L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Latest machines showcased for farmers
Told to sow paddy after June 15
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
The farmers have been advised not to go for early sowing of paddy. This will not only put extra pressure on soil but would also lead to consuming of too much of water.

Addressing a farmers training camp organised here today by the department of agriculture, Gurdial Singh, joint director agriculture, pointed out, the watertable was falling in the state. Early sowing of paddy will require more water. He advised the farmers that they must sow paddy only after June 15.

Sandhu appealed the farmers not to burn the wheat stubble. Because burning of the stubble leads to death of friendly organisms in the soil. He suggested that the farmers should go for proper harvesting of wheat.

The department had showcased latest machinery available in the market for the benefit of the farmers. The farmers also evinced keen interest. Experts from different fields also answered the farmers questions on a number of issues.

Meanwhile, warning against early sowing of paddy, Sat Paul Mehra, additional director, Extension Education, PAU, called upon the farmers to follow recommended schedule for the purpose. The recommended date for paddy sowing was after June 15.

Mehra said some companies with vested interests were misguiding the farmers regarding the issue which would invite unnecessary insect-pest attack and prove suicidal for the environment.

He advocated sowing of only PAU recommended varieties.

The Package of Practices for Kharif Crops brought out by PAU gave details on the subject for successful farming, he added.

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Process fruits, vegetables for good returns: Expert 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
Though India is the second largest producer of fruits in the world, fruits and vegetables worth Rs 30,000 crore get destroyed every year due to lack of proper handling and processing after the harvest. This was disclosed by Dr N.S.Malhi, director of Extension Education, PAU, today.

Dr Malhi said this wastage could be curbed only through correct harvesting, canning and marketing of the produce.

He informed that 98.5 million tonnes of vegetables and 49.8 million tonnes of fruits were being produced at the national level.

Selling them in the form of juices, squashes, jams, jellies, marmalades, purees, ketchups etc was an alternative besides marketing of the crop in foreign countries at lucrative prices. Similarly, vinegars, pickles, chutneys and potato chips could be prepared.

Dr Malhi revealed that only 2 per cent of the fruits and vegetables produced in India were processed. He appealed to young farmers to come forward in this field, as fruits and vegetables worth Rs 1,100 crore were being marketed in foreign countries. However, out of this amount Punjab's contribution was only 2 per cent.

There was a need to face the challenge of managing 7 lakh tonne of fruits and 28 lakh tonne of vegetables being grown in Punjab at present, he added.

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PAU staff hail VC’s exit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
The Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union has welcomed the resignation of vice-chancellor K.S. Aulakh, saying it would be in the best interest of the university.

Interestingly, the union stood by Aulakh all through six years of his tenure and started finding faults with his functioning only after he resigned.

While holding Aulakh responsible for various ills being faced by the university today, it has not made any mention about the issue that led to his resignation or the interference of the government into the day-to-day functioning of the university.

In a carefully worded statement, apparently drafted with a view not to antagonise the powers that be, the union president, D.P. Maur, and the general secretary, Amrit Lal, said: “The resignation of Aulakh will go in favour of the university as well as its employees. The university remained in acute financial crisis during the tenure of Aulakh which resulted in non-fulfillment of a number of demands of the employees.”

These issues, they said, included withdrawal of leave travelling concession, liquidation of pension fund, increasing unbearable work load on staff by keeping hundreds of posts vacant, victimisation of employees for negligible mistakes committed while performing duties amidst heavy work load, uncertainty in the disbursement of salaries, allowance, non-implementation of pro employees decision of the board of management that caused resentment amongst the employees.

The union leaders claimed that they had to resort to 25 days’ long agitation in 2006 for receiving the payments of interim relief, DA and enhanced medical allowance.

However, they avoided mentioning that the dharna was held against the state government and not against the university authorities or the vice-chancellor.

The leaders appealed to the government to appoint a new vice-chancellor “who must have a scientific outlook and be able to get the institution, Punjab and farming community crisis free by providing dynamic leadership”.

They also appealed to the government to provide need-based grants to PAU so that the interests of the university, farmers and its employees are taken care of.

Meanwhile, the Marxist Communist Party of India (United) has criticised Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for mishandling the whole issue.

In a statement, the MCPI-U observed that instead of calling up the vice-chancellor on telephone, he should have got the issue raised in proper forum that was the board of management. The party observed that this simply amounted to “gross and uncalled for interference into the day-to-day functioning of an autonomous institution by the government”.

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Course on pig farming
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 3
The Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry extension, College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, will organise a training course on pig farming from April 9 to 13.

According to O.S. Parmar, director extension education, the course will be beneficial for self-employment. The pig rearing can be adopted well as there is a good scope of earning money from it and is also a viable alternative to traditional agriculture.

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City centre scam: Bail plea hearing adjourned
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, April 3
The hearing on bail applications filed by two arrested in the multi-crore city centre scam would come up for hearing on April 13. A local court today issued notice to the Vigilance Bureau and directed it to produce the record on the next date.

The accused, Amit Sardana, director, IPE company, New Delhi, and Kamal Kumar, director, special project of the company, yesterday moved regular bail application in the sessions court.

Both the accused were arrested by the bureau on March 23. Thereafter, they remained in police remand for a week.

It has been submitted that they have undergone sufficient police remand and no more remand is required.

The hearing on the anticipatory bail application filed by former PPCC president H.S. Hanspal has already been fixed for April 13.

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