L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Celebs spell out resolutions
Every New Year, people make resolutions. Manav Ghuman talks to some of the celebrities and asks them about their resolutions

Since I have joined politics now, so this year’s resolution is to solve the problems faced by the general public. I will try to uplift such issues in the Parliament

Hans Raj Hans, Singer

In the coming year, I plan to transform my physique as I was pretty busy last year and need to build up my stamina too. I want to make a mark in whatever I do. I will be making an entry in January in the serial “Jane Kya Baat Hui”, currently being aired on Colors. I will be looking forward to good projects from Bollywood this year

Abhinav Shukla, Model & actor

I never plan the things in advance and take the things as they come. I love to live in the present. I will be busy in modeling assignments throughout the year. Let’s see what exciting and thrilling is in store for me

Neeti Singh, Model

I never make new year resolutions as I end up breaking them. I always believe in taking life as it comes. There is no point in making resolutions and then breaking them later after few months

Divya Dutta, Actor

I have done many serials, and this year, I will try to concentrate more on movies. While my movie “Chak Jawana” with Gurdas Mann is coming, I will look for Hindi films as well. Apart from this theatre is my first love and if I could spare time I would love to do a play

Pardeep Joshi, Actor 

Like every year, this year also I have made a New Year resolution. I will try to spread love and peace this year. I have decided to visit orphanages and help those in need. I want to spread smiles on the faces of those in need

JP Dutta, Actor


HDFC Bank Fraud
Officials in damage control mode
Gang ran bank within bank
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, December 31
The HDFC bank fraud case is now turning into a case of running a parallel private bank within the bank with the accused making unauthorised withdrawal of money from accounts of customers.

The accused bank officials are keeping mum over the issue, while senior bank officials are in damage control mode.

Investigations into the fraud have revealed that the gang of five bank officials had jointly bought shares worth Rs 3.2 crore and due to the slump in market had lost the investment. This proved to be their undoing.

The CIA staff had arrested five employees of the local branch of HDFC Bank, including its manager, on Monday evening for committing fraud by operating accounts and lockers of clients.

The police had acted on a complaint by HDFC bank’s zonal head Vineet Sharma after he found irregularities in the accounts of these employees.

The bank official’s complaint and subsequent comments have many loose ends though. For instance, he is still clueless to the number of accounts the accused held in this or other branches of the bank. He has also been unable to come up with a figure of the amount of fraud. His assertion that not a single locker was operated by the accused falls flat in front of the confession of the accused.

Moreover, a large number of customers thronged the bank to enquire about the balance of their accounts, while officials claimed they had not yet received a single complaint from customers.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that officials were busy pacifying clients who had fallen victims of the gang and had been assured of repayment within five days on the condition that they would not divulge the matter.

The gang used to withdraw money from a customer’s account and when the customer raised the issue with the manager, he used to pay back the money from someone else’s account and the chain continued.

The gang has confessed that they had been operating for the past over 18 months. They claimed that the high-ups in the bank had instructed them not to utter a word about the fraud to anybody.

Bank manager Kapil Dev Mohan, one of the accused, said he had all records with him and would present the case before the court at the time of trial only.

Yesterday, the Jagraon police had booked eight persons.


2 snatchings amid stepped-up security
Youths on bikes take away Rs 6.45 lakh
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Tall claims made by the city police of providing tight security on the New Year’ Eve went up in smoke as two snatching incidents took place in broad daylight at busy market places here today.

In the first incident, three motor cycle-borne youths snatched Rs 6 lakh from a Barewal resident this afternoon. The incident took place at HDFC Bank at Mall road.

Iqbal Singh files a report of snatching at a police station in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Iqbal Singh files a report of snatching at a police station in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

The victim, Iqbal Singh, said he was sitting in his car, while his son Amandeep and nephew were away to the bank for some formalities.

He said three youths riding a bike came close to his car and told him that some cash had fallen from his car.

Just when he opened the car door to look outside, a youth got hold of the bag containing Rs 6 lakh in cash and sped away.

It may be mentioned that the area where the incident took place has residences of top policemen and judicial officers of the city.

Also, the Deputy Commissioner’s residence is barely 100 metres from the crime scene.

The police has registered a case and started investigations.

In the second incident, two youths snatched Rs 45,000 in cash from a Shiv Puri resident. The incident took place near Domoria Bridge.

The two youths on a motor cycle stopped the victim, Sat Narayan Sarma, who was also riding a motorcycle and pushed him towards a corner.

The youths then snatched the cash from the victim and sped away. The victim was on his way to hand over the amount to a businessmen in Upkar Nagar.

Some traffic policemen tried to chase the suspects but in vain.

The incidents have come as rude shock for the city police, which wanted to end the year on a positive note.

Photo on P4



Satluj Club
Gurjar unhappy with house tax assessment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The house tax row between the municipal corporation and Satluj Club seems to have further deepened with the club president, Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar, not being convinced by the assessment of the civic body.

Talking to The Tribune, Gurjar said: “There are many clubs like Satluj and Lodhi clubs but their house tax amount is less as compared to what is being levied on us.” He, however, refused to comment on whether the tax would be paid or not.

