L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Park Plaza, 2 leading city clubs penalised 
Lodhi Club to pay Rs 8.42 lakh, Club Nirvana Rs 7.78 lakh, Park Plaza Rs 2.17 lakh
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The Excise and Taxation Department of the state has imposed penalty, entertainment duty and interest on city’s leading hotel Park Plaza and two renowned clubs, Club Nirvana and Lodhi Club, for evading tax on earnings during the New Year eve.

While the Lodhi Club will have to pay Rs 8.42 lakh of duty, interest and penalty, Club Nirvana on the Hambran Road will have to pay Rs 7.78 lakh and Rs 2.17 lakh in case of Park Plaza, senior officials told The Tribune.

Tax sleuths, who have tightened their noose around evaders, imposed a tax of Rs 6.67 crore on a trader exporting mentha oil to Jammu and another Rs 51.06 lakh tax on a leading showroom in Feroze Gandhi Market here.

All parties have been asked to pay their taxes honestly in future.

“These clubs and the hotel failed to pay tax on the earnings incurred to them on the New Year eve. It is after in depth investigations that we decided to impose duty, interest and penalty on these entities,” said H.P.S. Ghotra, assistant excise and taxation commissioner.

Entertainment duty is required to be paid on revenues that are earned out of events organised on occasions like the New Year. Earlier this year too, the department had detected duty evasion in case of another leading city club.

On the occasions like New Year, clubs and hotels collect higher revenues for organising events in which celebrities are also invited. They earn revenues from selling passes etc.

The organising entities, officials said, were supposed to inform the department about revenue details within three days of such earning. Besides, they were also required to show the same in their tax returns. However, they failed to do so.

The department has also imposed Rs 6.67 crore as tax on the commission agent exporting mentha oil to Jammu.

It found that the party had been paying tax till financial year 2004-05 but stopped paying the same after implementation of the VAT. The tax was then imposed for years 2005-06 and 2006-07.

A leading showroom in Feroze Gandhi, too, came under tax scanner and a tax to the tune of Rs 51.06 lakh was imposed. Officials said the outlet had shown Rs 4.08 crore as their stock transfer and was unable to support it by sufficient documents, which led to the suspicion. 


FIR lodged against drug store owner 
Justice, at last, for pornography victim
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
She lost everything for love, her honour and prestige; only to be exploited physically as well as socially after her lover allegedly made a blue film and uploaded it on the Internet.

She was forced to reach a compromise with her exploiter after she lodged a complaint against him last year.

This is the sordid tale of a girl, who has got a case registered against the youth, after undergoing a horrid ordeal for over a year. The case was registered after the Punjab Human Rights Commission intervened.

The girl, a resident of Sudhar village, worked as a private sewing and embroidery trainer. She fell in love with Sandeep Bansal, a drug store owner of the same village, after he allured her on pretext of marriage about two years ago. Not sensing Bansal’s sinister designs, the girl developed physical relationship with him.

She was stunned when one day she watched a clip of a blue film on the Internet. She was shown in a compromising position with her ‘would be husband’. She felt humiliated when a few vernacular press carried stories on the sequence of events leading to the compromise reached by her last year.

Bansal, instead of confessing his crime, started blackmailing and allegedly raped her on numerous occasions. However, he refused to marry her. Rather, he got married to another woman.

Having failed to get justice from the police, this girl knocked the doors of the Punjab Human Rights Commission, which directed the Ludhiana (rural) police to probe into the matter.

Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ludhiana (rural), directed Narinder Pal Ruby, DSP (Raikot) to probe into the matter.

It was on the basis of the report submitted by the DSP that the Sudhar police registered an FIR under Sections 376 and 417 of the IPC and 67 of the Information Technology Act against Sandeep Bansal today. The accused is reported to be absconding. 



Rs 6 lakh tax evasion by cable operator
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Officials of the Central Excise Commissionerate and Service Tax cell searched the premises of Janta Communications, a cable TV operator in New Shimlapuri here. They have estimated tax evasion to the tune of Rs 6 to Rs 7 lakh.

A.K. Mehra, commissioner, Central Excise and Service Tax, said the department found that though the cable operator got registered for service tax in 2005, but failed to pay it. On investigating it was found that he was providing services to 1,500 to 2,000 households in and around the New Shimlapuri area.

As per department’s estimate, the service tax liability for three years comes out to be Rs 6 to Rs 7 lakh. “During the course of preliminary investigations, the owner admitted that he was not paying any service tax and agreed to pay the same. However, he has not revealed the exact number of households he was serving,” Mehra added.

