretary of the BJP Kamal Sharma here today.

He said former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shanta Kumar will also participate in the executive meeting.

Kamal Sharma said: "In the forthcoming elections to the Municipal Corporation at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala, the Akali-BJP alliance will give a crushing defeat to the Congress."



Inquiry marked against patwari
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 25
The ongoing strike by the Patwar Union and Kanugo Union, Samrala, was called off after an inquiry was marked to the SDM Payal against a patwari in a bribery case.

The strike began after patwari Ravinder Kumar was caught by the SDM Samrala along with his team of officials in a bribery case and was later suspended by the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner (DC).

The union has started strike alleging that it was a politically motivated case, although Rs 9,000 were recovered from the patwari’s office table whose numbers were noted by complainant Satvir Singh of Shamgarh village.

A meeting of the union was held in the tehsil complex under presidentship of Sukhdev Singh today.

State Union press secretary Parminder Singh Toor said a deputation of the union met the DC and he marked the inquiry to the SDM Payal. After this, the union called off the strike and decided to resume work with immediate effect.



Industry sceptical over announcement by dept
No power cuts on industry
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has recently announced that no power cuts will be imposed on the industry this summer. Although the industry is in respite over the announcement, still speculations are being heard over the announcement in the industrial circles.

“PSPCL never stand by its word. We do not believe such announcements. Only seeing is believing when it comes to PSPCL. Earlier they had announced that power will be surplus but we are still facing shortage. PSPCL is not aware about the assessment requirement. Only time will tell whether they will impose cuts or not,” said Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

Another manufacturer, Ramesh Verma, said only time would tell the truth, but going by the past experiences, they did not believe in such announcements made by PSPCL. “Many times before also they have promised about giving surplus power to the industry but the situation remain the same and we have been facing compulsory cuts on the industry. I wish the announcement made by PSPCL comes out to be true,” he added.

“Let the summer come to its peak and then we will see if PSPCL stands by its word or it is just a hollow promise. I hope no cuts are imposed on the industry, as it will prove as a relief and we will be able to carry out our work interrupted,” added another small-scale industrialist.

Complaint centre a mess

Industry is also facing problem regarding the centralised complaint centre of PSPCL. “We register our complaints at the call centre and we are told the complaint will be forwarded to the person concerned. If we ask about the contact number, they tell us that they do not have the contact number of PSPCL employees. At lest telephone number of the person concerned should be provided so that there is a direct link between the complainant and attendant and no room is left for confusion — Sharad Miglani, a unit owner at the Focal Point



Arrest accused, demands kisan union
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 25
The Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) (Ugrahan) has demanded to arrest the accused allegedly involved in a firing incident, which took place in February at Raunta village in Nihalsinghwala sub-division when two unidentified gunmen fired shots at a school teacher and left her seriously injured.

It was on February 27 that two unidentified gunmen fired shots at computer teacher Harpreet Kaur of Government High School, Raunta village, and left her seriously injured.

The police had filed an FIR on the statement of Harpreet Kaur against victim’s husband Ajaib Singh, brother-in-law Gurdeep Singh, Darshan Singh, a resident of Sema village, and two unidentified youth.

Harpreet Kaur is demanding an action against all accused.

BKU (Ugrahan) district president Darshan Singh Koohli and other kisan union leaders alleged, “It is a case of human smuggling, so the police should investigate it from all angles. He further added, “Two months have passed but the police has not arrested anyone in this case. We demand that the police should arrest the accused and investigate the matter.”



Doraha-Ladowal road: DC inspects six-laning work
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
To make sure that work on six-laning of of the Doraha-Ladowal road stretch being carried out by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is completed within the stipulated time, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari, along with the Chief Engineer PWD, Chandigarh, RP Singh, visited the entire stretch of about 32 km here today.

Tiwari said all the necessary arrangements were being made for the construction of slip roads at the entry/exit points in the city.

