Saturday, February 8, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gur makers from UP thrive in Punjab
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
As sugarcane is proving to be a lacklustre crop for want of proper minimum support price and due to the problems related with its milling, jaggery makers from Uttar Pardesh have taken over in the state to help solve some of the problems of the sugarcane farmers.

They have virtually started delivering their services at the farmers’ doorsteps by preparing jaggery out of the sugarcane juice and ‘‘saving the farmers from the harassment involved in the milling of sugarcane and delays in the payments.’’

Many farmers too have started switching over to the age-old method of preparing jaggery and the process benefits these migrants in return. Come sugarcane season and these people from Uttar Pardesh start pouring in the villages of the district and take the contracts of gur making from the farmers. By putting up a furnace near the sugarcane fields the jaggery makers prepare gur for the farmers at the rate of Rs 300 per quintal.

They transport their utensils, machines and other things required in the process from their villages in a mini-truck and set up their furnace in the season. Soon after the harvest the contracts start falling in.

Raj Kumar, a migrant from Muzzafarnagar, said about 50 machines from his and neighbouring villages alone had come to Punjab to prepare the jaggery near the farmers’ fields. He added that the business was proving to be quite profitable there as gur was sold at a much cheaper price in UP than in Punjab. So the farmers here were ready to shell out more money than those in UP.

‘‘We had never expected that this business would suit us like this in Punjab. We were known for migrating here as labourers but not as gur makers. Many years ago a few of our friends had made a group and had travelled to this state carrying their utensils and other things required for preparing jaggery. They had to visit from one farmer to another asking for work. But suddenly the idea clicked all over and our friends were really making a lot of money. So taking a cue from them we have also started coming to Punjab.’’ he said.

‘‘This is my first season and I have already got many contracts in hand,’’ said a migrant who has come with his entire family to the district. Soon after the season is over he will rush back to his village along with his things.

Mr Surinder Singh, a farmer from Uccha Jattana village, said the process was profitable for them too. As the apparatus required for gur making was costly and was used only for two-three days in a year and it was easier for them to take the services of these migrants only. It saved them of the headache involved in the process.



NDDB, Milkfed sign MoU with US concern
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and Milkfed have joined hands with the Cooperative Resources International (CRI), USA, to streamline animal breeding services in Punjab. The NDDB and CRI, have signed a consulting agreement calling the CRI to evaluate the existing systems of providing animal breeding and advisory services by the dairy cooperatives in India to dairy farmers and give recommendations to modernise the system with a view to achieving higher and faster progress in increasing productivity of cattle and buffaloes in the country.

The CRI is currently examining the systems of semen production, sire evaluation, distribution of semen and liquid nitrogen, artificial insemination services, data collection and information generation, advisory services etc in order to suggest measures to improve efficiency and quality in providing these services to farmers. They will also study the existing institutional arrangement and recommend changes that need to be made to make it more responsive to farmers’ needs.

The CRI is the largest breeding cooperative in the USA and has a long experience in implementing breeding programme, which include semen production and marketing, delivery of artificial insemination service, progeny testing and embryo transfer programmes, milk recording, feed and forage testing, animal trading, etc.

Two experts from the CRI, Mr Herb Rycroft, vice-president and Dr Robert Bower, consultant, along with experts from the NDDB were on a study visit to Punjab from January 31 to February 3. The team held a meeting with the Chief Minister of Punjab, Parliament Secretary (Cooperation), Financial Commissioner (Cooperation), Secretary (Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development) and Managing Director of Milkfed when the purpose and objective of the study was discussed.

The Chief Minister took keen interest in improving the genetic merit of cattle and buffaloes in the state and advised the visiting team to submit its report with recommendations. The Chief Minister assured that the recommendations would receive positive response from all agencies concerned in the state.

They also visited Ludhiana and Ropar milk unions, a few dairy cooperative societies and discussed with a cross section of farmers to study the existing systems of providing breeding services and to assess the needs of farmers in the state. The CRI-NDDB team after its visit would prepare a complete business plan to restructure the breeding and related advisory services in the cooperative sector. The team had also visited Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to understand the systems being followed there.



Ladies don spring flowers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 7
The Aradhna Ladies Club organised a flower-jewellery competition for members at Friends Regency here today to mark the festival of Basant.
Members of the club were dressed in their best yellow-coloured dresses with matching flower and other jewellery. More than 100 members of the club participated in the celebrations.

Ms Jyotsna got the first prize in the flower-jewellery competition while second prize was bagged by Ms Sabina. Two consolation prizes were won by Sonia and Pammi, respectively. Tambola, Basant lucky draws were other attraction of the function. Ms Neena, Ms Neelam and Ms Jyoti was the lucky draw.



Bid to grab 18 shops
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 7
Some residents of Payal have alleged that around 70 persons had tried to forcibly take the possession of their 18 shops at Payal on February 5. They have also alleged that the persons involved were having the patronage of a minister and the police was reluctant to take any action against them.

While denying the charges, Mr Amrik Singh, DSP, said the police would not allow anyone to grab any property. He said he had deputed an ASI, Jaspal Singh, at the site.

Kuldeep Singh, one of the owners, said they owned 10 bighas of land on which 18 shops were constructed. The shops were rented out to some persons. On February 4, Dilsher threatened the tenants to hand over the rent to him. A complaint in this regard was also lodged at Payal police station. On February 5, Dilsher along with 70 to 80 persons allegedly tried to take forcible possession of the shops. Consequently, they approached the police but it failed to take any action. The victims alleged that it was part of a conspiracy at the behest of a minister.

They have sent their complaints to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Punjab, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, DIG Ludhiana and SSP Khanna in this regard.



2 killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, February 7
Two persons were killed and one injured in separate accidents which took place yesterday.
Paramjit Singh, a Patwari, son of Ujjagar Singh, died when the scooter he was driving collided with a car at the Chhapar Road. He was returning to Rachhin village.

In another incident Sandeep Kumar son of Mangal Sain of Ludhiana died when his motor-cycle was hit by a truck on the Road near Kaind bridge. The pillion rider was admitted to a local private hospital. The Dehlon police has registered a case against Vijay Kumar, truck driver.

Meanwhile, the local police has arrested a person who had reportedly stolen a scooter from the local branch of the State Bank of Patiala on July 6,1999.

According to Mr Rajbachan Singh Sandhu, DSP Malerkotla, scooter (PB-13-1958) belonging to Mr Satpaul was stolen from the said branch. Mr Mahavir Saini ASI intercepted the scooter at a naka and nabbed Manmohan Singh of Pohir in this connection.

The police has also arrested a youth who allegedly tried to kill his mother. According to Mr Amandeep Rai, SSP Sangrur, Mrs Narinder Kaur, a widow, had complained to the DSP, Malerkotla, that her son had tried to kill her, with a knife. The case was entrusted to the local police which recovered a knife from the accused. Investigations revealed that son tried to kill his mother because she was not getting him married. The police has registered a case and accused has been sent in judicial custody.



StanChart Bank branch opened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Standard Chartered, a leading international bank, today opened its branch in Ludhiana. The branch was opened in Feroze Gandhi Market by Mr Jaspal Bindra, Global Head, Corporate and Institutions, and Vishnu Ramchandran, Regional Head, Consumer Bank, India.

Bank officials said the bank was offering special rates and benefits on its range of savings and loan products. The bank would offer rebates up to 100 basic points on personal and auto loans for its customers in the city. Attractive interest rate on term deposits and a special saving account that comes with an internal debit card that gives free access to over 3,500 visa ATMs across the country would also be offered.

The officials said the bank would offer Indians first family saving account “Parivar” that comes with a host of banking benefits for the entire family. The branch would remain open on Sundays and public holidays and would offer extended banking hours, phone banking, Internet banking and ATM facilities for a 24-hour access.


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