L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



4 pc entry tax enforced in state
Fallout: Sugar, steel prices spurt
*Enraged traders decide to move court
*Traffic jams on barriers as truckers stopped to deposit tax

Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Confusion prevailed among the industry and transporters on the first day of implementation of entry tax here today.

As a direct fallout, sugar prices recorded an increase of Rs 40-50 per quintal in wholesale markets while steel rates rose by Rs 200 per tonne today.

The impact of entry tax was also shown on the transporters as hundreds of trucks forced to wait at the barriers for long hours for depositing the tax at the barriers.

Despite strong resistance from the industry, the tax was implemented across the state. To tackle the burden, the manufacturers of several items deciding to pass on the burden of tax on industries that consume their goods, which will result in rise in input costs.

The irked industry has decided to move court against the decision to impose the tax.

Even as the Excise and Taxation Department officials said arrangement to ensure smooth collection was in place, transporters, who had to stand on barriers for long hours, were particularly irked and said the department officials were not letting their vehicles go until payment of tax in cash, which was practically not possible for them to do.

"The tax has been imposed on a few items. But the department asks the transporter to pay the tax in cash on the barrier. It is not possible for transporters to take this responsibility. They were detained for long hours and lost on work,"rued Charan Singh Lohara of the Punjab State Goods Transporters Association.

Entry tax at 4 per cent was imposed on goods that are imported from other states. These include sugar, dyes and chemicals, yarn, fibre and iron and steel. The government is expecting to generate over Rs 300 crore through this tax.

The industry, that termed implementation of the tax as unjustified, has decided to move the court on the matter. Traders said despite a recent assurance to review the provisions related to tax, the state government went ahead and implemented it without caring to consult the industry on it.

"We are quite unhappy with the implementation. Steel manufacturers have told us that they would pass on the burden of taxation to us, which means rise in input costs for us. Even as the government says it would be VATable, the negative effect has already started showing. We, along with transporters, have decided to move court against this decision of the government,” Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president of the United Cycle and Parts manufacturers Association told Ludhiana Tribune.

Officials of the Excise and Taxation Department, meanwhile, said arrangements are in place to facilitate proper implementation. Apart from the local railway station, another Information Collection Centre (ICC) would be set up near the Dhandari Railway station, said officials.

“Arrangements have been made and six windows would be dedicated to collect the tax. Apart from ICCs, traders have the option to make payment of the tax at local offices of the department and also at the local container depot,” said an official, adding that, “A public notice was issued in this regard and there should be no confusion.”

About entry tax

Entry tax has been imposed on goods imported from outside the state by the state government. The tax, at the rate of 4 per cent, will be charged on iron and steel (including its scrap), dyes and chemicals, all types of yarn , partially oriented yarn, fibre, polyster top, polyster chips and sugar imported from outside the state except levy sugar. The impact will be visible in the form of increase in rates of finished products within a few days.

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Believe it or not...
1 sq yard goes for Rs 1,51,000
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana , November 21
Belying the impression of a downward trend in the real estate, GLADA today fetched an all-time high rate of Rs 1,51,000 per square yard in a big commercial property in North India when it succeeded in auctioning a commercial property measuring 5,107 square yards here today. The auction fetched Rs 77,11,57,000 to the GLADA. The reserve price of the property was Rs 75000 per sq yard, with total value of Rs 38 crore.

Vikas Partap, commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and chief administrator, GLADA, and Sumer Singh Gurjer, DC, Ludhiana, remained present throughout the auction to supervise the event. The auction was conducted by S.R. Kaler, additional chief administrator, GLADA.

The chief administrator added that it was evident from this high rate of auction that the big investors from all over India were evincing a keen interest in making big investments in Punjab. Vikas Partap saidd nine big companies, including AB Motion, LIC, Vishal Cycles, Piccadilly Hotels, New Delhi, Amazon Enterprises, MBD Group, TS Enterprises and J.K. Sharma participated in the auction. When the auction price reached Rs 1,36,000 per sq yard, only two bidders, including LIC and Piccadilly Hotels remained in the contest. Piccadilly Hotels offered the highest bid of Rs 1,51,000 per sq yd. The group is owned by Venod Sharma, MLA, Haryana.

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Visit cinema halls at your own risk
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Cinema halls in the city have failed to learn from the Uphaar Cinema tragedy. A majority of these remain sans adequate fire safety measures.

The municipal corporation has failed to enforce the amendments in the Fire Safety Act that empowers the fire brigade to seal a building that does not provide proper fire safety measures.

