L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Demolition Drive
17 shops pulled down
Shopkeepers see local MLA’s hand; say no notice issued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
A demolition squad of the Municipal Corporation today demolished nearly 17 shops at Barewal Road that were alleged encroachments on public land.

Accompanied by a heavy posse of the police, the demolition squad led by officials of building branch pulled down all structures within a few hours despite protests by shopkeepers.

The action follows in the wake of a complaint by a local MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik during a meeting of the core committee recently. He had complained that all these shopkeepers had usurped public land worth crores and the MC was shielding them.

It was then that the mayor had directed MC officials to take on the encroachments and get the shops removed.

The MC swung into action last evening but had to go back after demolishing a few structures. While the officials claimed that they had to go because the bulldozer had developed a snag, the complainant party had alleged that the MC was buckling under pressure of shopkeepers.

The squad, however, returned in the morning and started removing the illegal structures. The shopkeepers said they were sitting on the land for the past 20 year and they were not even issued notices to vacate the land.

They added that they had not supported the MLA during the last elections. He wanted to avenge that and was pressuring the MC to demolish their structures so that they were not able to even earn their bread and butter.

Saudagar Singh, a shopkeeper, who was almost in tears after seeing his furniture shop pulled down, said hundreds of acres of public land was usurped in many areas of the city but it was just because of the political pressure that they were being meted out this treatment.

He added that they had even gone to the court but the MC was not giving them time.

‘‘Have you ever seen such a heavy police force for demolishing such structures? Because they are in power now hence they can do anything’’ he said.

‘‘We would have worked out the modalities and paid the MC for the land.

They are going to sell it only. But they just wanted to teach us a lesson for supporting a group not in power this time. ’’ he added.

MC officials said that they would continue with the demolition drive and nobody would be spared.

The demolition squad of the MC also demolished a part of a departmental store -More For You - on Rani Jhansi Road claiming that that outlet was not following parking restrictions.

MTP Kamaljeet Kaur said the outlet had covered its rear parking and kept trolleys and baskets in all three storeys of the building in violation of bylaws.

She added that they had, however, given an undertaking that they would open the basement for parking. The store would be regularised then.

Another team led by area town planner demolished a wall in Kundanpuri that was an alleged encroachment.



Row over land near Chand cinema
Theatre owners accuse police of being partial
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
A 10,000 sq. yd land worth about Rs 150 crore situated near Chand cinema is in a centre of controversy with a doctor-son duo, Dr Rajinder Hora and Dr Rajeev Hora, owners of Chand Cinema, today alleged the div no. 4 police had joined hands with a person to grab the prime piece of land.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, they alleged that the police had not only banned their entry in their own land but even registered a case against unknown persons for grabbing the land of Paramjit Singh, son of Manna Singh.

The police had yesterday registered an FIR on the complaint of Balwinder Singh against unidentified persons for allegedly demolishing a wall to gain entry into the land. Balwinder had stated in the FIR that Paramjit Singh was the owner.

Highly agitated at being turned out of their land, the duo, both are also office-bearers of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, produced revenue records supporting that they were the owners of the prime property. The records were fresh bearing the stamp of March 3.

They alleged when they rushed at the site, the cops, led by DSP Manjit Singh Dhesi, accused them of making false complaint and abused them also.

They alleged Paramjit Singh was close to senior Akali Leaders and was influencing the cops.

DSP Dhesi, however, denied the charges. "After receiving a complaint, we verified from area residents and shopkeepers if a wall was demolished. They confirmed it at which the case was registered."

He said the police had no role to establish the owner, "It is for the revenue department. The police will maintain the status quo and follow the law as per the revenue records."

Meanwhile, Paramjit Singh, accused of attempting to grab the prime land, claimed in a press conference in the evening that the doctor duo were not the owners of the land.

He claimed in the revenue records, there were several owners of the land and the doctor duo had far less share in the property than what they were claiming. He also claimed tha he had bought the land from Bhagwan Singh and the doctor duo had no claim over that portion of land.



Allotment process for liquor vends kicks off
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The process of allotment of liquor vends in this district kicked off today as the Excise and Taxation Department began accepting applications. Applicants made a beeline to the department's office in mini secretariat to procure their applications.

This year, the department is expecting to rake in a revenue of more than Rs 254 crore from the allotment. While 205 vends would be allotted within the Municipal Corporation limits, the value of vends in areas beyond corporation limits is Rs 100.70 crore.

Unlike last year, when each applicant was allotted a single unit, this time five vends would be allotted per applicant. This would help controlling "unfair market practices" like under cutting, pricing policies, etc, said officials.

