L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Colleges were told last evening to conduct practical exams as per their convenience
PU revises exam schedule
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Panjab University has revised its orders on the date for practical examinations of fine arts. Though some colleges, adhering to the previous instructions of the university, conducted the exam today, the others had conveyed to the university that they were not able to contact all students in such a short period and should be given more time.

Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Guru Nanak Girls College and Ramgarhia Girls College conducted the examination today.

Manju Chawla, principal Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, said they had received a call from a senior official of Panjab University last evening.

“They asked us to decide the date for the exams as per our convenience. We were allowed to postpone it also. They asked us to intimate them about the fresh dates,” she said.

Colleges like Government College for Women and Master Tara Singh College for Women, where there is huge strength of fine arts students, have decided to hold the practicals in a day or two.

Madanjit Kaur Sahota, principal, MTS College, said they could not inform the students yesterday. “I am sending my peons to students’ houses so that they are properly intimated. We will take the exam tomorrow or the day after,” she said.

A student of GCW said she was told about the exam date by a friend on telephone. “I was in Delhi to attend a wedding and we had to return on March 12 as my exam was on March 13. But I panicked when I got a call from my friend saying that the exam date had been advanced. We started for Ludhiana that very moment. After reaching here I came to know that the date has been revised,” she said.



PAU pensioners to hold rally today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
PAU pensioners sat on a relay fast here today. They have decided to hold a rally tomorrow and also register their protest at the kisan mela at Ballowal Saunkri.

They have threatened to intensify their agitation if their demand for the release of pension is not accepted.

Meanwhile, the joint action committee of employees and teachers has reiterated its appeal to the Chief Minister to come to the rescue of the pensioners who have gone without pension since November last year.

In a letter to the CM, the convener of the JAC, Dr Balwant Singh, has stated that a large number of pensioners were living in penury since pension was the only source of livelihood for them.

At least five pensioners, reportedly unable to withstand the crisis, had died during the last four months, he said.



Jaundice, gastroenteritis breaks out in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
Around 100 persons in several localities of the city, including Kot Mangal Singh, Mayapuri, Janta Nagar and Simlapuri are suffering from jaundice and gastroenteritis since Saturday.

The outbreak of water-borne diseases has become a regular feature in the city owing to the insanitary conditions.

Even though residents of Mayapuri claimed that an old woman, Krishna Devi, had died after suffering from severe jaundice, the health authorities maintained that preliminary inquiry conducted by a team of medical officers had concluded that the death was not related to the outbreak of water-borne diseases in the locality.

Medical teams of the health department has set up medical camps in both localities to provide treatment while the mass media wing is carrying out an awareness campaign in the affected localities, advising residents to drink boiled water.

According to the district health officer, Dr S.S. Dhir, the teams carried out a door-to-door survey of more than 1,800 houses.

At Kot Mangal Singh, more than 150 persons were examined till this afternoon and 23 were diagnosed with mild jaundice and 33 with gastroenteritis.

More than two dozen persons were suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting in the Mayapuri area while six cases of jaundice have been reported.

Following reports that sewer discharge was getting mixed with water supply lines in these localities, the civic body had discontinued the supply of piped water. Water was being supplied through tankers. The teams said five water samples were taken from the affected localities and sent for chemical analysis.

Chlorine tablets and literature on the prevention of diseases have been distributed.

According to senior health officials, none of the victims of jaundice and gastroenteritis have been hospitalised till now. But residents claim that quite a few patients had been admitted to private nursing homes.



Shameful, say hockey fans
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
It was a black Monday for the city hockey fraternity which was upset over the shocking exit of the Indian hockey team from the qualifying match for the Olympics.

It is not the time for mudslinging
— Ramandeep Singh
The boys could not deliver
— Teja Singh Dhaliwal
Awful day for Indian hockey
— Harminder Singh
Gill, Kumaran must step down
— Hardeep Singh

Some hockey fans termed it as a day of shame for India’s national sport as its worst fears came true.

