L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Road repair
Contractors leave work midway
Sign new contracts
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The purpose of the municipal corporation to recarpet major city roads seems to be defeated as contractors are leaving their works midway to jump on to new projects.

The MC had allotted contracts to these contractors so as to get the roads recarpeted before winters. But the contractors have left their works incomplete and have rushed to work on other roads.

The contractor, High Rise Constructions, who was allotted Gill Road recarpeting project worth Rs 5.5 cr, has left it incomplete and started repairing GT Road. The Gill Road project is now awaiting attention.

Similarly, the work on Chandigarh Road has also stopped. The contractor, Kabir Constructions, who was given the work orders to repair Ferozepore road later, is now concentrating on the latter project.

The contractors have even shifted their machinery on the latest projects. ‘‘The MC's mission to finish the work soon has backfired. The contractors have taken their paraphernalia to the newly started projects. Who will take care of the first projects? ’’ asked an MC official.

He added that as the contractors did not have enough machinery to handle work on both places, the earlier work was suffering.

Both Gill Road and Chandigarh Road projects were allotted to these contractors in May this year. With these, work on Humbran road was also given.

The MC later allotted two tenders for GT Road from Ambedkar Chowk to Jagraon bridge and Jagrom bridge to Sherpur Chowk. Two more projects were also given for Ferozepore road, yet another from Lodhi Club to octroi post in Barewal and from Link road to Samrala chowk.

The MC had earlier called tenders for these roads in August. But these were recalled in September and all works worth Rs 25 crore were clubbed. A lot of hue and cry was raised by several councillors.

The bad state of roads remained an issue of contention between the MC and residents this year. These were in a bad state for most part of the year. The MC was quoting funds crunch for delaying the start of work. And finally when it was started the contractors are delaying it.



Unauthorised Colonies
Small developers for change in policy
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 7
Maintaining that proliferation of unauthorised colonies in the mega city, and elsewhere in Punjab, was a direct result of wrong government policies, influenced by the powerful lobby of big builders and property developers, hundreds of small developers in the city are vigorously lobbying with the state government to bring in major change in policy to facilitate development of authorised colonies and at the same time grant approval to such unauthorised colonies that are presently in different stages of development.

After the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) here cracked a whip against development of unlawful colonies in the periphery of the city last month and the developers were directed in no uncertain terms to stop all development works forthwith, representatives of the Ludhiana Property Dealers and Colonisers Association have had a series of meetings at various levels with senior government functionaries to put across their point of view on the crucial issue.

Talking to The Tribune here yesterday, Kamal Chatley, president of the association, said it had been stressed upon the government that the norm of minimum area of 75 acres required to obtain a licence to develop an approved colony and external development charges (EDC) of Rs 35 lakh per acre, as per new policy framed by the SAD-BJP government immediately after assuming office, was a big stumbling block in the way of regulated colonisation in the state.

He voiced that condition of a minimum area of 75 acre for an approved colony was impracticable as nowhere in the city at least, such a single chunk of land was available for development into a colony. Moreover, the exorbitant rate of EDC at Rs 35 lakh per acre, along with other operating expenses of around Rs 10 lakh per acre, literally translated into Rs 2,000 per square yard for licensing, in addition to the cost of the land purchased for development.

“During the previous Congress regime when the prescribed minimum area for an approved colony was 10 acre and development charges stood at Rs 3.5 lakh per acre, some 81 colonisers had obtained licences (for development of approved colonies) with almost an equal number of applications being in the pipeline. However, with the change of government and revision of policy, no fresh licences were given to small operators, and hence the holders of land were left with no other alternative than to carry on with the development of colonies even if it meant violation of rules.”

Making a strong case for change in policy in favour of small colonisers, Chatley said in the wake of severe recessionary trends, the business of real estate needed to get a boost. “In the prevailing situation when small colonisers are not being allowed to operate, there massive investment in purchase of land and undertaking development has gone dead. The government is also losing huge revenue, which could have been generated through licence fee and development charges from approved colonies.”

Chatley indicated that Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, had promised to take up their case with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to impress upon the need for realistic changes in the policy on colonisation if the state government as also the regulatory authorities really wanted to curb the development of unauthorised colonies in the state.



Sahnewal flying club victim of political apathy
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The Ludhiana Flying Club at Sahnewal is a victim of government apathy and bureaucratic wrangling. Having produced the best commercial pilots in the country, the club remains non-functional for the past three years.

The flying club is a perfect picture of neglect, an example of how a state-of- the-art infrastructure is being ruined for the petty ulterior motives of those who are at the helm of affairs.

Adorned with the prestigious award of being the best flying school in the country during the mid 80's is on the verge of extinction. The club which used to produce 20 to 25 pilots per year during the mid-80's and early 90's has not been able produce a single pilot for the past three years.

The gliders that used to fly for more than 3,000 hours in the air are eating rust in the garages.

The politicians like Captain Kawaljit Singh, who acquired their private pilot license from this flying club are doing nothing to reinstate its glory. The Ludhiana flying club needs an engineer to become functional again.

The lackadaisical attitude of the official can be gauged from the fact that instead of providing an engineer to it the officials shifted the plane to Patiala flying club, virtually grounding all hopes of producing pilots from this flying club.

However, the state is undergoing massive financial crunch but the Ludhiana Airport with the strength of 250 employees deputed by the Airport Authority of India, beside 15 employees of the state aviation department are being paid monthly salaries for basking in the sun.

A department employee praying anonymity said they were drawing salaries with a heavy heart, as they had no work to do.

An official said the civil aviation department was proposing new site to make an airport but had virtually ruined the well-equipped airport, jut for the sake of an engineer.

"The city is suffering from political and bureaucratic nepotism, where as one flying club is provided all facilities the other is left to face closure, "said an employee of the civil aviation department.

They officers said the flying club could become self-reliant and generate enough revenue only if the government shows some intent.

Recalling the golden year, Kamiker Singh the oldest serving employee of the flying club, said: "The pilot trained from this club are working in private airlines like Kingfisher, Spice Jet and Jet airlines. Noted politicians and industrialists used to make a beeline at this place.

Being an industrial town and with people who are enthusiastic about flying, this club can certainly be a hit again lest we are given the opportunity.

An employee complained that Abhay Chandra, Manager of the club, has hardly visited it. While talking to The Tribune Abhay Chandra assured that the club would become operational within a month.


Use of fake SIM cards
Two cases registered
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Taking strict action against the use of fake SIM cards, the city police has registered two cases against unknown persons.

According to police sources, recently SSP R.K. Jaiswal conducted a special meeting of all concerned officers of the city to discuss the issue.

The police has managed to obtain a list of SIM cards with fake identities.

After this, instructions were issued that case should be registered against the offenders who were using mobile on fake address.

Police sources said the employees of certain mobile companies, besides shopkeepers, dealing in this business along with some agents, were hand in glove with offenders.

They said that in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai recently it surfaced that mobile SIM cards were used by the terrorists for receiving instructions from their masters sitting across the border for conducting strikes.

Reacting to this development, SSP R.K. Jaiswal said, "The police is going strict against such offenders and cases are registered against people, who obtain fake identities for obtaining mobile SIM card."

Waryam Singh, SHO Salem Tabri, who has registered one such case, said, "Why some one will use a mobile phone by giving fake address, there has to be some ulterior behind it. So, to be on the safer side we have to book the offender for committing a fraud?"

The sources added that more such cases were likely to surface in the future as department is taking precautionary measure to discourage such practices.

The police will also nab the agent, who are actively promoting the sale of fake SIM cards.

Though the police has booked a case against the offenders, it still could not find a clue about the offenders. 



20,000 drug tablets seized from undertrial
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The Central Jail authorities have seizes 20,000 tablets of psychotropic drugs from an inmate, reliable sources said here today.

Vikramjit Singh, DSP, said "We have seized lomotil tablets from his possession and he has been booked in the case".

The tablets are often used by drug addicts.

Booked Gurbax Singh is already facing a case under the NDPS Act.

He was taken to the local court yesterday in connection with a hearing of the case under which he had been kept in the jail custody. Sources said "when Gurbax Singh returned to the jail premises, he was in possession of a black bag.

It was pointed out that the accused was a habitual offender and chances of him supplying the tablets to other inmates could not be ruled out.



Youth killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 7
A youth was killed in an accident at a nearby village this morning.

In her complaint to the police, mother of the victim Mala said her 21-year-old boy was hit by an unidentified vehicle in the morning.

The boy was riding a bicycle near village Rasulra, when the accident took place.

A case in this connection has been registered at the sadar police station.



Lawyer booked for stealing revolver
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
A lawyer here has been booked for allegedly stealing the service revolver of a DSP here yesterday. A case in this regard has been registered on a complaint by Amandeep Singh, DSP, Patiala range.

According to the police, both were together last evening. After taking dinner the DSP reported about his missing service revolver with the Sarabha Nagar police station.

He alleged that that the advocate had stolen his service revolver. The police has arrested the advocate and recovered the stolen revolver from him. 



Rs 2 cr for each assembly constituency
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 7
Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, the chairman of Punjab Mandikaran Board, today announced a grant of Rs 2 crore each for all assembly constituencies of the state. He said this grant would be issued by the Mandikaran Board irrespective to the party, the MLA belonged to the development of villages of their constituency.

He said new roads measuring 1680 Km woould be laid afresh.

He was here to inaugurate a road from GT Road to GHG Academy.

He said the Bharti Kisan Union is conducting conferences to make the farmers aware from social, economic, religious evils and encouraged to adopt traditional values and to be spend thrift.

He said when he took over as the chairman, the market fee collection was Rs 274 crore and in a year it reached to 384 which had further increased to Rs 508 crore this year.

On the issue of inferior materials being used in roads, he said the CM had entrusted Lt-Gen Dhaliwal who would look after the material used and qualities of road and fix the responsibility in case there is some kind of omission. He said the damaged roads within stipulated time would be re-laid by the contractors at his own costs.

He said the Bharti Kisan Union would start peaceful protests to compel the Central government to reduce the petroleum product prices as per international market. A large number of local leaders panches and sarpanches were present on the occasion. 



BSP goes into election mode, holds rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 7
In a largely attended "gratitude" rally organised at Samrala Chowk on Chandigarh Road here today, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) virtually went into the election mode as its state president and newly elected Rajya Sabha member Avtar Singh Karimpuri gave a call to the masses to elect maximum number of MPs from Punjab in the coming parliamentary election so as to pave the way for party supremo Mayawati to take over as the next prime minister.

He said the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had given due recognition to Punjab and entire Punjabis by getting him elected to the upper house, and it was now the duty of the people of Punjab to pledge their support to the BSP. The party was mobilising the masses through district level "gratitude" rallies all over the state to garner their support in the coming elections.

The state party chief claimed that the entire country was witnessing a wave in favour of the BSP as people belonging to all castes, creeds and religions were joining the ranks of the party. He was confident that the BSP would emerge as a formidable force in the recently held assembly elections in five states.

In a scathing attack on the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, Karimpuri alleged that terrorism had gained strength under the present regime, the government and its intelligence agencies had failed to curb acts of terrorism and the militant groups were striking at will. "Not only this, the government has failed to tackle inflation and the recent cut in petroleum prices is a cruel joke on the poor people.

The BSP chief did not spare the SAD-BJP government in Punjab either. "The state government has filed on all fronts. Unemployment has risen manifold, state is facing acute scarcity of power, exorbitant hike in tuition fee has virtually made higher education out of the reach of common man and employees of many departments, including those of Punjab Home Guards and SPOs have not been paid their salaries for several months."

Prominent among others present at the rally were Gurmel Singh Pehalwan, Parkash Singh Jandali, Ramanjit Lally, Dr R.P. Solanki, Jagdish Singh Jassowal, Anil Aggarwal, Prashat Pathak, Manoj Bagga, Gian Singh Bali, Mohinder Singh Bhanadri, Jaimal Singh Chauhan, Balbir Singh, Rakesh Jain, Bhanu Prasad Yadav, Jopginder Rai, Shiv Chand Gogi, Hans Raj and Jasbir Singh Garcha.



CM's visit to BRS Nagar
Residents happy as veg vendors driven away 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
It was a Sunday of relief for residents of BRS Nagar but a bad business day for vegetable vendors in Apni Mandi on the bank of the Sidhwan canal due to Chief Minister Parkash Singh's visit to Dugri, where he addressed a function of riot victims here today.

Cops did not allow the vendors to sell their good on the roadside, an otherwise normal feature every Sunday that leads to traffic chaos. Residents were too happy to find vacant road but the vegetable vendors, who were pushed away, had a bad day as they could not make anything till evening till Badal was in the city.

Since morning, the cops started driving the vegetable vendors away, who otherwise stay put on the roadside in BRS Nagar. "Today was a bad day. I was driven away by the cops in the morning only. We did not know what was happening. One of our counterparts did not move. He was then punished with a baton. So everybody kept away. We took our rehris inside the streets but we could not earn much today," said Sohan, a vegetable vendor.

Another said even those who had stalls inside the mandi were not happy. The cops did not even allow parking of cars outside. “Whosoever came to buy vegetables could not come inside as parking was not allowed. It was a cold business day for us, " said Maakhu, another vendor.

The residents of BRS Nagar, who have to pass through a hell every Sunday, were a happy lot today. "We wish the roads are as free of encroachments as these were today. If they could do it today, they can ensure such rules everyday also," said Sonia, a resident.

However, after his visit was over. It was virtually a free for all on the same road that had suddenly turned wider. It became a madhouse on it soon after the CM's cavalcade passed from the Sidhwan canal road. The cops too vanished soon after.



Veggie prices decline
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Prices of most of the veggies have witnessed a steep decline over the past one week as garlic, peas and carrot continue to fall. Generally priced around Rs 60-70 per kg, Garlic is today available at Rs 10 per kg, almost at half the price of last week.

When it comes to potatoes, they are available at Rs 4 per kg as compared to Rs 15 last week. The price of onion has also dipped. It is priced Rs 12-15 per kg as compared to Rs 25 during the last week. Coming to tomatoes, they are available at Rs 12 per kg, while last week they were priced Rs 25-30 per kg.

The winter vegetables have already arrived in the market, and unlike the last week, they are available at very reasonable rates. Carrot has nose dived from Rs 40 last week to Rs 10 this week. Turnip is available at Rs 15, peas at Rs 17-18 and cauliflower at Rs 7-8, while cabbage is available for Rs 7 per kg. Talking about fruits, superior quality apples are priced between Rs 40-50 per kg, while bananas are available for Rs 25-30 a dozen. Winter fruit kinnows are available at Rs 20 per kg.



‘Diabetes causes eye disorders’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 7
Diabetes is the major clinical entity leading to disorders of eyes among urban people, and excessive exposure to sunlight among rural folks causes cataract. This was stated by a team of doctors after examining about 300 persons at a free eye camp, organised jointly by the Bose Society for Blind and Ram Sharnam Ashram here 
on Sunday.

Usha Sood, president, municipal council, presided over the inaugural function, and Jaspal Singh Jassie, SDM, Malerkotla, was chief guest. Councillors Ravinder Puri and Bimal Sharma chaired the concluding function.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Rajesh Garg, an ophthalmologist, and Dr Jamil Bhatti, SMO, civil hospital, said most of the eye problems were the result of clinical complications arising out of poor health care and lack of concern about components of diet.

