Monday, April 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


New wheat cultivation method on the anvil
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
In what may provide a new direction to the agricultural practices, Punjab Agricultural University is giving final touches to its research for introducing a new method of cultivation called bed plantation, especially for the cultivation of wheat, in the state.

PAU scientists have completed field research and are confident that the new method would help the farmers as it has shown excellent results in the farms of the university. The university is expected to recommend this method to the farmers before the next season of wheat if everything goes well at the next meeting of its Research Evaluation Committee.

The new method as experimented saves 40 to 50 per cent of seeds, 40 to 50 per cent of irrigation water, produces higher yield than the conventional method, reduces problems of lodging, provides opportunity for the last irrigation at the grain filling stage, overcomes temporary waterlogging and promotes rainwater conservation.

The scientists have been working on this method for the past five years and claim that the results achieved were stable. They were confident that the experiment would do well. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, said the university had the responsibility of thousands of the farmers and it is making sure that any method that is recommended is first duly tried and tested in the field.

The Director, Research, Dr M.S. Bajwa, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said: "We are hopeful that this method will be recommended to the farmers this year but it all depends on the meeting. This experiment has shown good results and we are optimistic that it is recommended this time."

The work on bed planting had been on since 1995. It is because of the efforts of the Director, Research, Dr S.S. Dhillon, that PAU is known to do a pioneering work on bed planting in the country.

The idea to work on bed planting struck his mind when he was on a visit to Mexico and he found that 90 per cent of the farmers were growing wheat under this method. He decided to bring this method to his country and the research has shown good results at least in the PAU farms.

Dr Dhillon claims that many farmers in Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are already following this practice of cultivation. While working on the project "to study the potentialities of the bed planting system in improving crop productivity", Dr Dhillon has grown varieties, including PBW-343 and durum.

The results so obtained suggest that this method gives more yield at the rate of three to four quintals per acre, saves 30 per cent in the cost of seed, gives better yield even under no-chemical control of pests and weeds. Dr Dhillon said: "If we follow this method we may not need any herbicide during the coming times also.''

During many years of his work, Dr Dhillon has modified bed planter, a machine used for sowing seeds which is useful for performing many other functions, including interculture. "The machine which I saw in Mexico was not very useful here due to some technicalities and the type of soil. So I got it modified and it took me nearly three years to get the desired results."


2,500 students take ETT exam in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
Nearly 2,500 students appeared in the entrance examination of the Elementary Teachers’ Training conducted by the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) at the 14 centres in the city.

Of the total 400 students enrolled for Government Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, 354 students appeared for the examination today. Eighteen observers were on duty at two centres set up in the school.

Other centres where examination was conducted included RS Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, Satyawati Oswal Senior Secondary School, Miller Ganj, Bharti Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University.


Malaud girls bag top 3 positions
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
Three girls of the MT Senior Secondary School of Malaud have secured top three ranks in the Class V examinations conducted by the District Education Department.

Satinder Kaur stood first by scoring 423 marks out of 450. Amandeep Kaur stood second with 422 marks and Renu Verma third with 421 marks.

According to the department sources, out of 49,415 students who were to take the tests, 656 remained absent. Of the remaining 48,759 students, 1,687 failed, so, the pass percentage was 96.54.

Mr Gurtej Singh, District Education Officer (primary), said, this year, the results would not be sent to blocks and counters would be set up in the department for the result related enquiries. The result will be declared tomorrow.


Exposed sugarcane juice poses health hazard
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
With the advent of summer, there is no dearth of thirsty passersby who would love to have a cold drink. In the busy business centres of the city like Bhadaur House and Ghumar Mandi, sugarcane-juice sellers have already started doing business. However, health risks are increasing here due to the sale of exposed sugarcane juice. Precautions have to be taken to preserve the purity of the juice and sugarcanes need to be washed before these are crushed in a clean machine.

A sugarcane-juice seller near the Bhadaur House market in Ludhiana.
A sugarcane-juice seller near the Bhadaur House market in Ludhiana. DBC

The glasses in which the juice is served have to be clean as well.

However, most roadside sugarcane-juice sellers are migrants for whom cleanliness and hygiene are alien words.

Flies and other insects hover over carts of sugarcane juice and often get crushed along with sugarcane in rollers. Cholera and other water-borne diseases hit the city almost every summer. Past year, a number of such deaths had occurred in Sherpur, a migrant-dominated locality of the city.

Sugarcane-juice sellers are always short of fresh water for washing their equipment, so, the glasses that they use are often dirty.

The emissions from diesel engines fitted on sugarcane-juice carts add to the air and noise pollution. The district health authorities should do something to restrict the sale of exposed sugarcane juice.

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