Now, spend more to walk the aisle
Shruti Arora

Jalandhar, July 8
Inflation is spreading its choking tentacles. The latest victims of the price monster are those intending to enter into a matrimonial bliss. The bride’s trousseau, rather than inspiring feelings of awe, now causes the poor thing to break into a sweat, given the huge bills which have benevolently been bestowed upon her by the creed of wedding planners, decorators and jewellers.

With everything from marriage palaces to that basic “shagun thali” costing dearer, the ensuing marriage season will take a heavy toll on those looking for a knotty affair.

Sample this. The catering cost is all set to escalate by more than 25 per cent. “Due to inflation we are planning to increase the catering prices from Rs 200 to Rs 275 per food plate,” says Rakesh Bagha of London Hut Palace and Resort.

“In the coming season we are planning to increase the prices of eatables by 40 per cent. We charge each plate at Rs 325 but during marriages in September the vegetarian plate will be charged for Rs 425. Besides this, room rent will be increased by 15 per cent,” echoes Rakesh Sabarwal, MD, Hotel President. Victoria Garden manager Anil said, “For night hall booking we charge Rs 1 lakh and Rs 75,000 for day hall booking. Now we have increased it by Rs 25,000. Price of a vegetarian plate will also be raised to Rs 350 from Rs 300 and non-veg plate to Rs. 450 from Rs 400.” Inflation will certainly show its influence on decoration and transport rates of decoration material and flowers. “Charges of decoration material have increased by 10 per cent,” Said Swati, a decorator and florist.

The cloth market has also started showing its effect of inflation rates of naturally be expensive. “The prices of the fresh stock available with us has gone up by 5 to 10 per cent and it will be passed on to the customer,” said Aashima, a fashion designer.

On the other hand, youth preparing for marriage are getting worried and trying to find out ways for a simple wedding. “I have planned my marriage budget for Rs 3 lakh but now I shall have to arrange Rs 4 lakh because now rates of every item have risen up. This has gone out of my budget and I am thinking of a simple marriage,” said Vishal Garg, a groom-to-be.

Inflation has also taken its toll on the beauty industry. “Last year we were charging Rs 5,000 but due to inflation now we have to charge Rs 6,000 for one bridal pack,” says Ruchi Sharma, owner of a beauty care centre. On the other hand, Megha Chopra, a beautician, said, “Presently, we have not increased our rates but we shall also be compelled to raise rates by the month of September when the marriage season starts.”

The price of gold has increased by 50 per cent as compared to last year. In July 2007, the price of gold was Rs 8,700 per 10 gm but now it has gome up to Rs 13,000 per 10 gm and the price of silver has shot up from Rs 17,000 to Rs 25,000 per 10 gm. “The jewellery which cost Rs 1 lakh last year will now cost Rs 1.50 lakh,” said Raman Negi from Jagdambay Jewels. Anil Parkash Verma of Parkash Jewellers said, “Inflation, of course, has its effect on marriages but the market has also been massively hit. Its effect is showing in the orders which have already been booked by us.” With inflation crossing 11.42 per cent, almost every activity is hit and marriages are no exception. A budget estimated at Rs 1 lakh can easily reach Rs 2 lakh in the present times and create difficulty for the family concerned.



Joint Stand
Mayor’s ‘cold shoulder’ to projects upsets councillors
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 8
Municipal councillors from the ruling as well as opposite groups here are up in arms against mayor Rakesh Rathour for not getting any development work started in their wards in the past one year.

The BJP councillors are even more disturbed, for they have been saying that being members of the same party they could not even speak openly about the issue. Leave aside any road construction or sewerage project work, even the road patchwork and sewage pipe repair work were being kept pending.

The councillors said even as a meeting was supposed to be held every month, only two meetings had been conducted in the past one year. They said a very few tenders of the approved projects had been passed till date and these were being put off endlessly with the excuse of imposition of the election code of conduct.

Former Congress councillor Darshan Singh said, “I have been part of the MC for a long time. This is the worst period I have ever seen. Even as no new project has been taken up, I wonder why even works which would cost only a few lakhs could not be executed by an MC that has passed an annual budget to the tune of Rs 250 crore.”

He expressed concern over the bad state of road repair work and poor drainage in areas from bus stand to Guru Ravi Dass Chowk, Sadar police station to Ambedkar Chowk and the Police Lines road.

Joginder Singh Tony, an independent councillor, said various parks falling in his ward, including those in Dhobi Mohalla, Makhdoompura and Ajit Nagar, needed upkeep.

He said a rock garden falling in Udham Singh Nagar was also lying under-utilised owing to some pending renovation. He said the road leading from Jyoti Chowk to Shiv Bari Mandir had huge puddles and needed immediate attention.

SAD councillor Kuldeep Singh Oberoi mentioned that several works in his ward that had already been approved by the MC house and against which work orders had also been passed were yet to take off. His list of pending works included a tubewell at Kot Bakshian and Pucca Bagh and road construction from Saidan Gate to Kadey Shah Chowk.

Mayor Rakesh Rathour said tenders for works to the tune of Rs 50 crore, including Rs 35 crore from the buildings and B&R department and Rs 15 crore of the operations and maintenance (O&M) department, would soon be passed.

He said tenders to the tune of Rs 1 to 2 crore had been passed in the last two working days. “No tender clearance had been done in the last four months due to election code,” he added.



Dining Den
Tantalising taste buds with veggie delights
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 8
A visit to the city’s busy Shastri Market is simply incomplete if you have not been to the overly crowded “Vijay Dhaba”. Known for its pure vegetarian menu and mouth-watering dishes, the place is loved not only by the city residents but NRIs too.

Started in the early 70s by Kundan Lal Vadhan, the father of present owner Madan Lal Vadhan, the place is famous for its delectable lunch and dinner.

With its variety menu and quick service the place always remains overly crowded with people virtually waiting for their turn at times. The dhaba opens at 11 in the morning and closes at 4 pm for a break and opens again at 7 pm.

Says Madan Lal, “We have been running this family business for almost 25 years now. We have our own family cooks who look after the daily menu.

The most preferred dishes include dal makhani, chana masala, kadai paneer, rajmah, kadi, butter naan and above all the customary kheer which has hooked people from far and wide.”

On being asked as to why the place is known as “Vijay Dhaba”, Madan Lal said, “The name of the dhabha is kept after the name of my younger brother Vijay Lal Vadhan. Being the younger kid in the family, my father chose his name for this place.”

And talking about the clientele, Madan Lal maintains proudly, “Top industrialists and officials of the city love to come to the place because of the family feel. We started with the primary aim to serve families with quality food and we are continuing with 
the same.” 



For peace, he’ll pedal with mettle
Kusum Arora /TNS

Jalandhar, July 8
Fifty-year-old Ravinder Kumar Lakhe is on a mission of “Bharat bhraman” under which he aims to unite the world with the message of world peace and harmony. For this purpose he has been travelling on his bicycle and visiting different places to fulfil his dream. A native of Raipur district in Chhattisgarh, he has covered a distance of approximately 15,000 km so far.

Ravinder started his journey on August 8, 2007, and since then has been to Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab. Now he has plans to visit terror-stricken Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from this, Ravinder aspires to visit north-east part of the country and Nepal as well. But what prompted this bicycle mechanic to go on a world peace tour is his desire to include his name in the Guiness book of World Record.

Talking about his visits so far, he said through “Bharat bhraman” he has met people and discussed with them burning issues of communalism, terror and many other problems of the country. “I met all kind of people en route, good and bad. Some people came ahead and actually listened to what I discussed with them. And then there were those people who made a mockery of my journey. But I feel satisfied when somebody approaches me and discusses issues pertaining to terror and communalism. My aim is to preach the message of national integration and world peace through this journey.”

Ravinder reached Punjab on June 11, 2008, and so far he has been to Patiala, Sangrur, Barnala, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Anandpur Sahib, Nangal, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar. Ravinder has been sponsored by the Raipur Press Club in his endeavour to spread the message of world peace. Apart from this, he has also donated his body to Pt Jawaharlal Nehru Smriti Chikitsa Mahavidyalaya at Raipur in Chhattisgarh.



Young World
Now, LPU lessons through distance learning
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 8
Lovely Professional University is going to start Lovely School of Open and Distance Learning from the coming session. Under the branch, the university would offer different degree and diploma courses in management and information streams recognised by the Distance Education Council, New Delhi.

The salient features of the courses would be a flexible entry and exit system, availability of dual degree option, no age limit and semester fee ranging from Rs 5,800 to Rs 9,800. The study material would comprise printed books, computer-based tutorials and web-based tutorials.

Teaching workshop

A workshop on effective classroom teaching was organised by Eklavya School which was attended by educators and school director Seema Handa. The one-and-a-half hour long teaching session was conducted by former president of the Punjab State Centre of Council for Teacher Education and member of the Indian Association of Teacher Education.

Mayor World School also organised a workshop for its teaching staff which was conducted by Jose Paul and Oxford University Press. Paul asked teachers to sensitise themselves regarding the requirements of the each student.

Trainers programme

The directorate of project planning and in-service, DAV College Management Committee, started a seven-day master trainer programme in English at Police DAV Public School from July 7. The programme is being attended by teachers of DAV schools from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi. The programme focuses on tapping and grooming faculty to increase their proficiency in English.

New session

BD Arya Girls College started its new academic session with the chanting of pious mantras and a havan on the college premises. Director-cum-adviser Swaraj Mohan and principal Sarita Verma wished students good luck for their new academic session.

Similarly, new academic sessions also started with a havan at the Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women and the Apeejay College of Fine Arts.

Varsity toppers

Students of Kamla Nehru College brought laurels to their institute by bagging top positions in examinations conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University. As many as 10 students of the college have been placed in the merit list.

Similarly, Geetanjali, a student of BSc (economics IInd year) of the Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women has bagged top honour for her institution by securing 648 marks out of 1200 and bagging the second position in Guru Nanak Dev University.

Summer camp

Manav Sehyog School in association with Pidilite Company organised a summer camp with an objective to bring out creative skills of the village kids who are not part of the city schools. The four-day camp started on June 9 and culminated on July 1 in different villages, including Sammipur, Lambra, Kalyanpur, Loharan and Jamsher. The participants were taught different forms of arts like glass painting and canvas painting during the camp.



End commercialisation of education: ABVP

Jalandhar, July 8
Alleging that the Punjab government has ruined the education system of the state by allowing its commercialisation, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidharthi Parishad (ABVP) on Tuesday declared that it would launch an agitation against the state government on the issue and demand immediate conduct of the student unions elections which were banned in 1982.

Recently it has come to light that seats of the engineering course were being sold in the state by private colleges affiliated to Punjab Technical University (PTU) and the government was bent upon privatising the industrial training institutes (ITIs) in the state which were meant to train youths for self-employment, ABVP state president Pankaj Mahajan told reporters, revealing that from July 15 the parishad would launched an agitation against the SAD-BJP government.

He demanded that the election of student unions in universities falling in Punjab as per the recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee should be held. He urged the state government to check commercialisation of education.

Mahajan said that the elections to student unions were pending since the terrorism days in the state and the SAD-BJP government had even promised to conduct the elections in the poll manifesto but now the government seemed to be evasive in holding elections.

“Even the Lyngdoh committee had recommended compulsory elections for student unions in the universities,” said Mahajan.

The state president of the ABVP also demanded check on commercialisation of education in Punjab and welcomed the decision of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to enquire the fee hike for the management seats by engineering colleges. — PTI 



Punjabi singer plays RJ

Jalandhar, July 8
Punjabi singer Jaswinder Bains, alias Jazzy B, acted as radio jockey for “Punjabi tashan” on BIG 92.7 FM here on Friday. Jazzy talked to the people of Jalandhar on the radio for an hour. He answered the questions of listeners and played rocking numbers during his stay at the mike. Jazzy also talked about his new album “Rambo”.

While sharing his experiences with the listeners, he said little did he know at the time of his departure from Punjab to Vancouver, British Columbia, that his passion for music, his unorthodox spiky hair, outrageous clothes and amazing voice would one day make him one of the biggest icons in bhangra music worldwide. — TNS



Roadways staffers raise slogans against govt
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 8
Irked over non-acceptance of their long-pending demands, members of the joint action committee, Punjab Roadways, held a massive demonstration and burnt the effigy of secretary of Punjab transport department near the local bus stand, here today. The irate protesters also raised slogans against the state government and transport minister Master Mohan Lal Sharma.

Addressing the gathering, Pradeep Kumar, president of Jalandhar division of JAC, claimed that despite repeated representations, the department has turned a deaf ear to their demands. The committee members have been demanding promotions for the workshop staff, regularisation of daily-wage workers, besides payment for employees for overtime. The agitators are also against the recruitment of driver and conductors through outsourcing.

The speakers alleged that the department had been chalking out plans for certain politician-cum-transporters to permit their entry into Chandigarh in violation of the rules. The committee has also threatened to hold a major protest against the transport minister in his hometown on July 24. Among those who addressed the gathering included Jagtar Singh, Harjinder Singh, Amrik Singh and Shalwinder Singh.



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