While visiting the 32-km stretch covering Ladowal, Sherpur Chowk, near Dana Mandi, Transport Nagar, etc, along with the officials from the PWD, Municipal Corporation and the NHAI, Tiwari said the district administration and the officials of the Soma company, which has been awarded the project, wanted to finish the project within the stipulated time so that public could get respite from traffic congestion. Tiwari said permission would be taken from the NHAI for the constructing of the proposed slip road near Samrala Chowk.

It may be mentioned that the officials of the Soma company had written to both the administration and the Municipal Corporation earlier that due to several "obstacles", including encroachments and high-tension wires over the stretch, the six-laning project was getting delayed. Officials, under the supervision of ADC (G) Rupanjali Kartik, had visited the entire stretch and identified the points from where the wires and encroachments had to be removed.

Among other officials who visited the site included HS Khosa, Gursewak Singh Sangha, SK Grover, Balbir Singh, Ishwar Chand and SK Singh. Manager and Deputy Manager of the Soma company were also present.



180 get through physical fitness test
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
Nearly 528 candidates, including postgraduates and computer technicians, were seen vying for nearly 20 posts of jail warden during the recruitment trial conducted at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

According to recruitment in charge Jagjit Singh, out of 528 candidates, 348 were rejected, while 180 participants cleared physical fitness test.

Permanent job remained the main reason behind the heavy turnover for the recruitment trial. “Private sector is becoming increasingly competitive and after working for virtually 24x7, they offer peanuts as a salary. A government job offers good pay package. Further it is permanent and no one can kick me out of the job any given day,” said Gurpreet Singh, a candidate while participating in the recruitment trial.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Choudhary supervised the recruitment process. A police team in muftis kept a check on the movement of middlemen.

Many incidents have taken place in the past when swindlers posing as middlemen took huge amount of money from innocent youngsters on the pretext of getting them a job in the government department.

The entire physical fitness trial was video recorded to keep transparency of the recruitment process.



High drama at Police Lines
Man claims his new car was damaged while it was being towed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
High drama was witnessed at the police lines here today when a city resident alleged that traffic police team damaged his vehicle while towing it away from the Jagraon bridge area.

The incident took place this afternoon when the towing staff took the new Hyundai i-20 car of Sarabjit Singh, general sectary of Ludhiana Brick Kiln Association, from the old bus stand area near Jagraon bridge.

Sarabjit Singh complained that he suffered a double blow. “First the towing staff damaged the bumper of the new car and then the traffic police handed over hefty fine. The reason behind the hefty challan was that I had asked the traffic cops to fix my damaged vehicle,” said Sarabjit Singh.

He said that he had appeared before the police commissioner and narrated the entire incident. “The commissioner has told the traffic cops to put some mechanism in place so that the vehicles do not get damaged while being towed,” said Satabjit Singh.

On the other hand, SHO traffic Manjinder Singh said, “I have told Sarabjit Singh that if his car was damaged during towing then it would be fixed. But instead of discussing the issue Sarabjit Singh created a scene and spoke very rudely with the traffic cop. Besides, he visited the police lines thrice and refused to show the documents despite repeated request of the traffic cops. His car was towed away and he was challaned for the offence.”



Railway station gets reservation counter
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 25
A long-pending demand of residents of Jagraon was fulfilled when a reservation counter was opened at the Jagraon railway station today.

The residents had been demanding to set up a reservation window at the local railway station for a long time.

The residents have expressed happiness over the opening of reservation centre at Jagraon, as now they will be able to book their tickets from the railway station.

“The opening of the reservation centre is a good initiative. This will prove beneficial for thousands of residents of Jagraon, especially businessmen and traders, who travel to different parts of the country on regular basis,” said Raj Kumar Bhalla, a local businessman.

Earlier, in the absence of the reservation centre, the residents of Jagraon had to visit Ludhiana or Moga railway stations for getting their tickets reserved, which caused a lot of inconvenience.

