L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Shatabdi food unpalatable
Fungus-infested bread served onboard; irate passengers confront catering staff
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 3
Passengers travelling by the elite Shatabdi Express running between Amritsar and New Delhi continue to be on the receiving end as the quality of food and snacks as well as the standard of catering service on board the train keep going down with each passing day. The harassed passengers are not only served sub-standard meals and given discourteous service, but also have to suffer the humiliation at the hands of an indifferent railway administration, which is turning a blind eye and deaf ear to ever increasing complaints.

Some of the passengers travelling by the Shatabdi Express (12014) from Amritsar to New Delhi this morning in coach C-11 were in for a shock of their life when they found that the bread served to them in breakfast was fungus-infested.

Avinash Garg (PNR No 2802952368), working with a Delhi-based software company told The Tribune that the bread slices served to him bore a visible layer of fungus. He called in the catering staff and told them to bring the wrapper of the bread to check its date of manufacturing. "To my utter shock, the bread had an expiry date of two days ago," an agitated Garg said.

As Garg was arguing with the catering staff, the other passengers sitting nearby also closely inspected the bread slices served to them and found them to be fungus-infested. There was an uproar in the coach and irate passengers confronted the catering staff for putting their health in danger. "We demanded the complaint book, which was produced by the catering staff with much reluctance, and a formal complaint about the sub-standard and poor quality food being served to passengers was lodged which was signed by several passengers," Garg added.

Unconfirmed reports received from some other passengers travelling by the same train alleged that a couple of passengers in an adjoining coach had fallen sick with complaints of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea after having their breakfast.

Indignant Garg and other co-passengers blasted the Northern Railway authorities for their inaction against the erring catering contractors even when complaints from the suffering passengers of Shatabdi trains were being lodged in writing almost every day. "We wonder whether it is the inefficiency on the part of the railway officials or else the officials supervising the catering arrangements on board the trains are in league with the contractors," they observed.

When contacted, the railway officials tried to wriggle out with the stock reply that action will be taken as per the rules against the catering contractors.


Land dispute leaves four injured 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Four members of a family were injured following a clash over a piece of land at Kum Kalan village, 20 km from here, today.

The injured identified as Bhim Singh, Saggar Singh, Ram Singh and Beant Singh were rushed to a multi-speciality hospital. They alleged that the assailants even shot four rounds at them, but they had a providential escape. They said the dispute was over a piece of land at Upplan village.

Bhim Singh said: “They purchased the land in 1980 but revenue officials transferred some other chunk of land in our name. We approached the court and the land was allotted to us. However, a man named Harmanpreet Singh made fake documents of the property, with a view to usurping it.”

They claimed that they came to know at 5.30 am that Harmanpreet was trying to erect a wall on their land. Bhim Singh along with his relatives reached the spot and objected to it.

At this, the accused attacked them and opened fire. “We saved ourselves by hiding behind bushes. We dialled ‘100’ for police assistance but no one came. It was after we called the Commissioner of Police that the police reached the spot,” said Navraj Grewal, a relative of Beant Singh.

According to Bant Singh, SHO Kum Kalan, Harmanpreet Singh, who recently purchased the land, went to Kum Kalan to take possession of the property along with his supporters. He had an altercation with Bhim Singh and his supporters, who also claimed to be the owner of the land.

The argument turned ugly and Harmanpreet opened fire and attacked the four. The police recovered two empty cartridges and a sharp-edged weapon from the spot.



Survey teams set up to check tax evasion
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
The excise and taxation department has tightened its noose around tax defaulters and survey teams have been formed to check tax evasion. It has been learnt that some units which come under the purview of taxes have not got themselves registered to evade taxes.

Sources in the department revealed that survey teams would be formed from officials within the department to monitor VAT evasion, input tax credit, fake billing and fake firms.

“In the past it has been seen that people have been employing unique methods to evade tax and the bogus bill scam is a testimony to it. To check tax evasion and increase the revenue of the department, survey teams have been formed to gather necessary information and the defaulters will be dealt with sternly,” said KVS Sidhu, Director, Investigations.