For the first time in 80 years, the Indian hockey team failed to qualify for the Olympics. India failed to score a single goal against England at Santiago, Chile.

According to a former captain of the hockey team, Ramandeep Singh, the foundation of the debacle was laid during the Asian Games at Doha where the team came fifth in the tournament.

“It is a very bad morning for us and the worst day in Indian hockey -- a day no hockey player or fan could have dreamt of. It is not the time for mudslinging. It is the time to reflect on the possible factors that resulted in the catastrophe,” he said, adding that everyone from the selectors to the players should take responsibility.

“My heart goes out to the coach, Joseph Carvelo, who was instrumental in the revival of Indian hockey in the recent past. Though we could not make it to the Olympics, but it is the same team that won the Asia Cup a year ago,” he said.

Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary of the Punjab Basketball Association, said:

“It is high time that the president of the Indian Hockey Federation, K.P.S. Gill, and secretary Jyoti Kumaran should take responsibility and do something for the revival of hockey. The boys are equally responsible for the debacle. What is the point if they could not give their best shot at a time when it mattered.”

Harminder Singh, coach of the Namdhari team, said: “This day would be remembered as the most awful day for Indian hockey. The tour was taken lightly and the team lacked coordination. The players never thought they could lose and that cost them dear. Why were players like Harpal and Sandeep not taken in the team despite their outstanding performance in the PHL is still a mystery to me.”

Former Olympian Hardeep Singh said: “K.P.S. Gill and Jyoti Kumaran have done no good for Indian hockey. The time is apt and they must step down. A new governing body should be set up consisting of former Olympians and the interference of bureaucrats or politicians should be discouraged if we want to revive Indian Hockey.”



Gang stealing govt wheat busted, 4 held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 10
The Ludhiana (Rural) police has arrested four members of a gang that had allegedly been stealing food grains from government godowns and selling the same to traders at cheaper rates. About 47 bags of wheat and a TATA 407 tempo was recovered from their possession.

Those arrested have been identified as Bahadur Singh of Jangpur village, Dara Singh of Mullanpur, Kuldeep Singh, alias Sonu of Jhorran village, and Sony of Deep Nagar, Mullanpur.

The SSP Ludhiana (Rural) said the gang was busted when a police team intercepted a tempo at a check point. Those travelling in the tempo admitted stealing wheat from depots in the area,” the SSP claimed. The police was trying to ascertain whether employees of these depots were hand in glove with the accused.

The accused admitted having stolen wheat from Mullanpur Depot, Jangpur Depot, Dakha Godown, Raikot Road godown and a rice sheller at Hambran village during the past two months.



Missing woman found at paramour’s house
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot, March 10
Blinded by love for her paramour, Manpreet Kaur left her in-laws house and deserted her two-month-old son over two months ago. Her parents, however, got a case registered against her in-laws.

The police had initiated brain mapping and narco test of “suspects” and succeeded in making the woman’s brother speak the truth. She was found from a house at Haibowal in Ludhiana today.

A police party found her in the house of Rinku and handed her over to her parents.

Manpreet Kaur had gone missing on December 24.

Amrit Pal Singh, brother, and Jaspal Kaur, aunt of Manpreet Kaur, could not explain the reason for some calls made to each other, including one made at 3 am, a few hours before her reported disappearance.

Though there was no evidence suggesting the role of her in-laws in either “eliminating” her or forcing her to leave the house, the police had registered a case against four members of the family.

With the parents and in-laws of the women making contradictory claims, a police team led by the DSP, initiated the process of brain mapping and narco of the suspects.

In the meantime, the police got suspicious of the role of Jaspal Kaur and Amrit Pal Singh.



Own your tubewell scheme
Farmers demand refund
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 10
Accusing the Punjab State Electricity Board authorities of befooling innocent farmers of the state by collecting over Rs 2,000 million in the name of ‘Own your tube well’ scheme, the Punjab Kissan Sabha has threatened to launch a movement in case the amount was not refunded immediately.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the union’s office-bearers held at Latala village today. The organisation demanded that farmers should be allowed to purchase transformers and other equipment from manufacturers of their choice.

