L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Braille Bhawan to be upgraded
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Coming to the aid of visually challenged students in the state’s only Braille Bhawan here, CM Parkash Singh Badal today announced its upgradation on the lines of the National Institute of Visually Impaired, Dehra Dun.

He said the monthly diet allowance for students would be enhanced from Rs 600 to Rs 1,200 per student. He also said the existing high school in the institute would be upgraded to plus two from the next academic year.

Badal said the Braille Bhawan would be upgraded on the lines of the National Institute of Visually Impaired in Dehra Dun

The Tribune had highlighted the plight of students a few days ago.

He also directed the public health department to provide potable water to students.

Badal asked the social security women and the child development department to prepare a detailed project for the overall development of the institute.

He said the government would extend financial help to the institute to make it one of the most prestigious institutions for the blind in the region.

“We will invite experts from Dehra Dun in this regard. Further, the technical facility will be upgraded and new machines will be purchased,” he said, adding that emphasis would be laid to initiate career-oriented courses for the students.


Denied scholarship, topper writes to Chief Minister
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The overall state topper, Shilpi Negi, who scored 427 out of 450 in the Class XII examination of the Punjab School Education Board is disappointed at not being given a scholarship worth Rs 2 lakh. She has written a letter to the CM in this regard.

The CM, Parkash Singh Badal, who announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh to poor students at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, two days ago did not consider Shilpi worthy of the reward.

Badal announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh each for Neeraj Saini who was first in the matriculation examination and Navpreet Nagi who came first in the commerce stream in Class XII.

Shilpi’s father Prem Singh is a cook at a hospital and mother is a peon in a school. Her parents feel that she was neither considered deserving of the scholarship nor an underprivileged student by the government and that was why she was not given the cash reward.

This had affected her morale. “I am hurt. I need money to pursue my studies,” she said.

Her father said: “Although a philanthropist and politician have come forward to take the responsibility of her education, but the duration of the course is four years and we don't want to depend on anyone for help.”



Raid on flour mills; owners booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
The health department sealed the godowns of three flour mills in Ludhiana and Jangpur village here today.

Owners of Swastik Flour Mill, Baldev Raj Hari Kishan Flour Mill and Jagjit Flour Mill were booked under Sections 420, 272 and 273 of the IPC for selling substandard and adulterated flour.

The godowns were sealed under Section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. The wheat and gram flour was being mixed with broken rice powder and pea powder.

As many as 245 bags of adulterated flour, large quantity of broken rice and the vehicle used in supplying materials were seized by the police.

A team led by Dr Sat Pal Singh Dhir, district health officer, caught owners of Jagjit Flour Mills on the Jangpur-Mohi road while mixing inferior rice in wheat flour.

Dr Dhir said the department had received complaints that eatables prepared with Shakti brand wheat flour were causing health problems to consumers.

Sealed samples of semi-finished and finished products were sent to the state food laboratory.

Another team took samples of channa dal, tota chawal, gram flour and cotton seed refined oil from Swastik Flour Mill and Baldev Raj Hari Kishan Flour Mill.

Nine sacks of flour were confiscated from Swastik Flour Mill and 13 from Baldev Raj Hari Kishan Flour Mill.

As the mills were situated in a remote area, the illegal activity had remained unnoticed. The authorities are trying to find if the suspects supplied flour to manufactures of bread and other bakery products.



Woman held with weapon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
A woman of Bajra village near Basti Jodhewal has stunned the police by getting a pistol smuggled from Uttar Pradesh in order to take revenge from persons who had got her husband arrested in an alleged rape case six months ago.

Paramjit Kaur, mother of two teenaged sons, was arrested with the country-made pistol near Sahnewal

Airport. The police said it had received secret information. She had revealed that she wanted to plant the weapon on the persons who had got her husband booked. The police said she did not know the details of the person from whom she got the weapon. 



Girl booked in suicide case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The police today booked a Rishi Nagar Colony girl for allegedly abetting the suicide of a married man with whom she reportedly had an illicit relationship.

The police booked the unmarried girl on the basis of SMSs exchanged between them.

Rajesh Saini, an employee with a finance company, died this morning after he consumed some poisonous substance last night.

