Wednesday, September 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gender segregation irks college boys
Classes boycotted, demonstration held
Tribune News Service

Mediapersons covering the strike were abused by a lecturer, Mr Mahajan. He prevented Ludhiana Tribune photographer Inderjeet Verma from taking pictures at the college gate and used derogatory language. The issue was brought to the notice of the college Principal, Mr A.K. Vaid, who tendered an apology on behalf of Mr Mahajan. 

Phillaur, September 2
The month-old tension in Desh Raj Vedhera DAV Public College here over the students’ demand to allow them to mix with members of the opposite sex and the college administration’s insistence on segregation of the sexes to ensure discipline reached a flash point today when boys boycotted classes and staged a demonstration outside the college gate.

Though the immediate reason for the strike was thought to be the beating up of two former students by the Phillaur police this morning and imposition of a fine on some boys who were ‘caught’ strolling on the campus instead of attending their classes late last afternoon, a visit to the college revealed that the real reason was the conflict between the college administration and youngsters over the latter’s desire to freedom and the former’s insistence on discipline.

Last year, some Kabaddi players of the college had given in writing to the college Principal that the girl students be allowed to watch kabaddi matches.

The permission was not granted. The use of mobile phones was also a bone of contention between the authorities and students.

Heavy police deployment on the college campus prevented the situation from taking an ugly turn.

Boys camped outside the campus gate, while girls remained on the inside.

According to the students, the administration had forcibly locked the girls in, but the college Principal, Mr A.K. Vaid, said girls were not party to the indiscipline caused by the boys.

“Boys and girls have separate canteens. Girls are herded like sheep in a common room during their free class or break time. It is a cardinal sin to be spotted together.

“The corridors for both sexes are different. And huge fine is imposed on the violators. Wearing of modern clothes like jeans by girls is also discouraged”, complains student leader Sukhninder Singh of BA Part-I. And above all, he says, girls are not allowed to watch boys’ matches.

Mr Vaid defended by saying: “We cannot allow this. Ours is a traditional college. It is not like Ludhiana or Jalandhar. Parents insist on teaching moral values to children and want the safety of the girls.”

He says: “Students don’t like discipline. They think college is a place to have fun and care little about the money being spent by their parents.”

“Students bring mobile phones to the college, deliberately sit outside the girls’ canteen and tease them,” he claimed. “Indiscipline reached its height when boys burst crackers in the classrooms. That was the limit”, he adds.

The spokesperson for students, Sukhninder Singh, alleged that the college Principal had insulted the National Flag and a portrait of Shaheed Bhagat Singh on August-15. The students said they had presented him with the portrait and the National Flag requesting him to place these at an appropriate place.

However, the Principal allegedly told them to place the portrait outside the college and reprimanded them for behaving like politicians.

The Principal denied this allegation. He said the students had brought a portrait wrapped in a paper and he refused to take any gift and wasn’t aware of the contents in the wrap.

Students also alleged that the Principal and other officials were deliberately imposing fine on the students on one pretext or another. They were not allowed to sit or walk in the lawns, they allege.

Mr Vaid said there was no place for mobile phones in classes or the campus and these had to be banned. He added the college had constructed paths for students to walk around and there was no need to use the lawns.

The two are also at loggerhead over the issue of denying of admission to 21 students, who were players.

The students, led by Harnek Singh, claimed that the college authorities discouraged sports and did not send their proforma for university championship last year. They said they had protested against this and were consequently denied admission this year.

Mr Vaid, however, said the students had gone to the High Court regarding the issue and the college had the right to deny admission on disciplinary grounds.

The standoff continued throughout the day. Mr Vaid said there was no room for any dialogue with the students. While student leaders said they would join classes only when their demands were met.

The striking students of the DAV College here have decided to hold an indefinite hunger strike in protest against the “dictatorial” attitude of the college authorities. 



Paddy crop under pest attack
Tribune News Service

A farmer shows his paddy crop infested by a pest in Laddowal
A farmer shows his paddy crop infested by a pest in Laddowal on Tuesday.

Laddowal, September 2
The hot and humid weather followed by rains in the region has proved to be a bane for farmers as their paddy crop in the district is facing a threat from a worm.
Paddy growers fear that the pest, which has affected a large area, may cause them fiscal losses.

