Labour shortage: Paddy sowing takes back seat
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, June 28
With paddy sowing in full swing, the farmers of numerous villages have been hit hard by shortage of labourers.

These farmers belong to the villages on the Phagwara-Banga road those who are facing the heat.

In addition to this severe crisis, they have also been hit by frequent power cuts. According to farmers, large number of labourers who mostly belong to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, were away to their respective hometowns due to marriage season and have not returned this time.

A visit to some of the villages on the Phagwara-Banga road revealed that though the farmers have kept their fields ready for sowing paddy, they could not get labourers for the same.

Balbir Singh, a farmer from Jasso Majara village, said, “I have to seek my son’s help for readying the fields for sowing but I am not able to find labourers. Usually, sowing starts from the first or second week of June when migrant labourers come to the state in groups.”

“The village has a land holding of about more than 100 acres and at present there are only 10 labourers for sowing paddy. They prefer to go to farmers with big land holdings who give three times meals and daily wages as well,” he added.

The paddy sowing has already begun at several places on the advice of the government. The farmers were told to plant paddy after June 10.

Kesar Singh of the Kultham village said though he has made his fields ready for sowing, he has to irrigate his fields daily albeit with no crop sown.

"If I do not irrigate the fields, I will have to plough the fields again for sowing paddy," he said.

Similarly, industrialists have also been suffering shortage of labourers for the last one month.

“We are facing shortage of skilled workers and it is very difficult to survive in such conditions,” said Sandeep, dealing in auto parts business. By the time, migrant labourers start returning, power cuts will be there for want of paddy sowing, he added.

S.K. Sharma, diesel engine parts manufacturer, said though marriage season is over, majority of the labourers haven’t returned.

“The way the new industry is coming up in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the governments of both the states are wooing them for more incentives, thus causing severe shortage of migrant labourers. Once they return, the smooth functioning would last for some weeks only due to regular power cuts, he added. Last year also, small-scale industry suffered a lot because of the continuous power cuts in the state and that happened in the peak season.

The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) had declared two weekly power cuts and the SSIs had suffered most.



Jokes apart, Jassi makes entry into laughter circuit
Parwinder Blaggan
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 28
Meetha hai Punjab ka pani, aur usse meethi lassi, aur usse bhi jo meetha lage uska naam hai Jassi…

This is how the 24-year-old Jaswinder Singh, who identifies himself as Jassi Kochar, will be introduced on the Great Indian Laughter Challenge-III, a show on Star One on Friday.

Jassi is the first lad from Doaba region to break into the laughter challenge show.

Ask him how he became Jassi from Jaswinder, and prompt comes the reply, “Jaswinder sounds too heavy.”

“Apart from a stand-up comedian I am a writer and lyricist. Once I had to use my name in the song and Jaswinder was sounding too long and boring. It was at that time ‘Jassi’ was born,” said the boy who is also known as Rubel.

Jassi did not appear for the audition for the show after receiving a call from the team.

“I had sent a recording of my performance and was sure that even if I didn’t appear for the audition I would be getting the final call,” said Jassi.

Son of a former agriculture officer, Jassi has completed his diploma in the PGDCA, apart from a course in theatre.

Talking about his experience on the show, Jassi, who is the third performer, said Shekhar Suman, one of the judges, challenged him to make guest judge Himesh Reshamiya laugh, which he did not during the performance of the previous two contestants.

“The moment I started with my introductory lines, which included a satire on the age of Shekhar Suman, Himesh started laughing uncontrollably. He gave me a standing ovation,” 
he said.

Talking about the lingual barrier which most of the comedians from Punjab have faced during their performances on the show, Jassi said: “Initially I was scared that I may not be able to perform and express myself properly in Hindi.

“However, one month of training in Mumbai made me perfect in the language,” he said, adding that 5 to 10 per cent of the jokes were made on the stage according to the situation.

“I was the cutest and most handsome contestant on the show. Even show anchor Perizaad Kohla introduced me as the most handsome contestant on the show. Maybe, that was also one of the reasons why people liked me,” said Jassi.

Even though the fate of the contestants of laughter challenge-II was miserable as they vanished immediately unlike their counterparts of laughter challenge-I, Jassi is sure that this segment of contestants is bound to go places, said Jassi who ultimately wants to break into Bollywood.

However, for the state its time to cheer as four contestants from Punjab have made it to the show. These include Sudesh Lehri, Rajiv Thakur and Kapil Sharma, all from Amritsar.

“Punjabis have a weird sense of humour. They have this notch to crack a joke on anything in this world. Give them a topic and they would come out with the weirdest stuff.

During my performance I have cracked jokes on woman growing moustaches and beard or exchanging body parts,” said Jassi.



