L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


DC seeks forgiveness from deputy speaker
Gosain sticks to his guns
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The controversy surrounding the allegations of corruption against the deputy commissioner, Sumer Singh Gurjar, turned murkier today when the DC visited the deputy speaker, Satpal Gosain, personally to bury the hatchet, but the latter stuck to his guns that he would not withdraw complaint against the DC.

Gurjar went to Gosain's house at 4.15 p.m. Some mediators helped in arranging a closed-door meeting between the duo. After the meeting, both came out, hugged each other and posed for a photograph for the media.

The DC said since Gosain, being an elderly and deputy speaker, was senior to him in age and protocol, he had called on him. ‘‘There was a small misunderstanding, which we have cleared,’’ said the DC with folded hands before leaving the venue with the mediator.

Later, Gosain said the DC had sought an apology, stating he was like his son. ‘‘He came to my house seeking forgiveness. I have forgiven him for the allegations he levelled against me at a press conference, but I will not withdraw my complaint against him. The inquiry will take its own course,’’ said Gosain.

‘‘I still believe he is a corrupt man. I cannot withdraw my complaint against him under any circumstances. The inquiry will take its own course.

“He had taken up the matter with the Privileges Committee of the Vidhan Sabha also after the DC had levelled counter-allegations against him and he was determined to carry on with his complaint. He reiterated that he would meet the CM over the issue.

Gosain was flanked by his supporters and BJP district president O.P. Bhardwaj. The latter said their party was against corruption and corrupt people. ‘‘The inquiry will, however, decide if the DC was corrupt. Let the law take its own course, ’’ he said while mincing words.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had ordered an inquiry against the DC following allegations of corruption levelled by Gosain. The inquiry was assigned to divisional commissioner, Patiala division, J.S. Bir, who had met both the parties three days ago.

Bir had announced he would submit the report with the Chief Minister by December 30.

The prominent persons present on the occasion included BJP leaders, Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal and Kamal Chatley.


Ex-MLA assaulted, 25 booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 22
Nirmal Singh Mahant, Congress leader and former MLA from Raikot and his friend Surinder Singh got seriously injured when they were attacked by a group of about 25 persons at Chakar village.

A friend of Nirmal Singh, Rakesh Aggarwal of Raikot had bought a land measuring 7.5 acre at the village at an auction from the HDFC Bank, Ludhiana, and further sold it to Nirmal Singh Mahant. The land was originally owned by Nahar Singh, who had mortgaged it to the HDFC Bank and had availed a loan. When Nahar Singh did not repay the loan, the bank auctioned the land in 2006. Nirmal Singh took the possession of the land recently on November 22 through the debt and recovery tribunal, Chandigarh.

Upset over loosing the possession of the land, Nahar Singh, his brother Amar Singh along with other accomplices equipped with guns, sharp edge and blunt weapons attacked Nirmal Singh and his friends. They fired shots and injured Nirmal Singh and Surinder Singh. In retaliation Nirmal Singh also fired at the assailants. Both the injured are under treatment at DMCH, Ludhiana.

The Hathoor police has booked the accused under Sections 307, 382, 379, 447, 120B, 323, 148, 149 of the IPC and under Sections 25, 27/54/59 of the Arms Act. No arrests have been made. The police is raiding the suspected hideouts of the accused.



Ad rights issue troubles MC again
The opposition and some SAD councillors feel that the MC will be at loss if the proposal is accepted
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The issue of allotting advertisement rights to one company and taking Rs 1.5 crore from it in return seems to heat up as the leader of the opposition and some SAD councillors too feel that the MC will be at loss if the proposal is accepted.

Leader of the opposition Prem Mittal revealed that if the Finance and Contracts Committee had a member of the Congress in its panel the move had surely been opposed.

Being an industrial city, the advertising revenue generation could be around Rs 12 to 15 crore and by accepting the proposal, the municipal corporation is surely going to make a huge loss and help advertisers to fill in their pockets.

He said the opposition always wanted that the advertising rights for all main roads should have been given through tenders.

The advertising mafia in the city was influential and his political connections got him favours of municipal officials who too were hand in glove with him. Terming it to be an important issue, he said all local MLAs, F&CC members along with some opposition leaders should decide how to deal with illegal advertisements that dominated the city.

