L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Industry feels the heat
Tickets, bookings cancelled, businessmen asked to put consignments on hold
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai last night has cast its shadow on the city as well with the residents and industrialists making a beeline with the tours and travel agents here for the cancellation of their tickets and bookings.

If claims of travel agents are to be believed, since morning, hoards of people had come to their offices cancelling tickets and hotel bookings.

The industrialists, on the other hand, maintain that the industry in Ludhiana will suffer huge losses due to the multiple terrorist attacks.

Mumbai has become one of the favourite destinations for foreign buyers, but the recent incident has come as a blow for the businessmen in city, who have been asked to hold their consignments for the time being.

Bhupesh Kumar of Pristine Vacations told The Tribune that his telephone was ringing since morning for cancellation of tickets and bookings. The people are so horrified that they had even cancelled their bookings for Kerala and Bangalore too. “They are not even ready for getting their tickets booked in coming days as well,” he added.

“I have cancelled tickets of several business houses here following terrorist attack in Mumbai last night. Some of the British clients here have cancelled their bookings for Mumbai and Kolhapur. Our business, all of a sudden, has come to a standstill. People are not willing to take risks until things turn to normal. The domestic business has been badly affected,” rued Rupjit Saggar of Saggarsons Travels.

The industrialists, on the other hand, are worried as their business would be badly affected following terror attacks. Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club, said that Mumbai had become a favourite destination for foreign buyers. During these 40 days, maximum material was supplied to Mumbai. "We will suffer losses in the absence of buyers. We have been asked to wait for the time being,” said Thapar.

Ramesh Batra, dealing in textiles, said that Colaba and Dadar were the main places where the material was supplied by him. "We have been getting calls from buyers from Mumbai. They are asking us not to present the cheques in banks as everything is closed in Mumbai. The supply has been affected. We will have to wait till everything gets stabilised. But we hope that in coming days, things would be normal,” added Batra. 


Mumbai Terror
LSE remains shut
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
The Ludhiana Stock Exchange today wore a deserted look in the wake of the militant attacks in Mumbai. All stock exchanges in the country were shut due to attacks in Mumbai.

Manjit Singh, broker, said it was the first time that the stock exchange was shut. "I came to know about it in the morning. Though holiday is always welcome but the reason behind it was heartening," he said.

Amanpreet Singh, a trader, said as the stock exchanges in the entire country were shut so there is no point of any loss. "No doubt the workload will increase the following day," he added.



Anxious kin make frenetic calls

Ludhiana, November 27
Busy or not connecting telephone lines have many hearts miss the beat as relatives, acquaintances and friends are trying to contact their loved ones in Mumbai, who are faced with multiple terrorist attacks since yesterday.

“I have not slept since last night,” said Tilak Khanna, a local trader, who was desperately trying to call his mother in Mumbai since last night.

Hundreds of local residents are restlessly awaiting a call from their relatives in Mumbai. Randhir Singh, a stock broker, has his uncle in Mumbai. Nalini, a housewife, has her sister and Manjeet Gurm, a farmer, has his friend in Mumbai. "My son has gone out of home for the first time earlier this year. I have been administered injection for anxiety because I cannot think of a life without him,” Satwant Kaur, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, said.

Anuradha Nehra, a local girl said over phone from Mumbai: "I did not go to my office today due to fear. I have worked in Taj for four years. SSP R.K. Jaiswal said the police has been adequately alerted in the city. All the hotels will be asked to install CCTV cameras in their parking lots and no entry inside hotels, halls and malls will be allowed without checking. — TNS



Dyeing factories’ closure to render 15,000 jobless
Workers, owners stage dharna
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
Not only the global meltdown, but the closure of 35 dyeing units by the Punjab Pollution Control Board for polluting the Budda Nullah would also take away bread and butter from 15,000 workers as well as dyeing unit owners.

Driven by fear of losing jobs, hundreds of workers as well as the owners of units took to streets and staged a dharna against the action outside the local office of the Punjab Pollution Control Board here today.

Stating that the industries were already reeling under recession, the workers and owners said they may lose jobs if the closure orders would be followed.

