L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PSEB rendered powerless
Attempts to disconnect supply to 35 defaulting dyeing units for the past three days fail
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 1
The owners of 35 dyeing units on the Tajpur road, who are facing closure notices from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), have proved too smart for the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities, who could not disconnect power supply to these units despite repeated attempts during the past three days.

In the face of stiff opposition from the owners of the units and support extended to them allegedly by leaders of the BJP, PSEB officials, along with a sizeable police force, had to return without executing the disconnection orders again today.

An attempt to disconnect power to these units yesterday had also met with a similar fate when nine teams of PSEB officials were not allowed to enter the units.

Talking to The Tribune, the deputy chief engineer, city east circle, H.S. Randhawa, said the owners of the units had sought some more time during which they could take up the matter with the state government. “Apprehending that any forcible step to cut off the supply might disturb the law and order situation, we have given them time until Friday,” he said.

Meanwhile, a piquant situation has arisen as a result of a vertical split between owners of the affected units claiming affinity to the Congress and the BJP. While those close to the Congress were in favour of launching a mass agitation after closing down their units on their own and handing over the keys to the authorities against the alleged highhandedness of the PPCB, those from the BJP camp wanted a soft approach by seeking the intervention of the state government in averting the closure of the units.

Even among city-based senior BJP leaders, a game of oneupmanship is on for taking up the matter with the Chief Minister. Both the state chief of the party, Rajinder Bhandari, and the deputy speaker of the Punjab assembly, Sat Pal Gosain, are reported to be in the race for taking credit for an amicable solution to the imbroglio.


City tops state in HIV/AIDS cases
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Ludhiana district has the maximum number of HIV/AIDS patients in Punjab. This shocking revelation was made by a team of experts aboard the “red ribbon express” (special train for AIDS awareness).

But the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, is doing little to create AIDS awareness in rural or urban areas of the district which has the maximum concentration of truck drivers and migrants. They are the worst affected also.

Jagjit Singh Mann, president of the PNPP, an NGO working for HIV/AIDS awareness, alleged that the health department and the Punjab State Aids Control Society was providing funds in the “wrong hands”, adding that each NGO associated with the society was getting Rs 9-18 lakh as annual fund for awareness programmes, but they did not even have a consolidated survey.

Satish Chandra, project director, Punjab, for National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), when contacted, failed to give a definite answer regarding the ongoing programmes. Instead, he recounted the details in today’s advertisement in English dailies. He said 57 integrated counselling and testing centres were functional at district-level hospitals, followed by 24 targeted intervention projects functional through NGOs.

However, this was contrary to the suggestions of the WHO that rejected target-oriented approach of the health authorities. A senior doctor, maintaining anonymity, said: “Advertisements in newspapers are useless as illiterate people can’t read and community work is missing in the health department which is short of medical officers and is full of specialists.”

Pointing towards anomalies in the transfusion of blood, which account for 30 per cent AIDS cases, S.P. Bansal, who has donated blood 130 times, stated that blood banks were not following norms for the testing and administration of blood.

Bansal claimed: “Blood banks have a casual attitude towards regular donors as their blood is not checked for HIV/AIDS each time they donate blood, which is a blatant violation of rules.”


The health department and the Punjab State Aids Control Society are providing funds in the “wrong hands”. Each NGO associated with the society is getting Rs 9-18 lakh as annual fund for awareness programmes, but some NGOs don’t even have a consolidated survey

NGO chief

Blood banks have a casual attitude towards regular donors. Their blood is not screened for HIV/AIDS each time they donate blood, which is a blatant violation of rules

— Blood donor



Combating Global Warming
Homemakers can also make difference
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

  • Avoid excessive use of detergent and washing powder
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of household pesticides
  • Avoid the use of plastics
  • Do not waste water, rather reuse, recycle and reduce (conserve) it as the water level was already depleting in the state

Ludhiana, December 1
Global warming is affecting climate throughout the world. The worst affected are the agricultural practises that are leading farmers to even suicides, besides reducing food production. It may sound strange, but women can do a lot in combating global warming.

Pushpinder Sandhu, associate professor in the department of family resource management of the PAU, in association with Harpinder Kaur and Muninder Sidhu have, in their study, said women could help a lot at the domestic level in this direction.

Firstly, women must start using renewable energy resources instead of using fossil fuels as the renewable and inexhaustible energy source would not release smoke, soot or harmful gases in the environment, including carbon dioxide, thereby reducing the green house effect. By always switching off and removing the plug of TV, computer, stereo, mixers, etc., one can save the release of thousands of kilograms of carbon dioxide a year.

Pushpinder Sandhu further added that a lot of work had to be done by department researchers to find how a homemaker could chip in to save environment.

Women could save energy four times more than an ordinary bulb if CFLs were used in homes.

“Women must use energy-efficient transport means like walking whenever and wherever possible. If you walk 5 km, you will be saving 1.5 kg of carbon dioxide from being added to the environment,” he said.

Women who were directly or indirectly engaged in farming should know that modern agricultural techniques were not environment friendly as they polluted soil and water resources of the area and posed problems to environment by releasing hazardous gases into the atmosphere. Practice of organic farming was an important step towards environment conservation.

Most importantly, the garbage/waste of homes must be disposed of in a proper manner.

Things that mix in soil like fruits and vegetable peels, leaves, grass, wood, paper and clothes were biodegradable while non-biodegradable wastes like polythene bags, plastic goods, metal and synthetic clothes did not mix with soil.

These should be disposed of separately by selling these or handing these over to the MC concerned.