Police zeroing in on ‘human traffickers’
Dara Singh’s daughter in trouble
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, June 28
The Kapurthala police has decided to issue ‘lookout circular’ (LOC) to airport authorities all over the country against all accused of ‘human trafficking’, including former Bharat Kesari Sunny Gill and Loveleen, son-in-law and daughter, respectively, of world famous wrestler and film actor Dara Singh.

In addition to Sunny and Loveleen, the list includes Kashmira Singh, father of Sunny Gill along with three others, have been booked under Sections 420, 506 and 120B of the IPC and Section 24 of the Immigration Act in a case of duping 60 persons of the region of Rs 1.95 crore on the pretext of sending them abroad on July 31, 2002.

Rakesh Aggarwal, Kapurthala SSP, talking over the phone said all accused could be barred from entering or leaving the country by issuing this LOC, which, he said, is likely to be issued soon.

Phagwara DSP HPS Khakh confirmed this and added police had already declared all the accused as 'proclaimed offenders' in November, 2003.

Amarjit, a resident of nearby Mehtan village, a wrestler and colleague of Sunny Gill, lodged a complaint with Phagwara police that Sunny and his father Kashmira Singh were defrauding the people of the region in the name of sending them to Canada and had duped them of huge amounts.

It was learnt that Amarjit had submitted a detailed list of 60 persons to the police authorities in which he alleged that Sunny Gill used to charge between Rs two and Rs four lakh from each person with the assurance for sending them to Canada and a job there.

It was also learnt that all the accused had flown to Canada in 2002 before a case of fraud could be registered against them. 



BSNL phones face dead end
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, June 28
A lot of inconvenience is being faced by the customers of Bhartiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) as several landline telephones falling under Dhidwindi exchange have been dead for past several weeks.

The plaintiffs have alleged that the BSNL authority was not giving a serious view to the matter despite of repeated complaints made by them.

One of the complainants, Balwinder Singh residing in Kalewal village said, “My telephone (257314) has been dead for the past one and a half month. As a result, I remained out of touch with my relatives and friends.”

Similarly, Sohan Lal of Jainpur village acomplained that his telephone, which has been dead for about two months was causing a lot of trouble.

Agreeing to him another resident of village Saroop Singh said, “BSNL authorities claim to provide uninterrupted service to 
its consumers, but the employees do not pay any heed to the problems faced by its existing customers. My phone has not been working for last few days and alleged that nothing has been done to repair it.”

Meanwhile, BSNL DM Rajiv Goel admitted a fault in cable as the reason for the trouble.

However, he claimed that the number of faulty phones were not much and said some telephones might have been disconnected by BSNL authorities due to non-payment of bills. “A BSNL team was already on work to repair the fault and hoped that all the dead phones would start working soon,” he added.



Overcrowded jail: Capacity 525, inmates 1,169
Shifting of 175 inmates to Ludhiana jail fails to solve the problem
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 28
Central jail in Jalandhar, which remains in the news for controversial deaths of inmates, recovery of mobile phones and smack every now and then, is facing a severe problem of overcrowding.

Usually more than double of its capacity of 525 inmates have been lodged in the jail for the past several months. Due to overcrowding, the inmates are packed in the barracks like animals. As a result, they are forced to live in unhygienic conditions.

Even there were as much as 1,169 inmates in the jail on Wednesday. Interestingly, the number is more than double of its capacity. A considerable number of them are undertrial prisoners in different cases, including those related to petty crimes.

Further, at one time the number of inmates had reached almost triple of its capacity because as much as 1,400 inmates were recorded in the jail, said Assistant Superintendent of Jail Lalit Kohli while talking to 
The Tribune.

In order to get some respite, the jail authorities shifted about 175 inmates to Ludhiana jail after getting permission from Director-General (Prison) Mohammad Izhar Alam about two weeks back. However, even the shifting of these inmates to Ludhiana jail could not provide much relief.

Interestingly, the Punjab Government is apparently already seized of the problem. That is why it has decided to construct a new jail for Jalandhar and Kapurthala at Theh Kanjla village in Subhanpur on the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway.

Even tourism and jail minister Hira Singh Gabria announced the construction of a new jail during his visit to Kapurthala earlythis month.

While the proposed jail will have the capacity of lodging 3,000 inmates, its construction was yet to start. It may take several years for the jail to be completed.

Till then, there is dire need to shift a large number of inmates from Jalandhar central jail to other jails in the state to solve the problem of overcrowding.