It will be assessed if all the firms are paying taxes and their stock and bill books will be examined. “The department has come to know that some units are preparing fake bills. Every minute detail will be observed during the surveys,” Sidhu said.



Challenged, but no less competitive
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Visually challenged Abhishek, a student of the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre for Blind/Disabled was not only making his way to the classroom, but also leading a group of visitors by following sounds.

Unable to resist his excitement, he exclaimed: “I have won two medals.” With pride he showed his gold medal with the inscription: “Nischaya kar apni jeet karoon”. He had won the medal in the recently held national-level sports competition organised by the Punjab Sports Association for Blind.

Waiting to get themselves photographed for their achievements, these visually challenged students dressed in yellow were a picture of discipline. There was pin-drop silence on the arrival of the executive director the centre, Sara Johanson.

Nazia from Malerkotla said: “I am in class V and won a gold medal in shot put. It was a great experience for me to participate in a sports competition for the first time.”

Showing her two medals, Jaya, another student who wants to become a teacher, said: “I won the 100m race.” The brother-sister trio of Mona, Surabhi and Sachin were also happily discussing their achievements. Surabhi said: “I won four medals. I want to be a singer like Hans Raj Hans.”

As the photo session started, all settled themselves on stairs and thanked the photographer. They then started moving towards their respective classes in a line.

The executive director said: “We thank Dr BD Arora, chairperson of the centre, for his support. Neither do we have a playground where the children can practice nor do we have a coach for helping them out. Also, the state government does not release grants on time. After a span of two years, we received Rs 12 lakh, which is not enough to meet the expenses. I urge the government to increase the grant and also deploy a coach so that the visually challenged students can hone their sport skills.”



Man posing as intelligence agent nabbed 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
A resident of Banga, who claimed to be a highly connected intelligence agent, was nabbed by the police here today. The man also reportedly manhandled police officials at the Sarabha Nagar police station.

The man identified as 52-year-old Jaswant Singh, a resident of Gobindpur village near Banga, was nabbed by an Inspector and a Sub-Inspector level officer from Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar here in the wee hours. The incident took place when the police officers were returning home after night duty.

They claimed that the man, who was travelling in an SUV, was following their vehicle. “When we asked him why he was following us, he said he had been ordered to do so by the Director-General of Police (DGP). He appeared to be drunk,” they said.

The inspector reported the matter to Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in charge Rajwant Singh. Jaswant Singh was taken into custody and on searching his vehicle, the police found 0.5 kg of opium. The accused was detained and taken to the Sarabha Nagar police station.

On reaching the police station, he allegedly manhandled police officials and flaunted his political and police connections. In the meantime, a Sub-Inspector level officer arrived at the police station and requested for his release, but he was sent back. SHO Prem Singh also reached the police station to interrogate Jaswant Singh. When asked about the antecedents of the accused, the SHO refused to divulge any details. 



Policeman slaps motorcyclist
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
High drama was witnessed at Ghumar Mandi after a policeman allegedly slapped a motorcyclist, who had covered his face and was trying to escape from a naka here today.

The motorcyclist identified as Rohan was nabbed by a Punjab Police commando Sukhdeep Singh. Rohan alleged that before he could remove the handkerchief from his face, Sukhdeep Singh slapped him. This led to a heated argument with the policemen and the youth.

Sukhdeep denied slapping the youth and said he had only removed the handkerchief. The youth was taken to a police station where the matter was amicably resolved.

The Additional SHO said they had received strict guidelines to check motorcyclists following snatching incidents. 



Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital
Burns unit still not ready
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Although the health department has sanctioned posts for the Special Care Burns Unit at the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, yet none in the department is sure as to when it will become operational.

Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, said, "The department has sanctioned posts for 20 employees. These include three posts of medical officers, 19 of staff nurse, 3 of safai sewaks and 4 of Group D i.e. class IV officers for the Special Care Burn Unit."

A senior officer of the health department said, "Hope sustains life and so we are still hoping for it." Ironically for the last six months different officers of the health department have been saying that it will become operational in the coming two to three months and this way more than eight months have passed and the special care burn unit is yet to see the light of the day.

