L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Village cluster adoption programme a success 
Cotton revolution in Punjab
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 25
Punjab stands at the cusp of a "white gold revolution", thanks to the introduction of the village cluster adoption programme (VCAP) launched in the cotton belt of Malwa by the Vardhaman-led consortium of spinning mills of northern India and banks.

The programme has raised the average cotton yield to 965 kg lint per hectare which is 33 per cent higher than the world average of 724 kg lint per hectare

This programme was launched in 2003-2004 with the cooperation of the Punjab Agricultural University.

The village cluster adoption programme which has covered 50 villages of the Malwa cotton belt has brought prosperity and a ray of hope for cotton growers of this region.

The success of the programme can be gauged from the fact that the average cotton yield has been registered as 965 kg lint per hectare which is 33 per cent higher than the world average of 724 kg lint per hectare. The yield of 50 villages is much better than 894 kg lint per hectare of the USA.

Even the yield of 50 fifty villages can be compared with the yield of China - the Organon, world's leading cotton producer having yield of 1195 kg lint per hectare.

The brain behind the village cluster adoption programme is SP Oswal, chairman of the Vardhaman textile group, which started this programme in 2003-2004 with the adoption of one village. This was followed by 10 villages in 2004-2005, 25 in 2005-2006 and 50 villages 2006-2007.

The number of farmers of these 50 villages is 5266 with an area under cotton to the tune of 43324 acres.

Oswal says that the idea was to reach the doorstep of the cotton growers rather than they coming to experts and providing them the latest knowhow for the cultivation of cotton.

These villages are now serving as "leading lights or beacon of hope" for other villages of the Malwa region where cotton is synonymous with life.

“Cotton is not only the spine of the local economy, but also the soul of its social calendar," says Oswal.

The credit for the success of this programme goes to the experts of Punjab Agricultural University who under the leadership of Dr K. S. Aulakh, outgoing vice-chancellor, took pains to visit the villages to guide the farmers in their fields.

Besides the Vardhaman Group, the other participating cotton mills in the village cluster adoption programme are the Nahar Group, Trident Group, Aarti Group, JCT mills and GPI Textiles Ltd.

Oswal attributes the success of this programme to the hard-working, enterprising and intelligent farmers as well as to the competent and committed experts of the university and the director of agriculture, Punjab.

The President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, was so impressed with the success of the VCAP that he personally visited some villages of Malwa belt in 2005 and called upon the cotton growers of the country to follow their pattern of cotton production.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is also very impressed with the VCAP and has urged S P Oswal to adopt 50 villages of the Lambi Vidhan Sabha constituency. He has promised to provide Rs 50 lakh for the adoption of the programme in the Lambi segment.

The Punjab state as a whole is all set to achieve new records of cotton production, thanks to the introduction of Bt cotton two years ago with the efforts of Dr K S Aulakh and the former development commissioner of Punjab who personally took up the issue of approval of Bt cotton varieties with the central government.

The state has registered a record cotton production of 27 lakh bales this year because of Bt cotton varieties. Further the cotton growers got better price of their produce and also saved money as Bt cotton does not need many sprays compared with the traditional cotton varieties.

Oswal points out that Punjab has yet to fully exploit its potential on cotton front. If the entire state achieves 965 kg lint per hectare, the same yield as achieved by 50 villages, it can produce 35 lakh bales, eight lakh bales more from the same area ( 6.18) lakh hectare at present under cotton cultivation.

Additional production of cotton belt will entail additional income of Rs 810 crore to the farmers of the state.



7 booked on dowry, harassment charges
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 25
The police has booked seven persons, including five NRIs, under Sections 498-A, 406, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC for allegedly harassing a bride to bring Rs 35 lakh for purchasing luxury car and diamond jewellery and threatening to kill her.

The investigation of the case has been entrusted to the special investigation cell of the district police.

Suman Deep Kaur, daughter of Swaran Singh of Lalheri village here, alleged that Lovejot Singh, her husband, Gurnam Singh (father-in-law), Paramjit Kaur (mother-in-law), Navdeep Kaur and Simranjit Kaur ( sisters-in-law), all NRIs settled in Canada, and Raj Kaur and Kulwinder Singh of Bathinda had harassed her to bring Rs 35 lakh from her parents for buying a luxury car and diamond jewellery. Though she had been living with her in-laws family in Canada for a long time, the accused had deserted her after forcing her to come to India on the pretext of attending a marriage at Bathinda.