The department is now keeping a close watch on other cable operators as well and would take action against evaders. Mehra said the Central Excise department was also collecting data in case of advertising agencies, commercial construction, rent on immovable property, health clubs and fitness centres, beauty parlours, marriage palaces and dry cleaners.

Of the 8,000 people registered for service tax, only 5,000 are paying it. 



Rs 22.2 lakh penalty slapped on power thieves
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 11
Enforcement wing of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has unearthed two cases of power theft in the Hira Nagar locality, near Transport Nagar here and a shopping mall in Khanna town. A penalty worth Rs 22.2 lakh was imposed on the defaulting consumers. In addition to this, in the course of mass inspection in a few colonies in the Jamalpur area, nearly 100 kundi connections were removed.

Giving details, PSEB director (Enforcement) S.S. Kohli told The Tribune that during a raid on a tubular (textile pressing) unit in Hira Nagar, with a sanctioned load of 35 KW, power was found to be stolen by creating a bypass to the energy metre. The factory owners were slapped penalty worth Rs 15 lakh in this case.

Similarly, a shopping mall near the general bus stand with a load of around 70 KW in Khanna was found stealing power after tampering with the seals. A penalty worth Rs 7.2 lakh was imposed on the consumer.

Kohli said on the basis of specific complaint, mass inspection of the slums in Rajiv Gandhi Colony and LIG flats in Jamalpur was carried out. During the house-to-house checking about 100 kundi connections were found and removed. The operational staff in this area has been directed to keep a watch on kundi connections.



Medical Council summons Dr Grewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The Punjab Medical Council has summoned Dr Sanjit Singh of Grewal Hospital, Gill Road, for seeking an explanation following a complaint of “death due to negligence” lodged by a local resident.

Former president of the Northern Railway Pensioner’s Welfare Association Sher Singh had forwarded a complaint to the secretary of the Medical Council of Punjab seeking cancellation of license of Dr Grewal on the pretext of negligence and delayed treatment that resulted in his son’s death.

The council in a notification issued on August 8 had demanded an explanation along with clinical records of the patient in question. The council had also asked Dr Grewal to submit his registration certificate.

Alleging Dr Grewal and his colleagues of negligence, Sher Singh has clearly written in his complaint that his son, Preetpal Singh (52), was admitted to Grewal hospital on June 6 with acute pain in his body. The doctor instead of immediately referring him to the cardiac centre wasted more than 30 minutes on ECG and administration of a few tablets.

A copy of the complaint has also been forwarded to Punjab health minister, Union minister for health and family welfare and the secretary, Medical Council of India, New Delhi.



Chhapar Mela
Unskilled workers found erecting joy rides 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
While the Ludhiana (Rural) district police is all set to deal with any eventuality at Chhapar Mela, scheduled to commence from Saturday, the civil administration is yet to take stock of the situation there.

Though a significant number of devotees have already started coming for paying obeisance at Guga Mari, officials are yet to conduct physical verification of the infrastructure erected there. To avoid rush during the peak days, a large number of elderly men and women were seen paying obeisance at Guga Mari today.

Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ludhiana (Rural), claimed that he had already written to authorities concerned in the industrial department to get the fixtures examined before issuing formal certificates. “As the issue is related with lives of entertainers and the public in general, we will ensure that not a single organiser is allowed to operate the joy rides without getting permission from the authorities concerned,” said Bhullar.

The Tribune found out that unskilled labourers have been deputed to erect giant structures. Majorities of mechanics were not even aware of the fundamentals of mechanical science. “We have been doing this job for many years and can work faster than any qualified engineers. Neither any officers has ever guided us, nor do we need their advice,” said one of the workers, who were trying to align a bar by hit and trial method.

Sources at the control room established at the mela site said no official from the directorate of factories had reported at the mela site. “However, we have directed that only those joy rides be allowed to transact business which had been issued valid licenses by the appropriate authorities,” said Kulwant Singh, in charge, control room.

A large number of joy rides, including motorized merry-go-rounds, swing and “Maut ka Kuan”, have been doing brisk business since the few past years. Though the erection of a large number of structures is almost complete, persons supervising these joy rides failed to show any no-objection certificates. Most of them said the documents were with their masters who were not present at the site. The sources said a few persons were seriously injured during Columbus ride in past and one of the performers had met with an accident while driving a car in “Maut ka Kuan”. At least four persons were killed at Muktsar mela a couple of years ago when a cradle of a revolving lark felt from a height due to centrifugal force.