Similarly, SAD councillor Jagbir Singh Sokhi said the limit for ad revenue to be generated this year was Rs 14 crore while the civic body could earn only around Rs 6.5 crore. "Global tendering is the best way for dealing with the illegal billboards that rule Ludhiana. Let other players come and compete," he said, adding that in the second house meeting he had revealed that a Delhi-based advertising agency wanted to own the advertisement rights for Rs 50 crore. He suggested that issuing of holograms for legal advertisements was another step that could initiated by the MC.

Interestingly, the issue of illegal advertisements has always kept the civic body in the dock for its incompetence to check them. It got another thrust recently when some advertisers submitted a memo to Satpal Gosain against senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal. The advertisers had said Bansal was opposing the proposal for his own interests.

The move of submitting the memo came just after four advertising companies were blacklisted by the Finance and Contracts Committee meeting on December 17. These advertising agencies were Greenline advertisers, August advertisers, Rajeev Nanchal and Gypsy advertisers.



Test to check scientists’ potential fails to click
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The much-hyped SWOT analysis to test the capabilities of scientists working in different departments of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here seems to have gone with the wind.

Though the programme was initiated with much fanfare to bring "reforms" in the institution, even after several months of distribution of questionnaires nothing has come out of it. Many of the working scientists at the varsity even claimed not to have received any such questionnaire till date.

SWOT, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis, a brainchild of vice-chancellor of PAU M.S.Kang was to be conducted on approximately 900 scientists of the farm varsity.

To streamline the working at the PAU, proper questionnaires were prepared by the authorities, which were to be filled in June. A majority of faculty members did not take it seriously and many complained that they were totally ignorant about any such analysis.

Through this test, scientists were asked to list their ongoing research projects, their planning for coming years, the areas needed to be focussed and so on. "Though it was a bright idea, unfortunately no one took it seriously- neither the authorities nor the faculty members. If we have to bring reforms, follow-up procedure is a must. By mere distribution of questionnaires, the problems can not be tackled. Secondly, most of the faculty members, who were asked to fill this proforma were finding themselves in a tight spot, as their capabilities were to be tested," said a senior scientist at the PAU.

"The idea was to know the capabilities and clear our vision and what we (scientists) have to achieve in future for the progress of the university. Not many people at the PAU took it seriously. Many of us did not even fill up the forms, as we knew that nothing will come out of it," said a female teacher at the PAU further adding that several times, the date of filling questionnaires was also extended but for no good.

Despite repeated attempts, the vice-chancellor and registrar could not be contacted for comments.

Jagtar Dhiman, additional director, communications, however, said that they had sent the questionnaires to deans and directors in every department and everything was reviewed on the basis of that. He claimed that road map to the PAU's progress, the 11th development programme, was made on basis of SWOT analysis only.



3 youths killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 22
Three youths who were returning from Shaheedi Jor Mela at Machhiwara were killed in an accident on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road near the HDFC Bank here when their motor cycle was hit by a speeding Punjab roadways bus.

The three youths Karamjeet Singh (20), Gurtej Singh (22), both residents of Bilaspur village, and Harpreet Singh (18) of Thikriwal village near Khamano town were returning on their motor cycle from Machhiwara to Khamano when their motor cycle was hit by a speeding roadways bus no PB-30-E-9182 from behind.

Two of the youths - Karamjit and Gurtej - died on the spot, while the third Harpreet Singh was seriously injured. He was rushed to the PGI Chandigarh after first aid at Civil Hospital Samrala, but he died on the way.

The Samrala police has registered a case against the bus driver but he escaped from the scene.



Parks safe haven for drug addicts
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
In absence of the check from the district health authorities on the sale of habit-forming drugs, public parks across the city and the Guru Nanak Stadium complex have become a safe haven for drug abusers. The addicts after procuring syrups, injection and tablets from nearby chemists take refuge in these parks as is evident from the empty bottles of cough syrups and injections discarded in the corners.

Spasmo proxyvon, phensyredyl, corex, fortbin, norphin, dexovon, parvon and a number of steroids are in rampant use by the drug addicts. Chatar Singh Park near Model Town, Nehru Rose Garden in Civil Lines, Rakh Bagh and the Guru Nanak Stadium complex are frequently visited by the drug abusers in the late evenings.