The perusal of FIR registered on the statement of Suman Deep revealed that she had been married to Lovejot Singh on March 5 last year. She claimed that her parents had given Rs 10 lakh to the groom’s family, besides spending a huge amount on jewellery and other household goods. "My father even paid for air tickets when Lovejot and I went for honeymoon to Goa and gave us an amount of Rs 50,000 to meet other expenses on the tour," reported Suman Deep.

The woes of Suman Deep started after September 22, 2006, when she reached Canada to live with her in-laws. "Instead of welcoming me to their family, they started demanding Rs 5 lakh to meet their demands in the family. To see me happy in my family, my father handed over this amount to Raj Kaur and Kulwinder Singh at their residence at Bathinda," stated Suman before the police.

Later the NRI family started harassing her for bringing Rs 35 lakh for buying a luxury car and diamond jewellery for her sisters-in-law.

"And when I refused to force my parents to send me this unmanageable amount, they thrashed me and made me sign some blank papers. In January this year, they forced me to come to India on the pretext of attending a marriage in Punjab," she said.

She alleged that Gurnam Singh ( father-in-law) and Paramjit Kaur ( mother-in-law) had snatched her travel documents before deserting her.

The complainant has now urged the police to initiate action against the accused. 



Woman complains of Rs 1.87-cr land fraud
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 25
The local police has booked five persons, including a coloniser, under Sections 420, 406 and 120 B of the IPC for allegedly duping a woman of Galwatti village of Rs 1.87 crore, the proceeds of land belonging to her.

Joginder Kaur, wife of Sher Amir Singh of Galwatti, complained to the police that Rajinder Nath Verma, son of Som Nath of Nabha, Krishan Kumar of Amloh Road, Khanna, Amandeep Singh, son of Gurnam Singh of Nabha, Sarabjit Singh, son of Joginder Singh of Nabha, and B. N. Sharma of Panchkula had allegedly conspired to dupe her of Rs 1.87 crore that had been realised by the sale of her land.

According to an FIR registered on the statement of Joginder Kaur, Rajinder Kumar, partner of Som Sons Colonisers Pvt Ltd, Nabha, had agreed to purchase a piece of land measuring 88 kanals from the complainant on January 24, 2002.

A power of attorney favouring Krishan Kumar was prepared two months later.

"But the accused later conspired to add another piece of land in the same power of attorney and got a consent letter from Nabaha tehsil in favour of Rajinder Kumar later. They disposed of plots and received amounts totalling

Rs 1.87 crore from buyers on my behalf but refused to pay me the proceeds,” Rajinder Kaur stated before the Khanna police.

She accused the coloniser of incorporating details of another piece of land measuring 15 acres in a similar way.

Gurcharan Singh, SHO, Sadar police station, said the investigation of the case had been transferred to the Special Investigation Cell.

Banarsi Dass, in charge of the cell, confirmed having received the file. “But further action will be taken after studying the case and verifying facts from revenue records,” said Banarsi Dass. 



Riot victim trapped in red tape
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
Kuldeep Singh, a son of a riot victim, is literally trapped in the proverbial official red tape. Thanks to petty clerical objections raised against his appointment order as a clerk on compassionate grounds two years ago, Kuldeep is yet to join service. And he is not sure when he would be able to.

Kuldeep was just four when his father was killed in the infamous anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi in 1984. At that time his mother Jasbir Kaur was granted pension along with an assurance by the government that her son, when he attains the eligible age, would be given a government job on compassionate grounds.

Kuldeep Singh, now 27, with a letter issued by additional secretary, Assistance and Rehabilitation Department, Government of Punjab, has been making rounds of the district administration office for the past two years to let him join as a clerk but in vain. Sore over the apathetic attitude of the staff at the district administration office, Kuldeep Singh feels harassed and dejected.

Kuldeep alleged that he was being mentally tortured by the clerical staff, who raise one objection or the other over his appointment as Group-C clerk. On March 18, 2005, Kuldeep Singh along with two other kin of riot victims were issued letters by the Rehabilitation Department regarding the appointment. The others, namely Deepak Kumar and Ajay Kumar Bhanot from Ludhiana, had joined their respective duties nine months ago but Kuldeep's fate still hangs in balance.

A visibly harassed and upset Kuldeep said that it was difficult for the whole family to survive on his mother's paltry pension of Rs 2500 per month. The only bread-winner in the family, his wife and two small sons are also dependent on him. "Though I have been working at a factory here, I hardly get enough money to feed the family," he said.

After crossing several hurdles and clearing various objections, Kuldeep Singh still feels uncertain about his job. "The officials are nice to talk to but the clerical staff keep on raising objections as if they have to pay me from their own pocket," he regretted, adding that they asked me to produce death certificate of my father, which I produced. Then they objected to the Red Card, which we got in 1986. They asked why it was made in 1986 and not in 1984. Finally I was able to convince them. Now they want the post-mortem report of my father. When my mother did not even get the body, how can she produce the report. He was identified through his clothes and other articles," he said.