Though the amendment in the Act was made in 2003, the divisional fire officer cannot enforce it unless the MC general house approves the same. Though modern cinema halls like the Orient, PVR and Waves have installed modern fire safety equipment and made fire exit routes, old cinemas, which witness a huge rush of migrant labourers, either have no system in place or are doing with outdated ones.

The Shingaar Cinema blast toll could have been higher if the explosion had led to a fire. The cinema hall had little arrangements to handle such an eventuality.

Cinemas like Naulakha, Raikhi, Laxmi, Deepak and Society have either no hydrants or these are not working. Some of those have installed soda acid extinguishers which have been banned long ago. Raikhi and Naulakha cinemas have installed these banned extinguishers, MC sources say.

The sources say most cinema halls are without smoke detectors. These continue to rely on sand buckets. In July this year, there was a fire in Laxmi Cinema where the projector room was burnt.

Another major fire took places in Shingaar Cinema a few years ago. Fire department sources say they do not have much powers to deal with the problem. Under The Fire Safety Act, a fine of only Rs 500 can be imposed on the violators. This, too, would be possible when the MC enforces the 2003 Fire Safety Act amendments.

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Robbery at house of soft drink maker
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
In a daring armed robbery at the house of a soft drink manufacturer in Dugri, Urban Estate, this morning, six persons looted 250 grams of gold, amounting over Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 15,000 cash at the gun point.

The robbers seemed to be the disgruntled employees of the soft drink manufacturer Neeraj Goyal as they shouted they would teach him a lesson for not paying their salary for several months. All six were clean shaven.

SHO Model Town Waryam Singh said the police has narrowed down on some suspects and conducted raids at the house of some suspects but they were absconding.

It was at about 9 am that the accused came to the house no 1036, Urban Estate, Phase-I of Neeraj Goyal. He had gone to drop children at school.

The robbers, armed with pistols and sharp-edged weapons, aimed at his wife Preeti Goyal, and mother Rama Goyal asking them to give all jewellery and cash. They also forced his father Des Raj Goyal into submission.

Rama and Preeti told reporters that the robbers did not give them any chance to resist. “They repeatedly said they would teach a lesson for not getting salaries.”

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Five days before the marriage of daughter
BJP leader’s wife shot accidentally?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Marriage celebrations of a daughter of a local BJP leader turned sour when his wife was killed in a mysterious gunshot incident at his residence this morning. His youngest of the four daughters was scheduled to marry on November 26.

Family members informed the police that Tarawati, 52, wife of Ravinderpal Singh Gogna, died when her son Harjinder alias Bindri was cleaning his licensed .32 revolver in the house.

Bindri’s wife had a miraculous escape as she was sitting close to his mother. Both were peeling vegetables.

Interestingly, the youth, who runs a sanitary shop on Gill Road was cleaning the weapon without unloading it. Ravinder and his son Bindri, along with other eyewitness family members, said it was purely an accident. They claimed initially Gogna was cleaning the weapon and gave it to Bindri when he had to attend to some other work.

The police, though, seem to believe the version of the family members, has kept its options open by conducted proceeding under 174 of the CrPC. This allows the police to proceed in any direction the investigation leads.

SSP R K Jaiswal said the revolver could fire seven rounds but only six cartridges were removed. He said at first sight it seems an accident only but investigation was on.

“ No family member has made a statement of deliberate shot. In case there was some development, we will proceeding accordingly,” he said.

The SSP said he has also, meanwhile, deputed an officer to independently probe the matter.

The BJP leader has four daughters and a son. All except the youngest one were married.

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Rallies, dharnas mark PSEB staff strike
Power supply unaffected, claim officials
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
Employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board today observed a day-long strike here today under the banner of the Joint Forum of PSEB Employees to press their pending demands as also oppose the proposed move for privatisation.

Kewal Sigh Banwait, vice-president, PSEB Employees Federation, claimed that the strike was complete in the entire zone, comprising Ludhiana city and villages. However, senior officials of the PSEB asserted that power supply was maintained and complaints of the consumers were also attended even though the presence in the offices was affected due to strike.

The agitating employees held rallies at division and subdivision level while about six bodies of farmers joined hands with them to stage dharnas at several subdivisions in the villages.

Mushtaq Masih, secretary, PSEBF, Western Circle, told Ludhiana Tribune that the complaint centres and bill counters in all divisional or subdivisional offices were not attended. "Barring some of the contractual workers, the offices of PSEB remained deserted," he said.