SHO Devinder Kumar said initially the parents of the deceased accused the girl of murder, but investigations revealed that the man had sent SMSs to the girl, saying that he was committing suicide.



Power cuts hit production
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 17
Power cuts have brought the city to a grinding halt. The production of industrial goods has received a setback and unprecedented hike in steel prices.

Enquiries made by The Tribune revealed that designated focal points like Dhandari Kalan have no cut except the mandatory weekly off and peak load restrictions for three hours from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm.

But industrialists complain that there is no check on unscheduled cuts in the focal point and other areas due to the poor distribution system.

Industries located in residential areas or where there are mixed power transformers are the worst hit.

Urban feeders are being subjected to six-hour scheduled cut everyday, besides the unszcheduled cuts.

Factory owners now run their units at night when uninterrupted power is available.

The MC has not made any alternative arrangements to run tubewells. It had installed some generators with tubewells a few years ago, but now the number of tubewells has risen.

Moreover, a diesel scam running into crores had hit the MC around the same time.

Factory owners who have their units in the mixed transmission areas usually use diesel generators.

Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president, and Avtar Singh, general secretary, of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial undertakings said the industrial production had been reduced to 25-40 per cent due to the cuts and the hike in steel prices.

They said the daily industrial production here was worth about Rs 500 crore and there was a drop of almost 60 per cent.

P.D. Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, said the PSEB had not taken steps to improve the transmission system as a result of which the focal points had to face unscheduled cuts.

Farmers also complained that the board was not supplying power for eight hours for tubewells as claimed by it. They were getting power only for six hours or less.



Ayali new Zila Parishad chairman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Manpreet Singh Ayali of the SAD was today unanimously chosen chairman of the zila parishad here.

Talking to the Tribune, he said his effort would be to bring alive the office of the zila parishad chief which had largely remained ignored.

“It is the most responsible position in the district. All development works and issues have to be taken up by the parishad. Only a strong parishad can work for the public,” he said.

He was chosen chairman by 25 parishad members and 12 block samiti members. The election took place at the MC office.

An alumnus of Government College for Boys, Ayali said his main agenda would be to undertake all-round development in the district. “The parishad receives crores of rupees in grant which has to be utilised properly for public welfare,” he said.



Safai karamcharis up in arms against GADVASU
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The safai karamcharis of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) are up in the arms against management for appointing a new contractor to look into the sanitation of administrative block.

The daily-wage safai karamcharis alleged that despite putting in their hard work for several years, some of them have been asked to work in other buildings as the cleanliness contract of administrative block had been given to a new contractor.

Talking to The Tribune, Satinder Kumar, president, Safai Karamchari Association, said when GADVASU became independent on April 21, 2006, the campus gave a jungle-like look with hundreds of snakes all around. “We had to work day and night to make it at par with PAU. And now the daily wagers have been asked to leave by the newly appointed contractor. We have been told that he will bring his own team,” he said.

In this deadlock, GADVASU itself becomes the worst sufferer, as the new safai karamcharis are not being allowed to work by safai karamchari association. “Why should we let them work here? Instead of bringing in new safai karamcharis, we should have been promoted. We will not let them take our daily bread and butter so easily. We have done a lot for the university,” said one of the safai karamcharis on condition of anonymity. The regular safai karamcharis at the university are getting the scale of Rs 2,620 and other allowances, while daily wagers get Rs 96.50 per day.

Meanwhile, Dr Kulbir Sandhu, estate officer, GADVASU, said it was the board’s decision to appoint new contractor at administrative block. The other safai karamcharis have not been asked to leave and have been told to join other buildings, he, however, maintained. “The contractor has been appointed as per the rates of district administration and the university has no vested interest in this,” said the estate officer.



Left parties stage dharna against N-deal
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 17
Activists of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), staged a joint dharna outside Mini Secretariat here today to protest against the decision of the Congress-led UPA government to go ahead with clinching of the India-specific agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and moving ahead towards the nuclear deal with the USA.

Speakers at the dharna cautioned that the agreement with the IAEA will be a vital intermediate step towards operationalising the Indo-US nuclear deal in the teeth of strong criticism within India.

They said it was unfortunate that even in the face of stiff opposition from all quarters, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh as also the ruling alliance wanted to go ahead with the deal, trampling in the process, all democratic norms and values regardless of all rational considerations, let alone ethical ones.

