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Ban on poultry irks farmers
Seek ‘mature handling’ of the issue
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Agitated over the ban imposed by Jammu and Kashmir on the import of poultry products from Punjab, poultry farmers in the region say the bird flu issue needs to be treated by a central authority so that they do not suffer due to illogical decisions. The farmers feel that the rapidly plunging market can be revived only by “mature handling” of the matter.

“In the absence of a regulatory authority, decisions like banning are being taken by individual officers who are ill-equipped to handle the issue. If things are to continue in this manner then Punjab should also contemplate banning the produce that comes from neighbouring states like Haryana”, said Mr P.P.S. Gill, secretary, Punjab Poultry Farmers Association.

The state sends an average of 20 trucks daily to Jammu and Kashmir and the ban has not only created confusion, it has frustrated the farmers in the region. The price of live broiler in the wholesale market, which was around Rs 33 per kg last week, reduced to Rs 15 per kg today. The farmers fear that the prices could come down further if the ban by the neighbouring states and authorities like railways and airlines continued.

The farmers fear that Himachal Pradesh too could impose a ban. Over 35 per cent of the total production of eggs and broilers from the state goes to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Though farmers have already started the process of reducing production, a wide gap between demand and supply is prevailing.

“On one side they are talking of creating confidence among people and on the other, departments like Railways are banning chicken”, said Mr Gill.

The farmers say that instead of banning, the government should ask people to have chicken certified by veterinarians. “In Punjab, certification is not being done currently. But it can be done if the government wants it”.

In domestic market, however, retailers said the situation was not as bad as the last two days. “On the first two days, i.e. Sunday and Monday, consumers were stunned due to which they stayed away from chicken. Tuesday is a low-consumption day. But today customers did come, though the situation is still far from normal,” a retailer near Kailash Chowk said.



India-England series to be tough: Madan Lal
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 22
The forthcoming Test series as well as the one-day international matches between hosts India and the England team are expected to be battle of nerves and the Team India cannot take the visitors lightly. This observation was made by former Test cricketer and national selector Madan Lal here today.

The former all-rounder, who was the chief guest at the inaugural function of the two-day 59th annual athletics meet of the local Arya College for Boys, opined that though the England lost to Pakistan recently while India emerged victorious in the instant version of the game against the hosts in Pakistan, the upcoming series in India would entirely be different as the Indians would play before their home crowd and the pressure would certainly be on them.

“After the recent tour to Pakistan, the players of the England team must be well familiar with the pitches, travelling and food in this part of the Sub-Continent and the Team India would face a ‘determined’ opponent,” said Madan Lal.

Asked whether the present bunch of youngsters could enable India to repeat the 1983 performance during the 2007 World Cup, the ace all-rounder replied in affirmative.

“The boys beat the formidable Pakistan squarely in the one-day series and thus are able to wear the crown during the next World Cup,” Madan Lal expressed hope.

On former captain of the Indian team Sourav Ganguly’s selection into the squad, Madan Lal said there was still enough time to go for the World Cup and the “Tiger of Bengal” had sufficient period to prove his mettle for his inclusion in the team.

Madan Lal said the Indian team was well-balanced, however, one more bowler, preferably an all-rounder, must be included into the team so that the bowling department could be strengthened prior to the World Cup.

Madan Lal was felicitated by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) on the occasion. The office-bearers of the LDCA, led by its Life President, Mr Charanjit Singh, senior-vice-president and chairman of the Selection Committee, Punjab (seniors), Prof F.C. Chopra, Mr Ashok Jain, Mr Lachhman Dass Dravid, Mr Neelam Kanish, Mr Vinod Chitkara, Mr Naresh Marwaha and Mr Subhash Dawar presented a shawl and memento to the former all-rounder, who played a pivot role in India’s winning performance in the 1983 World Cup.



Prolonged dry weather worries scientists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
PAU agro meteorologists have forecast mainly dry weather and the possibility of isolated cloudy conditions over Punjab during the next two-three days. The continuing dry spell is, however, a cause of anxiety to farmers, the scientists say.