Staged under the aegis of the Federation of Dyeing Factories Associations, the dharna was lifted only after the intervention of the district BJP leadership, who assured them of support to take their fight to a logical conclusion.

BJP district chief O.P. Bhardwaj said it was the fault of the Punjab Pollution Control Board that so many dyeing units were allowed operations though there was no functional effluent treatment plant set up by the government.

He said every unit could not install unit worth Rs 40 lakh while their worth was not more than Rs 20 lakh. ‘‘There are some officials, who are puppets of the Congress and trying to destabilise the government. We would not allow this to happen,’’ said Bhardwaj.

He added if the government wanted zero discharge from the industry, then the Central Pollution Control Board should issue a direction to the state and a CETP should be provided.

The federation sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister to look into the matter. ‘‘We are already suffering on account of global recession. If the move is not stopped immediately, our kitchen fire would not burn. It will be a double blow to us. In fact, the government should favour us during this period,’’ said V.K. Gupta, chairman of the federation.

The memorandum stated that the High Court had not passed any conclusive order for the closure of any textile dyeing unit whether discharging their treated effluent directly into Budda Nallah or not.

It added that during the course of hearing in September, the P. Ram Committee sought a number of directions, including zero liquid discharge from the High Court, whereas the industry opposed the imposition of zero liquid discharge. In this context, the High Court directed the chief secretary, Punjab, to submit a report to the HC pointing out the steps that were permissible.

The PPCB had even engaged the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, to study the whole issue to suggest the appropriate solutions. The report from NEERI has not been received so far and they are closing down the industry, said the memorandum.



City Concerns

In what may potentially be an eye opener for the government and enforcement agencies, a study at PAU that has found that 60 per cent of coriander powder in the market is adulterated with sand and 53 per cent chilli samples with brick powder.

It has been found that papaya seeds were found as adulterant in 56 per cent of black pepper samples. Also, top on the list of heavily adulterated products are milk, ghee, mustard oil, jaggery, honey samples and turmeric powder.

Where is the mechanism lacking in the enforcement agencies to ensure clean grocery for citizens? Should ISI marks be made compulsory on all grocery items as well or an alternate agency put in place to regulate the quality of food material? What is the role of citizen organisations to ensure adulteration-free products for a common man? While the rich can afford to buy packaged products of good companies, what could be done for grocery items of a common man who constitutes more than 60 per cent of the city population?

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to [email protected] or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

— City Editor



Treating effluents not our job: MC
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
Dismissing the claims of the industrialists, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation commissioner G.S. Ghuman today said the MC had no role to play as far as treating of contaminated water from the industrial houses was concerned.

Talking to The Tribune, the commissioner said it was the duty of industrialists and the owners of the dyeing units to treat the industrial waste before discharging it into the Budhha Nullah.

The industrialists had blamed the MC for not treating contaminated water even as they were paying disposable charges to it for the last 15 years.

The commissioner said the industrialists had been taking the High Court orders and directions of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) lightly. He added that the municipal corporation could not go against the directions of the High Court and would be taking action against the erring industrialists.

He said that notices were issued to the industrialists in September and had been given enough time. “The defaulters will be dealt with strongly as they have flouted laws according to their whims,” he added.

This hue and cry raised by the dyeing units has come after the Punjab Pollution Control Board had asked the Punjab State Electricity Board to stop power supply to 35 units which had been discharging industrial effluent into Buddha Nullah without treating it.

The orders were issued during a meeting at Chandigarh on Tuesday under PPCB’s 33-A Water Act, 1974. These dyeing units include Veer Garment, Adarsh Processors, Sunrise Finishers, Pramod Dyeing Works and others. 



Polluting units to go powerless from today
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 27
The hue and cry being raised by the dyeing units in the city following directions of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and the support being extended to it by the BJP notwithstanding, the PSEB has started the process of disconnecting power connections of 35 units on the Tajpur Road.

Talking to The Tribune, deputy chief engineer (city east circle) H.S. Randhawa said the orders for disconnecting power supply to the dyeing units were received yesterday evening.

“We have forwarded the orders to the Focal Point division for immediate action. The disconnection orders are being prepared today and power supply will be snapped by tomorrow.”