Leaders of both parties further remarked that India would be forced to toe US line on several issues, including that of Iran, which is bound to mar historically friendly relations between the two countries.

The strained relations between the two nations might also affect gas supply from Iran."

The speakers further pointed out that the nuclear deal would promote nuclear militarism and nuclear weapon build-up in India against the interests of people in the region. It will also intensify the arms race between India and Pakistan.

"The deal severely undermines the prospects of global nuclear disarmament by (selectively and arbitrarily) legitimising nuclear status of India and also the possession of nuclear weapons by the existing nuclear weapon states - both recognised and unrecognised while at the same time fuelling the aspirations of other actual and potential aspirants."

Rubbishing the contention of the government about production of nuclear energy through the proposed deal, the left party leaders maintained that even if the deal went through fully and prices of Uranium in the international market remained the same, the electricity produced from the atomic energy by 2020 would be 20,000 mega watts which would meet only about 6 to 7 per cent of our requirement at a cost of Rs 2,00,000 crore.

"The atomic power will be two to three times more expensive than that produced by coal, gas, water and wind.

In addition, it will pose hazards of nuclear radiations."



BSP supporters threaten to court arrest
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 17
The state unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party has threatened to launch a jail bharo andolan in case the Centre tried to harm party supremo Mayawati.

The announcement was made by state general secretary Rajinder Singh at a meeting of party activists held here yesterday.

The meeting was convened to mobile support for party candidate from the Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary constituency Gurnam Singh Sewak.

"Attempt to involve the leader after being given a clean chit by the CBI shows that the Centre was bent on teaching her a lesson for withdrawing support.

We will launch jail bharo andolan in case she is harmed in any manner," said Rajinder Singh while talking to The Tribune after addressing the meeting.

Accusing successive governments of ignoring interest of members of the lower strata of society, the BSP leaders contended that only a fraction of benefits announced for Dalits and other special classes reached the beneficiaries.

Doubtful integrity of the constituents of successive governments and bureaucrats was cited to be the reason behind the failure of development projects launched for the weaker sections of society.

Jiwan Lal councillor, president of the BSP’s local unit, who presided over the meeting impressed upon office-bearers of a few social organisations of the area to extend support to Sewak. 



Badal invites suggestions to combat water pollution 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked the representatives of the industry, chairmen and vice-chairmen of the Punjab Large and Medium Industry and Small Scale Industry Boards to suggest ways and means to combat the menace of water pollution which was posing a great threat to the very existence of the human beings.

Addressing the gathering during a state-level function of the 59th Van Mahotsav here at Punjab Agricultural University, Badal said: "Human life is far more important than any commercial activity. We, in the government, can't compromise on this vital issue as we are duty-bound to fulfil the aspirations of the people as per our commitment to the electorate and can't afford to exploit their sentiments."

He appealed to the leaders and opinion makers to rise above the party affiliations and come forward to launch a crusade against the widespread pollution. He assured that the suggestions given by the representatives of different industries would be taken into consideration while taking any decision on the issue.

He asked the industry to be considerate while discharging industrial effluents and untreated chemical wastes into the rivers and drains which ultimately aggravated the situation beyond anyone's control.

Lauding the role of the state forests department in generating awareness among the people, he said efforts should be intensified to bring more area under green cover to counter the ill-effects of pollution.

Forests and medical education minister Tikshan Sud said it was not merely an occasion rather a regular campaign to inculcate the sense of belongingness towards clean and green environment. He said the state forests department had chalked out a plan to plant 88 lakh saplings under the Farm Forestry Scheme on the public land near canals, industrial area and educational institutions. Besides, the surplus land of the farmers would be utilised for this purpose. Sud underscored the need to launch an extensive campaign to bring Ludhiana- the industrial hub of the state- under green cover to neutralise the negative effects of pollution.



Law enforcing agencies violating SC orders, claims IMA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
In a blatant violation of the Supreme Court directions passed in 2005, the law enforcing agencies in Punjab have registered almost 40 cases against doctors in past three years.

The members of Indian Medical Association (IMA), while making the above statement, called upon the Punjab government to issue instructions to the officials concerned in the police department not to register cases against doctors.

Dr Yash Sharma, state president, IMA, referred to a recent incident in Sangrur wherein a case was registered against Dr K.G. Singla and Mrs Singla.

Dr Sharma went on to add that the case was earlier registered under Section 302 IPC, which when resisted by the medical fraternity was changed to U/S 304A IPC. This is a mockery on the part of law enforcing agencies that have in very abject terms portrayed the medical profession as a profession to kill, said Dr Sharma.

The doctors referred to the Supreme Court guidelines, which refrain the law enforcing agencies to entertain any individual complaint. “A committee headed by civil surgeon, along with other senior doctors, should inquire into the case, following which the police department should ensue their investigations,” stated district president, Dr Arun Mitra.

Expressing concern over the increasing incidents of violence against doctors, IMA members urged the government to enact the law on the pattern of Andhra Pradesh pronouncing violence against the doctors as non-bailable offence. “It has become necessary to protect the doctors from those indulging in vandalism as in recent past a lot many private hospitals were vandalised, followed by attack on doctors,” Dr Rajiv Gupta stated.

District unit of IMA emphasised that it is the need of the hour to make people aware that their patients die due to diseases and not because of the negligence of doctors.



Jains seek minority status
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
There is resentment among Jains for they feel the state government has ignored their claim to get recognition as a religious minority community in the state.

Several individuals and Jain associations have been writing to the state government in this regard. Many states have granted minority status to Jains. These include Maharashtra, MP, Rajsthan, UP and Karnataka.

“In Punjab, religion is mingled with politics. It is claimed that Sikhs, who are a minority in India, are also a minority in Punjab, contrary to a judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Jains make up for not more than 1 per cent of the total population of Punjab, Dr Sandeep K. Jain, honorary wildlife warden.

He said Jainism was mentioned as a religion along with Buddhism and Sikhism in explanation II of the Article 25 of the Constitution.

Amrit Lal Jain, secretary of the All-India Shwetambar Sthanakwasi Jain Conference, Jatinder Jain, member of the working committee of Atmanand Jain Mahasabha Uttari Bharat Punjab, Digambar Jain Samaj, Shri Jain Shwetambar Terapanthi Sabha, Shwetambar Sthanakwasi Samaj, Jain Mittar Mandal and others have written to the state government about it.

No half-day leave is granted to Jains to participate in shobha yatra of Bhagwan Mahavir Jayanti or during Paryushan Parva.



Potholed road leaves commuters fuming
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, July 17
The main market road, popularly known as the railway road, here is in a pitiable condition.

Residents and road users complain that the road is full of deep potholes and it is very difficult to ride, especially at some places. The situation becomes more problematic at night when due to reduced visibility one accidentally gets stuck in one such pothole.

The residents are now eagerly looking towards the newly elected representatives for the permanent solution of their problem as they regret that the committee earlier had completely failed to provide good roads.

Chairman of the Youth Forum, Doraha, Jandeep Kaushal, said the former committee had been told several times about the sorry state of affairs, but to no avail. He said a memorandum, too, had been submitted several times, but every time, due to the dilly-dallying attitude of the council, nothing was done.

Shopkeepers of the area said recarpeting of the road had been initiated sometime back from the side of the railway station, but the work was left incomplete due to the reasons best known to the committee.

The residents grumble that the problem gets aggravated generally after the paddy season as loaded trucks and trolleys play havoc with the road. During the monsoons, the condition of the road gets worsened.

Members of the All-India Federation of Democratic Youth, too, have demanded the early redressal of the problem.



Importance of ration card

The ration card has become the most vital document to identify the credentials of a person. In case of a mistake in the ration card, people from far off places have to travel a long way for rectification of the same. However, often they have to return disappointed due to non-availability of the officer concerned.

To give relief to common man, the civil supply department should hold camps at periodic intervals in different colonies, pronouncing the date and time of camps in advance.

This kind of project would resolve the grievance of public and in return they would be happy to express their solidarity with the state government, which claims for the introduction of new schemes every now and then for the betterment of people.

R.L. Sharma, 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.



Defer e-filing of VAT returns, demand tax advisers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
The Taxation Advisors Association has made a fervent plea to the state government to put off compulsory e-filing of value added tax (VAT) returns as the traders were still not fully prepared for this and were facing many other technical problems.

A meeting of the association, that was held here today to discuss VAT-related problems, noted that compulsory e-filing of quarterly VAT returns be deferred for a period of at least six months. President of the body Satish Aggarwal said just two days were left for filing of the quarterly VAT returns, but many traders were still to get their password.

Secretary of the association Rakesh Arora and press secretary Jatinder Khurana regretted that VAT assessees were facing a number of problems due to inordinate delay in payment of refund claims, which were filed more than a year ago.

The taxation advisers further pointed out that a large number of traders had not received central sales tax ‘C’ forms for the assessment year 2006-07 and demanded that the last date for submission of the forms be extended for three months. They were also sore that the promised amendment about nature of business in the VAT registration had not been carried out which was causing inconvenience to the affected traders.



GNIMT students dominate PTU merit list
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
MBA students of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT) dominated the merit list of Punjab Technical University once again. As per the recently released merit list of the MBA examinations held in December 2007-January 2008, four students of the GNIMT bagged top positions in the university.

Preeti Kalsi topped the university by securing 90.9 per cent marks while Chanpreet Kaur bagged the second position with 90.4 per cent marks. Megha Jain stood fourth with 89.9 per cent marks while Jaspreet Kaur secured ninth position with 88.7 per cent marks.

Congratulating the students, their parents and faculty, Dr (Col) H.S. Singha, director, GNIMT, said it was a matter of pride for the institute that top four positions in the university were of GNIMtians. He appreciated the efforts of students and faculty for bringing laurels to the institute. In almost every semester and each class, GNIMTians proved their mettle by bagging top positions, he said. 



Development of vet varsity discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
To promote the better coordination in the department of animal husbandry, Punjab, and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, a meeting was held at GADVASU yesterday.

Many important issues relating to veterinary and animal husbandry, fish farming, dairy farming and problems of field and field related works were discussed.

The meeting was attended by Dr V.K. Taneja, VC, deans/directors, S.C. Agarwal, financial commissioner, animal husbandry, Punjab, Dr B.S. Sidhu, director, animal husbandry, Dr Inderjit Singh, director, dairy development and Dr Darshan Singh, director, fisheries.

The development of veterinary university was discussed at the meeting. It was also discussed that how the departments and university can provide better services to animal farmers.

All the officers were of the common view that a new veterinary college was required in the state to cope up with the emerging demand of veterinary experts in the state.



Lecturer does PhD from Belford varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Prof Surinder Singh of PG department of English at SCD Government College here has received his PhD degree in English from Belford University.

Principal Dr Malkiat Singh, in a press statement today, said that Prof Singh did his research on the topic “Different trends in Contemporary English poetry” with a certificate of distinction as well as excellence from Belford University, West Hollywood, California.



Punjab state Twenty20 tourney
Ludhiana prevail over Barnala
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 17
Hosts Ludhiana registered a three-wicket win over Barnala on the third day of the Punjab State Inter-District Twenty20 Cricket Tournament (U-16) being played simultaneously at the Government Institute of Textile and Knitting, Rishi Nagar, and BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar grounds, here today.

In the match played at Rishi Nagar, Ludhiana won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first. Barnala were bowled out for 117 runs in 18.2 overs.

The main contributors were Harinder and Satwinder who scored 40 and 29 runs, respectively. For Ludhiana, Sarabjot took three wickets for 15 runs in four overs while Adarshpreet claimed three for 36 runs in three overs.

Ludhiana made the required runs (118 for 7) in 19.1 overs. The architects of their win were Jeewanjot (21), Kushal (21) and Sarabjit Satija (17). The lone wicket-taker for the losers was Arun, who chipped in with three wickets for 36 runs in 4 overs.

The second match played between Hoshiarpur and Bathinda ended in a tie, which was eventually won (1-0) by the former via bowl out.

Batting first, Hoshiarpur scored 73 runs in 19.4 overs in which only Gopal (18) could reach double figure. For Bathinda, Paramjit grabbed three wickets while Rajat captured two wickets.

In reply, Bathinda’s innings, too, culminated at 73 runs in 17 overs. Pardeep was the top scorer with 20 runs, followed by Sarabjit and Paramdeep who scored 16 runs each. For Hoshiarpur, Vikas took three wickets for nine runs and Jasmeet chipped in with three for 14.



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