A team of senior officials of the Indian Railway comprising commercial inspector Aarti Khanna, Northern Railway UTS Himmat Kumar and station superintendent Kulwinder Singh Grewal inaugurated the ticket reservation centre this morning. Northern Railway Men Union president Ashok Kumar Dhand was also present during the opening ceremony.

Giving details of the services to be provided at the new reservation centre, station superintendent Grewal informed that the residents could book railway tickets for any part of the country from the centre.

“The reservation window will remain open for 12 hours from 8 am to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday, while the service will be available from 8 am till 2 pm on Sundays,” he added.



Allottees cry foul, GLADA refutes allegations
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 25
Some of the allottees of houses for the poor in Sanjay Gandhi Colony here have levelled allegations against certain officials of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) that they were demanding money from them for registration of sale deeds.

However, senior GLADA officials, quoting official record, have refuted the charges terming them as false and fabricated.

The state government had allotted residential plots of 40 square yards each with built-up toilets and bathrooms to the homeless poor persons under a scheme for rehabilitation of the slum dwellers on the Tajpur Road in 1987. The allottees were to pay the cost of land in easy installments in 25 years.

Parkash Chand, a resident of house number 1400 in the colony, has alleged in a sworn affidavit that a junior engineer of GLADA was demanding Rs 10,000 from each allottee for the registration of the sale deeds even after all yearly installments had been paid and all documents for registration of the sale deeds were given in GLADA office.

The complainant said the registration of sale deeds of eight houses was pending for a long time, whereas some more allottees were being harassed for grant of no dues certificates, which were required to file an application for registration of the sale deed.

Rubbishing the allegations, GLADA Additional Chief Administrator Jaswant Singh in a detailed explanation said out of the house numbers cited by the complainant, allotment of one site had been cancelled for the commercial use in violation of the terms and conditions of allotment, sale deed of another house had been registered and handed over to the allottee and the work relating to registration of sale deeds of other houses was pending due to the required documents not having been furnished by the allottees.

“In most of these cases, affidavits attested by an executive magistrate, which are required for registration of sale deeds have not been furnished by the allottees. All pending sale deeds will be got registered as and when complete documents are provided by the allottees,” he added.

In yet another development, at least four allottees of the houses, whose names were mentioned in the complaint, appeared before GLADA estate officer Jeet Ram and denied having lodged any complaint. “The allottees appeared in person before me and maintained that they had no complaint nor had they authorised anybody to lodge a complaint on their behalf,” GLADA official stated.



Freebies, discounts on petrol cars
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
For those shying away from driving home their dream vehicles, this may be the right time to zoom off in their dream machines. To push the sale of automobiles, especially petrol-driven cars, manufacturers are offering freebies, ranging from gold coins to LCD televisions.

While the country’s largest passenger carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), has lined up discounts of Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000, including offers on its bestsellers, Alto and WagonR, General Motors and Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) are offering free maintenance and insurance services, respectively.

Honda Siel has drawn up attractive financing schemes to drive sales of its small car, Brio.

“The companies are given maximum discounts on petrol-driven cars. The petrol-driven cars are facing problem of slow sales due to high petrol prices, besides other factors. Our company is also strengthening its product, offering petrol-driven variants. The petrol-run cars like Swift and DZire are doing good business, while promotional schemes are being offered on Alto, WagonR, A-Star and Estilo.

None of these models are available in the diesel option,” said Rajeev, a salesman at one of the Maruti showrooms. To beat the slowdown, Hyundai Motor India Ltd is offering exchange royalty of Rs 10,000 on Eon. While discounts range upwards of Rs 15,000 on Santro and Accent, freebies such as LCD television sets are also being offered by the dealers. “These promotional offers are region specific and differ from region to region,” said an official spokesman of the company. TKM is offering free insurance on petrol variants of sedans, Etios and Corolla Altis, valued at 1 per cent of the prices of the vehicles.



‘Aggressive campaign needed’
Consequences of smoking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
As the World Health Federation revealed in a survey that 38 per cent of the country’s population is not aware that smoking can cause heart attack and 50 per cent don’t know that it can cause strokes, doctors in the city say there is a need for better, more graphic and pictorial representation of the consequences and what smoking can lead to from the administration.