While draw of lots, being held for the third consecutive year, would be held on March 12, this time the last date for submitting the applications is March 9.

In Ludhiana district, each vend within the Municipal Corporation limit would cost Rs 75 lakh, which means the minimum amount an applicant here puts at stake is Rs 3.75 crore.

The draw of lots would be held at Harshila Resorts on March 12.

Last year, more than 5,600 applications were received by the department for allotment. The number, added officials, is expected to rise further.



Housing company told to refund Rs 1.77 lakh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed owners of Premier Complexes, Ludhiana, to refund the amount of Rs 1,77,750 charged from a consumer against allotment but failed to deliver the possession and execute the sale deed in favour of the consumer even after receipt of entire amount.

President of the forum J S Chawla and its member Daljit Singh Bakshi also ordered the housing company to pay Rs 2,200 as compensation for mental tension and harassment to the consumer. The forum also ordered to refund Rs 6,000 charged from the consumer on the pretext of purchasing stamp papers for executing sale deed.

The orders were passed by the forum while deciding the complaint filed by Dharam Vir Singari of Haibowal Kalan. He had submitted that he had booked a plot measuring 150 square yards in the Harry Enclave of Premier Complexex in 1998.

He paid the entire amount in 79 instalments. The total cost included the cost of development charges for providing metallic roads, water, sewerage lines and parks but nothing was done on the spot despite lapse of several years, added the consumer.

On the other hand, the housing company failed to appear before the forum.



3 roundabouts to shrink
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
To ease traffic chaos in the city, the MChas decided to reduce the circumference of roundabouts at Arti Chowk, Jamalpur Chowk and Fountain chowk besides starting construction on the railway overbridge in place of the old lakkar bridge.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the MC and traffic police officials. Commissioner Vikas Partap, who chaired the meeting along with mayor Hakam Singh Gyasura, said Arti Chowk on Ferozepore road and Fountain Chowk were the worst choke off points. The meeting decided that the circumference of roundabouts at these points be reduced, the intersecting roads widened and traffic lights installed there.

The commissioner said that money had been sanctioned for a wide bridge on the road to Dugri. Work on the road in front of Westend Mall would also be expedited.

The meeting was attended by senior deputy mayor Parveen Bansal, deputy mayor Sunita Aggarwal, traffic police officials, MC officials and several councillors.



Boy finds a saviour in scientist
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 5
With no roof over his head, a critically ill 18-year-old Atma Ram, lying on the sidewalk of a busy road in the city, would have lost his battle with death had he not been spotted by Dr Naurang Singh Mangat, a volunteer with Guru Amar Das Apahaj Ashram.

Dr Mangat was on his usual round of city localities on cycle when he spotted the migrant boy.

A medical examination showed his blood sugar level (575) was high and he had severe body pain which restricted his body movement.

Atma Ram, who has six siblings younger to him, had come from Uttar Pradesh in search of livelihood. But he was incapacitated due to his sudden illness a few months ago.

"I have not been able to earn anything in the last couple of months and I have no idea as to what problems my family must have faced during this period."

Dr Mangat has arranged for the treatment of the boy who is being administered injections and other medication to keep the blood sugar level under control and revive his vital body functions.

Doctors say if the boy had gone untreated, the rise in blood sugar could have led to life-threatening diseases concerning kidneys, eyes and the heart.

The expenses incurred on the treatment of Atma Ram will be borne by Guru Amar Das Apahaj Ashram Trust till he regains health and is able to earn a livelihood.

Say Dr Mangat: “ During the last two years, the trust has saved the life of many poor persons by providing emergency medical treatment, food and shelter.

“The trust has been providing wheelchairs, tricycles, crutches and clothes to the needy and also sponsoring education of poor and orphan chilldren."

A former scientist with PAU, Ludhiana, the University of Windsor, Canada and Morrison Scientific Research Compan4

y, Calgary (Canada), Dr Mangat is also a former fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, London (UK) and a co-author of "Elements of Survey Sampling" published by Kluwer Academic Publishers based in Dordretch (Netherlands), London (UK) and Boston (USA).



Traffic chaos reigns during Shobha Yatra
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Smooth traffic flow became a casualty during the Shobha Yatra held on the eve of Shivaratri even as the city traffic police failed to do anything to manage the traffic. Serpentine queues of vehicles were seen in congested markets of the city, especially Chaura Bahar, Sabzi Mandi and Minna Bazar, which witnessed the worst traffic chaos in the afternoon.