But with deputy commissioner's assurance to look into the matter within seven days, Kuldeep hopes to join his duty in near future. 



Storm-hit farmers get relief
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Nawan Pind (Ludhiana), April 25
Senior Akali leader Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal today release cheques for Rs 76.14 lakh for compensation to 218 farmers of Jarg village in the Payal constituency.

Their crops were damaged by the recent hail storm/heavy rain.

Grewal said for farmers in Jarg, Sirthla, Manhpur, Raquni and Devipur villages of Payal, total compensation amounting to Rs 1,54,35,000 had been sanctioned by the government.

The Punjab Government had enhanced the compensation of damaged crops of natural clammily from Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 per acre for 100 per cent damage and released the funds without delay after completing the survey.

The government was exploring the possibilities of introducing crop insurance scheme.

He said the survey to identify the poor families under subsidised atta-dal scheme was near completion.



Newly weds commit suicide

Ludhiana, April 25
A newly married couple allegedly committed suicide under mysterious circumstances in New Upkar Nagar late last night.

While the husband, Gulshan, died yesterday night, his wife Ricky passed away this morning.

Though the exact reason of the suicide could not be known, police sources said both had a quarrel over some issue.

The additional SHO, Sukhdev Singh of the division No. 8 police station, said according to the post-mortem examination, the man seemed to have consumed poison a few minutes before his wife did the same. She took the poison after her husband did not respond to her call. — TNS



Orders on bail plea of Jagjit reserved
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 25
Special Judge Gurbir Singh today reserved orders on the anticipatory bail applications filed by former local bodies minister Chowdhary Jagjit Singh, managing director of IPE company, Ashwajit, general manager, Today Homes, Sanjeev Gupta, and assistant manager Sourav Gupta for tomorrow.

The arguments were partly heard by the court yesterday. Thereafter, it was adjourned for today. It was adjourned on the request of District Attorney(Legal) Mitter Sen Goyal, who was deputed by the Director Prosecution and Litigation Punjab, to pursue the City Centre Scam case.

Meanwhile, the Judicial Magistrate Kuldeep Singh today extended the police remand of executive engineer of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust D.C. Garg and chief engineer Manmohan Singh for a day.

The duo was arrested in this case on April 21. Then they were remanded to police custody for two days. During the police remand the Vigilance Bureau had claimed to have recovered Rs 40 lakhs from a friend of accused-Garg, with whom he had allegedly kept his money.

Today, the Vigilance Bureau sought the extension of the police remand for another seven days. It was submitted by these prosecutors that during the police remand, the investigation agency had made much progress.

The extension of the police remand was sought on the grounds that the Bureau wanted to recover Rs 15 lakh, which Garg had admitted to have kept with his brother.

A team had gone to recover the amount but the house was found locked.



Ward delimitation leaves many councillors unhappy 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
The delimitation of municipal wards announced late last evening for the ensuing elections of the Municipal Corporation had left many swollen faces among sitting councillors, whose wards had been reserved for various categories.

The Punjab Government finally released the list of the newly delimited 75 wards instead of 70 wards, subject to objections. The five new wards have been carved out from the exisitng limit with each ward given some area. No new area has been added to the MC limits.

Many councillors are in the process of filing objections to the principal secretary, Local Bodies, against the newly delimited wards, claiming that there were discrepancies in the entire process.

Though it was the first day of the seven-day period of filing objections against the delimitation and reservation of wards, nobody filed any objections and councillors were preparing to do so.

Ward number 26, which has been rechristened as 46 as per the new delimitation, has been reserved for a woman for the second time. Last time, Pushwant Kaur was elected councillor from this ward.

A former councillor and SAD leader, Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, who was waiting for a final nod to contest from this seat said he was disappointed with the delimitation. ‘‘How can a ward be reserved for the same category for two terms consecutively? It is unfair’’ he said.

Madan Lal Bagga, another councillor from ward number 4, also has objections to the delimitation. His ward is now numbered 22 and it had also been reserved for a woman. ‘‘I will certainly file an objection. The area falling in ward number 22 was actually ward number 3. But now they have renamed it 22 from 4.’’

He said if the objections bore any fruit, it would be fine otherwise he would contest from some other ward.

The ward of Rajinder Singh Bhatia (ward number 36) has also been reserved as per the delimitation. He also has objections to the same.

