L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kisan Mela draws thousands of farmers
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
Thousands of farmers from across the state visited the annual Kisan Mela on its inaugural day at Punjab Agricultural University today. Besides purchasing seeds from the PAU, farmers also interacted with scientists of the university. Stalls set up by the industry were an added attraction for the farmers.

Inaugurating the mela, Dr G.S. Kalkat, Chairman, Punjab State Farmers’ Commission, said Punjab farming was facing problems like depleting underground water table, environmental pollution and deterioration in soil health.

He said the state was passing through a social crisis like rural education and rural sanitation.

Expressing concern over the depleting underground water table, Dr Kalkat emphasised that farmers should decrease the area under paddy cultivation and switch over to alternative crops like cotton, maize, moong, soya bean, oilseed crops etc., which would yield more profits than rice as these crops consumed less water.

Describing aims of the commission constituted by the Punjab Government, Dr Kalkat said the commission was trying to help farmers by assuring procurement of alternative crops.

Dr Kalkat honoured a progressive farmer, Gurcharan Singh Mann of Tungwali village (Bathinda), with the Parwasi Bharti Award for being topper in adopting the diversification in agriculture. The award includes a cash amount of Rs 8,000, a citation and a shawl.

This award was instituted by ex-faculty member Dr Maninderjit Singh Sandha (now settled in Australia).

Dr Kalkat also honoured Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Kamaldeep Singh Sangha for making maximum co-operative societies in Moga and Muktsar districts.

Speaking on the occasion, members of PAU Management Board Supinder Kaur Cheema and S.S. Brar emphasised that the crisis of depleting underground water table could be overcome by way of diversification in agriculture.

Ms Cheema called upon women to participate in kisan melas. She said women could contribute by taking care of seed storage, dairy, child health, etc.

In his presidential address, Vice-Chancellor Dr K.S. Aulakh, expressed concern over the fast depleting water level in the state.

Dr Aulakh declared that diversification was the only way of conserving water.

Dr Aulakh hoped that cotton yield would go up this year. He said farmers should go in for processing of their produce and adopt self-marketing, which will add to their profits. Besides, it would provide job opportunities to unemployed rural youth.

Dr Aulakh honoured Dr Kalkat by presenting him with a memento.

He also presented sets of books published by the PAU to Supinder Kaur Cheema, S.S. Brar, and member of the Agriculture Cost and Price Commission M.S. Grewal.



Cable operators resume services after five days
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit tomorrow has proved to be a blessing in disguise for the protesting cable operators in the city who have got an assurance from the Chief Minister’s office about redressing their grievances.

With this, the cable services restarted in the city late this evening. Residents, who were feeling they had been held to ransom by both parties, also welcomed the move.

The assurance comes in the wake of Prime Minister’s visit, which the CM’s Public Relations Department feared would remain uncovered if the cable operators continued their strike.

“We have got an assurance from the CM’s media adviser that we would get justice. They have asked us to restart the services so that the Prime Minister’s visit to the city is covered properly.” said Mr Vikas Arora, Director, Siti Cable.

Following a tiff between a local councillor and a cable operator, cable services were suspended on Sunday evening. The cable operators were demanding the arrest of the councillor. Cases were registered against both parties.

The strike by cable operators, who had threatened to observe a statewide strike on the issue, was flayed by residents, who termed the action as unfair. Residents had been demanding that the cable operators should restart their services.

As the matter remained unresolved, a delegation of cable operators went to the Chief Minister’s office today. It submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister.

“While the decision on the matter is yet to be taken, we would co-operate as it is Dr Manmohan Singh’s first visit to Punjab as the Prime Minister. We do not want residents to suffer,” said Mr Kamlesh Bhardwaj, chairman of the association.



Traffic routes for PM’s visit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
Announcing stringent security measures and traffic regulations for the Prime Minister’s visit to the city tomorrow, the police today declared ‘out of bounds’ the stretch of the National Highway No. 1 from Military Camp, Dholewal, to Sahnewal from noon till 10 pm for all traffic.

Addressing a press conference about traffic diversions and security measures, DSP Sandeep Goel said all traffic going towards New Delhi would be routed through Samrala Chowk to Neelon Bridge to Doraha. Similar would be the route of traffic from Ferozepore road.

The traffic from New Delhi would be routed into the city through Sahnewal Chowk, Kohara village and Samrala Chowk.