Leaders and workers of various political parties were busy setting up pandals. Five political camps would be held during mela days and party leaders would address conferences on September 15.

A helipad for the Chief Minister has been planned near the conference site for SAD.



Unprecedented security
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
Unprecedented security arrangements have been made at Guga Marri, Chhapar village, for holding the Chhapar Mela. At least eight sub-control rooms and an equal number of public assistance booths have been set up. More than 1,700 police personnel have also been deputed for keeping round-the-clock vigil in and around the area. The venue has also been divided into eight pockets, the SSP, Ludhiana (Rural), said.

Taking notice of numerous incidents of robberies by offering drug-laced prasad, during past years, the cops have decided to play CDs, warning people about the modus operandi of the miscreants. Vehicular traffic would also be regulated in a more efficient manner. 



City new hub of music industry
But, the quality of singers is on decline
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Singers may be sprouting all over the state but they are opening their offices in Ludhiana, the financial capital of the state. Hundreds of singers have opened up their offices in the building near bus stand. On top of it major music industries like T-Series, Priya Audio, Ting Ling, etc have their marketing teams in the city to woo new singers. After trade industry, Ludhiana has now emerged as a hub of music industry.

Statistics say that there are 12,400 villages in the state and nearly 22,000 singers dwell in the state. If a person wants to be a singer, it is not a big issue today. One can be a singing star overnight who can afford to spend money. The Jatt community is more allured towards this profession these days and is even selling their lands to try its hand at singing.

“Music is in the soul of the state. However, today every second person wants to become a singer,” said Ravinder Rangowal, city-based film director. He said today, a person can get the video made in just Rs 30,000 while the upper limit is around Rs 20-25 lakh. Many unprofessional people have come up and have spoilt the scene as they just do the video recording and their job is done. These singers just want to become famous and nowadays one cassette is released everyday. The sad part is that the rich cultural heritage of the state is missing from the songs of such singers, he adds.

Rangowal said lyricist Shamsher Sandhu and late singer Surjit Bindrakhiya were the first ones to start the trend of outdoor shooting. But very soon, this trend will also fade as people now prefer listening music on their cell phones and i-pods, he added.

Popular folk singer Pammi Bai, speaking on the trend of ever-increasing singers in the state and especially in Ludhiana, said one could not stop anybody from becoming a singer. Citing two main reasons for the springing up of singers today, he said the first reason is the widespread unemployment and youth want to gain quick name and fame. The second reason he cited was the vicious net spread by the music industries. They successfully lure the youth who end up spending lakhs of rupees in getting their album made.

Jasleen, a postgraduate student said the new singers can never match up to the excellence of legendary singers like Surinder Kaur, Wadali Brothers and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. “The singers are increasing in quantity but the quality has decreased to a large extent,” she said.



City reels under drastic power cuts 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 11
The relaxation from power cuts being granted to mixed feeders in urban areas of the state for over a month has been further decreased, with the city localities going without power for five to seven hours as against a total daily power cut of around three hours during the past two weeks.

Power cuts in most of the city areas, lying in city I, city II and city III groups, were imposed today from 7.30 to 8.30 am, 9 to 9.30 am and then again from 11.45 am to 4.15 pm. A half-hour power cut was again imposed in some areas in the evening as well.

While city residents had to sweat it out in hot and humid conditions all through the day, their morning routine was also disturbed as the water supply was also affected due to prolonged power cut.

Many of those who did not have adequate water in the overhead storage tanks were unable to take a bath or perform other daily chores.

Enquiries made at the headquarters of Punjab State Electricity Board, Patiala, revealed that prevalence of continuous dry spell in the state had led to an increase in demand for electricity both from agricultural and other consumers and the gap between the availability of power and its demand had gone beyond 250 lakh units. This had led to an increase in the duration of power cuts on all categories of consumers.

Sources in the PSEB said the the daily demand for electricity stood at around 1,600 lakh units against the availability from all sources of around 1,350 lakh units.

“We have been trying to make up for the shortfall of nearly 100 lakh units from weekly offs for the industrial sector but with further increase in the gap between availability and demand, there is no other way but to reimpose the cuts on mixed feeders in urban areas,” the sources said.

It was further learnt that one 250 MW unit of Lehra Mohabbat Thermal Power Plant at Bathinda was not generating optimum power, while the availability of power from hydel projects had also dwindled due to poor inflow of water.