This happened a day after the traffic police made tall claims after a DSP, traffic, had attended a meeting with MC officials and claimed that they would control traffic chaos in the city.

Despite knowing that there would be a lot of pressure on roads owing to the Shobha Yatra that had to pass from many city areas, the traffic police had not made any arrangements to check chaos on the roads.

There were no diversions, no extra traffic police and the residents were seen grappling with the problem themselves.

"This is how the enforcement agencies treat their responsibilities. They should have done something. Instead, they keep on bragging about the number of challans they issue every day. What is the fun if despite paying them from the state exchequer, they are not helping the residents even on such days as today," said Davinder Singh, a resident.

He said he was caught up in the traffic for an hour. But nobody came to his rescue. 



Resolve farmers’ problems, says Pak scientist
Delegation meets Kang, moots scientific exchange
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
A delegation from the University of Agriculture, Faislabad, Pakistan, led by Dr Abdus Salam Khan, professor, plant breeding and genetics, interacted with vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang here today.

The delegation comprised two teachers, Dr Khan and Dr Muhammad Amjad Aulakh, besides 10 students, Muhammad Adnan Shahid, Kamal Hussain, Hafiz Nazar Farid, Muhammad Waqas Akram, Abdul Wahab Arshad, Rehman Ashraf, Hafiz Masood Ahmad, M. Adnan Tariq, Zahid Mahmood and Arbab Ahmad, who are pursuing their studies at Faislabad. Mumtaz Muhammad Khan, minister of livestock and progressive farmers of Vehari district were also the part of the delegation.

Khan delivered a lecture on agriculture and livestock.

He emphasized that agricultural institutes should work for resolving practical problems faced by farmers. “Teachers should try to shape the future of their students in the way that students prove better than the teacher”, said Khan.

The success of agriculture lie on improving the managerial practices, mechanisation of operations and systematic livestock management as a part of farming system, he added.

He further added that the clean water ponds and other sanitary measures were important in animal health care. He gave information on Lyallpuri goats, nachi goats, angora goats and Rajasthan cows adding that nachi goats were nearing extinction.

Describing crop residue management as an important issue in agriculture, he said straw bedding of cattle as well as baling of crop residue could be beneficial. He wished that there should be frequent exchange of scientist and students between the two countries.

Vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang said there Punjab on both sides of the border was facing similar problem.

Thus, efforts should be made to address problems faced by farmers of both sides. The alumni meets of The College of Agriculture, PAU, and the University of Agriculture, Faislabad, could start the scientific exchange programme. 



At The Crossroads
The ultimate companion of life

It is a long story as to how human life completes the circle. Sometime it takes the form of a zigzag puzzle. At another time it sails smoothly towards the whirlpool. Mostly it creates hiccups which drain the reservoir of patience. Still the end of life is clouded in mist and it has ever remained a mystery. But the human mind is all the time engaged in understanding the mystique of death.

A reputed publisher of Ludhiana, who brought momories of Lahore with him at the time of the Partition, has left behind a rich legacy of countless titles. S Jiwan Singh is no more but Lahore Book Shop is now being managed by his son Tejinderbir Singh and grandson Gurmannat Singh. Their recently published book, that has caught my imagination, is 'Life is; Death is not', edited by Satjit Wadva. It presents an assortment of views on death by such well-known writers as Khushwant Singh, Amrita Pritam, Giani Harbans Singh, Dalip Kaur Tiwana and others. Among the old masters figure Kahlil Gibran and Mirza Ghalib.

In this book there are some autobiographical accounts of the persons who had seen the spectre of death from close quarters. Satjit Wadva in a heart-rending article, 'The deaths I have lived', comes to the conclusion - "I know, for instance, that what is commonly understood as fear of death in actually the fear of pain. No one knows what death is, so how can you be scared of it. Death is often connected with sickness and disease, which causes the pain. Once you can separate the two, you can be better prepared to face it." In a similar frame of mind, Imroz recalls the departure and reunion of his lifelong companion Amrita Pritam in his poem, 'Companionship' -

“She has only given up the body
Not companionship
She often meets me
Sometimes under the shade of stars
Sometimes under the shadow of clouds
Sometimes in the light of the sunrays
Sometimes in the radiance of thoughts”

Khushwant Singh is at his best while recounting 'posthumously' the series of events at the news of his death published in a newspaper. First of all he is disappointed with the publication of the news of his death at the bottom of page 3 column 1 in an insignificant manner. He had expected the publication of this news on the front page of The Tribune, with a screaming headline - 'Sardar Khushwant Singh Dead.' But nothing of the sort happens and he feels cheated by the untimely news of his death - "I retrace my steps to a humdrum existence bereft of the spirit of adventure and denuded of the lust of living."