According to Dr Munish Munjal, professor, ENT at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, said people needed to be told about the results in a clear and direct way.

Dr Ashwind Bawa said although people were aware about the results, temptation and addiction overruled reasoning for many, he said.

“Why can’t the government have a complete ban on smoking? Why should it be available in first place? Is the revenue to the government more important than the health of the citizens?” says Kamini, a resident of Dugri. She adds that the government needs to be more aggressive in the campaigns about the dangers of smoking.

Abhishek, another resident of Dugri, said the only way to curtail this practice was to depict clearly that it would lead to a painful death. “Without the fear of death and pain, it is difficult to make the addicts quit,” he added.



Cong leaders join Akali Dal

Khanna, April 25
The Congress got a jolt at Khanna when a former MC councillor and Congress leader Jai Dev Goel joined the Akali Dal with his supporters at a function organised at his residence in the presence of former MLA and Halka in charge Ranjit Singh Talwandi.

Goel has been associated with important educational bodies of the city and is active with some social and religious organisations as a frontal leader. Another industrialist Kuldeep Goel, former councillor Achar Dev Angrish also joined the Akali Dal with him apart from some other Congress workers of the city.

The leaders who joined the Akali Dal lamented that they were being ignored in the Congress and they were impressed by the working of the Akali-BJP government in the state. When Congress MLA from Khanna Gurkirat Singh Kotli was contacted, he said the Congress was united in the area and only some power-hungry people had deserted the party without any reason. — OC



PSEB hikes rates of books
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 25
Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has hiked the prices of books, and teachers as well as parents feel that it as an undue burden on students.

Prices of some have been increased by as much as Rs 25. The science book (English medium) for class IX was priced Rs 136 earlier and now costs Rs 156. The price of class VI maths book has been increased to Rs 51 from Rs 44. Similarly, prices of most of the books have been increased.

Moreover, the academic session of PSEB schools started from April 2, but books as per the new syllabus are still not available in the market.

The board has changed the syllabus of various subjects of different classes. In total, 27 subject books as per the new syllabus are not available to the students. As a result, some of the schools are still teaching the old syllabus while some are teaching from help books.

"The board increases prices of books every year. Students of government schools are receiving books free of cost. The board wants to earn all the money from those students who study in private schools under the PSEB and is overburdening poor students of the state," said a teacher from a local private school.

Rajiv Thapar, from private schools association, said, "The board never fulfilled the demand of books in last 10 years. School students always had to depend on guides published by private publishers. Guides are banned in schools, but students have no alternative but to use them." 



Faculty Members begin canvassing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
With the Senate elections of Panjab University scheduled for September 23, faculty members of colleges in the city interested in contesting elections have started canvassing to garner support and votes from voters from respective constituencies.

Teachers are meeting up with fellow professors, travelling across colleges in the state, to seek "support" from lecturers and graduates for the elections. Lecturers are going about meeting up with fellow lecturers and travelling to the PU affiliated colleges across the state seeking votes. Many of them have already started distributing promotional cards to lecturers and some are tagging their supporters along to canvass for them. Apart from those already elected to the Senate in this term, many new candidates are already canvassing for votes and campaigning with fellow people.

Prospective candidates are contesting on the several issues, including salaries, pensions, infrastructure in colleges, the state of ad hoc teachers, curriculum issues etc.

Panjab University Senate elections are held every four years. Senate is the governing body of the university and decisions regarding the university and affiliated colleges are first passed by the Senate before their implementation. The Senate comprises of 91 members. Some seats are reserved for professional and general degree colleges.

Of these, eight members are elected from lecturers constituency, eight from principals constituency, sixteen from graduates constituency, apart from other members. In graduates constituency, any graduate after two years of graduation can vote and contest elections. In lecturers constituency, approved lecturers can become voters and candidates.