Chaura Bazar
Encroachments just won’t go away
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Traffic in Chaura Bazar, one of the busiest markets of the city, has gone bad to worse, thanks to shopkeepers who are “not willing” to abide by laws and continue to exhibit their products on roads.

A shopkeeper said: “If we want to attract customers, we have to put products on display so that they get an idea what is being sold inside the shop.” Starting the blame game, he said rehriwalas and autorickshaws had created such a situation.

The MC tehbazari zone-A in charge, Daljeet Singh, said: “We try to remove the encroachments, but as soon as we start from our office, some shopkeeper sounds the others about our arrival and all of them direct their employees to collect the material and put it back into the shops.” In a few moments, the road appears clean and “we can’t do a thing.”

Some officials, on the condition of anonymity, said the absence of a strict law was another reason why the municipal corporation failed.

“When we confiscate their products, the shopowners take these away after paying a fine and the situation is back to square one,” they said.

Daljeet Singh said there was need for a provision that the products could not be returned. “The mindset of people to see their own convenience and forget about others is the root of the problem,” he said.

Also, the number of hand carts had increased, adding to the congestion.



Commission agents rule the roost at DTO office
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The mini-secretariat, which is one of the most important public offices, has become a hunting ground for commission agents who are eager to offer their services for a “little amount”.

A preferred destination for these commission agents is the district transport office which is thronged by people for driving licenses and other documents.

The agents generally have a fixed amount for every work which varies between Rs 100 and Rs 500, but change their rates by seeing the economic status and age of the “client”.

Talking to The Tribune, 17-year-old Rishi said he had come to apply for a learner’s license.

“I don’t wish to go through the whole process, so I have given a copy of my matriculation certificate along with Rs 1,500 to an agent who would get all things done,” he said.

Businessman Rahul Puri, who had gone there to get his license renewed, said: “The agent asked me to pay Rs 300 extra over the renewal fee and I agreed as it is a bother to go through the long process and wait in long queues.”

He added that his busy schedule did not allow him to spend so much time.

Besides, the agents deliver the documents at home if you pay them a bit extra.

The agents are in direct contact with junior and some senior officials too.

A commission agent said on the condition of anonymity that women and youngsters generally preferred to hire their services as they did not want to run around.

He said his daily earnings usually varied between Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000, and depended on the rush of people to the office of the district transport officer.



Man shot dead by friends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
A 40-year-old man was shot dead by his friends with his revolver when they were having drinks in the open on the Dugri main road here late last evening.

The victim, identified as Mandeep Singh, had his office in Toor Complex. He and his friends started having liquor near his car.

After some time, there was a heated exchange of words and his friends shot him after snatching his revolver. Mandeep Singh died on the spot. One of the accused has been nabbed by the police.



CCTV cameras put at 2 locations
53 more to follow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The police is taking stringent steps to tighten security in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack. The police today installed close-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at Durga Mata Mandir and Caliber Plaza near Bhadaur House here today.

The cameras would be directly operated from a control room in the Police Lines.

The SP, traffic, Rupinder Singh, said: “We have stated the installation programme from today. CCTV cameras will be installed at around 55 important locations in the city.”

The CCTVs would be installed at malls, busy markets and religious places. 



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 ludhianacon [email protected] or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

City Editor



150 take mock CBSE test
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Over 150 students from Ludhiana and its satellite towns like Khanna, Phillaur and Jagraon took mock CBSE mathematics examination for Class X here on Sunday.

This mock exercise was conducted by city’s STEPS, the schools division of Top Careers & You (TCY) on its premises at Sarabha Nagar centre.

Keeping in view an overwhelming response to this initiative, TCY has decided to conduct ten such mock exercises before the final board examination in February next.

The response was huge to this mock test that some of the students could not had on-the-spot registrations and had to go back due to the limited seats availability.

Five top schools of the city like Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Tagore Public School, BCM Arya Model School, Bhartiya Vidya Mandir School and Kundan Vidya Mandir School took part in this annual exercise.

One of the salient features of this event was a provision for a threadbare online analysis of students’ performance by TCYonline.com. This would be followed by classroom analysis on December 7. “The students would be easily able to analyse their strengths and weaknesses following this detailed analysis by the experts. The idea is to help the students work on their grey areas,” according to Viji Raj, centre head.



From Schools
Spreading awareness on World AIDS Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November
Various organisations of doctors, schools and colleges observed "World AIDS Day".

All HIV/AIDS control plans should involve the vulnerable segments of society predominantly youth, both literate and under privileged, stated NIMA (National integrated Medical Association).

The association termed use of drugs and indulgence in unprotected sex as the problem of society at large.

Rural youth in rich states like Punjab are indulging in activities like drugs, the doctors observed.

Rave parties have become a status symbol for rich, educated young generation followed by their intimate contact with virus-infected partners stated doctors. Availability of drugs in wake of failure of law enforcing agencies to check out the role of drug-mafia (Politico-police-trafficker nexus) is taking its toll on society, added doctors. They also suggested mandatory but free HIV test at the time of admission in Plus2 or at degree level or while joining any job.


NSS unit of GNIMT and Youth Red Cross unit of the institute organised a seminar on World AIDS Day today. Dr Y.S. Walia, a social worker, created awareness among the graduate and postgraduate students of the institute. He accentuated on preventive measures, including safe sex, safe blood transfusion through sterilising syringes and dental equipment.

SDP College

Similarly, a quiz contest was organised at SDP College, wherein, Dr Prashant Sharma from DMCH made a computer-aided presentation on HIV/AIDS. A poster making competition was also organised.