On failure of the PSEB to disconnect power supply of 28 units as per the directions of the PPCB, Randhawa said that the state government had intervened in this matter and an expert committee was set up to take a final decision in this regard. "As and when the committee takes the decision, the PSEB will act accordingly,” he said.



Recession hits small units too
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
The current recession has not even spared the small-scale industry. Considered as the backbone of any economy, the export business of the small-scale units has come down by over 25 per cent in the last few months.

The current recession has put everything on hold. The orders, realisation of payments and salaries everything has come to standstill.

“The city-based small-scale units export material to Middle East and European countries. Exports have come down by 25 per cent. Not only this, payments have also been put on hold. We are receiving no new orders and are told to wait for some more time," said V.P. Chopra, president of Federation of Punjab Small Industry Association.

The wait for orders and payments seem to be endless for these small-scale industrial units. “While the exports have gone down considerably, we are not receiving our payments. It has been six months and I have not received payment for my consignment. In addition to this, we are getting no new orders," rued Harchain Singh, a sewing machine parts’ manufacturer. He added: “Nearly 10 per cent units have been shut down and if the situation continues to be the same, I think I have to switch over to some other business.”

Perturbed over the situation, the industrialists are left with no option other than to layoff its staff. "On an estimate, 15-20 per cent workers have been asked to leave in the small units,” said Chopra.



Veggie prices go up
Garlic becomes cheap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
While price of most of the vegetables are soaring, garlic, the most important ingredient used in cooking has become cheap these days. The price of garlic has come down considerably. Generally it is priced around Rs 60-70 per kg but these days it is available for Rs 20-25 per kg. The reason behind the fall in the price is the wrong equation between demand and supply.

Initially farmers were reluctant to sell their garlic produce as they were waiting for the demand to increase. They were holding their stocks but when demand failed to pick up they were forced to sell the garlic at a low price.

“Generally the demand of garlic picks up during winter but this year the farmers were already in hold of huge stock of garlic. After waiting for sometime they were forced to sell their produce at the low price. As a result the garlic is available at Rs 20 per kg while last year it was sold at Rs 80 per kg," added Bhushan Lal, a vegetable vendor at sabzi mandi at Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

Preeti, a housewife, added that the low price of garlic comes as a relief to the house makers.

When it comes to potatoes, they are available at Rs 15 per kg while the “pahari” variety is priced at Rs 20 per kg. The price of onions is also increasing with every passing day. It is priced at Rs 20-25 per kg. Coming to tomatoes they are available at Rs 25-30 per kg.

The winter vegetables have already arrived in the market and they are priced high at the onset of the season. Carrot is priced at Rs 40; turnip at Rs 20, peas at Rs 30 and cauliflower is priced at Rs 15.

Talking about fruits, apples are priced between Rs 40-50 per kg while bananas are available for Rs 25-30 a dozen. Winter fruit kinnows are available in the market for Rs 25 
per kg.



GGN college celebrates Gurta Gaddi Diwas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
To celebrate 300 years of Gurta Gaddi Diwas of Guru Granth Sahib, a seminar was organised at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College here yesterday. Sayeed Afzal Haider, former law minister of Pakistan was chief guest.

Haider said Guru Granth Sahib was the most pious book in the world. He presented Sukhmani Sahib in five languages to the management of the college.

Swaran Singh, Punjab principal secretary, culture, spoke on the importance of Punjabi culture and heritage. The key-note address was delivered by Dr J. S. Grewal, former vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.



Inter-school quiz contest held
Our Correspondent

Participants at a quiz contest organised by Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Farour, in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Participants at a quiz contest organised by Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Farour, in Ludhiana on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Khamano, November 27
An inter-school quiz competition was organised by Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Farour, in which seven schools, including Guru Amar Dass Public School, Farour, Shivalik Public School, Khamanon, Jesus Saviour School, Khamanon, Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir, Khamanon, St. Joseph School, Khamanon, Punjab International Public School, Chamkaur Sahib, and JNV, Farour, participated.

Students from classes VI-VIII participated and they were asked questions based on current affairs, science, mathematics and sports. Jesus Saviour School stood first and Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir stood second. The purpose of the competition was to inculcate a sense of healthy competition among the students of different schools.

