L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

PAU land faces govt scare
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
The state government is for sure meting out step-motherly treatment to Punjab Agricultural University - instead of extending a helping hand to the varsity, which is reeling under severe financial crunch these days, the government has started taking over PAU lands for "high-end projects".

After Bathinda land was taken for a cricket stadium, the government is now eyeing a 1250-acre area belonging to PAU near Laddowal for another industrial project. Taken aback by the proposal, PAU authorities have informed the government that it took at least five years for setting up a research station at Laddowal and it will be a set-back to them if the land is transferred. "Uprooting means it will take another 5-6 years to set-up a new research project. PAU does not want to lose this land. We are seriously taking up the matter with the state government and are hopeful that it will be reconsidered,” said Dr M.S.Kang, PAU vice-chancellor here today.Out of 1250 acres, 200 acre is being used as a research station for sugarcane. Seed production and multiplication is being done on 550 acres while the remaining is being used by the university for promoting horticulture, fruit trees etc. "Though we are not getting monetary gains from this land but it is well-suited for research projects," said Dr Kang, adding that land proposed by the government in lieu of Laddowal was scattered, under litigation and unsuitable for research purposes, as it was not contiguous. Meanwhile, the university has appointed a committee constituting various experts to find the feasibility of land on main Ferozpure road, between PAU and GADVASU. The state government had asked the PAU to generate income by giving the land on lease to some corporate house. "The committee will submit a report in 10 days and we will take a quick decision on the issue," said Dr Kang.Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA), however, has condemned the decision of the state government and the university. Mukesh Siag, a PAUTA representative, said farmers will be in for greater losses if the lands were "surrendered" like this. "Major seed production, multiplication and researches are conducted on these lands, why should these be transferred to industrial units?" said Siag, adding that they will meet the VC tomorrow and discuss the issue. 



Beggar lay dead on footpath for over 17 hours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
A beggar lay dead for more than 17 hours on a footpath near the MC office. Another beggar was on the verge of dying, but nobody came to his rescue. The police reached the place at 11 am and sent the body to the civil hospital for a postmortem.

Beggars, who had been sharing the footpath with the victim for the past several days, said he died due to cold. He breathed his last at around 6 pm last evening. They said they did not know who the beggar was.

They asked passersby for help, but nobody came forward. Finally, a journalist passed by at 9 am, and informed the police, which reached at 11 am.

“It was really shocking. A man is lying dead and nobody is bothered. We should treat humans with respect. The condition of another man was serious and I asked the other beggars to at least light a fire around him. I even asked the police to do something about him, but nobody cared,” a resident said.  



City gets a chill at 0.8° C
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Residents continue to shiver in the city with the temperature touching 0.8 degree celsius and the cold wave claiming one life here last evening.

Residents preferred to stay indoors and those below the poverty line were trying to keep the cold at bay by lighting campfires.

Meterology experts of the PAU said yesterday was also a very cold day as the temperature was 0.2 degrees celcius.

“It is freezing cold. It becomes difficult to work in such conditions. But I have to work to provide food to my children,” said Ram Avtar, a labourer.

Well-to-do families were ruing power cuts as they could not switch on heaters.

Hosiery makers were, however, happy with the extreme weather conditions as they are expecting a good sale this year.

‘‘We had started putting our products on sale but the cold wave has given a new lease of life to our products,’’ said Sunil Datt, an industrialist. 



Residents defer sale deed registration
Collector price hike may see rollback
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
The announcement of reduction in collector price on sale deeds by acting president of the SAD, Sukhbir Singh Badal, yesterday affected rgistration of sale deeds in the sub- registrar's office as residents deferred the registration.

Property dealers of the city had yesterday met Badal and claimed that the collector price on sale deeds would be reduced by January 10.

They stated that the assurance had come from Badal himself.

As soon as the announcement reached residents and property dealers today, they were seen postponing the registration and taking legal opinion if the registration could be delayed without suffering losses.

The sub-registrar's office registered only 130 sale deeds today compared to 200-300 on a normal day.

Those who had come today were seen pleading with their dealers and sellers to give them one week's time.

Deed writers said their work suffered due to the announcement.

‘‘People were only enquiring and going back,’’ a deed writer said.

The collector price on sale deeds was hiked in September last year. The property dealers had been protesting against the same, claiming that the hike was between 75 per cent to a whopping 600 per cent, especially in Ludhiana.

They had gone on a indefinite fast and the state exchequer had suffered losses worth crores.

Jails minister Hira Singh Gabria had intervened and assured them of a positive solution.

The dealers had called off their strike and had threatened that if they were not heard, they would protest again.

After returning from Chandigarh, the dealers had claimed that the rate would be hiked by 50 per cent only and the rest of the hike would be rolled back.  



IT Surveys
Rs 2.65 crore concealed income detected
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
In a series of income tax surveys conducted in the city and Khanna yesterday, business houses surrendered an additional income of Rs 2.65 crore for the current financial year and undertook to meet the tax liability.

Teams of income tax sleuths, under the supervision of the joint commissioner, carried out the survey at Janaksons, a readymade garments unit, Sunny Knitwears and A.V. Knitwears.

Police personnel accompanying the IT officials were deployed at the main gates of the units while the survey operations were on.

The officials inspected account books, computer data, income tax returns, purchase and sale records and stocks of raw material and finished goods. The key personnel, including directors and accountants of the units, were also questioned.

In Khanna, the surveys were conducted on premises of a business house running a solvent plant and a flour mill.

Giving details of the outcome of the surveys, the commissioner of income tax II, R.K. Roye, said two assessees in the city had surrendered an additional income of Rs 1.15 crore while the Khanna operations had yielded a concealed income of Rs 1.5 crore.

The assessees would meet the additional tax liability by the end of the current financial year.



Shingaar blasts were avoidable
Terrorist’s inputs ignored
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
The Shingaar Cinema blasts could have been avoided had the police seriously followed information about the ongoing training and regrouping of militants provided by an alleged terrorist after he was caught by the Jagraon police two years ago.

Lack of support from seniors, protests by activists of social and political parties, alleged interference of leaders of party in regime and fear of human rights organisations were reported to be the reasons behind “mild” interrogation of otherwise “hard” criminals.

Sukhwinder Singh, alias sarpanch (a nephew of Daya Singh Lahoria, a self-styled lieutenant-general of the Khalistan Liberation Force), one of the accused nabbed in third week of August last year, had divulged that he had visited Pakistan many times. Heroin worth Rs 6 crore was seized from his possession.

The accused had confessed that he had visited Pakistan many times, once on the pretext of going with a jatha in connection with Gurpurb.

The police did not dare suggest religious body sending jathas to take preventive measure in this regard.

Disclosure made by some suspects, arrested by the Ludhiana (rural) police, prior to the Shingaar blast, had exposed that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was trying to revive terrorism in Punjab and was supplying Sikh separatists with narcotics and fake currency, which were sold in the open market to fund their disruptive activities.

Observations revealed that disclosure made by some persons arrested by the Ludhiana (rural) police during past years had exposed that sympathisers of terrorists living abroad and the ISI had started trying for revival of terrorism in the state long time back.

Had the state police acted on the basis of information provided by these persons, the gang involved in Shingaar blasts could have been arrested before it struck at the target on eve of Id.

The sarpanch had revealed that he had gone to Pakistan as member of a jatha in connection with the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev in 2005, where he met Babbar Khalsa chief Wadhawa Singh, Khalistan Jindabad Force’s Ranjit Singh Neeta, Paramjit Singh Panjwar and Asiq Gurki, alias Rana, and got arms training there.

He had also confessed to his links with another terrorist outfit headed by Gurdeep Singh Jammu.

The terrorists were supplying heroin and arms to groups active in Punjab besides supplying narcotics to two smugglers - Bara and Numberdar, both residents of Bhikhiwind.

Sukhwinder also indulged in the sale of Indian fake currency printed by the ISI, it was reported.

Earlier, the Ludhiana (rural) police had arrested Manpreet Singh of Dhulkot and Chamkaur Singh and Bhagwant Singh of Maqsudra village.

Arms and ammunition, including 28 kg of RDX, was seized from their possession.

Harjit Singh Latala, an active member of Babbar Khalsa, who had been declared a proclaimed offender in the Beant assassination case, was also booked under Section 120 B of IPC in the case but the investigating team failed to trace him.

Sources revealed that activists of a number of social and political organisations, terming the arrests “victimization of innocent Sikh youths” had protested against the police action then.

As none of the organisations, political or social, came forward to defend the police, the officials hesitated to adopt hard methods to deal with the suspects. 



Lecture on US stand on terrorism organised
Tribune News Service

Doraha, January 3
An extension lecture on “U.S.A’s War Against Terrorism” was organised by the post-graduate department of political science of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, today.

Dr. Kuldeep Singh, former head reader of G.N.D.U., Amritsar, was the resource person and the function was presided over by college principal Dr. Narinder Singh Sidhu. Prof. Gursharan Kaur, head of post-graduate department of political science, along with other faculty members was present on the occasion. Dr. Kuldeep Singh emphasised that though there are many centres of power in the world which indicate towards multi-polarity, yet United States has maintained its hegemony in the World and converted it into a unipolar structure. Due to this, United Nations is losing its relevance.He was of the firm opinion that U.S.A. has adopted double standards on the issue of terrorism. Meaning of terrorism was changed for U.S after the attack on World Trade Centre and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Earlier it was U.S.A. who was providing training, wealth and weapons to terrorist outfits, but now it has declared a unilateral war against terrorists. At the same time U.S.A. invoked the provision of collective security under the NATO treaty. He alleged that U.S. is a big violator of human rights and due to its Iraq policy more than 25 lakh innocent people were killed.

After the lecture, students and teachers raised some significant questions, which were answered by the resource person in an elaborate way. 



Don’t deny admission to the child!
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
There is no denying the fact that every child does not have the same ability. Yet, ‘The child is not active’, ‘He is not responding nor participating’ are some of the excuses which are commonly used by school authorities for denying admissions to certain students

A retired principal of a school here says: "While denying children admissions on the basis of introvert behavior, school authorities forget that even Einstein was considered a below average student during his early life." However, school authorities seem to be understanding each and every child psychology to the hilt!

Amit Behal, a businessman says, "Children are not preparing for an IAS interview, for which their activity or behaviour needs to be observed. A school turned down my son's admission stating that he was not responding to them. I know he is little reserved but that does not mean he is not active." Since Ludhianvies have a special charm to educate their wards in the most sought after schools in the city, parents also put pressure on the child to behave actively and respond to other people. This might have harmful impact on the child’s psychology

Most kindergartens show 100 per cent admission of children as their Ultimate Selling Point (USPs) and they matter in subsequent admission of the ward. Says Jaskirat Singh, "My daughter has been denied admission on the pretext that she was not active at the time of admission. But other children who were just like her were given admission. Later, I was told by my friend that my daughter was denied as she has studied in an ordinary kindergarten." Similar were the thoughts of parents of three-year-old Amandeep, who was also denied admission.

Talking on issue, Pritama, who runs a Nursery school, said: "We specially prepare children for interviews and make them respond loudly, but still some children show reluctance. However, that is no criteria that the child is not active." 



Devotees take part in nagar kirtan 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
Thousands of devotees from the town and surrounding villages participated in a nagar kirtan organised by Sikh religious organisations in various parts of the town today.

The kirtan was organised under the aegis of the Kalgidhar Federation and Parbhandak Committee, Gurdwara Singh Sabha, ahead of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh that falls on January 5.

The procession started from the Guru Teg Bahadur Chowk and passed through various parts of the town, including railway road, main bazar, Bhagat Singh Chowk, Bazar Bazazan, Gandhi Chowk and Mahavir Marg.

A large number of vehicles and tractor-trailers carrying devotees moved through the town.

Panj Piaras, gatka and bhangra artistes, and school bands accompanied the devotees.

A bedecked palanquin, carrying the holy Guru Granth Sahib, followed the Panj Piaras.

Devotees sang Gurbani and performed kirtan. Gurdwaras in various localities and social organisations organised tea and langar for devotees.

Members of various organisations, including Sukhmani Seva Society, Vishawkarma Mandir Committee, Shri Ram Mandir, Baba Budha Gurmat Parchar Trust, Gurdwara Bhagat Ravi Dass, Jandali Road, and Gurdwara Namdev showered flowers and sprinkled water along the way. 



Sukhdev Nagar residents rue poor amenities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Residents of Sukhdev Nagar on Bhammian Road are up in arms against the local authorities for not providing them with civic amenities in spite of their persistent requests for the past two years.

Residents alleged that they had been forced to go without potable water for days, adding that roads were in bad shape.

Ravi Chander Garg, an area resident, said roads in the area had not been recarpeted for years.

The roads had developed potholes and clouds of dust enveloped the area especially during the passage of heavy vehicles.

The top layer of the roads had almost worn out. “We have to pass through huge potholes. Bad roads have not only taken their toll on our vehicles but also affected the health of residents, who have been complaining of pain in the lower back,” said Garg.

Pardeep Bhandari, another resident, said the water supply through a tubewell in the area was erratic due to frequent snags. They had to go without water for many days, he alleged.

The electricity wires were also hanging loose, posing a threat to the lives of residents. Numerous complaints to the Punjab State Electricity Board had fallen on deaf ears.

“We have been complaining time and again but nobody has come forward to our rescue,” said Garg. 



Roadways workers hold protest
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 3
Workers of the Punjab Roadways Depot protested against the government’s failure to fulfil their outstanding demands here today.

During a gate meeting, the workers criticised the statement of state transport minister with regard to check on illegal operation of buses in the state.

They alleged that the hike in taxes was a move to prevent the CTU from plying its buses in the state and that state bureaucrats were working towards nourishing the fleet of the buses belonging to the state chief minister only.

AITUC Punjab Roadways president Gurdip Singh Moti referred to meeting with the state transport minister and lamented that they had not initiated any scheme for the welfare of workers of union.

Their demands include promotions, scale, accident claim for drivers, service to children of deceased the union workers, etc. They will launch a protest against the state transport minister at Pathankot on January 8. 



Advance payment for electricity

People are peeved at the government’s decision (PSEB) of depositing 2-3 months advance payment for power consumption. This unpopular step pinches all sections of society - middle class, salaried persons, small traders and villagers - uncovered by free power supply schemes.People are feeling cheated because at the time of assembly elections, the SAD-BJP combine had made different promises. People are already hard-pressed due to unprecedented rise in prices of daily consumption goods and this decision would add fuel to their problems. Keeping this in mind, we request that this unpopular decision be withdrawn and general welfare of masses be kept in mind.

Virinder Bhakoo,



4 booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 3
The Humbran police has booked four persons for committing fraud.

According to information, Mohinder Singh of Mansa had filed a complaint on November 1 against the four — Harinder Singh, alias Billu, of Humbran, Nirmaljit Singh, alias Laddi, his mother Balvir Kaur and Sarjit Singh, alias Raja, both of Delhaig, Holland — alleging that the NRIs and their accomplices had taken Rs 10 lakh from him on the pretext of sending him to Holland.

However, neither did they arrange the trip nor return the money.

After preliminary inquiry, the police has now registered a case. No arrest has been made.

Man held

The Sidhwan Bet police has arrested Jujhar Singh of Gorahoor from his village and recovered stolen angle iron valuing Rs 1,000 from his possession.

The police has registered a case under Sections 379 and 411, IPC.


The Dehlon police has booked Bachan Singh, Baljit Singh of Dehlon along with an another person for assaulting Santokh Singh of Bhutta village.

A case under Sections 328, 323, 341, 506 and 34, IPC, has been registered.

The injured has been admitted to the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Ludhiana. 



PAU focus on disease-free kinnow
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
For the diversification of agriculture, horticulture development has an important role to play. Fruits currently occupy an area of 30,976 hectare with a production of 4.37 lakh tonne. Convenient and adequate availability of high-quality and disease-free nursery plants are important for promoting the area under fruits. Citrus is the premier fruit in terms of area under cultivation and production trend in the state. 

Of the citrus fruits, kinnow has a major commercial significance because of better economic prospective. Though it is cultivated in Punjab on 27,606 hectare with a production of 4.14 lakh tonne covering districts like Ferozepur, Muktsar, Faridkot, Bathinda and Hoshiarpur.

The non-availability of disease-free kinnow plants was a problem in Punjab and neighbouring states these days. In view of this, a beginning was made at the PAU for establishing a nursery for producing disease-free plants in 1999 on scientific lines to cater to the needs of fruit growers and nurserymen of the region.

The PAU head of the department of horticulture, Dr Jasbir Singh Randhawa, said the true-to-type and virus-free budwood was procured in January 1999 from mother block of kinnow plantation at the Research and Experimental Centre, Lindcov, University of California, USA, adding that a block of 95 plants had been established in insect-proof screen houses as foundation block at the college orchard of the PAU.

“An inter-disciplinary scientific team are involved in the nursery production programme,” he said.

The propagation of virus-free plants was being carried under phyto-sanitary conditions in the screen houses under the supervision of inter-disciplinary team of scientists.

About the budgetary provision, said to start with, the project had a budget layout of Rs 50 lakh by the Punjab Government for the construction of the screen houses and net houses.

It was working at full swing and producing about 30,000 disease-free kinnow plants per year. The project had been operating as a revolving fund scheme (RF-1) for self sustainability and was generating employment throughout the year.

He said in 2002-2003, the production of kinnow plants was 2,600 whereas in 2007-2008, it had increased up to 30,000.

The emphasis was being laid on strengthening of infrastructure of screen houses and laboratory with latest facilities for detection/indexing of viruses in plants, computerised irrigation system and mechanised working in screen houses. “If everything goes well, the target fixed to produce one lakh plants annually will be met,” he said, adding that farmers could obtain these plants from the college orchard of the PAU in February, March, September and October.  



Latala, Narangwal enter semis
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 3
A brace by Jaspreet Singh steered Latala to a 4-0 win over Mehma and advance into the semifinal of the 7th annual football tournament, organised by the Dashmesh Sports Club at Kila Raipur, near here, today.

Jaspreet struck in the 10th and 21st minutes, while Swarn and Mukhtiar Singh added one goal each in the 55th and 76th minutes, respectively, to help their team enter the last-four stage.

In the second quarterfinal, Narangwal prevailed over Gurm 2-1 after leading by two goals at the breather.

Narangwal surged ahead in the 5th minute through Sahil and Happy Grewal found the target in the 35th minute to increase the lead. Gurmeet Singh reduced the margin for Gurm in the 60th minute.

In other league matches, Jassowal outplayed Bhutta 4-3 on tie breaker after the two teams were tied one -all at the end of the stipulated period, Raikot outnumbered Nawanpind, Gujarwal got the better of Bhaini Aroran 1-0, Mehana beat Mehama Singhwala 4-2 in tie-breaker, Kila Raipur blanked Lohgarh 3-0 and Narangwal beat Noorpur Bet 5-4. 



Chinmai, Sahil, Parveen chess masters
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
Chinmai, Sahil and Parveen emerged chess masters at the annual winter camp of Victoria Public School, Lehra, that concluded on the school premises yesterday.

Dev Raj, chairman the Sat Sahib Educational Society, presided over the concluding function of the session and S.P. Sofat, director, Rotary Club, was the chief guest.

Terming extracurricular activities to be necessary for preparing students for growing competition in society, Dev Raj and Sofat called upon organisers of various private schools to focus on inculcating healthy habits and style in their wards, besides imparting quality formal education.

Moral education and positive approach should be preferred avenues of education, they asserted.

According to Sapna Dhand, principal, Rewati Arora, Swain Thapar Udai and Ajaideep (winners of musical chair race), Samridhi, Harash Khatra and Harshita (card making), Monika Goel, Saltanat and Simranjit (salad arrangement) and Khushi, Navedita and Ekamjot were felicitated for their outstanding performance in various items. 



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