BCM Arya Model School

BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School organised a poster making competition in order to create awareness among the students on HIV/AIDS.



Seminar on presentation skills at Aurobindo College
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The ICFAI Flexi Education organised a seminar on presentation skills for the students of Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management and INIFD here today.

The seminar was conducted by Ram Mohan Kota, manager-training, at ICFAI, Hyderabad.

The theme of the seminar was on conducting a good presentation and different factors that contribute towards delivering a good presentation.

Seminar was focused on various constituents of a presentation like effective starting and finishing of presentation, voice modulation and dressing. Sharpening of various skills and confidence building measures were also discussed. Students were also made aware about carrying out effective interaction with the audience, including conducting discussion and handling questions.

Dr Prem Kumar, principal of the college said the college carried on such activities regularly to develop soft skills of students and helped growing the leadership proficiency among the students.



Rural Development Scheme
4 constituencies get Rs 2.9 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The district development and panchayat office has received an amount of Rs 2 crore 90 lakh under the Rural Development Fund Scheme for distribution to four rural constituencies for undertaking development projects in their villages.

According to information, Raikot has received Rs 87.50 lakh, while Kila Raipur and Ludhiana rural have received Rs 1 crore and Rs 20.50 lakh, respectively. Jagraon has received Rs 84 lakh for initiating development in villages of the constituency. Confirming this, district development and panchayat officer J.P. Singh revealed that a representative from his office had collected the cheques from the main office on Friday.

He added that there were nine rural constituencies in the district and proposals of five constituencies were still under process. He said the amount had been received under the Rural Development Fund scheme of the Punjab government where Rs 4 crore would be issued to each rural legislative constituency of the state.

The amount is being distributed in two phases of Rs 2 crore each and the 50 per cent amount of the first phase has been received on the basis of population in the constituency. He said the amount would be given to the panchayats of various villages in the constituency who could use it for the development projects in their areas.



Luxury Tax
Hotel industry up in arms against govt
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The introduction of luxury tax on hotels in the state has come as a shock to the industry. The announcement comes close on the heels of the recent Mumbai terror strike that had already proved to be a nightmare for the hoteliers all over the country, as the hotel industry witnessed a sudden slump in business following the terror incident.

The luxury tax has been imposed with effect from November 28 and the industry has been given time till December 25 to file for registration in this regard.

Manjit Singh, president, Hotels and Restaurants Association, Ludhiana, asked, “How will we survive if the government continues to introduce new taxes every now and then?”

He added that in the wake of the imposition of the latest tax, the industry will now have to pay 35 per cent taxes in all. “Sustenance in such circumstances is becoming impossible for us. We will protest against the state government for meting out a step-motherly treatment to the hotel industry by introducing new tax in times of global economic crisis when the business is already suffering. Plus, the terror strikes in Mumbai have scared the people so much that suddenly, the occupancy of hotel all over India has dipped incredibly. We will have to shut our business if things go like this.”

Amarveer Singh, general secretary, Hotels and Restaurants Association, Ludhiana, said, “As it is, hoteliers in Punjab are suffering on account of high VAT rates. Rest of the states are paying 4 per cent tax while we here shell out 12.5 per cent VAT. In addition to this, if we are made to pay 8 per cent luxury tax for rooms the rent of which is above Rs 200 and for banquet halls the rent of which is more than Rs 5,000, how will the industry survive?”

With the imposition of the new tax, booking a room in hotel and organising parties in banquet halls in Punjab will become dear and will be an added burden on the pockets of consumers.

Rashmi Sethi, a lecturer in a local college, said, “The imposition of luxury tax on hotels will mean the customers will have to shell out more for staying in hotels which means the common middle-class man would not be able to afford to go on vacations.”

Amarveer Singh said an emergency meeting of the hoteliers of Punjab state has been convened on December 4 in Ludhiana to find a solution to the issue. “If the state government does not exempt us from the latest tax, we will protest. We will even go to the extent of closing down the entire industry for a week if our pleas are not heard,” he said.

Members of the Hotels and Restaurants Association of Ludhiana will meet SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh tomorrow with a request letter to revert the decision of imposition of luxury tax on hotels.



MC razes two buildings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The municipal corporation demolished two under construction buildings -- one on the Malhar Road and the other on the back of Ansal Plaza -- here today.

According to information, the demolition drive was carried out around 10.30 am.

The officials said the owner of the shop behind Ansal Plaza had not got his construction plan approved by the municipal corporation while the building on the Malhar Road had encroached around 13 feet.

He said the notices to these buildings were issued earlier too, but the owners still had been carrying out with their work.



MC sanitation staff rally tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
With the municipal corporation failing to regularise employees of the sanitation committees till November 28 despite directions by the local bodies department, various workers’ unions have decided to hold a gate rally at Zone-A office on December 3.

At a union chiefs’ meeting, which include representatives of the municipal safai karamchari dal, municipal truck labour union, municipal driver union and municipal sanitary supervisor union, have decided to hold a rally give. 



Thandal Case
Gurjar, Kahlon seen together
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar might not have attended the SC welfare committee meeting that consequently spelt trouble for him, he specifically went to extend a welcome to Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, Nirmal Singh Kahlon, today.

Kahlon visited Punjab Agricultural University for attending a sports function. He is probing into allegations against Gurjar, who is accused of deliberately not caring to attend a meeting of specially constituted SC welfare committee by Hoshiarpur MLA Sohan Singh Thandal.

Gurjar met him at the local circuit house, where the meeting of SC committee was also held a month ago. He just escorted Kahlon till his car.