The physicians said the problem of cataract was higher among rural people due to excessive exposure to sunlight and the urban population suffered from eye ailments generating from diabetes. "People give little importance to eye health until their sight is affected adversely. Even after detection of disorders, instead of consulting an ophthalmologist, they fall prey to quacks," said Dr Garg, suggesting that people should not ignore warning signs of declining vision.

The organisers provided medicines and spectacles free of cost to the patients. As many as 50 patients were identified for intra-ocular lens implant.



1,270 examined at eye camp 
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 7
A free eye camp was held at Guru Nanak Charitable Trust, Mullanpur Mandi.

The camp was organised with the help of Avtar Singh, Surinder Kaur of village Shekupura and some patrons from Canada. The team of Dr Jacob Parbhakar from Jalandhar conducted the camp, in which 1,270 patients were examined in the OPD. Sister Mindy Joshnick from the USA assisted Dr Jacob.

220 patients were identified for operation, five for squint treatment and 15 for Yag Laser. Many patients will be provided spectacles on December 9.

Parminder Singh Parry, Sukhwinder Singh Sukha and Sukhmindwer Singh assisted the team along with various employees and volunteers of Gurmat Bhawan. 



Complicated surgery by DMCH doc
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The transplant surgeon and urologist, DMCH, Dr B.S. Aulakh, recently performed a challenging procedure ‘Laparoscopic Pyeloplasty and Pyelolithotomy’, wherein, the patient was diagnosed with a non-functional kidney on one side and a functioning blocked kidney with stones on the other side.

Suspecting something more than the stones, the patient was thus investigated further and an obstruction was found causing stones in the right kidney. Thus, a patient, who would have been otherwise treated by either ESWL (Lithotripsy) or PCNL (Key Hole Surgery), was taken for surgery with laparoscopic pyeloplasty and pyelolithotomy (removal of stones and repair of kidney). The surgery was performed via three small openings in the abdominal wall, through which the telescopic camera and the various operating instruments were inserted.

The obstructed segment was excised, stones were removed while watching on camera and were then repaired, thus, saving the patient from a second morbid operation for stone removal.

Dr Aulakh said though they had excellent technology for the treatment and removal of renal stones, the different modalities were to be used according to the skill, expertise and knowledge of the urologist.

For example ESWL, though an excellent non- invasive modality for stone removal, is useful only if the stone size is less than 1.5 - 2.0 cm and there are no back pressure changes in the patient’s kidney. Also, it is ineffective in case of very hard stones like cystine stones. 



Hotels have no room to spare
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Those planning to travel to the city around Christmas may have to face a tough time finding rooms, as most of the city’s big hotels have already been booked for the 68th Annual Conference of the Association of Surgeons of India, which is slated to begin here from December 25.

The event is the region’s largest meet of surgeons.

Confirming this, Manjit Singh, owner of Hotel Nagpal Regency, and president of the Hotel and Restaurants’ Association of Ludhiana, said: “Most hotels in the city have been booked well in advance for the upcoming medical event and travellers to the city are facing a tough time getting rooms booked for the week the conference is scheduled.”

Amarveer Singh of Hotel Natraj said: “The bookings for the conference were made around six months in advance and now no rooms are available in hotels for the period from December 25 to 29.”

Manager of Hotel Gulmohar Manohar Sharma also said heavy bookings in city hotels had been made for the conference by travel agents, doctors and event organisers to ensure comfortable stay of the 4,000-odd delegates from India and abroad.

Sources say there are no rooms available in a majority of city hotels, including the big, medium and small ones, for the period from December 25 to 30. Also, farmhouses, guest houses and hotel rooms have been booked in the neighbouring towns, including Jalandhar, for the delegates’ stay during the meet, claim sources.

Not only travellers who are making frantic calls in the hope of getting a room booked for themselves in the city hotels, even city residents are facing incontinence due to non-availability of hotel rooms.

Says local businessman Kirpal Singh, whose daughter is set to get married on December 26 in a local banquet hall, said: “The bridegroom’s family is coming from Delhi for the wedding on December 25. But in the wake of the doctors’ meet around that time, I have not been able to book adequate number of rooms in the city hotels for the guests. I have to request my relatives in the town to make arrangements for the baraat’s stay.”

The 68th Annual Conference of the Association of Surgeons of India is scheduled for December 25 and 30, in which around 4,000 leading surgeons from India and abroad are expected to participate. It is India’s largest conglomeration of surgeons.



Training courses at DMCH in January
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The department of anesthesiology and resuscitation, DMCH, is organising courses on Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support in January.

The course is accredited by the American Heart Association (AHA), with a batch of 35-40 participants from all specialties. The registrations are open till December 20, 2008.

The training will be conducted under the supervision and monitoring of trained AHA- accredited instructors from Maulana Azad Medical College and Hospital, which is AHA’s recognised international training site in India.

Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which is a combination of BLS and ACLS, is an important life saving emergency first-aid skill practiced throughout the world for an unconscious victim, on whom breathing and pulse could not be detected, the doctor said .



Smiling all the way to marriage
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Preparing the guest list, choosing the wedding dress, scheduling the photographer and visiting the dentist.

Yes, brides-to-be today consider adding a visit to the dentist to their wedding timelines to ensure a beautiful and healthy wedding-day smile. Brides ensure that have got the smile they want to capture and preserve forever. This day is too important to leave to chance the first thing that people notice about the newly weds. The would-be-brides are going in for smile corrections to give that flashy smile on the D-day.

Aesthetic dentistry is no longer limited to models and Bollywood stars. Lots of prospective brides are making use of it. They are going overboard to look gorgeous. That's the trend among many brides who have set the date and wouldn't blink at spending extra to achieve a picture perfect bride.

"My wedding date is nearing and I will be going in for an aesthetic dentistry since I have a chipped tooth. It not only affects my appearance, but also leads to problems if left untreated," adds Vandana, who is getting married in January. More and more companies are also today providing solutions for the same. She will be going in for Procera from Nobel Biocare, which is an all-ceramic shell custom-made to fit over a person's discolored chipped or crooked tooth.

"Young girls are now going for aesthetic makeover that includes teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, lip uplifts and smile makeovers among others. They are bowled over by the results of these aesthetic dental solutions," said Rohini Soni, a dental surgeon.

These trendy solutions are playing a stellar role in correcting deficiencies in a person's smile. No wonder then, more and more brides are going in for aesthetic dental solutions. Tooth whitening or bleaching is one of the many common procedures of dental cosmetics used in smile makeovers. It brightens teeth that are discoloured, stained or have been darkened because of injury, or beverages, she added.

Another would-be-bride Mayanta added that she was worried about her smile. "I want my wedding pictures to be perfect. I will be following the latest trend of smile makeover which will create an attractive appearance on the most special and important day of my life," she added. 



Pammi Bai's new album released 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Folk singer Pammi Bai released his ninth album "Panjaban" here today.

Representing a real Punjabi, a small girl, Nimrit, dressed in a traditional Punjabi outfit, launched the album.

Pammi Bai considers girls as the future of society. He, therefore, decided to get the album formally launched by a girl.

The title track of the album has lines from the Bollywood flick "Major Saab" that goes like "Kudi Panjaban dil chura ke lae gayee…".

Aman Hayer has given music to the album, which has been shot at UK's Small Fusion. "I am sure that not only in Punjab but the album will be well received by audiences belonging to other states as well," hoped Pammi Bai.

The album has in total eight songs. One of the songs is a satire on the present state of farmers in the state, while the other one is regarding life of the truck drivers. A song depicts the temperament of the Jatt.

"People will always get a glimpse of Punjabi culture through my songs. I am committed to promoting my culture and will keep on doing so through my songs," said Pammi Bai.



Admissions in full swing
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Come December, and the process of admissions of tiny tots to the K.G. class in english medium schools starts.

Moreover, there are many schools in the city now that give ample choice to the parents. During a visit to the different schools, this reporter found the parents were keen to impart good education to their wards not withstanding the high cost of education in these schools. Their first preference was the school that was close by their residence.

In Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, there were 300 seats for the KG classes and the school had registered 900 forms, Sister Sobel, principal, said.

She further said they did not interview the child but they had a performa that parents were supposed to fill, highlighting the educational background of the parents, their occupation and the distance of the house from the school.

Sat Paul Mittal School management was holding the admissions today and according to Col D.B.Sharma, director, they had received more than 400 forms for 100 seats. “We have laid certain parameters to judge the motivational level of the parents. We admit 25 students in each section,” he said.

During a visit to the Sacred Heart Convent School, it was found that the admission forms were on sale. When asked about the criteria of the selection, Sister Veena, vice-principal said the committee would decide the same.

Vikil Kapil, a businessman, said he was keen that his child should get admission in a good school, as much depended upon the family environment in moulding and shaping the personality of the child. 



Streamlining education system not on priority
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The state government seems to be in no mood to streamline the education system in Punjab. “Fleecing” under the garb of various entrance tests and “exploitation” of students in terms of huge amounts of admission fees demanded by private managements continue to burden parents.

In yet another case of callous attitude, about 28 new B.Ed colleges have come up in 2008 in Punjab without realising the fact that several thousands of seats are vacant in colleges every year.

As per the data available, in 2006, there were around 114 B.Ed colleges in the state and the number increased to 134 in 2007.

Educationists, social organisations and those concerned raised objections that in absence of proper infrastructure, the state government was providing no objection certificates (NOCs) to several new B.Ed colleges. “Instructions” were given to these colleges by the state government to follow proper guidelines to run everything smoothly. Since a majority of the institutions belonged to politicians, influential and other well-connected people, procedures were hardly followed.

Reacting to this scenario, A.K.Bhandari, a social activist, said where was the need to provide an approval to new colleges when the institutes, already being run in Punjab, had hundreds of vacant seats left every year.

Not only new colleges have started, the number of seats has also been increased by the government, thus, aggravating the situation even more. “Even last year, the scenario was so bad. As many as 603 seats were left vacant in the B.Ed courses out of 17,805, Bhandari said.

Anju Gupta, a worried parent whose daughter cleared B.Ed two years back, said she had been trying hard to get a respectable job besides having degree in her hands. Seeing the poor scenario of placements in Punjab, students considered B.Ed as the last option.

It may be mentioned that when thousands of students had failed to clear the B.Ed entrance in Punjab this year and seats remained vacant, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued directions to colleges to fill the seats, keeping in mind the conditions laid down by the court.

One of the conditions mentioned the college should ensure that “special classes were held so the candidates could complete 180 working days and other requirements of attendance and practice teaching”. Though, seats were filled on the basis of merit, as claimed by colleges, but none of them seemed to be following the condition laid by court. 



Meritorious students honoured
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 7
Meritorious students of various schools of the local town and surrounding villages were felicitated at a function organised by the local unit of the Sewa Bharti at Dayanand Adarsh Vidyalya High School here today.

The function was presided over by Dr Maghar Singh Kalia, former CEO (circle education officer), and Anil Kumar Aggarwal, chief executive director, SIL, was the chief guest.

Various speakers appreciated the role of the social organisation in encouraging students and promoting talent among them.

Organising secretary of the state body of the NGO Vijay Kumar and Dharam Pal Bansal, joint secretary, called upon office-bearers of various social organisations of the area to act as bridge between their organisations and prospective beneficiaries. They appealed them to help the organisation reached needy students whose education was being interrupted due to lack of funds and sources.

The organisers presented mementoes and books to about 50 students from various schools of the area. Students pursuing education at 11 Sanskar Kendra, being run by the NGO, were also felicitated.

Bimal Sharma, Ravinder Puri, Bhag Singh Bhagga, Kedar Nath Kapila (all councilors), Vijay Goel, president, BJP, Ramesh Ghai, district VP BJP, and Sanjay Sood applauded meritorious students. 



‘Teach students rights, duties’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The Universal Human Rights Organisation, in a letter addressed to the President of India, has made a fervent appeal to direct the educational institutions, and state and central education boards, to introduce subjects relating to social awareness to inculcate a sense of awakening among the students about their rights and duties.

It has been pointed out: "In the present scenario of scientific and Internet strides, when everything is at one's fingertips, it is irony of fate of our education system that the students are made to churn voluminous syllabus qua subjects, like mathematics, science, social studies etc. This bookish language is of no use for them while facing difficulties in the practical life, as they rather than becoming an enviable asset to the nation, are treading the path of unsocial life."

"Therefore, rather than ranting and raving about the yawning loopholes in our brittle education system, we suggest that following subjects be ordered to be introduced as the compulsory subjects at 10th level", they demanded.

The topics needing special care, which are underlined in the letter, included traffic rules, human rights, AIDS and drug addiction.



Stone of new wing of school laid
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 7
Secretary of the Kaushalya Devi Memorial Educational Trust Tarsem Lal Gupta laid the foundation stone of the new wing of Green Valley School at the Jandali Road here today.

Yash Bhushan Gupta, manager, informed that the new wing would accommodate senior classes for which approval was accorded by the CBSE recently.

Kavita Kapoor, principal, Ajaib Singh and Sonia Gupta were present on occasion.



GTB college wins quiz on Sikh history

Mullanpur Dakha, December 7
Guru Tegh Bahadur National College, Dakha, celebrated the martyrdom day of the ninth guru by organising an akhand path and an inter-college quiz on Sikh history. The quiz was compered by Prof A. S. Virk, and Prof Avtar Singh had five rounds on the events, personalities monuments and literature related to the Sikh history.

Among five teams participated in the main competition, GTB National College, Dakha, stood first, followed by G.H.G. Khalsa College, Gurusar Sudhar, second, G.G.N. Khalsa College, Ludhiana, third, Khalsa College For Women, Sidhwan Khurd, fourth, and Government Evening College, Ludhiana, fifth. — OC



Bank staff urges PM for wage revision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The Indian National Bank Employees Congress and the National Federation of Bank Employees Unions submitted a memorandum to the minister of state for finance Pawan Bansal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for immediate signing of the 9th bi-partite settlement of wage revision for bank employees.

National president R.K. Tripathi stated that INBEC had already submitted a charter of demands for 45 per cent of wage increase for the bank employees.

"The government has already given wage revision for public sector undertaking and Central government employees on the basis of recommendations of the 6th pay commission. Therefore, there should be parity with the employees of public sector undertakings and Central government employees and no discrimination should be allowed," he added. 



Row over share in ancestral property 
Farmer’s family threatens to commit suicide 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 7
Inept to comprehend intricacies of their rights and duties Harmanpreet Singh, a Class VIII student, and his sister, Amninder Kaur (Class VII), has been sitting on dharna, along with their parents for the past five days.

Smile on their face, while sitting on dharna, shows that they are not aware of the fact that their parents have threatened to commit collective suicide in case their share in the ancestral property is not transferred in their name by December 31.

Though none of the officials or leaders has bothered to convince the peasant’s family to desist from taking such a harsh step, a few relatives persuaded the kids to attend their school from yesterday.

Inderjit Singh, a farmer of Lohatbaddi village in Ludhiana district, had urged the administration that he, along with his wife and two children, should be allowed to commit suicide in case their share in the ancestral property was handed over to them.

Though SSP Ludhiana (rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar had directed the circle officer to keep a watch on the situation and take preventive action to avoid any unsavoury situation none of the officials had visited the spot during all these days.

Inderjit alleged that the circle officer harassed him after calling him at his office at Raikot. “He called us to his office on December 1, but did not listen to us till evening, after which we sat on the dharna in our fields here,” Inderjit alleged while talking The Tribune. He threatened to commit suicide on January 1 in case his share was not transferred by then.

Earlier in a communiqué addressed to the higher authorities, including SSP Ludhiana (rural), SDM Raikot and sarpanch of the village, Inderjit had stated that he was so upset on being deserted by his father that he could take any extreme step.

He demanded that both he along with his wife and two children be allowed to commit suicide or his father told to transfer his share in his name immediately.

Inderjit’s mother had died when he was a child. Later on, his father Jagjit Singh got remarried. Three sons were born from the second marriage.

As Inderjit is the only issue from the first marriage of Jagjit Singh, he expected that he would get half of the parental property. However, he failed to persuade his father to transfer his share.



Lovers attempt suicide

Jagraon, December 7
A pair of love birds today tried to commit suicide here. The youth are said to be neighbours of Gidderwindi village near here.

Their parents were against their relationship and were pressurising them to be separated. Today both of them, Chinder Kaur and Harjinder Singh, decided to end their life together by consuming poison.

They seem to have consumed poison at some restaurant on Raikot road and then started walking on the road. They were found unconscious on the road by passersby who informed the police and then were taken to civil hospital, Jagraon. The boy was in critical state and is referred to civil hospital, Ludhiana. — OC



Labourer run over by car
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 7
A car today ran over a labourer working on an under-construction road.

The accident occurred near Chand Palace on Sarabha road at village Tajpur today morning, when a new Alto car, without registration number, ran over the labourer, identified as Rahul (17), injuring him seriously. The car was driven by Narinder Singh, who is running a chemist shop at the Raikot bus stand.

Since the road is under-construction and hardly has any space for two cars being driven on it concurrently, the accident occurred when the Alto was trying to overtake a Maruti Esteem car. Due to the pits on the road, the driver lost his control, and the car entered the agriculture fields after crushing Rahul. The driver of the car also got injuries. He got fractures in his hands.

The injured, Rahul, was admitted to the Raikot civil hospital, who was thereafter referred to the civil hospital, Jagraon. The driver of the car was admitted to the civil hospital, Sudhar.

No case has been registered by the Raikot police.



Local lads continue to dominate
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 7
Athletes from Ludhiana, along with those from Gurdaspur and Sangrur districts, continued with their domination in the boys' section on the third day of the ongoing 54th Punjab State Schools Athletics Meet, being held at the Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the girls' section, Amritsar district and athletes from Sports Wing, Kairon, Taran Tarn district, gave excellent performance to prove their class.

In the boys' section, Jasmel Singh of Ludhiana finished ahead of others to win a gold medal in the 800m race, and in the gruelling 5000m race, Makhan Singh from Sangrur brushed aside a tough competition put up by his opponents to clinch top honours.

In discus throw (boys' under-17), Tejbir Singh of Ludhiana hurled the discus to a distance, beyond his rivals' attempt and bagged a gold medal, while Bikramjit Singh of Gurdaspur romped home victor in the long jump in the under-14 category.

In the girls' section, Harkirat Kaur of Sports Wing, Kairon, proved her superiority in shotput event in the under-19 group, while Ketki Sethi of Gurdaspur district wrapped up the first position in the under-17 category.

The assistant education officer (sports), Ludhiana, Rupinder Singh Ravi, inaugurated the events today. The AEO of Amritsar was also present.



U-17 800 m race: Jasmail Singh of Ludhiana 1; Manohardeep Singh of Ludhiana 2; and Lakhbir Singh of Sports School, Jalandhar 3.

U-19 5000 m race: Makhan Singh of Sangrur 1; Anil Kumar of Nawanshahr 2; and Pargat Singh of Taran Tarn 3.

U-19 discus throw: Kirpal Singh of Sports Wing, Taran Tarn, 1; Prabhjot Singh of Ludhiana 2.

U-17 discus throw: Tejbir Singh of Ludhiana Wing 1; Gurmukh Pal Singh of Amritsar 2; and Gubaz Singh of Amritsar 3.

U-14 long jump: Bikramjit Singh of Gurdaspur 1; Vinod Kumar of Ludhiana 2; and Charanjit Singh of Ferozepur 3.


U-14 long jump: Bhumika Thakur of Gurdaspur 1; Ramandeep Kaur of Sangrur 2; and Manpreet Kaur of Sangrur 3.

U-17 shotput: Ketki Sethi of Amritsar 1; Harmandeep Kaur of Amritsar 2; and Jaspal Kaur of Kairon Wing, Taran Tarn, 3.

U-19 shotput: Harkirat Kaur of Sports Wing, Kairon, 1; Lovpreet Kaur of Badal Wing 2; and Priyanka of Nawanshahr 3.

U-17 800 m race: Sharanjit Kaur of Gurdaspur 1; Pardeep Kaur of Hoshiarpur 2; and Harpreet Kaur of Hoshiarpur 3.

U-19 800 m race: Sakshi of Jalandhar Wing 1; Supinder Kaur of Fatehgarh Sahib 2; and Hardeep Kaur of Kairon Wing 3.

U-19 5000 m race: Jaspreet Kaur of Ludhiana 1; Kamalpreet Kaur of Gurdaspur 2; and Sunita Rani of Ferozepur 3.



Hunny qualifies for main draw 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 7
Hardeep Singh Honey from Punjab, a trainee of the Harvest Tennis Academy, qualified for the main draw of the boys' singles under-16 by defeating Karnataka lad, Armaan Banerjee, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, in the AITA Super Series Tennis Tournament, being played on the eleven synthetic courts on the campus of the Harvest Tennis Academy at Jassowal, Ludhiana.

Overall boys’ qualifying rounds were easy win for the seeds.

The main draw first round matches for boys’ and girls’ under-14 and under-16 will start tomorrow.

Results of today’s matches:

Boys' singles under-14:

Final qualifying round: Kuwar Singh Tater (1) (Asm) beats Dalwinder Singh (Pb) 6-1, 6-4; Karan Salwan (Dli) beats Bhanwarpreet Singh (Pb) 6-2, 6-2; Dhruv Agarwal (2) (UP) beats Harpreet S. Sidhu (Pb) 6-1, 6-4; Navtej Singh Ruprah (MP) beats Jagtar Singh (Pb) 7-6 (5), 7-5; Arindum Dutta (3) (Har) beats Tegbir Singh Hara (Pb) 6-1, 6-4; Jotpal Singh (Pb) beats Praveer Dogra (Pb) 6-1, 6-2; Ranjeet Singh (4) (Chd) beats Dhruv Goel (Dli) 6-3, 6-2; Shaurya Dhankar (Har) beats Sean Yip U-Quan (Chd) 6-3, 7-5.

Boys' singles under-16:

Final qualifying round: Atul Sri Patel (1) (UP) beats Manoj (Har) 7-6 (5), 6-3; Digvijay Naruka (2) (Chd) beats Nishant Rebello (AP) 6-1, 6-2; Resham Singh (3) (Har) beats Nischay Rawal (Chd) 6-2, 6-3; Aditya Sharma (Dli) beats Nishat Eqbal (WB) 6-0, 6-1; Hardeep S. Sandhu (5) (Pb) beats Shashank Nautiyal (Dli) 6-4, 7-5; Hardeep S. Honey (Pb) beats Armaan Banerjee (Kar) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3; Suraj Beniwal (Har) beats Manish Kumar (7) (Dli) 6-4, 6-3; Sushanta Mohanty (Asm) beats Chinmay Handa (8) (Dli) 6-1, 6-1.



Ludhiana footballers bring laurels
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 7
Ludhiana boys emerged champions in the 30th Junior Punjab State Football Championship held at Khadoor Sahib in Taran Tarn district from November 29 to December 3. In the last edition of the championship, held at Ropar, Ludhiana lads had secured third position.

The district team, which had eight players from Ludhiana district, performed exceedingly well in the championship to script victory in all their encounters to bag the title. In the final, Ludhiana managed to squeeze past the hosts, Taran Tarn, 5-4. The issue was resolved in a tiebreaker as the two teams failed to score during the stipulated period.

Earlier, the semi-final match, played between Ludhiana and Gurdaspur, was also decided by a tiebreaker after the two sides were locked 2-all at the end of the regular time.

Jaspal Singh, senior football coach of the Punjab sports department, who accompanied the squad, appreciated the boys for their excellent performance. He praised Arjan Singh and Ankit, both students of the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, who played pivotal role in team's title win.



Daudhar team is kabaddi champion
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 7
The Rana Club of Daudhar village yesterday won the Jagdev Uppal Kabbadi cup by defeating team of Kaunke Kalan.

The third champion’s cup was organised by the All Friends Sports Club and Welfare Society, Jagraon, in memory of Jagdev Singh Uppal of Australia (Kothe Pone in Jagraon) on the grounds of animal market.

As many as 50 teams from all over Punjab participated in this tournament. The team of Daudhar acquired 15 marks and bagged the trophy along with a cash prize of Rs 51,000 whereas the Kaunke Kalan team finished with acquiring only 7 points and satisfied with second prize of Rs 31,000 in cash. The team of Bhinder Kalan was declared third.

The show match of girls kabbadi was the attraction of the viewers. This match was won by Beep Singh Norwey Club of Gurdaspur who defeated the Kapurthala team. In tug of war, Kapurthala defeated Taran Taran and bagged the first prize.

The tourney was inaugurated by Bhai Jiwa Singh Begampura.

SSP(Ludhiana Rural), Gurpreet Singh Bhullar were the guest of honour and a large number of leaders from the area attended the tournament.

The prizes were distributed by ex-MP Gurcharan Singh Galib, former MLA Bhag Singh Malla and zila parishad chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali.

Parliamentary secretary Shital Singh Dharamkot announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the sports club.



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