With tripping of two units of 250 MW each at Nathpa-Jhakri hydel power project in Himachal Pradesh due to accumulation of silt and low water level, the share of power from the northern grid for Punjab also stood reduced, thereby cutting down the total availability of power with the state.

The sources pointed out that the power situation in the state would improve only after the thermal projects generated optimum power and availability of power from the central grid improved, which might take some time.



Rs 20 lakh, stolen goods recovered
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
The Ludhiana rural police claimed to have recovered stolen goods and Rs 20 lakh in cash from 14 persons arrested from various places in the area recently.

SSP (rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar claimed that the Dehlon, Sidhwan, Jagraon and Raikot police had arrested 14 suspects belonging to at least three gangs of thieves and robbers during the past few days.

Stolen goods and at least Rs 20,2,913 in cash had been recovered on the basis of information provided by those arrested.

At least 34 bags of wheat, worth Rs 17,000, which were allegedly stolen from Markfed godowns located at Kila Raipur, near here, a few days ago, were recovered from the possession of Baldev Singh of Dehlon, Harjit Singh of Kila Raipur and Shankar Bahadur of Nepal. The three had been booked under Sections 379, 411 and 120 B on Monday.

A Verna car was recovered from Vaisakha Singh of Pharwail, Gursharan Singh, alias Sabha, and Rajwinder Singh, alias Raju, of Dyalpur village (Bathinda).

The accused, were arrested by a police team led by the Jagraon SHO.

Amritpal Singh, alias Amrit, and Bablu of New Sunder Nagar, Lohara Colony, Shimlapuri, Kumar of Jandiali, PS Sahnewal, Pinku of Bhagta, PS Bhopa, Muzaffarnagar district, UP, and Pappu of Sewan Proa, PS Gonda, were arrested by the Sidhwan police when they were conspiring to rob a commercial organisation.

Electrical goods worth Rs 4,87,250, stolen from the workshop of Vijay Malhotra of Jagraon, and sanitary goods worth Rs 6,50,663, stolen from Super Sanitary Store, Jagraon, were recovered following information provided by those arrested.



Experts dwell on rheumatoid arthritis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Bringing together doctors from allopathic and ayurvedic disciplines of medical science, a CME on rheumatoid arthritis was organised here yesterday.

Ayurveda practitioner Dr R. Vatsyayan and Dr Sandeep Puri, medical superintendent, DMCH, were the keynote speakers, who underlined the symptoms, causes and remedies of the rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr Vatsyayan accentuated on healthy diet and healthy lifestyle, which led to right metabolism. “RA (rheumatoid arthritis) in ayurveda is a result of ‘insalubrious food’ that aggravates with sedentary lifestyle and stress.”

A number of herb-mineral combinations were given to such patients in ayurveda but “guggul” therapy was the best, he added.

He pointed out the ill-affects of physiotherapy and massage on the acute stage of RA, terming compliance of the patient to physician’s advice the way to recovery.

Dr Puri said age was no bar for RA as it was prevalent even in young women.

“However, it is commonly found in women between 35 and 60 years of age. It is important for the patient to consult the doctor if he feels pain or inflammation in any of the 28 joints located in hands, elbow, feet, ankle and knees,” the doctor said.

The disease, if ignored, could even cripple the person, the doctor added.

He also listed the range of new drugs that were now available in India and had been successfully used for curing acute RA patients.

Both physicians agreed upon the importance of the role of gold as a curative medicine for the disease.

It acts as a catalyst and enhances the effect of medicines with which it is mixed.



Rodent Menace: Experts prefer eco-friendly control
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
“Rats not only consume our food grain but also contaminate it with their urine, faecal matter and fur besides damaging it in various ways.” This was stated by Dr H.S. Sehgal, head, department of zoology.He added that rats were also responsible for transmitting a variety of diseases to humans  and livestock.

He said every year, rats imparted a loss of food grain that would suffice  to feed around 2,000 million people.

The PAU scientists were developing research-based technologies on rodent control under an ICAR-sponsored All-India Network Project.

Dr Rajinder Kaur has been appointed the principal investigator of  the project.

The experts working on rodent control were of the opinion that the presence of rats could be confirmed by the presence of rat burrows or holes in the ground, signs of faecal droppings, urine, gnawing of objects, tracks on dusty surface and typical  musty odour associated with rodents.

Sanitation, rat proofing and rat killing were three effective measures for controlling rodents, he said. He elaborated that environmental sanitation involving proper storage and handling of food materials and refuge, prevention of its spillage, elimination of rodent shelters and physical removal of undesirable vegetation, including grasses and weeds, in the vicinity of buildings and fences often proved useful.

