Potato junkies, romance your palate
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar (Partabpura), December 25
Till a decade ago, he was a simple farmer cultivating potatoes in a few
acres of land.

But with his vision and planning, Mandeep Singh Lally has now become the only farmer in the region to have set up a fully automated, computerised processing plant for manufacturing French fries, potato flakes, frozen and chopped vegetables, frozen and shelled peas, and frozen vegetable snacks.

Lally’s plant, set up at a cost of Rs 80 crore at Partabpura village on Nakodar Road, became operational only a fortnight ago. The machine, which has components imported from Netherlands, Sweden and Malaysia, processes nearly 7 to 8 tonnes of potatoes per hour producing 1.25 tonnes of fries and 0.75 tonnes of flakes.

Till the time the machine parts including hoppers, blanchers, graders, boilers, freezers and fryers were being imported, fixed and the plant was run on trial basis, Lally was busy developing ties for marketing within the state and in all major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Dehradun and Goa.

A farmer-turned-agro-industrialist, he has already developed links with popular food chains including KFC, Bikaner, Pepsi and Vista Foods for regular sale of his products.

Sold under the brand name Mandy’s, his own nickname, the frozen food range includes Hara Bhara Kabab (made out of peas), Cheese Corn Balls (of potatoes, cheese and corn) and Potato Mozzarella Rolls (potatoes with mozzarella cheese). The items, if refrigerated properly, have a shelf life of a year, he tells.

Recently, the farmer was in news for being selected as the top 10 brand ambassadors for promoting the cooperative movement in the state by Bunny Jasjit Singh, chairman of Punjab State Cooperative Bank and son of cooperative minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh.

But he rues, “It was the first time that anyone recognised my effort. The state government has not assisted me by granting any subsidies. The government is levying 12 per cent tax as is charged from the industry rather than an 8 per cent tax which is imposed on agriculture. I asked PSEB for a hotline so that my machines could run 24 hours but that too has not worked out. I have a generator back up which proves too costly. I even had to face many problems in custom clearance for getting the machines imported”.

Lally plans to soon set up his own fast food joint which will offer as many as 200 snacks, all made of potatoes, with a price range of less than Rs 25.

He even intends to open outlets at his plant at Partabpura, his office near Bhargo Camp, and other places in the city.

In addition, he has also planned to come up with packaging of specific combinations of variety of chopped frozen vegetables for use in cooking potato-cauliflower, cabbage-peas and carrots-peas-potatoes-cauliflower.



Hike Hitch
Industry fumes over PSERC order on security deposit
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 25
The Jalandhar Chamber of Industries and Commerce, in association with nearly 12 other industry-based bodies, today resolved to oppose the order of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) regarding enhancing the security deposit of commercial consumers.

In a joint press conference held in the office of the Engineering Export Promotion Council at Focal Point here, the members said that they would not deposit the enhanced amount that is equivalent to two months’ consumption of the industry.

The members said they would hold a series of demonstrations, road blockages and even gherao of ministers if they would be forced to pay the amount by means of disconnecting their power supply.

The industrialists lamented that the enhanced security deposits would put an additional burden to the tune of crores of rupees on the industry that was not ready to bear it any more. General secretary of the chamber Charanjit Singh Maingi highlighted that in spite of the Chief Minuister’s announcement of withdrawal of hike in electricity tariff, the PSEB was continuing to send bills on increasing rates. He demanded that the practice should be stopped immediately and refund of the excess amount charged be given in the next bill.

All industrialists appealed to the government not to impose octroi in Punjab because the industry was already not doing well in the global competitive market. “The levy of octroi will directly affect the cost of production which will further push the industry on a back foot. Entry tax too has already added to the trouble”, the members said calling for the need to take steps for survival of industry and providing better infrastructure and environment.

Representatives of other associations, including the Laghu Udyog Bharti, the Udyog Nagar Manufacturers Association, the Pipe Fitting Manufacturers Association, the Valves and Cocks Manufacturers Association, the Small Induction Owners Association, the Focal Point Extension Manufacturers Association, the Punjab Leather Federation, the All-India Pipe Fitting Manufacturers Association, the Federation of Engineering Association, the Hand Tools Manufacturers Association, the Industrial Estate Manufacturers Forum and the Surgical Complex Manufacturers Association also voiced similar grievances in the press conference.



He’s here to test his percussion precision
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 25
If you think those who are born and brought up outside India don’t have any inclination to Indian classical music, this young chap proves you to be wrong.

He has flown from the UK, especially to participate in the 132nd Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan which kicked off here today. A son of Indian father and African mother, Satvinder Sehmbey, is proud to be associated with Indian classical music.

A graduate in interior designing and presently working as English teacher in South Korea, Satvinder loves to play tabla and has come to participate in the annual music competition.

Talking about his skills, Satvinder said, “I have been playing tabla when I was hardly seven. Actually, my father forced me to learn it, but slowly I started gaining interest and started playing in gurdwaras under the guidance of my guru Pritam Singh.”

He has also participated in Harballabh and has always been a source of inspiration for me, adds Satvinder.

A first-timer for the competition, Sehmbey said, “My teacher always encouraged me to participate in this competition and the reason why I am here is just because of him. He used to take me to concerts and developed a passion for music in me.”

“I generally play tabla in Punjab Gharana style. However, as my guru has influences of Faruqhabad Gharana and Ajrada Gharana, so sometimes even these styles are witnessed in my style,” added Satvinder.

Loving his own world of music, the 24-year-old guy, describing about his hobbies revealed, “I am really fond of music and love to try fusions in music. I have a friend Graham Garsite, who is a great guitarist and many times we try to experiment with guitar and tabla.”

Talking about his future plans, Satvinder said, “Every music style has its own qualities. So, one can learn many things. Well, now I am planning to learn Korean music.”



Malta victims remembered on 11th anniversary
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 25
Malta boat tragedy victims’ families remembered their kin by lighting candles near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Company Bagh, here on Tuesday.

The occasion was the 11th anniversary of the tragedy. NRI Sabha Punjab president Resham Singh Hayer and chief of Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission chairman Balwant Singh Khera recalled that out of the 300 young men, who lost their lives on December 25, 1996 in Malta Sicily Channel near Italy, 170 were Punjabis.

The duo also honoured Jatinder Jit Kaur and Col T J Singh Chandok, both advocates at Punjab and Haryana High Court, for fighting the cases of the mission without charging any fee.

Presenting the annual report, Khera said Italy senator Tana Di Juleta had taken up the issue with his government that has agreed on sanctioning funds for the retrieval of remains of those dead in the tragedy.



Young World
City schools rejoice as Santa comes calling
Tribune News Service

Children pose with Santa at a city bowling alley in Jalandhar on Tuesday.
Children pose with Santa at a city bowling alley in Jalandhar on Tuesday. — Photo by S.S. Chopra

Jalandhar, December 25
Christmas was celebrated by organising dance and fancy dress competitions for the kids at Prithvi’s Planet.

As many as 54 children participated in the contests and came dressed up as princess, Santa Claus, flower arrangement, don and Punjabi folk artistes.

The event was judged by Vivek Aggarwal, owner of a dance academy, Inderjot Bawa and Preena Bawa, both directors of the Bawa Group of Industries.

Charan Kamal, Parneet, Gaganjot and Aliya were adjudged as winners of the fancy dress competition.

In the dance contest, Charan Kamal, Perneet, Seerut, Ahi3a and Siya won prizes in the category of three to six years, while Meenal, Amreen, Harnoor, Aastha, Gurnoor, Kawalpreet, Saksham, Shreya, Gur Ekam and Ashish were declared winners in the category of seven to nine years. In 10 to 12 years category Hitesh, Archit, Tuhina and Salit were the prize winners.

Meenal Gupta won the prize for the best costume, while Astha was adjudged as best folk performer. Manpreet, Akansha and Nishtha, were declared as winners in western dance, classical dance and fusion dance, respectively.

Eklavya School celebrated Christmas by decorating school with bells and balloons. A Christmas tree decorated with stars, toffees and streamers was also displayed.

Some children dressed up as Santa Claus distributed Christmas gifts like photoframes, wall hangings and fairies among the students.

Children had a great time singing carols and dancing all around. A sumptuous cake was also served in all the classes. The children were also taken to a church where they lighted candles.

A special assembly was held at Delhi Public School to celebrate Christmas. The students exquisitely recreated the birth of Christ.

It began with a special prayer followed by recitation of ‘10 commandments.’ The event was followed by enactment of events related to the birth of Christ in their chronological order.

Students were dressed up as Mother Mary, Joseph, King Herod, the wise men and the shepherds and the background rendered a very authentic look. It was followed by carol singing in the praise of Jesus.

A fairy dance was also presented by the students of the primary wing. Students were merrily dressed in red and white colours which added to the fervour.

Mayor World School was under the magic spell in the Christmas season as was evident from the house board decorations.

Shakespeare house decorated its board around a sleigh of Santa, while Wordsworth house had Jesus Christ blessing children.

Mouth watering Christmas recipes was the theme of the Dickens house, whereas Keats house depicted Santa in all his glory.



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