The Guru Nanak Stadium complex is another place that “safeguards” the interests of these drug addicts as a large number of players use steroids and injections to boost their performance in playground.

Anguished over the drug abuse amongst players, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, and vice-president, Indian Basketball Association, stated that 70 to 80 per cent players had succumbed to this evil. "In absence of any dope tests and regulations from the Sports authorities, even the schools students are openly using injectibles before coming to the ground.

The health authorities on the other hand have failed to check those who are responsible for making available habit-forming drugs to the youth. Instead of catching the large fish, they play safe by raiding a drug store or two in some remote area.

A large number of chemists in Abdullapur Basti, Civil Lines, Haibowal, Sabzi Mandi Chowk, Dugri are selling the steroids and habit-forming drugs without the prescription of the physician.

Ludhiana Retail Chemists Association president Aman, on being asked about the ongoing practice among drug store owners, said, "We have extended support to the health authorities to take action against the guilty drug store owners and have been giving them secret information from time to time. In future also, we will boycott the chemists guilty of the offense."



Woman alleges gangrape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
A 20-year-old married woman alleged gangraped near the Dugri canal here last evening.

The victim, wife of a roadside quack, alleged that several persons gave her intoxicating injections and gangraped her. The SHO, Model Town, said they were yet to receive a complaint from the woman. They were inquiring into the case.



Man ‘tortured’ by police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
A 40-year-old man has alleged torture by the Basti Jodhewal police. Rashid of Jodhewal alleged that he was picked up by the police last evening and detained in the police station illegally.

He was beaten up and sustained injuries on his legs. Rashid said his son Wahid had eloped with a girl a few days ago. On a complaint of the girl's family, the police was trying to locate the couple.

They allegedly picked him up and subjected him to a third-degree torture. He was left outside the police station after he sustained injuries. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital.



Govt schools being ignored
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 22
Accusing the authorities in education department of favouring public schools by ignoring studies at state-run primary and elementary schools of the area, office-bearers of social organizations and teachers unions have urged the government to appoint teachers at schools, the administration of which has been entrusted with the civic bodies of the area.

These organizations have expressed apprehension that most government primary schools in Sangrur district would have no teachers by the end of this year if new appointments are not made soon. The remaining will have at the most a single teacher.

A large number of students of Class V who have not been taught are appearing in the annual examinations being conducted at government primary schools by the Sarav Sikhya Abhyian Authority first time this year.

Many of these schools have been functioning without teachers while the others remain closed when the only teacher posted there goes on leave.

Accusing the state government of ruining the future of the students, Ram Singh Dehliz and Nirmal Singh, office-bearers of the SCBC Teachers Union, said the primary education system had been destabilised.

They claimed that most of the primary schools were without teachers. In schools where there is only one teacher, they have to perform non-teaching functions like carrying post, economic surveys and attending camps under the compulsory education programme.

A visit to the schools of the area showed that the primary schools were running without teachers. Government primary schools at Vishawkarma Mandir, Dr Ambedkar Nagar and Dhanak Basti are among those schools of local town which had been handed over to the municipal council and did not have staff for a long time. The authorities are not clear about the administration of Government Middle School, Amarpura. It is yet to be decided whether civic body would appoint teachers here or a government school teachers will take up the charge.

Records at the offices revealed that a substantial number of teachers would retire in months to come and by the end of the current year most of the schools would either have no teacher or would have a single teacher to look after students of five classes.

Sikandar Singh Jartoli, president the Punjab School Teachers Union, maintained that the lack of coordination due to abolition of post of centre head teacher had further degraded the standard of state-run primary school.

Maintaining that situation at schools being managed by Zila Parishad in village was not better than their urban counterparts, Jartoli urged the authorities to depute enough teachers at these schools so that wards of families of lower strata of the society could get quality education.



Reimposition of 10 pc duty irks industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The proposal for re-imposition of 10 per cent countervailing duty (CVD) on steel bars and structural has been condemned by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings.

Avtar Singh, general secretary of the chamber, said this step, being taken by the union steel and finance ministries, will benefit only the big manufacturers of India but would not give any respite to the consumers of steel in the small-scale sector.