How to drive safe


You and your vehicle need to be licensed to be on the road. The documents you need to possess:

  • Licence: A valid driving licence for the type of vehicle.
  • Registration: Vehicle registration certificate issued by the regulatory authority.
  • Insurance: You must have the cover you need to drive.
  • Pollution: The vehicle you drive must be certified for certificate emission levels.
  • ‘Don’t learn traffic rules by accident!


Over 90 per cent of accidents are caused by errors in driving. Anybody can make a mistake, which means you or the other road user. So be alert at all times and aware of what is happening around you. More so if you are a new driver. Statistics show that drivers in the 17 to 25 year age group are more likely to be involved in fatal or serious accidents. There’s no such thing as a perfect driver.

“Expect the unexpected”

Concentrate on your driving. Avoid distractions such as listening to loud music (which can mask other sounds) and don’t try to do other things at the same time such as reading a map or using a mobile telephone.

Belt up before you drive. Safety belts have saved many a limb and life!

Rules of the road

Don’t drink alcohol then drive. Alcohol slows human reactions, affects judgement of distance and speed and invariably makes a person inordinately aggressive. Even if you drink the evening before, you might still be unfit to drive the next morning as alcohol takes time to leave the body.

‘Alcohol and Driving Cocktail For Disaster!’

Road rage

If someone is behaving badly on the road, don’t get involved. If you feel angry, pull over and calm down. Instead of being aggressive try to understand if another driver causes a problem. If someone behind is trying to overtake but can’t, take no action except to keep a steady course and speed.

Pull over and allow the vehicle to pass when it is safe to do so. Never obstruct others who to overtake you. Driving unpredictably while someone is overtaking you can be very dangerous.

Never overtake a vehicle indicating a turn to the right even if you believe that the signal is a mistake.

Wait for the signal to go off. If a vehicle pulls out onto your path, slow down and allow it to get clear. Don’t be aggressive and drive up close to it.


Rear-end collisions occur mostly because of following too closely and losing attention. Always leave sufficient distance from the vehicle ahead to be able to stop if it brakes or changes course suddenly.

You will also need space to manouevre and get out if the vehicle ahead breaks down and stops. In good conditions on roads carrying fast traffic a two-second time gap may be sufficient.

‘Anger and aggression have no place on the Road’



Young World
Cooking fiesta: Students get new ‘food’ for thought
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 28
A 15-day summer camp organised by Rana Cooking School concluded on Wednesday. Taranjit Kaur Mander, principal, took classes in innovative methods of preparation, preservation and presentation of summer dishes. Preparation of a variety of cold drinks, juices, cocktail, mocktail, tandoori, non-vegetarian, vegetarian, continental and Chinese items was taught to the students.


Students of B.Com (II) of the Apeejay College of Fine Arts have attained top ranks in the examination conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University. Gulpreet Kaur is second with 559 marks out of 700. Charu Chawla is third with 550 marks and Megha Jain fifth with 541 marks.


Seven (final) students of the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology have been placed with infotech division of Larsen and Toubro Infotech Limited, Mumbai.

Out of the seven selected students, three are from computer science and engineering, two are from information technology and one student each is from the disciplines of electronics and communication engineering and mechanical engineering. All the selected students would join the company in July 2007 with a starting annual package of Rs 2.97 lakh per annum. Director-cum-principal of DAVIET C.L. Kochher and assistant professor of training and placement Sanjeev Bhalla extended their wishes to all the selected candidates.

New course

Lovely Professional University has decided to start a course that will enable the students to provide collaborative business solutions and enterprise resource planning. A memorandum of understanding in this regard was signed by the university, SAP India System and VC, ERP consulting. A Memorandum of Understanding in this regard was signed by the university, SAP India System and VC ERP consulting. The memorandum was signed by director of SAP Education Anand Ekambaram, Uttam Sharma, manager education business, VC, ERP Consulting, and Ashok Mittal, chancellor of the university.

The MoU provides for reduction in fee of the SAP course by 50 per cent. The course fee of Rs 1.6 lakh as charged for the course capsule will be reduced to just Rs 70,000 at the LPU, said Mittal.



Bhajji’s Exclusion
BCCI unfair with Punjabi cricketers, says trainer
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, June 28
Cricketer Harbhajan Singh’s trainer Davinder Arora has alleged that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was discriminating against Punjabi cricketers. Harbhajan Singh was an able international-famed cricketer and he had been denied berth in the team for the present cricket series

Talking to newsmen here, Arora, after inaugurating the Phagwara cricket coaching centre in association with the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) here expressed his concern about the exclusion of Harbhajan Singh from Team India and claimed that Harbhajan was an economic bowler and should be continued in the team.

Arora stressed the need for setting up more stadiums to encourage the cricket game in the state.

