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AGRICULTURE

Bt cotton brings smile on farmers’ faces
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The cotton production in the state has got a push, thanks to the recent introduction of Bt cotton variety. The work done by cotton scientists at PAU has resulted in farmers getting higher yields at less cost.

This became possible because Bt cotton has in-built capacity to resist predators. In fact, 50 per cent of the total insecticides (7,400 MT) are used on cotton in Punjab. This had jacked up the cost of cultivation.

The overuse of plant-protection chemicals had started affecting human health, besides polluting soil. Many farmer friendly insects and pests became a victim of chemical pollution and poisoning.

Around six lakh hectare is under cotton cultivation in southwest districts of the state. To be by the side of farmers and to ensure that cotton growers do not fall prey to unscrupulous traders, the Department of Entomology, PAU, has now set up the “Society for Sustainable Cotton Production”.

The society has been established under the Insecticides Resistance Management (IRM) Project. It has come out with “Cotton Bulletin” for distribution in the cotton belt of the state. The bulletin in Punjabi carries all information that farmers should have about cotton cultivation.

Articles by experts from PAU offer information and provide education to the farmers. It was formally released today by the Dean, College of Agriculture, Dr G.S. Chahal, president of the society.

The bulletin tells the farmers how to identify genuine Bt cotton seeds, its benefits, varieties available, names of recommended sprays and benefits of integrated pest management.

The farmers should not show any laxity when it comes to getting soil and water tested or to report, entomologists say. The PAU extension specialists should be informed as and when farmers notice any morphological changes in the cotton or there are signs of new diseases or pests.

A study on the impact of IRM for the management of cotton pests in the adopted villages has revealed that this technique brought down the number of sprays from 13.8 to 8.6, slashed the cost of spray from Rs 9,403 per hectare to Rs 5,782.

As a consequence, the cotton seed production was logged at 1,898 kg per hectare against 1,667 kg per hectare from the fields where IRM was not applied. In other words, IRM strategies have helped farmers net profit of Rs 36,547 per hectare against non-IRM cotton, which gave net profit of only Rs 27,574 per hectare.

The managing editor of Cotton Bulletin is senior entomologist Dr A.K. Dhawan and executive editors are Dr Ravinder Singh and Dr Anil Sharma. The senior vice-president of the newly formed society is Head Entomologist, Dr G.S. Deol. Another bulletin on protection of Bt cotton from pests was also released.

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From Schools and Colleges
Nostalgic celebrations on Mother’s Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The literary week that was being celebrated in BCM School, Dugri, ended today. Various inter-house competitions were organised during the week. The students let their imagination fly in creative writing and essay writing competitions. They expressed their poetic side by participating in poetic competition. Students participated in declamation contests and narrated stories in story telling competitions.

Some students participated in a talent hunt competition and surprised everyone by displaying their talent. Ms Vandana Shahi said that during the literary week, the students were involved in useful activities and got an opportunity to bring out their talents.

Mother’s Day

Chanda Mama staff and students made it a special day for the mothers of the students. The students presented hand-made cards to their mothers. On one side of the card they had stamped mother figure. On the other side they stamped father figure. The children sat in the laps of their mothers and enjoyed the show on DLP projectors. Children enjoyed watching stories told in a dramatic way. The students presented a live show for their mothers and sang ‘I love u mummy’. The same exercise was done in Lovely Lotus on May 12 and both mothers and grandmothers enjoyed the show.

Tips on health given to villagers

NSS volunteers of SDP College under the guidance of programme officer, Ms Sudesh Bhalla, Ms Nivedita Arora and Ms Sunita visited Jagirpura village here yesterday. The main aim of the visit was to make the villagers aware of social problems like female foeticide, bad effects of abortions on women’s health, pollution of AIDS and harmful effects of drug addiction. They were also given instructions on how to conserve water and electricity..

In a survey the students found villagers did not have potable water in village. The students gave tips on healthy living by telling them about a balanced diet and importance of cleanliness. They also told them about the importance of tree plantation. They urged them to stop the burning of wood, husk and stubble after harvesting as it adds to air pollution.

Poetry recitation

A poetry recitation competition was organised by the NSS Unit on the fourth day of the 10-day special camp being organised in Guru Nanak Girls College to mark Mother’s Day. Students recited poems on topics like ‘O mother, Ambri da veda.’

Mrs Praminder Kaur, programme officer, advised the volunteers to obey and respect their parents. Among the students Khusboo (B. Sc.-I), Seepal (B.Sc-II), Parul B.Sc-II, Rati Bedi BA-III, Prabhjot Kaur B Sc-III, Monika B Sc-III, Anisha Goyal B Sc-I recited beautiful poems depicting mother’s love. Ashwinder Kaur B Sc-III sang a song,”Maa Hundi ae maa o dunia walo”. A practical demonstration on various kinds of paintings was given by Ms Gurasis Kaur. She demonstrated the various techniques of pot-painting, glass painting and fabric painting. She also gave useful tips on creative utilisation of routine items for interior decoration.