Rallies were held by striking employees at Janta Nagar division, Civil Lines (Fountain Chowk) division, Aggar Nagar division, Model Town division, Industrial Estate division where trade union leaders lambasted the state government and the PSEB management for pursuing anti-employees and anti-people policies.

Among other things, the speakers at the rallies asked the PSEB management not to proceed with the privatisation of the board. They also wanted that new posts as per norms and work load be created, fresh recruitment to fill vacant posts be opened, employment to kin of deceased employees on compassionate grounds be provided, suspended employees be reinstated and Electricity Act 2003 be scrapped forthwith.

Superintending engineer of PSEB H.S. Randhawa, talking to Ludhiana Tribune, claimed that uninterrupted power supply was maintained throughout the circle and complaints of emergency nature were attended by junior engineers (JE's) and subdivisional officers at some places. About those consumers who could not make payment of their bills due to strike, he said, the payments will be accepted tomorrow without surcharge if November 21 was the last date for payment.

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PIL stalls rly overbridge construction
Regular traffic jams leave residents fuming
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Khanna, November 21
A PIL filed by about 30 shopkeepers on either sides of the Khanna-Chandigarh highway in the town has indefinitely delayed the construction of a railway overbridge which otherwise could have saved the daily commuters from a lot of trouble of waiting at the railway crossing for hours together.

The railway line passing from the town that connects the north-western India to the other parts of the country is perhaps one of the busiest tracks of the country.

About 100 trains pass through this track each day. This means that at least four trains cross the track each hour keeping the crossing closed for the road traffic for most of the times.

Even as the tenders were called in and plans were got ready by the Union Ministry for Railways and the Punjab government, the project failed to take off after the shopkeepers filed a PIL in the high court, claiming that the overbridge would wipe out their businesses.

Though, no stay has reportedly been ordered on the construction of the bridge by the court, it definitely placed the authorities in a dilemma as they were unable to decide whether to go ahead with the project or not. The project had been got approved by the previous Congress government.

The railway line divides the town into two equal parts with around 50 per cent of the total population living on either sides of the track. Besides, the Khanna-Chandigarh highway also provides a route to several villages of the sub-division enable them to reach Khanna, which is the biggest grain market of Asia.

Due to the closure of the railway crossing for hours together, traffic jams have become a regular feature here. During the harvest seasons the traffic problem increasing manifolds because the cultivators reach Khanna with tractor trolleys loaded with crops.

In the given circumstances, the residents of the town, who continue to face hardships while crossing over the railway track, contented that it was not a `public interest litigation' that had been filed by the shopkeepers, but a `private interest litigation'.

Principal Tarsem Bahia, a senior administrator of a private college, stated that the PIL had become a major hurdle in the development of the town. He said many commuters try to cross the track, while it is closed, which results in several accidents here.

He said in view of the problems being faced by the locals, the authorities should go ahead with the construction of the bridge as no stay has been ordered by the court.

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Man charred to death
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 21
Parmodh Sharma, a resident of Sihar village near here, was charred to death due to fire that was allegedly sparkled by ignited “hookah” lying near the bed of the deceased. Belongings of the family lying in the room were gutted.

The Payal police registered a report under Section 174 of Cr PC and handed over the body of the deceased to the relatives after conducting postmortem.

Sources at the Payal police station revealed that Parmod Sharma had smoked hookah while lying in his bed last night. As he was feeling sleepy, he could not notice the fire caused by sparkles. Before the villagers could reach to rescue him from the fire, he died and household goods lying in the hut were also burnt.

Lakshami Devi, a relative of the deceased, stated that the family did not want action in the case.

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Letters
Illegal constructions

Building bylaws are being violated with impunity.Only 5 per cent excess coverage can be compounded as per the relaxation given under the bylaws.

Raising any construction outside the compound in the backyard of a house is bound to cause a discernible obstruction of air and light to houses in the back row. This is an infringement on the rights of the owners of these houses.

It is high time that the MC takes corrective measures.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.

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Pirated CDs seized from shop, owner booked
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, November 21
The local police has booked owner of an audio video CD shop at Bhattian village for allegedly pirating CDs and circulating pornographic material. As many as 897 pirated CDs and eight porno CDs were seized from the shop.

Sources revealed that a large haul of pirated CDs was seized during a raid by a team led by Dharam Pal, SHO, Machhiwara. The police had acted on a tip off. A case has been registered against Ajmer Singh, owner of the shop.

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Mishap leads to seizure of 45 liquor cases
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, November 21
The local police has seized 45 liquor cases from a Sumo which met with an accident at Bhulewal village near here yesterday. The occupants, apprehending arrest, had fled away. A case has been registered against the vehicle owner.