The municipal corporation had recently decided to issue notice to the club calling it a “defaulter” and giving it a week’s time to come forward, failing which the club was to be sealed.

The corporation had issued a notice to the club on November 11 and given it three days to pay back around Rs 1.5 crore but the civic body failed to initiated any action at that time too.

Sources in the MC said the house tax was calculated at around Rs 70 lakh and the remaining amount was interest on it. They added that the house tax had not been paid since 1999 and the club had also lost a case in the High Court.

Meanwhile, in a press note issued here yesterday, councillor Sushil Raju Thappar, who is also a house tax committee member, said Municipal Commissioner G.S. Ghuman had promised during the house meeting on December 8 that he would collect revenue from Satluj and Lodhi clubs within 15 days. However, nothing had been done so far. He added that the money received through these clubs could be utilised for development activities in the city.



Rape accused strikes again
Abducts victim; 5 booked
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 31
The Humbran police has booked Harnek Singh, accused of raping and abducting a minor a year ago, for abducting the same girl from Talwandi Nau Abad village.

The police has booked five persons for abducting the minor girl from her home.

Samitra Bai of Talwandi Nau Abad village, near Humbran, complained to the police that Harnek Singh of Ranke village with the help of Daljit Singh of Talwandi Nau Abad village, Kanta Bai of Ludhiana, Shindo Bai and Babu Singh of Kotli Kullan village, near Sidhwan Bet, abducted her minor daughter, Jaswinder Kaur (15) (name changed), from her house on Monday morning.

She also complained that the accused had come to their house a day before and tried to pressure the victim to reach a compromise, to which she refused.

Earlier, Harnek Singh along with his maternal uncle Amarjit Singh had allegedly raped the victim at his home. A case was registered under Section 376, IPC, at the Humbran police station on January 14, 2008 in this regard.

At that time, Paramjit Kaur had called the victim to her house to watch a film. She along with Jindra Bai and Harjit Singh allegedly locked her in the room with Harnek Singh and Amarjit Singh where they both raped her.

In that case, the police had arrested Paramjit Kaur, Jindra Bai and Harjit Singh. The three had been denied bail in the case. Harnek and Amarjit had been at large ever since.

The accused wanted the girl to reach a compromise with them so that they could get bail in the case. The Humbran police has booked the accused under Sections 363, 366 and 120 B, IPC. The police is conducting raids at suspected hideouts of the accused to arrest them.



Winter Shatabdi’s fate hangs in balance
Trial run ends today
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 31
With the one-month trial run of Ludhiana-New Delhi Winter Shatabdi coming to an end tomorrow, there is no official word yet on further extension of the train in view of the improved occupancy on the train in the past couple of days.

However, if positive feedback sent by the divisional headquarters at Ferozepur to the Railway Ministry is any indication, the Shatabdi might be continued for some more time with extension to Jalandhar to further improve the traffic and make it a commercially viable proposition.

The Northern Railway had introduced the Winter Special Shatabdi (2013A/2014A) on trial basis and was to run from New Delhi between December 3 and 31 and from Ludhiana between December 4 and January 1.

The train starting from Ludhiana at 6 am with stopovers at Ambala and Panipat was aimed at providing the business community in the city with a full working day in the national capital.

While the response to the new train was poor initially, the traffic had started to pick up towards the end of December, said railway officials here.

According to sources, both economy and executive class seats in the train were full on December 29, there were a few vacant seats in both the categories on December 30 while all executive class seats were full again this morning with around 25 seats going vacant in the economy class.

Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of Northern Railways Dharmendra Kumar said on telephone from Ferozepur today that in the wake of passenger traffic picking up during the past few days, a positive feed back had been sent to the headquarters and would take a final decision on the fate of the Winter Shatabdi.

“We have, however, suggested that in order to further improve the occupancy, the train might be extended to Jalandhar and continued for some more time to assess its viability.”

Several associations of trade and industry, meanwhile, have urged the Railway Ministry not to discontinue the train as with improvement in weather conditions, the occupancy was bound to improve.

In a communication to the railways, Knitwear Club president Vinod Thapar has appealed to extend the train for some time and initiate necessary steps to provide better coaches and more facilities to travelling public.

Meanwhile, with no letup in the cold wave and dense fog in the region, train services, particularly up trains on trunk routes, remained affected.

Most of the Amritsar and Jammu-bound trains coming from Howrah, Mumbai and other places in the south and east were running late by several hours. For the past two days, Shatabdi, Swarn Shatabdi and Shan-e-Punjab were also running behind schedule, putting rail passengers to inconvenience.



Trees felled in two public parks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Over a dozen trees were felled illegally in two parks on the Cemetery Road maintained by the municipal corporation here today. The area is said to be one of the important green belts maintained by the civic body in the city as there are four public parks in a row.

According to eyewitnesses, some Kashmiris came to the parks in the morning and started cutting trees.

On being questioned, they said: “The area councillor had asked us to cut these trees.”

The driver of a Tempo parked nearby said he had been asked to ferry the wood to a cremation ground. However, when he saw mediapersons converge on the spot, he fled.

