L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


54 Shiv Sainiks arrested on way to Mohali
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
The police today succeeded in preventing Shiv Sainiks from reaching Mohali for protesting against the first cricket Test match between India and Pakistan by arresting 54 activist of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) near Ramgarh on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road.

The Shiv Sainiks were on their way to Mohali in two buses as per their announced plan to protest and obstruct the cricket tie. They were stopped at a specially erected barricade near Ramgarh village.

Those arrested include Mr Sanjay Gautam, vice president, state unit of the Shiv Sena, who was leading the ‘jatha’ as Mr Ravinder Arora, president of the state unit is already in police custody since yesterday. He was taken to Kum Kalan today afternoon along with about 15 more activists arrested on Monday.

He told Ludhiana Tribune over the phone that the police took them to Kum Kalan police station where they were told that they had been arrested for trying to disrupt law and order.

The arrest of the Shiv Sainiks was preceded by dramatic events at night as well as in the morning at railway station here. The police conducted a number of raids at different places in the city to nab the Shiv Sainiks but could not find many.



Poor response to distance education programme
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, March 8
If the data procured by Association of Indian Universities (AIU) is any indication, then the Distance Education Programme (DEP) seems to have failed to evoke response of the public. The programme aimed at a particular section, has failed to generate response and popularity.

As per its guidelines, the aim of starting countrywide Distance Education Programme was to educate illiterate women, to reach in the rural areas where formal education was inaccessible and to be popular amongst SC/ST section. But the recent data available with AIU shows that only 26.47 per cent for women are getting education under the programme while 75 per cent men are availing of the benefit. Not more than 22.47 per cent of the rural population is being educated through the courses offered by DEP. Over 77 per cent urbanites, being aware of all degree/diploma courses offered through this mode, adopt this supplement system of education. The data shows that 95 per cent persons from the general category adopt DEPs while the percentage of SC/ST is just 4.65 per cent.

Mr Tarsem Bahia, former Principal, A.S. College Khanna said one should know that DEP is not a substitute but supplement of formal education. He said there are total 10 open Universities and 64 centers offering courses through DEPs in the country. About 20 lakh students are getting education nationwide through the programmes. “Even then, it has not gained much popularity. One reason for distant programmes being little known is that the courses offered are mostly in English and Hindi. The authorities should introduce various courses in regional languages so that more and more people can be benefited. Courses like arts, agriculture, commerce, certificate courses, legal studies, science, engineering, management etc are being offered through distant learning. Serious efforts should be made to popularise this mode of education”, stressed Mr Bahia.

Meanwhile Mr U.C. Pandey, Director IGNOU, Khanna, said the university is doing very well in Distant Education Programmes. The percentage of people adopting various courses has increased in recent years." We have been focusing on women education, ruralities, SC/ST and the response has been overwhelming. We have been educating jail inmates, weaker section of society where formal education is inaccessible. 



Fraud in Khatra Cooperative Society unearthed, 2 held 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau today claimed to have unearthed a fraud of Rs 1.46 lakh in the Khatra Co-operative Society Ltd. near Samrala and arrested its president and a salesman on the charges of fraudulently selling fertilisers and non-depositing of a loan amount returned by a farmer in the society account.

Mr Narinderpal Singh Chhina, DSP, Vigilance Bureau, told mediapersons that on the directions of Mr G.S. Dhillon, SSP, (Vigilance), here an investigation was conducted against the society and it was found that society president, Kulwinder Singh and a salesman Naib Singh had misappropriated funds to the tune of nearly Rs 1.46 lakh.

He said of this amount, Rs 27,000 were given to the accused by a farmer on account of instalments of a loan he had taken from the society. The inquiry found that the accused pocketed the amount instead of depositing it with the society account.

The DSP said the remaining amount was generated through the illegal sale of fertilisers by the accused. The accused had allegedly sold huge quantity of fertilisers in an illegal manner besides preparing forged documents to show some fake sales.

The matter first came into the notice of the senior officers of the State Cooperative Department. After conducting investigations, they referred the case to the Vigilance Bureau.

Mr Chhina said they were examining other files pertaining to the society to find out whether some other employees of the society were involved.



MC told to provide clean water to
Kila Mohalla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, today asked Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to take necessary steps to ensure that clean and potable drinking water was made available in the Kila Mohalla area.

The action comes in the wake of a news items carried in these columns today that the residents of Kila Mohalla were being supplied with contaminated drinking water.

Mr Verma also asked the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, to collect water samples and get them tested. The residents of the Maseet area of Kila Mohalla had claimed that they were getting contaminated water for the past over 15 days and despite repeated complaints to the councillor, no action had followed.

They had even claimed that their children were falling prey to water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and typhoid. 



Concern over declining sex ratio
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
The Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, today vouched to take strict action against those who promote female foeticide. Seeking to improve the financial condition of women, she said the women should excel in their respective fields.

Ms Bhattal, who was here today to attend a function organised by the Ek Jot Welfare Society on the occasion of International Women’s Day, said the state government was fully committed towards improving the condition of women and providing them an equal status in society.



Passing Thru

Mr Louis Goebel
Mr Louis Goebel, expert, PUM, Netherlands Senior Experts 

What is PUM’ objective?

PUM is a Netherlands government-aided association of experts. It is the objective of senior Netherlands experts, most of who have retired from their jobs, to provide expert knowledge to industry units in developing countries including India. The assistance provided by PUM experts if free of cost as the idea is to help small and medium business units to help operate efficiently in a free market economy.

What kind of help do you provide?

Experts at PUM provide expertise in various areas- be it technology, processing, marketing or any other area for improving their efficiency. Companies are selected by our local office in India.

You have taken up a project in the textile industry. What is your observation of textile industry in this region?

The textile industry here needs to take full advantage of its expertise, low-cost labour, and at the same time strive for attaining quality that is on a par with international standards to meet global competition effectively. They need to ensure that contractual agreements, like delivery on time, are met.

What are the key problem areas you have identified?

The focus on marketing needs to be clearer. Instead of focussing on what their competitor is doing, companies here need to pay attention to what their customer wants.

— Shveta Pathak



Broken canal bridge leads to traffic chaos
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
The ex-servicemen cell of the BJP has flayed the state government and the civic administration for their indifference over the broken canal bridge on Gill Road here. The bridge had caved in more than 6 months ago. As a result, the entire load of vehicular traffic had to be shifted to the adjoining single-lane bridge.

According to Mr Bhajan Singh Bhamra, media in charge of the cell, the party functionaries had expressed concern over the fact that no steps had so far been taken to reconstruct the bridge. With the volume of traffic on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road being what it was, traffic jams had become a routine on this road.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the bridge was constructed by the Irrigation Department long ago and its maintenance had been entrusted to the Municipal Corporation. It was learnt that the MC had taken a policy decision for the reconstruction of the bridge at its own level but the approval of the design had to be sought from the Irrigation Department.

While officials of the two departments were unable to disclose as to when the work would commence for the construction of the broken bridge, they revealed that the design had been submitted to the Irrigation Department and only after getting clearance, further work would be taken up on the project.



Amir shoots for ‘Rang De Basanti’
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 8
Bollywood star Amir Khan shot scenes for ‘Rang De Basanti’ amidst tight security at an inn, near here, yesterday. Hundreds of fans waited for hours together to take a glimpse of the actor.

Accompanied by actress Soha Ali Khan, the actor reached the site at 1.30 pm, more than three hours behind the scheduled time of their arrival. A staff of more than 200 persons had reached the inn in the morning to put up sets. Rakesh Mehra is directing the film.

Around 24 mediapersons reached the site but they were not allowed to take photographs and interviews of the celebrities. Around 50 policemen were deputed besides the personal security staff of the unit.

The film is being produced on the life of Bhagat Singh. Today, scenes on the childhood of Bhagat Singh were shot. A child of Amritsar is playing the role of Bhagat Singh in his childhood. Amir Khan and Soha will be busy shooting for the film in the next six days.



BSNL staff flay anti-employee policies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
The three-day central executive committee meeting of the BSNL Employees Union, which commenced here yesterday, lambasted the government policies like the FDI hike in the telecom sector, reduction of access deficit charges and several other core issues, which it said, were adversely affecting the employees.

Besides 60 office-bearers and circle secretaries of the union, more than 200 special delegates were attending the conference.

Giving details of the deliberations so far, Mr V.A.N. Namboodri, general secretary of the union, said many other pending demands of the employees like revision of pay scales, promotion policy, medical reimbursement and regularisation of casual workers, would come under discussion at the meeting.

He said after emerging as the only recognised union of the BSNL employees, the body had been successful in getting a number of important issues settled. The demands of the employees concerning the transport allowance and canteen allowance were conceded by the management. Further, on the suggestion of the union, Rs 20 crore were donated to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the tsunami victims, with half of the funds having been raised by the employees.



BSNL opens on-line cash counter
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
The General Manager of Ludhiana telecom district of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Mr G.S. Julka, has said that the department is making allout efforts to provide better and efficient services to its subscribers.

He was addressing a function after inaugurating the 60th on-line cash counter of BSNL at Humbran village near here yesterday. He said to facilitate the payment of bills and other telecom service charges, 59 cash counters were already functional at 43 places in the district.

Moreover, the subscribers now had the option of depositing unlimited amount of cash or by way of cheques at the on-line cash counters whereas earlier the cash deposit limit at different post offices was Rs 2500.

Mr Julka announced that BSNL had drawn up ambitious plans to widen its service base and open more cash counters in the area of Mullanpur subdivision and elsewhere in the district.

Earlier, Mr Harjinder Singh, SDO, Mullanpur welcomed the guests. 



SBI launches centre for loan processing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Mr Akhilesh Mohan, Deputy General Manager, State Bank of India, zonal office, launched a Retail Assets Central Processing Centre (RACPC) of the bank here yesterday.

The centre has been launched under the Bank BPR initiatives for processing of proposals of housing, car and education loans to retail customers. “The centre will improve processes, customer turnaround time and would also reduce the processing workload at branches, which would ensure quick credit delivery to retail segment customers,” said Mr Akhilesh Mohan.


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