L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

A first in state: Traffic training in village school
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohanpur (Khanna), April 18
A private school situated on the GT road near this village, around 7 km before Khanna, has set up an example of imparting road safety education by setting up a traffic training centre on the school premises for the use of students, town residents as well as the nearby villagers.

DGP N.P.S. Aulakh inaugurated the centre this morning. This centre is the first of its kind in the state. Green Grove Public School gave its land for the purpose. The school was also probably one of the few schools in the region to impart traffic education as per the Motor Vehicles Act.

DGP Aulakh and the school management presented a commendation certificate to Sham Sunder Juneja, an acclaimed life time road safety missionary. He had earlier designed a traffic centre of this kind in Ludhiana city. Juneja spent over two months in setting up the centre.

Equipped with real life driving situations, the centre imparts all kind of education about traffic rules, signs, charts and necessary care and precautions needed while driving, taking a turn, overtaking and parking among several others.

DGP Aulakh said the school had done a commendable job worth emulating by other schools. He said if children were taught rules in young age, they could help prevent accidents.

SSP, Khanna, Gautam Cheema said only proper education and training of drivers could prevent accidents. He disclosed that the country had a high number of accident rate, most of which occurred due to lack of proper training to the drivers. Patting Juneja on his back for his self less zeal in spreading traffic awareness, Cheema called upon the area residents to make the optimum use of the centre.

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Rain brings respite...and woes
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Thundershowers experienced in the city last night provided a much-needed respite from the blistering heat, dipping the mercury to a considerable low and reducing pressure on electricity and water.

But at the same time, the rain brought with itself a number of problems for the residents, who remained without electricity for quite a few hours. There was no water supply in the small hours this morning due to snags in the power supply connections.

The rain continued till the noon. The civic body, which had laid the stormwater sewer last year by spending lakhs of rupees was exposed as the roads were flooded with water. There were snarls of vehicles on the roads last night as the commuters were trying to anticipate their way on the waterlogged roads in the absence of streetlights.

Electricity was restored in some areas in the morning. Employees of the Municipal Corporation remained on their toes to drain water collected on the roads. Still many roadsides were waterlogged throughout the day.

The residents feared that with the water collected in the puddles, mosquitoes will breed. There was no sight of anti-larva cell employees who should have sprayed the water with insecticides to stop breeding of insects.

While life was limping back to normalcy in the morning, erratic water supply remained on the top of 'woes-list' of the residents after the bad weather. Residents of some areas complained that they were without water. Some said the supply was restored but the pressure of water was still very low.

K.D. Chaudhary, Chief Engineer, PSEB Central Zone, said the power supply was restored in all areas in the morning. He added that the damage was not much and the snags were rectified. He said such minor problems were a part of such weather situations and people should take these in their stride instead of complaining.

The showers, however, reduced the temperature by 11 degrees Celsius. The mercury had touched the 40-degrees mark and the residents had switched on the airconditioners and other cooling systems for the past many days. Today the temperature as recorded by the PAU meterological lab was 29 degrees Celsius. 

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Wheat procurement halted
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 18
After the rains lashed Ludhiana last night and in the morning today, people heaved a sigh of relief. The day temperature fell by eleven degrees, giving them much-needed reprieve from the intense heat. While the day temperature yesterday was 40 degrees C, today it came down to 29 degrees C.

Ludhiana was reeling under intense heat for the past one week.

According to weather experts in the Department of Agronomy, Agrometeorology and Forestry, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, the weather is expected to remain cloudy with the possibility of thundershowers all over the state and adjoining areas.

Meanwhile, the procurement of wheat in most of the mandis was halted today due to the showers. There was virtually no trading of wheat in the mandis in the region. With limited covered space available in the mandis, the farmers covered their wheat with plastic sheets. However, no major damage was reported from any place as the water did not accumulate anywhere in any of the mandis. Even the harvesting and thrashing of the wheat was held up for today.

The weather experts said although the weather was likely to remain cloudy there was not much possibility of heavy showers. Nor was there any likelihood of strong winds. They said the farmers need not to panic. Since most of the wheat is already matured, the rains are not going to have any adverse impact on the crop.

There was a possibility of the harvested wheat lying in the fields getting partially damaged. But the damage may not be alarming since the showers did not last long. Moreover, once there is sunshine the harvested wheat will also dry down, thus reducing the chances of any major damage.

The agriculture experts said there was nothing unusual about the rains at this time. Although the rains are not expected during this time, these are by and large not that harmful, they said. 

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Exporters lose as rupee gains
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Small-scale units are feeling the heat of the strengthening rupee against dollar. While the performance of rupee is on its peak in the past around a decade, those engaged in dealing with export units are complaining of delayed payments. Market experts have warned that losses on account of the present situation could be as high as Rs 1,200 crore for small units across the state.

A large number of exporters are trying to delay acceptance of payments, hoping that the coming days would witness a rise in dollar vis a vis rupee and a better the scenario for them. As a result, units associated with such enterprises are complaining of delays in their payments.

The 10 per cent rise in rupee value within six months has affected sales and profit margins by an equal value, said experts.

"This 10 per cent difference could lead to heavy losses as a similar decline is being witnessed in sales and also in margins," said regional chairman of Engineers Export Promotion Council S.C. Ralhan, adding, "a 10 per cent rise is quite high, a unit can accommodate may be 2 or 3 per cent but this kind of difference could result in heavy losses. The orders received were prior to strengthening of rupee but since the scene has changed now, a large number of exporters are silent so as to delay the receipt of payments."

Disturbed over the changes in rupee value, exporters said barring importers, none of the sectors was benefiting from the current change.

"If the scene continues, the manufacturing sector would be hit hard as people would want to import at lower prices," an irate exporter opined.

Delay in payments is not only affecting units dealing with exporting enterprises, it would also have a bearing on trade in the coming days.

"As a result of current delays, raw material procurement in the next few weeks too would be delayed and so would be other processes. If unchanged, this situation could hit our exports hard," said Ralhan.

Ludhiana is engaged in an export of around Rs 7,000 crore and Punjab roughly Rs 12,000 crore. The 10 per cent rise would mean net losses of Rs 1,200 crore for the state and Rs 700 crore for the industrial town.

Major industries that are suffering are engineering goods-- cycle, auto parts, handtools etc-- and textiles.

Industrialists said while all input costs had increased by over three times in the last decade, the current rupee value had diminished their earnings.

They said if the government did not come to their rescue the situation could toughen for them. "The government should fix the parity rate (export) or offer subsidies to exporters. We are quite disappointed with the government's statements that country is flourishing when the SME that contribute to over 60 per cent of total exports, are being hit so badly." 

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Kidnapping case
Co-accused was also known to parents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The parents of kidnapped child Ranjan, who was recovered by the police yesterday, were further shocked when they realised that the co-accused in the case was also an old acquaintance.

The other accused is their relative

Child’s father Bandeshwar today told reporters that co-accused Malik Pandit had learnt the work of mason from him. “I taught him the work from scratch and made him earn a livelihood. And he paid me back by kidnapping my son”.

Malik Pandit was yet to be arrested. He had managed to give the police a slip. SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh informed that Malik had learnt the work of mason from Bandeshwar but could never become an expert like him. While Bandeshwar went on to become a successful contractor, Malik could not progress much.

He said both Malik and Phlena Ram, Bandeshwar’s relative, were jealous of Bandeshwar’s success and decided to kidnap his son.

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PUDA gives plots for a song
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
In a city where every inch of land is sold at skyrocketing prices, the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) gave 244 plots of different measurements on almost half the market prices at Dugri, phase II and III, in a draw of lots held here today.

While the land is sold for Rs 15,000 per square yard in that area as the property consultants say, the plots measuring 266 square yards was given away at the rate of Rs 7450 per square yard.

The plots measuring 611 and 981 square yards were allotted at the rate of Rs 8200.

Jeet Ram, Executive Officer of PUDA said the authority acquired land to pass it on to residents at government prices so that all strata of society could own a house.

He added that the purpose of PUDA was not to make profits alone but to provide houses to the maximum number of people at controlled prices. 

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Acid attack: Women’s panel points a finger at soap operas
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Critics of the K-serials have got a strong supporter in the Punjab State Commission for Women (PSCW), which has come down heavily on domestic violence shown in the soap operas. The commission felt the accused in the recent acid attack on four girls here might have taken a cue from such serials.

Chairperson of the commission Parminder Kaur has called upon chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) Dr Girja Vyas to take some initiative against the portrayal of women in such serials as well as domestic violence in them.

Referring to the acid attack case, Parminder Kaur wrote in a letter to the NCW: “We wish to inform that these operas on different TV channels showing the act of domestic violence have culminated the already foul mind of youths. The same scene was enacted in the ‘Kasauti Zindagi Ki’ where in acid was thrown on a woman. The acid attack accused seem to have taken a cue from the serial”.

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Ludhianvis make a splash
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The rising mercury in the recent days has forced the city residents to frequent various swimming pools for a respite from scorching heat. Many of these swimming pools in clubs and hotels are witnessing a huge rush where people from different age groups are pouring in to get the cool feeling. To add more charm to the sport, the authorities has put on music and lights in the evening.

General secretary of the Lodhi Club Manoj Gupta said the pool was started today after a thorough cleaning. He assured that the club management would try to maintain hygiene at all costs. “To avoid any kind of infection of eyes or stomach, which are common in the season, we make sure that water is changed regularly. We have made special shelves for the members to keep their things safely”, he claimed.

Swimming at the Sutlej Club had already started 15 days back. The club witnesses rush during evenings. The majority of swimming lovers are children up to 15 years of age, who enjoy the maximum with their parents. “People hover around the pool all the time. It is the most enjoyable sport in summers. We have fun in the evening”, said Rhea, Aashna and Sehaj, students of Sacred Heart Convent School, who come for swimming regularly with their maids.

The children, women and men could be seen attired in bright colour swimming costumes. All swimming lovers look fresh, enthusiastic and expressive. For kids, there is a separate shallow pool, where they can float and enjoy. “These small kids are under constant watch of their mothers or maids”, said one of the attendants at the club.

Though the pool of the Municipal Corporation near the Sutlej Club was yet to be started the drive was on to clean it thoroughly. Sushma Malhotra, a regular member of a local swimming club, said swimming was the best recreation activity of life to be healthy and fit. “In other exercises, a lot of sweat comes but swimming gives a refreshing feeling”, said Malhotra. At many pools, soft music could be heard and people enjoyed the splash of water with music. The managements of pools had kept separate timing for kids, women and families.

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‘Tarot cards make 99% right predictions’
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, April 18
Famous Delhi-based tarot card reader, Poonam Sethi, is in the city for three days in Hotel Majestic Park Plaza. Few years ago, she met an old Greek tarot card reader who told her that she would become tarot card reader. Now, she has been practicing it for the last 18 years and has travelled across the world. Her motto throughout has been, “More you give the more you receive.” She also practices colour therapy, rudaraksh treatment, crystal healing, and pyramid healing.

Talking of tarot cards, Sethi said when a person pulls out tarot cards himself/herself then the tarot cards give almost 99 per cent correct answers. If someone else pulls out a card on anyones behalf then the accuracy is reduced to 62 per cent.

Talking to the media, she said, “Science of tarot card reading cannot be really taught, though guidelines can be given. There is an element of supernatural in it.”

She said the biggest problem that plagues the people nowadays, is depression. It starts in the teens and as the people advance in age the problem becomes more serious especially among the women of age groups 45 to 55 years. She said problems vary according to age groups. For people of age group 15 to 25 years, the problems are regarding education while in age group 25 to 35, the problems are career related. In the next age group of 35 to 45 the problems revolve around money, competition and extra-marital affairs. In age group, 45 to 55 stress and depression and children issues arise and later health problems create hassles. 

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Grateway founder Dumra dead

Ludhiana, April 18
Hari Dutt Dumra, founder of the Grateway Limited and Eveline Hosiery, passed away, here, last evening. Dumra (92), was credited with making hosiery industry globally competitive.

Born in Lyallpur (now in Pakistan), in 1915, he shifted to Ludhiana prior to partition and started hosiery business under the name ‘Grateway Limited’. He was among the first ones to start export of hosiery products to Russia and the European markets. He also started cotton production in early 70s.

Apart from establishing the Dumra Noble Trust, his name is associated with setting up of institutions like the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital and the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. — TNS

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Rs 55,000, gold jewellery stolen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 18
Some persons entered the house of Charnjit Behal at Agwar Ladhai in Jagraon and decamped with Rs 55,000 and gold ornaments worth Rs 55,000 last evening. According to information, Charnjit Behal is a book seller and his wife Pinky had gone to see her husband at their shop when the incident took place. The local police has registered a case under Sections 457, 380, IPC. No arrest has been so far.

Bid to usurp land

Gursharan Singh of Dakha village tried to take forcible possession of a land belonging to Harnarinderjit Singh, an NRI, in his village. The Dakha police has registered a case under Sections 447, 511, IPC.

One held with poppy husk

The Dehlon police has arrested Jagroop Singh of Lohgarh from the Killa Raipur area and seized four kg of poppy husk. It also impounded the truck in which he was carrying the contraband. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.

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