According to an estimate based on the turnout in previous years, there are approximately 1800 voters in the teachers constituency and 3 lakhs voters in graduate constituency. 



Guess papers gaining popularity among students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
Stepping inside colleges prior to an examination, students can be seen rapidly going through guess papers. With most students preferring these papers to hand written notes for exam preparation, guess papers are witnessing brisk sale in the market. This is particularly true of the humanities.

As the final examinations are going on in colleges, students say that there is no harm in going through these papers. “Very few students of the humanities make their own notes in colleges, and bank on guides and guess papers in the final exams,” said Sugandha, a student.

It is sad that guess papers have become a permanent feature in the examination. Mukesh admits that his purpose is to pass the exam, and doesn't care much about research. "The purpose of continuing with general courses in this era of professional education is because the society needs thinkers, philosophers, analysts, poets and littérateurs. But students, particularly in the humanities, pursue it without developing an understanding of the subject," said a lecturer in English.

“There is a need to revamp the humanities syllabi. If students go and do research and surveys in humanities subjects as well, the relevance of their studies would benefit the society as well, said another lecturer. More students would prefer to pursue research or doctorate if they develop interest and understanding of theory ,” he said.

In absence of research and practicals, students would only be interested in passing the examination, and thus guides and guess papers would continue to exist, he added. 



PAU notes

Tips on home management 

The home science experts of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) gave useful tips to homemakers for ensuring better diet and health care of their children as well as family members. Providing tips for the storage of clothes, Dr Harinder Saggu emphasised that clothes should be completely dry before storage in order to avoid moths and mildew. She said, "Fresh stains can be removed by washing and drying in the sun. If not removed, scrub it with a half-cut lemon with salt on it and finally wash it. Use plastic-coated hangers for storing woollens or silk suits. Home science expert Dr Surinderjit Kaur asked homemakers to use kerosene oil, phenyl or edible salt with water for mopping floors to get rid of cockroaches, flies and other insects. She suggested pouring a jug full of boiling water and a cup of kerosene oil in all the drains at least once a week at night to keep them unclogged. She also said that wire mesh doors can be cleaned using old shoe polish brush or brush with iron bristles.

Training camp

The monthly training camp for the members of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Kisan Club, including the ladies wing, will be held on May 3 at Dr Boralug Wheat Auditorium and Kairon Kisan Ghar of the PAU. — TNS



From schools and colleges

Workshop on health

Sat Paul Mittal School is dedicated to empower its students and parents with the necessary life skills and health related knowledge through various health workshops and sessions to build a healthier future. A one-day workshop on "Healthy Mind, Healthy Body" was conducted at the Nehru Sidhant Kender for Classes VI-XII here today. Resource person Dr Shikha Sharma, a renowned nutrionist and health programmer from New Delhi, through her informative and educational presentation, stressed on the need to have a healthy and well-balanced diet which is important for having a healthy body and mind.

Penguin Day

The tiny tots of Penguin Castle Preschool, Udham Singh Nagar, celebrated 'Penguin Day', commemorated every year on April 25, to focus on this bird. The school children came dressed as penguins. They were also given information about the bird and enjoyed the screening of the animation movie 'Happy feet' based on penguins. Kamal Preet Kaur, director of the school, said that children need to be aware of the various animals and birds so that they gain knowledge and interest in nature and environment.

World Book Day

DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, celebrated World Book Day to get the children excited and enthusiastic about the books. All students, from the nursery section to class XII, participated in the event. A book fair was also organised to encourage the students inculcate reading habit among students.

Eco-friendly week

Students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir launched a green drive to emphasise the need of intensifying the struggle against pollution. Activities like slogan writing, paper-recycling, making use of waste materials, avoiding the use of polythene, and promoting the use of paper bags were conducted.

Declamation contest

Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, organised a declamation contest at the Hedgewar Auditorium to acquaint the young generation with our rich cultural values. 7 students from the higher section participated in the contest with enthusiasm and confidence. Tanya Kundra of class XI (science) was adjudged first, followed by Geetanshu from class X (second) and Neelesh Anand (third).