The deputy commissioner then remained on the campus with Kahlon for a few minutes before leaving for a meeting in Chandigarh. Today, he made it a point to be e present at Kahlon's function before leaving for Chandigarh.

Gurjar has to appear before Kahlon on December 4 in connection with the inquiry into the Thandal case.

Talking to The Tribune, Kahlon said the deputy commissioner met him at the circuit house and remained present with him on campus also. ‘‘But we did not exchange anything about his appearance. We did not talk about the matter at all.’’

He said the deputy commissioner remained present in accordance with the protocol. ‘‘There was nothing more than that. When I have already called him two days later, why should we discuss the matter today?’’ he asked.

Sources in the administration said no closed-door meeting was held between the duo. ‘‘It’s only that the two were seen with each other today. ’’

The deputy commissioner had invited the ire of MLA Thandal when he reached city to take a stock of the welfare programmes being run by the administration for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes. Despite him sending a message to the deputy commissioner for the committee's meeting at the circuit house, he did not go there. He complained to Vidhan Sabha speaker who summoned the deputy commissioner thrice in the past but could not reach any conclusion.



Defaulting Cops: Power board to act tough
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 1
The local police seems to be in trouble as they might have to face PSEB’s wrath for defaulting on paying heavy electricity bills. The police officials enjoy benefits like heaters, coolers and air conditioners etc. But, in reality thing are different.

Investigation by The Tribune revealed that the police lines (rest houses as per police records) owed Rs 7.5 lakh; the Jagraon city police station (picket as per police records) had no power connection. They borrow electricity from Jagraon Sadar police station. It is located near it and owes Rs 1.72 lakh to the PSEB. Besides this, a traffic police pickets at the Main Chowk, Jagraon, Kaunke Kalan, and Galib had no electric connections. Board authorities said the police picket at Kaunke Kalan had applied for electricity connection recently. However, the CIA staff police station and bus stand police picket were sharing power. Though, the power was disconnected long time ago due to the non-payment of the bills, it borrowed power from the SSP’s residence. A new electricity metre was installed a few months ago. But, the bill has not been paid so far. However, DSP Bhupinder Singh said,” It is not my job. It’s for the department to pay the bills and I have forwarded the same to authorities concerned.”

Civil hospital,Jagraon,is also one of the defaulters for the non-payment of electricity bills worth Rs 4 lakh. Local PSEB authorities have sought permission from higher authorities in Patiala for disconnecting the electricity connections and taking strict action against the defaulters. Besides this, they have also made up their mind for taking strict action against police and government officers for kundi connections.

The SSP (Ludhiana rural) has taken time up to December 15 from PSEB for paying the dues and regularising the connections. 



Short coats, jackets now passé
Manav Ghuman /Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
With the cold weather upon us, shopping for fashionable clothing while being practical is a must. It's time to bring the greys and blacks back into your wardrobe. While some fashions from previous season are still acceptable, but still the closet needs update.

According to Vipasha Chauhan, fashion stylist at Globus, gone are the days of short coats and jackets as long coats are here to stay. Long coats with skirts and trousers will be the choice of the young girls this season. Adding another stylist from a local store added that stockings with short skirts would be a killing combination. "It is a myth that short skirts are meant for summers only. This winter team your short skirt with stockings and reinvent the look that will make you look classy," she added.

The hip-hop party collection from Madame is for those who want to break away from the regular ethnic wear. The range is a blend of metallic threads, surface ornamentation with loads of silvery sequence, crystals and an addition of studded belts, anklets, and pendants to add the zing.

Delighted to introduce the new collection, Saroj Chand, director design and development, Madame says, "The collection aims at dressing every woman with unique exclusive style, vibrancy and grace. A bewitched spell cast by the collection will tempt you to try it. In our conscious endeavour not to cause any ecological harm, we are engaged in manufacturing the finer knits from organic cotton".

For Kanicka, a first year student, ponchos, boots and scarves make winters very special and they never go out of style. "My style statement for this winter will be to team a knee length dress with big boots. I will surely look perfect," she added.

From cottons, corduroys, satins and canvas to vibrant shades of fuchsia, turquoise, turf green and flamingo orange, a diverse is offered by Miss Players in fabrics and colours.

The new winter collection allows the consumer to mix and match clothes, giving her the liberty to craft an ensemble for work, leisure and party occasions in varied ways. While John Players offers choice from cool casual wear, chic party wear to stylish formal wear, the range offers a wide selection of well-fitted shirts, trendy trousers, cool t-shirts, stylish denims, and fashionable winter-wear.

As with past, the classic military style is making another appearance. Khaki colours will look crisp and clean, especially when embellished with buttons or other hardware. "The trench coat is a classic look, when used with casual clothing. Youngsters are going in for red and gold accents, since it can dress up the military look and also make it more glamorous," added Vipasha.

Spaces Home & Beyond, dealing in home fashion, has unveiled its Autumn Winter Collection for 2008. Its three key collections - Calico, Calipha's House and Taj Empress - reflects a fresh take on quintessentially Indian and Mughal style in its broadest incarnation, blending both its traditional respect for formal home décor and its readiness to subvert that very respect. Made from shantung silk, Calipha's House brings to life the essence of eclectic Medinas. The Taj Empress collection is a statement in classic elegance.



Dogs day out!
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Every movement and gesture of the dogs was observed keenly. Like models, dogs sashay on the sprawling grounds of Punjab Agricultural University today. The occasion was the annual dog show held by Ludhiana Kennel Club. Every category of the dog be it big, small, working or toy was displayed by their proud masters.