Around 4,500 police personnel will be on duty for the smooth conduct of traffic tomorrow. The Prime Minister was scheduled to inaugurate the Satguru Pratap Singh Apollo Hospital around 5pm. The police conducted security drills today. 



Reema murder accused remand extended
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 22
The main accused in the Reema Jain kidnapping and murder case, Anil Jain was today remanded to police custody for three days. The accused was produced before the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr S.S. Dhaliwal, this afternoon.

The prosecution urged that the police remand of the accused be extended as the police is yet to know the whereabouts of Avtar Singh, alias Taari, who had actually kidnapped Reema and murdered her later on, at the behest of the main accused. Her body is yet to be recovered.

However, the defence counsel opposed the contentions of prosecution. It was submitted that the accused had been falsely implicated in the case. Moreover, he had already undergone sufficient police remand.



Passing Thru

R.K. Manchanda
Dr R.K. Manchanda, Deputy Director Directorate of ISM and Homoeopathy, Government of Delhi

What is the future of homoeopathy in India?

This system of medicine is going to converge like conventional medicine in the 21st century. It is going to define further as we are patient-oriented and thoroughly study about the patient before giving any medicine to him.

How can it be popularised?

It is going to come up in a big way. Like in Delhi around 70 big clinics and nursing homes have started having a homoeopathy OPD. Chronic diseases like asthma, arthritis and those of the skin are being treated with homoeopathic medicines there.

Do you think this system of medicine is given a step-motherly treatment as far as Research and Development(R&D) is concerned?

Yes. Nobody is investing in R&D of homoeopathy. We need investments so that more experiments are conducted on the effectiveness of medicines.

— Kanchan Vasdev



SAD to seek voters’ views for manifesto
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 22
Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary general, SAD, has claimed that the party will seek suggestions from representatives of various sections of society before finalising the manifesto of the party for Assembly elections scheduled to take place in 2007. The party has also urged the President to institute an inquiry by a Supreme Court Judge into revelations made by former KGB agent Vasili Mitrokhin.

While addressing a press conference here, Mr Dhindsa said work on election manifesto had been started. “We have constituted a seven-member committee that would first approach representatives of all sections of society, including employees, minorities, Dalits, traders, industrialists and farmers, to know their preferences and demands,” claimed Mr Dhindsa. He said the committee would submit its feedback to the political affairs committee before finalising the draft of the manifesto.



Electrocution death: Medical Officer suspended
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 22
Gagandeep (22), alias Goldi, resident of Sarafa Bazar, who was electrocuted yesterday evening, was cremated here today. Local SDM Sandeep Hans handed over a cheque for Rs 50,000 to the widow of the deceased, Ms Suman Rani.

The SDM said the Medical Officer of the local Civil Hospital had been suspended and the duties on rotation had been assigned to doctors to attend the patients in the hospital.

According to former council chief Baldev Sedha, Goldi was electrocuted at 6.30 pm yesterday and was immediately taken to the hospital, but there was no body present at the hospital and all lights were switched off. The patient was then taken to Khanna but he breathed his last on the way. He got married two years ago and was survived by a son.

After the incident, a large number of people gathered at the hospital and gheraoed the Medical Officer, Dr Mahesh Jindal, who later slipped from the scene. The mob locked the hospital and handed over the keys to SHO Gurdial Singh who was present there with police force. DSP D.S. Rana assured the protesters of legal action against the doctor.



Stone of development works laid

Ludhiana, September 22
Mr Surinder Davar, Parliamentary Secretary for Housing, Urban Development and Power, yesterday laid the foundation stone of a project for paving of street along the dhobi ghat in Issa Nagri, ward no. 51. The project would entail an expenditure of Rs 5 lakh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Davar claimed that development works in the Ludhiana East Assembly segment, were being carried out on priority basis. The civic body would soon take in another ambitious project for covering big open drain in Field Ganj at an estimated cost of Rs 14 crore. Pastor Ram Lal, Ramesh Kumar, Johnson Gill were also present. OC



Burglar breaks into post office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 22
An unidentified burglar broke into the post office situated close to the head offices of the CID and the Vigilance Bureau here last night.
The burglar managed to fill a bag with stamps but left it outside the building when a PCO operator spotted him coming out of the window.

Though there was no monetary loss, the fact that the burglar succeeded in breaking into the building has exposed the security of the post offices in the city.

Ms Manisha Bansal, Senior Superintendent, Post Offices, said a complaint had been made to the police in this regard.

The stamps put in the bag were worth a few thousand rupees, the police said. No guard was on night duty at the post office.


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