Junior municipal staff claimed that by the time they reached the scene the labourers employed to fell the trees had vanished.

However, some residents and watchmen claimed that the Kashmiris had been taken away by some government officials.

The tree trunks lay on the ground till late in the evening and no official came forward to pick these up.

In spite of repeated attempts, area councillor Bharat Bhushan Ashu could not be contacted. His wife Mamta Ashu said: “He is out of station, so his mobile is switched off.”

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, horticulture XEN Dr JS Bilga said: “The trees have been felled illegally no matter what the reason may be.” He said he was yet to go through the reports of the supervisor and the JEs who were sent to the scene.

He added that an FIR would be registered after bringing the matter to the notice of the Municipal Commissioner.

Meanwhile, residents have condemned the felling of trees. A resident, on the condition of anonymity, said: “The trees were huge. It’s shocking to hear that the trees were felled on the pretext of getting more sunlight for residents in winters.”



Students duped of hefty fee
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The education institutes in city, as always, remained abuzz with activities in the year 2008. Though Panjab University, Chandigarh, proposed a uniform fee structure, still certain colleges imposed fee structure as per their “rules” to which parents and students opposed in the form of strikes.

Students at almost all the leading colleges, including Guru Nanak Girls College, Gujranwala Guru Nanak College, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Kamla Lohtia College, Arya College etc observed strikes in the year 2008 for the “increased” fee structure. The parents even alleged that most of the college managements were “exploiting” students by charging hefty amounts during the time of admissions.

Incidents of violence were also witnessed at certain Boys’ Colleges at the time of students’ unions elections. Though elections are banned in colleges in the state but students feel that this right should be given to them so that their problems were properly addressed.

During the time of senate elections in September, the contestants left no stone unturned to “prove their worth”.

Candidates from the city, as previous years, proved their mettle by reserving good number of seats in Panjab University Senate.

At BEd colleges in the city, hundreds of seats were left vacant as thousands of students failed to clear the entrance exams. It was because of the changing exam pattern that seats were left vacant. After the intervention of Punjab and Haryana High Court, the seats were filled in BEd colleges but here too, the parents alleged being duped at the hands of college managements.

Last but not the least the Government College Teachers’ Association, Ludhiana, was divided at one point. Allegations and counter allegations were made but things settled with the intervention of senior and experienced educationists.



New Year — A day of celebration, aspirations
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
New Year is a special day for everyone, it’s a day of celebration and aspirations - of what has been achieved and what is yet to be achieved. It’s also a day of promises and resolutions. New Year means all the novelties of the life new hopes, new aspirations and new ideas.

Prabhleen, a student of Sacred Heart Convent School, says that her New Year resolution is to control her anger and be nice to the parents. She is fully resolved to do her best in the board exams so as to get admission in a good institute. She is going to celebrate New Year at home with her parents due to thick fog outside.

Komal, a student of the same school, says that she is going to celebrate New Year eve with her parents and grandparents. Her New Year resolution is to score good marks in board exams and to visit Australia.

Sania, another school student, says for her New Year means everything new. She will be going to gurdwara with her parents at 12 in the night to offer prayers. Her resolution is to be faithful to her parents and to score good marks in order to come up to their 

Children of the government schools too have their aspirations.

Suraj, a Class IV student craves to study in a private school. He feels that standard of studies in government schools is not so good.

Sushil, a student of government school, is resolute to work hard and study in a college after finishing his schooling. He further added that he wants to be an engineer.



At the Crossroads
War imperative for lasting peace

What happened in Mumbai on November 26 will loom large on the horizon of the New Year, 2009. That was not merely an attack by the terrorists but a challenge to the Indian nation. It is hard to brook the insult lying down in the hop of the cessation of such terrorist attacks in the future.

As is well known, there is a network of terrorist camps in Pakistan and these will continue to breed suicide bombers in the years to come. There is more in the pipeline of the training camps in Pakistan which have the patronage of the establishment as well as the army invertly or covertly. It is well-nigh impossible to thwart the activities of the perpetrators of terror and mayhem without the solid support of the global powers. There has been some response but not enough strong measures appear to be in the offing.

The world will help us when we are strong enough to help ourselves in resolving our problems. No one is going to take up our cause if we are dithering in projecting our strength. We should be prepared for war if we want peace, as the saying goes. In the civilised world, there are a number of dark spots where the people are still rooted to the medieval times. Such societies breed boors and brutes who try to disrupt the whole system. Violence is their way of living and blood-shedding their hobby. They have no mind to see reason or respond to logic.

In the past ages, the hordes of mercenaries devastated civilised societies, razed to the ground the grand monuments and burnt to the ashes the well-stocked libraries. At this time, to meet the challenges of the terrorists, the comity of nations have to devise methods to contain them in their regions and then to extirpate them for the good of humanity. This process will take time as the evil tends to harm goodness before meeting its end.