He further asserted that the small sector of engineering industry in China was getting their raw materials comparatively at cheaper rates than in India. He urged that the imposition of CVD of 10 per cent could only be viable if the raw material i.e. steel products were made available on a par with China prices to the small-scale industry in India.

The chamber has requested the ministries to shelve this proposal which will tantamount to stepmotherly treatment to the small-scale industry and adversely affect this industry which is already suffering due to global financial crisis.



Industry to boycott political parties
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Perturbed over the causal attitude of the government towards the industry, the industry yesterday decided to boycott all political parties. It was unanimously decide that S.C. Rahlan will be contesting for the coming Parliamentary elections. Industrialists from the neighbouring states like Jalandhar, Amritsar, Mandi Gobinbgarh also participated in the rally.

Members of all major industrial associations gathered at Rose Garden and marched towards Rakh Bagh. Everybody lighted candles at the Rakh Bagh roundabout.

"We have resolved to say no to the political parties," added one of the members during the rally.

All political parties keep on assuring and giving false promises but nothing has bene materialized so far. "Only Rs 20 lakh has been given to the industry in the yearly layout plan," added he.



Monty's grandmother yearns to meet him
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
This septuagenarian lady is proud of the fact that her grandson is the first Sikh ever to play for the England cricket team, but the pride has a hidden pain in it as she yearns to fondle her grandson for more than two years.

Manjit Kaur, grandmother of Monty Panesar, has an action photograph of the southpaw to hug, as it has been more than two years since she has seen him. It was last time in March 2006 that she had a glimpse of Monty during his arrival at Mohali Stadium before the crucial second test match. “We were allowed to see him closely when the team arrived and it was then that I had a quick look at him, I tried to hug him but security guards did not allow me to do so,” said Manjit Kaur.

And this time she has again suppressed her desire to see her grandson due to the security reasons. Her husband Hari Singh, who has left for Mohali, told her that she could not accompany him as heavy security has been attached with the English team post 26/11 attacks and cops will not allow them to meet the England's spin wizard.

“From tomorrow onwards I will be glued to the television set and watch my grandson play,” she added. However, she is a bit disappointed, as she could not see Monty play for long. “He is a bowler and I am more keen to see him bowl for a longer spell. His batting will no doubt come in the later order,” she said.

She credit Monty's success to her son Paramjeet Singh, who himself is a cricketer at an amateur level. “When Monty was in school his father used to encourage him to play cricket and he also took Monty to cities where cricket matches used to be held. Paramjeet's hard work has finally shown results,” said an emotional grandmother as for her a distance of around 90 km is more than million miles.



Healthy baby contest on Jan 9
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
A healthy baby contest will be held during Lohri Mela on January 9. While on January 8, a seminar will be held on the various subjects that include female foeticide, drug addiction and pollution.

Chairman of the Malwa Sabhyacharak Mach Krishan Kumar Bawa while giving the information said seven persons from varied fields would be honoured with gold medal. A committee has been formed for it which will select the people from different fields. The committee members include Pawan Dewan, Surinder Singh Kooner, Ravinder Rangowal, Joginder Singh, Chaman Lal Batra, Manjeet Sodhia, Dr Neelam Khosla.

The committee will decide about the personalities to be honoured by January 5.



School lecturer charge-sheeted
Allegations of misusing powers
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 22
A lecturer of Government Senior School has been charge sheeted for misusing her powers. Jasbir Kaur is a lecturer of biology in the school for the last 11 years. In an inquiry initiated against her, the director, the education department, Punjab, sought her reply on the charges imposed on her within 21 days. The letter No 324 was issued by him on October 23 and she was to reply to the district education officer (DEO) who in turn was to reply to the department with his comments. Evidences of the allegations were attached with the charge sheet.

She was accused to remain out of the school by availing on duty job for herself for 35 days in her 60 days as the school head from November 7, 2007 to January 7, 2008. It is also alleged that she did not inform the department that for 11 long years there was not a single biology student in the school.

In the annual confidential report (ACR) she managed to include the result of Malwinder Kaur and social studies teacher so that she could hide the fact that she is not teaching anybody in the school and evade her transfer.