He suggested that household dustbins (garbage cans) should preferably be emptied at night before going to sleep, as rodents stepped up their activities at night.

Dr Sehgal said trapping was the preferred method of capturing rats for killing but it could not control infestations.

Use of rodenticides (poisons for killing rats) was another option but it should be used only when the rodent infestation was high and when all other options had failed, he added.



Jaycees raise awareness on traffic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The Jaycees of Ludhiana today flagged off a traffic awareness campaign as part of “Jaycee Week” celebrations from September 9 to 15 at Bhai Bala Chowk.

Under this programme, Jaycees will hold camps at important intersections of the city over the next seven days to impart awareness to residents regarding traffic rules and regulations. The event was flagged off by SP (traffic) Rupinder Singh.

Interestingly, Jaycees have decided to inculcate the importance of traffic rules through principles of “Gandhigiri”. Instead of challaning violators during this period, they will be greeted with mementos and literature brought out especially for this purpose.

Rupinder Singh lauded the effort and called upon the residents to obey traffic rules and help the authorities.

Presidents of different chapters of Ludhiana — Madhusudan Julka of JCI, Ludhiana Elite, Vikas Aggarwal of JCI, Ludhiana City, Yogesh Bhanot of JVI, Ludhiana Central, and Amitoj Singh of JCI, Ludhiana Young — also stressed the need for traffic discipline to ease the load on traffic policemen, roads and infrastructure.

As part of the celebrations, a national-level talent search examination was also held at BCM Arya Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, today. The test was conducted all over the country simultaneously wherein thousands of students participated. Winners will get scholarships for further studies.



Telefilm to expose ‘dera culture’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The Virsa Foundation, having undertaken a campaign against the “dera culture” in Punjab, released a telefilm, “Banaras ke Thug” at GGN Khalsa College, Civil Lines, today.

Produced by Giani Kewal Singh, the telefilm is an initiative to educate the rural and urban folk who are playing into the hands of “babas” running deras for their vested interest.

Satwant Singh and Krishan Lamba have jointly directed the telefilm, which depicts the supremacy of detrimental forces against the weaknesses of human psychology.

Speaking to The Tribune, Giani Kewal Singh said all “babas” running deras were nothing but self-styled leaders who blackmailed people in the name of religion, community and sects.

“‘Babas’ in the past and present have been responsible for socio-economic and political turmoil, as it gives them a purpose to run their ‘shops’ under the garb of preaching,” said Giani Kewal Singh.

The movie is based on Saint Kabir’s verse “Gali jina jab maliyan lotte hath na bagh hoye, harke sant na akhen Banaras ke thug” (people attired in robes, wearing beaded necklaces and carrying ‘kamaldals’ in their hands are not saints but thugs from Banaras [Varanasi], out to dupe people).

The telefilm revolves round the making of thugs, who with their cleverly engineered plans form a group that motivates people to come to them to get respite from their day-to-day problems.

Devious nature of these thugs surfaces as the film progresses and unveils their corrupt deeds varying from money minting to heinous crimes like molestation of women and murder.

Excerpts from Gurbani have been incorporated in the film to bring home the truth of “One God”. 



Debut Punjabi play on AIDS
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 11
“Jeewan, Khushi Te Mehak”, a debut Punjabi play, written jointly by a thespian couple Sompal Heera and Kamal Dhillon, is entirely focused on the deadly disease AIDS followed by physical, mental, psychological and mental repercussions it brings in its trail.

The play deals with how a lecturer accidentally catches the disease while donating blood during a blood donation camp organised in his village and passes it unconsciously to his expecting wife. The family and the societal antagonism, which follows after the fatal revelation, are torturous for the ailing hero, who is declared a social outcast in the process. “Mehak” symbolising fragrance is ultimately born to the protagonist “Jeewan”, who represents “life”, and his wife “Khushi”, who is a befitting representative of happiness and gaiety, but definitely not after the incurable, take in.

To their good luck, the newly born some how comes unscathed of it. After a distressing period of separation and having paid through the nose for all these years, the husband and wife unite only to meet in the next world, reincarnated and cleansed.

Sompal and Kamal are on one hand narrating the pathetic story of a person after being exposed to this lethal malady and on the other hand they supply a word of caution to those, who unconsciously fall a prey, and are forced to face the social ire. It also brings home the idea that a person afflicted with this illness needs empathy and compassion, which is most insolently denied to him.