Ishviene imagines living with death like a dear friend for whom it was possible to part with anything and everything -

“I met you and love lifted me high
And engulfed me and enveloped me
Till I could not be without you
Then I fought the odds to be with you
To share my life and soul with you”

My only regret is that no poem of Kulwant Jagraon could be included in 'Life is; Death is not' due to certain reasons. All these years he has been under tremendous strain and stress as a cancer patient. Incidentally, he had published his collected poems in the book 'Suha Gulab' (2004) with the intention of preserving all that had been composed till date. But the circumstances so conspired that he again had to take pen in his hand to express his innermost feelings during the trying period of his life from January 25, 2005, onwards. Most of these poems are in a confessional mode and his mood is to say goodbye to his relatives and friends.

His latest collection of poems 'Sach de Sanmukh' (Face to face with truth), published by Lahore Book Shop, was to be released on March 6 in Punjabi Bhawan, Ludhiana. But his death on March 5 deprived him of this opportunity. Earlier he had written -

“Death rushed towards me in a menacing manner
But on hearing my laughter it beat a hasty retreat.”

N.S. Tasneem



Buddha nullah cleaning faces obstacles
Dyeing units reject zero discharge
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Cleaning of Buddha Nullah appears to be a distant dream as textile dyeing units here have refused to adopt the recommendations of P. Ram Committee. The units are particularly reluctant on ensuring zero discharge and want the municipal corporation to take responsibility for effluent treated by the industry.

To ensure cleaning of the nullah, P Ram Committee has insisted on zero discharge by industrial units, which implies that even treated effluent cannot be thrown into sewerage. After re-cycling the effluent, the units should re-utilise it, the committee stated.

P Ram Committee was prompted to fix the responsiblity on the industry as Sutlej water, in which Budhha nullah empties, is used for drinking purposes by residents of many cities in the Malwa belt through the canal network system. The incidence of deadly disseases in these regions has been on the rise.

While the committee has also recommended that treated water can be used for irrigation purposes, for which it has asked the Soil Department to work on modalities, the recent refusal by dyeing units may jeopardise the process.

It was on the basis of these recommendations that the Punjab Pollution Control Board issued notices to textile dyeing units of Ludhiana to attain zero discharge by August 2008, failing which they are liable to a penalty or even face closure. The penalty, subject to PPCB's decision, of six paise to 10 paise per litre of water consumption on a daily basis can be imposed and these units even stand to face closure in case of failure to comply.

However, the textile-dyeing units here have refused to adhere to these recommendations citing financial unviability as the reason.

"Zero discharge is not possible and small units cannot even afford it. It would cost a unit anything between Rs 5 crore and Rs 6 crore for the same. However, the P Ram Committee wants units to ensure that even after the effluent is treated, there is no discharge in the sewerage," said Brahm Dutt Sharda, president of Dyeing Factories Association.

The industry said that after they got their effluent treated, the municipal corporation should take the responsibility of ensuring zero discharge.



Banks, finance cos turn to police to recover loans
It’s not the right forum, say cops
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
After all measures adopted by banks and finance companies to recover loans from defaulters were shot down by the police and judiciary as illegal, the financial institutions have now resorted to registering FIRs against the defaulters. They argue not repaying the loan amounts to cheating and criminal breach of trust.

Over 800 such complaints have been made in the various police stations of the city with nearly 500 of these filed before the Division No 5 police station. This police station, flooded with maximum complaints, covers the Mall Road and the Feroze Gandhi market that house most of the financial institutions, disbursing loans.

The latest bid, too, has raked up a controversy with the police not finding the argument of booking defaulters for cheating valid enough for registraion of an FIR.

The cops as well as defaulters argue that the right forum for the redressal of the complaint is to file a civil case under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.

However, the banks are not losing in the bargain completely with the cops calling on the defaulters for investigation to ascertain if the loan was taken fraudulently. The visit by the cops acts as a pressure tactic even as the police has not registered a single FIR on the complaints.

"The police has no role to play in recovering a loan. We can’t use any force nor do we allow anyone to use force for reclaiming a vehicle or seeking repayment," said SSP R K Jaiswal. He said at times the cops had only to verify whether the persons taking the loan had given wrong identities or forged documents.

SHO Division No. 5 Shawinder Singh said the banks and financial institutions completed all formalities, including taking guarantee for repayment of loan. "The police has thus no role to question a defaulter."



