L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Record June rainfall a boon for agriculture
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
Record rainfall in the first half of June is always a boon for the state. But it does not happen always. However, this June it was after six years that the state had a record rainfall. It was in 2001 that in the first half of June the state had 43.4 mm of rainfall, which was much above the average. This year, in the first half of the month, the state has witnessed 40.8 mm of rainfall.

The good quantity of rain will have a good impact on agriculture, particularly paddy. Since the sowing of paddy is blamed for the continuous fall in the water table, this year’s good pre monsoon rainfall will help in preventing major fall in the water table.

With most of the land already having been ploughed in, it will also help in better water absorption and retention in the soil. There will not be major pressure on the water resources, particularly groundwater. This will also save electricity and diesel used for drawing underground water.

According to scientists at the Punjab Agricultural University, there appears to be a regular pattern of good rainfall after every two years. They pointed out the rainfall was substantially good in the year 2001 (43.8 mm), 2004 (35.4 mm) and 2007 (40.8 mm). In the intervening years it was quite low. In 2002 there was only 22 mm, 2003 far too less with just 9.4 mm, 2005 probably the lowest at 9.2 mm and 2006 only 16.3 mm.

Although it is difficult to attribute any particular reason for this pattern, there seems to be certain cycle that leads to increased rainfall after every two years. The PAU scientists maintained that these were only pre monsoon rains and the monsoon would not reach Punjab before the first week of July.

Anyway, the scientists said the pre monsoon rains were always welcome and good for paddy as it relaxed the pressure on water and energy resources. It was not only agriculture that was benefited the most, even the fall in temperature also helped in saving the huge amount of electricity.

The PAU scientists had also been claiming that there insistence on transplantation of paddy only after June 15 had been justified with these rains. Had the farmers started transplanting paddy earlier, they would not have spent too much on electricity and diesel.

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Pulse output needs to be increased: VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
Punjab Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor Manjit Singh Kang today suggested that the government must provide avenues of marketing for pulses to encourage their production.

He said this would help a great deal in increasing the area under pulse cultivation in the state.

Speaking at the field day at Dhatt village,organised by Punjab Agricultural University, near here, today, the Vice-Chancellor said the government must focus on ensuring better prices for pulses, proper marketing and more seed production of improved varieties and special purchase centres at different places.

He said in Punjab, about 75,000 tonnes of pulses were produced but the yearly demand was 5 lakh tonnes. He said the central government had started the 'Food Security Mission' scheme in which more emphasis was being laid on increasing wheat, rice and pulses production. He said, a new variety, SML 668, of summer moong would bring a new change in Punjab Agriculture as it was of short duration (60-65 days) and could be sown as a cover crop in between rice-wheat system. Its sowing could provide good returns to the farmer, improve soil fertility by adding nitrogen through symbiosis and would also help to avoid early sowing of paddy by which a lot of water could be saved.

Dr B.S.Dhillon, Director of Research, stated that providing “dal-roti” to increasing population was the need of the hour. He emphasised the need for dal processing and suggested the farmers to sell their produce on their own in small packets for higher profits.

Dr N.S.Malhi, Director of Extension Education, suggested to sustain the soil fertility and improve water-use efficiency. He indicated that cultivation of summer moong and other pulses might help greatly in crop diversification.

Stressing on the need to improve quality, Dr M.L.Chadha , Director, AVRDC Centre, ICRISAT, Hyderabad, said sprouted moong or addition of tomato in moong dal increased the availability of iron present in moong seeds.Dr H.S.Sekhon, in charge, pulses section, revealed that as summer moong was a short-duration crop, therefore, its proper management was very important to achieve higher productivity.

Dr Sandhu from IFFCO stated that IFFCO was at the service of farmers to provide good quality fertilizer at proper time.

Towards the end, Dr B.L.Bhardwaj, Head, Department of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology, proposed the vote of thanks.

The dignitaries visited the moong fields at Raquba village where Kartar Singh had sown summer moong in 11 acre after wheat harvest. They also visited Gureh village for the same purpose.

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Fashion school organises summer workshop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology (PIFT) organised a fashion and personality grooming workshop in the summer camp organised at Ludhiana Club, from June 15-17. More than 60 club members participated to upgrade their skills in block printing, tie and dye, embroidery, personality grooming and communication skills and learning about latest fashion trends.

On the first day, information regarding block printing and tie and dye were given to the students. The garments and different bedsheets and pillow covers designed by the students of PIFT were also displayed. The faculty of PIFT imparted knowledge about latest techniques of block printing by making pillow covers.

On the second day different types of embroidery were taught. Some new designs were taught to the participants for the different types of necklines on suits. Sample files of stitches and designer necklines were shown to the students. A lecture on texture effects on fabric and paper were shown to the students. A lecture including communication skills, etiquette and manners was delivered by a personality development trainer.

On the third day, a workshop on latest fashion trends for summer and winter season, dressing styles and interior designing skills for residences were conducted by the architecture faculty of PIFT.

The faculty members focused on the practical training through out the three-day workshop.

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Summer camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 18
A 16-day-long summer camp for students of BCM Senior Secondary School concluded here today.

In this camp, 430 students participated in various activities like yoga, dance, music, sports, aerobics, art and craft, mehandi designing and oil painting.

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