A national book week was also organised on the occasion in which a book exhibition was organised in the library, which was visited by the students of Guru Amar Dass Public School, Jesus Saviour School and Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir. Founder of Guru Amar Dass Public School, Babaji Sarabhjit Singh Bhalla, also visited the book exhibition. During the celebration of the book week various competitions were organised among the school students like self composed poem writing competition, self-written story writing competition and quiz competition for seniors.



280 students get home science degrees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
The college of home science, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), held its convocation at Pal auditorium here today. As many as 280 students were awarded degrees.

Dr Satinder Bajaj, vice-chancellor Sikkim's Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management University, and former law minister of Pakistan Syed Afzal Haider were the guests of honour.

Degrees were conferred on BSc students of the batches from 2005 to 2008. Merit certificates were given to 10 students, who got good overall credit points.

Ruchu Katyal was given gold medal for 2005-06 session, while Ena Batra got the medal for 2006-07 and Monica for 2007-08.

In his address Haider stressed on woman empowerment and condemned the unethical practice of female foeticide. He said it was the duty of home-science students to pass on their rich culture from one generation to another. He said the practice of female foeticide was also being looked into minutely in Pakistan.

Dr Bajaj said the allied areas needed to be closely monitored for the upgradation of home science. She said the subject required radical overhauling.



Placement drive on at RIMT
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 27
The placement drive kicked off with an impressive note in RIMT Institute of Management and Computer Technology. A team of top HR and operation executive from the Gurgaon-based Bank of America visited the campus. The team was welcomed by Dr. S.P. Singh, director of the institute. Dr B.S. Bhatia, director general of the institute, introduced members of the faculty to the team and apprised them of various facilities the institute and pedagogy being followed by the institute.

The students of the institute were introduced to the team by the placement head of the institute Prof. N.K. Maheshwary and pre-placement talks were arranged. After that the bank followed rigorous selection process, which included the written test, group discussion and interview. The visiting executives said apart from communication skills and other important aspects of personality, the main focus of the selection process was on understanding of finance, banking, commerce and global market. Around 15 students were picked up by the bank.

The Bank of America team was highly impressed by the infrastructure, pedagogy and the quality of the students. They said the students would join the bank as process associate T1 level in July and would start getting their salary from the very first day. Apart from impressive package, the students would also get free training in ERP, Six Sigma, etc. They also added that the bank has an impressive expansion plan despite the global financial crisis and they are going for massive manpower hunt to increase the number of employees in India from 6,600 to 10,000 in 2009.



Vet varsity convention
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, will organise an annual convention of the veterinary alumni association on November 29 at Pal Auditorium, PAU. Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, president of the alumni association and dean, College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, revealed that the veterinary alumni association came into existence with an aim to bring the professional colleagues from different walks of life at one platform.

Till now, member of the association has crossed the figures of 1,200, including international members, and are increasing every year. Further, Dr Simrat told that the association was regularly publishing a bi-annual news letter “Vet alumnus” for updating the technical information of the veterinarians and preparing practical manuals in all subjects according to the VCI curriculum for the undergraduate students of College of Veterinary Science.



SPIC MACAY session ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
Experiencing “solace” through the strings of sitar, audience was spellbound throughout the sitar recital of Purbayan Chatterjee during the concluding session of SPIC MACAY at Master Tara Singh Memorial College and Synetic Business School today.

Purbayan Chatterjee, the name reckoned with senia-maihar gharana, gave his first sitar performance at the age of five at the Indian Festival in Basel in 1982. He treated students with raag ahir bhairv and some semi-classical compositions.

Inspired by Chatterjee's extraordinary affinity with the instrument, Raman, a college student, said her outlook towards music had undergone a complete change. “People who say classical music is not glamorous are wrong as there is nothing more enticing and intoxicating than the Indian musical instruments especially sitar," the girl added.

Getting a taste of the sitar maestro's expertise with fusion music, the students were elated to know about his collaborations with Carnatic classical, western jazz, Spanish flamenco, African jazz and blues.

He has also studied flute with his father Prof K. Raghavendra and is also known to be a vocalist par excellence.



Youth vanishes mysteriously
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 27
Mystery shrouds disappearance of Gurdeep Singh, a youth of Kasba Bharal village in Sangrur district, whose motorcycle was found deserted at a link road near Jhaner village, hours after his elopement nine days ago.

While his parents suspect his in-laws, family problem is not ruled out.

Gurdeep Singh had reportedly gone missing after he left his house at around 3.30 pm on June 11. Though he had left his house on the pretext of going to Lohatbaddi village to make payment to a photographer, his motorcycle was found abandoned at a deserted place at Jhaner-Dulman road.

According to information provided by Avtar Singh, grandfather of the missing youth, to the police, Gurdeep Singh was the eldest of three children of his son Rajinder Singh. As Rajinder Singh has been mentally challenged for many years, his wife along with younger son Gurpreet Singh and a daughter had shifted to her parental village. Gurdeep Singh was brought up by his grandparents. They had married him to a girl of Kothala village about five months ago. Gurdeep Singh used to assist his grandfather in managing property worth crores. Other members of the family, including his mother and siblings, were not happy over developments during past times.

Investigations further revealed that the family owned a 3 acre prime land near Hussainpura at Ludhiana-Jalandhar road. Avtar Singh had made an agreement to sell a portion of it for a settled amount of Rs 78 lakh. The police is yet to confirm how much money the family had received from the prospective purchaser.

The police is unable to digest the family's statement that Gurdeep had gone to Lohatbaddi village to make a payment of Rs 7,000 to a photographer there as the photographer belongs to Kasba Bharal itself.

"When the photographer can wait for the payment for five months, what was the necessity of sending Gurdeep Singh to Lohatbaddi instead of making the payment at his home in the evening" argued member of the team investigating the case.

A woman who had mediated the marriage of Gurdeep Singh with his wife Sandeep Kaur is also being questioned for ruling out alleged involvement of in-laws of the missing youth.



Dance troupes enthral audience
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
The rich folk culture, tradition and dance of four countries came alive during the Punjab inter-cultural world folk festival organised by the Punjab Cultural Promotion Council at Government College for Women today. Dance troupes from Belgium, Columbia and Bulgaria gave a scintillating performance and to complement them were the folk dances of Punjab.
Bulgarian dancers give a performance at the Punjab Intercultural world folk festival in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Bulgarian dancers give a performance at the Punjab Intercultural world folk festival in Ludhiana on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

As many as 11 folk artistes from Cloumbian folk group “Centro-Cultural Llanero” presented a sparkling show of dance and music from South American country. Led by Gustavo Martinez Rodriguez, the Columbian folk artistes enthralled audience with spectacular display of folk instruments. The dance steps were in sync with the music and foot tapping of the artistes was roaring in the entire auditorium.

The second performance by Flag Wavers from Belgium put up another wonderful show. Led by director Jose Kieboom, six Belgian performers put old melodies from Belgian village life.

The Lira Group Folk Dance Company and Gotse folk ensemble from Bulgaria also provided a grand display of Bulgarian folk traditions.

Their performance started with a mix and match of Indian and Bulgarian songs. The most sought after dance "Latino" was performed to perfection by these artistes.

The Sofian folk dance from Sofia and the village culture of Bulgaria captivated every heart present at the festival.

Apart from this, these troupes also enjoyed the performances by Ludhiana students. Seemrit performed classical dance while girls from Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Girls performed Sammi dance. In the end came bhangra where every performer be it Columbian, Belgium, Bulgarian or Punjabi shared the stage. 



Parcel pile-up worries rly passengers
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 27
With the hosiery season being at its peak and there being a virtual glut of outward-bound parcels of knitwears at the railway parcel office here for quite some time now, the indiscriminate dumping of packages in the railway compound as well as railway platforms has created chaotic conditions, causing harassment to passengers.

Heaps of parcel, mostly of hosiery goods meant to be dispatched to different parts of the country through passenger and goods trains, cause obstruction in the movement of passengers both in the railway compound and on platforms, and at times the parcels are dumped in such a manner that access to coaches of the train becomes difficult if not impossible.

The worst sufferers are rail passengers of unreserved compartments who have to run from one end of the train to the other in a bid to find seats and there have been instances when the passengers have missed their trains due to huge packages blocking their way on the platforms.

The rules prescribed by the Railways for parcels lay down that the booked packages are to be stored in the parcel godown and ought to be brought out on the respective platforms a few hours before the scheduled departure of the train on which these are to be loaded. In order to ensure compliance, the railway authorities have put down yellow markings on the platforms for such parcels so as the passengers do not face any inconvenience.

However, in practice, the parcels are dumped on platforms by lease holders of railway wagons in complicity with the staff of parcel office well in advance to gain priority in loading and these keep lying at every conceivable place on the platforms for days together since only a limited number of packages can be loaded on mail and passenger trains.

Railway officials, while admitting that indiscriminate dumping of parcels on platforms did cause inconvenience to passengers, added that it was a temporary problem created by spurt in the number of parcels by hosiery manufacturers.

"Necessary steps are being taken to bring order in shifting parcels from railway godown to the platforms and instructions have been issued to staff of the parcel office and lease holders to strictly observe the instructions for storing parcels at the space earmarked for this purpose within yellow marking," they added.



SBI sets 3,000-cr target for small units
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
Due to near-recession conditions in the major industrialised economies, industrial units in India are also facing pressure due to cancellation of export orders, delayed payments, unavailability of foreign credit of any type and uncertainty of forex markets. The small and medium enterprises (SME) sector is one of the most severely affected. Keeping this in view, the State Bank of India held a seminar for SME customers of the bank.

Ajay Swaroop, chief general manager of the Chandigarh circle of the bank, said while other banks had faced constraints of liquidity, the SBI had increased its lending to the SME sector. The exposure of the SBI to the SME sector in the Chandigarh circle had grown by Rs 1,066 crore till October in the current year, which is almost 20 per cent more than the growth during the same period last year.

He said the bank had set for itself a target of Rs 3,000 crore in advances to the SME sector for the whole year. The bank had already taken several steps to mitigate the hardships being faced by the SME sector.

The seminar was attended by more than 50 industrialists and industries association representatives belonging to sectors as diverse as steel, auto-components, real estate, engineering goods, textile and hosiery garment manufacturers and hand tool manufacturers. 



Camps for ration cards from Dec 5
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 27
Despite directions of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his sangat darshan, the department of food and civil supplies will not be able to make new ration cards as they have no stationery like ration booklets and forms.

Food and civil supplies controller (East) H.S. Mokha confessed that the department had no stationery material for undertaking the process. He said the department had already written to the Punjab government to provide them with the stationery.

However, he added that the department would be holding seven one-day camps from December 5 for correcting and changing old torn ration cards. He said the schedule had been prepared according to blocks and those who wanted to get some additions or omissions in their rations cards could come during the camps.

When ADC Priyank Bharti was asked about new rations cards, he said he would take up the issue with deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar, who is on leave, and they would bring the facts to the notice of the Chief Minister. However, he added that they still had a week and would try their best to obtain stationery so that new ration cards would be made.

Similarly, the department of social security too would be filling forms for various pensions during these camps. District social security officer Inderjeet Kaur revealed that those who wanted to apply for pensions should carry two passport size photographs, along with a copy of ration cards or identity proofs like voter's card or PAN card. She added that officials would be present there who would attest the copies.

Interestingly, during the series of sangat darshans, the CM was thronged with complaints of ration cards and pensions in wake of which Parkash Singh Badal had directed deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar to hold camps.

Earlier, these camps were scheduled to start from December 1, but now the dates have been rescheduled and the camp campaign would kick off on December 5.



‘Adopt craftsmanship as hobby’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 27
Appreciating aesthetic sense and dexterity of Indian women, Berit Gundersen, a Norwegian art and craft teacher, has called girls of the area to adopt craftsmanship as their hobby, which at the time of need might enable them earn their livelihood. 

Indian students in general and the girls in particular were more disciplined than their counterparts in other nations, including Norway, asserted the Norwegian educator.



Youth told to follow moral values
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 27
"Universal brotherhood, humility and equality without any discretion of caste or creed -- these are the moral values enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib, the only scripture that contains preachings of saints from various religions. If we sincerely imbibe these teachings, not only in words but deeds also, the sufferings of mankind will be abated." With these remarks by Baba Jaswant Singh, the four-day annual gurmat samagam dedicated to Tercentenary Gurta Gaddi Diwas progressed at Gurudwara Nanaksar, Samrala chowk, here today.

He especially called upon the religious preachers and heads of religious bodies to concentrate on educating the youth, who are getting strayed under the influence of drugs.

As many as 21 Guru Granth Sahibs were instated at Darbar Sahib, and akhand paths were initiated. A congregation of thousands of devotees from India and abroad took part in kirtan and gurbani recital followed by a community kitchen.

According to Kirpal Singh, spokesman of Baba Jaswant Singh Trust, amrit sanchar would be organised on November 28, and after the bhog on the morning of November 29, there would be gurbani kirtan and sant samagam. 



2-yr-old feared drowned in pond
Rescue operations prove futile
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 27
A daylong rescue operation jointly undertaken by the administration and residents of Kup Kalan village in Sangrur district to retrieve Shehbaz, a two-year-old child, who is feared drowned in the village pond, proved futile at the end of the day.

As nobody has seen the child falling in the pond, the police, not ruling out kidnapping has also launched a search for the child in the area.

He disappeared under mysterious circumstances when he was playing near his mother, who was preparing cow-dung cakes near the village pond last evening. Though nobody had seen the child falling in the pond, the villagers assumed that he had slipped in the water.

According to Manmohan Kaushik, executive magistrate, supervising the rescue operation, the mishap was brought into the notice of the civil administration today.

After divers failed to search the child in muddy water and sludge of the pond, the authorities decided to pump out the water with the help of submersible pumps and fire engines.

Jaspal Singh Jassie, SDM, Malerkotla, during his visit to the spot directed the officials to simultaneously launch a search for the child as according to him possibility of the child being taken away could not be ruled out.

Bimal Kumar Sharma, SHO, said the search for the child had been started shortly after receiving the missing report. Besides routine checking of vehicles leaving the area, nakas were also laid at sensitive points. 



3 killed in tractor-truck collision
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 27
Three persons were killed when the tractor (PB-55A-9769) they were travelling in was hit by a speeding truck (PB-10 AH-9795) on the Khanna-Ludhiana road near Kadon village on Tuesday evening.

The deceased have been identified as Harjit Singh, a resident of nearby Barhampur village, and his partners Jaswinder Singh Jassie and Hardeep Singh, both of Kadon village.

While Jaswinder and Hadeep died on the spot, Harjit succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital at Doraha. The Payal police has registered a case against owner and driver of the truck.

The bodies were handed over to the family after post-mortem. 



Man dies in freak accident
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 27
A Bihari labourer, working with a farmer, died and another was injured when a big heap of sand fell on them when they were filling a trolley.

According to information, Lal Chand (20) of Bihar with other labourers were working with Swarn Singh and were filling trolley to take the sand to some place. Suddenly a big portion of sand fell on Lal Chand and the mudguard of the trolley hit him.

He died on the spot. Naib tehsildar Manjeet Singh, DSP, Khamano, Balwant Singh, and other officers reached the spot. The other injured was rushed to civil hospital, Khamano, where he was declared to be out of danger. 



Debt-ridden labourer ends life

Ludhiana, November 27
Unable to repay loan, a man committed suicide by hanging himself with a ceiling road at Kailash Nagar near Basti Jodhewal on Tuesday. 

The deceased has been identified as Vishwanath, a labourer. His wife, Versha, was away to the market. When she returned, she found his body hanging with the ceiling rod. — TNS



Hindi quiz contest held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 27
Government Degree College, Karamsar, organised a Hindi quiz contest to pay tribute to the national language, Hindi, and to encourage students towards Hindi Sahitya Sabha.

Principal Balbir Kaur Bajaj spoke on the importance of Hindi and Nirmal Singh, president, the Hindi Sahitya Sabha, motivated the students to speak Hindi.

Teams of BA I and III were declared winners and runners-up, respectively. The students showing outstanding performance were presented individual prizes on the occasion.



Truck-trolley taken away
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 27
A truck-trolley was hijacked this morning. Rohni Sharma of Kathua in Jammu, the driver of the truck trolley (PB 04 L 9649), stated that he was coming from Surat in Gujarat with plastic raw material worth Rs 10 lakh of Reliance Industries, Kadian (Ludhiana).

When they reached near Anurag Filling Station near Mullanpur Dakha around 1.30 am, three youths in the age group of 20-25 years in a Scorpio Jeep overtook and stopped them. Terming them to be DTO, they asked for truck documents. Later on, two of them took control of the truck. After going a little far, they let him off on the outskirts of Mullanpur Dakha and took the truck.

SHO Mullanpur Gurpreet Singh said they had got definite lead and hope to recover the truck in a short time. He said the kidnapping seems to be an act of some financers. A case has been registered against the hijackers of the truck trolley. 



Raj Mata school win opening match
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 27
Hosts Nankana Sahib Public School lost to Raj Mata Krishna Kumari School, Jodhpur, 5-14 in the first match of the girls’ under-19 section at the CBSE National Handball Tournament, which commenced on Nankana Sahib Public School grounds, Gill road, here today.

In other matches of the girl's section, Dehradun Public School, Gobind Puram, got the better of Maheshwari Girls Public School, Jaipur, 8-3; Shah Satnamji Girls School, Sirsa, blanked N. K. Bagarodia Public School, Delhi, 3-0; Maharaja Agarsen School, Pritampura, Delhi, drubbed Guru Ramdass Public School, Ferozepur, 15-7; and Police DAV Public School, PAP Campus, Jalandhar, scored an easy 18-6 win against Dehradun Public School, Gobind Puram.

In girl's under-14 category, Maharaja Agarsen School, Delhi, proved too good for Nankana Sahib Public School, Ludhiana, 14-7.

In the boys' under-19 section, Police DAV Public School, PAP Campus, Jalandhar, outnumbered Navy Children Public School, Vishakapatnam, 15-7; Yuva Shakti Model School, Delhi, outplayed Little Rock Indian School, Karnataka, 24-17; and Heera Public School, Delhi, defeated MDN Public School, Kaithal, 26-13. In boys' under-14 category, Jaypee Vidya Mandir, Bullandshahar, thrashed BEL Vidyalaya Mes Ring road, Bangalore, 24-6.

Earlier, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, declared the tournament open. Teams from 37 schools, affiliated to CBSE, from the five zones of India are taking part in the tournament.



Gwalior eves open victory account
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 27
MP Academy, Gwalior, and Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, eves fought a pitched battle, and eventually the former managed to squeeze past by a solitary goal in the opening match of the 12th All-India Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal Memorial Hockey Tournament that began at the Prithipal Singh Memorial Astro Turf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University campus here today.

The inaugural encounter started on a brisk pace with both the teams trying to stamp their superiority over each other and had even chances, however, their forwards fumbled at the crucial junctures.

The RCF eves initiated the moves and managed to storm into the rival's territory time and again. Their forward, Anita, stood tall among others, weaving fine moves, which, however, failed to yield the desired result. They forced as many as six penalty corners, but failed to translate any of these chances into a goal.

MP Academy players too impressed with the fine stick work and threatened the opponent's citadel on a number of occasions. They too secured six penalty corners, out of which they converted one into a goal through Raina in the 55th minute, which proved fatal for the Kapurthala team.

Earlier, Olympian and general secretary, Punjab Hockey Association, Surinder Singh Sodhi inaugurated the tournament. He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the organising committee of the tournament, in which top eight outfits of the country are taking part.

Besides MP Academy of Gwalior and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, other teams include defending champions Northern Railway, Delhi, and last year's runners-up Western Railway, Mumbai. Central Railway, Mumbai, South-Eastern Railway, Kolkata, North-Eastern Railway, Gorakhpur, Chandigarh XI, Dhanoa XI, Punjab, Amritsar XI and Chandigarh Academy are also taking part. Ramandeep Singh Grewal, former captain of the Indian hockey team, and deputy director, sports, PAU, along with Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, and other prominent personalities of the city was present at the inaugural ceremony.

This year's edition of the tournament is dedicated to the memory of Darshan Singh, who was vice-president of the organising committee of the meet and was one of the pioneers of the Kila Raipur Sports Festival.



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