The eyes of the dogs should be such that one should instantly fall in love, believes Maurice Givan from Scotland, one of the judges during the dog show. Givan has especially flown in from Scotland to give the judgement for the Labrador breed. The first thing he looks in a dog while judging is his head then the expressions and eyes.

Givan has fallen in love with dogs in India. The quality of dogs here is very good. "This is my first visit to the country but would love to come again and again," he adds. Labradors were standing in queue with their masters and the vigilant eyes of Givan were minutely observing their every motion and action.

Avninder Grewal's eight dogs participated in the show. An NRI Grewal has passion for dogs. Dog keeping is more than a hobby and one needs to be really passionate about them. He buys dogs from different bloodlines from Canada, USA and Serbia.

While Grewal lives in Canada his twenty dogs are back in India. He has kennel manager to take care of his dogs. In Canada he has three dogs living with his family. "Every year I come to India during September as the dog show is held in November every year," he added.

Today nearly 400 dogs participated in the dog show and the participants came from Dehradun, Jammu, Delhi and entire Punjab. The toy varieties with fancy rubber bands and clips on their heads attracted everybody's attention. There were four rings and dogs of various categories like working, champions, pups and toy dogs were included.

The judges for the show were R. Pandey from Allahabad, Rajinder Sahi from Mumbai, M.C. Kamma from Mumbai and Maurice Givan from Scotland.



Congress submits memo, stages protest
Our Correspondent

Amloh,December 1
The fulfilment of pre-poll promises by the SAD-BJP Government is a distant dream, rather it has stopped the implementation of schemes passed by the Congress government. This was stated by local Congress MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot while addressing a rally in front of SDM Office today.

In SDM’s absence, the memorandum was handed over to her PA Bhushan Kumar. It was stated in the memorandum that the previous government had approved Rs 17 crore for laying sewerage in the town, out of which the first instalment of Rs 5 crore was approved with the municipal council depositing its share of Rs 32 lakh with the sewerage board.But, the work was stopped in between after spending Rs 32 lakh only.

The memorandum also urged the government to spend Rs 1.5 crore sanctioned grant for the completion of sewage system only. Municipal chief Lal Chand Garg, PPCC secretary Swatantar Karkara, arthiya association chief, and councillor Jiwan Puri, vice-president Sukhbir Singh, media in charge Pargat Singh Anian, sarpanch Baljit Singh and councillor Budh Raj Bains also addressed the rally. 



Penny wise, pound foolish

The other day, I went to the mini secretariat here to meet an official. As we scribes normally do, I waved the parking attendant away, indicating that parking fee is not levied on vehicles belonging to "Press". The parking attendant nodded in agreement and went away. As I returned and drove my car out of the parking lot, the attendant came rushing towards me and asked me to roll down the window. I again told him that the vehicle was exempted from the parking fee. Most humbly, he said, "Sir, I know you don't have to pay the parking fee. Itne teohar langh gaye, tussin chah paani kuch nahin ditta (So many festivals have gone by and you have not given anything to us). I took out a Rs 10 note which he politely refused to accept saying that would not even cover the cost of a cup of tea for each of them. I had no choice but to add to the "chai paani". Ultimately I ended up paying Rs 50 for what would have cost me just Rs 10 had I parked my car in normal course and obtained a parking slip.

City goes dry

As soon as the 'marriage season' starts there is great demand for the premium brand of whisky. With a huge number of neo riches in the city, scotch flows like water. And if water can become scarce, so can scotch and whisky. Black Label and Red Label were believed to be out of stock during the last weekend. The consumption on the weekend of the scotch is many times more than the other days. And coupled with the demand from the marriages, the two brands became instantly short. People sent their drivers and servants to different places to find out if they can procure a few bottles of scotch here and there. It is astonishing to know that out of the total sale in Punjab, 55 per cent is procured by Ludhiana itself,says Ramesh Mago, an industrialist.

Unique marriage

The Bharti group has its roots in Ludhiana. So, when Rakesh Bharti Mittal married off his son in Delhi he did not forget to invite an umpteen number of friends, relatives and neighbours to the "mega event" as the marriage happened to be. There was a unique example set by the Bhartis. They had spelt out it on the invitation cards that no gifts in cash or kind would be accepted. The only exception were the flowers. People came with beautiful flowers and bouquets which were specially arranged at the marriage sets. Then there was the group photograph of the family with the guests who included all the who's who of the union capital, including, what the BJP says, the Prime Minister in waiting L.K. Advani along with his daughter Pratibha, designers Ravi Bajaj, J.J. Valya, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Gulab Navi Azaad, Parneet Kaur, M.K.K Pataudi


From Mumbai to all over the country people are grief stricken due to the barbaric attitude of the militants. We've lost many valuable innocent civilians, including police officials and NSG commandos. Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Gajendra S.Bhist, ATS chief Hemant Karkarre, Kamate, Salaskar and family of Taj's general manager Kang and Taj’s chef who saved many lives. There were many unknown names behind the scene during this unfortunate operation to give others lives. people are still paying tributes to those dead. In the city residents of              Photo: Rajesh Bhambi
defence colony lit the candles to pay the tribute to the departed souls. (Pic)

Thorough checking

Following recent multiple blasts in Mumbai, realising their moral duty to provide safety to the city residents, district police has launched a campaign to check the vehicles on check-posts at various places in city. In a classic example of thorough checking, a cop near the Jagraon Bridge stopped the car of one of my friend and asked him to open the dickey. As the friend is into hosiery business, he was carrying a few night suits (for women) to be shown to a buyer. The cop asked friend to gift him one without bothering that his senior was also doing the job (of checking vehicles). When the friend of mine asked him to pay the price, the cop said he wanted it as a "gift". Realising that everybody was looking at him, the cop further asked the factory’s address. And to avoid nuisance by the cop at his workplace, the clever friend of mine had to give wrong address at last!