However, Dr JP Singh, Director, Health Services, could not be contacted for his comments.

Dr Karamveer Goel, Senior Medical Officer of Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital said," The construction wing is yet to handover the newly constructed burn unit to us. We are already overburdened with excess number of patients. We are eagerly waiting for the construction wing to handover the unit to us and the health department should deploy sanctioned staff."

Gurpinder Singh, SDEO in Punjab Health System Corporation said," We have unofficially handed over the building to the health department. As far as official formality is concerned it will also be completed soon."



Roads turn into deathtraps
MC swings into action
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
A day after The Tribune highlighted that the sites where the Ludhiana municipal corporation is carrying out development works have turned into deathtraps, the civic body has finally woken up from its slumber. MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi today issued directions that if any accident took place at the spot, an FIR would be registered against the contractor as well as the SDO concerned.

“It has come to my notice that the contractors are not taking safety related steps at places where development works are being carried out. Due to which, lives of city residents as well as labourers are put in danger. From now on, the Executive Engineers (XENs) and SDOs will make sure that the contractor takes all safety related steps at construction sites. And still if any accident takes place at the spot, the contractor as well as the SDO will be held responsible for the mishap and the MC would even get an FIR registered against them,” read orders issued by the MC Commissioner.

Jaggi said while issuing orders pertaining to development work, there should be a clause making safety related arrangements mandatory.

“And if there is a delay in work due to the absence of safety arrangements, the contractor will be held responsible for it and he would be penalised,” said Malwinder Singh Jaggi.

All Additional Commissioners (Technical) have been asked to keep an eye on safety measures adopted by contractors at all ongoing projects during their visits. And if they find any discrepancies in the safety arrangements, they will take necessary action against the contractor as well as the MC officials.

On Wednesday, The Tribune had reported that the ongoing development projects in the city were having its toll on residents, as some roads, including the Ferozepur Road, old GT Road, besides some others, had literally turned into deathtraps. Big stones and concrete slabs were seen lying along the dividers on some of the prominent city roads which remained choc-o-bloc with traffic throughout the day. 



9 lakh metric tonnes of wheat arrives in district
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
A total of 9.01 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has arrived at all mandis in Ludhiana district till date. Out of the total number, 8.86 lakh metric tonnes of grain had been purchased by the major agencies, including FCI, PUNSUP, PUNGRAIN, Warehouse, Punjab Agro and Markfed. The private players have purchased about 1,100 lakh metric tonnes so far.

District Mandi Officer Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal said the procurement procedure was going on smoothly in the district and the payment to farmers was being released by the food and supplies department within stipulated time.

“About 1,500 lakh metric tonnes of wheat is lying unsold in mandis. Maximum wheat, to the tune of 1.21 lakh metric tonnes, has arrived at Khanna mandi followed by Jagraon with 1.09 lakh metric tonnes and Dakha with 93,000 lakh metric tonnes. Minimum procurement has been done at Samrala mandi, which is 30,000 lakh metric tonnes,” said Dhaliwal while adding that at certain places, there was a shortage of gunny bags but the problem was being taken care of by arranging bags from other places.

Sucha Singh, a farmer from Mandi Ahmedgarh, said wheat had to be kept in mandis for two to three days because of the shortage of bardana. “During sunny days, we are not bothered if our produce is kept in open for lifting but due to unpredictable weather in the region, this time we have every reason to get worried about the shortage of gunny bags.”



Health officials told to intensify campaign

Ludhiana, May 3
Althoughz Rs 12 crore has been spent under the National Rural Health Mission for providing better health services, yet many villagers are not aware of various health benefits.

Zila parishad chairman and MLA Manpreet Singh asked all health officials to intensify awareness campaign on different health-related schemes under the NRHM in rural areas. Ayali stated this while presiding over the meeting of the District Health Monitoring and Planning Committee at the zila parishad complex on Thursday. Ayali said for apprising residents of the schemes, awareness camps should be organised.

Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, said a large number of women were availing benefit under the Mata Kaushalya Yojna.

He said, “As per government directions, children suffering from cancer and thalassaemia are also getting free treatment.”

Later in the afternoon, Dr Batta held a meeting with senior medical officers of all blocks and issued them instructions accordingly. — TNS



Intra-party rift continues
Congress finalises civic body screening panel
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Even as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee today finalised the state and the MC-level screening and campaign committees for the forthcoming Municipal Corporation elections, the intra-party rift in Ludhiana showed no signs of ending.

Stepping up his counter-attack against Congress leader Ashok Pappi Prashar, the Congress delegate from the Ludhiana South Assembly Bhupinder Sidhu demanded Prashar's expulsion from the party. He sought an inquiry into the circulation of the "forged letter" that had claimed that he (Sidhu) had been expelled from the party. However, Prashar, while talking to The Tribune, kept claiming that if the letter was found to be forged he would resign from the party.

In response to the press conference convened by Prashar yesterday, Sidhu held an interaction with mediapersons today, in which he charged Prashar with "anti-party activities".

In the verbal slugfest between the two Congress leaders, it is the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Balwinder Bains who has become a 'key' figure. Both the Congress leaders have charged each other of supporting Bains during the Assembly polls. Bains, after contesting successfully as an Independent from the Ludhiana South in the Assembly polls, rejoined the SAD recently.

Accusing Prashar of "contributing to the victory of the Independent candidate" (Bains) in the Assembly polls, Sidhu alleged, "The reality is that when during the elections it became obvious that he (Prashar) would not win, he transferred his support, however small it might have been, to the Independent candidate. After contributing to the victory of the Independent candidate, Prashar believed that they (the Bains Brothers) would take him along to the SAD." He added, "The fact that Prashar has been left high and dry is the sole reason for his ill-timed and baseless statement."

Prashar, while refuting the allegations as baseless, counter alleged that Sidhu had worked hard to ensure that either Bains or one other non-Congress candidate from the Ludhiana South won the Assembly seat.

Meanwhile, Balwinder Bains, when asked to comment on the issue, said, "The Congress leaders should accept gracefully that the electorate has rejected them." 

Prashar and Sidhu’s name figure on panel

The names of both Ashok Pappi Prashar and Bhupinder Sidhu figure in the 15-member screening and campaign committee of the Congress for the Municipal Corporation Ludhiana polls. The panel includes MLA Laal Singh, District Congress Committee (Ludhiana Urban) president Pawan Dewan, MLAs Rakesh Pandey, Surinder Dawar and Bharat Bhushan Ashu, leaders Malkit Singh Birmi, Gurmail Singh Pehalwan, leader of Opposition (MC) Sham Sunder Malhotra and two women members, municipal councillor Dr Amrit Varsha Rampal and president District Mahila Congress Leena Taparia.



Harrowing experience for workers
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Midday Meal scheme is proving to be a harrowing time for workers. Although the scheme is helping in improving enrolments in primary schools, the mid-day meal workers are being asked to double up as peons and sanitation workers.

Midday Meal workers deployed for cooking in government schools allege that they are being asked to do extra work in schools. Apart from cooking, they have to broom the school premises, collect the fuel for cooking meals and clean the toilets.

"The government is paying us for cooking food in schools. Our prime duty is to cook and serve the food, and take care of the kitchen. But teachers in primary school make us do extra work," said a Mid-day Meal worker.

"Sometimes female teachers come with their toddlers and we have to take care of their kids. Teachers ask us to drop their students in private schools. We have no problem with doing extra work, but teachers have to pay for this," said another worker.

Parveen Kumari, district president of Midday Meal Workers Union, said, "Our workers are getting a very minimal salary of Rs 1000 per month. We have to do all that what teachers want, because we get salaries from teachers. We are demanding direct payment to our bank accounts and want to teachers to stop assigning extra work."

Meanwhile, a government school teacher, requesting anonymity, said, "The government does not provide sweepers, peons or helpers in primary schools. Sometimes teachers have to take help from Mid-day Meal workers. The government has to increase the pay of these workers." 



