L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sealing put off by a month
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Just a few days after mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura announced that the MC would seal all major buildings that did not follow parking restrictions by March 31, a fresh notice by the MC today put off sealing by a month.

It has provided some respite to building owners. The notice, inserted in some newspapers, was issued by the commissioner, Vikas Partap.

The notice said it had come to light that buildings were not using the parking area shown in the site plan. He said he had called a meeting of building owners tomorrow, where he would urge them to follow parking rules.

This is not the first time that the sealing has been delayed. In February, the MC had started sealing buildings not following parking rules. The MC had to stall the drive when an Akali leader's showroom was sealed.

The showrooms already sealed were also opened.

Sources in the MC said the civic body was dilly-dallying on sealing due to political pressure. As the MC had to reply to the high court, it was getting different dates published in the media to prove that it was doing something.

“We just want buildings to follow rules. We do not have to compulsorily seal the buildings,” the commissioner said.



PAU gets Rs 10-cr grant for genome research
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
The department of biotechnology of ministry of science and technology has sanctioned a mega research project on wheat genome sequencing with a budgetary provision of Rs 10 crore for three years to the PAU.

The project proposal was submitted on March 14 and its acceptance was formally conveyed a week later, Dr Kuldeep Singh, molecular geneticist and principal investigator of the project, said.

He said a team of scientists comprising Dr Parveen Chhuneja, Dr Navtej S. Bains and Dr Yogesh Vikal would carry out the technical programme of the project.

Dr Satbir Singh Gosal of the School of Agriculture Biotechnology (SAB) said the PAU would generate a physical map for the long arm of chromosome 2A, which would be used for generating DNA sequences of 524 million bases.

The wheat genome was five times the size of the human genome and 40 times that of rice. Its sequencing would be done under an international project involving the US, France, European Union, Australia, China, Czech Republic and Egypt. According to the Kansas State University-based professor, Dr Bikram Gill, the international wheat genome sequencing consortium was established in 2005 by a group of plant scientists, breeders and growers dedicated to sequencing the wheat genome to add to the knowledge of its structure and function.

The PAU VC, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, said by gaining increased understanding of the biology of agronomically important traits and deploying state-of-the-art molecular tools, breeders would be able to pick up the pace of wheat improvement to meet the emerging challenges.

The sequence of the wheat genome would result in healthier food that would take care of food security.



Decomposed body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
The decomposed body of a young migrant labour was found from a pond of effluents near a dying factory on the Kakka road this morning.

The police said the unidentified youth seemed to have been strangled elsewhere and the body was dumped here later. The body seems to be five days old.

The police has registered a case of murder. There was some confusion initially on which police station would deal with the case. Officials had to consult maps of different police stations to decide that Division No. 7 police would deal with the case.

SHO Pawanjit said an employee of the factory spotted the body. He said the murderers must have thought that the body would decompose soon in the effluents. The police is inquiring from migrant colonies of the city ascertain if someone was missing.



Boutique owner fined Rs 2,500
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 24
The district consumer disputes redressal forum has directed Ashu Sablok, owner of M/s Mehak Boutique, New Model Town, Ludhiana, to replace the defective suit supplied to a customer.

The forum has also ordered the boutique owner to pay Rs 2500 as compensation for mental tension, harassment and litigation expenses.

The orders were pronounced by president of forum J.S. Chawla and its member,Daljit Singh Bakshi, while giving judgment on a complaint filed by Anita of Harnam Nagar, Ludhiana. She had purchased four suits from the opposite party and paid Rs 4,940 to them on October 8, 2006. All suits were in packed condition. It was assured to her that the suits were free of any defect.

But, when she gave the suit to tailor for stitching, the defect was noticed. She went to the boutique and asked her to change the suit. The boutique owner had assured her that she would change the suit after four days. But after some days, she refused to replace the suit and also to return its price, the consumer added.



NGO opposes cooling system in Amarnath cave
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Shri Amarnath Yatra Welfare Association, an NGO, has criticised the move of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to install a cooling system inside the cave to stop the melting of the lingam.

In a letter to the board, Rajinder Sharma, national president of the organisation, said if a cooling system was installed at an altitude of 14,500 feet to keep the lingam intact, it would hurt the religious sentiments of people.

He said the helicopter carrying devotees should land at least 1 km away from the shrine. Also, the period of yatra should be from Gurupurnima till Raksha Bandhan as according to Hindus, this was the only right period to visit there.

He sought the abolition of the Rs 25,000 fee as advance from NGOs for holding langar. Nobody, no matter how influential, should be allowed to undertake the yatra before or after the official commencement. The official date of the yatra had not been announced so far and it should be done as soon as possible, he said.



Fear of wild cat in village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
There is panic among residents of Shamshpur village near Machhiwara after a farmer spotted a large wild cat in the fields and stray dogs went missing.

The skull of a dog was found near a “hadda-rorri” centre on the outskirts of the village. Teams of the wildlife department are surveying the area to trace the pug marks of the wild cat.

A cage has been set up near the “hadda-rorri” centre to catch the animal. Police sources said on the complaint of villagers, a combing operation was conducted, but no animal was found.

Villagers are now scared to move alone in the fields. Honorary wildlife warden Sandeep Kumar Jain said the animal seemed to belong to the cat family as per the description of some villagers who had seen it. But no pug marks had been found yet.

He said the animal seemed to be smaller than a leopard. A few weeks ago, a similar animal was spotted in Jalandhar district. “A cage was put up to catch it, but the animal escaped with the bait,” he said.



Prisoner tries to commit suicide
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, March 24
A prisoner tried to commit suicide in Central Jail last evening by hanging himself from a tubewell pipe.

Kuldip Singh, undergoing life imprisonment, was reportedly upset over some family matter that was told to him by his sister, who visited him yesterday.

Jail officials said he was saved by other inmates.

He sustained injuries and is undergoing treatment at the civil hospital. A case has been registered.



MC boards warn against wrong parking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
It looks that the local municipal corporation is finally getting serious as it has started putting up boards warning people against wrong parking in major bottlenecks so as to avoid any chaos.

Numerous boards have been put up outside a few buildings to warn flouters against parking their vehicles outside otherwise they would be challaned.

The boards are installed at Raikhy cinema, Naulakha cinema, Kesar Ganj mandi, Laxmi cinema and numerous other buildings.

Though the boards have been able keep a check on parking problems to some extent but still people continue to park wrongly. Vehicles can be seen parked outside even though the tehbazaari department confiscates a few vehicles throughout the day.

Just a few days ago, the corporation had organised a meeting to check traffic problems in the city. It had hired experts and taken the traffic police department into confidence.



INTUC stages rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
The local chapter of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) staged a rally and submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor at the mini secretariat here today. The union also has urged the Governor to immediately put a stop on privatisation of government departments besides filling the vacant posts.

Besides this, they also urged the government to chalk out a plan for imparting free education to the girl child whose family’s income is less than Rs 5,000 per month. The minimum wages for factory workers needs to be ensured at least Rs 6,000 per month and that they be given benefits at the ESI hospitals.



Insurance staff stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Employees of the National Insurance Co Ltd today staged a dharna in front of the divisional office at Atam Park here today. Employees also raised slogans against the state government and the management for their “anti-employee policies”.

President Surjan Singh Arora cautioned the government against the ‘transfer mobility policy, arbitrary changes in the promotion policy and delay in settlement of non-core benefits”.

General secretary Varinder Rawat and Vice-president Rajesh Ghai criticised the government’s move to “destablise the public sectors”.



A pro-NRI law

This law was enforced to help those NRIs who intended to return and permanently settle in India. The law allows them to evict tenants from their residential buildings or scheduled buildings and/or non-residential buildings.

But under the cover of this law, lives of genuine shopkeepers/businessmen are at stake, who have no other alternative of earning livelihood.

Around, 90 per cent NRIs, who are at their fag end of life and whose children are well settled abroad, have been suddenly moving back to their homeland, not out of love for the country but to exploit the law to their advantage. Using the law as a leverage, they intend to set up big malls and complexes on small shops and businesses they already own.

Owing to this, local businessmen and shopkeepers have been suffering as they are not only being thrown out of buildings owned by NRIs but also being stripped of their businesses. Should it be allowed?

Manjot Singh, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



Three booked for molesting woman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
The Division No. 7 police has booked president of an anti-corruption organisation and his two brothers for allegedly misbehaving and molesting a woman residing in Sector 39, Urban Estate, Chandigarh road, on Holi. day.

They have been booked under Sections 323, 341, 354 and 506 of the IPC.They have been identified as Niraj Chawla, Naveen Chawla and Ajay Chawla. They had allegedly misbehaved with the woman on the pretext of playing Holi with her.



VAT Returns
Chamber urges CM to extend date
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
President and general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Units, respectively, Inderjit Singh and Avtar Singh, in a joint press note issued here today urged the Chief Minister to extend the last date of the filing VAT returns till June 30.

The Chamber has also urged that the filing of the C and H forms should be made an annual exercise instead of the existing practice of filling quarterly returns because traders were facing numerous problems.



Biz Word
Soap brand launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
The Raj group of industries is all set to launch new premium soap “Raj No 1” with the brand. The new category of soap at a reasonable price will target the Indian market. The new soap combines the features of substance, beauty and economy. This soap would reassure the masses of both rural and urban sector that they could easily relate this product to their household need. The soap has been manufactured from pure vegetable oils.



Make education accessible to all, says Arjun Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Union minister for human resource development, Government of India, Arjun Singh feels that life in India was getting complicated. And if women want to achieve something in life, they should be confident enough to achieve things without seeking others’ dependence. “Then you are bound to succeed, nobody can stop you”, Arjun Singh said. He was in city to preside over the annual convocation of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women here today.

On being asked about the fate of 1984 riot victims, the minister said they should be given speedy justice after thorough investigations. And added that the Congress, alone, should not be held responsible for all “unpleasant” incidents that had taken place in the country.

Talking specifically about women, Arjun Singh said the nation was proud of them because of three virtues- love, service and sacrifice. Citing the example of Mahatma Gandhi, he said the Mahatma knew the value of women, so he asked them to come forward to build a strong nation.

He said the higher education had achieved greater heights in the country with the arrival of 11th five-year plan. He said India needs to have world class universities. Stressing on the importance of equity, he said access to education had to be with equity. “Our education will not help unless it reaches to every individual in the country. We should make sincere efforts so that education was accessible to everyone”, he added.

He further added that India would emerge as “real” power once the fruit of development reaches to the poorest of the poor in the country.” No education can be regarded as complete if love, service and sacrifice are not there”, he stressed.



425 students get degrees
Tribune News Service

Union minister Arjun Singh awards a degree to a student at GNKCW, Ludhiana
Union minister Arjun Singh awards a degree to a student at GNKCW, Ludhiana, on Monday.
— A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, March 24
Excitement and joy pervaded Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women as graduates, post-graduates and university toppers were awarded degrees during the annual convocation.

The campus exuded an atmosphere of enthusiasm as the chief guest, union minister for human resource development Arjun Singh, gave away degrees to 425 students.

The ceremony began with the rendition of college shabad “Deh Shiva Var Mohe”.

Principal Dr Manju Chawla read out the welcome address and college report for 2007-08.

As many as 303 graduates, 55 postgraduates, 40 students with honours in English and Punjabi were rewarded degrees.

Twenty-four students of the PGDCA also received diplomas.

Meritorious students were honoured for their performance in the arena of academics, sports and extra-curricular activities.

The toppers honoured at the function included Jagmeet, Kuljit and Sheetal Chawla. In his address, Arjun Singh exhorted students to work towards building a progressive nation.

The minister announced a grant of Rs 3 crore for the development of the college.

Amongst those present were Harvinder Singh, Gurbir Sarna, Paminder Mehta and Amarjit Singh Tikka.



Nigerian delegates meet VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
A team of five members of inter-disciplinary professions from Nigeria, comprising Edemekong Edemekong (Judge of High Court), Daniel Etudoh (computer engineer), Adekance Adebolarin (legal practitioner and lecturer), Sister Mary Rose-Claret Ogbuehi (college director) and Ozougwu Barbara (laboratory scientist), held an interaction with PAU vice chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang here today.

The team, coordinated by Kulbir Singh Kelly, was at the university to have an overview of the campus and programmes of the university.

In his remarks, Dr Kang said the university had signed MoUs with a number of international organisations in the area of research and development in agriculture.

He said there had been many visits of scientists from Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda and other African countries to the university in the past

Welcoming the delegates, he said the state agriculture had a constraint of depleting ground water, impaired soil health and shrinking land holdings, adding that the problems of the smaller holdings in Punjab and Nigeria could be understood and addressed through joint efforts.

Kelly introduced the visiting delegates to the vice chancellor. Literature on the university was distributed among delegates.

Later, the team visited the museum of rural history of Punjab and had a glimpse of the cultural richness of the state.

Dr Ravinder Tah, who accompanied the team, presented the vote of thanks.



Holla Mohalla celebrated amid fanfare
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
The Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle celebrated Holla Mohalla at various schools and religious institutions here today.

The celebrations started with a procession, which included elephant ride for children.

Gatka performance and other sports activities were also organised.

Programmes were organised at Baba Isher Singh Public School, Gurdwara Sukhmani Sahib, Malwa Senior Secondary School, Gujarkhan Campus, and Government Senior Secondary, Haibowal.

A cycle manufacturing unit donated 15 cycles, while 600 bread packets were also distributed.



Students get warm send-off
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, March 24
Kids of Small Wonders Nursery School, Civil Lines, organised a farewell party on the school campus.

The school was decorated with colourful balloons and rangolis to bid farewell to outgoing students.

Children played games and indulged in various fun activities.

They sang songs and recited poems. Dressed up in colourful and attractive costumes, children also took part in a fashion parade.

School principal and staff gave children best wishes for a prosperous future.



Annual convocation
Our correspondent

Doraha, March 24
The annual convocation and prize distribution function of Guru Nanak National College will be organised at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall on Friday at 10 am.

According to college principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, the convocation address will be delivered by vice chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang, who will later distribute prizes to the award winning students.

The principal added that the dress rehearsal will be conducted on Thursday.



Rights panel honours Surjit Pattar
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 24
The human rights munch organised a programme in memory of the martyrs and offered rich tributes to them here yesterday evening.

The function was inaugurated by Dr Surjit Pattar, whose poetry recalled the immense sacrifice of the martyrs.

The plays entitled ‘Sarpanchi’, ‘Jaa Maa Bhagat Singh Howe’ and ‘Maghade Angare’produced and directed by Gurcharn Singh (Bahi Manna Singh) and Sompal Heera, were also staged on the occasion. Pardeep Kaushal recited a poem in memory of the freedom fighters.

Jagmohan Singh, Avtar Singh Bija, Balbir Singh, Kot Mandala Kalan, Surjit Singh Jawanda, Khera and others were present on the occasion.Satinder Kaur Jawanda, president (women wing) of the manch, read out the vote of thanks.Surjit Pattar and Gursharan Singh Baji were honoured for their reformative writings in Punjabi.



Rally to generate awareness on TB
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
A rally was flagged off by civil surgeon Dr Satpal Sharma at Basti Jodhewal on the World TB Day.

The aim was to convey the message — “I am stopping TB” — and bring awareness among general public regarding the disease. The event was organised under the guidance of district TB officer Dr Ashish Chawla.

Dr Chawla talked about the symptoms and precautions regarding the disease. He said under the RNTCP programme there were seven TB units in the district.

Besides, 48 microscopy centres and 648 DOT centres were also working in the district.

Dr Sharma said the disease was earlier considered fatal but with advancement in healthcare services, cure was possible with timely and proper medication.

Free medicines were provided to patients under RNTCP programme in all districts of Punjab.


To commemorate the World TB Day, ESIC Model Hospital in association with the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Ludhiana district branch, organised a workshop for doctors and other paramedical staff of the hospital on “Implementation of direct observed treatment — Short course (DOTS) under Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP)”.

The session was chaired by Dr I.P.S. Chhabra, deputy director, ESI Ludhiana zone, and Dr P.K. Sikka, head of medicine department, ESIC Model Hospital.

Dr Manbhawan Goyal sensitised the audience about the ongoing RNTCP and the incidence of tuberculosis.

He said each year, 1.8 million new cases of TB occurred in India, of which around .8 million were highly infectious.

Dr Rajiv Gupta, chest and TB specialist, spoke on the treatment of adult tuberculosis under RNTCP.

He said the operational feasibility of DOTS in the Indian context had been demonstrated, with eight out of 10 patients treated in the programme being cured, as compared to around three out of 10 in the previous programme.

Dr Rajinder Gulati, medical officer in charge, department of paediatrics, ESIC, spoke on the management of paediatric tuberculosis.

He said the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, which was initiated in 1997, included treatment of paediatric cases according to body weight.

The programme had been getting feedback with regard to difficulty in administering drugs to smaller children as available formulations needed to be broken up to meet patients’ individual weights.



Fatehdeep shines in tennis
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 24
Local lad Fatehdeep Singh has made his presence felt in the All-India Lawn Tennis Tournament held at Patna recently by winning singles title in the u-12 years category.

Fatehdeep, a student of class VII in Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, proved his mettle and brought laurels to the city as well as his school by emerging victorious in the AITA Talent Series organised by the Bihar Lawn Tennis Association at Patna.

In league encounters, Fatehdeep overpowered his opponents easily and secured his berth in the last four stage where he got the better of Rahul Somani of Vishakapatnam in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 to set up the title clash with seventh seed Jay Jaint Jayraman of Tamil Nadu.

In the final, Fatehdeep scripted a comfortable victory over J.J. Jayraman. He wrapped up the first set without being challenged 6-1 and warded off a little resistance put up by his rival to romp home victorious 6-3.

Later, in the doubles (u-12), Fatehdeep Singh paired with Rahul Somani made it to the final but they two went down fighting against the pair of Vishu Prasad and Adayhiya Vikrant, both from Delhi, to finish runners-up.

Fatehdeep and Rahul won the first set 7-5 but squandered away the lead losing 5-7. In the third set, they failed to match up to their opponents aggression losing 3-6 and finish second.

Fatehdeep and Rahul also competed in the u-14 years section and finished runners-up. Organisers of the Harvest Tennis Academy, Jassowal, where Fatehdeep Singh attends coaching have congratulated him and his coach, Vikramjeet Singh, for bringing fame to the academy.



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