Street kids

During an interview with crew members of Bornfree Art School who were on peace mission from Bangalore to Lahore on bicycle, I met Japanese Mioi Nakayama. She had been with the troupe for the past six years and revealed that the stories of terror told to her by families during atom bomb attack in Hiroshima had motivated her to do the social service.

Nakayama, who was in her 20s, was full of spirit to do something for the street children of India, a country to which she is not related. It's an irony that despite having a huge population in our country, we fail to take any constructive measures and those who are not part of us want to bring a change in our society and that too without expecting any returns.

Sex education

Getting mileage from days earmarked for specific diseases has become a trend with the schools as is evident from the number of press statements pouring in media offices on the World AIDS Day. The school managements in order to fulfil the conditions 'mandatory' in the school curriculum organise poster-making, declamations or essay writing competitions on the specific day, thereby forgetting the significance of the event for remaining 364 days. Is this really what our younger generations need? The answer is 'no' as the need of the hour is getting acquainted to the prevailing problem that is growing number of HIV+, AIDS. It is time to realise the underlying implications of the experts and start sex education in schools, the only way to combat the real problem.


Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. The saying was proved quite true during the 16th IBSA National Sports Meet for the Blind held in the city recently when a partially visually-challenged player from Mauritius complimented a woman journalist on her "pretty looks". The girl was pleasantly surprised when she heard the words from the young man who later told her that he could see partially and was mesmerised by her beauty. The girl returned from the event with a smile on her face after getting what was probably the best compliment of her life.

Youngest, the best

Recently artistes from Columbia visited the city for a cultural exchange programme. The group comprised of 12 12 artiste out of which five belonged to a family. The youngest and the oldest of the troupe belonged to the same family. Felipe, the youngest member of the group, was five-year-old. In between he went to his mother and then started talking to his father. Finally he went behind the curtain and refused to be on the stage. But when his turn came he was at his best. He danced on the stage with his mom and gave his best shot. His foot movement was excellent and both mom and son gave a wonderful performance. Everybody was exalted which was obvious from the huge applause they received after the performance.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Jyotika Sood, Anshu Seth, Charu Chhibber and Manav Ghuman 



e wild wild web
Blogosphere as Mumbai mourns

Within minutes of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on television, bloggers, in particular in the sub-continent, started posting their views on the incident.

At the peak of the violence, more than one message per second with the word “Mumbai” in it was being posted onto Twitter, a short-message service that has evolved from an oddity to a full-fledged news platform in just two years, says the New York Times.

Those descriptions and others on Web sites and photo-sharing sites served as a chaotic but critically important link among people across the world. Some people transmitted videos from inside the Taj Hotel to news networks via cellphones. And reporters used cellphones to send text messages to hotel guests who had set up barricades in their rooms. Much of this activity flourished early in the crisis, while there was a vacuum of official information either from government sources or from mainstream media outlets still struggling to understand the extent of the attacks. Sreenath Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs and a professor at the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, said, “A little bit of information is better than no information at all.”

As usual Indian blogs minced no words in dubbing India a soft state as India comes second to Iraq as far as the terrorists’ activities are concerned since 2004. Most blog posts went hysterical, but there was no paucity of saner voices which were for restraint and pleaded not to be swayed away by the attack.

But a discernible welcome change was in the comments by bloggers from Pakistan. Victims of the Frankenstein’s Monsters themselves, they did not mince words in sharing the agony of Indians, though in a subdued tone.

Hassan Rizvi from Lahore writes:

First the leaders and experts on the Indian channels: Within minutes of the event unfolding they discovered a boat in which these people had landed, and even found a passport and mobile SIM of Pakistani origin-- some trained terrorists these! Their media went wild accusing Pakistan of being the hand behind the event. Soon their PM did the same, though in a more subtle way informing the world that ‘outside hands’ were involved. The CNN and BBC also joined in to clarify -- least we miss it -- that this meant Pakistan. What exactly did all these people want -- war between two nuclear powers? If not, what was the purpose of inflaming public opinion at a time when they should have been applying a soothing balm?

And what about Pakistan? President Zardari who a few days ago offered India a no first-use nuclear weapons agreement and also called even our brother Kashmiris as terrorists; as also our foreign minister, made all the right noises.

But the rest of our lot went wild whipping Pakistan into an anti-India frenzy. Channel after channel presented ‘experts’ informing us that Indians were once again playing the blame game to implement their evil designs against Pakistan. They informed us that in the past too after the bombing of their Kabul embassy or even the Samjhauta Express, Indians had indulged in ‘the blame game’ to discredit and take advantage of Pakistan, but failed in their design as they were unable to provide any evidence to support their allegations as it was discovered that their own people, including military officers were involved. However, this time backed by the Americans — and Israelis —they aimed to dismember Pakistan!

I did not hear even one of our ‘goofs’ analyse why any Indian government must always do what it does -- and immediately blame Pakistan, proof or no proof. I may be wrong but to my way of thinking anything less risks unleashing the fascist hordes of the ‘Shiv Sena’, BJP, Bajrang Dal and the Vishva Hindu Parishad on the Indian Muslim minority (which incidentally is larger then our entire population). Communal riots on that scale India just cannot afford.