Baldev Singh Latala, an office-bearer of the sabha, said the authorities had allegedly duped the farmers by first collecting Rs 25,000 per connection under OYT scheme and then forcing them to purchase transformers and other equipment at exorbitant prices from select manufacturers.

“Sequence of events has proved that collecting money from farmers was a mere drama. Now when they have collected over Rs 2,000 million from around 80,000 farmers, they will be returning their amounts slowly,” alleged Latala.

Besides facing harassment, the farmers have also suffered monetary losses on account of interest they had to pay to moneylenders. Referring to information received from various offices, Latala said demand notices were being issued according to amounts received at respective divisions. An amount of Rs 25 lakh had been received at Lalton office by now, he claimed.

Latala apprehend that paddy crop would be affected adversely due to delay in installation of tube wells under the scheme.

Accusing authorities of trying to benefit selected manufacturers, Latala rued that farmers were being forced to purchase equipment from them.

He alleged that the rates quoted were exorbitant. Farmers were to pay Rs 56,000 for 16 KW and 44,000 for 10 KW transformers, whereas these equipments were available at much lower price in the open market.

Balwant Singh, Paramjit Singh Ghungrana, Hardev Singh Jartoli and Sital Singh Kalakh were also present.



Implement water supply schemes, says DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
At a water supply and sanitation committee’s meeting organised at Bachat Bhawan,deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar directed officers concerned to ensure that maximum villages were covered under the World Bank-sponsored water supply and sanitation project.

He also reviewed the project being undertaken at a few villages. At least 20 villages had come forward with their contribution of 10 per cent for the general and 5 per cent for the Scheduled Caste population.

Gurjar said these projects would be executed through the village-level water supply and sanitation committees being constituted. The technical assistance and record-keeping services would be provided through government departments. Gurjar added that even the process for calling the tenders for the projects would be undertaken by the committees, for technical guidance services of two XENs have been provided.

The deputy commissioner urged the panchayats to submit the resolutions for implementing these projects for providing potable drinking water for the entire population. Gurjar also directed officers of the public health department to do extensive publicity regarding these projects, so that the villagers, where water was not fit for human consumption, could adopt the scheme.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting were Priyank Bharti ADC (D), A.K. Soni, SE, Mohmmad Ishfak, XEN, Jagdev Singh Gohalwaria and Tejinder Singh Dhillon. 



Noon water supply resumed
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The general house of the municipal corporation here today approved the restarting of the much-needed afternoon water supply in the city besides empowering the mayor to constitute the Financial and Contract Committee and House Tax Committee.

Failure of the MC to form the committees for nearly 10 months had delayed all development projects and routine procedures. The delay continued to such an extent that the MC general house had 585 items on the agenda instead of average 30 items.

It was decided that water would be supplied thrice a day now. The MC had discontinued the day supply in winter. It was for the first time that the water supply was stopped.

The mayor announced that he would seriously consider the proposal of challaning those wasting water besides installing water meters. Leader of opposition Prem Mittal and councillor Pal Singh Grewal had demanded the action.

The MC may also start charging for water supply from residents living in a less than 125 sq yard house. The National Urban Renewable Mission had specifically asked the MC to end all such sops to get grants under the scheme. The House kept the decision on the issue pending keeping in mind its political sensitivity. Senior deputy mayor Parveen Bansal mooted the proposal to postpone decision on the subject.

The mayor announced that much-delayed Lakkar Bridge flyover project will have a new design now.

The House also approved the proposal to form a committee to provide a design for covering a branch of Budda Nullah passing through Field Gunj. The work on the project is closed for a year now.

The mayor let off the Xen (streetlights) with a warning after a councillor, Raju Thapar, complained of non-functioning lights. Akali councillor and main contender to the mayor’s post Simarjit Singh Bains demanded that the Xen should be given a chance to explain his position.

On a verbal proposal mooted by some councillors for a hike in their monthly allowance to Rs 15,000 from Rs 5,500, the mayor asked the councillors to submit a written proposal to the state government which was the appellate authority to decide on the issue.