Anil Kumar of Brahampur village in Anandpur Sahib district was booked under the Excise Act for allegedly possessing liquor. The police on receiving information that a Sumo was hit by a bus near Bhullewal village reached the spot only to find liquor cases. The occupants of Sumo had fled from the place.

The police suspects that the liquor was being smuggled from Chandigarh. Though the identity of the occupants was yet to be established, documents found the vehicle suggested that Anil Kumar of Brahampur village was its owner. 

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Canvassing hots up at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
D.P.Maur contesting for the post of the PAU Employees' Union president along with 100 other supporters began canvassing in the offices of the directorate of extension education, registrar's office, comptroller's office, estate office organisation, director seed, dean postgraduate studies and the additional director communications. Karnail Singh, president, tractor drivers’ association, also promised to his group. Amritpal,contesting for the general secretary’s post, highlighted Maur’s objectives.

Rally was also organised by Harbans Singh Mundi, the rival group at Engineering College here today. Mundi claimed that PAU’s helper staff association had decided to stand in their favour. He said they were hopeful to get support from the press staff association as well. He said their main objective was to get the personal promotion policy for technical staff. 

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World Bank to invest $ 120 m in agri sector
Rs 64 lakh for upgrading city’s fish markets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Senior agricultural specialist from Delhi (World Bank consultant) Pal Singh Sidhu has said that if Punjab provides a timely and detailed project for improving the marketing and productivity of its agricultural produce, the World Bank will provide 80 per cent loan of approximately $ 120 million to it in 2008. Under the " multi- state agriculture competitiveness project", the World Bank will provide loan to five states namely Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orrissa and Tamil Nadu.

Pal Singh Sidhu was on a day's visit to city to explore possibilities for providing impetus to the agriculture in the state. He was accompanied by Dr B.S.Sidhu, director, Agriculture, Punjab.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Pal Singh Sidhu said though the state was already late in preparing a thorough plan for getting the loan. But in the past two months, it had made reasonably good progress.

"The aim of this project is to boost the agriculture. It includes productivity, marketing of produce, research and diversification. Bank will be provide $ 100 million to each state and remaining $ 20 million will be contributed by the respective states. The states have been asked to submit a detailed report by April-May 2008. We feel that the report must be prepared by consulting the farmers and their problems", stressed Sidhu.

Earlier, other members of the team, including MPG Kurup, executive director, National Dairy Development Board, accompanied by D.S.Saluja, director, Fisheries, Punjab, visited a few fish markets in the city today. The members surveyed fish markets near Dholewal, Miller Ganj and one opposite the railway station to see how the fish business could further be improved.

In Punjab, World Bank will be providing loan for making fish markets of international standards with latest infrastructure. These markets will be set-up at Jalandhar, Mohali, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala. For Ludhiana, Patiala and Amritsar, bank will be provide a loan worth Rs 64 lakh each while for Mohali and Jalandhar, Rs 50 lakh each will be be provided. Under the project, hygienic fish will be provided. Further, the production of fish, which is 6,500 kg per hectare at present, will be increased to 10,000 kg per hectare.

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Need to bail out state from agricultural crises: Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Cooperation minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh has stressed on the need for formulating a comprehensive plan to bail the state out from the prevailing agriculture crisis and to tackle the expenditure and income of the agriculture produce in a balanced way, so that the country continues to be self-reliant in food grain.

He was addressing farmers and members of cooperative societies at a state-level function organised by Markfed as a part of the 54th cooperative week at the PAU.

He said in spite of a huge agriculture business worth Rs 35,000 crore, the farming community was under a heavy debt of Rs 25,000 crore and to make the agriculture remunerative and sustainable, the Central government must accord special attention to it.

Agriculture in the state was facing annual loss of Rs 1500 crore. He regretted that with the anti farmer policies of the Central government, the agriculture growth rate in the state had decreased by 1.1 per cent only, where as, the business of the state was contributing 1/3rd towards the total Rs 5,100 crore revenue from VAT.

Unfolding his plans to rejuvenate the cooperative institutions, a comprehensive plan has been chalked out to modernize at all levels. Referring to the role of Markfed in the service to the farmers, the minister said it was one of the biggest cooperative institutions, which was engaged in annual transaction of more than Rs 8,000 crore.

He further informed that the cooperative banks had advanced Rs 1,133.55 crore to farmers under the revolving cash crop credit facility to meet the domestic and social requirements of the farm sector. He added that “the target is to advance crop loan to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore to the farming community in the state this year”.

Jails, tourism and cultural affairs minister Hira Singh Gabria while addressing the gathering stressed upon the need to ensure the proper vocational training and adequate employment to the rural youth..

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Changing climate to hit farm output: Experts
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Besides drawing universal attention to changing global climate by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) , Punjab Agricultural University scientists warn of imminent doom in crop cycle which will affect human life too.

The issue gets into focus in the context of climate experts agreeing on a UN blueprint last Friday in Valencia (Spain) for fighting global warming that warns the governments only have a few years to avert the worse impact. Delegates lauded after chairman Rajendra Pachauri brought down the gavel at the meeting.
University research has often pointed out that duration of crop growth cycles will speed up (especially in wheat) under increased temperatures.

The duration between sowing and harvesting will shorten. Shortening of such cycle could have adverse effect on productivity. Increased temperatures will also lead to increase in pest population and resultant crop loss.A PAU senior scientist said "the concerns are not new.However, we need to reiterate the demand for attention towards the issue".Changes in the frequency and intensity of droughts, floods, and storm damage are expected.

Climate change is expected to result in long-term water and other resource shortages, worsening soil conditions, drought and desertification, disease and pest outbreaks on crops, sea-level rise, and so on. Vulnerable areas are expected to experience loss in farm productivity, primarily due to reductions in crop yields.

Dr L.K.Dhaliwal, of Department of Agro- Meteorology at PAU, said studies indicate India's rice and wheat production would drop significantly because of climate change. Global warming will make rice crop less productive.

Rice production in Asia may decline by 3.8 per cent of production levels of 2000 (estimated at 430 metric tonnes) under future climate regimes.

Dr Dhaliwal said studies indicate India's rice and wheat production will drop significantly because of climate change. Global warming will make rice crop less productive with increasing yields.

University research indicates consensus to emerge that in the absence of adequate response strategies to long-term climate change and climate variability, diverse and region-specific impacts will become more apparent.

In one decade or so, climate change (in terms of long-term changes in mean temperature or precipitation normals, as well as an increased frequency of extreme climate effects) has gradually been recognised as an additional factor which, with other conventional pressures, will have significant impact on the form, scale, and spatial and temporal impact on farm productivity, a university paper pointed out.

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From Schools
Gurpreet wins Gurbani contest
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, November 21
Spring Dale Public School celebrated the 539 “Parkash Utsav” of Guru Nanak Dev here yesterday.

The Punjabi department of the school organised Gurbani Kanth competition for its students.

School principal Avinash Kaur Walia stressed the importance of spiritual enlightenment in the modern world.

The students were divided into four groups according to their class.

Results: UKG: 1-Ishpreet Singh, 2-Inderpreet Singh, 3-Sukhnoor Kaur, 4-Jasmeen Gulati.

Classes 2 to 5: 1-Asis Kaur, 2-Baljeet Kaur, 3-Taranjot Kaur, 4-Aarshdeep Kaur

Classes 6 to 8: 1-Akashdeep Kaur, 2-Sarabjot Singh, 3-Amritpal Singh, 4-Parampreet Kaur.

Classes 9 to +2: 1-Gurpreet Singh, 2-Satinderpal Singh, 3-Harjeet Singh, 4-Veer Davinder Singh.

Children’s day: Students and staff of MGM Public School came together to help the poor and needy to mark International Children’s Day. Students brought clothes, toys, etc. for the deprived section of society.

A group of students along with their teachers went around slums and distributed gifts.

School director Gajjan S. Thind expressed happiness over the effort of the children.

Samrala
Annual function
: Sant Kirpal Singh Sewa Panthi Senior Secondary Public School, Neelon, near here, will hold its annual function on November 24 at the school campus.

School secretary Bhagwant Singh Aujla today said vice-chancellor Dr M.S. Kang will be the chief guest , while Samrala SDM Sukhdev Singh Mahal will be the guest of honour.

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From Colleges
LCET students excel in ‘Minerva-07’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Deep Hans Arora, Simardeep Singh and Mudit Ghai of the department of computer science and engineering of Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) bagged first prize in non-technical events and runners-up position in debugging, web designing and programming events at “Minerva-07”, a techfest, organised by Ryat Institute of Engineering and Information Technology on its campus here ysterday.

The team of 20 LCET students took part in events like paper presentations on blue ray and high definition, virtual reality, computer virus; technical quiz; debate; etc. LCET chairman Vijay Gupta appreciated the achievement of the students. He said such activities helped in the all-round development of students.

LCET director Dr J.S. Sohal and principal Dr Pawan Kumar honoured students at a function organised by students and faculty.