So my request to all sane Pakistanis is: do beef up your defences; but learn to look on these statements as Indian government’s standard operating procedure for immediate damage control rather than aggressive measures. We both have too many skeletons in our own cupboard -- and too much progress at stake -- to perpetuate the emotionalism and gamesmanship of the past.

To the ‘experts’ I would say Indian intelligence has already found out that these terrorists had been in Bombay for at least a month, and that the action is more akin to that of Tamil Tigers rather then Islamic Jehadists. Consider also that Bombay lost three of its top anti-terrorist police officers. And Hemant Karkare, its chief, was instrumental in uncovering Hindu terrorist hands behind the Malegaon bomb blasts, something which was designed in a manner to pin blame on the ISI or Muslims. Thus he exposed the mode of operations of various radical Hindu groups and despite severe political pressure -- including threats to blow up his house and kill him -- he managed to keep the issue apolitical and continued the investigation. The timings and method of the Bombay attack certainly served to distract the media glare from Hindu to Islamic Jehadi organisations.

Meanwhile, the facts may already be about to surface. The city showed it love and respect for chief Hemant Karkare, not only in the large attendance at his funeral, but also in the rebuff it gave Gujarat CM Modi on his visit to Bombay. At every step of his visit Narendra Modi was shown very clearly that he was not welcome. Perhaps the strongest rebuff came from the wife of Karkare who refused to meet him.

Unless like in the past the Indian government intends to sleep over the matter once the public trauma has subsided and election realities come into re-play, Bombay is the place where we have an opportunity for getting at the root of the matter through international co-operation. GB, Pakistan and USA have already indicated their willingness to do so.

Ikramuddin Bahram from Peshawar writes that Indians are angered and now they are openly accusing their neighbour of having stabbed in its back by talking of peace on the one hand and of supporting the terrorist outfits in India on the other. However, Pakistanis are no less than the Indians; they were quick to condemn the attacks.

Armed with nuclear arsenal, both countries now need to work closely to avoid a military clash over this issue and think wisely for the safety of those who are alive. Interestingly, in these two countries, citizens don’t have that value as the dead. In other words, their masses are simply a grave-worshipping public.

But the time has come for the people of both nations to open their eyes and accept the reality that those who fell victim to this inhuman act can’t be brought back.

However, what the nations can do is to vow not to allow miscreants destroy their trust which they have established at a very heavy price. It will not be wise either to rush to a conflict of accusations as it will bring no fruit other than embarrassment, once it is proved wrong.

Anilm is an editor with Instablogs.com

[email protected]



Gurmat samagam concludes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 1
A few thousand devotees thronged Gurdwara Nanaksar, Samrala Road, for paying obeisance to the Guru Granth Sahib on the concluding day of the annual gurmat samagam. Intellectuals from all over the world India had gathered on this occasion.

The overnight kirtan darbar and gurmat samagam, which commenced on Sunday evening, continued till today morning with recitation of Gurbani and preaching of saints all through the night.

Singh Sahib Giani Gurbachan Singh, jathedar, Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Giani Tarlochan Singh, jathedar, Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Avtar Singh Makkar, president, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, and Hira Singh Gabaria, cabinet minister, among other dignitaries, attended the samagam.

Various speakers at the samagam exhorted the devotees to follow the path of righteousness.

A "Shiromani Vidyak Award" was presented to Navroop Kaur Bajwa, intern, Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, Hospital and Research Institute, Ludhiana, for bagging first position in the entire state in BDS final year examination conducted in May-June 2008 by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.



100 quintal rice recovered
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 1
A truck loaded with rice that was stolen from Amloh is reported to have been recovered from a trader of Pakhowal village near here. A driver from Tajpur village had loaded rice from Bansal Rice Mill, Amloh, Fatehgarh district, through Golden Transport Company, Khanna, using fake number plate.

Munish Bansal of Bansal Rice Mills loaded 100 quintal of rice in the truck. The rice worth Rs 1.75 lakh was to be delivered in Jalandhar on November 25. When it did not reach its destination Bansal complained to the Amloh SHO.

The police was able to zero in to Tajpur village from where Gurdeep Singh, the accused, was nabbed on November 28. Even his father was picked up for questioning. He had sold rice to Ashok Kumar, who runs a shop-cum-flour mill, in the name of Ashok Karayana store and recovered the stolen rice from his godowns on November 29 along with Rs 60,000 cash from his possession. They also recovered Rs 1.1 lakh from Gurdeep Singh. A case has been registered.



Policeman suspended
Our correspondent

Jagraon, December 1
The SHO Sidhwan Bet police station yesterday suspended Malkahana Mohir Head Constable (MMHC) for misusing the case property lying in the malkahana. A few journalists had spotted a car (HR 16 E 2951) used by cops of the Sidhwan Bet police station yesterday. 

When the matter reached to SHO he immediately suspended the MMHC Sanjiv Kumar. The car along with 6 kg heroine and four pistols was impounded from Sukhwinder Singh on August 22, 2007 by the then SHO Pritam Singh. Later on, the employees started using the car for personal use. SHO Balvir Singh said he did not know about its ownership as he had joined the police station recently. He thought it to be of one of the employee. He immediately suspended him and referred the case to SSP (Ludhiana Rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar for further action.

Taking the matter seriously, SSP said a strict action would be taken against the guilty. Two more cars that were being used by senior police officials were deposited in the malkahana today. 



Inter-Schools Tourney
Ludhiana lads, Mansa eves register win in football
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 1
Ludhiana and Mansa recorded victories in the boy's and girl's section in football on the opening day of the annual Punjab State Inter-Schools Tournament (u-16) being played at the Guru Nanak Sports Complex, here today.