Raj Kumar Sood, another councillor candidate, said the ward he wanted to contest from was re-numbered from 3 to 4. He alleged that the new demarcation was vague and he would file an objection.

For many others, the reservation for SC and BC men and women did not go well. They alleged that the requisite for reserving these wards was not taken into consideration properly.

The delimitation of wards was notified yesterday.

As per the new demarcation, out of 75 wards, the 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 37, 40,42, 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61, 64, 67, 70 and 73 number wards have been reserved for women while 45 and 65 were reserved for backward classes, 4, 13 and 52 for SC women and 5, 8, 15, 21, 53, 62 and 72 have been reserved for SC men.

As many as 37 wards have been reserved for different categories and 38 kept for general categories. 



CM honours PAU cotton scientist 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 25
The Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, has honoured Dulcha Singh Brar, director of the Punjab Agricultural University, Regional Station, Bathinda, for his contribution as a team leader of scientists of the Regional Station, Bathinda. He provided expert technical guidance in the cultivation of cotton in the adopted villages from 2003 to till date.

A special award was presented to him at the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) award ceremony for excellence in the cotton production in Punjab (6th and 7th edition) held recently at Bathinda.

The Village Adoption Programme being initiated at Fatehgarh Nauabad village in Bathinda district during 2003 as a joint venture of the Regional Station, Bathinda, and the Bathinda Cotton Purchase Office of Vardhman Spinning and General Mills Ltd. has become a success story.

This programme was extended to 10, 25 and 50 villages during 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively. The President, APJ Abdul Kalam, also visited a village ‘Gehri Buttar’ in Bathinda district on December 10, 2005. He appreciated the programme.

At the award ceremony, the Punjab Agricultural University, Regional Station, Bathinda, was appreciated for initiating this programme.



Air Marshal Ahluwalia awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 25
Air Marshal Padamjit Singh Ahiuwalia, PVSM AVSM and Bar VM VSM ADC Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Air Command, has been awarded Param Vishist Seva Medal by the President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in an investiture ceremony held recently at Rashtrapati Bhawan, a Halwara Air Force Station press release said.

The Air Marshal is a highly decorated officer. He has approximately 4000 hours of flying experience in all types of fighter aircraft. He has held a judicious mix of staff and field appointments and has done several tours of professional and diplomatic assignments abroad.

He is considered a highly operational Commander with exceptional managerial skills.



Sangat darshan held at 7 villages
Our Correspondent

Khamano, April 25
The licences of depot holders who do not provide ration to the poor in the villages will be cancelled.

This was stated by Alak Nanda Dayal, deputy commissioner of Fatehgarh Sahib, while hearing the problems of the people at the sangat darshan programme held at seven villages, including Manderan Laanpur, Amargarh, Jatana Ucha, Jatana Neecha, Farour and Bhambri of Khamano subdivision.

Most complaints filed were about the non-availability of ration for the poor, less number of teachers in the schools and other common problems.

The problems of mud water and widow pension were also discussed.

At Bhambri village, the villagers raised the issue of construction of Shaheedi Gate, which was to be constructed in the name of Kargil martyr Gurmel Singh.

The DC ordered the officials concerned to take notice of the people’s problems and solve them.

The SDM, Ravinder Kumar, DSP Balwant Singh, DPR Kalra and other officials were present at the sangat darshan.



Martyr’s statue cries for attention
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 25
The statue of Captain Ravinder Singh, who laid down his life in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, is in a state of neglect. Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that promises made by various political and social leaders to the family members of the martyr have proved to be hollow.

The leaders even stopped paying floral tributes to the martyr after some years. Ludhiana Tribune had also highlighted apathy of the leaders regarding the maintenance of the statue prior to the assembly elections. Though a social organisation, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Youth Club, had got the cabin whitewashed then, it seemed to have used the noble act for publicity.

The garlands that were presented by Jasbir Singh Khangura, Congress nominee, now legislator of the constituency, and his supporters before leaving for filing nominations for the election have now dried up, but nobody, including the Army men sitting in the shade of the cabin, has bothered to take notice of the disrespect being caused to the martyr.

Though the government had christened a village girls school in memory of the martyr, the authorities paid little attention to make the anniversary a calendar day for the residents. What to talk of arranging elaborate functions, the statue was not even whitewashed and painted. The interior of the cabin housing the statue was earlier covered with spider webs. 



Servant abducts minor girl

Our Correspondent
Jagraon, April 25 Mukhtiar Alam of Rajia Patesri (Bihar), who was working as a servant at PCO-cum-boutique belonging to Meenakshi, wife of the late Amarjit Arora of Raikot, allegedly abducted her minor daughter aged 16.