High prices of buffaloes affect small farmers
From suppliers of milk, they turn consumers
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 5
Prices of buffaloes have gone so high in this part of Malwa that marginal and small farmers, who used to supplement their income by rearing a couple of cattle earlier, have stopped doing so.

The farmers who used to supply large quantities of milk to dairies are compelled to purchase milk packets from the market themselves.

Relatively higher prices being offered by agents of traders, supplying cattle to slaughter houses, was reported to be major reason for the sudden hike in the prices of lactating buffaloes. Emigration of their wards to foreign countries forced peasants to either dispose of milch animals or hand them over to poor families on sharing basis.

It is learnt that buffaloes with milk yield ranging from five to 10 litres per day were being sold to cattle traders for amounts hovering around Rs 15,000. Good quality, lactating buffaloes were not available for less than Rs 50,000.

Considering the rearing of buffaloes a non-remunerative profession, a few farmers preferred to dispose them of and purchase milk with the money earned as interest of the amount so realised.

According to Deepak Sharma, a dairy owner, a large number of peasant families of surrounding villages, who had earlier been supply milk to his establishment for decades, had stopped rearing buffaloes. "On the contrary they purchase milk from us now," said Sharma.

Gurjit Singh Victor of Barhmpur village said his family had stopped rearing buffaloes and cows after his brother settled in a foreign country. "Besides requiring heavy investment to buy good-quality buffaloes, large manpower is required to look after them. So we decided to dispose of our cattle and deposited the money so realised with a moneylender," said Victor, adding that one buffalo had been given to another family on sharing basis. 



Hike labour charges: Galla Mazdoor Union
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 5
Activists of the Galla Mazdoor Union, led by Rajesh Bungra, have urged the state and Union Governments to enhance labour charges for various types of work undertaken by them while cleaning and loading of agricultural produce in grain markets. The activists staged a protest at the local grain market on Wednesday.

Accusing successive governments of ignoring their interest, the union leaders claimed they (labourers) had played a significant role in maintaining the quality of grains besides preserving the quantity. But leaders of various political parties, in an attempt to appease other sections of society, including farmers and commission agents, had always demanded more facilities and concessions for all except the families of the Galla mazdoors (labourers handling grain).

"Though we face all adversaries of weather and pollution, nobody ever bothers to safeguard our interests," rued Bungra, while talking to The Tribune.

Demanding an increase of Rs 5 per bag, the union leader said at present Rs 4.24 per bag were being paid for all jobs undertaken during cleaning and loading of grain.

Manohar Lal Morwal, Sushil Kumar Surlia, Pyare Lal Solanki and Vinod Khundia were present on the occasion. 



Poet Kulwant Jagraon dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Renowned Punjabi poet and journalist Kulwant Jagraon breathed his last here today after suffering from serious illness for the past few years.

Jagraon is survived by wife Mahinder Kaur, son Navjot Singh and daughter Navkiran. Born in 1939 at Shekhupura, Pakistan, his family settled in Jagraon after Partition. He wrote several books like “Sulagde Pal”, “Samay de Bol”, “Kaun Dilaan Diyan Jane” and “Muhabbataan di khushboo”. During his illness he wrote “Sachh de Manukhh” that was due to be released tomorrow.His cremation was largely attended.

Irreparable loss: VC

Vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang has mourned the untimely demise of noted Punjabi poet, Prof Kulwant Jagraon, who passed at the wee hours yesterday.

In his condolence message, Dr Kang described Prof Jagraon as a persuasive writer who endeavoured to project the plight of the downtrodden. He was a strong promoter of the Punjabi culture. With his passing away, the literary world has suffered an irreparable loss, Dr Kang added.

Recalling his literary contributions, Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, additional director (Communication), PAU, said Jagraon always endeavoured for the cause of women empowerment through his writings and that he was a popular Punjabi poet in western part of Punjab. Gurbhajan Gill, president, PAU young writers association, said Jagraon always tried to inculcate a creative urge among students and he took an active part in a programme on female foeticide organised in the university in August 2007. Dean students’ welfare Dr Dulcha Singh Brar and PAU Sahit Sabha general secretary Gulzar Pandher expressed sorrow over his death.



Pensioners meet farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
A 25-member delegation of Punjab Agricultural University pensioners along with PAUTA members, PAU employees union and Class IV representatives today went to Rauni near Patiala to urge farmers to extend their support. The university has organised a kisan mela at Rauni village in Patiala today. 