At this juncture, war with Pakistan will provide no solution to the threat that emanates from its terrorist activities. Rather it will kill innocent people on both the sides of the border. Tempers are indeed high and, at a weak moment, the monster of war can cloud the minds of the persons at the helm of affairs in both the countries. Such an eventuality can put the clock of progress back to the decades. Poverty will further deepen its teeth into the flesh of the suffering multitudes.

The earlier wars with Pakistan solved no problem, rather these created more troubles which have so far defied any solution. Sahir Ludhianvi put his views about war so very succinctly at the time of the Indo-Pak conflict in 1965-

Jang to khud hi mas-ala hai ek;

Jang kya mas-alon ka hal deigi Aag aur khun aaj bakhshaygi

Bhuk aur ehtyaz kal deigi

(War is a problem in itself. How can it provide any solution to the problems? Today it will shed blood and resort to arson. Tomorrow it will create poverty and starvation.)

The need of the hour is to create the climate of preparedment among the common people, particularly the middle class. This class has become complacent and self-indulgent. Physical activity has taken a back seat and the mind is always attuned to devising ways and means to be more prosperous. This has led to fear-phobia at the slightest turn of events. The tendency is to seek refuge in platitudes instead of facing the calamitous situation with courage and determination. Confronted with casteism and regionalism, it has lost contact with national ethos and is also bereft of the broader outlook.

There is an old saying in Persian that a person who is leading a placid and impassive life is devoid of the pleasure of living. True living is to be in the company of danger in one form or another- “Agar hayat khahi, ander khatar zai.”

NS Tasneem



From Schools & Colleges
GGSPS student makes it to TV show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Raymon Dutta, a student of Guru Gobind Singh Public School, has been selected in ‘Dance India Dance’ competition being organised by ZEE TV. Manjit Kaur, principal, congratulated the student on behalf of the management and blessed her for her future achievements. She also congratulated Teja Singh, choreographer of the school and music faculty of the school on this accomplishment.

NSS camp ends

A seven-day NSS camp by three units of the SDP College for Women under the theme Healthy Youth for Healthy India concluded here today.

A cultural programme consisting of dances and songs marked the culmination of the camp. S Verma, director, presided over. The students displayed jewellery items, gift bags etc that they had prepared during the camp after their training by Ms Anita from Pidi Lite. Verma praised the NSS volunteers and programme officers who braved the chilly weather for serving nation through the social service.

Annual prize distribution

Amrit Indo Canadian Academy celebrated the annual prize distribution function and martyrdom day of Sahibzadas on the school campus with zeal and enthusiasm.

The programme started with ‘Mool Mantra’. Choir of the academy presented talks and shabads on the life of Shri Guru Gobind Singh and four Sahibzadas. The whole show was organised and conducted by the students of the academy.

Annual prizes were given to the winners in academic and co-curricular activities. The academy also organised a two-day camp for the students, which were conducted by a team of 12 students' educationists and teachers from UK under the guidance of Bhai Balraj Singh.

Alumni meet

ICFAI National College on shifting its new campus organised its annual alumni meet 'Anusmriti 08' here today on the college campus.

Brig SS Gill, principal, emphasised the need of self-discipline. He threw light on the scholarship scheme in which the students with 60 per cent and above marks in their graduation become eligible for scholarships ranging from 25 to 60 per cent of their tuition fee.



Education Board discusses faulty policies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
A general meeting of the members of the association of the PSEB (Punjab School Education Board) affiliated schools, Punjab (Regd.), aided schools, private schools, unaided schools was held yesterday under the presidentship of Rajinder Sharma along with other members of the association.

The association discussed the various problems confronted by the schools of the state. Rajinder said the new education policy, which is being implemented by the PSEB for Class X students, is fully defective.

According to this policy every student has to pass seven subjects in annual exams. But in the previous education policy the passing criteria is only six subjects.

In the literacy rate Punjab is lagging behind. If the new education policy is implemented then it will be very harmful to the literacy rate in Punjab. Many students will drop out due to the failure in the examination. Moreover, they join NIOS or other open boards, which is a great loss to the affiliated schools. It will become difficult for the Government schools to compete with the affiliated schools/ recognised/aided schools.

The new education policy will affect the image of the Government schools. Government has launched 'Sarab Siksha Abhiyan' to increase the literacy rate in Punjab. But on the other hand it is crushing this noble goal by implementing such type of educational policies.

The delegation decided that they would meet the Punjab Chief Minister and education minister to sort out the problem for the welfare of the students.



In Retrospect|Rural Police
Terrorist group biggest catch
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, December 31
The Ludhiana (rural) police arrested various terrorist and busted gangs involved in robberies, vehicles thefts, narcotic smuggling, etc during the past year.

The highlight remained the busting of a terrorist group and seizure of around 24 kg explosives and 25 detonators from the accused.

The police also got a major success in an NRI murder case when Tejinderpal Kaur, wife of victim Basant Singh of Jalalabad East in Moga district, was arrested for the murder. The NRI settled in Finland was allegedly kidnapped on September 19 by unknown persons and on September 23 his body was recovered from a canal near Kalian Wali village.

Also, a Pakistan spy was arrested by the Jagraon police.

A gang of heroine smugglers was neutralised during this period and an inter-state gang of dacoits and contract killers busted.