Sompal feels that social recognition to these bruised patients is of utmost importance otherwise they would end up in ignominy. “The issue of negligence on the part of doctors, who are regarded to be the life savers, is in no way small for they sometimes cripple a man beyond redress”, comments Heera. “Also, the faith, which is citadel of any relationship, needs to be thoroughly embedded especially in the case of a husband and a wife so that a ‘dying’ man is rejuvenated to face life anew”, he added. Kamal Dhillon, who is the co-writer and main lead of the play, said that it had won applause from every quarter and found audience closely involved and deeply moved. 



Ladies club members bare social vices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Spirited members of the Lakshmi Ladies Club yesterday presented a satirical show, “Laughter challenge”, challenging their opponents to review their remarks on their “frivolous activities”.

Giving up inhibitions, senior club members performed musical parodies on social vices, highlighting their willingness to “engineer a change”. The mom-in-laws with their “young-at-heart” attitude danced to the tunes of peppy number “Munda tun hain Punjabi sohna ki tere utte dil aa gaya” pointing towards the extramarital affairs ripping apart the institution of marriage. Drawing inspiration from choreographer Saroj Khan was a member who despite her 90 kg-plus weight thumped the stage on “Dil walon ke dil ka karar lootne, main aayi hun UP, Bihar lootne”.

Shedding the belief that women abstained from “self satire”, each member on stage pivoted her performance on humour, in keeping with the theme of the show.

Undeterred by their spectacled eyes and teetering teeth, the women kept up their indomitable attitude as they gracefully supported the flashy costumes.

Taking up the serious role of senior citizens, the homemakers gave up their submissiveness to take a jive at the local leaders coming to them begging for votes during elections. “Aaj ka MLA Ramavtar”, a parody, hinted at political ambiguity. A member disguised her staggering steps with effect of alcohol as she enacted the role of a teenage girl indulging herself in heavy boozing and fagging.



Rotract Club of GCW installed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The installation ceremony of Rotract Club of GCW was held at the college campus today. Sukhwinder Kaur, in charge, Rotract Club, welcomed the rotarians and other distinguished guests. R.K. Aulakh presided over the function as the chief guest. S.S. Sangha highlighted the role of Rotary and Rotract Club.

Deepanshu was installed as president and Harpreet as secretary of Rotract Club of GCW.

A cultural bonanza was organised on the occasion. Various items like solo dance, group dance, declamation and singing competitions were performed on the stage in the auditorium. Gurjit Singh, president, Rotary Ludhiana (North), highlighted the origin and motive of Rotary.



Multi-project activity organised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Lions Club of Lions Club International, region-I and III (district 321-f), in collaboration with SCD Government College organised a multi-project activity here yesterday. Under the "tree plantation project", 300 trees were planted in the presence of K. K. Verma, district governor, as a chief guest, Davinder Singh, SDM (E), and R. R. Kakkar, district forest officer, as guests of honour. Verma in his address made students and members of the club aware of the significance of the tree plantation drive.

Thereafter, an inter-college declamation contest was held, in which 16 teams from different colleges of Ludhiana, participated. The contesting speakers presented their views on social problems of female foeticide, drug addiction, AIDS, Indo-US civil nuclear deal etc. Champion team trophy was won by GNN Doraha College consisting of Mega Sharma and Manvinder. The runner-up team was SCD Government College consisting of Saurabh and Manik. 



Zoology symposium from Nov 6
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The PAU department of zoology is organising a two-day national symposium on "Recent Advances in Zoological Sciences: Application to Agricultural Environment and Human Health" on November 6 and 7, an official press release said here, today.

With technical advancement, animals have been variously used by man in agriculture, pearl culture, vermiculture, fisheries, poultry, piggery and dairy farming, etc. A number of methods to manage animals like insects, birds and rodents of agricultural and public health concerns involving lethal and non-lethal approaches have been developed.

Dr H. S. Sehgal, head of the department, informed that the symposium will focus on the latest researches made in various fields of zoology, including bio-diversity and bi-resource management, with particular reference to climate change, bio-based industry, aquaculture and fisheries, nano-technology/bio-technology and their applications, latest immunodiagnostic and other methods to diagnose animal-parasitic diseases and to control their developmental and 
reproductive biology of the animals of agricultural importance.

The symposium is being organised in collaboration with Indian Society of Life Sciences, he said, adding that nearly 200 scientists, development officers, farmers, entrepreneurs, administrators and planners from all over the country are expected to participate in the symposium, who will deliberate on the advances made in various related sciences, having relevance to the environment and agricultural productivity and overall well being of mankind, said Dr Sehgal.



Teachers threaten to expose Badals if demands not fulfilled
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The SAD government can face the wrath of thousands of elementary schoolteachers of the state if it fails to fulfil the promises it had made to them before the Assembly elections.

Even after over a year-and-a-half since the SAD government came to power in the state, the demands of the teachers are yet to be fulfilled.

The aggrieved teachers claim that they have a video CD of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and the then education minister Tota Singh promising them that if voted to power, the SAD would fulfil all their long-pending demands. Now, the infuriated teachers have decided to expose the SAD government. “We have decided to release the CD all over the state, especially in Bathinda from where Sukhbir Badal is planning to contest for Lok Sabha elections. We will use projectors and slide shows to expose the Badals,” said Amanpreet Singh, vice-president, ETT Union.

The teachers had demanded that they should be regularised and the schools which were placed under the zila parishad should be given back to the education department as earlier and their salaries be paid in time.

“These schools were under the education department till about a year-and-a-half back and the appointments of teachers were made by the additional deputy commissioner (development). We want to go back to the department and that is what we are fighting for,” said Paramjit Singh Mann, president, ETT Union, Ludhiana.

The teachers rued that when the Congress government was in power, they had to face a tough time. Infact, at a number of places, they were even brutally beaten up by the police. “Following assurances by the SAD, we voted for the party, but have been badly let down,” said a teacher on the condition of anonymity.

The SAD government makes tall claims that a lot of welfare work is being carried on in the state and efforts will be made to improve the education system, especially primary education. However, things have only deteriorated and most of the schools are in a very bad state. In rural areas, there are schools which lack even the basic amenities like building and staff.

District education officer (primary) Amarjeet Kaur, when contacted, said trouble making had always been a habit with the teachers who did not want to work and wasted time by indulging in mischief. “What problem do they have when they are drawing salaries on a par with the teachers under the education department? Why do they want to come under the education department?” she questioned.

She further said the elementary schools were never under the education department. “These teachers have been recruited by the zila parishad itself and are lying that they were under the education department. When the Panchayati Raj Institutions Act was imposed, government schools were vacated and given to the zila parishad to be run as elementary schools,” she remarked.

When asked about the government’s stand on the issue, she assured the correspondent that she would get back with all the details but could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



Aanganwari teachers protest during CM’s visit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
To evade police action while protesting during Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s visit to the city today, Aanganwari workers gagged themselves with black stripes to protest against the “insensitive” government and wore placards around their neck to convey their message.

Led by Anganwari leader Subhash Rani, the workers were allowed to meet the CM. They handed him over a memorandum of their demands.

The workers said they resorted to this type of protest to avoid police action. “It is not an uncommon thing for the police to beat up protestors. So we took the peaceful way. I hope the CM’s assurance would not go waste this time,” said Rani.

Four Aanganwari teachers were allowed to meet the CM after they reached the venue. Their placards read, “If you want us to be silent then fulfil our demands. Do not try to gag us with lathis.”

The workers demanded they should be given overtime on Uttarakhand pattern and pension on Maharashtra pattern. They also demanded reservation for ETT teachers and an annual increment for them.

They said they were pressing for their demands for the last many months. They had protested in Chandigarh and were beaten up by the police.

They added they were prepared for any police action today. “We had posted a number of buses in different parts of the city. Had the police ordered a lathi-charge on us, we would have jammed the entire city. We were all prepared. We will not tolerate any cruelty as we are just trying to get our demands fulfilled,” she said.



Elementary school teachers’ salary to be released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
After the Ludhiana Tribune highlighted the plight of the elementary schoolteachers of the state who had not got their salaries for the past two months, the ADC issued a letter to the director, panchayats, for the release of their salaries yesterday.

The matter was discussed at length by the ADC and zila parishad chairman here.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, zila parishad chairman Manpreet Ayali said, “After reading the news report, I took up the issue with the ADC. The reason behind the delay in payment was that earlier the power to release the teachers’ salaries was entrusted with the BDPO, but later it was transferred to the additional deputy commissioner. Now, the ADC has sent a letter in this regard to the department concerned. The payment of salaries will be made within two-three days.”

However, ADC Priyank Bharti could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Ludhiana Tribune had highlighted the issue that due to lack of clear-cut demarcation of powers between the administration and zila parishad, thousands of teachers were denied salaries for the past two months.



PCTE starts MBA international business course
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has given approval to Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) to increase its intake in MBA for MBA international business course. PCTE is the first college in Punjab to introduce MBA IB. This course has an intake of 60 students. PCTE will be the only college in the state to provide this additional course. Admissions will be done directly by the college after the verification by the state government.

Dr K.N.S Kang, director general, PCTE, in a press statement today, said total exports of India in 2007-08 were $155 billion and the country had managed an average cumulative annual growth rate of 23 per cent annually. During the last four years, increased trade activity had created 136 lakh new jobs. Each and every company in India had a flair for exports and majority of companies in India were into exports. Practically, the  domestic demand of the companies was being met, but the companies today required export  professionals, too. To cater this demand PCTE felt the need to start with this course in international business, added  Dr Kang.



From Schools & Colleges
Tiny tots get tips on dental hygiene 
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A free dental check-up camp was today organised by Soni Dental Hospital and Implant Centre, Lalton, at Pumpkins Kindergarten. A team of doctors, including Dr Rohini Soni, and Dr Jasmine, examined the tiny tots during the camp. After examining the students, they also delivered a lecture on the ways to keep bad breath away and instructed the students to brush their teeth at least twice a day. She advised the students to stay away from sweets and chocolates as they lead to tooth decay. The doctors also educate teachers about the dental diseases and ways to cure the same.

Plantation drive

The Rising Youth Association has organised a plantation activity on the premises of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School. All members of the association participated in the plantation drive. The members of the association brought nearly 100 plants of different varieties and planted them in the campus. Professor Dalip Singh, NSS in charge, was also present along with students. The representatives of the Rising Youth Association have pledged to take care of these plants and also nurture the old plants. They motivated the students to spread awareness in society regarding pollution and ways to combat the same.


The department of economics of Khalsa College for Women organised 44th A.D. Shroff elocution competition with the objective to encourage students to think and speak on issues related to climate change. 11 speakers from different classes expressed their views on India's energy crisis, climate crisis and environment. First prize was bagged by Ekjyot while the second prize went to Ritu and third prize was bagged by Shakuntala. 



Creative writing contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The postgraduate department of Hindi of the SDP College for Women organised a creative writing competition in poetry, essay and story for the college students here.

As many as 25 students displayed their art of writing during the event which was inaugurated by Dr Veena Mann yesterday. She exhorted students to exhibit their potential through writing.



NCERT team visits labour schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A team of the National Council Education and Research Training (NCERT) visited labour schools of the district here today to take a stock of the situation in these institutions.

The team, headed by Amarjeet Kaur, director, the labour department, the ministry of labour, sanctioned a grant of Rs 27 lakh for Bal Bhalai School, Model Town Extension, Ambedkar Nagar, Ludhiana. Amarjeet Kaur said salaries of the teachers working in these schools would soon be increased to almost double the present amount of Rs 1,500.



Minor’s mother, lover booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A minor girl today accused her lover of desertion after impregnating her and forcibly getting the baby aborted.The Salem Tabri police booked her lover under rape charges.

The girl has also levelled serious allegations against her mother and a midwife for allegedly conspiring with the boy.

The girl, 15, a resident of Nisatbad, Bhattian,alleged that her lover, Santosh Kumar, sexually exploited and impregnated her. She alleged Santosh refused to accept her after she got pregnant and got the child forcibly aborted in connivance with her mother Sita and midwife Sita Rani.

SHO of the Salem Tabri police station said, "It is quit shocking. At first, nobody believed it. After a thorough probe we found that allegations were true."

She stated that her mother and Santosh Kumar intoxicated her and got the child aborted. The three accused have been remanded in police custody for three days. 



Trials for selection of visually-impaired players
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 11
The Punjab Sports Association for the Blinds under the aegis of India’s Blind Sports Association conducted trials to pick probable for the forthcoming 16th National Athletics Meet for visually impaired at Guru Nanak stadium here today. More than 40 aspirants turned to attend the trials, which were organised under the supervision of chairman of the association, Jeet Ram, estate officer, PUDA, Ludhiana.

The national meet is slated to be held here from November 17 to 20 during which competition in 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m races besides long jump, shot put, discus throw and javelin throw will be organised.

Giving details, president of the association, Gurpreet Singh Machhiwara, said 15 players (boys and girls) in the categories B I, B II and BIII were selected for the special camp to be held at the same venue from September 20 to 30, who would be given the basic training.

The association will hold the trials on September 21 for those players, who could not attend yesterday’s trials and the short listed athletes will join others during the special camp, he said.



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