The farmers claim that their farm inputs have increased manifold as they have to spray pesticides a number of times. yet the pest has reappeared .They said that in the past few days they had sprayed insecticides thrice or even more.

According to a survey, the pest has been voraciously feeding on all varieties of paddy. The attack is acute on PR-114 and PR-116, the varieties recommended by PAU scientists. The attack is evident on the late-sown variety of PUSA-44 too.

Despite the suggestions and warnings by experts, the farmers were used mixtures on the advice of pesticide sellers. The severe attack was seen in Raikot area and Mullanpur, Saholi, Sahnewal, Pakhowal, Laddowal and Dhandra. Interestingly, the farmers had sown PUSA varieties against the recommendation of PAU scientists.

Learning from their bitter experiences in the past when they had cultivated PR-114 and 16 varieties and the grains had turned black at the time of maturity, most farmers have sown varieties that have not been recommended.

Apprehending that they would face similar difficulties, the farmers resorted to sowing PUSA-44 variety against the recommendations of the scientists. To their dismay, the variety has been attacked by the pest due to the humid conditions.

Marketing groups of various pesticide-manufacturing companies say that panic buying of pesticides by the farmers is on the rise. this has aggravated the problem with farmers using anything being sold to them by shopkeepers.

The larvae folds the leaf, eats into the green tissue and produces white streaks on the leaf. This affects the yield directly.

The infested crop should be sprayed with 250 ml of Foliothion, Sumithion, Accothion 50EC or 150 ml Lebaycid 1000EC or one litre of Coroban, Durmet 20 EC in 100 litres of water per acre. 



Police begins inquiry into forged stamps scandal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
On the recommendations of the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh, the district police has launched an inquiry into the forged stamps case. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Narinderpal Singh, has asked the prosecution wing of the police to submit a report within a week.

The action comes in the wake of a Tribune report stating that stamps carrying the signatures of Mr Sodhi Ram, Controller of Examination, were available in the city and being used by students to prepare fake certificates.

The letter by the university authorities to the SSP regarding the case mentions the report in Ludhiana Tribune.

Sources said the matter was discussed in detail at a meeting of the Syndicate campus recently. Thereafter, a communication was sent to the Ludhiana SSP to identify the culprits and take action.

The stamp was being used for impersonation. A fresh admit card was prepared affixing the picture of the impersonator. It was being used mostly for supplementary exams.

The students had told TNS, on the condition of anonymity, that this was being done by students of a particular college.



Herbal gardens not on Kalam’s itinerary
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, September 2
It all revolved around herbal gardens. From the first meeting of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, with Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice- Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, at herbal gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan, their common interest in certain ornamental and medical herbs, till Dr Kalam’s consent for visiting the varsity campus to view 200 varieties of herbs planted on the university campus. But now a visit to the herbal gardens is not in the itinerary of the President.

The simple reason for the change in schedule is the security point of view. The gardens have been developed near university station, much far off from the main kisaan mela programme. Since security agencies declined to bring such a large area in the security cover for the President, the idea of taking him to the gardens had to be dropped, said the university authorities.

It may be recalled that the very first preparations for the President’s visit began as early as mid-July with the development of the gardens. While the university already had 100 varieties of herbs, many more ornamental, medicinal and aromatic saplings were grown to make the total number double. The Department of Agronomy and Agrometeorology had been entrusted with the job of giving a whole new look to the gardens. New plots were cut for the new varieties, several men were deployed especially to take care of the new as well as existing plants. New pots had been arranged for flowering plants to beautify the gardens.

The plants had been brought either from the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, Palampur, or PAU research centres at various parts of Punjab. The newly added varieties included geramin, lavender, patchouli, jamalgota, kapoor tulsi, damask rose, cheeni rose and jasmine. The existing variety, too, had a long list with mentha, turmeric, celery, fennel, dillseed, coriander, ashwagandha, brahmi, asparagus, safed musli, dadura, mulethi, keokand, isabgul, sarpgandha, giloe and makej.

But as per the latest schedule planned by the university authorities during discussions with the security personnel, the visit to the gardens has been completely ruled out. However, the Department of Agronomy and Agrometeorology still has been told to be prepared, only in case the President would insist on taking a round to the place.