Under the NPDS Act, 89 cases were registered in which 94 persons were arrested and 13 kg opium, around 46 quintal poppy husk, 517 gm smack, two gram charas were recovered from the accused.

Under the Gambling Act, 19 cases were registered in which, 26 persons were arrested and Rs 18,605 were recovered from them.

While under the Arms Act, 24 cases were registered in which 24 persons were arrested and 10 pistols, 4 magazines, 17 knives, 1 rifle, 59 kg explosives and 25 detonator were recovered from them.

Also, under the Excise Act, 82 cases were registered in which 84 persons were arrested and 792 litres of illicit liquor were recovered from them.

The police also registered 168 cases of theft, robbery, etc and arrested 147 persons. In these cases, property of worth over Rs 1 crore was stolen out of which property worth around Rs 93 lakh was recovered. Also, 34 proclaimed offenders were arrested during the year.

The district police also conducted seminars on AIDS awareness, drugs held de-addiction camps and traffic awareness programmes in various schools, collages and truck unions of the district.



Cong councillor for road after BJP Mayor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
While the whole nation has always witnessed the Congress and the BJP at battlefront, a small gesture of Congress Councillor Parminder Mehta has emerged as an example for the party heads.

Mehta has asked Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman to name a road in the memory of former BJP Mayor Chaudhary Sat Prakash by submitting a memorandum.

Sharing the reason behind his move, Mehta said, “He was one of the most sincere Mayors municipal house ever had and my gesture is just a tribute to the contributions made by him.” He revealed that he was a politician who had an appeal in masses and the time period which was served by him, starting from 1992, was one of the most important arenas of development for the city.

He said the first municipal house in Ludhiana stands an example as the Mayor was from the BJP, while the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor were held by Congress candidates.



Penury no hurdle for Nandpuri
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, December 31
Absolute destitution could not deter Nandpuri’s determination to ascend the ladder of triumph. A fine anchor, skillful commentator, expert cameraman, bold journalist and renowned singer, Avtar Nandpuri, rose to master all trades with the dint of his commitment and resolve.

Nandpuri has till now anchored a number of cultural programmes where his unique presentations have won due acclaim. He has also performed on various television channels and has conducted rural sports, especially Kabaddi matches, during the rural sports meets.

Besides, he is an expert cameraman who is not restricted to his photography shop, but has worked with prominent singers and personalities for which he gives credit to professionals like Ravinder Pal Singh Grover, Indermohan Singh, Avtar Singh Bhola, Nitish Joshi and Gurcharandeep Kohara, whom he thinks have played a multifarious role in helping him reach this stage.

Avtar matriculated from the government school, Dharaur, and joined Arya College, Ludhiana, for his further studies. He had made a resolve to carve a niche for himself and be a support for his destitute parents, who were in no position to sustain a joint family.

Moreover, the college was the only place where his cultural tastes and artistic sensibilities could get a boost.

Also, Avtar is a promising journalist and works for Hindi and Punjabi dailies. As Avtar believes in honest reporting, he has exposed a number of scandals through his honest and bold writings.

Besides, Nandpuri enthusiastically arranges regular cultural shows where he provides many, a befitting exposure.

Nandpuri says, “The songs and videos being picturised today carry minimum food for thought, rather they are perverted to the core. They are a bane for the coming generations, who have nothing informative and constructive to pick up from these obscene and perverted numbers and videos.”

Avtar feels that the promotion of cultural values is the sole aim of his life. He wishes to go abroad and hopes to infuse the Punjabi sprit in the foreign minds with the help of his anchoring and presentation skills.

He also wishes to arouse the Indian diaspora from its slumber, as he views that they can remain true to their roots only by spreading their culture and language in the foreign lands.



Provide stimulus package to farmers: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Considering the ongoing recession in the market, if the government continued providing second stimulus packages to the industry or the banks, it would be of no use. For the progress of our country, we need to provide the best to agriculture sector. These views were expressed by food analyst Dr Devinder Sharma, who was in the city recently to deliver a lecture on Food Security of India at a village near Raikot, here.

Dr Sharma said government was providing packages to the sectors that were the “defaulters”, including the banks. He said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had recently asked the banks to bring maximum liquidity. From December 1-8, in one week or so, banks deposited huge amount of Rs 3,27,000 crore to the RBI at 5 per cent rate of interest. “This indicates that banks were never short of funds,” he said.

Secondly, government was pumping money in the real estate business, which was again a wrong step. The rates of property had gone up to 450 per cent in the recent times. “They (dealing in real estate) are the ones who are fleecing and exploiting people.” It was definitely government’s apathetic attitude that agriculture in the country was facing tough times. 



MC body seeks more staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The Municipal Corporation Engineers Association, Punjab, has sent a reminder to the Principal Secretary of the local government, asking him to recruit staff in accordance with the norms laid by the Punjab government.

In a press release issued here today, association president Joginder Singh Sandhu said acute shortage of engineers in various municipal corporations of the state was affecting the performance of the workers.