He appreciated the decision of the PCA to make compulsory for the players to participate in home matches. PCA coach Arun Bedi and centre in charge Amit Ohri were also present on the occasion.

Bedi announced to provide all the necessary facilities to the Phagwara cricket 
coaching centre.



Killer fodder: Two buffaloes die
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, June 28
A Gujjar of Ranipur village here got a rude shock when his two of the six buffaloes died after reportedly consuming pesticide-laced fodder last evening. The condition of another buffalo was stated to be critical.

While the Gujjar, Mohammed Shafi, is not able to find out what went wrong with his milch cattle, experts of the animal husbandry department are conducting tests to find out the cause of the animals’ death.

When The Tribune visited Ranipur village this morning, Mohammed Shafi said once again he suffered a major jolt when two buffaloes died at 7.45 p.m. as two months back 12 buffaloes and two sheep had died due to some mysterious disease. They had consumed fodder some time ago and they fell on the ground and died.

“I called for the doctors at night after my two buffaloes died. Doctors kept on providing treatment to rest of the cattle but only three could survive and another was in critical condition. It is still under treatment,” said Mohammed Shafi.

He added that it was surprising that the buffaloes did not show any symptoms of any disease. They were fine till the evening. He said the cattle of his neighbour had also consumed fodder from the same field. But there was no effect of any pesticide on them.

A team of experts led by Dr Jupinderjit Singh from the animal husbandry department's research centre rushed to the village to study whether there was some epidemic. The experts had collected the viscera of the dead animals and blood and milk samples of ailing buffalo to study the problem.

He said he would be able to make any statement only after the report was received, but preliminary investigations were pointing towards pesticide poisoning only.



Phagwara may face sewerage collapse
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, June 28
Covering of manholes to facilitate the construction of Satnampura railway overbridge might lead to another health hazard for the city. Despite warning by authorities, for laying of alternate sanitation system, no steps have been taken so far for lack of funds. As many as 16 manholes on the 350-metre long main sewerage line, stretching from the local bus stand to sugar mills chowk, are being covered for the construction of the rail over bridge. The authorities concerned were warned of blockage of sewerage system if no alternative sewage pipes were laid in time, say sources. The Phagwara Nagar Council brought the matter to the notice of the PWD department and urged it to release a sum of Rs 3.5 crore for sewerage line and Rs 9.95 lakh for water line, respectively, for laying alternative sanitation system, according to sources.

Vinay Bublani, deputy director, local bodies, has urged the state government to release the said funds on a priority basis and has instructed the NC authorities to take immediate steps in this regard. Confirming the move of the NC authorities, sewerage board officials said the process of laying alternative 350-metre-long sewerage and water lines along the National Highway would take at least nine months.

When contacted, NC president, Malkiat Singh Ragbotra, said at present the depth of manholes is about 9 feet and when the road over these manholes would be built, its depth could touch 20 feet and to clean the blocked sewerage line at that juncture would be a very difficult task.

However, Kulwant Singh, XEN, B and R, said new modern machines can clean the sewerage up to even at 100 feet. He held NC officials responsible for the lapse as the overbridge has been under construction since 2001.



ICFE opens regional office in Phagwara

Phagwara, June 28
Institute of Computer and Finance Executives (ICFE) opened its fully computerised regional office at Hargobind Nagar here today to impart advanced practical training to commerce graduates.

N.K. Gaba, president, Phagwara Chartered Accountants Association, said Phagwara being an industrial town and an export house, advanced practical training for commerce graduates in financial matters is the need of the hour who aspire to be finance executives. Mayank Gupta, managing director of the centre said the ICFE will impart advanced practical training in the fields of accounting, direct taxes, indirect taxes, labour laws, banking, insurance, investments, import and export procedures and excise. — TNS



Recruitment rally on July 3
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 28
The Indian Air Force will hold a recruitment rally for candidates from Punjab and Chandigarh in group ‘X’ (technical) trades category at Air Force Station, Adampur, from July 3 to 6. Written and physical fitness tests for candidates from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Patiala, Ferozepore, Kapurthala, Moga, Muktsar, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Tarn Taran and Jalandhar will be held on July 3. The interview and medical examination of candidates who pass the tests would be held on July 4.

Tests for candidates from Bathinda, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Mansa, Fatehgarh Sahib, Nawanshahr, Ropar, Mohali and Chandigarh will be held on July 4. The interview of the passing candidates will be held the next day.

According to a statement here candidates should have passed plus two, intermediate or equivalent examination with mathematics and physics subjects or should have secured diploma in engineering with 50 per marks. The forms would be provided free of cost at the recruitment rally venue by the Air Force authorities to be filled on the spot by the candidates.



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 |