It is also alleged that she illegally deducted some amount from the teachers that were appointed and paid from the PTA fund. Though she did not replied to the authorities within the prescribed time, when contacted, she blamed these allegations as a baseless propaganda.

She alleges that in the annual examination held last year she had an argument with Pritam Singh, an officer of the education department, who came to the school to supervise the examinations being conducted, she alleged that he demanded Rs 10,000 from her on behalf of the DEO and she had refused to oblige his illegal demands. She alleges Pritam Singh of avenging for that argument.

However, though many allegations could be proved after due investigations, the investigation by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the allegation that there was not a single biology student in the school for the last 11 years is true.



Yoga camp ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The five-day yoga camp organized by the Patanjali Yog Samiti today concluded in Model Gram. The samiti was established by Swami Ramdev Maharaj.

People from nearby localities attended the camp and learnt various asanas, including pranayam. Krishan Lal Gupta, state president of the organization, emhasized on the physical, mental and spirtual aspects of yoga.

Area councillor Mamta Ashu called upon the woman to adopt yoga for a healthy and stress-free living.

The samiti workers further stated that yoga was the way of life that has been termed the best since times immemorial. "Yoga brings discipline in life and enables an individual to attain new heights in life," the samiti activists went on to add.



From Schools
Christmas spirit grips schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Christmas was celebrated at St. Xavier School today. The whole school was decorated. Children came to the school in colourful dresses and many of them were dressed as Santa Claus and fairies. Various fun games like musical chair, colour recognition game and one minute show were organized for the enjoyment of children.

Students danced to the tunes of Christmas carols. A teacher, dressed up like Santa Claus, distributed sweets and gifts among all kids, who had a gala time with Santa Claus. It made the day memorable one for the tiny tots. Christmas cake was cut by S. Chopra, principal of the school. V M Chopra, director of the school, threw light on the importance of Christmas and the life of Jesus Christ. The kids were also told to follow the path of virtue and generosity.

Cherryfield Nursery School

Peace, Joy and Love. This was the message of Christmas delivered by the young children of Cherryfield Nursery school, Atam Nagar to the world on Christmas celebrations. Following the terror trail in Mumbai, peace, joy and love was the need of the hour, students were stressed.

A huge banner measuring was realeased into the sky along with 1,000 balloons of different colours. Tiny tots lit candles and prayed to Lord Jesus Christ for bringing peace on earth. The school also donated Rs 10,000 to the charity fund in Mumbai for the terrorist-hit families. The principal praised the children and their efforts. She stressed that peace was the fundamental right of each and every child in the world.

Kiddies Paradise

Tiny tots of Kiddies' Paradise School, Kochar Market, celebrated X-mas and Happy New Year with great pomp and show, enthusiasm and joy. They were dressed up as Santa Claus, Mary, Father, fairies and sisters and celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ by lighting the candles. Carols were sung and prayer were offered. The students enthusiastically danced to the tune of Jingle Bell and wished each other Merry X-Mas and Happy New Year when Santa Claus offered them gifts. School director Randhir Singh appreciated the efforts made by students/teachers to make it successful.



Cultural festival marks intra-regional meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Emerging artists of the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited from different states, namely Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, in their colourful dresses presented a vibrant presentation to mark the annual intra-regional cultural meet.

The cultural meet and traditional handicrafts exhibition was organised by northern region transmission system-II of the corporation at Guru Nanak Bhawan.

S.K. Chaturvedi, CMD of the corporation was the chief guest on the occasion and Dr. Shoba Chaturvedi, president, Srishti Mahila Samaj, was the guest of honour. Chaturvedi inaugurated the cultural meet by lighting the traditional lamp whereas Dr. Chaturvedi had earlier inaugurated the handicrafts exhibition in presence of a large number of guests, mediapersons, corporation employees and their families.

The cultural festival encompassing talent from the four northern states swayed audience to the beats of colourful folk dances and songs highlighting rich composite culture of the region. It was a major event for the employees and their family as amateur talent of the region had gathered to highlight their cultural traditions.

In the programme, items drawn from different areas of the region were artfully staged to depict their culture, namely world famous Punjabi bhangra by young artistes of Moga and Jalandhar, “pahari” folk dance by employees of Rajera Power Pooling Station, Chamba, dogri folk dance by the artistes of Kishenpur, Haryanvi folk dance “panihari” by the artistes of Hisar. The audience was spell bound by artistes, each of whom performed like a thorough professional.



