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Seed treatment best remedy
Bt cotton faces fungal attack
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Leaf spots on cotton due to different fungal and bacterial pathogens seem to have become more prominent after the cultivation of Bt cotton, say PAU plant pathologists Dr H.S. Rewal and Dr Chander Mohan.

According to them, in the past year, high incidence of pathogen-alternaria blight was reported in many fields in Bathinda, Mansa and Faridkot districts. Because of the attack of different fungal and bacterial pathogens, cotton leaves develop pale green leaf spots with irregular margins. These spots enlarge, turn brown and are recognised easily due to the presence of concentric zones. Severe infection causes shedding of leaves, especially where soil is light in texture. The disease is more serious on plants having low vigour or those which are raised in the fields having low potash.

According to scientists, another type of leaf spot has also been noticed in the cotton. The pathogen attacks both leaves as well as bolls. Circular to semi-circular brown coloured spots with broad violet margins appear on leaves, bracts as well as bolls. Later on, small dark dot like structures are formed inside these spots. The fungus is seed- borne and also survives on dead leaves.

The disease is favoured by high humidity and rains. Dense growth in Bt cotton is favourable for the development of this pathogens.

As per these scientists, bacterial leaf blight, also known as angular leaf spot, is characterised by black arm and boll rot depending upon the portion of the plant affected. The disease appears on leaves in the form of minute water-soaked angular spots which later on turn brown. The disease extends up to veins and veinlets which also turn black. Spot on bolls appear as round water soaked areas which later turn dark brown or black and are slightly depressed. Spotted bolls may fail to open and lint may be discoloured with a yellow stain. Before boll rot is evident dark, irregularly shaped spots are observed on bracts surrounding the lower portion of bolls. Under severe disease conditions, defoliation results. The bacterium survives in seed as well as plant debris.

“Seed treatment before sowing is the best remedy against the leaf spot” said the scientists. However, the infection at later stage can be controlled by spraying 500g Blitox 50WP and 3g Streptocycline in 200 lt of water per acre at 15-20 days interval. The sprays should be started just after the rains. Depending upon the frequency of rains, two to three sprays should be given.

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PAU staff oppose Dhillon as pro V-C
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The joint action committee (JAC) of the Punjab Agricultural University Employees and Teachers Union has opposed the decision of the Board of Management to appoint Dr B.S. Dhillon, present director of research, as pro vice-chancellor of the university after his superannuation, which is due at the end of the current month.

The committee said such an appointment would be in gross violation of the Haryana and Punjab Agricultural Universities Act, 1970, which did not have any provision for the post of pro vice-chancellor.

Moreover, there is a widespread feeling on the campus that creating the post of a pro vice-chancellor would only lead to a parallel power structure on the campus, which would not be in the interest of the university.

Dr Balwant Singh, convener of the JAC, said way back in 1999 he along with Dr A.S. Grewal had challenged the appointment of Dr K.S. Aulakh as pro vice-chancellor of the PAU in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the same ground. However, before the petition was disposed of on May 11, 2001, Dr Aulakh had resigned from the post of pro vice-chancellor and taken over as vice-chancellor with effect from April 1, 2001. The petition, thus, was rendered infructuous.

However, the court had significantly observed in its order that the petitioners could approach the court with the same plea if the university again made any “subsequent or consequential appointment against the post of pro vice-chancellor”.

Dr Balwant Singh added that the PAU Board, too, realising its mistake of appointing Dr Aulakh as pro vice-chancellor decided in their 195 meeting held on July 30, 2001, to abolish the post of pro vice-chancellor as the “post did not exist in the PAU Act” and “there might be legal complications in continuing with this post”.

He regretted that the PAU Board had acted against the spirit of the High Court order and their own decision of July 30, 2001, by deciding to appoint Dr Dhillon as pro vice-chancellor.

Dr Balwant Singh said new vice-chancellor Dr M.S. Kang was a competent and energetic scientist and administrator, who had rightly objected to the appointment of pro vice-chancellor to help him. 

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Vehicle registration work computerised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Neeru Katyal, assistant commissioner (grievances) and officiating SDM, Payal, has informed that the work of registration of new vehicles at the Suvidha window at the SDM office in Payal has been computerised.

She said as per the guidelines of officiating deputy commissioner Pryank Bharti a new software, Vahan, would be used to prepare the computerised registration certificates of the vehicles.

Now the applications for the registration of new vehicles would be received at the Suvidha window and the registration certificates would be delivered on the third day after the submission of the application.

To facilitate people in getting their routine work relating to the SDM and the tehsil office done, a number of services had already been made available at the Suvidha window and the applications could be submitted and received at a single place.

She also appealed to the people to make the maximum use of these services by depositing the applications supported with the required documents.

