L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

PAU gets Rs 5 cr for research on diversification
Breeding of oilseeds, pulses on anvil
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
In order to give a boost to agricultural diversification in the state, the Punjab Government has sanctioned Rs 5 crore to the Punjab Agricultural University for its research schemes in agricultural diversification and development.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by the Financial Commissioner Development, Mr. G.S.Cheema, at Chandigarh last week.

The Chairman, Punjab State Farmers’ Commission, Dr G.S.Kalkat, State Director Agriculture, Dr B.S.Sidhu, State Director Animal Husbandry, Dr. B.S.Sidhu and PAU’s Director of Research, Dr B.S.Dhillon attended the meeting.

Dr Dhillon today said this money was for breeding important varieties of oilseed and pulses to enhance productivity and nutritional quality.

The research schemes are for breeding export quality varieties of basmati rice, durum wheat and specialty maize hybrid and malt barley. It would be used for bio-technological application to improve field and horticultural crops and varieties of forage crops for better yield and nutrition.

Other projects included in agricultural diversification, research and development programmes are to develop suitable varieties for fresh, processing and export purposes.

Besides, standardisation of production technologies for horticultural crops.

Enhancing soil health and efficient water management for sustainable crop production has a special component in addition to identification and evaluation of oil seed and pulses best cropping systems for diversification.

Dr. Dhillon said the PAU would focus on standardisation of production and protection technologies of improved varieties of medicinal and aromatic plants as well and on improvement of the existing integrated pest management techniques to control insects, pests and diseases.

For value addition, development of processing technologies and equipment is also on the agenda.

Besides, research will be on evaluation of machinery for mechanization of identified alternate crops like oilseed, pulses, vegetables, orchards, resource conservation and crop residue management.

A detailed project report on each of the 11-odd components was placed before the high-level committee which put its stamp of approval to give Rs 5 crore to the PAU.



Industry terms PM’s visit a fruitless excursion
Says neither incentives given nor meeting allowed
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Local industry termed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the city yesterday a “fruitless excursion” that proved disappointing for businesses in Punjab. Entrepreneurs of small industrial units complained that not only did the PM fail to announce any incentive for the benefit of industry in the state, they were also not given a chance to meet him.

“The visit was eagerly awaited but proved to be a fruitless excursion....we were hopeful that some special package for industry would be announced but we are highly disappointed and annoyed as nothing of the sort was done,” rued Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

Industry representatives said that industry in the state was passing through a tough phase on account of various factors like acute power shortage, labour unrest, neglect of the PSIEC towards maintenance of industrial areas and focal points, non release of various subsidies and absence of tax holidays.

They pointed out that neighbouring states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal were getting a lot of incentives due to which the state had become an unattractive industry destination and industry based here uncompetitive.

“Even as most of these issues have been repeatedly brought to the notice of state government there has been no action in the direction. The PM’s visit was a ray of hope but all our hopes dashed to the ground as not even a mention of industry was made,” said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

A section of industrialists also expressed resentment that “the PM accepted individual invitation of the Mittals but did not care to meet the industry, particularly small-scale units”. “The attitude only gives us a feeling that both the Centre and state government care only for large enterprises, those who can talk about and bring large sums of money, while blatantly ignoring the small industry which is the backbone of economy,” an industrialist said.

Some industrialists said that they had requested a meeting with the PM but their request was turned down. They said they had prepared memorandums listing their demands but the exercise proved fruitless. “If the governments at the Centre and state continued ignoring the small-scale sector the way it is doing now we must tell them their government’s days are numbered,” another industrialist said.



PM’s visit—an exercise in futility?
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Was the visit of Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to the city an exercise in futility?
The answer seems to be in the affirmative considering that he inaugurated two trains and a freight corridor with a remote control device. Residents say that he could have done the same from Delhi only and there was no need to put pressure on the public exchequer.

More than Rs 1 crore spent on making preparations on his visit could have been utilised in some public works, feel the think tanks of the city.

Moreover, the inconvenience caused to the public on the day of his visit could have also been averted. Most of the schools were closed in the city yesterday and many people did not attend the office till the time the PM was here.

The worst sufferers were the patients in various hospitals whose surgeries were scheduled for yesterday but were postponed as the doctors could not reach the hospitals till afternoon.

A doctor in a local hospital on the condition of anonymity said there were many patients who were waiting for them for different surgeries. ‘‘But we could not reach there and the patients were waiting for hours together. Is it fair for a democratic country to hold up patients for a VIP’s visit? ’’ he asked.

‘‘We were shocked to find that he was inaugurating the projects with the help of a remote. It can be digested in the modern world but where was the need to come all the way from Delhi? He could have sat in his office and used the same device to inaugurate projects in Punjab,’’ said a city resident.

He added that it sounded strange to the people gathered in the stadium when they saw Dr Manmohan Singh and Union Railway Minister, Mr Lalu Prasad, showing green flags to trains that were nowhere in sight. ‘‘Do they think we can lap up anything they give us without even using our brains?’’ he asked.

‘‘As many as nine SSPs camping in the city is no joke. The state could have been spared of all this inconvenience had he considered staying back in Delhi. ’’

The residents feel that his Ludhiana visit was aimed at ‘‘primarily gaining political mileage’’ besides inaugurating a rich company’s project in Laddowal. They have started seeing a purpose in his visit to the city in lieu of some rumours doing the rounds in the Congress circles that the PM may contest from the Ludhiana Parliamentary Constituency in the next elections.



Local Congress leaders felicitate Prime Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
A group of local Congress leaders led by Mr Pawan Dewan yesterday felicitated Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on his arrival at Halwara airbase. The chairman, Punjab HOUSEFED, Mr KK Bawa,was also present on the occasion.

Mr Dewan said a memento was presented to Dr Singh as he was the son of the soil and had done proud to every Punjabi. He said Dr Singh reciprocated the gesture of the local party leaders.

Mr Dewan said the Prime Minister wanted that every Congress worker and leader should ensure the victory of the party during the coming elections in the state. He lauded the outstanding contribution of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who was also present on the occasion, in ushering a new era of development in the state. 



4 booked in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Amloh, September 28
A dowry death case was registered here last night on the statement of Mr Amarjit Dhingra, whose daughter was allegedly murdered by her in-laws for not meeting their demand of more dowry at their house near Kila (Fort) Amloh.

Mr Dhingra stated in the complaint that Jai Bharti (24) was married to Jishan Arora, alias Rajan, about a year ago and they had given dowry according to their capacity. He said that about six months ago, her mother-in-law Privash Devi demanded Rs 1.5 lakh for the new shop of her son. Jai Bharti had gone to her parental house on September 25 and came back with her brother in Amloh on September 27, he added.

The police has booked Privash Devi, Jai Bharti’s father-in-law Surinder Pal, husband Jishan Arora and his younger brother Bhavish Arora, under Sections 304-A and 34 of the IPC .

The body was sent to Civil Hospital Amloh today for the post-mortem examination. The brother of the deceased ruled out the possibility of suicide and said it was a murder case.

Earlier, Jishan Arora had alleged that the death was a case of heart failure.



Panel formed to probe violence on vets

Ludhiana, September 28
Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, has constituted a panel consisting of Mr Mohinder Singh Kainth, ADC (G), and Mrs Neeru Katyal Gupta, AC (Grievances), to conduct the inquiry assigned by the Chief Minister of Punjab over the alleged high-handedness of some police officials while controlling the agitating veterinary students of the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University on September 21 at PAU, here.

The parties concerned have been summoned on October 4, 2006 at 3 pm in the courtroom of the ADC (G) at the Mini Secretariat.

Mr Gupta said the letter has been issued to the Veterinary Doctors Association to intimate the members of the association and the Registrar of GADVASU to communicate with the representatives of the panel. — TNS



Tributes paid to Bhagat Singh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 28
Paying glowing tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his birth centenary celebrations here today, former legislator and senior Congress leader Jagdev Singh Jassowal described him as a guiding spirit of the freedom movement of India, who kindled the fire of nationalism among the youth in the early twentieth century.

Addressing a function organised by Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch, Mr Jassowal urged the state government to form a state-level committee to chalk out an elaborate programme for observing the birth centenary year of the martyr all over the state in a befitting manner. He said in order to perpetuate the memory of the martyr, a poster was being prepared which would be released during Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Mela at Moga on October 19 and 20.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, chairman of the manch, said the Union government was being approached to issue a commemorative stamp to mark the birth centenary of Bhagat Singh. He also said efforts were on to compile a book on the life and philosophy of Bhagat Singh .

Mr Gurbhajan Gill, senior vice president of Punjabi Sahit Academy, made a fervent plea to the government to shift the weapons used by Bhagat Singh to the museum at Khatkar Kalan. "The pistol used by Bhagat Singh to kill the British police officer is not a mere weapon but a tool that got India its freedom. He further said the academy would organise a painting and poetry competition on the freedom struggle with special reference to Bhagat Singh.

Noted film maker and lyricist Inderjit Hassanpuri paid a tribute to Bhagat Singh through a patriotic song, while also making an appeal to Punjabi singers to record songs on nationalism and the patriotic spirit during the birth centenary year of the supreme martyr.

Prominent among others present at the function were Dr Maan Singh, former chairman of Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Mr Surinder Aggarwal, Mr Ravinder Ranguwal, Mr Surjit Deol, Mr Harinder Singh Kaka, Mr Ranjit Singh Kannu, Mr Ashwani Kumar Bawa, Mr Onkar Singh, Mr Hardeep Bawa, Mr Harchand Singh Bir, Mr Pawan Garg and Mr Rajeev Bawa.

The birth anniversary was celebrated by shopkeepers of Maloudh. A function was organised to receive a “jatha”, led by Mr Kartar Singh Bowani from Doraha.

Mr Jagdish Singh, Mr Amardaljit Singh Phoolka, Mr Sanjeev Puri, Mr Vijay Kumar and Mr Bhagwan Dass addressed the gathering, among others.

Children presented choreography items and skits related to martyrs. 



‘VIP’ history sheeter joins probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Under fire for being present at the function of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at Guru Nanak Stadium on Wednesday, Shambhu Prasad, who has seven FIRs registered against him, was today interrogated in one of the cases at Focal Point police station.

Though enjoying political and police patronage, Shambhu Prasad was investigated after news reports exposed how he was sitting in the VIP box at the PM’s function despite being a ‘recommended’ history sheeter.

SP City-II D.P. Singh said Shambhu Prasad was questioned in a case registered against him under Sections 452, 427 of the IPC.



Chopra calls for responsible journalism

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 28
Terming journalism a missionary and pious profession, Mr Vijay Chopra, a veteran journalist and Chief Editor, Hind Samachar Group, urged the mediapersons of the area to understand the significance of every word they contribute for publishing in their respective newspapers, as any irresponsibility might cause an irreparable loss to the persons and institutes concerned.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune after interacting with representatives of various social organisations and journalists here, he said the concept of regional editions had increased the problems, as more matter was to be processed in same, rather shorter period of time daily.

Admitting that a large of number field reporters lacked the expertise in news writing, he suggested that the managements of various newspapers should organise workshops occasionally. "Instead of wasting time and energy in litigation the managements should organise workshops for their stringers and other field staff," he argued.Earlier, Mr Chopra urged representatives of various social and religious organisations of the area to join hands to help terrorist victims in Jammu and Kashmir. —OC



Pensioners disillusioned with govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 28
The Government Pensioners' Association regrets that the Cabinet sub-committee, headed by Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal to examine the demands of employees and pensioners, has utterly failed to make any recommendation in this regard.

The postponement of all meetings of pensioners to be held on September 14, 25 and 26 respectively, have dismayed the pensioners. In a press note, Mr Yash Paul Ghai, general secretary of the association, said the Congress government had not fulfilled even a single demand or electoral promise. Their demands include increase in medical allowance, merger of 50 per cent DA with basic pension for pre-April 2004 retirees, promise of payment of travel concession as in case of post-April 2004 retirees and old age allowance at par with MLA pensioners in Punjab.

The 3rd Punjab Pay Commission had also made a recommendation to this effect 18 years ago. However, it was not implemented till date, he rued.



Bank begins anti-foeticide drive

Samrala, September 28
The Punjab National Bank branch has started a campaign against female foeticide under the bank’s Mahila Sashaktikaran Abhiyan, according to Mr Anil Sama, senior regional manager of the Ludhiana region, here today. Talking to mediapersons, Mr Sama said people should come forward and help the government agencies curb the practice of female foeticide. OC



Couple booked for firing in air
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 28
Paramjit Singh and his wife Narinder Kaur of Talwandi Rai village allegedly fired in the air with a revolver .32 bore revolber. The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 307, 341 and 34 of the IPC and 25, 27 and 59 of the Arms Act at the instance of Palwinder Singh of their village.

No one was injured in the incident and no arrest had been made so far.

Six booked for assault: Randir Singh and his mother , Kunda Singh of Bhanor and three unknown persons allegedly entered the house of Ram Singh at Karimpura Dakha and assaulted Ram Singh and his brother Balwinder Singh with sword, sticks and toka.

The Dakha police has registered a case under Sections 324, 323, 452, 148, 149 of the IPC at the instance of Ram Singh. The injured have been admitted to the civil hospital Ludhiana. some old land dispute was said to be the reason behind the assault. No arrest has been made so far.

Wire stolen: An electric wire belonging to the Punjab State Electricity Board was allegedly stolen from Sidhwan Bet at night. The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 457, 380 of the IPC on the complaint of Jagtar Singh, Assistant Engineer, PSEB. No arrest has been made so far.



Bank opens marketing cell

Ludhiana, September 28
The State Bank of Patiala opened its marketing cell here recently. A bank press note said the cell would market various schemes like home loans, mortgage loans, car loans, education loans, loans to small and medium enterprises, term loans, etc. TNS



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