Students awarded
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 22
Annual prize distribution function was held yesterday at Swami Chhagan Lal Hans Raj Jain Public School.

Chief parliamentary Bikramjit Singh Khalsa was the chief guest on the occasion.

President of the school Anil Jain also addressed the gathering.



Net-house cultivation tips for farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The PAU department of Vegetable Crops in collaboration with the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC) and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT) conducted one-day training on "Net-house cultivation of vegetable crops" for farmers here today. Twenty participants from different districts of Punjab participated in the training programme.

The event was inaugurated by Dr. Kanwal Mahindra, associate director of Extension Education. He emphasized that the net-house technology was relevant to small farmers, adding that the participants should share the knowledge gained about this technology with other farmers.

Dr. D.S. Cheema, head, department of vegetable crops, gave the background information about the PAU research on net-house technology of vegetables. He said the technology had a potential for promoting safe vegetable production with minimum use of pesticides and that it was important in improving quality, advancing maturity as well as increasing fruiting span and productivity of vegetables.



Workshop at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
A state-level workshop on management and monitoring of field trials of genetically engineered (GE) crops was jointly organized by PAU and Biotech Consortium India, New Delhi (BCIL) at PAU today. It was sponsored by department of biotechnology and ministry of environment and forests.

Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, V-C, in his presidential remarks, said proper management and monitoring of field trials on genetically engineered crops were necessary to asses the impact of these crops. Dr.N.S. Malhi, director of extension education, welcomed the participants. Dr. Vibha Ahuja, general manager of BCIL, provided an introduction of the workshop while Dr. Ranjini Warrier, director, ministry of environment and forest and member secretary, GEAC, in her opening address, highlighted the role of genetically engineered crops in modern agriculture.



Three schools to be upgraded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The Punjab government is upgrading at least three schools in each block as model schools and a budget worth Rs 400 crore has separately been cleared for “adarsh” schools in the state, said Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, chief parliamentary secretary of the Technical Education, while addressing a gathering at Government Senior Secondary School, Isshdu, here today.

The minister inaugurated a science block at the venue which has been constructed at an expense of Rs 10.50 lakh.

In a drive towards special attention for mental development of less than six years’ children, the state has identified 148 blocks which will have 2,748 aanganwadi centres with latest facilities.



PSEB staff protests against privatisation move
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 22
Led by activists of joint forum, employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today held a circle-level dharna and protest rally at the office of chief engineer, central zone, here today opposing the attempts to disband the board under the provisions of the Electricity Act 2003 and push it towards privatisation.

Serving an ultimatum against persistent efforts by the government to replace the PSEB with corporations, various speakers at the rally said the employees would resort to strike if such policies were not discontinued forthwith.

The activists of the joint forum, including Jagir Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Som Nath, Kewal Singh Banwait and Mohinder Pal, lamented that the PSEB management was closing its eyes towards more than 20,000 posts lying vacant in various categories. With free power being given to the agricultural sector and the government failing to make timely payment of subsidy on this account, the financial conditions of the PSEB was in a complete mess.

The trade union leaders further remarked that in the wake of gross mismanagement on the part of the PSEB authorities, all categories of power consumers were feeling frustrated and many of them had come out on the roads against the failure of the board on all fronts.

They demanded that all vacant posts be filled with fresh recruitment and departmental promotions, all policies of privatisation and outsourcing be done away with, cuts in GPF and salary be discontinued and other anti-employees policies be scrapped.

Among other speakers at the rally were Arun Kumar, Balraj Kumar, Balwinder Singh, Parkash Singh, Harjit Singh, Rachpal Singh, Jasbir Singh and Kishore Chand.



Sarpanch dismissed
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 22
The sarpanch and a panch are reportedly been dismissed from their designations by the Punjab government. The directorate of rural development and the panchayat department has ordered that sarpanch Kulwant Kaur and panch Paramjit Singh of Walipur Kalan village be dismissed from their authorities with an immediate effect.