The delegation distributed pamphlets among farmers asking them to urge the state government for releasing their dues at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the relay fast of pensioners continued today as well. 



Pensioners’ woes

As per EPF procedure, earlier a pensioner was required to submit his certificate in November every year duly verified by a bank manager from where he was receiving pension. In 2004, the organisation changed the procedure. Now, the pensioner has to submit his life certificate to the bank manager, who prepares a consolidated statement of all pensioners and furnishes the same to the bank’s link branch.

Then this branch, in turn, authenticates and forwards it to the EPF office at Ludhiana before December 15. With the introduction of two additional channels, things have become easy for the organization, but pensioners are being denied pension for the past two months as the office is not remitting the pension in their account. Above all, neither the EPF office nor the bank authorities have forwarded the new guidelines to the braches concerned.

Thus, the pensioners were denied their January and February pension. Will the EPF organisation sympathetically listen to the grievances of the pensioners who contributed 8.33 per cent of the management share of their EPF from November 16, 1995 onwards and revert to the old procedure, so that they are saved from this?

Sharad Sharma



Restaurant owner held for duping man
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The police has arrested a local restaurant owner for allegedly taking money on behalf of an ADGP of the police from a resident of Urban Estate Dugri road to help him in a criminal case.

Chander Parkash, who runs A-One restaurant opposite the bus stand here, was arrested on the complaint of Devinder Kumar.

The complainant alleged that Chander had taken Rs 1.25 lakh from him, claiming he would pay the money to a Chandigarh-based additional director general of police for the release of two brothers of the complainant, who were detained by the Panchkula police in a case.

Devinder Kumar said when his brothers got no relief, he learnt he had been duped. The police has recovered Rs 1.10 lakh from the accused.

SHO Shawinder Singh said as per the investigation conducted so far, the accused had no contact with any ADGP. "He was just duping the complainant."



Teenager stabbed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Two teenagers allegedly stabbed to death a 15-year-old youth in Gurpal Nagar on Monday night. The deceased and the accused used to work together as labourers. They had an argument while drinking liquor.

The police said the accused Pardesi and Ajay hit the victim Rajiv Paswan repeatedly on his head with a tool used by masons. The victim was shifted to hospital but could not survive.

The Shimla Puri police has booked both youths for murder but the exact motive of the crime was yet to be ascertained. Police sources said some persons had seen them consuming liquor and arguing. Both went missing after the incident, raising the suspicion of murder. 



Biz Word
Help centre to give tips on home building
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
ACC Limited, manufacturer of cement and concrete, today opened its help centre here that will provide guidance to those who intend to construct their house or are in the process of doing so.

Giving details, Joydeep Mukherjee, sales head, ACC, North Region, said customers would be able to get guidance on construction practices in a simple and lucid manner on various home building-related procedures. This included matters such as pre-construction worries on how much stamp duty needs to be paid or who might be the appropriate service provider or again how to estimate budgets.

Various issues related to construction practices, choice of material and planning of the construction process will be elaborated step by step. The centre would also assist customers after completion of construction in ensuring that all the right checks are made to ensure a long-lasting and durable house.

Mobile service units aptly named 'Griha Mitra' manned by a technical person are operated by ACC for the benefit of the customer throughout Punjab. Customers can also avail of certain specialised services like supervision during slab casting on demand.



Rising steel prices to push up bicycle rates
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Bicycle rates are all set to rise again, thanks to spiralling steel prices. Endeavouring to strike a balance between cost and margins, manufacturers increased cycle rates twice within the last two months. Post-Budget, manufacturers are yet to experience any gain in terms of reduced steel rates.

Rather, with steel prices continuing the upward movement, cycle manufacturers here have hinted at another hike soon.

Already the increase has resulted in the standard bicycle getting costlier by nearly Rs 100. The entry level standard bicycle is commonly used by factory workers and labourers. Any increase in prices will hit this segment and also demand.

"Even after announcement of duty cut, steel prices have not come down. A continual hike in steel rates is adding to our costs due to which a hike in prices is imminent," said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma of Vishwakarma Steels.

Manufacturers say an increase of around Rs 2,000 per metric tonne has taken place after the Union Budget itself.

"We are yet to experience any benefit in rates after the Budget. Reduction definitely is not on the cards. If prices rise further, a hike cannot be prevented," said S.K. Rai, managing director of Hero Cycles.

"Stopping export of iron ore is the only solution to control spiralling steel rates. This step should be taken on an urgent basis, said S.C. Ralhan of Engineering Export Promotion Council.



