Saturday, August 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Horticulture best option, say experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
Scientists of the PAU have suggested horticulture for diversification keeping in view the imbalances in the farm production pattern, that have led to the depletion of groundwater, degradation of soil, and pollution.

Dr A.S. Sandhu and Dr W.S. Dhillon of the Department of Horticulture said at present Punjab had only 0.57 per cent of the total cropped area under horticulture which could be increased to 6.25 per cent as per the suggestions of the Johl Committee.

They said the horticultural produce had a higher biomass than field crops per unit area which resulted in the efficient utilisation of natural resources. Such crops were highly remunerative for replacing subsistence farming. Although, the initial cost of establishment of an orchard was higher, growers could grow intercrops such as vegetables, pulses, fodder or other crops up to five-six years or until trees started fruiting.

The experts maintained that due to the geographical location and favourable climatic factors, Punjab was suited for fruit crops which could be marketed in the rest of the country.

They said horticultural crops had the potential for development of wastelands through planned strategies, especially in areas where soil was marginal and the cereals and other field crops could be grown successfully. The water requirement of fruit trees was significantly less as against paddy, sugarcane and other crops. Efficient water application methods could be employed in orchard.

It would also provide higher employment opportunity as a shift of 5 per cent of the irrigated land from cereal crops to horticulture could create 50 per cent more productive jobs in the agricultural sector, they added.


Wrong pesticides may damage rice crop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
A recent survey conducted by experts of the Entomology Department, PAU, has revealed that farmers are spraying their paddy crop by mixing synthetic material with other insecticides as advised by pesticide dealers even without observing any pest problem. In many situations, farmers also use equally harmful granular insecticides simply to see the dark green colour effect of the insecticides. The stem borers and leaf folder attack has been observed in certain pockets but this does not warrant the blanket application in the entire rice belt.

According to PAU scientists, the rice crop still maintains a large number of natural enemies, which usually exert great pressure on the pest population and do not allow them to increase. Up to 60% of the population may be regulated by natural control, they said. The scientists informed that threshold values have been recommended for the control of key insect pests like stem borers, leaf folder and leaf hoppers. The chemical control is to be taken only as and when the insect population reaches the threshold level. Wrong use of insecticides, synthetic pyrethroids or mixing with other insecticides can create new pest problems.

The experts cautioned that indiscriminate and unwanted use of different pesticides can kill the natural enemy complex and degrade the health of the environment. 


Polytechnic holds Teej celebrations
Our Correspondent

Participants at Miss Teej contest wait for their turn outside their college auditorium at the Government Polytechnic for Women in Ludhiana on Friday.
Participants at Miss Teej contest wait for their turn outside their college auditorium at the Government Polytechnic for Women in Ludhiana on Friday. — Photo Pradeep Tewari

Ludhiana, August 8
The staff and students of Satguru Ram Singh Government Polytechnic for Women, Rishi Nagar, held Teej celebrations at a function here today.

The hall was decorated tastefully with flowers. Swings were put in the college lawns. A colourful music and dance programme was held on the occasion which began with Malwai giddha. Girls dressed as ‘bhands’ talked about the significance of the festival. Folk songs, bolian ballot and giddha was presented by the students.

As many as 50 contestants participated in Miss Teej contest. Girls wore ‘lachas’, lengas and suits with colourful bangles, bindis, ‘parandis’ and Punjabi juttis. There were three rounds in the contest.

Mr Vivek Aggarwal, an industrialist, was the chief guest. Ms Ravneet from the Gayatri Ladies Club was the guest of honour. Prof S.P. Singh coordinated the programme.

Ms Harvinder Kaur Toor, Principal, encouraged the Association of Computer Engineers (ACE) of the polytechnic, to hold similar functions in future that inspire the students to remain in touch with the Punjabi culture. 


PAU employees hold rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 8
The Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union held a rally outside the Mini Secretariat here today.

The members burnt the effigy of the Chief Minister and demanded that all anti-employees policies be withdrawn by the state government. Stating this, Mr D.P. Maur, president, said decisions of the state to bring changes in pension commutation, reduction in time of leave encashment and changes in formula of calculating gratuity would all lead to exploitation of the employees working in the public sector.

Mr Amrit Pal Singh, secretary, opposed the move of the government to shift 29 departments in the hands of panchayats by October 2. 


Special children celebrate Rakhi
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 8
It was a joyous day for students of Nirdosh, an institute for mentally challenged, as students celebrated the festival of Raksha Bandhan today in the school premises housed at Rotary Bhavan, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana.

Ms Shewata Verma, wife of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, was the chief guest. She planted two saplings. She and members of the Inner Wheel tied rakhis on students’ wrists made by the students themselves.

The students of Nirdosh have written a letter to the Army wishing the jawans on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

The students had prepared two dance numbers on the themes of Rakhi and Janamashtmi.

Ms Shewta said: “I am pleased to visit the school. I appreciate the hard work put up by members of Inner Wheel. After seeing the students’ enthusiasm, one is moved to doing something for them. In fact the society should realise its responsibility and come forward to help these students.

‘Nirdosh’ is an institute exclusively for the mentally challenged. It was started on October 2, 1978 in the premises of Deepak Hospital. It is run on donations.

The strength of the school varies from 40 to 50, with five to 10 in the home management programme.


College teachers to hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 8
“College teachers will hold a dharna in front of the DPI (C) office on August 22, to press for the implementation of their already accepted demands,” said Prof Bhag Singh Sandhu and Jaspal Singh, president and general secretary of the Punjab Government College Teachers Union, respectively, in a joint statement issued here.

They said the DPI (C) office had been unnecessarily stopping one benefit or the other to them on extraneous grounds. The benefit of two increments to those who acquired PhD in service before January 1, 1996, was being denied to them in spite of a letter from the government.

“The seniority list has not been provided to colleges, the break in service of those who were appointed as ad hoc lectures in 1979-84 period has not been condoned, in spite of clear cut decisions by courts,” they said.

“The final settlement of GPF is not done even one year after retirement. The government is not implementing many clauses of the UGC notifications relating to calculation of past service, feeder grade service and giving relaxation in refresher courses up to December 31, 2004. The Finance Department is hell bent upon creating hurdles on many issues,” they alleged.

The state council of teachers will decide the next course of action on August 23.

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