In a letter No 6/45/08 Ludhiana S/52350/83 dated December 19, 2008 issued by director of the department Gurdev Singh, to the district development and panchayat officer, Ludhiana, and the block development and panchayat officer, Sidhwan Bet, has ordered that the banks at which the panchayat of the village has its account should be informed so that they could not operate them further and the duo be stopped to participate in the activities of the panchayat.

The action taken against them is based on a complaint of Naurang Singh of Walipur village, who has complained against them of encroaching the village panchayat land. In the inquiry, the director found the allegation to be correct and took this extreme step. Incidentally the dismissed panch is a worker of the Congress while sarpanch is a worker of the Left parties.



Demolition drive at Barewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The town planning wing of the municipal corporation held a demolition drive at Barewal here today and destroyed the encroached areas of six shops.

According to information, the drive was taken under the leadership of ATP S.S. Bindra in the morning.

Bindra said these six shops had encroached around two feet of the road and the notices were served to them to make corrections.



Reporters' Diary
HC’s chief justice interacts with DAV students

DAV School students, it seems, are leaving no stone unturned to capitalise on opportunities to interact with VIP guests visiting the cities. As the students of DAV Girls School in Amritsar recently had the privilege of meeting Rahul Gandhi in his recent visit to Punjab, the students of local DAV School, BRS Nagar, skipped their holiday on Sunday to accord welcome to Tirath Singh, chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, who was accompanied by justice Mehtab Singh, justice M.M. Kumar and the host district session judge G.K. Rai.

As many as 20 students of class XI of commerce stream dressed in the school uniform greeted the guests with rose flowers. On being asked why they were not enjoying their holiday, Raghav, Manpreet, Chetna Mishra and Payal, said in unison they thought meeting such dignitaries was more important than spending an idle Sunday. Adding to it, Raghav beams it was the idea of principal R.S. Patil, who gave them the chance to meet and interact with the dignitaries.

Dealing with political highhandedness

Going through the harrowing experience at the hands of political highhandedness, famous Park Plaza Hotel in the city is finding it hard to deal with the attitude of the municipal corporation authorities. The owner of the hotel, who is a sitting MLA of the Congress, Jassi Khangura from the Kila Raipur constituency was left with no other option than knocking the doors of the court to restore the honour of the hotel. In an alleged “choose and target” attitude towards the owner by the ruling alliance of the MC, the boundary of the hotel changed overnight after the MC officials razed the hedge around the hotel recently.

Fighting out odds

Who says a former outlaw loses the right to study and join the mainstream like any other citizen of the country? Former ultra Ranjit Singh Gill, alias Kuki, son of former VC of PAU Dr Khem Singh Gill, has proved there is nothing stopping one's will to study further and joining the mainstream. However, he had to toil hard to convince the authorities at the varsity to take him as a student in MSc plant breeding. He was studying the course during the time of militancy in the state when he left the course and joined ultras. The 48-year-old Kuki has served an 11-year sentence in the US where he was arrested along with his friend after they had fled the country following conviction in a murder case of a Congress leader Lalit Maken and his wife Geetanjali Maken. Out on an open bail and fighting for the end of the jail term after the daughter of the murdered couple pardoned him, Kuki now walks with pride and humility and serves as an example to other ultras to regain their lost pride.

Media and info

It is not easy to extract information from the government schools. The mere mention of the press is enough to give them shivers. They will think twice before imparting any information to the press. I went to one of the schools and teacher said, “Madam, why don't you go to some other school.” I actually had no words in convincing her that people must realise that the press is people friendly and wanted to help them. It is possible only if they open up.

Practise not preach

Print media often takes credit, at times unjustifiably, for highlighting civic problems like bad roads, unsanitary conditions, choked sewers, erratic supply of water and electricity and the authorities responsible for maintaining these amenities and services have to face the wrath of scribes. But for a change, the shoe was on the other foot when an elderly gentleman who had come to drop some letters at the Tribune sub-office here complained about the foul smell coming from a manhole near the stairs. A visibly angry visitor asked this reporter as to how the staff could work in such "stinking" surroundings. "Day in and day out, you people tell the administrators as to what needs to be done to improve the civic system. But when it comes to your own office, you do nothing to keep the surroundings clean."

The point is well made, however, the case pertains to getting different offices in the vicinity of the area. The offices are different and so are the interests. Maybe a beginning needs to be made.