In the first round matches in football (boys), hosts Ludhiana scored an emphatic 5-0 win over Ferozepur while Kapurthala blanked Bathidna 4-0; Gurdaspur beat Fategarh Sahib 2-0; Barnala outclassed Sangrur 4-0; Hoshiarpur drubbed Moga 4-0 and Taran Tarn got the better of Faridkot 2-0.

In the girl's section (football), only one match was played between Mansa and Muktsar in which the former came out triumphant 3-0.

In weightlifting (girls) in the 44kg category (snatch and clean jerk), Suman of Jalandhar with a lift of 76kg emerged winner while Ludhiana girls, Parneet Kaur lifted 73kg to finish runner up and Inderjit Kaur of Sangrur secured third position with a lift of 71 kg attempt.

In volleyball (girls), Ropar beat Barnala 25-19, 25-16; Moga beat Taran Tarn 25-08 and 25-06 and Amirtsar defeated Mansa 25-19, 25-22.

In the boy's section (football), Mansa outplayed Kapurthala; Ropar beat Barnala; Hoshiarpur outclassed Jalandhar; Bathinda outnumbered Moga; Fatehgarh Sahib beat Patiala; Ludhiana pipped Mohali; Taran Tarn overpowered Gurdaspur; Sangrur outplayed Ferozepur and Mansa outclassed Faridkot.

About 120 teams from all over the state are participating in five disciplines- football, table tennis, wrestling, volleyball and weightlifting in this three-day tournament.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Harish Rai Dhanda, declared the tournament open. Pargat Singh, director sports, Punjab, S.L. Loty, assistant director, sports, Harpal Singh Kanwar, deputy director, sports, Patiala division, Jasvinder Singh Bhandari, district sports officer, Ludhiana, Teja Singh Dhailwal, honoray secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, Shivtar Singh Bajwa, president, District Football Association, Ludhiana, Jaspal Singh senior coach (football), coaches and sports officials of the Punjab Sports Department were present at the inaugural function.

Dhanda urged the participants to play the games with true sportsmanship. He also appreciated the sports department for its effort, which would encourage the youth to take active part in sports.

Padmashree awardee and director sports, Punjab, Pargat Singh highlighted the achievements of the department. He disclosed that the department had sufficient funds for the upliftment of sports in the state.

Amritpal Singh, a football player from Ludhiana took the oath on behalf of the participants with a pledge to compete in a fair way. An impressive gymnastics show was the highlight of the ceremony.



Baljit adjudged best player
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 1
The Singhu Sports Academy, Delhi, and Guru Kul Public School Hockey Academy, Doraha, emerged winners and runners-up respectively at the third u-17 hockey tournament organised by the National Youth Club and Guru Hargobind Sports Club at GHG Khalsa Senior Secondary School here today.

Jaspal Singh Jassie, SDM of Malerkotla presided over and deputy speaker Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal was the chief guest.

Baljit Singh of the runners-up team was declared the best player of the tournament.

The final match was decided on the basis of penalty shots.

Claiming that successive government had been ignoring promotion of the hockey, the deputy speakers showed satisfaction that local clubs had taken initiative to encourage sports clubs to prepare hockey players.

The tournament was earlier inaugurated by principal Hardev Singh and Dr Sunit Hind. Hockey Olympian Ramandeep Singh also presided over during the opening session.

According to Gurbinder Singh president and the organising secretary, eight teams from north India had reached the final round.

Earlier, teams of Government Senior Secondary School, Kilaraipur, and Government Senior Secondary School, Chanian, had lost to winner and runners-up clubs in the semifinal.

The organisers gave attractive prizes to outstanding players during the tournament.



City girls win Punjab Basketball League
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 1
Ludhiana district came out triumphant in the girls’ section of the Bhagat Singh Memorial Punjab State Basketball League held at Kotakpura from November 28 to 30.

In the four team league, Ludhiana wrapped up all their three encounters to emerge champions. In the first match, Ludhiana faced a stiff challenge from Gurdaspur, but eventually managed to squeeze past by a narrow margin of two points (48-46). In the second outing, Ludhiana girls prevailed over Ropar (53-41) and in the last encounter, they got the better of Kapurthala to romp home victors.

Gurdaspur and Kapurthala districts secured second and third positions, respectively.

In the boys’ section, Nav Bharti Public School, Ludhiana, finished runners up while Mansa district were declared the winners on the basis of points average. Kapurthala secured the third position.

The members of the Ludhiana girls’ team were accorded a warm welcome on their arrival at Guru Nanak Stadium, here today. Arjuna awardee Sajjan Singh Cheema, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, Ludhiana District Basketball Association, senior basketball coach Dr S. Subramanian and coach Brij Bihari were present at the stadium to welcome the girls who brought fame to the city.



Majestic win for KCW girls
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 1
The students of KCW Sidhwan Khurd brought laurels to the college in the field of sports. Gurpreet Kaur, BA (I) of Khalsa College for Women won a bronze medal in the 34th Kho-Kho National Sports Festival held at Kolkata in November. She is the first student to receive this honour in the past 11 years.

Earlier, the other two students of the college, Kamalpreet Kaur and Manpreet Kaur won Silver medal in Kho-Kho State level competition held at Bathinda in September 2008.

Another student of the college, Navdeep Sandhu BA (III) won Silver medal in javelin throw at Punjab University Inter-college athletic meet held recently.

Apart from this the students of Khalsa College for women, Sidhwan Khurd bagged three third prizes in debate, elocation and mime in Punjab University Golden Jubilee Inter-Zonal Youth Festival held at GNNC, Doraha.



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