He revealed that according to the norms, there should be 119 posts of junior engineers, while there were only 48 sanctioned posts out of which 31 were still vacant. Similarly, posts at the level of assistant corporation engineers too lied vacant.

He also disclosed that municipal commissioner of Ludhiana GS Ghuman had forwarded a request to the government to create 73 more posts of JEs, 9 of SDEs and 4 posts of XENs for coping with the work of supervision effectively.



Focus on energy to sustain growth: Study
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, December 31
The present growth scenario of Indian economy is largely a result of the increased use of energy. Higher and higher doses of energy input will be required to sustain this growth rate in the times to come. Therefore, the planning of energy supplies and the management of energy demand must be an area of interest of the government, policy makers and the civil society.

This has been observed in a study “Maintaining high growth rate and future energy demand and supply scenario of India” presented by Dr AS Bhullar of the economics department of Punjab Agricultural University at an international conference on Sustaining Development, Challenges before Asian Societies organised by Punjabi University.

The study points out that the population of India is expected to be 1,197 million in 2011-12 and 1,468 million in 2031-32. The GDP is likely to reach Rs 122.71 billion in 2031-32 if economy continues to grow at 8 per cent. The total primary commercial energy (TPCE) is likely to increase from 521 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2011-12 to 898 Mtoe in 2021-22 and further 1,514 Mtoe in 2031-32. Similarly, the electricity requirement will jump to 1,097 billion kilowatts hour (BKWH) in 2011-12. The peak demand for electricity bill will also grow in the similar fashion forcing to maintain an excess capacity in the off peak period.

To meet the growing demand for electricity, the installed generation capacity requirement will go up to 220 gigawatts (GW) in 2011-12 and afterwards a three and half times increase is required by 2031-32.

The study says that to meet these energy requirements the demand for coal, natural gas and oil will increase at a very fast rate. The demand for coal will increase to 627 million tones (MT) in 2011-12 to 1,131 MT in 2021-22 and further to 2,037 MT in 2031-32.

More than 70 per cent demand will be for power generation. The demand for natural gas will go up to 219 billion cubic meters during this period. The demand for gas power generation will go up at a higher rate than the non-power demand and consequently the share of non-power demand will decline in the total demand while the share for power generation will go up.

The study has emphasised that the energy sector may be declared as sensitive sector. There should be a proper assessment of growth promoting measure on demand for energy. This will sensitise the policy planners and help in preventing the adverse impacts on energy sector rather than curing these at the later stage.

The study has further pointed out that India is well endowed with sunshine and solar energy has a great promise for the future. A road map for harvesting solar energy for fifty years may be drawn. A cooperative research and development programme with the countries of hot region needs to be chalked out on costs and benefits sharing basis.

The study has emphasised on the rationalisation of energy subsidies. Providing free or flat rate based electricity to agriculture generate inefficiencies in use as the marginal cost principle becomes imperative. The use of CFL, instead of incandescent lamp, saves more than 80 per cent of electricity. Subsidies on such gadgets should be provided so that people may retire the old technologies and replace them with newer ones.

The study further stresses the need for higher resources in research and development and stricter regulations to improve efficiency of energy use. Transmission losses must be checked which are as high as 20 per cent.



Kimi misses ‘saag’, ‘makki di roti’ 
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Though at every New Year Kimi Verma parties hard at Los Angles, this year will be special as it is the first time she is in her hometown on the New Year. Ushering into New Year while in her hometown is giving her a special feeling. Kimi was in the city to shop for jewellery at a local store.

While in LA, she misses “makki di roti” and “sarson da saag” the most. “We get ‘saag’ there (in LA) in tins, but its taste can never match to that prepared by mom,” she adds.

“Though we are living abroad, in hearts of our hearts we are very close to our culture and traditions. We have kept our values intact,” she adds.

Whenever she is in India she never misses to visit an orphanage home in Jalandhar and spend time with kids. “We had sheer fun recently. I arranged a small party for the kids with DJ. We danced whole day and at the end I was happy to see a smile on children’s face,” she said.

Coming to films, Kimi said she was reading the scripts of three films, but had not finalised anything yet. “I love to be a part of Punjabi films and I do one film every year so there is no hurry. My last film “Mera Pind, My Home” received good response not only from the Indian audience but the overseas audience as well,” she said with a smile.

Though many Hindi films are offered to her but she loves her native language and wants to do Punjabi films only. “I come all the way from the US to do one Punjabi film every year,” she quips.



Achieving excellence in dairy farming: VC
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
New Year resolution may be a thing of past for the younger generations, but when it comes to the middle age groups and older generations, a proclamation to the self does matter as you bid adieu to the old year and welcome the New Year.

A cross section of people, including the top bracketed government officials, while speaking to The Tribune revealed about their professional goals and personal aspirations as a part of their New Year resolutions.

Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU, says he will focus on achieving excellence in veterinary, fisheries and dairy farming in terms of education and extension in the coming year.

“I am determined to introduce newer innovations in teaching and to upgrade the infrastructure in GADVASU,” he added.

Disclosing his personal aspirations, Dr Taneja said, “I just can’t disengage myself from my profession, thus I will be there with my colleagues to share my vision for the university and work for the same.”