According to the programme, the President will reach the entry point of the mela ground at 12.30 pm where he would be welcomed by Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Minister for Agriculture, along with 10 selected farmers. He would take a round of the agro-industry exhibition and departmental exhibition in just 10 to 15 minutes. The exhibition, too, has been shrunk under one stall unlike the previous years when each department had its independent stall.

The next stop will be at Open Air Theatre where Dr Aulakh will welcome him. This will be followed by speeches from the Governor and the Chief Minister and finally Dr Kalam’s address to the farm community. The whole programme is likely to take 45 minutes following which he would be taken to the PAMETI, the new building which will be inaugurated by the President. There Dr Kalam will also plant a sapling of putrajeeva, an ornamental as well as a medicinal plant.



Myriad of dignitaries to converge on PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
It is after eight years that the Governor and the Chief Minister will get together at the PAU on the visit of President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on September 4. It may be recalled that Mr Surender Nath and Mr Beant Singh, the then governor and chief minister, respectively, had attended the university convocation in 1995.

Preparations are in full swing for the visit of the President and the administration is going all out to make it an unforgettable event. Sources said the President would be received at the Halwara Air Force Station by the Governor of Punjab, Justice O.P. Verma (retd), and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr K.S. Aulakh, Director of Extension Education, Dr J.S. Kolar, Director, Research, Dr G.S. Nanda, and 10 renowned farmers will receive the President and other dignitaries in the university. Dr Kalam will be presented with a “dastaar” (turban) and “phulkaari” as a mark of respect by the president of the Punjab Kisan Club, Mr Baldev Singh Landha, and the secretary, Mr Hardev Singh Ghanaur. All ministers, MPs, MLAs of the district, Chief Secretary, Punjab, and members of Board of Management of the PAU have been invited.

More than 200 stalls will be put up at the agro-industrial exhibition of the university. A special stall encapsulating the salient achievements and research work of the PAU has been especially put up for the President. Two eminent singers, Gurmeet Bawa and Surinder Shinda, will present folk music.

The stage, where the President and other dignitaries will be seated, has been specially decorated with a 25 ftx8 ft backdrop depicting the mela theme — Rational use of Natural Resources. Entry to the university from gate No. 2 will remain closed on September 4 but farmers can enter the campus through gate Nos. 1, 4 and 5. The staff of the centre for Communication, Languages and Culture, will oversee the arrangement of buses to facilitate the entry of mediapersons.

Dr J.S. Kolar, Director of Extension Education, PAU, said the packages of practices for rabi crops were ready and were aimed at educating the farmers regarding latest technologies to increase the productivity of the farmers. He also listed varieties recommended for cultivation in the state. Dr S.S. Gill, Additional Director of Extension Education (CCL&C), said in addition to package of practices five more publications would be available at the kisan mela.

These would be sold at three main literature stalls — one in the agro-industrial exhibition, one near the seed sale staff and one near business section of the Centre for Communication, Languages and Culture. Subscription for Changi Kheti and Progressive Farming could be obtained at any of these three stalls, he added.



Much excitement over Kalam’s visit
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The mood in the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) is upbeat over the forthcoming visit of President APJ Abdul Kalam on September 4. Narrating the sentiments of members of the Association, the president, Mr Manjit Singh and the general secretary, Mr VK Goyal, said: "this is going to be the greatest moment in the history of LMA when the President of the country addresses its member".

In fact, the management skills of the LMA would be under test during the visit .

They said that every aspect of his visit was being deliberated upon and planned by the organising team of the LMA .

All the arrangements from bouquets and memento presentation to sound system, dais decoration, backdrop and seating arrangements have been done in a manner befitting the occasion .

Incidentally this happens to be the silver jubilee year of the LMA . "The members who are extremely delighted and look forward to this historic interaction have been requested to dress formal for the occasion.

two teams, one each from Kundan Vidya Mandir and BCM senior secondary school have been trained to recite the National Anthem at the start and end of the function.

"Our aim is that the Rashtrapati must go back with a feeling of delight after meeting members of the association," mr goyal said.

The enthusiasm and excitement among the people of Ludhiana about the President's visit is such that everyday, the LMA receives at least 150 calls from people requesting for invitation cards.

Mr Goyal said:"we wish we could accommodate all of them, but seating constraints do not allow us much room for extra people,"Mr Goyal said.

Members have been urged to be seated by 10:45 a.m as entry shall be closed thereafter. Also, they have been told not to bring handbags, cameras and mobile phones inside the auditorium due to security reasons.

Governor Justice OP Verma, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, industrialists S.P. Oswal, Chairman, Vardhman Group of Industries, and B.M Lall Munjal, Chairman, Hero Group of Industries, shall share their views on the occasion.

adequate parking arrangements have been made by the district administration at the rear of the Deputy Commissioner’s office with entry from the mini secretariat.

For the convenience of the members and invitees, the district administration has created an approach to Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan, which is barely 80-100 metres from the parking area. 



4,500 cops in city on security job
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The city will witness an unprecedent security cover on September 4 when President A P J Abdul Kalam makes his maiden visit here.
As many as 4,500 police personnel drawn from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Khanna, Jagraon and reserve battalions of the Punjab Armed Police and the Indian Reserve Battalion will be put on security duty. A team of the Special Security Guards will accompany the President.

Twenty mounted policemen, teams of bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs have already been deployed at strategic places. The police has requisitioned metal detectors from other police districts.

Eight fire tenders and a dozen ambulances will be part of the convoy of the President. Police sources say a round- the-clock vigil is being maintained at the PAU campus and residential areas around it.




Ludhiana has suddenly gone green, but not because of weather nor any environmental reason. In fact, bushes and shrubs have been cut from various places and stuck in pavements giving the appearance that these were growing there. Thousands of manhours have been spent in an effort to present a clean and green city to the President. Most city residents echo only one sentiment: “We would like to see many more VIPs visiting the city”.

Media packaging

Next time you pick up a newspaper and read a story that sounds familiar, you may be right, it is possible that the news story had appeared in another publication a couple or even weeks ago. The mushrooming of newspapers and periodicals in the city has caused an acute shortage of ideas among scribes who don’t mind picking up an old story and re-packaging it. After all, all is fair in love and war and media war is proving it true.

Who cares?

Certain symbols and emblems, particularly those related to our national identity, need to be treated with respect and due protocol needs to be observed while handling these. Very few people are lucky enough to be allowed the use of our national flag on their vehicles. However, there is a specific guideline that the Tricolour will not be sported on the car in case the person entitled to use it is not sitting inside. But more often than not, it has been found that this protocol is violated. The Tricolor remains there even when the VIPs get down and the cars remain parked. A criminal ignorance!


The Union Steel Minister, Mr B.K. Tewari, was in the town to attend the 17th meeting of the National Steel Consumers Forum recently. Since the issue of rising steel prices continues to be hot and the local industry is continuing with its protests, it found the best occasion to express its resentment directly to the minister. While the meeting was in progress, with the minister, as the ex-officio chairman of the forum, presiding over it, the industrialists started raising slogans. They were also sporting black badges. For some time, the minister continued to listen without any reaction. But when the things started going out of control, he took the mike and warned the protesters that he was presiding over the meeting and they should ask for his permission. He even threatened the protesters that he would turn them out and call off the meeting. This was enough for the industrialists to fall in line and they stayed quiet. And surprisingly when it was minister’s turn to speak, he did not speak at all. The announcements he was supposed to make were made on his behalf by the Union Steel Secretary, Mr V.K. Duggal. One of the industrialists remarked, rather in a satirical tone, “The minister does not seem to speak much”.

President’s visit

There is a lot of excitement over Thursday’s visit of the President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to Ludhiana. City roads are being spruced up, but only those routes through which the VVIP cavalcade will pass. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has started planting trees everywhere. Some shopkeepers have announced discounts and special offers. One such shopkeeper in the Model Town area has announced a discount of as much as 80 per cent on all goods. He remarked, “This is the rarest of the rare occasions when the country’s President will be visiting the place and that, too, a President like A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who is more like a saint than a run of the mill politician.”

Desolate courts

As the lawyers have shifted to the new building in the Secretariat, the old courts complex wears a desolate look. The hustle and bustle is missing. The building looks ghostly without the rush of lawyers and clients. The vendors selling snacks and fruit have also moved away. Despite being located in the heart of the city, the building wears a deserted look.

Playing cards

A policeman was seen sitting cross-legged on the floor outside Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, playing cards with van drivers. He was oblivious of the surroundings around him and was deeply involved in playing cards. It is amazing how the policemen in uniform can indulge in such activities. If the police has to improve its image, it ought to be careful of maintaining its good image all the time.

LSS deserves kudos

The Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam (LSS) has done a lot to promote art and culture in the city. In the past 36 months, they have been instrumental in organising more than 40 shows of renowned artistes. ‘Tiranga’ which was staged in Parliament on Monday was brought to the city under the aegis of the samagam about two months ago. On Saturday, a play ‘Kamaal Karte ho Aap Bhi’, starring famous Lallu of Humlog and Sudha Chandran of Ramola fame, added another feather in the cap of the organisation. They have promoted art and culture to such an extent that now the residents queue up to watch the shows brought to the city by the samagam.

The much-hyped announcement of former Governor of Punjab regarding Sanchar Dhabas, might be far from being realised, but, at least, the name of a dhaba at Phillaur, which has come up recently, sounds hi-tech. It has been named The idea descended upon the owner after he heard the names of so many websites that ended with the word dotcom. ‘‘At least, a unique name would attract customers as there are many dhabas on the GT Road that give tough competition to each other,” said the owner of the dhaba.


The British Raj is long over, but its hangover remains. At least for the telephone operator in the office of the Ludhiana DIG, things have not changed much. So whenever he is asked about the phone numbers of the residence of the DIG, he refuses to divulge the numbers. He comes up with a reply that he does not have the numbers. But he little realises that administrative and police officials are public servants and public has every right to contact them in case of any grievance.




Government claim on uninterrupted power challenged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
The Punjab politburo of the Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has challenged the claim of Mr Rana Gurmit Sodhi, political secretary to the Punjab CM, regarding uninterrupted power supply to more than 12,000 villages in the state.

A press note issued here today by Mr Kuldeep Singh, state secretary, the party said Mr Rana Sodhi had boasted recently in a section of the Press that uninterrupted 24-hour power supply was being made to about 6,500 villages. The claim was false. Power cuts were being resorted to even in those villages that had been covered under the 24-hour power supply scheme. To quote an example, Kila Raipur village, famous for rural Olympics, was facing power cuts, despite being covered under the scheme.

The party also expressed concern over the unfortunate development in Punjabi University, Patiala, where students had been compelled to go on strike due to arbitrary, dictatorial and bureaucratic attitude of the varsity Vice-Chancellor and other authorities. This was highly regrettable and condemnable that the steep fee hike in the university had not been withdrawn, resulting in closure of the university and eviction of students from university hostels.

Mr Kuldip Singh further said it was regrettable that many students had been suspended and implicated in false cases, spoiling the academic atmosphere on the university campus. He said the state government should intervene, revoke the suspension of student leaders, withdraw cases against them and roll back the fee hike to restore congenial academic atmosphere on the university campus.

The party further ridiculed the survey of a magazine that declared Capt Amarinder Singh as the second best Chief Minister after Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan. These surveys were manipulated to boost the image of certain leaders. Mr Kuldip Singh said once Mr Badal was also declared as the most popular and the best Chief Minister by a magazine, who was now being branded as the most corrupt by Capt Amarinder Singh and the Congress leadership. A similar fate might be awaiting Capt Amarinder Singh when he went out of power, he said.



Congress leaders lambast Mann, Lohara
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The Congress MLA, Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha, former District Congress Committee (DCC) president, Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, and vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, have condemned the President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, and general secretary, Mr Charan Singh Lohara, for their remarks about former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

In a joint statement issued here today, the Congress leaders, while referring to the remarks made by Mr Mann and Mr Lohara about senior Congress leaders, demanded that the two leaders be booked for their “criminal outburst”. The Congress leaders alleged that they (Mr Mann and Mr Lohara) were trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

The Congress leaders observed that people like Mr Mann and Mr Lohara were not happy with the peace in the state, as “terrorism suited them”. They alleged that it was people like them who were responsible for the 10-year-long violence and bloodshed in Punjab and it is the same people who were now enjoying the fruits of peace for which people like Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh had to pay a heavy price. “It is strange that they were using unparliamentary language against these leaders”, Mr Dakha, Mr Lapran and Mr Tikka regretted.

Referring to Mr Mann’s statement that if he came to power, he would ensure to demolish the memorials of the three leaders, the Congress leaders observed: “Mr Mann was flying too high in his fancy and he should forget the idea of becoming the Chief Minister of the state and if he thinks so, he was living in a fool’s paradise”.



Magician who is also a healer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
What to you feel when you watch a magic show? Surprised, shocked, awed or, per: haps a mixture of all. Believe it or not, there is a world that exists beyond magic, where the real and the imagination merge to form a new whole. This was what one felt while watching the performance of magician at Shingar Palace here.

Jadugar Samrat Shankar is a healer of the mind. With his incredible perception and intuition, hypnosis and meditation, has he been able to cure persons with various ailments.

“After all, it’s all the game of the mind. And that’s one realm in the human body that I have worked upon the most. If you are able to solve the mind, then you can solve the problems,” he says.

Added to this is his image in the eyes of the public. They believe in him. When he says something, it becomes credible.

“My years of work in the art of meditation and hypnosis helps me to approach their problem gently and my image as a pioneer in magic helps people to believe in the kind\ of advice I suggest,” says Samrat Shankar.

Samrat Shankar’s shows are presented twice in a day, once at 1pm and then at 7pm. In between the shows, he devotes his time to numerous people approaching him for cure. He easily manages to blend the real and the magical in everyday life. An emotional man, he welcomes the people who approach him with their troubles.

Amidst the fanfare, shows and meetings, he also finds time for his own group. “Yes, they are human and have their share of problems. Its very important for me to listen to them”, he says. He listens to them with a sympathetic heart. “Listening is an art in itself and the right nod or a soft thump on the shoulder of the troubled person can raise his spirits,” he quotes. His wife, two sons and a daughter dote on him. “Oh sure I miss them a lot during my travels, but that’s the nature of my work,” he says, adding: “I miss my daughter. I think I am attached to her most.”

The magician has a dream — of building an academy where he can train aspirants the art and science of magic and meditation. It’s strange that the country that gave birth to the art of magic has no academy for learning this art. What would be its future after the last of us have gone,” he asks.



NCC faces serious resource crunch
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Nearly 50 per cent of the 49,000 NCC cadets in the state face imminent de-enrolment, courtesy the financial crunch faced by the NCC (North) Directorate to carry out its activities because of the non-payment of funds by the Punjab Government.

While the resource crunch was being experienced for the past several years, the continuous apathy towards the NCC by the state government has brought matters to such a stage that the activities would have to be cut down immediately leading to de-enrolment.

The situation has become so grim now that Lieut General (NCC) B.K. Boppanna, AVSM,VSM who heads the corps in the country, has sought special appointment with the Chief Minister Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh on September 5 and 6 to find an urgent solution to the matter. The appointment is yet to be fixed.

Sources disclosed that the NCC does not have funds to pay for the telephone expenses let alone organise camps and provide dietary allowances to the cadets. While the NCC activities in other states falling under the directorate were going on smoothly, officials in Punjab have to think twice about spending each penny because of the non-supply of funds by the state government.

Things had come to such a pass a couple of months ago that Punjab cadets were all set to miss the all-important national level camp held in their own state at Machiwara, near here, because of the resource crunch. The state government had released a grant of over Rs 1 lakh rupees to enable last-minute entry of the NCC cadets. It was hoped that the government would realise the folly of not giving attention to this vital force of harnessing youth’s energy. But all that remains is just a hope.

Confirming the grim scenario Brigadier D.S. Dhillon, Dy Director-General, NCC Directorate (North), told Ludhiana Tribune that the NCC activities in Punjab need an annual budget of Rs12 crore but the state government had given them 30 per cent of the amount only. He said nearly Rs 2.17 crore was required for institutional training, refreshment, allowances of minor nature but the allocation was only Rs 27 lakh.

The state has slipped to the bottom at the NCC championships in the past five years or so largely because of the lack of funds, sources said.The state has the highest number of cadets in the northern region. Out of total 1.8 lakh cadets, 49,000 alone were from Punjab.

While the infrastructure of the department is provided and funded by the Centre, expenses for activities like daily parades, camps, adventure tours, refreshment and other local expenses provided by the state governments.

The immediate impact of the paucity of resources will be on refreshments and other facilities for cadets. Also the number of camps, especially adventure camps, excursions and tours will be curtailed. Another fallout could be a reduction in the number of Punjab cadets at national annual camps and championships.

Sources also fear that the number of aspirants for the NCC course, which is already low, may drop further.



Gurdas Mann earns Sikh panel's wrath
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The International Sikh Dharam Parchar Manch has asked popular folk singer Gurdas Mann to apologise at Akal Takht for singing in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib along with his troupe at a religious function held at Mazara Nau Abad village near Banga.

Mr Gurdeep Singh Leel, president of the manch, said the singer had hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs. his conduct had revived memories of Massa Rangar who had summoned courtesans to the Golden Temple.

He said the singer should apologise before the Akal Takht for atonement. the manch appealed to religious and social organisations to boycott the singer until he an apologised.

A three-member committee has visited the village and prepared a report which will be presented to the Jathedar of Akal Takht in the coming days. it will also meet the SGPC chief in this context.

The manch has warned all singers to desist from aping the west in their music videos. Scantily clad girls gyrating to music was not in good taste, it said. 



6 sewerage contractors surrender
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Six contractors accused of involvement in the Rs 4.5-crore scam regarding execution of certain works in the city by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board today surrendered before the Vigilance Bureau here after evading arrest for over two months.

While vigilance sources confirmed the arrest of six contractors — Gurminder Singh, Tarlochan Singh Sohal, Tarlochan Singh Bhairaj, Amar Surjit Singh, Moti Lal and Vinod Kumar — it is learned that eight more contractors have also surrendered.

Sources said the contractors surrendered in the morning and were being questioned. However, an official confirmed the surrender of six persons only. Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, Vigilance, could not be contacted for details.

The sewerage scam involves siphoning of funds from the Rs 20-crore water supply and sewerage work. Around 20 officials of the Sewerage Department were arrested .



LIC gives away wheelchairs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) today distributed wheelchairs among the physically challenged at its Sham Nagar branch, near Bus Stand. The function was presided over by the Senior Divisional Manager of the LIC, Mr P.K. Rath.

The wheelchairs were distributed as part of the week-long celebrations being organised to mark the 47th anniversary of the LIC. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rath said the LIC was committed towards providing relief and assistance to the needy.

Senior officials of the LIC were present on the occasion.



Shiv Sena sets up labour wing
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
The Punjab unit of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), on the pattern of Maharashtra, has introduced its labour wing, known as the Bharatiya Kamgar Sena.
Addressing a rally of workers at Gias Pura ,Focal Point, yesterday, Mr Surinder Dogra, vice-president of the party, said the party was setting up its labour wing in Punjab on the directions of Bala Saheb Thackeray and Lt-Gen P.N.Hoon, who was in charge of Panjab affairs.

he assured the gathering that the wing was being established to stop exploitation of labourer in Punjab.

the wing would act as a bridge between various industrialists and labour unions as was being done in Maharashtra.

Among others who were present at the rally were Mr Sanjiv Tandon, president, Ludhiana unit of the Shiv Sena, Mr Om Parkash Saini,Mr Sanjay Gautam, Mr Dharmendra Khera, Mr Sandeep Thapar and Mr Sanjiv Ghai.



Hike in petrol prices flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan, and the chairman of the Urban Development Cell, Mr Jarnail Singh Grewal, have criticised the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre for raising the prices of diesel and petrol. In a joint statement issued here today, Mr Dewan and Mr Grewal alleged the Union Government had forgotten the interests of the common people and it was trying to serve its own ends only. 



Tantrik held for teasing woman
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
Mian Pasha, a tantrik operating from Minerva market, near Clock Tower, was arrested yesterday under Section 294 of the IPC. He was arrested on the complaint of Ms Rajinder Kaur, a resident of Amritsar, saying that the accused teased her on her mobile phone. The tantrik was later released on bail.

Assault cases: The Jodhewal police on Monday registered a case under Sections 323, 341, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of New Subhash Nagar, against Bau, Bhajji, Satta and Gajju. The complainant alleged that the accused intercepted him on Sunday, beat him up and threatened him.