The House also observed that a number of anonymous complaints were being received against officers and councillors. He said no complaint would be entertained without correct address of the complainant and a sworn affidavit.

MC House Meeting

l Lakkar Bridge flyover to have new design
l Councillors seek hike in monthly allowance



Timely surgery, financial help save boy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
Bishnu Kumar and Meena Devi, residents of Aggar Nagar locality in the city, had tears of joy in their eyes when their son, Santosh, fully recovered after a marathon open heart surgery for a triple valve defect and was discharged from the local hospital today.

Santosh was operated upon by Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, chairman, cardiac sciences at Ludhiana Mediciti Hospital. The three heart valves of the boy had suffered severe damage due to which his lungs were getting flooded. He was unable to breathe and was on the verge of death when he was admitted to the hospital.

Due to fast deteriorating condition of Santosh, an early high risk surgery was required. But, the parents were financially week. His father works as a barber and the mother as a maid servant. Even though Dr Bedi and his team had waived off all hospital charges, but still a substantial sum was required. An appeal was carried out in the columns of Ludhiana Tribune on February 7 which evoked huge response. A US-based NRI group and a few philanthropists from the region chipped in to financially assist the family.

In a major surgical procedure, Dr Bedi tackled all three valves after putting the patient on a heart-lung machine and stopping his heart. Post-surgery Santosh made a remarkable recovery and his vital functions resumed normal working.

Dr Bedi, his team of doctors and Santosh’s parents has expressed their deep sense of gratitude to those who responded to the desperate call for financial assistance.



Cleaning up of Budda Nullah
Admn not helping us, says committee
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The Budda Nullah Development Committee, constituted by principal secretary P. Ram, has rued that though they had taken up the responsibilty to clean up the polluted water body, they had no support from the district administration.

Committee president Jaswant Singh Chapa said they had restarted the work to clean the nullah following the high court’s direction a month back but no one from the district administration had visited to see the progress of the work.

“We can at least expect cooperation from the administration’s representatives. They did not provide us the demarcation of the nullah land. And to top it, nobody has visited the villages to take a stock of the situation,” said an angry Chapa who added that they were working in the dark to clean the water body and they did not even know whether they were cleaning the nullah actually or not.

“It is fine that we as an NGO have shouldered the responsibility of cleaning the nullah in the larger interest of the humanity. But that does not mean that they do not even bother to pay us a visit. If nothing else, it would at least boost our morale to work more efficiently,” said Chapa.

The development committee had started work on the nullah in December 2006 when an army of 5,000 kar sewaks had put in hard work to clean it. Baba Jaspal Singh Baddowal had led the kar sewaks and asked them to help the committee in every possible way. It was on his call that thousands of villagers had contributed their bit to the cleaning process of the nullah.

The work had come to a standstill a few months back when the district administration had refused to provide demarcation of the water body. Allegations and counter-allegations had flowed that the committee was to supply pillars for demarcation but had not done so. The committee members said they had transported the pillars to the place from where they were stolen.

Chapa said they would not stop working. He added that to sensitise the public about the issue, they would take out a nagar kirtan on Wednesday from Lakhowal to Macchiwara village.



Discrepancy in recruitment of teachers
DEO invites applicants to seek info
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Chairman of the District Selection Committee Varinder Sharma has invited all 1,291 candidates, who have applied for the posts of elementary teachers, to seek any information regarding their candidature.

If the applicants have any queries regarding their candidature, they can contact department officials at Sukhdev Thaper Government Senior Secondary School for Girls near Bharat Nagar.

The development took place as the candidates accused district education officer (DEO)(secondary) Sudesh Bajaj of not signing their experience certificates.

As many as 300 teachers have alleged that their experience marks have not been added while preparing the merit list.

On the other hand, the DEO turned down the allegations levelled against her.

She said she had worked even on holidays to ensure that no candidature should be left unchecked.

The aspirants have also written a letter to the education minister seeking a probe into the selection procedure.

They alleged that the merit list prepared by DEO (elementary) Varinder Sharma clearly showed that there were approximately 300 applicants, who were teaching at government aided schools but were not given marks for experience.

The teachers further said despite repeated visits at the district education department, Bajaj did not sign their experience certificates and gave preference to the teachers of the affiliated schools.

The teachers said if the department did not take any action, they would take the matter to court.



Incidence of heart disease on rise, says doctor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
By the year 2020, India will have the maximum number of people suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD). But on the positive side, CAD is not a disease of chance, it is a disease of choice. If we are able to manage the risk factors associated with the disease, we can falsify the above prophecy.

This was stated by Dr G.S. Wander, chief cardiologist and coordinator at Hero DMC Heart Institute, while delivering a lecture on prevention of cardiac disease at Rishi Nagar here last evening. The lecture was organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad.

Focusing on the risk factors, he said while some risk factors, like our genetic and metabolic disposition, were beyond our control, others were very much in our hands such as our lifestyle, diet and the way we respond to stress. "The incidence of heart disease in India is on the rise largely because of our flawed lifestyle. Our sedentary habits, lack of exercise, excess of television watching and deficiency of healthy socialising is now manifesting in the form of increasing number of heart patients. Added to this is the element of stress in our lives." Dr Wander elaborated that people needed to learn to relax and devote time to themselves as well. Work hard but don't be a perfectionist. Manage your time, space and phone effectively, he advised.

He added, "Also, our diet has to be simple and fibre-rich. Vegetarian food is best suited for Indians and in non-vegetarian preparations, red meat should be avoided. Fast food has little nutritional value and is high in substances that cause hypertension and diabetes - both of which are known causes of heart disease."

Healthy diet, remarked Dr Wander, coupled with a regular exercise schedule, went a long way in preventing and even reversing cardiac ailments. Aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling and swimming also did a world of good not only to the heart, but also led to a feeling of well-being by relieving the stress. A 30-45 minutes of brisk walk daily was one of the easiest and most effective exercises. 



Sub-inspector dies of heart attack
Our Correspondent

Khamano, March 10
Sub-inspector and Khamano additional SHO Sardool Singh (55) died of heart attack early in the wee hours today when he was on night patrol near Farour village.

Sardool Singh was patrolling with a police party when he had a massive heart attack at around 2:30 am. The patrol party rushed him to the Khamano civil hospital where he was declared dead. Khamano DSP and SHO Mahesh Kumar were informed.

According to DSP Balwant Singh, Sardool Singh had volleyball practice last evening with staff members. He also took his routine meal.

Sardool Singh’s body was taken to his native village Rajkheri (Haryana) after postmortem. A police party paid salute to the deceased officer who is survived by his wife and two sons.



PAU kisan mela from March 13
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Director of extension education, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr N.S.Malhi has said a two-day (March 13 and March 14) kisan mela would be organised on the university premises. The theme would be to “Save Environment, Save Punjab.”

Punjab State Farmers Commission chairman Dr G.S.Kalkat will inaugurate the mela. It would also be organised at Ballowal Saunkhri on March 11, Bathinda on March 18 and Gurdaspur on March 25. Activities like plots for technology demonstration, sale of plants, seeds and farm literature, interactive sessions with experts, stalls of different PAU departments and agro-industrial exhibitions would also be organised in the mela.

Four progressive farmers will be honoured during the mela organised in Ludhiana and the Chief Minister’s award in agriculture and horticulture would be bestowed on them. The names of those selected for the award in horticulture are Sukhpal Singh Hayer (Chak Kala Tibba village, Ferozepur) for fruit crops and Sukhpal Singh (Dyalpura Bhaika village, Bathinda) for vegetable growing. Those for agriculture will be shared by Sarwan Singh Chandi (Boolpur village, Kapurthala) and Baldev Singh Brar (Singhanwala village, Moga) for diversified agriculture.

CM’s horticulture award
Sukhpal Singh Hayer, Sukhpal Singh

CM’s agriculture award
Sarwan Singh Chandi, Baldev Singh Brar 



Kartar Singh Dhaliwal awards announced
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Noted novelist Ram Sarup Ankhi will get Kartar Singh Dhaliwal Award for 2006.

Announcing the awards, president of Punjabi Sahit Academy Surjit Pattar and general secretary Ravinder Bhattal said the award carried a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and a citation.

Office-bearers of the academy said five other writers would also be awarded. These included Dr Joginder Singh Kairon, Dr Jaswinder Singh, Sukhdev Madpuri, Inder singh Khamosh and Kulwant Singh Grewal. These authors would be presented Rs 21,000 cash award each along with a citation. Young writer Simrat Gagan would be given the 'Nav Pratibha' award. The date for presenting the awards would be announced soon.



52 donate blood at camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
As many as 51 volunteers came forward to donate blood at the 2nd blood donation camp organised by Salam Zindagi, an NGO, at Arya College for Boys here today. DSP (Vigilance) Ravcharan Singh Brar inaugurated the camp while principal of the college S.M. Sharma was the chief guest.

According to president of the NGO Manjit Saini, the team of doctors, supporting staff and the procedure kit for blood transfusion was provided by the department of transfusion medicine at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital for the camp.

Saini said the body would strive to work for the welfare of the society with specific focus on thalassemic children who required safe blood on a regular basis for survival.



16-member team visits PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
A 16-member team of National Defence College, Delhi, today visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Hero Cycles to assess the essence of growth in the industrial and agricultural sectors.

The team also explored the usefulness of the courses run in the college vis-a-vis the ground situation.

The team comprised of four brigadiers, two air commodores, a Navy commander, an IPS officer and five officers from foreign defence forces.



Debt-ridden farmers stage protest
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
‘‘Please God don’t give us birth in a small farmer’s family if we are to born again.” These sentiments were echoed by a large number of marginal farmers, who had gathered to urge the Chief Minister to help them in keeping their kitchen fire burning.

At least 137 families of marginal farmers from Doraha, Macchiwara and Dehlon blocks, who were rendered landless due to mounting debt, were in the city today to attract government’s attention towards their plight.

While raising slogans against the government’s inaction towards helping the debt-ridden farmer families who had committed suicide, they said if this continued more would be forced to commit suicide. They urged the government to give 2 acres each for their sustenance. They also submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the deputy commissioner for realisation of their demands.

Baljeet Singh, a farmer of Jargari village, had 2.5 acres. A few crop failures and ever- increasing family needs made him to borrow money. He fell in the debt trap and could not get out of interest. Today, he does not have a single yard.

Jagdev Singh Jargari, another farmer of the same village, had inherited 30 bighas which he lost over the years to a financier. Now, he does not have anything to fall back upon.

‘‘I do not know how to earn a square meal today. I was dependent on this piece of land for my bread and butter. If I am given 2 acres, it would ensure that I can arrange for my survival, ’’ said Jagdev Singh, while cursing his birth in a small farmer’s family. Malkit Singh Jargari, who had 2.5 acres till a few years, is a landless farmer today. He said ever- increasing crop input; overuse of pesticides had spelt doom for him. ‘‘I borrowed a few thousands some years ago. Who knew that debt would consume me? I am totally broken today. My land has been sold off to pay back the loans. Farmers are suffering in this state but nobody is listening, ’’ Malkit Singh said.

Sukhdev Singh of Barewal village, who had 5 acres, was reduced to a farm labourer instead of a farmer itself. ‘‘I never knew things would come to such a pass. We are ruined,’’ he said. Similar was the tale of woes of Dina Nath of Mand Khanpur village.

The farmers, who had come under the aegis of the Bharti Kisan Union, said they were bitter at the treatment meted out to them. They said they had put up 14 cases of farmers who had committed suicide in January 23 to the deputy commissioner. Nothing had come of it.



Tehbazaari team removes encroachments
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
A tehbazaari team of the municipal corporation today removed encroachments from all four zones of the town.

According to tehbazaari superintendent Naveen Malhotra, encroachments were removed from PAU road, Udham Singh Nagar, Haibowal, Chander Nagar, DMC, Ferozepore road and bus stand.

The team also confiscated rehris from Clock Tower to Raikhy Cinema, local adda, Sabzi Mandi to Shivpuri, Bal Singh Nagar and Sherpur Mandi, Metro road, Jamalpur to Jeevan Singh Nagar and Durgapuri.

Encroachments by 20 shops in front of Janta Nagar were also removed.



Hospital employees found absent
Our Correspondent

Khamano, March 10
Gurvinder Kaur Kang, deputy medical commissioner of Fatehgarh Sahib, visited Civil Hospital, Khamano, to assess the working of the hospital and check the presence of hospital staff. Two of the staff members were found to be absent. Kang ordered the entire staff to remain present on duty and said action would be taken against the absent employees. She also examined the ongoing family planning camp and appealed the people to come forward for family planning.



Chemist shops raided, addictive drugs seized
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
A huge quantity of addictive and intoxicating drugs were seized in raids conducted by the police and enforcement staff of the health department in different parts of the city

According to police sources, the raids were carried out after a few chemist shops selling addictive drugs came out during interrogation of a few accused arrested by the CIA staff on March 2 under Sections 399/402 of the IPC.

Search carried out at Sharma Medical Hall in Durgapuri, Haibowal, led to the recovery of 14,540 tablets of different formulations, 30 bottles of cough syrup and 6,216 capsules.

Drugs were also seized from chemist shops like Sri Radha Medicos in Chhawni Mohalla (2, 1770 tablets, 6,350 capsules and 58 injections), Oberoi Medical Hall on the Tajpur Road (648 tablets, 100 capsules and 58 injections) and Amar Medicos (68 tablets, 158 capsules and 57 injections). Oberoi Medical Hall was earlier also found to be involved in the sale of addictive drugs, the police added.



Autorickshaw gang busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The CIA wing of the city police today claimed to have busted a gang of auto-rickshaw thieves with the arrest of it five members. They were arrested from near the Seeds farm in Laddowal yesterday night.

CIA in charge said most of gang members were from Bijnaur. Those arrested have been identified as Mohd Ismail, Shakeel, Mod Islam, Lakhwinder Singh and Rashid.



Thousands submit applications for liquor vends
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Thousands of applicants thronged the excise and sales tax department office here today to submit their applications for allotment of liquor vends in the district.

Against 41 group of vends within the corporation limits, the department had received atleast 1,000 applications till the filing of this report. Calculations were on for applications received for vends outside the corporation limits.

The number of applications, already 25 times more than the limit, was much higher in comparison to the response in other districts, said officials.

At the local excise and sales tax offices in the mini secretariat, heavy rush of applicants could be seen particularly after noon on the last day of submitting applications today.

After the department started accepting the applications, the initial response was not very good. A large number of applicants turned up today as the process of allotment of liquor vends in Haryana got completed yesterday.

"Most of the interested parties are those having high stakes in Punjab and Haryana. They waited for allotment to be completed in the neighbouring state and now that the picture is clear, they applied here."

Ludhiana being a high-revenue generating district attracts much larger number of applicants than other places. Last year, the department had received over 5,600 applications, where an application had to be submitted for every single vend separately.

This time, one application is required for allotment of five vends, which means that the number of applicants has already far surpassed last year’s.

The department is expecting to generate a revenue of more than Rs 254 crore from the allotment. As many as 205 vends will be allotted within the municipal corporation limits, while the value of vends in areas beyond corporation limits is Rs 100.70 crore.

Each vend within the municipal corporation limits would cost Rs 75 lakh, which means the minimum amount an applicant puts at stake here is Rs 3.75 crore. In case of vends outside the corporation limits, the amount varies.

The picture will be clear on March 12 when the draw of lots will take place.



Rising Steel Prices
Sewing machine units burn Paswan’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Troubled by spiraling steel prices, the latest in the row is sewing machine industry, which burnt an effigy of union minister of steel Ram Vilas Paswan here today. Traders and assemblers of sewing machines stayed away from business and sewing machine market near Kesar Ganj Mandi here remained closed in protest.

At least 200 dealers and assemblers of sewing machines staged a dharna and demanded that steel rates be controlled if the industry was to be saved.

“Despite earlier dharnas and meetings with the government, no concrete step has been taken to control the spiraling steel rates. Within the past one month itself prices have recorded a 40 per cent hike,” said Varinder Rakheja, president of the sewing machine dealers and assemblers’ association.

Industry leaders said excise duty cut in the Budget too had failed to control the rates. While blaming big producers they alleged prices were being hiked at whim and were unjustified.

At least 1,000 units are affected as a result of the price hike. “Prices of MS round itself have increased from Rs 32,000 to Rs 40,000 per metric tonne within a month. However, we can’t increase our selling prices in proportion to this rise which is why we are suffering losses. If this continues we will be forced to shut operations,” they added.

Industry also demanded that power situation in the state be improved as productivity had been badly hit. “Poor power supply has hit manufacturing a lot. If the industry is to be saved urgent measures should be taken.”

Among others who took part in the protest were Satish Dhingra, general secretary, and Puran Parkash, vice- president of the association.



Industrial expo evokes good response
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Industrial Expo and Conferences Ludhiana 2008 generated enquiries to the tune of Rs 100 crore.

Organisers of the exhibition said visitors had evinced keen interest in knowing about the latest technologies and products in various industries.

The expo that brought together over 100 companies from industries like machine and machinery tools, power and electronics, pollution control equipment, water treatment, automobiles and software, aimed to provide a common platform to units from across the country.

During the expo, exporters also discussed requirements of industry and technology available so as to keep pace with the international market.

Harish Arora, CEO, Paramount Exhibitors, organisers for the expo, said using the common platform, industries were able to learn about global trends, which would help them emerge competitive at the global level.



From Colleges
Students say no to dowry
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 10
A function was held at Desh Bhagat College of Education, here, to mark International Women’s Day. Dr Manju Verma from Punjabi University, Patiala, was the chief orator. Principal of the college Dr T.L. Sagar welcomed the chief guest.

Dr Manju Verma said education was the best tool to improve the condition of women. It was only Manu who imposed restrictions upon women and made their condition miserable, she added.

Dr Loveleen Kaur, principal, Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College & Hospital, advised that a girl should not be physically weak because she had to become a mother. Students Harminder Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur, Navjit Kaur, Gurjit Kaur, Harjit Kaur, Gurpreet Singh, Alisha and party, Mani and party inspired the youth with their songs, choreography and group songs. A colourful exhibition of 30 idiographic pictures was the attraction of the day. The whole campus was decorated with inspiring posters related to women. In the end, all students and staff members took pledge neither to offer nor to take dowry.

: BA second-year students of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women organised a farewell to bid adieu to their seniors. The party was presided over by principal of the college Dr Manju Chawla. Ishmeet Singh of Star Voice of India was the guest of honour. Ishmeet mesmerised the audience with his performance. Students also organised some funny games and dance items. Students of BA III participated in the Miss Fresher contest. Gagandeep Kaur was crowned Miss Farewell while Pavneet was the first runner-up and Amrita was the second runner-up.

Recruitment: Trident Group of Companies carried out a recruitment drive at Ludhiana College of Engineering & Technology (LCET) here today. The team from the Trident group comprised Dr S.S. Goraya, senior vice-president, Sagar Sidhu, HR manager, and Naveen Chadha, deputy manager (production).

Dr Goraya gave an overview of employment opportunities, products and other details about Trident through a power-point presentation. The mechanical engineers were then scrutinised for their technical skills which will match the work profile assigned to them in future. They were also evaluated for their communication skills, confidence and other personality traits. Chetan Dhamija and Joginder Singh (toppers) from the final year of mechanical engineering were selected for the post of assistant manager on a package of Rs 3 lakh per annum.



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