SDP girls shine: “Naukar Biwi Ka”, a skit presented by students of SDP College for Women on female foeticide, stole the show during an inter-college skit competition organised by the Ludhiana Citizens’ Health Council at GGN Khalsa College for women here today. The college won the overall trophy in the competition. The skit highlighted the plight of society where girls were being “killed”. The skit was well-received by the audience.

SDP college management congratulated the winning team and appreciated excellent performance of students.

designing: Ivanna Institute of Fashion Technology organised a wardrobe designing competition here recently in which students designed wardrobes for three famous personalities of the town. The participants were given a presentation about the personalities, their liking, social status, job profile and buying habits. They were also shown their pictures.

Later, they were asked to design and illustrate a dress for each one of the three persons.

The results: designer queens: Taranjeet Kaur, Ankita Mahajan, Arashpreet Kaur; designer princess’ I: Jyoti Verma, Deepshikha Sharma, Nitu Kapoor; designer princess’ II: Vibhu Chaudhry, Sukhdeep Kaur, Richa Garg.

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Doctors updated about TB
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
A CME was organised at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here yesterday by the District Tuberculosis Society for the members of Ludhiana chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

The programme aimed to project a correct perspective to the primary health care providers about tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS and to sensitise them about DOTS which has already made a tremendous impact on the TB control in the country.

Inaugurating the CME, civil surgeon Dr Satpal Sharma emphasised the importance of such CMEs to update the knowledge of health care professional working in the community.

The session was moderated by Dr Gautam Ahluwalia, associate professor in the department of medicine. Dr Ahluwalia observed that HIV-TB made a deadly combination and all efforts should be made to tackle the problem in a scientific manner.

There were three guest lectures in the CME. Dr Ashish Chawla, district TB officer spoke on principles of revised national TB control programme (RNTCP), followed by Dr Ahluwalia, who spoke on extra-pulmonary TB, which had increased due to the rising incidence of HIV/AIDS. Dr Sangita Sharma, consultant pediatrician at LRS TB institute, New Delhi, spoke on paediatric tuberculosis. She said paediatric age group had also been included in the RNTCP programme in the country.

Various speakers at the CME maintained that HIV tuberculosis was curable if treated appropriately with directly observed therapy short course (DOTS), which, as the sheet anchor, had made a tremendous impact in the control of the disease.

IMA president Dr Arun Mitra observed that IMA members ought to make use of such CMEs for updating their knowledge. The IMA, he said, would actively participate in the RNTCP while exhorting all medical professionals to work diligently for eradication of the communicable diseases, which were cause of a large number of deaths and disability.

He also called upon the government to declare these diseases as national emergencies so that the pharmaceutical industry could manufacture cheap drugs indigenously as per the clauses in the new patent laws.

The CME was also attended by WHO consultants for TB in Punjab Dr Rajdeep Srivastava and Dr S.S. Khajooria.

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State of Healthcare
Govt institutions ill-equipped for clinical care
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 21
Except for providing primary healthcare facilities in pursuance of different national health programmes and preventive healthcare to the city population, as also people in the rural areas and other towns in the district, the government health institutions do precious little to render any worthwhile clinical healthcare.

Lacking badly in having trained personnel, medicines, diagnostic and other equipment and infrastructure, the health institutions, including district, subdivisional and rural hospitals, primary health centres, community health centres and rural dispensaries are practically of no use to the target population for secondary, clinical and emergency medical services.

Poor performance by government health institutions in the delivery of clinical and emergency medical care is all the more ironic and defeats the purpose of their establishment because it is only the poor who are completely dependent on the government sector for healthcare facilities.

The affluent population and a major part of the city population, has access to quality medical care being rendered by private hospitals, nursing homes and medical professionals.

Says Dr Hardeep Singh, state president of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA): “The underlying reason that the government health institutions are not able to provide any curative or clinical services is pathetically low budget for the health segment. Their first priority is working on national health programmes like family welfare, mother and child health, preventive steps against polio, malaria and tuberculosis and other epidemics.”

The fact is that government hospitals and dispensaries are not meant to render clinical or emergency medical services, and if government functionaries make any such claims, these should be taken as political statements, remarked the PCMSA chief.

He cited examples of rural dispensaries and other health centres that do have a qualified doctor but no laboratory or diagnostic facility. On the other hand, health institutions where laboratory tests are available, only a single doctor is posted there and is unable to cope with the volume of work.

Mismatching of staff and shortage of medicines are other major factors standing in the way of government-run health units, points out Dr Hardeep Singh.

He adds: “The PCMSA has submitted a memorandum to the state health minister suggesting remedial measures for inefficient working and under-utilisation of manpower and material in health sector. If put into practice, these proposals will ensure optimum use of existing resources for providing clinical and emergency services, that too without entailing any additional financial burden on the government.”

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Punjab win by 4 wickets
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 21
Punjab overpowered Rajasthan by four wickets in the second match of the visually challenged players of the three match cricket series being organised by the Punjab Sports Association for Blinds,Ludhiana, at Government College for Boys here today. With this second consecutive victory, Punjab took unbeaten 2-0 lead over the visitors.

Rajasthan won the toss and elected to bat first. In the stipulated 30 overs, they scored 250 runs for the loss of nine wickets with main contributions coming through Nirmal Kumar (42), Hardyal Meena (37), Murari Lal (25) and Ram Karan (22).

For the hosts,Vaneet was the pick of bowlers. He grabbed three wickets for 50 runs while Rakesh Prajapati took one wicket for 29 runs.

In reply,Punjab made 251 runs for the loss of six wickets in 24 overs. The main contributors were Gurbir Singh Dehlon and Rakesh Prajapati, who chipped in with 54 runs each while Sandeep Singh made 37 runs.

For the losers, Gajanand scalped two victims while Rajinder Verma and Prashant captured one wicket each.

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Apaar wins skating meets
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 21
Consistent performance by an upcoming skater, Apaar Kaur Grewal has made her famous. A Class VII student of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, has proved her mettle in different skating meets in the recent past.

In the 3rd edition of the All-India Dikshant Roller Skating Championship held at Zirakpur in August Apaar Kaur bagged one gold and one silver medal. She secured a gold in the road race and finished runners up in the rink race II.

Apaar won a bronze medal in the Punjab State School Roller Skating Meet at Patiala last month where she gave tough fight to her immediate rivals to finish at third spot.

In the 10th Ludhiana District Roller Skating Championship held early this month, Apaar stamped her superiority by clinching three gold medals. She won top honours in the rink race I, II and road race to make her presence felt.

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SGGS rowers win trophy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Sri Guru Gobind Singh College-26 (SGGS-26), Chandigarh, won the Panjab University Inter-college Rowing (men) Championship for the session 2007-08 held at Sukhna Lake yesterday. DAV College, Chandigarh, Panjab University Campus and Govind National College, Narangawal, occupied the second, third and fourth positions, respectively.

Manjeet Singh of SGGS-26 emerged winner in the single scull. He, along with Kanav Dosanjh, Vipan Kumar and Shinderpal Singh, emerged winner in the coxless fours event also. The second place in coxless fours went to DAV College rowers (Bittu, Gaurav, Robin and Vikrant) while the PU campus team (Vikrant, Kuldeep, Amadeep and Paramdeep) got the third place.

Other results: Single scull: 1 Manjeet Singh, 2 Vipan Kamboj, 3 Vikrant;

double sculls: 1 Shinderpal Singh/Kanav Dosanjh, 2 Gaurav/Robin, 3 Ram Narayan/Angrej Kumar; coxless pairs: 1 Bittu/Gaurav, 2 Ram Narayan/Angrej Kumar, 3 Sharanjeet Singh/Navjot.

Cricket: PU Campus girls’ team beat Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, on the third day of the PU Inter-college Cricket (women) Tournament held at the PU grounds yesterday.

Batting first, the Ludhiana team scored 58 runs in 25.3 overs. Monu Rana claimed five wickets for 20 runs and Vinay Shree took four for nine runs only. Sukhwinder scored 27 runs. The PU team achieved the target in just 16.1 overs with no loss of wicket.

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Alpine school win opening match
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 21
Alpine International School and Spring Dale Public School, Sherpur, registered comprehensive victories in their respective matches on the opening day of the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Cricket Tournament being played at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar,here today.

In reply to Alpine International Public School's total of 117 runs, MGN Public School were bowled out for 77 runs while Spring Dale Public School beat Saraswati Modern School by four wickets. Batting first, Sarawati Modern School scored 85 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Spring Dale Public School made 86 runs for the loss of six wickets and achieved the target on the last ball of the match.

Earlier,R.B.Khanna,member of the BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School management committee, inaugurated the tournament in which 21 teams from Ludhiana district are taking part.

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RIMT student wins laurels
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 21
A student of Regional Institute of Management and Technology (RIMT), Sunny Verma,has brought laurel to the institute in the PTU Inter-College Powerlifting and Best Physique Tournament held at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana.

He won a silver medal in powerlifting in the 52-56 kg category and a bronze medal in the best physique in up to 60 kg category.

He had earlier won a gold medal in the PTU Inter-College Best Physique Tournament in 2006.

He also represented the PTU in the Inter-University Best Physique Tournament held at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, in January, 2006.

He is presently pursuing master of computer applications programme and wishes to become software engineer.

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Throwball: Akash, Saurav shine
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
A throwball inter-school competition was organised at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, here yesterday.

In under-14 (final), Government High School, Sector 32D defeated Government Model High School, Sector 39, by 25-20, 25-21.

Akash and Saurav played exceptionally well. In under-17, semi-final Government High School, Sector 32, defeated Government Model High School, Sector 39, by 25-13, 25-27 and 25-14.

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Jyoti, Devesh clinch singles titles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
Jyoti Kaushik and Devesh Singhal of India clinched the girls and boys’ singles titles in the finals of the India Open International Masters Series 2007 Table Soccer Championship which concluded at the St Stephen's School.

Amritpal and Pawandeep emerged winners in the doubles by defeating Amanpreet and Antarpreet. The Under-17 singles title went to Devesh Singhal of India.

Zaiham and Jimmy of Malaysia won the open doubles title beating Arshad and Ankur of India. Indian pairs of Ashish and Ankit, Gurpreet Singh and Arjun and Gagan Chawala and Rahul finished third, fourth and fifth.

Singles: 1 Devesh Singhal, 2 Harvinder, 3 Mahinder Doubles: 1 Amritpal and Pawandeep, 2 Amanpreet and Antarpreet, 3 Varinder Singh and Jaiveer Open singles: 1 Koen (Belgium), 2 Zaiham (Malaysia), 3 Jyoti Kaushik

Open doubles: 1 Zaiham and Jimmy, 2 Arshad and Ankur, 3 Ashish and Ankit Girls singles: 1 Jyoti Kaushik, 2 Tarandeep, 3 Simran.

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Softball meet from Nov 26
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 21
The 13th edition of the Ludhiana District Softball Championship for senior men and women will be held at Ramgarhia Educational Complex, Miller Ganj, from November 26 to 28.

P.N. Passi, honorary secretary, Ludhiana District Softball Association, said the units which had paid their dues and were affiliated with the association were eligible to take part in the championship. The interested teams are required to confirm their participation before 5 pm on November 25.

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Pbi varsity gymnasts reign supreme
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, November 21
Punjabi University gymnasts reigned supreme in the All-India Inter-university Gymnastic Championship held on the university’s campus here on Tuesday. They picked up both men's and women's titles in the artistic team championship. In the women’s championship, Minakshi won all five titles — artistic individual, uneven bars, vaulting table, floor exercise and balancing beam — facing little or no challenge from her rivals.

In the men's section, Mahesh Kumar hogged the limelight by winning the individual title in the artistic championship while Gurpreet Singh was placed second. S.Vinay of Osmania University stood third.

Meanwhile, Osmania University, Hyderabad, stood second while GND University, Amritsar, got the third place.

Results: Floor exercise (men’s): 1 Mahesh Kumar, 2 Manoj Yadav (Agra University), 3 Sohan (GND University, Amritsar); pommel horse: 1 Manoj Yadav, 2 Surinder (Punjabi University), 3 S. Kolkate (Pune University); vaulting table: 1 Savant Vinay (Mumbai University), 2 Mahesh, 3 Anurag (Allahabad University); horizontal bar: 1 S. Vinay Chand (Osmania University), 2 Chetan (Vikram University, Ujjain), 3 Mahesh.

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71 teachers selected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
As many as 71 posts of elementary teacher for government primary schools in rural areas were filled during the second session of counselling held at the zila parishad office.

However, 10 posts in the reserved categories are still vacant in the absence of candidates.

Only 146 posts were filled during the first round of counselling held on October 22 and 23. As many as 26 posts remained vacant.

According to Priyank Bharti, additional deputy commissioner, who headed the selection committee, said six posts reserved for sportspersons and four posts for ex- servicemen's wards could not be filled as there were no candidates.

The matter would be reported to the higher authorities for further instruction.

He said the department of rural development and panchayat had instructed them to fill these vacancies through B.Ed candidates.

Hence, 39 B.Ed candidates had been provisionally appointed during the second counselling. However, eight seats were still vacant as the candidates selected during the first counselling had not joined duty today.

According to the zila parishad deputy chief executive officer, Sukhdev Singh, appointment letters to the selected candidates would be issued within a week.

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