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Taxation Bar members decry harassment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 21
The District Taxation Bar Association (sales tax) has decried the harassment of traders and heavy penalties being imposed on frivolous grounds by the officials of excise and taxation department under the VAT Act.

Addressing an emergent meeting held here today to discuss problems being faced by the bar members and the traders, general secretary of the Punjab Taxation Bar Association Narinder Singh Bedi alleged that the interception of goods carriers and the seizure of goods at state barriers on the pretext of locked TIN number had almost become a routine for the excise and taxation staff. As a result of such undesirable action, trucks were being withheld at state barriers for days together, causing immense loss of money and business to the members of trade and industry. Bedi claimed that the provisions of VAT did not vest powers to lock the TIN number with the officials, whom he charged with resorting to unlawful actions merely to harass the traders. He said the association might file a public interest litigation against the department if the officials continued with such illegal methods.

Gulshan Goel and Jatinder Khurana, president and press secretary of the body, cited several examples where the loaded trucks were detained at the barriers despite all documents being complete with the goods carriers. The reason given in such cases by the officials was undervaluation of the goods, which was beyond the purview of the department.

The members of the taxation bar made a unanimous demand from the state government to scrap all unnecessary and undesirable penal clauses in the VAT Act and further take stern action against the officials, who were causing harassment to traders for ulterior motives.

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Health staff dharna at Chandigarh on June 28
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 21
In response to a call given by the central coordination committee of the paramedical and health staff, the employees will hold a state- level dharna at Chandigarh on June 28 in protest against continuing policy of privatisation of health institutions.

Giving this information here today, Amarjit Singh Pandher and Mukhtiar Singh, functionaries of the coordination committee, said in a joint statement that preparations were on for the dharna and meetings were being convened at different PHCs in the district to 

mobilise the employees. Pandher made scathing attacks on the SAD-BJP government for continuing with the policy of privatisation even as government control of the health institutions was one of the poll promises of the alliance. Not only this, the new government had abolished a large number of class III and IV posts and recently male and female malaria workers had been recruited on a contract basis.

Focusing on other pending demands, the activists of the heath staff union said that recruitment on compassionate grounds was being denied, salaries of those deployed on plan posts were not being disbursed on time, no promotion channel was in place for class IV employees and health assistants and payment of uniform allowance in cash along with salaries was not being made.

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Meet DIG on working days

Ludhiana, June 21
The people, who have personal grievances or complaints against the functioning of the police, can personally meet the DIG, Ludhiana Range, in his office on all working days between 10 am and 2 pm.

After 2 pm, complainants can reach him on phone numbers 98761 - 67900, 2414992 and 2414903. — TNS

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Send Baba behind bars: IHRO
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The inaction of the government in not arresting Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is a sheer mockery of law and a glaring failure of the Akali-BJP government.

This was stated by D.S.Gill, chairperson, IHRO, who condemned Dera Sacha Sauda followers for reportedly pelting stones at some gurdwaras.

Meanwhile, trying to end the stand-off, the Dera chief has issued a fresh letter of apology for his alleged blasphemous act. The letter, second in a month, has reached the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, while a sealed envelope was sent to the Akal Takht jathedar.

The IHRO said that it was really intriguing that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had tamed the Sikh clergy, including the Akal Takht, and certain so-called babas from the Sant Samaj. The latest move through DSGPC Paramjit Singh Sarna seems to be a trap aimed at frustrating the legal process of arresting the Baba and cancelling or postponing the proposed Sikh protest march from Zafarnama Sahib Gurdwara, Dina Kangar to Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, in Bathinda on June 24.

Gill said the show of the community's strength must go on and the baba and his criminal followers must face the music notwithstanding the apology. It is time to be brave and act to protect the human rights of the community and to secure the rule of law by sending the Baba behind the bars, he pointed out.

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Financial independence must, feel women
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Gone are the days when women were restricted to the four walls of the house. With the changing times, women want to be financially independent in life. From the affluent in society to the needy sections, a majority of women prefer to be self-employed and financially secure.

While the elite class believes that doing one thing or the other gives them a reason to live an active and healthy life, those in need feel that they have to work to make both ends meet.

Wives of businessmen here have started their own small-time businesses like boutiques, beauty parlours, cookery classes, painting classes, etiquette classes and table manners, travel agencies, advertising agencies, fitness training centres etc. And some of these women are running their business well, earning to the tune of several thousands a month.

One of the owners of a leading beauty clinic here Indira Ahliwalia said she was in the work for the past two decades. Belonging to a Sikh family, there were initial objections by all but being dedicated and firm, Indira was able to convince the whole family. "Today I am running a chain of beauty clinics in the city. I had started my work from a small room and after that there was no looking back. I feel satisfied and contented to be self-independent," she said.

Another leading cooking expert Veenu Rai Dhanda says,"By the grace of the God, money was never a problem but I did not want to lose my own identity. I am taking cookery classes for the past many years and I feel happy when people appreciate my efforts. I feel women must work in life to get recognition in the society."

Birma sells towels, napkins, bed-sheets etc to get her both ends meet comfortably. She puts up a small stall under the fly-over near the railway station here. She said she had to work for her five children as the earnings of her husband were not sufficient. "I can easily make Rs 200-300 per day and the amount is sufficient to feed the entire family," she added happily.

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Annual Gurmat sangeet workshop begins today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
An annual Gurmat sangeet workshop and rag darbar will be organised by Jawaddi Taksal at Gurdwara Gur Gian Parkash, Jawaddi Kalan, from June 22 to 24. This was stated by Giani Amir Singh, head, Jawaddi Taksal, and principal Sukhwant Singh here today, in a press statement.

A rag darbar will also be organised on June 22 and 23 at night. Giani Amir Singh has made an appeal to teachers and students of the colleges, schools and other academicians of Punjab to participate in the workshop. Appreciation and participation certificates will be given to the students.

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  Couple booked for theft

Jagraon
The Dehlon police has booked a couple on the charge of occupying the house of an NRI forcibly and committing theft therein. According to information, Mohinder Singh and his wife Gurmit Kaur of Qilla Raipur forcibly occupied the house of Kuldeep Singh of their village, who is now settled in the US. They allegedly stolen domestic articles worth Rs 17,000. The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 448, 406, 379, 506 and 34 of the IPC. So far, no arrest has been made.

Electric motor stolen: Some unknown person has allegedly stole one electric motor of 10 HP after breaking the door of a room from Agwar Gujjran, where it was being used for sewerage purpose. It belong to the Punjab Mandi Karan Board. The local police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the complaint made by sub-divisional officer of the Punjab Mandi Karan Board, Ludhiana

Driver booked: Hardeep Singh of Ganghoor PS Mehil Kalan has been injured near Jalaldiwal, when a speeding Indica car driven by some unknown driver hit him and fled away. The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC against the unknown driver after 13 days of the incident at the instance of the injured. So far, no arrest has been made.

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Auto part industry upset with budget
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The Punjab budget has frustrated the auto parts manufacturing industry since no promises by the Akalis during the elections have been fulfilled.

Gurpargat Singh Kahlon and Surinder Singh, president and general secretary of the association, today expressed their resentment over the budget, saying that before the elections, it was promised that VAT on the auto parts industry would be reduced from 12 to 4 per cent as the high rate of tax had made auto parts industry uncompetitive and unviable. Recently, the West Bengal government has reduced VAT on parts of all motor vehicles from 12.5 to 4 per cent and other states are also following suit. The Punjab government, too, should emulate it and reduce the tax immediately, they added.

Kahlon said that no consideration had been given for reduction in electricity duty and octroi on power, which are a big burden on small-scale industry.

The only silver lining is that the government has decided to set two thermal plants in the state for more generation of power, but the funds of Rs 1000 crore allocated for this purpose are too meagre. More funds must be made available since more power would be required by the industrial sector in the coming days.

They said that the less than 1 per cent allocation of the plan outlay for the industrial sector had also not gone down well with the industry.

Meanwhile, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, MP, and president, AIYAD, said that finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal had given special focus to the welfare of weaker sections and proposed an allocation of Rs 1330 crore for the welfare of Scheduled Caste and Welfare, which constitute 26 per cent of the total plan and made the provision of Rs 482.46 crore as dedicated social security to release pensions under various schemes of the social security department.

He said the first budget had been presented with a view to laying a strong foundation for the fast industrialisation, besides the energy sector, for which an allocation of Rs 1062 crore has been proposed to generate an additional 3000 mw power by setting up thermal projects at Talwandi Sabo and Nabha. Funds of Rs 778 crore have also been proposed for strengthening the transmission and distribution of power in the state.

The MP said that to fulfill the promise of providing subsidised wheat @ Rs 4 per kg. and dal at Rs 20 per kg to 13.26 lakh families below poverty line from August 15, Badal also proposed an allocation of funds amounting to Rs 327 crore in the budget. 

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SBoP holds customer meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana June 21
The State Bank of Patiala, Ghumar Mandi branch, organised its eighth customer relation meet here today. The guests of honour of the meet were Balwinder Kumar and R.K. Jindal, assistant general manager and chief manager, regional office, respectively.

Gurbachan Singh, manager of the branch, said the bank was dedicated to providing best services to its customers. Various schemes like free ATM facility, free Internet banking, mutual fund investment, insurance policies etc., were told to the customers on this occasion. “We always try to be polite and helpful to our customers. Various new schemes for the senior citizens are also introduced by the bank”, he said.

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