Thursday, September 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Food scenario grim, warns Khush 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27— Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, the man behind the green revolution in rice farming, today painted a grim picture of global scenario on the food front. He pointed out the food situation was precarious as the rise in food production did not match the increase in population of the world. “When the population of the world is increasing at the rate of 1.3 per cent, the increase in food production was only 1 per cent”, he said while expressing his concern .

The world renowned paddy scientist disclosed that at present the buffer stock was needed for at least 69 days, whereas it was available only for 50 days. Referring to the food situation in the country, he said, “In India where we are claiming surplus production of food at least 200 million people go without food every day”.

He said in the early seventies the emphasis was on productivity whereas it shifted to sustainability and poverty alleviation in the late eighty and the nineties.

Because of the rise in standard of living, he said, people would need 50 per cent more grains in future. “However, with the present rate of growth of population this target is impossible to achieve” Dr Khush pointed out.

“Although we are producing 16 million tonnes of wheat and 13 million tonnes of rice in Punjab but our cost of production is high in addition to the problem in marketing” said Dr Khush . He informed that 30 per cent foodgrain was lost because of poor storage facilities after harvesting.

Dr Khush also expressed his concern over the limited employment opportunities available to the people in rural areas of Punjab .

The problems in agriculture in Punjab had aggravated on account of the factors like the lowering of water table, high cost of production, monoculture in rice-wheat cropping system, depleting nutrients of the soil and last but not the least the problem of migratory labour.

Dr Khush suggested that to overcome these problems , facing agriculture in Punjab today, the farmers would have to work for the diversification of cropping system by shifting from rice to crops like soybean , maize , cotton and wheat by canola and sugarcane. He also emphasised the varietal diversification like basmati and breadmaking wheat.

He stressed the need to decrease the cost of production by mechanisation and increasing farmsize by modifying land rent laws. He said focus should also be laid on agro- industries and export of frozen vegetables like carrots and peas and fruits. He suggested farmers should take to poultry and pig farming.

He also said monitoring of soil health, introduction of precision farming and efficient use of water resources and integrated pest management. He also suggested ways and means of increasing rice productivity in the state by use of certified seeds, direct and timely sowing, adequate plant population through direct and mechanical means. He stressed upon the use of varieties with high yields potential.

Dr Khush while delivering the lecture at Pal Auditorium, at PAU here today remarked “there is need of politically enlighted leadership in the government for effective management.

The seminar was presided over by Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancelor, PAU. Dr J.S. Kolar, Director Extention Education welcomed the guests and Dr K.S. Sekhon introduced him to the audience.

A book was released on Dr Gurdev Singh Khush which was compiled by Dr Ranjit Singh, Professor, Extension Education and published by PAU. Dr Khush’s wife and his brothers were also honoured on the occasion


Rs 1.24 crore okayed for tourism information centre  
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — The Central Government has approved Rs 1.24 crore for the opening of a tourism information centre that will become operational soon in Ludhiana. It will provide vital information regarding hotels, their rates and tourism centres in Punjab.

Disclosing this here today, the Principal Secretary Punjab Tourism, Mr Niranjan Singh said, the Tourism Department was pursuing with the state electricity board that power charges for hotels should be covered under the industrial category, and not under the commercial one as was the prevalent practice. The government had already given industry status to hotel and tourism industry in Punjab way back in 1996. Mr Singh was speaking here in a seminar organised by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab (HRAP) to celebrate ‘World Tourism Day.’

Mr N.S. Nanda, president, HRAP, while presenting the memorandum on behalf of industry to the chief guest remarked that India had most attractive tourist spots in the world, something to suit everyone’s taste. Unfortunately, the state had failed to utilise this potential to attract tourists in large numbers. To attract more tourists in Punjab, tourist spots like Harike-Pattan near Amritsar, Sheesh Mahal and Baradari of Patiala, Aam Khas Bagh of Sirhind, Bathinda and Ludhiana forts, and Bhakra Dam should be developed by the government.

He further said the Punjab Government should develop and renovate all tourist resorts and religious places. The subsidy for new hotels should be increased from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 75 lakh as no hotel could be constructed not less than Rs 10 to 15 crore.

Mr Surinder Singh, general secretary of the association demanded that the government should liberally grant licenses to good hotels and decent restaurants to serve hard liquor. An advisory committee consisting of officials of the Tourism Department and travel industry should be constituted for preparing master plan for tourism development and to look into the industry’s problems, he added.

Mr Naranjan Singh assured the industry representatives that the government would provide all necessary facilities and support for the development of hotel and tourism industry in the state. He said one food crafts institute had been already sanctioned for Bathinda and one for Ludhiana was under consideration. A tourism advisory committee would be formed shortly under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister. Entertainment tax on hotels would also be cut to promote the business. In future, in every master plan of PUDA prepared for urban development, adequate land would be kept for hotels and restaurants. He requested the industry to develop a code of conduct and ensure that it was followed so that ‘bad elements’ in this business could be marginalised and ultimately eliminated.

About hundred representatives of the hotel and restaurant industry were present at the seminar. 


She laid down her own rules

By Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service 


We are such stuff
As dreams are made of,
And, our little life is rounded up with this sleep,
And, again,
men, must endure,
their going hence, even as their going hither,
Ripens us all.

It is this ripeness that forms the core of Mrs Manjula Jain — a woman of substance. A woman of substance because she has never gone by the rules- rather laid them down herself.

“It is the herd who are supposed to follow the rules. I believe that there are two roads that lead to a particular goal. I have always believed in taking the less travelled by and thus paving the way for the others, “ she says a matter- of- factly.

And rightly so. Talking about her life, one realises that the independent streak has always been present in her. Right from her childhood, Manjula has successfully struck a balance where she has accommodated all those who mattered in her life, but still maintained her identity.

“Generally, women are known as someones daughters, wives and later on mothers. Where do they themselves fit in?” she says. “ I am not professing selfishness, but it is just that most women happily let go of their individuality.” She says that it is perhaps ones upbringing that that ensures one gets the right kind of ideas and sets the right goals.

She says that her father being a renowned lawyer, she herself aspired to be a lawyer. “But I was towards the end of my graduation when I got engaged to an army personnel. I realised that if I were to opt for law, I would not be able to do justice to either to profession or my family. It was then that I changed my mind and went in for my post graduation in English in order to supplement my educational qualifications. Later, I decided to opt for teaching and did my Bachelors in Education.”

However, tragedy struck and her husband had an untimely demise while in action. This was in 1980. Left with three school going daughters, Manjula decided to brave the odds herself , inspite of offers for financial help from her parents. “ It was five years later that I decided to take the plunge again with Mr Kalyan Jain, a local business man. I never thought what the society would say about my second marriage. I knew that my daughters stood by me as did my parents,” she recalls.

She says that initially the going was tough for the family (her husband also had two daughters from the previous marriage). “But we were all determined to make it work. I never let anybody interfere in the affairs of my family and slowly and steadily we leant to deal with each other and are now one happy family.” she says with an air of satisfaction. She claims that she made sure that though she gave birth to three daughters , she has been a mother to five.

Manjula Jain left her illustrious service as a teacher in one of the famous Convent Schools in the city after 14 years in 1996. “ My daughters had all been settled and none of them had a keen interest to join my husband. Our business was reaching new horizons and I chose to step in to ease him of some of the work load. Since then there has been no looking back and I am independently looking after two showrooms,” she says.

Talking about the changing face of the women in this megacity, Manjula Jain says that the change is gradual but is definitely there.” The change is more for material pursuits with women going out to work, but it is also helping in a change in culture.”

Other than this, Mrs Jain is also actively involved in social work and has been actively involved in Inner Wheel Club. She is currently serving her third term as an executive member of Satluj Club.


Congress joins issue with Badal 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — Senior Congress functionaries today joined issue with the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, over what they termed as ‘false and malicious’ campaign against the Congress during electioneering in Sunam.