Field reports indicate that aphid has appeared on wheat crop in isolated pockets. The farmers have been advised to check aphid spread by treating infested spots only by adhering to judicious use of pesticides. Agro meteorologists have also received reports of flag smut in wheat from Hoshiarpur and Ropar districts. The farmers there have been asked to remove infested plants from the field.

It is time to start sowing of sugarcane. An application of 65 kg urea per acre is advisable. Farmers must sow only the recommended varieties free from red rot, wilt, smut, rattan stunting and grassy shoot.

On sunflower, the farmers have been cautioned to complete the sowing at the earliest. Any delay will result in reduction in yield. Preference be given to early maturing hybrids and sowing should preferably be done on ridges facing the southern side. There is, however, no need to apply any fertiliser, if sunflower follows potato, where farmers have already used farmyard manure and recommended doses of fertiliser.

The Head of the Agronomy and Agro Meteorology, Dr Lal Singh Brar, has advised them to protect rapeseed and mustard from white rust and downy mildew and asked the farmers to complete sowing of mentha at the earliest.

With winter and frost having played spoilsport, the farmers have been advised to remove sarkanda or any other protective material from vegetables and fruits. It is also time to sow cucurbits or transplant seedlings produced in polythene bags or sow bhindi to harvest an early crop.

Dr Brar says in some cases the attack of case worm has been noticed on the flowering/plantation of fruit trees. 



Chargesheeted employee gets service benefits
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 22
A retired superintendent in the Health Department here has allegedly been granted accrued retirement benefits and is drawing full pension in gross violation of the service rules since a charge sheet and departmental inquiry is pending against him.

Senior health officials, however, maintained that all payments made to him were duly sanctioned within the framework of the rules by the department. Mr Sukhwinder Singh, state president of the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association, has alleged in a complaint that Mr Major Singh, who retired as a superintendent in May 2003, was chargesheeted a little before retirement for fabrication of records and keeping official record in personal possession.

The complainant stated that pending the departmental enquiry, the then Civil Surgeon had issued an order for withholding all retirement benefits to the employee.

According to Mr Sukhwinder Singh, certain employees of the civil surgeon office had approved a payment of Rs 2.44 lakh in favour of Major Singh in November 2005.The total payments, “fraudulently” drawn by him until now amounted to Rs 5.67 lakh.

Demanding a probe, the complainant said the erring employees of the department be booked. 



Cong praise marks Akali leader’s anniversary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
If Justice Gurnam Singh, a former Akali Chief Minister of Punjab and the founder of the Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town were alive today, he would be shocked.

The management of the college led by its Principal Dr Charanjit Kaur Mahal and other during a function organised here today to commemorate the 107th birth anniversary of the late leader spoke everything about the Congress, right from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Ms Sonia Gandhi.

Interestingly, the functions was packed with the Congress leaders led by the Pradesh Congress Committee president, Shamsher Singh Dullo; secretary, All India Congress Committee and in charge of Punjab, Nirmal Khatri; senior vice president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Pawan Dewan and others.

Dr Mahal led from the front. She said Congress had always been too generous towards the Sikhs. She pointed out Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi had installed a Sikh, Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister, appointed another Sikh, Lt Gen J.J. Singh as the Chief of Army Staff. She went further to praise Indira Gandhi for having appointed a Sikh, Giani Zail Singh as the President of the country. She also praised Pandit Nehru for his generosity towards the Sikhs but fell short of examples.

The laudatory notes of the Principal for the Congress were understandable as the president of the managing committee of the college, Mr Gurbir Singh Bhaku, son of late Justice Gurnam Singh is with the Congress.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included the Mayor, Nahar Singh Gill; chairman, Improvement Trust Ludhiana, Capt Paramjit Singh Sibia; Mohinder Singh Kalyan and Jagdev Singh Jassowal.



Pensions: SDMs asked to go for checks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 22
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, has directed all Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) to conduct random checking for ensuring the disbursement of pensions under various schemes of the Social Security Department, including old age, widows, dependent children and disabled persons, in their subdivisions.

These directions were given at a special meeting of SDMs and officers of various departments held in the committee room under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner here today.

In the meeting, the District Social Security Officer said the pensions for December, 2005, had been delivered to the beneficiaries through the panchayats of the villages in rural areas and through banks in the urban areas.

He said the pension for January, 2006, had been sent to the banks for further disbursement through the village panchayats.

Mr Verma asked the DDPO to direct the BDOs to appoint administrators immediately in those panchayats where the sarpanchs were not functional due to some reasons, so that the pensions could be disbursed to each and every beneficiary without any delay.

The Deputy Commissioner said in Ludhiana district there are total 90,867 beneficiaries, including 68,139 old age, 14,135 widows, 3,652 dependant children and 4,941 disabled persons, who are getting the benefit of pensions under various schemes.

He said as per the report of the Social Security Officer, Rs 1,81,73,400 had been deposited in the banks to disburse pension among 90,867 beneficiaries for December, 2005. Out of this, Rs 1,23,01,800 had been released for the rural areas and Rs 58,71,600 for the urban areas.

Mr Verma said strict action would be taken against the sarpanchs who would deliberately delay the disbursement of pensions to the beneficiaries.

In the meeting the progress of the various schemes of the Welfare Department, including Ashirwad, stipend to SC students and scholarship scheme, was reviewed.

Mr Verma directed the District Welfare Officer to ensure the disbursement of “Shagun” of Rs 6,100 each among the SC families under the Ashirward scheme at the earliest after the solemnisation of marriage of their daughters.

The District Welfare Officer said the payments under the Ashirwad scheme had been disbursed to the beneficiaries for the marriages held from April 1, 2005 till date and the backlog for the period before March, 2005, was also being cleared shortly.

The Deputy Commissioner asked the SDMs to check the disbursement through their staff and submit a report to him within a week.

The Deputy Commissioner asked the SDMs to monitor all schemes and hold regular meetings to review the progress. He appealed to the beneficiaries that in case they did not receive the payments of their pensions for the said period, they should immediately report to the SDM concerned.

Among others who attended the meeting include Mr Pryank Bharti, ADC (D), Mr M.S. Jaggi, SDM (West), Mr Amrita Gill, SDM (East), Mr Baldev Singh, SDM, Samrala, Mr Prem Chand, SDM, Raikot, Mr Karam Singh, Social Security Officer, and Mr Yash Pal Mehra, DEO(S).



Alag's book released
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 22
Renowned barrister of England, Ms Rashminder Kaur Sarai released the latest edition of Dr Sarup Singh Alag’s book, "Glimpses of Harmandar, the abode of God" at a special function held at gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha at village Chak Khurd here yesterday.

Special copies of the book were presented to Dr Nirmal Singh, general secretary of Punjabi Satth Lambran and Mr Manjeet Singh Suman of Leads, England. The speakers appreciated the selfless services of Dr Alag in the distribution of soul lifting and character building literature free of cost around the world.

Dr Alag informed that Alag Shabad Yug International Charitable Trust was at the moment distributing 60 publications of high acclaim the world over. Dr Alag announced the trust had plans to distribute one million copies of the 'Guru Granth Sahib- a supreme treasure' in English, Hindi and Panjabi by the year 2008, so that more and more people got acquainted with the philosophy, principles and message of Guru Granth Sahib. Trust publications were distributed at the function in huge quantity.



Camp for handicapped children
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 22
An identification camp was organised at Government Elementary School, Amarpura Colony here on Monday to provide aid to handicapped children of the block.

Mr Krishan Lal, a functionary of the Block Education Office said atleast 90 children were examined by a team of doctors, including Dr Rajesh Garg (ophthalmologist) , Dr Sukhbir Singh (ENT) , Dr Niraj Mittal (Medicine) and Dr Gurdeep Singh (Orthopadics). 



At the crossroads
Hasrat’s classic touch

Bahut jee khush hua Hali se milkar Abhi kuchh log baqi hain jahan mein

Hali Panipati said it a long time ago. Ajit Singh Hasrat is one such person.

Ajit Singh Hasrat is of the class of Dagh Dehlvi and Josh Malsiani so far as the purity of poetic diction and the felicity of expression are concerned. He treads the path paved by some Urdu poets of Punjab such as Mela Ram Wafa, Udhe Singh Shaiq, Kirpal Singh Bedar, Puran Singh Hunar, Huma Harnalvi, Rattan Pandorvi and Mitter Nakodari.

He says:

Khabar hui na mujhe aaj takk bhi kya hun main

Na jaane kitni tahon mein chhupa hua hun mein

Meri talash mein phirte ho maare-maare kyon

Suno! vajud nahin surat-e-sada hun mein

I have no idea even today who I am. Perhaps I am hidden in many layers. Why do you wander in search of me? Listen! I am not made of any substance but merely a shadow of sound.

Hasrat was born at Aalo Mahar Sharif (near Sialkot in Pakistan) in 1932. He shifted to Kapurthala after Partition and worked as a building contractor. Now in the twilight of his life he has settled in Ludhiana where his sons are in medical profession. He is eager to get his works published not only in Urdu script but also in Dev Nagari and Gurmukhi. To begin with, he has come up with his collection of Urdu ghazals, entitled “Tanveer-e-Funn”.

How does he view his contribution to Urdu poetry?

“I started composing poems in Urdu in 1954. I was 22 them. Without going to a college or university, but my deep interest in Urdu poetry helped me compose ghazals and nazms. Strangely, Gurbani has been a source of inspiration to me. Ideas crop up in my mind while reciting it.”

“Be it ghazals or nazam. I have retained the lyrical mode. I feel at ease with the words that signify sense by their sound.” Does he find himself in memories as a poet or as a person also?

“I look back to the past when I am in a creative mood. This provides me sustenance for giving a solid shape to my longings. But as a person I am forward looking. I have dedicated “Tanveer-e-furm” to my grandson Tanveer.

— N.S. Tasneem



Railway employees’ fast on
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 22
Led by activists of the Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU), railway employees here continued their chain fast for the second consecutive day in protest against indifferent attitude and repressive policies of the Northern Railway authorities.

Mr Major Singh, assistant secretary of the union, and Mr Karam Chand were among those who observed chain fast today.

Addressing the protesting workers, URMU functionaries, including Mr Sukhjinder Singh, branch president, Mr Raman Malhotra, branch secretary, and Mr Manohar Parashar, organising secretary, said the agitation would be extended to the entire Ferozepore division.

Union leaders alleged that the railway authorities were flouting norms and rules in the preparation of duty roster for parcel office and the payments relating to the carriage and wagon staff of container depot here were being directed to Delhi division, despite the matter being repeatedly taken up with the higher officials.

The URMU functionaries maintained that the agitation would continue till the demands of the agitating railway employees were accepted.



Drive to promote use of non-conventional energy resources
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 22
With a view to promoting the use of non-conventional energy resources (NCER), Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said a special awareness drive involving educational institutions, NGOs and students would be launched in the district.

Giving details, Mr Verma said the Department of NCER, Government of India, had constituted a district advisory committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to undertake the task of educating people through different mediums.

The ADC (D) and DM, PEDA, had been appointed its member secretary and coordinator, respectively.

Mr Verma said on this subject a chain of declamation contests, painting competitions and workshops were being organised in educational institutions involving NGOs and experts in different parts of the district.

In seminars, the lecturers of the experts of the NCER would be arranged to educate students and teachers, who would further spread the message in their areas of operation.



Govt staff hold rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 22
The Joint Action Committee of District Ludhiana Government Employees and Punjab Subordinate Service Federation organised rally in front of Mini Secretariat here today.

The district convener of the committee, Saathi Kuldip Singh, general secretary Bhagwan Singh Pangu and district president, Punjab Subordinate Service Federation, Mr Gurcharan Singh said that Congress Government had come into power on the vote of government employees but it had failed to fulfil its promises.

The election manifesto had promised the moon, but the employees had been given dust.

Neither the temporary workers have been made permanent nor have the vacant posts been filled. By giving medical care, education, electricity in private hands, the government had compromised with the welfare of employees.

The interest rate of the GP Fund has been lowered. The leaders have warned the government that if their demands weren’t met the members of their organisations would gherao the Vidhan Sabha on March 3.



11 injured in group clash
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 22
A fight between two groups of neighbours at Manak Majra village, near here, left 11 persons, including three women, injured last night. They were admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Gurdip Singh, one of the injured, told Ludhiana Tribune that his sister-in-law Kulwinder Kaur had gone out on Saturday night to answer to the call of nature, where Pargat Singh allegedly tried to get fresh with her. Kulwinder managed to escape. She along with her sister Sarabjit Kaur complained to Pargat’s family.

The incident was reported to sadar police station on February 20. The police visited the village the same day. Bhagat Singh and his supporters attacked the Gurdip Singh group with lathis. Some members of Bhagat’s family threw brickbats on the Gurdip group from their housetops.

However, Karampal Singh, a villager, said Pargat was watering his fields when Kulwinder entered the fields. Last night, Pargat Singh along with his associates attacked the Gurdip group.



Son kills father over bundle of beedi
Iqbal Singh

Khanna, February 22
In a shocking incident, an unemployed youth killed his father after the latter refused to give him Rs 2 for buying a bundle of beedi in Harkrishan Nagar here yesterday.

According to information available, an unemployed youth, Dharam Raj, asked his father Jogeshwar Ram, a migrant rickshaw-puller, who lives near Walia Public School in Harkrishan Nagar, to give him Rs 2 to buy a bundle of beedi around 9 pm yesterday. When Jogeshwar refused to give him money an angry Dharam Raj picked up an axe and hit Jogeshwar in the head. He later fled with the axe. Jogeshwar died at hospital in Patiala .Dharam Raj has been arrested. 



CICU for simple VAT
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 22
The Chamber of Commercial and Industrial Undertakings (CICU) has hailed the state government’s decision to felicitate ISO certificate holders while expressing confidence that the move would augment the growth of industry in the state and further improve the quality of industrial goods, making them competitive in the global market .

In a statement here today, Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president of CICU and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of CICU asserted the government would be able to achieve desired results of industrial growth only if the entrepreneur development programmes (EDPs) were inducted in the industrial policy.

They further asked the government to take necessary steps to simplify the VAT, prompt payment of VAT refunds and bring uniformity in the VAT rate for goods of similar nature and similar quality. At the same time, the state government should ensure adequate power supply to the industrial sector and bring latest technology within the reach of the small and tiny sector.

The CICU functionaries maintained that once a conducive atmosphere was created and latest manufacturing techniques were brought within the access of local industry, more and more units would go for ISO certification which would spell faster growth and expansion of the industrial sector here.



Biz Clips

Herbal cosmetics: Risira Biotech, an offshoot of the Bhargava group of companies, launched its herbal beauty care products here on Wednesday. Addressing a press conference, Mr Pradeep Bhargava, Director, said the products being offered here were of international standards. The group, that has an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore, expects a substantial rise after the launch of these products. Mr S.K. Sehgal, marketing chief, Mr Surinder Walia and Mr Amarjit Singh also addressed the conference. TNS

Geoffrey’s: Geoffrey’s, a restobar from the Sarovar group of Hotels and Resorts, marked its entry in Punjab’s markets on Wednesday. The restobar will be operational by next month, said Mr Dhruv Dutta, manager, Geoffrey’s, while addressing a press conference here. He said the restobar would offer a variety of food along with drinks. TNS


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