The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 363 and 366, IPC, on the complaint of the mother of the victim. According to the information, Mukhtiar Alam on the pretext of going to Ludhiana left the PCO with an assurance to return by the evening.

When Meenakshi came back to her house, she found her daughter missing. She suspected the servant’s hand in abducting her daughter.

Police remand for JE

Jatinder Walia, SDJM, Jagraon, today remanded Joginder Singh, JE, PWD, Ludhiana, in police custody till April 26 in a case registered by the local police under Section 307 of the IPC and under Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.

The JE allegedly shot at Manmohan Katyal, an advocate, on April 23 at Hotel SnehMohan Regency, near here. According to the information, the JE had demanded Rs 50,000 as bribe for issuance of a no-objection certificate which was declined by Manmohan Katyal.

One dies in mishap

Balwinder Kaur was killed near Chowki Mann when a Punjab Roadways Bus driven by Raminder Singh of Ramuwala Jalal coming from Ludhiana hit her.

The incident happened while the woman was crossing the road. The local police has registered a case under Section 304-A, IPC, against the driver.

In another incident, Navdeep Singh of Mullanpur was injured near Hissowal when his motor cycle was hit by an Air Force Ambassador car driven by Sorav.

The Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the IPC against the driver.

The injured has been admitted in CMC, Ludhiana.

Land grab case

Avtar Kaur, Harjit Kaur of Sohian, Jagdev Kaur, Amritpal Singh of Chuhar Chak, Jagbir Kaur, Gurinder Singh, Baljit Kaur and Satinder Singh of Sirthala have allegedly taken forcible possession of land belonging to Sukhvir Kaur of Chaminda.

The Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 447, 511, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC.

15 booked for assault

In two separate incidents, the Dehlon and Dakha police has booked 15 persons on charges of assault.

In the first incident, Kundha, Dhalla, Sukhi and his brother belonging to Narangwal Kalan along with five unknown persons allegedly stopped Jagdeep Singh of Mehma Singh Wala and assaulted and threatened him with sharp-edged weapons, knife and sticks.

The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 341, 324, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC against them. Some old enmity is said to be the reason behind the attack.

In the second incident, Ram Singh, Bhagwan Singh, Ranjit, Nuni and Thindi along with one person allegedly entered the house of Gursharan Singh of Bhanor and assaulted and threatened him with sticks.

The Dakha police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 341, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC against them.

The injured has been admitted in Civil Hospital Ludhiana. Some old enmity is said to be the cause of the crime.

No arrest has been made in both cases. 



Poultry industry to generate jobs in villages: Experts
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 25
Poultry is no longer a backyard venture. It has grown into a full-fledged industry with a potential of generating about six million jobs by the year 2010 in the rural areas.

These observations were made during the inaugural session of the 24th conference and national symposium of the Indian Poultry Science Association (IPSA) being held at the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University (GADVASU), here.

The conference is being organised by the Department of Livestock Production and Management, GADVASU, with the theme "Poultry Production for Rural Employment and Nutritional Security."

The conference was inaugurated today by AL Chaudhary, president, Veterinary Council of India.

Chaudhary said the world poultry industry had grown consistently since the 1940s and the broiler and chicken industry now occupied the second place in volume in the world just after pork. He said India ranked fourth in egg production and fifth in broiler production.

The poultry farming in India, he said, has transformed from backyard venture into a dynamic agro industry over the last four decades. Egg production growing at 5 to 7 per cent and the broiler production at 10 to 12 per cent every year is contributing about Rs 350 billion to the National GDP and providing employment to about 1.6 million people.

He said the optimum per capita availability of eggs and poultry meat could be achieved through strong entrepreneurship augmented with improved germplasm, better feeding, management and disease control measures.

In his presidential address, V.K. Taneja, vice-chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, said the per capita availability of eggs in India was still far too short of the international standards. It was only 41 per annum as against the ICMR recommendations of 180.

He disclosed that six states — Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana — having only 30 per cent population contributed about 60 per cent of the total egg output in the country.

Taneja said the poultry industry had a potential to generate employment at a large scale in the rural areas. It was expected that at the present rate of growth, the strength of 245 million layers and 2500 million broilers by 2010 AD would create about 6.4 million jobs in the country, mostly in rural areas.

The eminent speakers at the conference included PS Johri, president, Indian Poultry Science Association, A.K. Shrivastav, director, Central Avian Research Institute, M.S. Oberoi, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) expert and regional coordinator, South Asia, N.P. Kondaiah, director, National Research Centre on Meat, Hyderabad, and deans and directors of various colleges and institutes.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |