L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Panjab Varsity Rules
Colleges quick to act, hike fee
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
Following the decision of Panjab University, Chandigarh, to regulate fee structure of its affiliated colleges, certain city colleges have already increased their fee structure for the new academic session commencing mid-July.

Interestingly, these colleges were earlier charging lesser fee as compared to that prescribed by the university.

The managements of these colleges are ready with the new fee structure and are waiting for the university notification to implement the same.

A city college that was earlier charging Rs 9,000 for BA has increased its fee to Rs 1,100. Similarly, there is an increase of Rs 2,000 in the annul fee for the BCA course.

A city college principal said: “The management will abide by the university guidelines and the minimal annual hike will not harm the interest of students.”

The fee regulation committee of Panjab University has fixed Rs 10,225 as the annual fee for BA, Rs 27,605 for BCA, Rs 12,425 and Rs 11, 825 for BSc medical and non-medical, respectively.

Interestingly, most city colleges, including Khalsa College for Women, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Ramgarhia College for Girls, Master Tara Singh Memorial College, Guru Nanak Girls College, GGN Khalsa College and Arya College, have been charging fee lower than the prescribed PU fee.

The colleges charged between Rs 9,000 and Rs 9,500 for BA, and Rs 18,000 and Rs 20,000 for BCA.

MTSM College principal Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota said: “This is a welcome step as it will refrain colleges from overstepping the given fee limit. The fee structures will be reframed keeping the university guidelines and students’ interest in mind.”


Growing Input Costs
Farmers turn to bullock
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 20
Owing to rise in input cost, farmers are switching over to traditional methods of agriculture in this part of Malwa.

Farmers who do not have big landholding are no longer keen on buying tractors and ending up under debt. But they are getting their fields hoed with the help of good-old bullock.

A survey of the Mandi Gobindgarh and Pakhowal belt revealed that many peasants of the area were depending on bullock and had switched over to practising traditional methods of agriculture.

They were not carried away by the common trend of purchasing tractors, and were in turn rearing bullock to carry out agricultural chores, including preparing land, sowing crops and harvesting.

They not only saved on agricultural inputs by saving on petroleum fuel but were also sparing a thought for the environment.

Gurpreet Singh, a farmer of Ghudani, claimed that he had switched over to bullock. Not only was this pocket-friendly but also kept him in good physical shape.

“Had I borrowed money from a moneylender or bank to buy a tractor, I would have been ruined by losing on thousands of rupees on account of interest. It is not unusual to hear stories of farmers with small landholding falling in the debt trap and nobody coming forward to rescue them. So why not the bullock? They are farmers old friends.”

“I could have hired tractors to do agricultural chores in my fields but then I would have ended up paying thousands for the services. Though more time is required for preparing fields with the help of bullock, it puts less financial burden on us,” said Gurpreet maintaining that cost fluctuation of inputs did not stress him much.

Karnail Singh of Jandiali claimed that he had been nurturing a family of eight members with agriculture based on two bullock.

These farmers have urged the government to provide them with special facilities and concessions as they had been contributing towards strengthening the nation’s economy by saving fuel.



On Poll Call
Babus have no time for Baniewal
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
With the officials of the district administration staying away on the pretext of preparing for smooth conduct of the municipal council elections, Baniewal village continues to remain flooded, as farmers have failed to get rid of the flood water for want of equipment.

Besides losing their crop worth lakhs of rupees on the 150-acre land submerged under water, the farmers are now facing a problem of different sort.

As pond water has entered their fields bringing in leeches, labourers have refused to transplant paddy in those fields. The village was flooded after heavy rain on Sunday.

Within a few hours of flooding, many crops, including stevia, lady’s finger, banana, and chilli, were destroyed.

The paddy plants had turned yellow and the fodder crop had been rendered useless by waterlogging.

The farmers have been waiting ever since for the administration to come to their rescue and pump out water, but to no avail.

They even met the deputy commissioner after the flooding and showed him newspaper reports highlighting their plight.

“The DC told us that they were busy preparing for the elections so nobody could be spared for the village for now. He said somebody would visit the village after the elections. By that time we will be finished,” said lambardar Sant Singh.

He added that due lack of a proper drainage system at the village, pond water had entered their fields.

“Now the land has become a pond and there are leeches all around. We tried to transplant paddy in some of the fields but labourers refused to work there. Nobody wants to take the risk for a few hundred rupees,” said Jarnail Singh, a farmer.

“Our land is under water and nobody has even bothered to enquire about
condition. They are busy preparing for elections. We have been left to suffer the losses,” he added.

Sant Singh said it was unfortunate that in spite of going to the DC for help, nobody had come to their rescue.



Explosives Case
Passports of four youths seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 20
The police today recovered four passports belonging to Punjabi youths from the house of Manjeet Singh, alias Meeta, at Bardeke village.

Manjeet was arrested along with Gurbhej Singh, alias Sonu, of Kathunangal, on June 17 for possessing explosives.

SSP (Ludhiana rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar told mediapersons that Gurbhej Singh had visited Germany twice.

Jagraon’s sub-divisional magistrate Mandeep Kaur Bedi had yesterday extended the police remand of the two till June 24.

The police had seized 24.5 kg of explosives and 25 detonators from the two.



6 booked in Jhande murder case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
The Sadar police today claimed that Harjit Singh was killed because of old enmity and not due to political rivalry. He was murdered by a group of six persons at Jhande village last evening.

Sadar SHO Jangjit Singh said six persons led by a youth, Amandeep Singh, had shot dead Harjit Singh over an old enmity.

He said Amandeep had been nursing a grudge against Harjit, who had allegedly killed his great grandfather nearly two decades ago.

The police official said Amandeep armed with .315 bore gun along with other armed accomplices shot Harjit four times, killing him on the spot.

The other accomplices included Sukhjinder Singh and Sarwan Singh.



Current booking counter for rly passengers
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 20
The Northern Railway authorities have set up a current reservation counter at the railway station here to facilitate reservation of seats and berths two hours prior to the time of departure of train.

The special counter, fourth in the Ferozepur division after Jammu, Amrtisar and Jalandhar, became functional yesterday.

While an outstanding demand of railway passengers for facility of current reservation had been met by the railways, one of the two touch-screen machines installed at platform No. 1 to enable passengers know status of their reservation still remains out of order due to networking delay.

These machines were inaugurated by chief commercial manager Humak Chand Punia here last Friday.

On the current reservation facility, railway officials said in a large number of long-haul trains, a substantial number of berths and seats remained vacant on a particular section.

“In the absence of current reservation facility, these vacant seats and berths used to be allotted by conductors in a whimsical manner. In the process, certain travelling railway staff make personal fortune on a regular basis while the railways lose huge revenue since the allotment of seats or berths is not put on paper.”



MC Polls
3 couples among 88 in fray
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 20
29 candidates withdrew their nomination papers today, leaving 88 in the fray for the municipal council elections here.

Tussle over allotment of party symbols for SAD and BJP in few wards delayed the process for hours in the evening.

OSD to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal reportedly intervened. Three couples are also contesting the elections this time.

Meanwhile, three activists of SAD, who filed nominations against their party candidates from Payal, were expelled from the organisation for six years.

Symbols were allotted to 88 candidates, who will fight it out from 15 wards in the local town. Five candidates namely Ashootosh Vinayak (ward No. 10), Ravinder Kumar (ward No. 14), Sandeep Puri, (ward No. 8), Kamlesh Rani (ward No. 6) and Pooja Sharma (ward No. 9) were allotted lotus, the symbol of the BJP. Vinayak, former president of the Bharatiya Yuva Morcha, was allotted the party ticket after cancellation of the SAD ticket of Happy Verma from ward No. 10.

Situation became tensed after the allotment of symbols to two candidates in ward No. 1 was staggered. 

he two aspirants, Mohinder Singh Billu and Ram Dev Arora, had sought the SAD ticket in this ward.

While Ramdev Arora was assured the ticket at a meeting last week, Billu impressed upon the state leadership to accept him as official candidate. Final decision was yet to be taken at the time of filing the story.

In all, 37 aspirants from general category, 22 women, 18 scheduled caste candidates, 3 SC (women) and 8 from backward classes are trying their luck this time. Ward No. 4, reserved for the SCs, has maximum number of candidates (14).

Former minister Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, in charge, Payal constituency, and Santa Singh Umaidpur, president, have announced the expulsion of party activists Bhupinder Singh Cheema, Daljit Kaur and Paritam Singh from primary membership of the organisation for six years.

They are contesting election against candidates launched by the party in their respective wards. Kanwal Sharma, general secretary, SAD, has also written to the Ludhiana district president to initiate action against Battu Ram (ward No. 10 Payal), Pirat Pal (ward No. 1 Payal) and Amarjit Singh (ward No. 11 Payal) for opposing SAD candidates in their respective wards.

63 withdraw papers

Khanna: With 63 candidates withdrawing their nomination papers today, 112 candidates are left in the fray for the municipal council elections here. The 112 candidates are contesting elections from 27 wards in the city.

As many as 186 candidates had filed their nominations out of which, papers of two had been cancelled as it was found that they had filed papers from two places.

104 left in fray

Amloh: Out of the 149 candidates, who filed their nomination papers for the municipal council elections in Mandi Gobindgarh, one of the richest councils of the state, 45 candidates withdrew their papers today at the office of Amloh SDM Punamdeep Kaur Dhillon.

The fate of the remaining 104 candidates will be decided on June 30. The main contest is between the ruling SAD-BJP combine and the Congress.



Residents rue poor amenities as campaigning picks up
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 20
While campaigning for the municipal council elections picks up in the city, residents rue poor state of basic amenities, including electricity, pure water and streetlights.

People living in the city rue that despite tall claims by the government and MC, practically not much has been done in various wards of the city.

"People are still living in dark in different localities. There is no adequate arrangement for electricity, pure water, streetlights and drainage. Besides, there is sewerage problem that keeps haunting them. All these problems aggravate during the rainy season," said Raman, a resident of Lalheri road.

As the elections are approaching, campaigning is in full swing. Supporters of various candidates can be seen putting up banners and posters.

"Banners, posters, hoardings are all around and candidates, along with their supporters, are visiting us to gather votes, but as soon as the elections are over, nobody would come to listen to our problems," said a shopkeeper Rustam.

Meanwhile, while talking to The Tribune, various candidates claimed that all problems would be solved once they were elected as councillors.

The contestants from ward No. 9 assured that the remaining parts of the city would be included in the sewerage project.



Licence of 2 liquor vends suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
The excise and taxation department has suspended licence of two liquor vends at Neelon and Bhattian for one month for trying to sell liquor procured from Chandigarh. The vends have been sealed.

The officials seized 75 cases of liquor obtained from Chandigarh, indicating an attempt to evade duty.

The department also found previous year’s stock at these vends. The vends fall under one cluster, with Amarjit Singh as the licence holder.

Officials said so far around 550 cases had been seized from the two vends in the past one year.

“The vends are not supposed to sell liquor procured from outside of Punjab. During raids, we found liquor in large quantities obtained from Chandigarh, clearly indicting an attempt to evade duty. After the challan was presented, the licence was suspended for a month,” DETC Parampal Singh said.

This is the first case of its kind this financial year. Officials said last year’s stock too should have been surrendered within two months of this financial year, but the licencee failed to do so.

Raids were conducted by excise inspectors Lakhvir Singh Chahal and Diwan Chand Sharma last month after which a challan was presented.

Department officials said they would continue conducting surprise raids in order to control duty evasion.



Liquor vend at Gill Chowk pulled down
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
The controversial liquor vend at Gill Chowk was removed by the contractor of the vend last night following court orders.

The court had asked the owner to remove it by 12 midnight yesterday. Waiting and watching till the last minute, the vend owner removed the make-shift structure that had come up on the road in April.

The location of the vend had the commuters fuming and they even lodged a protest against it, but the MC failed to take any action as the city mayor was stated to be close to the owner.

The owner moved the local court and he was asked to demolish the structure. He appealed in a sessions court and again he was asked to move from the place within 10 days. Yesterday was the deadline.



Educate poor

There is no dearth of kind-hearted persons in the city, who have been helping the needy from time to time. A number of societies as well as co-operative institutions are engaged in providing food, cloth as well as other necessary items to the needy.

There are a number of poor children who want to study, but fail to do so due to poverty as well as other reasons. I feel that these students should also be helped by kind-hearted and generous people of the city. This will even help in controlling the crime in the city.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana



2 held for fraud
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 20
Manjeet Singh, alias Rinku, of Mohalla Stnampura, Phagwara, and Tejpartap Singh of Sanj Lila, Alamgarh, were today arrested by the local police for driving a bus with fake number.

The police intercepted the bus near Manuke village and took the documents in possession. The police has registered a case under Sections 420, 468, 467, 471, 120B and 379 of the Indian Penal Code.

Later, the police produced the two in the court of Jagraon SDJM Mandeep Kaur Bedi who remanded them in police custody till June 21.

Two booked

Amar Singh and Udey Bir, both residents of the Slummed area, have been booked for allegedly stealing mobile phones of devotees who had gone to pay their obeisance at Gurdwara Nanaksar and Gurdwara Gurusar Kaunke yesterday.

On the complaint of ASI Jagtar Singh, the local police has registered a case under Section 379, IPC, against the two.

Breach of trust

Baljinder Singh, alias Billu of Gandhi Mohalla, Jagraon, and Jagjit Singh of Sidhwan Bet have been booked on charge of breach of trust.

Both had taken a digital camera from the wife of the complainant, Sukhjit Singh of Salempura, on April 22 and promised to return it after use.

As the duo failed to return the same, the local police has booked them under Section 408, IPC.



City to host national athletics meet for blind
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
The city will host the 17th National Athletics Meet for the Blind that is slated to be held in November this year.

As many as 500 visually challenged athletes will take part in the meet. There will be more than 10 events, including sprints, shot put and javelin throw.

With this Punjab will become the first state after Delhi to host the national meet for the blind. So far, Delhi has been holding all 16 meets.

The five-member team of the Indian Blind Sports Association (IBSA) comprising P.C. Mehta, joint secretary, A.K. Mittal, vice chairman, K.C. Panday. general secretary, B.L. Bharadwaj and C.P. Mohanand, inspected the facilities at Guru Nanak Stadium.

After inspection, the team decided to give Punjab an opportunity to host the tournament. The team expressed satisfaction over the facilities offered by the Punjab Sports Association for the Blind.

The team later visited the school of visually challenged students at Haibowal to check the accommodation for the athletes.

While talking to The Tribune, joint secretary P.C. Mehta, said: "The Guru Nanak Stadium is good enough to host the national event. The security of the visually challenged athletes is the top most priority of the IBSA and the stadium caters to all safety norms.”

Speaking on the importance of the event vice-chairman of the association A.K. Mittal said, “It is the biggest athletic event organised for the blind in the country. I am glad that the Punjab sports Association for the Blind has taken the initiative to host this national event.”

Gurpreet Singh, president of the Punjab Sports Association for the Blind, said: “We have the required infrastructure and support staff to organise an event like this. We took the initiative and requested the IBSA officials that we were interested to organise the tournament in the state.”



Swimming trials tomorrow
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 20
The Punjab Swimming Association (PSA) will organise trials to select the state youth swimming and water polo teams (boys and girls) here at the municipal corporation swimming pool, Rakh Bagh, on June 22 at 10 am.

Boys and girls born on or after January 1, 1990 are eligible to take part in these trials, according to association president Apinder Singh Grewal.

They are required to bring their original date of birth certificates for verification and also deposit one attested photo copy of the same with the organisers.

The selected swimmers will undergo training at a coaching camp prior to their participation in the inaugural edition of the National Youth Games-2008 to be held from July 22 to 29 at Bangalore under the banner of Punjab Olympic Association.



LBA lads excel in international meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 20
Raghav Goyal and Surya Goyal, both trainees of the Ludhiana Badminton Academy being run here at Shastri Hall near Guru Nanak Sports Complex, have brought glory to the centre as well as the nation.

They enabled India to bag silver medal in 23rd International Youth Team Badminton Tournament for Genitova Cup-2008 held at Czech Republic from June 6 to 14.

In a press note issued by Anupam Kumaria, honorary general secretary of the academy, Raghav, student of GRD Academy, Ludhiana, and Surya Goyal of KVM School, Ludhiana, exhibited class to help India finish runners-up.

In the final, Indian contingent fought valiantly before going down 2-3 against the hosts Czech Republic.

Raghav and Surya played brilliantly, however, could not steer their team to wrap up the top honours.

In the individual event (doubles u-13) also, Surya paired with Rupinder, who too hails from Punjab, to win a gold medal. The duo pipped the pair from Slovakia.

In the same event, Raghav in association with Samir Gupta from Chandigarh waged a spirited battle to march into the last four stage.

Eventually, they had to content with bronze medal. The office-bearers of the academy gathered yesterday to accord a warm welcome to the two.



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