L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Steel Price Hike
Industry on the boil
Protesters burn effigies of ministers; sit on relay fast
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Soaring steel prices brought together over 60 industry associations here today to mark their strong protest over the "government's inability" to control the situation that is causing massive losses to the industry.

Members of industry associations from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Phagwara burnt effigies of finance minister P Chidambram and steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan outside the office of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association near Gill Chowk.

Industrialists thereafter marched to Vishwakarma Chowk where they held a protest rally. As many as six industry associations sat on a relay fast which will continue for five days, following which industrialists plan to lodge a protest in Delhi.

Asserting that a regulatory commission be formed to check steel rates, effected by leading national steel manufacturers, Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said, "The burden on account of price hike on a continual basis has made it impossible for us to run our units smoothly. Within the last three months, there has been a rise of Rs 6,000-Rs 7,000 per metric tonne in steel prices and despite repeated requests the government has not done anything in the direction."

Steel consuming units are unable to effect price hike in their final products in proportion to the rise in prices of steel which is a basic raw material for them. Among the industries that have been directly hit are cycle and cycle parts manufacturing units, hand tool manufacturers, fasteners, auto part manufacturers and other engineering goods manufacturing units.

"This industry provides employment to over 6 lakh people across the state. The units are on the verge of closure," said Varinder Kapoor, general secretary of the association.

Narinder Bhamra from the Fasteners Manufacturers Association said the industry would intensify its struggle in case the government remained silent on the issue. "We have written to them time and again. This time we would continue our stir until concrete action is taken."

Industry representatives also raised demands like cutting down duty on imported scrap from the existing 5 per cent to zero and a ban on export of sponge iron and billets. They alleged that leading manufacturers were exploiting the situation to their benefit, a step that was proving fatal for steel consuming units, particularly in the small and medium category.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Hand Tools Manufacturers Association, Focal Point Industrial Sheds Manufacturers Association, Induction Furnace Association, Nut Bolts Manufacturers Association were the leading associations that participated in the protest. Add to story on industry protest

Workers join strike

In a rare gesture industrial workers today came forward to the support of the industry protesting against the rising steel prices. Raghunath Singh, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) today said rising steel prices would cause loss of employment to lakhs of workers in the state.

Condemning the government, he said: "If the government is to save small enterprises from getting ruined they should take strong measures in the direction to curb galloping steel rates."



Budda Nullah
At last, hope for clean water
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Lakhowal (Ludhiana), February 4
Resuming of kar sewa on Budda Nullah today rekindled the hopes of clean drinking water for residents of villages alongside the nullah, who claim their underground water was contaminated.

The kar sewa was started by Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal at his native Lakhowal village today where 25 tractors were pressed into service to desilt the nullah.

The villagers said they were hoping with their fingers crossed that after the nullah would be cleaned their groundwater would be recharged with clean water. They said they were suffering from many diseases due to contaminated water and general health of people was deteriorating due to its contamination.

‘‘The well-off families have two to three water filters installed in their houses to get water worth drinking. Otherwise it turns into a red-coloured liquid if it is kept still in a container. Such is the contamination that the water stinks when it is extracted with the help of a motor, ’’ said Lakhwinder Singh, the village sarpanch.

He dared the mediapersons to drink a glass of water and report about their health tomorrow. ‘‘We have been drinking it for years.

Only financially sound families can get the water treated. Otherwise the other villagers were dependent on this water only as they were not able to afford the expensive appliances.’’ said the sarpanch.

He added that they were reporting with various diseases owing to contamination of underground water due to mixing of effluents from various factories in the area and sewage from Macchiwara town into Budda Nullah.

‘‘We will really have a sigh of relief if the water body is cleaned and water is released into it for self-purification.’’ said the sarpanch.

The Budda Nullah Development Committee, led by Jaswant Singh Chapa and Baba Jaspal Singh Baddowal, said they were given three years time to clean the nullah by the state government.

After a year and a month, the committee had cleaned nearly 20 km stretch. The rest 38 km would be cleaned within the next three years.

Baba Baddowal announced that he had three lakh saplings available with him and if anybody wanted to plant these, he would provide them free of cost.

Lakhowal said he would support the cause to the best of his capacity.

He announced that if the committee would clear the nullah, he would take up with the government the issue of laying a road alongside. 



Case Against Dead Man
SSP orders inquiry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Senior superintendent of police R.K. Jaiswal today ordered a departmental inquiry against the munshi of the police station division number 5 for booking a dead man in a land fraud.

Taking serious notice of the police faux pas in booking Ram Nath, who had died way back in 1997, in a fraud case, SSP said he would find out under what circumstances the dead man was named as the accused.

‘‘The motive of the inquiry will be to find out if the mistake was unintentional or malafide. If it is proved to be deliberate, serious action will be taken against the cop,’’ the SSP told Ludhiana Tribune.

He said normally the text of the complaint was used as the main body of the FIR and the name of the accused picked up from the complaint: ‘‘The person who writes the FIR is supposed to see if he is booking a dead man, as happened in this case.’’

The action has followed in the wake of a news item carried in these columns today highlighting the faux pas of the police.

The Division number 5 police had booked Ram Nath and a woman Parkash Rani. The other accused named clearly in the complaint were left in the FIR.



Migrant woman alleges rape
But cops pick holes in her story
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The Division No. 6 police is in a maze regarding allegations by a migrant woman that two men raped her after kidnapping her on a motorcycle near Transport Nagar on Saturday night.

The woman says she was taken to a place near a colony of thatched huts.

The victim says on Saturday night at 10 pm she was standing near her house when two youths, allegedly brandishing a weapon, forced her to sit on their motorcycle and then drove her away.

The police finds it strange that none heard her cries for help on the busy road. Neither has she mentioned an eyewitness.

The woman alleges she was released at 7 am the following day and reached home with much difficulty. It was late last evening that she mustered the courage to lodge a complaint

The police has registered a case of kidnapping and rape against unknown persons. The complainant says she can identify the culprits.

SHO Mandeep Singh said they were waiting for the report of the medical examination on the woman. A police team took the victim around for three hours to ascertain the place where she was kept, but she could not provide a definite clue.

He said the vicitim had old enmity with a woman in her neighbourhood. It was possible that she could be cooking up a tale to falsely implicate male members of the woman’s family.

“Both have earlier made complaints against each other to the police."



Good Samaritan turns looter
Holds free medical camp; Gives injection to woman; Flees with her jewellery
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 4
In a bizarre incident, a practitioner organised a free medical check-up camp in a gurdwara at Brahampur village yesterday, but fled after robbing Jasbir Kaur of her gold ornaments after drugging her.

The Dehlon police has started investigations into the case.

Sources in the village revealed that the swindler had been visiting the village for the past some days and had approached some residents to rent a room for organising a free medical camp for treatment of certain chronic diseases. After failing in getting a suitable place, he approached the chief of a gurdwara who not only allowed him to use the premises of the religious place but also invited villagers for the camp on public announcement system also.

Though the turnout was poor at the camp, the swindler chose his target when Jasbir Kaur came alone to avail facility of the free treatment. “Though I had opposed his decision to give me an injection, he argued that it will treat me fast. I became unconscious after some time and found my jewellery missing after regaining consciousness,” she told her family. Though some more patients were waiting for their turn, the swindler fled from the village saying that he had received an emergency call and would be returning soon.

Charanjit Kaur, a panch, said the swindler had asked her permission to organise the camp at her house but she and her husband had refused to oblige him. “Keeping in view the security and safety of villagers, we refused to allow him use our house for the purpose and advised him to approach either the panchayat or the committee running affairs of the village gurdwara. But he instead of contacting office-bearers approached sevadars and succeeded in his sinister designs,” said Charanjit Kaur.

Police revealed that a team supervised by Varinder Jit Singh, SHO, had initiated investigations.



Green belt turns into a garbage dump
Marriage palace menace along Ludhiana-Mullapur highway
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The green belt alongside the Ludhiana- Mullapur highway is fast turning into a garbage dump, thanks to the marriage palaces that are dumping their waste in the forest area as forest officials prefer to turn a blind eye to the problem.

The deterioration of the forest land is only the tip of the iceberg as the backyards of these marriage palaces are no less than a dumping ground. A visit to the area is fraught with the risk of inhaling the terrible stink emanating from the heaps of garbage. Huge piles of waste are scattered alongside the Ferozpur road.

Some villagers living in the vicinity of the highway said it was becoming a curse to live in the area, which was once considered the cleanest.

The marriage palace owners are too busy making quick money and making life for the surrounding villages virtually a hell.

At several places, the waste, including plastic bags and disposable plates and other containers, was set on fire, harming the environment. Thick smoke billowing out and spreading on the highway can be spotted easily.

The residents said the marriage palaces were creating noise pollution as well by playing loud music till well past midnight and crackers were also being burst, flouting the rules.

‘‘If they dispose of garbage at a proper place, they will need transport. Now they just fill sacks of it and dump it in their backyard amidst trees. Sometime they set it on fire. Many trees have died in the past and many more would die if the process continues,’’ said Davinder Singh, a resident of Gohar village.

He added, ‘‘The marriage palaces generate huge piles of waste every day, especially during the marriage season. They conveniently throw it here. We have complained to the forest authorities a number of times. But nobody cares. I think they are waiting for the entire belt to turn into a garbage dump before they act. ’’



Core Committee members meet on master plan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Hammered by the High Court to prepare a master plan, the city mayor, Hakam Singh Gyaspura, today called a meeting of members of the Core Committee to discuss the issue.

Deliberations were made on the scheme plans and core areas in the city that would have to be reconsidered under the master plan. Councillors of different areas raised the issues of their areas to be considered while chalking out a master plan.

The issue will finally be taken up in the Core Committee meeting tomorrow. Later the city MLAs will also be consulted while proposing the outline for the master plan.

The MC plans to get the issue cleared from the general house before the next date of hearing on February 28. After the core committee decision tomorrow, the issue will be taken to the House.

The meeting was chaired by city mayor and attended by commissioner Vikas Partap, deputy mayor Sunita Rani, Congress councillors Parminder Mehta and Bharat Bhushan Ashu, senior town planner Balbir Singh Brar and zonal commissioner Ashok Bajaj.



Youth saved  from drowning
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, February 4
Timely action and prompt rescue operations by the local police saved the life of a married youth of nearby Shatavgarh village, who being mentally upset, had jumped into Sirhind canal to end  his life.

Though the youth had reportedly jumped into canal near Chamkaur Sahib, he reached this area with the support of a wooden log floating 
in water.

Appreciating the role played by the police 
officials in saving the youth, panchayat of the village had urged the authorities to recognise those cops who played outstanding role in rescue operations.

Jasdev Singh (35) of Shatavgarh village was rescued from deep waters of Sirhind canal by a police team led by SHO Randhir Singh.



Mayor visits Transport Nagar
Orders staff to clean it in 2 days
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura today ordered the staff of the Municipal Corporation to clean the Transport Nagar area within two days and asked for getting the development projects worth Rs 43 lakh completed at the earliest.

The mayor had gone to Transport Nagar following complaints of prevailing insanitary conditions by the transporters some days ago. He had promised them that he would visit the area.

Gyaspura was accompanied by superintending engineer Dharam Singh, ATP Karamjeet Singh, officials of horticulture wings and O&M cell. He directed them at the spot to redress the grievances of transporters within 
two days.

The transporters, led by Charan Singh Lohara, complained of choked sewers, parking problems, improper streetlighting and flood lighting needing repairs. They also complained of an open drain that was causing problems for their area.

The Mayor assured them that their case would be taken up on a priority. He even declared that the MC would be spending the required money from the general budget of MC.



Band member killed in accident
Mahesh Sharma

Machhiwara, February 4
Bihari Lal (42), a member of a brass band party of Jodhewal Basti, Ludhiana, was killed and four of his associates hurt, when a tempo ( Tata 207 number HP 12 A 84444) carrying them overturned near Mannewal village near here last night. 

The injured were identified as Prem Kumar, Ram Saroop, Ballu and Rajesh. They were shifted to civil hospital by the police.

The Machhiwara police handed over the body of the deceased after registering a report under Section 174 of CrPC.

According to Randhir Singh, SHO, the victims were members of a brass band party of Basti Jodhewal and the mishap had occurred when some stray animals had appeared suddenly on the road. “As Vikas Kumar, organisers of the group, had stated that the mishap had occurred due to sudden appearance of cattle on road and nobody was responsible for the accident, so we handed over body of the deceased after getting postmortem conducted under section 174 of Cr P C,” said Randhir Singh SHO.



Encroachers removed from Feroze Gandhi market
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The tehbazaari department of the municipal corporation will fine the contractor of Feroze Gandhi market for allowing the vendors to set up their kiosks in the parking area.

Naveen Malhotra, superintendent, tehbazaari, said there was some hanky panky that the contractor was allowing the kiosks to stay put in the parking and add to chaos.

The department removed the kiosks and other encroachments from the area.

Meanwhile a demolition squad of the MC removed a building in the Kitchlu Nagar area. Led by ATP Tejpreet Singh, the squad demolished the structure. The structure was razed by the team earlier also but the building was reconstructed by the owner.



Stringent law

Over the past few decades, the successive governments have tried to enact stringent laws for safeguarding the interests of the bride from dowry-related crimes. But, there is an ugly side to it as well. I obtained a mutual divorce under section 13B under the Hindu Marriage Act. But, my wife approached the National Commission for Women. I and my family were booked after my wife falsely implicated us for demanding more dowry. I had to pay substantial amount for obtaining a mutual divorce. But, there are a large number of families who aren’t lucky enough and are put behind bars for no fault of theirs. It is good to have stringent dowry law, but how to prevent it from being misused.

Rupinder Singh,



Seven get jail for murder bid
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 4
Additional session judge A.K.Mehta has sentenced five years rigorous imprisonment to Karnail Singh and four years rigorous imprisonment to Mohanjit Singh, Naib Singh, Jarnail Singh, Gurnam Singh, Mukhtiar Singh and Darshan Singh on the charges of attempt to murder case.

Delivering the verdict, A.K.Mehta held that prosecution had successfully proved with credible convincing evidence that the accused committed attempt to murder.

A case in this regard was registered under sections 307, 326, 325, 323 and 34 of IPC in police station, Jagraon. Gurmail Singh, a resident of Rasoolpur village, in his statement to the police had stated that the accused Mohanjit Singh, along with some other youths, used to stand near the school, which was objected by Sewak Singh, the brother of the complainant.

Due to this, an altercation took place between Sewak Singh and Mohanjit Singh two-three times but the matter was resolved with the intervention of the panchayet but Mohanjit felt offended.

On August 9, 2003, when Sewak Singh was going to fields on his cycle, Mohanjit Singh, his brother Naib Singh, father Karnail Singh, uncle Jarnail Singh and three more persons namely Gurnam Singh, Mukhtiar Singh and Darshan Singh, carrying sharp edged weapons, attacked Sewak Singh.

When Gurmail Singh went to save his brother, he was also attacked by them. When they raised alarm, the village residents reached the spot and the accused persons fled. Gurmail singh and Sewak Singh were rushed to the Civil Hospital with serious injuries.

During the arguments on the case, the accused persons pleaded not guilty and false implication in the case.

Pronouncing the verdict the court held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of accused and sentenced accordingly. 



Biz Word
Engineering expo from Feb 7
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The city will host a four-day engineering exhibition beginning February 7. Infomedia India today said over 150 exhibitors from across the country would participate in the expo, which is conducted in several states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat.

"The expo will focus on showcasing engineering innovations that will bring in change to address today's issue of corporate revitalisation and growth. It will serve as a platform for the industry to grow their business to get the competitive edge," said a company spokesperson.

The event will have pavilions dedicated to machine tools, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, plastics, packaging, electrical and electronics, pumps and valves, automation systems, material handling equipment.



LIC launches unit-linked health insurance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Life Insurance of India introduced its first long-term unit-linked health insurance plan, LIC Health Plus.

S.C. Dhingra, senior divisional manager, LIC, said the plan combined health insurance covers for the entire family, hospital cash benefit and major surgical benefit along with ULIP component designed to meet domiciliary treatment-related expenses for the insured.

He added that one of the unique features of the plan was that the principal insured could withdraw an amount equivalent to actual expense that he had incurred in respect of the treatment under the policy subject to the fund value in his account.



Teachers to go on strike today
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 4
General secretary of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union Kuldip Singh said today that since the union would resume its deferred court arrest agitation, after four months gap, private colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh might be closed for an indefinite period.

He further said the committee members along with 21 teachers from Punjabi University would court arrest, educational intuitions observe bandh and teachers would avail mass casual leave. Guru Nanak Dev University and Panjab University teachers would hold a protest rally at Chandigarh. Besides this, other teachers will hold campus rallies after raking their first class, he added.

He further said, “The committee decided to take such a step after two rounds of discussion with the education minister failed as not even a single demand of their were fulfilled.”

The Punjab Legislative Assembly had amended the Act on December 24 and the union had burnt the copies of the amended bill throughout the state on January 15. A deputation of the union met the Chief Minister on December 8 and sought its withdrawal. They also met the special secretary, Higher Education, on December18 and the Secretary, Higher Education, on December 28, but to no avail.



PAU to start agro-biotech school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
The Punjab Agricultural University academic council has given its clearance for starting a school of agro-biotechnology in coming days. This school will also award B.Sc, M.Sc and PhD degrees. Till now, the biotechnology section has been running under the plant-breeding department.

According to sources, the council in its meeting held here today also decided to shift MBA course under the college of basic sciences instead of the college of agriculture.

The bio-technology department was a full-fledged directorate. It was divided due to clash of egos between the then vice-chancellor and director of the biotechnology department. “The then director had gone abroad on a study leave and in his absence biotechnology was merged with the plant breeding department four to five years ago. But, now it will award higher degrees as a separate department,” a faculty member said.

The council also gave its nod to the college of basic sciences to takeover the MBA course from college of agriculture.

Apart from these, it also decided to change the name of centre of communications and languages to centre of international linkages. Its director and upgradation will be decided later on.

About 20 members took part in the academic council meeting. 



Sudanese delegation visits PCTE
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Two-member delegation from the Khartoum Aviation and Tourism Academy, Sudan, visited the Punjab College of Technical Education here yesterday for exploring collaboration in the field of academics. 

Amir, dean (International Affairs), and Moyouyu, chairman of the academy, visited all PCTE institutions on the campus 1 and II and had discussions with the management and faculty of the institution regarding sharing of resources, curriculum designs and other academic ventures with PCTE.

PCTE director K.N.S.Kang said, “PCTE has already nine academic collaborations with a few leading institutions of England, South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The delegation from Sudan has shown keen interest in collaborating with the PCTE Institute of Hotel Management besides other academic disciplines”.



Jatinderpal is Miss Fresher
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Senior students of SRS Government Polytechnic College for Girls gave a freshers’ party to the first year students of college. Joginder Singh Khera inaugurated the function by lighting the ceremonial lamp.

A cultural programme was organised.

Jatinderpal Kaur won Miss Fresher crown while Saloni Kalra and Nidhi were declared first runner up and second runner up, respectively. 



Diabetics at greater risk of kidney failure, says expert
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 4
Stressing the need for proper management of diabetes to avoid its complications, Dr Ramanbir Singh, consultant endocrinologist, sounded a note of caution that unmanaged and untreated diabetes could lead to several life-threatening diseases, including kidney failure.

He was interacting with patients and doctors at the 50th diabetes detection camp, organised by the local branch of National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) in Shivpuri locality here on Sunday.

Dr Singh advised those afflicted with diabetes to adopt desired lifestyle changes, keep their blood sugar level under control and switch to healthy diet.

Dr Surendra Gupta, secretary, NIMA, said as many as 200 patients visited the camp. The visiting endocrinologist Dr Ramanbir Singh also examined selected patients.

Besides Dr Gupta, NIMA president Dr Rajesh Thapar, Dr Inder Sharma, Dr Diwaker Sharma and Dr K.K. Kharbanda coordinated the activities at the camp.

Free blood sugar level test was conducted on patients. Free dietary counselling and lifestyle modification advice, apart from free medicines, was also given to the patients at the camp.



Health officials take spices samples
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 4
In the course of its ongoing drive against adulteration in food items, teams of health officials today took eight samples of turmeric, chilly, dhania and jeera powder from karyana merchants and department stores in different localities of the city.

Civil surgeon Dr Satpal Sharma said the samples were taken from the Ferozepur Road, Bindraban Road, Civil Lines and Samrala Road areas. All the samples were sent to the government laboratory for chemical analysis. 



Sujjapur rout Sidhwan Khurd
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 4
Sujjapur came out triumphant without being challenged by their rivals Government Senior Secondary School, Sidhwan Khurd, 53-3 in the men’s section of the 58th Ludhiana District Basketball Championship for men and women that began at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In another match, Air Force, Halwara, proved too good for Narangwal whom they outnumbered 49-30. Government Senior Secondary School, Sidhwan Khurd, had a dismal day as they lost their second match also. ITI, Narangwal, got the better of Government Senior Secondary School, Sidhwan Khurd, 27-17.

Matches for the teams from villages are being conducted separately. Five teams from villages namely ITI, Narangwal, Government Senior Secondary School, Sidhwan Khurd, Air Force, Halwara, Narangwal and Sujjapur are competing in this four-day championship while matches for the city institution teams will commence tomorrow.

The final will held between the winners from villages and those from city institution teams on February 7.

Earlier, Jagjit Singh Noni from USA inaugurated the championship. Players of the teams from villages were given basketballs. Iqbal Kaur (USA) distributed the balls. Office-bearers of the Ludhiana District Basketball Association were present.



SAI trials today
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 4
Trials will be conducted here tomorrow to select players for admission to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre being run here at the multi-purpose sports complex of Guru Nanak Stadium.

Players will be selected for residential and non-residential schemes in the disciplines of athletics, handball, judo, volleyball and weightlifting for boys and in judo and volleyball for girls.

Harbans Singh, in charge, SAI training centre, Ludhiana, said the players who had secured first three positions in national and state-level competitions in the age groups of U-14 to U-19 years were eligible for these trials.

The selected players would be provided facilities like boarding, lodging and coaching, besides sports kit and competition exposure as per the guidelines of the SAI.

The interested players have been asked to report for trials on February 5 at 9 am at the centre with two passport size photographs along with photostat copies of their age proof and sports achievement certificates.

The aspirants shall have to arrange their own stay during the trials and no TA/DA will be given, Harbans Singh said.



1,600 sports wings being set up in state: Majithia
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 4
Bikram Singh Majithia, minister for water supply and sanitation, information and public relations, Punjab, has stated that the state government was going to launch its new sports policy soon, under which good facilities, latest equipment and improvement of stadiums will be ensured.

The minister was addressing a rural gathering on the concluding day function of a sports tournament organised by Panchayati Raj Sports Club at Bhanaur village, 12 km from here, last evening.

He said to provide international-level training facilities, 1,600 sports wings were being set up in different parts of the state and the budding players would be selected at the primary school level and continuous coaching would be provided in sports academies to nurture them as national and international-level players.

The minister said to provide proper playing facilities for the youth, the state government had planned to set up sports clubs in all 12,000 villages of the state and grants of Rs 50,000 each would be given to these clubs every year.

He said to improve the standard of education in the rural areas, the state government had launched a special programme to fully upgrade 351 government senior secondary and high schools at a cost of around Rs 200 crore.

He announced a grant of Rs 3 lakh for the sports club. Earlier the minister inaugurated the newly constructed Mata Gujri Community Centre and Mother Teresa library in the village.



Sarpreet strike gold
Our Correspondent

Patiala, February 4
The hero of the last three days, Punjabi University cyclist Sarpreet Singh, once against gave ample evidence of his potential by winning gold medal in the 4 km individual pursuit in the All-India inter-university cycling meet being held at the Punjabi University, here yesterday.

Sarpreet Singh, a student of the local Khalsa College, timed his race to near perfection and clocked 5:16.41 seconds to annex the gold, his fourth title in the meet so far. 



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