Red Colour Day

A ‘Red Colour Day’ was celebrated at Toddler's World of Cherubs Preschool, Dugri, today. The event was held to acquaint the little cherubs with the concept of red colour. The children were shown a lot of red-coloured fruits and vegetables such as pomegranate, apple, cherries, water melon, tomatoes and carrots. The classrooms and corridors were beautifully decorated with red coloured objects, balloons, ribbons and soft toys.

Reading Day

A ‘Reading Day’ observed in BCM School, Dugri, here today. The zero period was dedicated to reading and the entire staff, students were seen engrossed in reading.

Foundation Day

Students of BVM School, Kitchlu Nagar, commemorated the foundation day by organising various activities and celebrations which included art competitions and dance performances.

Earth Day celebrated

Chery Lane Play School pledged to do "A Billion Acts of Green" during the earth day celebrations held in school campus today. A green drive was conducted in school where all the tiny tots planted small saplings in the school campus with the help of the school gardeners and their teachers. Another school, Bharati Public School, also celebrated Earth Day to increase the awareness and appreciation of the planet among students. A special assembly was organised in which students were informed about the importance of the day and the recent initiatives undertaken to protect the environment. Dressed in green to mark the day, the students and teachers actively participated in the assembly.

School celebrations

Green Grove Public School (Senior Secondary) celebrated Earth Day with great enthusiasm and vigour. The president of the school, JPS Jolly, presided over the function. Students carried out a rally in the nearby villages and Bhamadi to spread the message that earth is the only living and breathing planet in the universe and the future of human race depends on it.

English language competition

An english language competition based upon the different aspects of the language, like poetry recitation, handwriting and spoken English, was conducted at Government High School, Dewatwal, under the English Project which is being conducted in all the upper primary schools of Punjab. The English project ASPD Dr Ginni Duggal and District Coordinator Rajesh Giri have issued the directions to conduct an English Language Competition in all the schools of Ludhiana district. The competition was held under the supervision and guidance of English master trainer Amandeep Singh. All the students of classes VI, VII, and VIII participated in it. Students of class VI participated in the handwriting competition, class lass VII students participated in the poetry recitation competition. Thespoken English contest was participated by class VIII students. Winners were given prizes by school headmistress Neelam Sangar and English language expert Amandeep Singh.

Celebrity interaction

Pursuing the vision of founder chairman Dr Augustine F Pinto, students of Ryan International School, Ludhiana, are provided with avenues and opportunities to meet renowned celebrities, artists, educationists and experts. Under the same initiative, students got a chance to meet the famous singer K Deep. He interacted with the students and talked about the importance of discipline, diligence and labour.

SCD student tops MCom course

Priyanka Sharma from SCD Government College has topped the Panjab University MCom Business Innovations first semester examination. The results were declared by university today. Priyanka scored 640 marks out of 800 and was ranked first in the university. Roshini Kapoor got the second position in the university by scoring 639 marks and Kirti Dhawan stood third by scoring 637 marks. 37 students of the course (out of total 42 students) got the first division. Principal of the college Jasbir Kaur Makkar congratulated the students and the faculty, specially the programme coordinator for the excellent result. — TNS



Two thieves arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
With the arrest to two persons, the city police has claimed to have busted a gang of thieves which was committing thefts at factory units and marriage palaces located in the Dehlon and Alamgir areas.

It is learnt that the information provided by two rag-pickers, who were arrested by the Dehlon police, recently led to the arrest of the thieves.

The SHO, Dehlon, Amandeep Singh said the thieves, Ranjit Singh and Davinder Singh, were arrested while their third accomplice Soni managed to escape from the scene.

Both have confessed to have committed six thefts, including two at certain marriage palaces and factory units in the Alamgir and Dehlon areas.

After stealing batteries, inverters, iron material they would carry these on their motorcyle to rag collectors and sell them.



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