Textile sector unhappy with move
Government to revoke suspension of registration certificates for cotton export
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
The textile sector has expressed concern over the government’s move to revoke suspension of registration for cotton export.

For exporting large quantities, the domestic industry will have to buy cotton from the global market at the end of the season. Most of the country’s cotton exports are to China and the Chinese textile industry will have price advantage for the Indian industry if cotton exports are not restricted.

“Mills were a hit last year because of the fluctuation in cotton prices. Several mills were even closed down. The government should bring cotton under the essential commodities or levy restriction on cotton export to ensure price stability,” said Harminder Singh, an exporter.

The government had decided to allow further export of the natural fibre in 2011-12 marketing year as production estimates have been revised upward by the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) and Agriculture Ministry. Cotton season is from October to September. Last month, the government had lifted the ban on the exports but decided not to register certificates. It only allowed shipments for which RCs were issued before the ban was imposed on March 5.

In the beginning of the season, CAB had estimated exports of 84 lakh bales for the current year. But the country has exported 113 lakh bales so far. “The textile industry has been clamouring for relief from the government on the plea that rising raw-material prices and high interest rates have hit silk, spinning, handloom and powerloom units hard,” added Jagdish Rai, a textile exporter.



Media still not free in India, say experts
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 3
Maintaining that the freedom of media organisations is essential for all democratic societies, journalists and activists fighting for the rights of mediapersons, while addressing a seminar at the local Gandhi School on the occasion of International Press Freedom Day today, said that it was high time to realise that the independence of media is important not only for journalists, but for all. However, journalists too should ensure that other agencies, including courts of law, are not required to interfere in their work.

“It is high time we understand that a majority of the journalists killed or harmed have paid the price for highlighting social, economic and administrative evils,” argued the chairman Global Punjab Foundation Patiala.

Referring to observations made by certain global agencies, Walia regretted that no state of India was projected as a “Free Media Region” on the world map of status of media displayed at the “Newseum” in Washington, USA.

“The whole of India has been painted in yellow, showing that the press was partially free here, while countries like Australia have been painted in green signifying that the media was completely free there,” he said .

Showing concern over the increasing incidents of gagging of mediapersons by self-appointed organisations, Tarsem Garg, patron of the Social Welfare, said that organisations fighting for the rights of journalists should also identify the “black sheeps”  among their fraternity and compel them to shun yellow journalism. 



Snag-hit truck causes traffic jam on Gill flyover
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, may 3
The breaking down of a freight courier truck led to traffic jam on the Gill flyover here today. The police had to block the road from both sides and divert the traffic from other routes.

The police went into a tizzy when they received an alert that the cavalcade of Prime Minister’s wife Gursharan Kaur would pass through that route. The route plan was changed at the last moment and Gursharan Kaur’s cavalcade entered the city from Jagraon Bridge.

The police said the truck turned immobile due to mechanical snag last night and the driver of the truck left the vehicle in the middle of the road.

It was nearly after three hours that the truck was moved off the road and the traffic was cleared.



Difficult to get VAT registration number, complain traders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
Traders have complaint that they are unable to get new VAT registration numbers due to which it has become impossible for them to carry out their trade outside the state.

Complaining about the issue, one of the traders, Rohit, said that he had been making rounds of the department but was unable to get a new registration number.

"Some officials have been transferred due to which a huge backlog has been created and people are facing problem. It has been nearly a month since I have been making rounds of the department, and my file is moving from one official to another. But I have still not received my VAT registration number," he said.

Adding further, taxation lawyer Jatinder Khurana said that some people have been facing problems in getting a new registration number. "The department should issue VAT registration numbers at the earliest so that traders can carry out their business smoothly," he said. 



Dakha girl tops Panjab University

Jagraon, May 3
Beantpreet Kaur, a student of Guru Teg Bahadur National College, Dakha, brought laurels to the college as well as Ludhiana district by securing the top position in the first semester examination of MA Punjabi, Panjab University, Chandigarh. The results of the exam were declared recently.

As per the information given by college principal AS Ghuman, Beantpreet Kaur got 275 marks in the first semester examination to secure the first position. Beantpreet Kaur was felicitated by the management committee and faculty members of the college for her achievement during a brief function held at the college premises today.

While speaking during the occasion, college president Sher Singh Sekhon congratulated Beantpreet Kaur for her feat and motivated the other students of the college to take inspiration from her and secure good marks in future examinations.

College principal Dr AS Ghuman termed this achievement a result of the hard work and dedication of the faculty members of the college. He also announced a cash prize for Beantpreet Kaur for her feat.

Head of Department Dr Guriqbal Singh and other staff members of the college were also present during the felicitation ceremony. 



Wordings of morning pledge changed
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 3
The Education Department of Punjab has changed the wordings of the pledge which students take in the morning assembly in government schools.

The pledge was started by former Education Minister Seva Singh Sekhwan some months ago. Most

of the teachers are welcoming the new decision and say that the previous pledge was lengthy and irrelevant for students.

Some teachers feel that this change is a usual process which occurs whenever a change in governing authorities takes place.

Compared to the old one , the new pledge is short and simple. Wordings of the new pledge are: "I pledge that I would never tell a lie and stay away from drugs; I would preserve the environment and never copy. I would respect the elders and cooperate with friends and obey the traffic rules."

"Former Education Minister Seva Singh claimed that they wrote the earlier pledge. That pledge was a political pledge and not fit for students. Students have innocent minds and there is no need to mention ugly words like corruption and terrorism in morning pledge. We welcome the new pledge as it is short and simple," said a teacher requesting anonymity.

Gurbeer Singh, a teacher from local government school, said, "We welcome this move because the earlier pledge was irrelevant for students. It was lengthy as well. the new pledge is short and meaningful.” 



From schools
Pool party

Ludhiana: Students of “Cherubs” enjoyed a pool party “Fun under the sun” with gaiety. Tiny tots took a dip in the pool with floating balls, tubes and pool toys like ducks and turtles. Teachers taught them the principle of “float and sink”, a few swimming strokes and pool games.

Greeting-card making

To celebrate Mother’s Day, BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, organised a number of activities like photo-frame making, greeting-card making and self-composed poem recitation. Paper reading on “me and my mom”.

Student shines

Anurag Gupta, a student of Class V-A of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, made his parents and teachers proud by graduating in abacus and mental arithmetic conducted by UCMAS (India). He has completed eight terms of the programme. He was declared champion in the fifth state-level abacus and mental arithmetic competition on April 29. Anurag wants to become a pilot.

Lecture delivered

A lecture on “NCC Activities and Career in Armed Forces” was delivered by

Lt Col SK Bhardwaj, Commanding Officer 3 Punjab Bn (boys), and Lt Col Subhash Sehgal, 3 Punjab Bn (girls) in Kundan Vidya Mandir, Ludhiana. The lecture was attended by about 700 students of classes VIII and IX. Col Bhardwaj emphasised on systematic living, traits of leadership and personality development in his speech.

Quiz at BCM

A quiz based on mathematical, logical and analytical ability was organised for classes VI to X by Derek O'Brien and associates in BCM School. Students were divided into four teams.

Karate meet

The District Ludhiana Karate Championship organised an inter-school karate championship at PAU. As many as 48 students of Tagore International Senior Secondary School, Sahnewal, participated in the meet. They won two gold medals, seven silver medals and two bronze medals. Kishan Kumar and Upinder Kaur bagged a gold medal each. — TNS



PAU notes
Seminar ends

Ludhiana: A two-day national seminar on “Women and Rural Development: Critical Issues” organised by the College of Home Science, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), concluded on Thursday. About 175 delegates from across the nation and Pakistan deliberated on empowerment issues, role of women in local governance and livelihood security of rural people with focus on income generation, food, health and hygiene. Chief guest Dr VK Taneja, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), said rural women had made tremendous contribution towards food production, animal husbandry, fisheries and other allied activities. In her welcome address, Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, College of Home Science (COHS), and president of the Home Science Association of India, Punjab chapter, PAU, said the seminar had representations from Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.

Delegation visits PAU

A 24-member delegation of Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership (TALL), Texas, the USA, visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Thursday and held an interactive meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, and additional directors of the university. The members visited crops museum and field areas of the departments of plant breeding and genetics and entomology, research hall of the department of farm machinery and power engineering, plant clinic at PAU Farmers' Service Centre and Museum of Rural Life of Punjab. Dr Dhillon presented an overview of the organisational set-up of the PAU and highlighted that it played a pivotal role in wiping out food deficiency from the country, thereby, transforming the nation into food sufficient.

Field day on May 8

The department of farm machinery and power engineering (FMPE) of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise a field day on “Mechanical paddy transplanting technology” on May 8 at PAU. About 500 farmers from across the state are expected to participate in the field day. Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu, director (agriculture), Punjab, and Dr MS Gill, director, Extension Education, will share their views with the participating farmers. — TNS 



PM’s wife visits ailing sister

Ludhiana, May 3
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur today visited the city to see her ailing sister Thananter Kaur, who is suffering from suspected liver cancer and is stated to be serious.

Thananter Kaur was rushed to the DMCH after her condition worsened last night. Gursharan Kaur, accompanied by her daughter, arrived in the city at around 5 pm and made it clear that she would not interact with the media since she was on a personal visit.

Heavy police force was deployed along the route where her fleet of cars was to pass. — TNS



Auto driver robs migrant of cash, valuables, held
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, may 3
The police today nabbed an auto-rickshaw driver, who robbed a migrant of cash and valuables here today.

The accused identified as Kuldeep Singh was nabbed from Mohan Dai Oswal by the PCR officials.

In his complaint, Santosh Kumar said the auto-rickshaw driver, Kuldeep Singh, stopped the three-wheeler at a secluded place and robbed Santosh of cash and valuables by showing sharp-edged weapons.

The PCR officials heard the cries of Santosh screaming and gave a chase to the auto-rickshaw driver.

In another incident, the Shaimlapuri police has nabbed two youths who were behind several snatching incidents.

The police has recovered a gold chain, a stolen motorcycle and sharp-edged weapons from the possession of the accused persons, identified as Gulshan and Devraj.



Krishan, Sunil set up title clash
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 3
Defending champion, Krishan Kumar Malhotra of the LIC Divisional Office, Ludhiana, and Sunil Kumar of Unit-V, booked their berths in the title clash match in the Life Insurance Corporation of India Chess Tournament being held at its Dugri office here today. The final will be played tomorrow.

In the semifinal (men), Krishan Kumar proved his mettle against Ajay Jha to advance into the final where he would play against Sunil Kumar who qualified for the final on the basis of progressive points, he secured in the league phase.

In the women's section, Renu Bala and Ritu Bala recorded victories in their respective encounters to move into the final.

Renu overpowered Ashma Saxena while Ritu got the better of Sneha Yatin Patil to settle for the summit clash.

Earlier, SK Aggarwal, Senior Divisional Manager, LIC of India, Ludhiana, inaugurated the two-day meet in which employees of different branches and divisional office are taking part.



Olympian Prithipal Singh Hockey Festival from May 20
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 3
The annual hockey tournament to be organised in the memory of penalty corner specialist and hockey legend Prithipal Singh will be held at Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium, Jarkhar village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, on May 20.

Dr Ajay Pal Singh Mangat, president of the Ludhiana Sports Welfare Association here, stated this today. He said that nearly 12 outfits in the junior as well as senior section would be seen in action during this state level seven-a-side hockey festival.

The matches will be held on Saturdays and Sundays under floodlights. Teams namely, Friends Club of Doraha, Grewal Club of Kila Raipur, Sunday Morning Club of Ludhiana, Taz Resorts of Jarkhar, Sunam XI and Gill Sports Club of Ghawadi have confirmed their participation in this festival, Harminder Pal Singh, organising secretary of the association, said.

MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali will inaugurate the festival. Various committees have been formed to conduct the festival successfully, sarpanch Dupinder Singh said.



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