SSP RK Jaiswal said the emphasis in year 2009 would be on anti-terrorist front as this was the biggest challenge before the police professionals. Improving upon the professional skills, increase in surveillance in remote areas and upgrading infrastructure would be the thrust areas.

“At the same time I want to catch up with my reading habit for which I have already bought a book,” said the SSP.

Mohit Inder Bawa, Miss World Punjaban, said “Coming from a small town, Salempur, near Dhuri, I have learnt a lot during my stay in Ludhiana and I wish to initiate my campaign against female foeticide and drug addiction in Punjab.

In my capacity of being “Punjab di dhi”, as I have been called by my elders and seniors, this is my chance to act and not just voice my opinions. I will side with the NGOs in the coming year and do something constructive for the unborn girls and the drug addict youth in the state.”

Dr SP Sharma, civil surgeon, said, “Implementation of National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) schemes and bringing the funds sent by the Centre for various projects under the schemes to the optimum use is amongst my priorities. The main focus will be on family welfare and community health programmes in urban, semi-urban and rural areas.” He further added that, “Personally speaking, I just plan to work in peace, share cordial relations with my colleagues and spend few hours in isolation.”

Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana, president, Punjabi Sahit Akademy, said, “Getting funds of Rs 25 lakh, as announced by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, is on the top of my agenda for the coming year. I have plans to make some bookshops inside Punjabi Bhawan wherein books in Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and other languages can be made available for the keen readers of the city, but this can be achieved after the availability of funds.”

He added that, “I have managed to get Rs 5 lakh from the SGPC as promised by them, which has been used to improve the infrastructure of the Punjabi Sahit Akademy.”



Educating girl child

Doraha, December 31
All-India Women's Conference in charge Kuljit Kaur, a social worker from Delhi, visited Green Grove Public School during their annual function recently.

While addressing the students and their guardians, especially those of the rural backdrop, she asserted that girl child needed to be given special focus. — OC



16-month-old Robbery
Accused absconding; complainants approach CM
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 31
Accusing the police of acting at the behest of some SAD leaders of the Payal constituency, owners of Super Jatindra Pipes, Jhamatt, have urged the Chief Minister to impress upon the Dehlon police to arrest suspects who allegedly took away a truck at gunpoint from their factory over 16 months ago.

Though the accused, office-bearers of the Truck Operators Union Malaudh, had demanded cancellation of the case, terming the case politically motivated, the Ropar SSP, who probed the matter on their request, substantiated the allegations and added Section 392 to the FIR registered by the Payal police on September 4 last year. SSP Ludhiana (rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar has directed the circle officer to do the needful in the case, which has recently been transferred from Payal police to the Dehlon police.

In a communiqué addressed to higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Rajesh Kumar Singla and Sanjiv Kumar Singla, local industrialists and owners of Super Jatindra Pipes, alleged that the police had not arrested any of more than 10 suspects who had allegedly robbed a truck from their factory after beating and threatening their labourers at gunpoint on September 2 last year.

The accused, later identified as office bearers of Truck Operators Union, Malaudh, had struck on the factory during night and taken away the truck filled with stone crusher after thrashing some workers and threatening others.

However, the snatched vehicle overturned in fields near Sihar village and was impounded by the police the next day. Though the Payal police had registered a case against some persons, including Balbir Singh Bira, Jaswant Singh Somal Kheri, Amar Singh Dhaulmajra, Sarabjit Singh Dhaulmajra and sarpanch Davinder Singh Timberwal, no arrest was made even after 16 months of the robbery.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the investigation of the case was affected due to factionalism among senior SAD leaders of the area.

While a former minister and in-charge of Payal constituency segment was accused of shielding the accused, former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha supported the complainant.

As administration of the Sihar police chowki, under which the area of incident fell, was under Payal circle, the police did not arrest the accused. The Ropar SSP, who acting on directions of the DGP had probed the case, had substantiated the allegations levelled by the complainants and added Section 392 to the FIR. But the accused were not arrested.

The accused had been booked under various Sections of the IPC.



Four arrested in bank heist case
Our Correspondent

Khamano, December 31
The Fatehgarh Sahib police has succeeded in identifying and arresting the fourth accused in a bank heist at Khamano about a year ago.

According to information, the fourth accused, Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Samrala, was on the run and surrendered at Shimplapuri Police Station, Ludhiana, on December 12 in another case. On receiving the information, a police party of CIA, Sirhind, recovered a 9 mm pistol, six live cartridges and Rs 1 lakh cash from him. He was again sent to Ludhiana in judicial remand on December 29.

With this arrest all four accused in this connection have been arrested. A year ago the youths had looted Rs 46,15,000 cash from SBI branch, Khamano, situated in the heart of the city on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road by tying the bank staff and some customers. The police succeeded after great efforts in this case as no clue was found from the spot.



Cricket Tourney
Chinton, Jagarpreet steer BBF XI to win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 31
A swashbuckling innings of 57 runs by Chinton Sehgal and an evenly useful contribution with the ball by Jagarpreet Singh (4 for 13) steered BBF XI to a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Saraswati Modern School, Humbran Road, in the final of the 5th Sarpanch Bachan Singh Memorial Open Cricket Tournament played at the Sarpanch Bachan Singh Cricket Academy at Balloke on Humbran Road here today.

In the 20 overs each side final, batting first, Sarswati Modern School batsmen failed to deliver the goods, as their innings folded at a meager total of 86 runs with two balls to spare.

Only three batsmen namely Anil Singla (19), Bharat Malhotra (17) and Piyush Likhi (12) could reach the double figure. For BBF XI, Jagarpreet Singh was the most successful bowler who claimed four wickets for 13 runs in his quota of four overs. Shakun Verma chipped in with two wickets for 17 runs.

BBF XI achieved the target quite comfortably as Chinton smashed 57 runs with the help of nine boundaries and two towering sixes. Tarun Passi remained unbeaten on 15 runs. The lone wicket fell to Bharat Mahotra who conceded 23 runs for his single victim.

The winners pocketed a cash prize of Rs 11,000 while the runners up received a cash prize of Rs 5,100. Chinton and Shakun, both of BBF XI were declared the best batsman and the best bowler, respectively.

Jagarpreet Singh, too of BBF XI was named the best all-rounder. Piyush Likhi and Manik Verma, both of Saraswati Modern School were adjudged the best wicket keeper and the best fielder, respectively.

Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, zila parishad Ludhiana, distributed the prizes. Mohinder Pal Singh Grewal, secretary, zila parishad along with, Charanjit Singh, district sports officer, Moga, Ashok Bajaj and Varinder Patwari, chief organisers of the tournament were also present.



Age manipulation rampant in sports
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, December 31
In the absence of any specific guidelines, the trend of participation of overage players in different level tournaments goes on unabated making many deserving sportspersons sufferers.

As this unfair practice is often encouraged by certain sports associations and federations so that players fielded by these organisations can win accolades in order to garner government attention and also get funds as performance is the criteria of receiving financial assistance/ grants.

These sports organisers unmindfully do injustice to the players by denying the deserving sportspersons of their rights.

In a related incident, an upcoming shuttler from Ludhiana, Arnav Galhotra, faced a similar situation during the All-India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament held recently in Chandigarh when he had to face his opponent who appeared to be very senior to him.

In the u-10 years’ age group (doubles), Arnav, pairing with Udhav from Amritsar, wrapped up two matches and in the third round encounter they were pitched against the duo of Siril Verma and Anirudh from Andhra Pradesh.

When Arnav’s father Vineet Galhotra lodged a protest with chief referee PCS Rao against Siril, who seemed to be much senior to his son, to get the medical check up of the boy from Andhra Pradesh, the latter bluntly turned down the plea.

Galhotra informed that when Rao and the vice-president of the Badminton Federation of India (BFI), TPS Puri, refused to pay any heed to his request to ascertain Siril’s date of birth and provide him a photocopy of the same, he managed on his own to note down the required details.

Galhotra found that Siril’s year of birth was 1999 as per the records available with the organisers and the birth certificate was issued in 2006 by the Mandal Revenue Officer (MNO), Kovvur in Andhra Pradesh.

Later, Galhotra sought information from the MNO who submitted that according to Section 13 (III) of the Birth and Death Registration Act, 1969, the delayed birth certificates beyond one year are to be issued by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate or the Revenue Divisional Officer only and no such certificate was issued to Siril in 2006 which substantiated that the certificate was illegal.

“I spoke to Union Minister Dr MS Gill who marked the case to VK Verma, president of the BFI, to look into the complaint and submit him the report,” Dr Galhotra added.



Canada Gold Cup from today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 31
Eight teams namely Mehta Gurkul Academy of Doraha, Namdhari Academy of Bhaini Sahib, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy of Amritsar, Ludhiana Academy, Jarkhar Academy, Sarinh Academy of Jalandhar, Surjit Academy of Jalandhar and Sangrur Academy will be vying for top honours in the Canada Gold Cup Hockey Tournament to be played at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana from January 1 to 3.

According to Rajinder Singh Hissowal and Raghubir Singh, organisers of this tournament, Dr MS Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, Ludhiana will inaugurate the tournament.



10-a-side cricket trials from January 3
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 31
Trials to select four teams of Ludhiana for the forthcoming T-10 Gully Cricket Tournament will be conducted at the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground, Ludhiana on January 3 and 4 from 10.30 am onwards.

This tournament will be played in 8 cities of the country -- Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kanpur, Lucknow, Thane, Pune, Nasik and Surat -- simultaneously on January 28.

The tournament will feature four sponsored teams comprising 11 players each and each innings will have a maximum of 10 overs. The top team from each city will vie for the play-off in Mumbai.

The play-offs will feature two groups of four teams each with the top two teams each from each group qualifying for the semi-finals.

The registration forms can be had from MGM Public School, Dugri or Dhingra Property Dealers, Haibowal Kalan, Ludhiana.

The interested teams may contact Charanjit Bhangu on mobile No. 98884 52659.



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