The Civil Line police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Avtar Singh, a resident of Ahmadgarh, against Ajit Singh Batra and his son, Ramandeep Singh. The complainant alleged that the father-son duo beat him up on Monday. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Theft cases: The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Himmat Kumar, a resident of Mohalla New Kundan Puri, against an unknown person, who nicked his purse on Saturday night.

The Haibowal police registered a case on Monday under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of New Chandan Nagar, against Sohan, a resident of the same locality.

The complainant alleged that the accused entered his house on Sunday night and decamped with cash, a mobile phone and a gold ring.

The Model Town has police registered a theft case on the statement of Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of Model Town, against Vijay Kumar. The complainant alleged that the accused entered his house on Sunday night and decamped with cash, gold ornaments and documents.

Mr Surinder Pal, a resident of Jamalpur, has reported that his car, which was parked in front of his house, was stolen on Sunday night. A case has been registered.

Held for gambling: The police on Monday arrested Kuldeep Singh, Gurwant Singh and Jatinder Singh, all residents of Phase I of Urban Estate, Dugri, and booked them under the Gambling Act. The accused were later bailed out.

Liquor seized: The Division No. 3 police has seized 50 bottles of IMFL from Tirlok Chand, a resident of Naya Mohalla, who was arrested and booked under the Excise Act.

The Sarabha Nagar police on Monday arrested Gopal Krishan, a resident of Janta Colony, and seized 11 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession.

The Division No. 6 police has arrested Shiv Bansal for carrying 24 bottles of illicit liquor.



Heavy rush for exim forms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Amidst the ongoing controversy that the introduction of exim forms in Punjab will hamper the trade, heavy sale of the forms was reported in the city for the second day today. Even the Excise and Taxation Department here has ordered one lakh forms to be procured from Patiala.
Mr Parampal Singh, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (II), said there was heavy rush for the forms today. He said the department had procured adequate number of forms.

The rush for the forms continued unabated. Long queues were seen outside offices of the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner of all the three districts. According to rough estimates, about two lakh forms have been sold so far. But this is supposed to be too little as there are about 50,000 traders and industrialists registered with the Excise and Taxation Department. On an average it comes to four forms for each one of them, while the actual requirement of each of them runs into hundreds.

While leaders of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal maintained that this was because of the boycott by the traders that the forms were not selling, excise officials maintained that the forms had been sold according to the requirements only. The officials pointed out that not all 50,000 registered traders and industrialists had purchased the forms. He clarified that at no stage there would be the shortage of the forms. Moreover, the traders are awaiting the government decision when the forms could conveniently be downloaded from the Internet.

Meanwhile, the mandal continued with its protest. It has been maintaining that the introduction of the forms will hamper the movement of goods and it will lead to undue and unnecessary formalities.

Making out a case against the forms, Mr P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, maintained that the forms were ‘totally ill-conceived’ and it would never be able to boost the revenue in the state. He observed that the excessive regulations always led to malpractices as had been the experience so far. He pointed out that the government had so many ways and means to check revenue leakage and if there was no will no rules and regulations could help.

Mr Sharma said no state in the country, except Haryana, had the two-way regulation like exim forms. He said half of the states had only one entry form, while there was no form for goods going out of the state. He maintained that the worst part of it was that the government did not take traders and industrialists into confidence before introducing the forms, which, he observed, would certainly hamper the timely delivery of orders.



Customer care campaign
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Tata Motors, the manufacturers of commercial vehicles, today started a three-day “Maha Customer Care Campaign” at Dada Motors Workshop on Jalandhar Bye Pass. The campaign will continue till September 4. The campaign was inaugurated by Mr Satbir Singh, AGM Tata Motors.

A spokesman for Dada Motors said the camp had been organised to generate customer awareness on maintenance and upkeep of commercial vehicles. Training was imparted to drivers by the staff.



Jaidka is chief of woollen council
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Two traders of Ludhiana, Mr Ashok Jaidka and Mr Avinash Rai, have been unanimously elected chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council.

According to a press note, the election was held in New Delhi on August 29. The term of the chairman and the vice-chairman is of two years.

The council is a body constituted by the Government of India and works under the control of the Ministry of Textiles. It helps the woollen industry in quality improvement and in exploring the export potential. It also acts as a bridge between the industry and the government.


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