Entry tax in advance ‘wrong’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Taxation lawyers here said charging entry tax in advance is a wrong decision as this tax should be charged only when actual sale transactions realise.

Addressing a meeting of the District Taxation Bar Association here on Monday, senior advocate from Chandigarh Kashmiri Lal Goyal said the industry was quite troubled as the department was charging entry tax in advance.

"They are treating it like income tax whereas it is a sales-related tax which should be charged only after sales take place," he said.

Charging the tax in advance was causing problems to the industry as their capital got blocked, added Goyal.

President of the association Gulshan Goel said the excise and taxation department was seizing vehicles carrying goods telling them that their VAT numbers had been locked. "Such measures are adding to harassment of tax payers," he said.



From Schools
Behl school bids adieu to Class X students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Behl Model School, Benjamin Road, bid adieu to Class X students in a colourful ceremony held here today. A cultural programme was organised in which students performed Bhangra, songs, poem and plays.Bachitar Singh, DEO, was the chief guest. Class X girls sang an emotional song on the theme “Life of Daughters”.

Atam Singh Behl, president, and Varjinder Kaur, principal, wished them a success. The students who participated in the programme received prizes.

Math’s day: The students and teachers of the middle section of KVM celebrate “World Math’s” day on the school premises here today. A quiz contest for teachers and students was organised on the occassion.Principal S.C. Saxena was present on the occasion.

Annual function: To bid farewell to boys and girls after they were selected by leading public schools and also to celebrate its annual day, Love Dale organised a function at Hotel Le Baron here today.

It was a marvelous display of dance and drama with children coordinating well with the music. Parents also attended the function. The kids started with Saraswati Vandana followed by welcome and western dances besides salsa.

Audiences were left spellbound by the Bhangra and Giddha teams. The main attraction was modeling in which wore traditional attires of different states. Income Tax commissioner Kuldip Singh was the chief guest. More than 100 children took part in the function. 



Declare results early: Students urge VC 

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 5
A group of students who appeared in examinations two years ago have urged the vice-chancellor of Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar, to impress upon officials concerned to declare their result at the earliest.

Resham Pal Singh of Maholi village, Sarabjit Singh of Pohir village, Gurpreet Kaur of Khatra Chuharam and Jagdish Singh along with a few others had appeared in examinations conducted in 2005-2006 session. Those who could not clear their papers reappeared later. But, their results were declared after two years.

“Even after completing the course we have not been able to get jobs in private or government institutes. When we enquired about it from PTU authorities, they told us that the results would be sent to the centres concerned,” said Resham Pal Singh. — OC



Probe harassment of staff at exam centres: Principal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 5
Accusing the district education officer, Ludhiana, of acting on the behest of owners of certain private schools, Krishna Sharda, principal, Shaheed Kartar Singh Dukki, Government Senior Secondary School, Latala, has urged the higher authorities, including the education minister, to probe the manner in which the staff posted at examination centres at state-run schools (including Latala school) only was being “harassed unnecessarily”.

Denying charges levelled by the principal, Sudesh Bajaj, DEO (secondary), maintained that the decision to shift certain superintendents and invigilators was taken on the basis of complaints made by candidates or their parents.

Contradicting the statements made by the official in a section of the media, Krishna said, "Let a high-power committee investigate the matter and find whether the gate of our school was open or closed, as claimed by the DEO. The allegation levelled by the officer will fall flat when I will show the authorities the report where she had marked me present in the school whereas she has told the media that I was absent from duty," said Krishna, claiming that she had even deputed another teacher to assist her in her duties as controller.

Justifying her decision to take the help of another teacher, Krishna said she had to visit some other centres also as the DEO had directed her to act as the cluster in charge for at least seven schools situated at a distance of about 10 km from Latala village.

Referring to the announcements made during a meeting of the principals at Ludhiana on February 28, Krishna claimed that the DEO had directed her to perform duties as the flying squad as well. "How could I perform all these duties alone," argued she.

Perusal of records revealed that the DEO had stayed at the Latala center for 40 minutes and she had relieved two members of the staff as they could not show their duty orders. It was not mentioned in the report, if copying was going on at the centre.

Bajaj denied the charges levelled by the principal. "After establishing identities of the complainants, we tried to verify the allegations and shifted staff wherever we deemed fit," said Bajaj, reiterating that the way to the examination centre at GSSS Latala was blocked with benches. She admitted that Krishna was present in the school. "But she was not performing duties as controller of examination," clarified Bajaj.