Poetry recitation

Kundan Vidya Mandir organised an ‘inter-house poetry recitation competition’ here today to instill confidence in the students and to enable them to appreciate the beauty of languages. The competition aimed at enhancing the hidden talent of the students.

Principal S.C. Saxena presided over the function and was accorded a floral welcome by incharge, higher section Mrs Aruna Pawar. Mrs Rashmi Grover, lecturer, Department of English, Government College for Women, Ludhiana and Mrs Harjit Kaur, head of Hindi Department, Government College for Women, Ludhiana, adjudged the contestants for the English and Hindi language respectively.

As many as 24 students (4 from each house) participated in the competition. The audience sat spellbound listening to the beautiful poems. The themes for English poetry were ‘War’ and Motivation,’ while theme for Hindi were ‘Naari’, ‘Hasya vyang’ and ‘hasya.’ Some of the great poems that came over the stage were ‘O Captain; my Captain! A Psalm of life, Abraham Lincon’s letter to his son’s teacher,’ Hasya ras, ki vyang Kavita’, ‘Pati Bikri Kendra, Makhan Mahima, Ravan, ‘Veh raah tumhare liye nahin’ etc.

In a solemn and beautiful ceremony, office bearers of Senior Humanities Forum took the oath and were decorated with badges by the Principal. The president, Anish Bhatia, took the oath on behalf of the other members.

The function ended with the National Anthem. The result of the competition is as follows;

English: Ist Lokesh Anand, 2nd Ashima Khurana and Kunal Khurana, 3rd Saurabh Jindal and Navriti Sharma.

Hindi: Ist Anubha Gupta, 2nd Shekhar Kapoor and 3rd Samikshya Loshali.

House wise results: Ist Nehru House, 2nd Raman House and Tagore House, 3rd Patel House.

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NSS volunteers told to fight pollution
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 15
A 10-day special camp of NSS (girls) is being organised at the Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, from till May 20.

The theme of the camp is “Youth for Swastha”. For this purpose, a one-day medical check-up camp has been planned and volunteers will also be educated on the first aid and Yoga.

The camp was inaugurated by college Director S. Jaswant Singh Gill and Principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu. Principal Sidhu stressed upon the need to conserve the environment and to maintain the ecological balance.

He said it was the duty of every individual, especially NSS volunteers, to put in his best efforts to stop various forms of pollution so that the natural environment could be preserved.

“Various toxins and poisons that we are adding to the soil in the form of pesticides and insecticides, smoke and poisonous gases, effluents of factories etc getting mixed with water channels are proving harmful for human health and are creating hazards and imbalance in the ecology,” he said.

Programme Officer Prof Harwinder Kaur thanked the guests.

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Plea to quash demand on bill dismissed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The District Consumer Forum has dismissed the demand of a consumer to quash the bill of Rs 19,050 raised by the PSEB on account of theft of electricity, with the observation that the board officials had raised the demand as per the rules and regulations.

Mr A.S. Narula, President and members of the forum, held the case put forth by the consumer was not sufficient to hold that the allegations of theft of electricity were not proved. The observations were made by the forum while deciding the complaint filed by Sushil Sood of Daresi Road, Gandhi Nagar, Ludhiana.

It was submitted by the consumer that the officials of the PSEB had changed his old meter. Thereafter, a demand of Rs 19,050 was raised by it in May, 2005, on the basis of ME Lab report. But the demand was not raised as per the mandatory instructions of sales regulations. The meter reader, during his routine checking, had never found any fault with the working of the meter.

The consumer said he was served a notice by the PSEB regarding the time of checking of his removed meter in the ME Lab. But when he went there, he was told that the meter was not available for checking. He came back and in this way the checking of meter was not done in his presence.

Later, the presence of one Ramji Dass was marked at the time of checking of his meter, who was neither his employee nor his authorised representative, added the consumer.

On the other hand, it was pleaded by the counsel of the PSEB that the demand was rightly raised. The glass of the meter was found tampered and pieces of said glass were found inside the body of the meter. There were scratches on the disc and also on the figures of the meter by some sharp instrument.

The checking was done in the presence of a representative of the consumer after serving the notice. As it was a case of power theft, the account of consumer was overhauled and demand of Rs 19,050 raised, added the counsel of the PSEB.

After hearing the rival contentions, the forum observed that during arguments it was stated that no notice was served upon the consumer intimating him of the time of checking of the meter in the ME Lab. Whereas in written complaint to the forum, the consumer had submitted that he was served a notice by the PSEB but sent back by saying that the meter was not available for checking, which made the stand of consumer to be contradictory.

Moreover, the consumer had placed on record affidavits of certain persons stating therein that Ramji Dass was not his employee. But these affidavits were of no help to consumer, as perusal of the same showed that they were not filed by the neighbours, it added.

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