In a joint statement, Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, chairman, economic and planning cell of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Mr Nahar Singh Gill, secretary, PPCC, and Mr Surinder Dawar, president, district Congress committee, said such conduct did not behave a senior politician like Mr Badal, who was speaking totally false and misleading things about his political opponents, throwing decency and political ethics to the winds.

They observed that the Chief Minister had either forgotten the achievements of the Congress or had suppressed the facts. Contrary to the claim of the ruling SAD (B) of bringing more area under irrigation in the state, it had shrunk during three and half years of their rule. The total area under irrigation during 1970, 1980 and 1990 was 4242000, 5781000 and 7055000 hectares, respectively. In 1997, when the SAD (B)-BJP government took over, it was 7461000, whereas in 1999, it had gone down to 7442000 hectares.

There had been no addition to power generation, except for the Thein dam project and the number of tubewells, which stood at 794015 in 1997, when the Congress government was voted out of power and was 759650 in the year 1999. The ruling combine, which blamed the Congress, for ruining Punjab, must know that the present government had cut down total spending on rural development. There had been no addition to the number of hospitals and the government had miserably failed to provide civic amenities to the urban population and drinking water in the rural areas.

According to Mr Bhardwaj, the Chief Minister was trying to divert public attention by making unfounded and baseless charges against the Congress because he did not have anything positive to say about achievements of his government. The Congress leaders said the voters could not be duped time and again, and they were determined to reject the candidate put up by the ruling party and making it clear that they wanted a change. “Even the gross misuse of official machinery and unscrupulous and criminal tactics in the Sunam byelection and free distribution of liquor, money and other intoxicants were clear signs of frustration on the part of the government, which would not pay dividend.”

They said the party was satisfied over the role of the Election Commission so far. They urged the CEC to allow almost 19 per cent of the total voters, who were yet to get their voter ID cards, to cast their votes in the byelection on the basis of other means of identification, such as ration card and yellow card.



Sukhbir’s ex-guard beaten up for eve-teasing 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — A former security guard of former union minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who had been transferred to the city only two days ago, was yesterday allegedly beaten up by the public after he was caught eve-teasing.

According to the information available, it is learnt that ASI Balbir had gone to a hostel in Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) to visit a friend, Christopher. After he came out of the hostel around 11.00 p.m., he is alleged to have teased a woman going past the hostel complex.

An employee of CMC, Ravinder, tried to intervene. But the ASI reportedly beat him up with a rod. It was then that a few bystanders came forward and beat up the ASI.

However, the police gave a different version regarding the incident. According to the police at the division no 3, there was a dispute between Christopher and Ravinder for past quite some time. When Christopher came out of the hostel, Ravinder thought that he had brought a friend to beat him and a scuffle ensued between the two leading to Ravinder being injured.


Tipper crushes girl, MC blamed 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — On the morning of September 19, Harjot Kaur, a final year student of B.Com in Khalsa College for Women, left her house in Rajguru Nagar, never to return back. An aspiring and lively girl, who was also pursuing studies in IT, was crushed under a heavy vehicle of the municipal corporation, which according to parents of the victim, was being driven in a rash and reckless manner.

Asserts Mr S.P. Singh, father of Harjot, “Our information based on eye witness accounts and circumstantial evidence clearly points toward negligence on the part of the MC driver and callousness on the part of civic authorities.”

“The site of accident, near gate 2 of Punjab Agricultural University, is just 4 feet away from the footpath and one fails to understand as to how a heavy vehicle (tipper truck used for garbage dumping) was being driven so close to the footpath on a road, which is about 45 feet wide,” he adds.

According to Mr Singh, an eye witness, a girl passing by on a rickshaw at the time of the accident, had claimed that the MC vehicle was trying to overtake another vehicle from the wrong side and in the process, lost control, hitting Harjot’s scooter from behind. The scooter of the victim collided with another two-wheeler going alongside. She fell down on the right side and was run over. Another eye witness Mr. Harbans Singh, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, who was driving a car and was just behind the MC truck at that time, corroborated the version.

Harjot’s father, who is angry and upset is convinced that the entire fault is of the MC driver. “My daughter was not a novice driver. She had been going to college on scooter for the past two years. She held a valid driving licence.”

He alleged that driver of the truck was not a regular driver and could not produce his driving licence. He also claimed that according to his information, the said driver (he did not know the exact name) was not on duty. But here he had his facts wrong. Enquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune with the MC authorities revealed that the driver, Manohar Lal, was a regular driver and had more than 20 years of service. On the fateful day, he was not accompanied by his regular cleaner-cum-attendant, Des Raj, who was on three days’ leave. No replacement was provided to the vehicle, which was a lapse on the part of the civic officials.

Senior MC officials were reluctant to comment on the guilt or innocence of the driver, which they added was the job of the police. They, however, remarked that all the drivers working in the MC were being told on a regular basis, to drive with utmost safety in the city limits. Fresh orders were also being issued to them for strict compliance.

The loss of a child is too much to bear for Harjot’s parents and other close relatives. But they strongly feel that thorough investigations in the matter and stern action against the guilty person will definitely bring them some solace and the confidence that such tragedy will not happen to somebody else’s child in the future.


University petrol station sealed 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — The petrol station of Punjab Agricultural University has been sealed by the university authorities following detection of adulteration in the petrol being supplied from there. The petrol pump caters to the needs of a large number of university vehicles. In addition, many staff members buy petrol from this pump for their private vehicles. The adulteration was reportedly detected by the drivers of the university after their vehicles started giving trouble.

The comptroller of the university, who is also the Chief Controlling Officer of the Central Stores, admitted that the petrol had been found to be doctored. He disclosed that some samples of the petrol had been sent to the laboratories of the Indian Oil Corporation at Jalandhar for testing. The laboratory report according to him had confirmed that the petrol was not pure. However, to know the exact percentage of adulteration and the nature of adulterant used in it, the samples would sent to Delhi for accurate tests, Mr Bhatia added. He informed that the two employees who were deployed on duty at the pump were being transferred. In addition he said an inquiry was being ordered to identify the guilty.

On September 25 last, he issued a letter to all Deans, Directors, heads of the department and drawing and disbursing officers that “the supply of petrol from the university petrol pump had been stocked till further orders as some adulteration had been noticed in the petrol. All departments should arrange petrol at their own level.” He endorsed the copies of this letter to the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Comptroller, local accounts.

Though the incident of adulteration has come to light for the first time other malpractices such as pilferage of petrol and diesel have been reported earlier. About two years ago, on surprise check oil was found to be short by 56 litres. Mr. Jawahar Lal, Accounts Officer, in the sale purchase organisation of the university informed that an amount of Rs. 2688 was recovered from the employee concerned. However, no punitive action was taken against the employee. he was reportedly let off with a warning only.

However, a former senior employee of the sale purchase organisation maintained that a barrel containing 200 litres of diesel which was allegedly pilfered from the diesel tank was impounded just as it was being carried away. It is learnt that this fact was reported to higher authorities but no action was initiated against the employee involved.


Paddy procurement picks up
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — With the entry of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in the mandis in Punjab, the procurement of paddy had picked up and in Khanna, the biggest grain market in the region, 60,000 quintals of paddy had been purchased today.

Senior government officials, including the Director, Food and Supplies, Punjab, Mr G.Vajralingam and Senior Regional Manager of the FCI, Mr D.P.Reddy, visited the mandis and procurement centres in the district to review the work of paddy procurement. They also held a meeting with the district officials and heads of procurement agencies to impress upon them the need to streamline the procurement operations.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. K. Sandhu, told the visiting officers said the government agencies had procured 31 per cent of the total paddy brought to the mandis, whereas the quantity was 7 per cent last year in the corresponding period. He pointed out that it had been observed that farmers were harvesting premature paddy and bringing their produce to the market, which contained more moisture and got discoloured very fast. He remarked that the farmers had not heeded to the repeated advice of the farm experts and the government agencies of not resorting to early sowing and early harvesting. The paddy growers had also disregarded the advice not to sow the common varieties.

During their visit to the mandis, the officials interacted with the farmers, arhtiyas and rice millers and assured that paddy, which was within the laid down specifications, would be purchased by the procurement agencies. The local officials were also directed to ensure that millers and traders also offered a reasonable price to the farmers for purchase of paddy made by them. Orders were also issued for strict compliance of proper weighing, stitching and marking of the bags and prompt payment to the farmers.

The District Food and Supplies Controller, Mr Parveen Vij, informed that the entire stocks of paddy procured by the government agencies were being lifted immediately from the grain markets. 


UP Urdu Akademi honour for Dheer 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — The Uttar Pradesh Urdu Akademi has announced its prestigious National Literary Award for eminent Urdu fiction writer Dr Kewal Dheer. The award has been announced for his recently published book of short stories “Kahaniyan” which carries a purse of Rs 30,000 and a citation.

This is for the third time that UP Urdu Akademi has given its National Literary Award to Dr Kewal Dheer. Previously it was awarded in 1983 on ‘Bikhari-Hui-Zindagi’ and year 1985 on ‘Apna-Dama-Apni-Aag’, both collection of short stories. It is worth mentioning that Dr Kewal Dheer is the recipient of “Shiromani Urdu Sahitkar Award” (the highest award of the Punjab Government which carries Rs 1 lakh cash), AOHW Asian Award for Human Welfare through literature and more than two dozen awards by the Language Department, Punjab, Bihar Urdu Akademi, the West Bengal Urdu Akademi, the Karnatak Sahitya Akademi and many other governments and national and international organisations for his outstanding literary contribution to Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi Literature.

Dr Kewal Dheer is an eminent fiction writer who has a literary career spread over more than four decades. His first fiction ‘Dharti-ro-Pari’ was published in 1958 and was awarded by the Bihar Progressive Writers/Organisation in the same year.

Dr Dheer has more than 60 published books to his credit. His short stories have been translated into 13 national and international languages. A dozen tele-films and TV serials have been produced, based on the stories written by Dr Kewal Dheer.

Dr Dheer recently participated in United Nations and London University Millennium International Urdu Conferences. British Prime Minister Tony Blair honoured Dr Dheer on the occasion of 50th anniversary celebrations of India’s Independence held in London by the Indian Overseas Organisation for his outstanding contribution to the Indian literature and culture.

Bhasha Vibhag Punjab has published a special volume on pen and personality of Dr Dheer which include Ali Sardar Jafri, Dr Wazir Agha, Dr Gopi Chand Narang, Mr Jagan Nath Azad, Joginder Paul, Bano Qudsia, Mr Mamon Aiman, Amrita Pritam, Rajinder Singh Bedi and KA Abbas. 


Attempt to kidnap infant thwarted 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — The alertness of a mother thwarted an attempt to kidnap her two-and-half-year-old daughter.

According to the information available, the girl was picked up from outside her house in Chet Singh Nagar at around 8.30 p.m. on September 25. The mother of the child, Durgawati, hailing from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, saw her daughter being taken away by accused Lakshmi Kabaria.

She immediately raised an alarm and the accused fled away after leaving the child behind. Later, the parents of the child approached the police and an FIR was registered.


Industry to oppose govt candidate in Sunam
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — About 36 industrial and trade associations affiliated to the Industry and Trade Forum, Punjab, held a meeting here today under the chairmanship of Mr Harish Khanna, President, of the forum, and decided not to support Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa, candidate fielded by the SAD (B)-BJP combine, in the ensuing byelection to the Sunam constituency.

Announcing this, Mr Khanna appealed the voters to defeat the candidate of Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Other participants in the meeting included Mr Jaswant Singh Birdi, Mr Jagdish Rai Monga, Mr Balwant Rai, Mr Inderjit Singh, Mr Subhash Beri, Mr Jatinder Motri Sood, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr N.S. Khurana, Mr Mulkh Raj, Mr Ajit Singh Chhabra and Mr Parminder Singh.

In another resolution passed at the meeting, members of the forum regretted that the Badal government had not cared to fulfil the promises it had made to the electorate at the time of elections to the state assembly more than three and half years ago. It had taken decisions that had proved detrimental to the interests of industry and trade of the state, they alleged. Last year, the Chief Minister had made a declaration to the effect that if the traders and entrepreneurs deposited 16 per cent more tax, the state government would lift all barriers, checkposts and flying squads and end Inspectori raaj in the state, so as to ensure that the industry and trade of the state registered unhindered growth. On this assurance, industry and trade of the state had given a hefty increase of 35 per cent in taxes last year, but the government backed out of its commitment. It also reminded to the state government of their commitment to remove octroi in the state. Instead of working in that direction, octroi rates had been increased 5 to 6 times.

Mr Khanna also alleged that the Badal government had imposed additional taxes to the tune of Rs 1800 crore on the people of Punjab last year in terms of increase in power tariff, minimum charges, sales tax, road tax and local taxes. Despite that, the coffers of the state government were empty. This was attributed to the mismanagement of the economy and pursuance of wrong economic policies. As a result, the state government was reeling under a debt burden of Rs 30,000 crore.

During the present regime, 8000 small-scale units had turned sick and 7 lakh educated youth were unemployed. The Chief Minister had also stated that his government would give clean administration to the people of Punjab. He alleged that senior government officers and ministers were looting the hard-earned money of the people.


Protest rally by PAU non-teaching staff  
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — The non-teaching employees of Punjab Agricultural University held a rally in front of the Administrative Block of the university, today, in protest against the decision of the authorities to abolish 1300 posts of different cadres of the employees.

Addressing the rally, Dr D.P. Maur, President of the PAU Non-Teaching Employees Union, condemned the varsity decision, saying that it was contrary to the agreement arrived at in a meeting of the representatives of the union with the Vice-Chancellor on August 28 and 29 last.

He said that it was categorically decided in that meeting that no promotional or feeder posts would be abolished.

Mr Maur warned the university authorities that the union would be constrained to take recourse in an agitational approach if the management of the university did not change its anti-employee policies.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr K.S. Aulakh, when contacted said the university administration would not take any step which might jeopardise the promotional avenues of the employees. He, however, added that the strength of both teaching and non-teaching employees would have to be reviewed in view of the financial stringency that the university was facing these days. 



An evening of glitz, glamour 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — It was an evening full of glamour and glitz, flavoured with music and catwalk that held the entire audience in awe for almost two hours. The occasion was JD Annual Design Awards-2000. As the fashion market at the national and international panorama hots up, Ludhianvis frequently get an opportunity to watch these fashion sessions live.

Top names in the modelling world from the country like Aditi Govitkar, Anupma Verma, Swareena and Joey Mathews sashayed down the ramp presenting live the latest creations of students of the institute. There were 14 rounds in which models walked in various shorts, skirts, leather dresses, western outfits, traditional Indian dresses, trousers, parallels and long paneled skirts.

The whole show had been patterned in various sequences in which models came out well with the latest outfits. Dazzling dresses of browns, yellows, lemons and chocolates were displayed in the reincarnation round. Ajit Singh had created the outfits for models for this round. The spectacular round created magic as the silver, copper and black dresses were accompanied with high boots. The creations by Sanjiv were appreciated by audience.

The action round outfits were created by Manmeet, Komalreet, Ritu Doad, Balwinder and Harpreet. The dresses were named as black leather AK 47, shield and swords in white satins, velvets and crushed tissue. The designers used blue, golden, white, red and green creeps for the western classic sequence. Vani and Sarab were lauded for their creations.

The favourite Indian classic round was designed by Rajinder, Avneet, Rajni, Binny and Rupinder. The models — Aditi Govitkar, Swareena and Anupma Verma looked gorgeous in churidaars and lehngas of blue, white, peach and green colour. The pants overlapped with transparent skirt and short skirt with transparent capri were the attraction in Saturday fever collection.

The creative line collection with mustard, grey and brown pullovers presented a typical Ludhianvis look. The students created a magic through their suspense rounds when there was a tasteful blend of saree and trousers, layered skirt with draw string blouse and dragon painted skirts. Designer Piyush Walia provided an ethnic touch mixed with modernity with his creations for the wild 'bride round'.

The judges included Archna Aulakh, Meenu Aggarwal and Ritu Puri. 



Pensioners demand payment of arrears 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — The Punjab Government Pensioners’ Association has urged the Punjab Government to sanction the D.A. installment already overdue to them. A meeting of the association was held here recently in which the pensioners demanded the sanction of the D.A. installment, at the rate of 3 per cent, which had been payable with effect from July 2000. 


PNB staff shine on ‘Hindi Divas’ 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — Mr Harmeet Singh, an employee of Punjab National Bank (PNB), has won various prizes on the occasion of ‘Hindi Diwas’.

He bagged the first prize in poetry recitation, Hindi typing and essay writing, organised by the Town Official Language Implementation Committee, Ludhiana. The employees of government offices, banks and other public sector undertakings also took part in the competition. 


Home gardening tips

Bulbous plants bear flowers for a very short period of time but nothing to match their display of sparkling blooms. Tulips, narcissus, iris, lilium, zephyranthes, gladiolus and dahlia are some of them to mention. In the layman's language, the term bulb is usually mentioned for all such underground parts of the plants like rhizome, corms, tubers, etc, so do not get confused.


While selecting the site for growing bulbs keep in mind that they need plenty of sun. However, the bulbs are very hardy and could also be accommodated at a site that you might have kept for wild portion of garden design.


May be, sometimes you encounter no flowering in the case of one or the other bulbous plant. Of the many reasons planting at an improper depth could be one. Bulbs should be planted at a proper depth which varies with the species you want to plant.


Plant gladiolus at 6 to 8 cm, zephyranthes at 3 to 4 cm and narcissus at 4 to 5 cm.


Before planting it is necessary to treat the bulbs with bavistin dissolved at 1 gm to a litre of water. Keep the bulbs dipped in this solution for at least half an hour.


Overwatering in bulbs leads to rotting. The other main reason of rotting is the use of not properly rotten farmyard manure.

— Satish Narula


Farm labourer murdered 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — Mystery shrouds the death of a farm hand, who was allegedly strangled to death and his body tied to a bullock cart in Jainpur village near here yesterday.

According to the information available, the victim — Sanjay Kumar and his brother were farm hands in the fields of a landlord, Harbans Singh. Harbans Singh sent the victim to the fields to get some fodder for the animals yesterday. However, Harbans Singh got worried when Sanjay Kumar did not return till as late as 1 p.m. in the afternoon.

He then sent two persons to the fields in search of Sanjay and they found his body tied to a bullock cart with a parna around his neck. They immediately summoned the police and a case of murder was registered.

The SP City II, Mr Pramod Ban, said the police had received information about the deceased having an altercation with someone over some monetary transactions a few days ago. He said though the police did not know about the name of the man, they had been able to find out about his earlier residence. “Some clues gathered by the police are likely to help the police solve this blind murder soon,” he assured.



Bank launches e-trading 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 27 — With the launch of online trading facility at IndusInd Bank, persons maintaining accounts in the bank will now be able to avail e-trading at the main branch of Mumbai as well.

The facility has been launched in collaboration with, financial securities of Aptech group, which will enable the investors to buy and sell securities on National Stock Exchange online, informed Mr Jeet P. Chugani, executive director of the bank.

Mr Chugani said, “buying and selling shares from the capital market will be possible on the basis of live market information. The bank now has a package for providing banking, depository and broking services at one window.”

The bank had recently launched its global credit card in association with the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and an agreement with Financial Software and Systems for acquisition of the BASE24-ATM switch was also signed.


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