She further said that she had received complaints against 10 more examination centres falling under her jurisdiction. Invigilators in a private school of Ludhiana city had helped candidates fill the maps after taking money yesterday. "We have decided to shift staff from these centres and will initiate action after verifying allegations," Bajaj reiterated. 



Dr Kiranjot to head biochemists’ body
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
A meeting-cum-CME of medical biochemists of Punjab was held here last evening, which was attended by 50 faculty members from different medical colleges of Punjab and PG students.

A guest lecture on “Electro Chemiluminescence: A Novel Way of Immunodiagnostics“ was delivered during the programme and the session was chaired by Dr Gurdip Bedi, professor and head, Government Medical College, Patiala.

The delegates at the meeting decided to set up the Punjab chapter of the Association of Medical Biochemists of India (AMBI) in a bid to improve and improvise the existing facilities for better patient care in clinical laboratories and to upgrade teaching facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate medical students.

The state body will be headed by Dr Kiranjit Kaur, principal, Medical College, Jalandhar, while Dr Navjot Bjawa of DMCH, Ludhiana, will be the secretary.

Among other office-bearers will be Dr Kuldip S. Sodhi, Government Medical College, Amritsar (treasurer), Dr Bharti Uppal, CMCH, Ludhiana (joint secretary), Dr Gurdip Bedi, (Patiala), Dr Nisha Bhandari (Amritsar), Dr Amrit K. (Bathinda), Dr Panag, (Faridkot), Dr C. Vij, (Patiala), Dr Navpreet Kaur (Ludhiana). Dr Madhu. Maingi (Bathinda) - all executive committee members. 



National convention of dentists today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
Christian Dental College (CDC) here is organising the 5th National PG convention of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry from March 6 to 8, 2008.

The three-day event will comprise hands-on workshops and lectures on various aspects of paediatric dentistry, including sedation, interceptive orthodontics, aesthetic dentistry for children and adolescents, teaching methodologies, child psychology and behaviour management of children in a dental set-up.

More than 300 delegates from all over the country are expected to attend the convention. Eminent personalities in the field, including national and international speakers, have been invited for panel discussions, which will benefit budding postgraduates in their future careers.



GGS Gold Cup
8 teams to vie for top honours
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 5
Eight major outfits will be vying for top honours in the 5th All-India Guru Gobind Singh Gold Cup Hockey Tournament to be organised by the Ludhiana Sports Welfare Association at the Prithipal Singh AstroTurf Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University from March 15 to 20.

Kulwant Singh Sohal, general secretary of the association, said participating teams like Indian Airlines, Air India, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation, Punjab Police, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, the Indian Air Force and Punjab National Bank.

Matches in this six-day tournament will be played on the league-cum- knockout basis. A number of present and former international hockey stars will be seen in action during this tournament.

Hir Singh Gabria, cabinet minister, Punjab, will inaugurate the tournament on Mach 15 at 2 pm while Dr Manjeet Singh Kang, vice-chancellor, PAU, will preside over the inaugural function.

Master Mohan Lal, minister, will be the chief guest on the concluding day. The winners will get a cash prize worth Rs 51,000 besides a trophy. The runners up and the third position holders will receive cash prizes of Rs 31,000 and Rs 21,000, respectively, in addition to mementoes.



BJS first-year students excel
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 5
Students of first year proved their mettle wrapping up matches in throwball and football in the annual sports meet of Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College Hospital and Research Institute, Chandigarh road, being held here today.

In throwball, first year students got the better of third year students and in football first year students' outfit outplayed their opponents from third year by one goal.

Results: Cricket- Interns XI beat Ist year XI by 23 runs, 3rd year XI beat final year XI by 4 wickets; Volleyball- 2nd year beat Ist year and 3rd year beat final year; Carrom- final year beat 2nd year and 3rd year beat Interns; Throwball- final year beat 2nd year and Ist year beat 3rd year; Football- Ist year beat 3rd year; Table Tennis- final year beat 2nd year; Chess- 2nd year beat final year; Mehndi- Rashim Garg of final year and Manmeet Kaur of first year shared first position.



Sports meet at Chanda Mama School
Our Sports Reporer

Ludhiana, March 5
Sports day of Chanda Mama School, Green Enclave, Ferozepur road, Ludhiana, was organised today in which children took part in various fun games such as animal race, kangaroo race, frog race, jumping jokers race, butterflies and flowers race, crawling babies race, problem solving skills race, balls and balloons race and musical chair race.

Fruits and sweets were distributed among the children on the occasion. All participants, irrespective of winning or losing, were given prizes. Parents encouraged the kids to give their best.



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