Cow's catwalk

Today while I was on my way to the office there was a traffic jam near Damoria bridge. Though the traffic snarl on the road was not new, the reason for it was surely astonishing. The vehicles were trying to find their way from here and there because a heavily built cow was on a "catwalk". The movement and the style with which the four-legged animal was walking, she could have surely given a tough competition to our top models. Her tail was swinging to and fro and every step she kept was well measured like a planned walk. For a moment, she really steals the show.

Langar for spectators

NRIs are usually known for spending extravagantly when they come back to India. Seeing them shopping in the major markets and malls is a common site. But yesterday during the Canada-America Kabaddi Cup it was a noble gesture of an NRI which came forward before the public. NRI Makhan Singh served langar to the people who had come to watch the match. Usually people find it difficult to find good food during the ongoing event. Keeping this in mind Makhan Singh bought two trolleys full of paranthas and aloo to serve to the public. "Every year I see a lot of people coming from the entire state to watch the cup. So this year I thought of preparing food for the general public so that they do not face inconvenience," he added.

Classroom with a difference

A classroom with a difference is what makes a difference in the lives of students eager to learn “English”, the language that determines your capability in contemporary world. Russell Institute of Spoken English, a newly opened institute in the city, has evolved a system that inculcates confidence in each one of their students. Learning English is a whole new experience, which is made interesting with discussions that revolve round the routine affairs of the students who despite their diverse backgrounds have a passion to learn. These “avid learners”, including factory workers, employees in multinational companies, kindergarten workers, Class IV employees and college students.

Adding new words to their vocabulary followed by their use outside the classroom is an achievement for them, as a student could not hold back his enthusiasm while he shared his experience of having “introduced” himself at a public office in English. "To use lentil for dal, carpet for galicha may be normal for convent/public school students but it was a moment of triumph for me and the credit goes to my teachers," said a factory worker undergoing the course at the institute.

Contributed by: Rajesh Bhambi, Sheetal Chawla, Kuldeep Bhatia, Jyotika Sood, Manav Ghuman, Anshu Seth



City Concerns

The Ludhiana police has withdrawn 35 security personnel from VIP duty in a follow-up to the ongoing debate on pruning the excessive security cover of VIPs. People feel there is scope for greater rationalisation. Residents are peeved at the security cover being provided to VIPs travelling to the city, additional security at sites they visit and unnecessary security to some political leaders.

Residents feel community policing is being compromised, as is indicated by the number of thefts, traffic chaos and numerous incidents. Police personnel on their part maintain that a very small workforce is available for such work.

We would like to seek your opinion on whether large police deployment for VIP security is justified and what should be the criteria in allowing a security cover for an individual or an organisation. Do you recommend that the powerful and rich should employ a private security agency that is monitored by the state police?

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

— City Editor



Punjab TT Meet
Amritsar men, Jalandhar eves win c’ship
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 22
On the penultimate day of the 49th Punjab State Inter-District and Open Table Tennis Championship being organised by the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association (LDTTA) at the Indoor Hall on the Punjab Agricultural University campus here today, Amritsar emerged overall champions in the men's section while Jalandhar bagged top honours in the women's section.

In the men's section, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) secured second poistion and Jalandhar had to content with the third spot. In the women's section, Amritsar and Patiala finished at third position.

In the youth girl's category, Amritsar district came out triumphant to bag the top honours while Ropar and Ludhiana finished at second and third place, respectively.

In the youth girl's section, Jalandhar paddlers proved their mettle to romp home victorious, followed by Amritsar and Fatehgarh Sahib who secured second and third positions, respectively.

A K Mehra, commissioner, Central Excise, Ludhiana, gave away prizes to the winners. A K Aggarwal, general manager, BSNL, Ludhiana, was the guest of honour on this occasion.



GTB student wins silver
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 22
A student of GTB National College, Dakha, brought laurels for the college.

Mandeep Singh, a postgraduation student of Punjabi department of the college, won a silver medal in the Punjab University inter-college power lifting championship held on the PU campus yesterday.

He stood second in the 75 kg weight category and brought rare honour for the college. Principal staff and managing committee of the college felicitated the player and the teachers in charge for this achievement.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |