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Naib Tehsildar amassed property worth Rs 1 cr: VB
Work at Sub-Registrar offices suffers
for second consecutive day
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Naib Tehsildar of Mullanpur Dakha Salinder Singh, who was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 5,000, has amassed property worth more than Rs 1 crore.

Investigations by the Vigilance Bureau into the assets the Naib Tehsildar reveal that he has properties in the names of his two brothers, son and father. Besides, he has 14 plots in his name.

Vigilance officials said the documents related to these properties were confiscated from the Naib Tehsildar's residence in Harinder Nagar, Patiala, following raids by the sleuths.

Vigilance Bureau SSP Kanwarjit Singh said as many as 25 plots in different areas of Patiala were owned by the Naib Tehsildar's family.

The VB did not prepare a list of properties that were inherited by Salinder Singh, said the SSP.

He had paid Rs 25 lakh as stamp duty to get the properties registered in his or his family members' name.

The market rate of these properties was being pegged at Rs 1 crore or even more, said the SSP.

Meanwhile, to protest against his arrest, the Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars of the state have joined hands and have gone on four-day mass causal leave.

The Tehsildars’ Association alleged that the VB had falsely implicated their colleague. The association has also threatened to intensify its agitation if Salinder Singh is not released soon.

The work in all the revenue offices suffered for the second consecutive day today as the Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars remained away from work. They had proceeded on mass casual leave till this weekend yesterday.

The district administration did not make any arrangements to help the public get their works done.

The residents continued to suffer as their works were deferred for the time being. "If they are ready to protest, then we do not know for how long my documents would not be registered. I have to start the construction of my house after availing a bank loan. I need the deed registered as soon as possible," rued Dinesh Galhotra, a local resident.

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Kickbacks worth Rs 7.5 lakh collected everyday
The money is distributed among officials,
reveals arrested Tehsildar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
A whopping Rs 7.5 lakh of “black money”, earned through registry of properties, is distributed among government officials starting from the Tehsildar office in Ludhiana, revealed Tehsildar Arvind Parkash Verma, who was arrested four months back in a graft case.

During interrogation by the Vigilance Bureau, the Tehsildar revealed that Rs 7.5 lakh was collected as bribe from the office on a normal working day.

Along with the stamp duty, the applicants were asked to pay this much amount in cash, he said.

The booty thus collected, is shared by a number of officials of the district administration. An amount of Rs 2 lakh, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000, respectively, is fixed everyday for several officials, he said, adding that the other employees involved in the racket shared the rest of the amount.

Vigilance officials said the questioning had revealed that as many as 150 revenue-related documents were registered by his office on a working day.

The rates of registration were fixed at Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 depending on the price of the property.

Several advocates, deed writers and private agents, too, are involved in the racket. They bring the applicants and ask them to pay the bribe money so that their work could be completed soon, revealed the Tehsildar.

The VB sources said many top officials had helped in getting Verma transferred back to Ludhiana. Verma was transferred from Ludhiana in August 2007.

He had challenged his transfer order in Punjab and Haryana High Court and was reverted back to Ludhiana May 2008 and posted as Sub-Registrar (west), said the VB officials.

The VB had written to the state government to allow them to investigate the
matter further.

The VB had arrested Verma on September 19 under Sections 7, 13 (2) 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act following a complaint by Baljit Singh, a relatives of Baljinder Singh of Lalton Kalan, who wanted a power of attorney in his name.

The complainant had alleged the officials had demanded Rs 15,000 for the work. The deal was struck at Rs 10,000. The agents, a registry clerk and a constable from the office of Verma were also arrested.

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House Tax
MC seals properties of three defaulters
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
While an auction notice of the Sutlej Club was withdrawn due to its "contacts", the other house-tax defaulters had to face the Municipal Corporation's wrath today.

According to sources, there were 17 cases scheduled for auction today, from which three properties were sealed, one each in Pritam Nagar, Ghumar Mandi and Sham Nagar.

The sources said property owners of these three sites had to pay a total house tax of around Rs 2, 25,000.

They said out of the total 17 defaulters, 12 were in zone- D and the three properties sealed too were from the same zone.

The municipal corporation collected revenue of Rs 4, 58,000 from the nine properties of the total 12.

The remaining sites were from zone-C and total collection from these properties was yet to be confirmed.

They revealed that as far as Thursday was concerned, auction for 18 properties from the whole city were schedule for tomorrow.

They added that most of the defaulters were coming up to pay their house taxes especially after notices were published.

Interestingly, while the collection of house taxes in zone B, C and D were going at a fast pace, the process was quite slow in zone A as the officials were still busy in distributing notices under Section 138.

Meanwhile, from the total number of house tax defaulters in zone D, 69 properties have been attached out of which 13 cases of the auction are scheduled for tomorrow.

Most of these cases were industrial units and five of the defaulters had house tax amount above Rs 1 lakh.

Notably, the civic body here had served more than 26,000 house tax notices to various defaulters to meet its target of Rs 75 crore.

Out of these about 10,000 notices were served in zone C, while zones B and D had served 8,800 and 5,000, respectively. Zone A had served least number of notices totalling 3,000.

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Health of cops in bad shape
1,600 policemen suffering from hypertension
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service


Graphic: Brajesh Kalia

Ludhiana, January 7
A medical camp conducted in the police lines has once again brought to the fore the dismal health conditions of lower rank cops in the city.

Symptoms of asthma and bronchitis were found among traffic policemen during the medical camp organised at the police lines yesterday, in which 150 police personnel and their family members were examined.

The problem of mild asthma was commonly found among the traffic policemen. Out of 25 traffic police personnel, breathing obstruction was found among 20 personnel.

The prime reason was said to be their reluctance in wearing filter mask. The medical camp was conducted by Cipla and the reports of the test were made available to senior officers.

The cops and their families were given medicines and were also told to take precautionary measures.

Dr BS Ahuja and Pawan Dhingra examined the police personnel. Doctors were astonished of the fact that most of the police personnel were ignorant about the disease and were not bothered to take the precise medication.

Calcium deficiency was also found in 40 personnel and 25 new diabetic cases were also included into huge list of cops.

Dr Ahuja said since the traffic policemen were deployed on roads it was not surprising to find pollution and dust content, which was causing them respiratory problems. The use of mask can protect them from such problems.

However, the cops have their own reasons for not using the masks. One such traffic policeman said, "Already we have a hectic routine as we have to be on our toes the whole day. Catching traffic violators and handling traffic during the VIP visit is not an easy task. Mask is more of a trouble than a solution," he said.

SSP RK Jaiswal said, "I understand the problems faced by the city traffic police and soon we will make some modalities to ease their pressure."

It may be mentioned here that medical tests conducted on 240 traffic policemen last year by SPS Apollo Hospital in the city revealed that a majority of Ludhiana policemen, especially the lower-rank personnel, are suffering from one ailment or the other. And almost all of them were suffering from hypertension.

Earlier in April last year, of a total of 2,324 police personnel medically examined during an annual medical check up camp, over 1,700 cops were found to be unfit under the liver functioning test (LFT), a problem which normally generates various other health problems such as jaundice, Hepatitis A, B and C.

According to the reports of the annual medical check up, over 1,600 police personnel were found to be suffering from hypertension.

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Despite mishaps, admn fails to cut trees
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 7
Even after two-and-half years of a major mishap that claimed six lives near Karamsar village, the administration has failed to axe about 60 eucalyptus trees that have narrowed the road.

While thousands of trees are being axed on the pretext of development in the state, the forest department has reportedly been dilly-dallying permission to cut trees that had claimed many lives and were proving death traps during foggy mornings and nights.

Residents of the area have demanded that the administration should either get the road cleared or close it permanently.

Six persons, including four children, were killed on this “deadly” stretch after a truck they were travelling fell into the Bathinda branch of Sirhind canal around two-and-half years back.

Accusing the administration of not caring about commuters' lie, the residents alleged that officials of the canal department, civil administration and the forest department had been blaming each other for non-compliance of the orders of the then deputy commissioner of Ludhiana who had assured to get the eucalyptus trees removed.

The administration, instead of ordering the authorities of the forest department to get the trees cut, chose to put up a notice on a board that bars the entry of the heavy vehicle in the area.

The tragedy that took place in August 2006 claimed six lives. This was followed by chain of mishaps that could have been averted had the bureaucratic wrangling not come in the way of felling of these trees that caused the accident.

The issue was also highlighted by The Tribune on numerous occasions but the authorities failed to take action in this regard.

This stretch virtually becomes a death trap during the night, as trees are not visible. Even the reflectors had not been put on the spot.

On the day of tragedy, Army officers heading the rescue operation had also expressed disappointment over the issue.

Even the office-bearers of a few social and religious organisations had urged the authorities to get the road widened, but to no avail.

Though no case was registered in connection with minor accidents, the circle officer had apprised the higher authorities of the situation.

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Professional courses go beyond students’ reach
Need to shell out Rs 1.5 lakh per annum: Study
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Though there has been a lot of talk of development of higher education in Punjab, there are certain facts which need the immediate attention of the government, academicians and policy makers concerned for providing real boost to the system.

There are hundreds of technical institutions offering academic programmes in management, engineering, pharmacy, architecture and education.

In an observational study conducted by Harjeet Kaur of Bhutta College of Education, and Harpreet Singh, a teacher of management at Lovely Professional University, some astonishing facts about annual expenditure by a student for such courses were revealed.

The researchers found that in any of the Punjab Technical University affiliated institutions average fees for engineering and management courses were Rs 60,000 per year. Apart from this, on an average, one student had to pay about Rs 40,000 as hostel fees, which otherwise varied from institution to institution.

Almost equal amount was spent on commuting by day scholars. A student also spent a lot on stationery items like books, notebooks, empty papers, pens, slides, compact discs along with a bulk of spending on photostat charges. On an average, the cost of such expenses was about Rs 30,000 per year.

Apart from it, the pocket money consumption was mostly on cell phones with an average of about Rs 5,000 per annum and friendship obligations in canteens with an average amount of Rs 15,000 per year.

Thus, a student of technical courses spent approximately Rs 1,50,000 on an average in a year. The average annual income of the families they belong to was not more than Rs 2 lakh.

"Therefore, only one fourth of the annual income is left to be spent by other members of the family which also normally includes school or college going siblings", added both the researchers.

What was more disturbing was that the placements were not very remunerative except for some bright students, which formed less proportion of the total number of students of these technical degree programmes.

The average earning was less than Rs 1 lakh per annum considering the number of students and their joining of jobs after the completion of the degree programmes, which, at times, were delayed too.

Most of the students also left their first jobs provided through campus placements, found the study.

The researchers have urged that the students need to justify the spending done on them by their parents through regular attendance, focussed attention towards studies and hard work to minimise the period of recovery of costs apart from sharing of the responsibility by teachers and industry to provide requisite training.

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Transporters to stop supply of essential goods today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The All-India Motor Transport Congress’ (AIMTC) strike entered third day today. Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Lok Bhalai Party president and former minister, visited the site of protest at Transport Nagar here today.

Addressing a meeting of the transporters, Ramoowalia assured them full support. Operations were completely paralysed as no delivery of goods was made and no fresh orders were booked.

Various transport-union leaders said they would intensify the stir in the coming days if their demands were not accepted.

Manohar Lal Kaushal, president, Ludhiana Transporters' Welfare Association, said: "The Centre invited the representatives of AIMTC today in Delhi to hold talks over the issue, but the talks were deferred due to unknown reasons. This has been going on for the past two days. Now, our representatives in New Delhi have been assured that negotiations with the government will be held tomorrow. Let us wait and watch if the government initiates the talks tomorrow or not."

He added that today the trucks carrying essential commodities and fruits and vegetables were allowed to move, but tomorrow their movement would also be restricted. "This is a step towards intensifying our stir," he remarked.

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Cycle industry supports strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association, which claims to enjoy the membership of 1680 industrial units, in its urgent meeting held today, have supported All-India Motor Transport Congress’ nationwide strike.

Varinder Kapoor, general secretary of the association, in a press statement, today said the power shortage had been a major obstacle in smooth working of the bicycle industry.

The industry was forced to run on generators due to frequent and undeclared power-cuts. The cost of running the generators was about thrice the cost of power supplied by the PSEB.

Diesel was the only alternative of power for the small scale industry. He said the nationwide strike would further badly affect the supply of products and industry would have to face financial crises also.

The general secretary added that realising the gravity of the situation, the government must reduce the prices of diesel as per demand by the All-India Motor Transport Congress. It will bring relief to the small-scale sector also.

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Smog-related ailments on rise
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Smog is a chemical mixture of gases that forms a brownish-yellow haze, primarily over urban areas.

There are many health problems that can occur due to smog exposure, most of which are nearly impossible to be avoided in modern society. The word is the combination of "smoke" and “fog”.

Dr Akashdeep Singh, pulmonologist at SPS Apollo Hospital said the people are at risk of being affected by smog. The most commonly cited effect of smog is on the lungs and breathing.

Senior citizens, children and those with pre-existing lung conditions, such as asthma, are at the highest risk of smog-related breathing difficulty.

Common symptoms of heavy smog exposure include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and painful breathing. Watery eyes are another common symptom.

These types of symptoms usually go away when a person can stop the exposure, such as remaining indoors.

However, these symptoms can be quite serious in those with pre-existing health problems, especially in people suffering from asthma.

Scientific studies have shown that the number of lung infections, hospital visits and hospitalisation goes up with increasing smog levels in those with asthma or other lung conditions.

General lung function has also been shown to decline with increasing air pollution. Most concerning is the finding that an increased number of sudden deaths in those with prior heart or lung disease occurs in regions with high smog levels, added Dr Akashdeep.

In addition, studies in well-trained athletes have shown a reduced capacity for exercise in areas with high levels of smog.

There is also a concern that air pollution may lead to new diseases, such as new cases of asthma or emphysema.

According to Dr Dinesh Goel, senior consultant pulmonologist, a link between lung cancer and certain air pollutants is strongly suspected and likely, though more research is needed in this area.

The peak smog levels are often during morning and afternoon rush-hour periods, when auto emissions are at their highest levels.

Dr Akashdeep advised that when levels of smog are high, those with heart or lung conditions need to be especially careful. Outdoor activity should be reduced, and exercise should only be done with great caution.

Those who use inhalers should be sure to carry their medication at all times. Those at risk should know that high temperature and humidity can increase the negative health effects of smog.

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Health authorities fail to submit report
Eye surgeon accused of duping 70-year-old woman on the pretext of operating her for glaucoma
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Inordinate delay on part of the district health authorities to submit the inquiry report of a complaint against city-based eye surgeon Rajesh Batra has given enough “time” to the doctor concerned to use “pressure tactics” on the complainant Dharam Pal Verma.

Verma had levelled charges of unscrupulousness and cheating against the doctor, accusing him of duping his 70-year-old mother on the pretext of operating her for glaucoma.

Verma, in his complaint forwarded to the Civil Surgeon Ludhiana, had accused the doctor of fleecing him and his mother by fitting simple lenses in her eye instead of operating her as promised.

"After examining my mother Gomti Devi at Batra Eye hospital in Sahnewal on August 28, the doctor took her to his clinic in Ludhiana the same day to operate her right eye with laser technique. But he changed his stance at the last moment, saying he would operate the left eye instead of the right one, as it too had glaucoma," alleged the complainant.

The doctor persuaded the patient and the attendant to go ahead with the operation immediately, stating that further delay could permanently damage the old lady's eyesight.

"Despite repeated requests, the doctor failed to give receipt for the operation and post-operative expenses worth Rs 18,000."

The inquiry for the same was marked to Dr Manjit Singh (eye specialist at Civil Hospital Ludhiana), but even after more than two months, nothing has been done.

On the contrary, Verma has been approached by a number of doctors from the city to take the compensation from Dr Batra followed by withdrawal of his complaint.

"It is rather shocking that even the most reputed doctors are supporting Dr Batra for his unethical practices. I have refused to accept the compensation and have already briefed the Health Minister Punjab Dr Laxmikanta Chawla about the whole scenario," stated Verma.

Dr Batra, on the other hand, denied the charges, saying the complainant was trying to blackmail him to extract money.

He also maintained that his examination and line of treatment was in accordance with other experts who had handled the case of Dharampal's mother.

However, Civil Surgeon Dr SP Sharma, when asked about the inquiry, said the inquiry report had been sent to the Director Health Services, Punjab, and the needful would be done after getting instructions from the directorate.

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Fats necessary for vital organs: Experts
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The health-conscious people, who avoid consumption of fats in their daily diet, must know that vital organs, including heart, lungs and brain, are protected by a sheath of fat and water.

Besides being rich source of energy, fat is also a source of fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E and K) and essential fatty acids. A layer of fat beneath the skin acts as insulator against cold.

Subhashini Verma from the department of food and nutrition said that the population groups like growing children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating mothers need more energy, thus fats come handy.

A small quantity like one teaspoon (5 g), when added in daal and vegetable preparation, can provide 45 kcal without increasing the bulk of meal.

She further said that the fat around the joints acts as a lubricant and allows us to move these smoothly.

Moreover, fats improve the texture and flavour of the food, thus palatability. “These are good enough reasons to include fats in our daily diet,” she said.

At the same time, she warned that for persons leading a sedentary (sitting) life-style, the requirement of energy was comparatively less.

The amount of fat could be decreased in the diet by reducing the intake of fried foods like poori, samosa, parantha etc. Low-fat milk was beneficial for slimming diet.

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Police plans to educate 30,000 auto-rickshaw drivers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The city, which is suffering from immense traffic chaos largely due to reckless driving by auto rickshaw drivers, will possibly get a sigh of relief.

The police has chalked out a plan to conducting a colloquium on traffic awareness for approximately 30,000 auto rickshaw drivers.

The ambitious plan is a brainchild of DIG Ishwar Singh, Ludhiana range. The DIG has further given instructions to SP traffic, Rupinder Singh, to complete the formalities regarding the plan.

According to the DIG, to stop around 30,000 auto rickshaws plying on the city roads is not possible and also not the solution.

In the absence of proper auto rickshaws stoppage points, these auto rickshaws create traffic jam on the road, said the DIG.

It may be mentioned here that to reduce the ferry cost, a majority of the auto rickshaw drivers run their autos on kerosene thereby release toxic emission and pollute the environment.

The authorities concerned have been unable to check the spread of pollution caused by the auto rickshaws.

The auto rickshaws of the city are also the one who do not care about signals and easily flout the traffic rules. Even the traffic police simply turn there back if they break any signal.

"If some commuter collides with these auto rickshaws, he is surely in trouble, as he has to witness abuses he has never heard before. It is quite a normal sight to find these auto rickshaw drivers engaged in road rage," said Tarun Kumar, a student.

"The need of the hour is to educate them about the hazards of pollution and to sensitise them about the fatal accident caused due to their sudden turn," said Ishwar Singh.

For this purpose the DIG has ordered the SP traffic to convene a meeting with all auto rickshaw associations of the city.

According to the plan, a batch of 200 auto rickshaw drivers will attend a three-hour seminar at the city traffic park in Jawahar Nagar, in which they will be sensitised about the traffic with the help of slides and picture of the traffic chaos created by the auto rickshaws at different places of the city.

The traffic police will also conduct a test of the auto rickshaw drivers after the conclusion of the seminar.

"We have to keep it in mind that this profession keeps their kitchen fire burning. Instead of banning them from plying on the road the need is to educate them," said a senior traffic police officer.

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DJ owners hold protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The Ludhiana DJ's Sound Service Association has alleged that PPL and IPRS private companies are forcing them to get licence from them and have even registered false complaints to the police.

Association members yesterday held a protest rally in the mini secretariat and said some police personnel along with these companies were threatening trhem to get the licences.

Urging the district administration to save them, the members said if the sound service needed to pay any tax to the Punjab government, the latter should tell they were ready for it.

If their demands were not met they would not provide the sound services to any government or non-government function on January 26.

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Hungarian musician mesmerises audience
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Bridging the barriers of language Jeszenszky Istvan, a noted musician from Hungary and an exponent of “healing therapy through music”, chanted the Gaytari mantra imbibing it with multi-lingual alaap thereby mesmerising audience at Ramgarhia College for Girls.

The artist was in the city with his doctor friend, who is undergoing treatment for cancer at Sibia Medical Centre.

Jeszenszky Istvan, a noted Sarod artist and a disciple of Padam Bhushan awardee Sharan Rani, feels "Om" is the foundation of meditation, the most significant part of the musical healing therapy.

Well versed with a large number of instruments played across the world, including Indian instruments, like tanpura, sarod, murchang, Istvan says, "The therapy is a fusion of approach followed in Shamanism, Buddhism, Mongolian, Chinese, Siberian, Tibetan, Hungarian and Indian culture wherein bad resonation is removed from the human system through therapeutic music."

Further referring to the theory of Chakra as referred in Indian scriptures, the artist said high frequency music cleansed the upper part of the body followed by different levels of reverberations from the throat for lower parts.

Articulating in Hindi Istvan said "Namastae" emphasised upon the Vedic theory of cosmic consciousness.

The artist with his “irresistible passion” for music weaved an aura of melody as he sang the 500-year-old Hungarian folk song “Viragum - Viragum” (my flower ….my flower).

But it was his improvised music with a touch of Portuguese and Latin American musical notes supported with guitar and tabla juggal bandi that inspired students of vocal music at the college.

His variations in high and low pitched notations on murchang ended a special musical baithak with a loud round of applause.

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Improvement Trust penalised Rs 10,000
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, January 7
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered Ludhiana Improvement Trust to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to a consumer for harassment.

Apart from this, the president and members of the Forum also quashed the demand of Rs 5,14,318 raised as non-construction charges and Rs 52,798 on the pretext of development charges.

The orders were pronounced by the Forum while deciding a complaint moved by Nirmala Wati Loomba of Model Gram, Ludhiana.

The complainant submitted before the Forum that she was allotted a plot by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust in BRS Nagar.

In 1994, she submitted the building plan for construction and also prayed for execution of sale deed in her favour. But the Trust officials kept on lingering the matter on one pretext or the other.

In 1999, 2005 and 2006, she again wrote to the Trust officials but to no avail. Officials had even disputed about her ownership rights but she removed the same.

In 2006, the Trust officials started demanding non-construction as well as development charges.

The Forum quashed the non-construction charges and also ordered the Trust officials to sanction the building plan as per rules.

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Gram Panchayat Bypoll
112 nominations received for 60 seats
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
The Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-Additional District Election Officer has received 112 nominations for the bypoll of 60 seats in 12 blocks of the district that remained vacant during the gram panchayat poll held in June, 2008.

Till the filing of the report, scrutiny of the nominations was still going on and only one application was rejected that was from block Dehlon where four candidates had filed the nominations for two seats one of which was is in Dodhal and the other in Dehlon.

Besides, no nomination was rejected from the three nominations received for the seats in Samrala and 18 nominations received for the seats in Machhiwara.

The sources added that screening of the nominations would be completed today itself as Thursday has been scheduled as the date for withdrawal of the nominations.

Since, yesterday was the last date of filing the nominations, the Additional Election Officer had received 112 nominations from which maximum were received for villages in Ludhiana II where 21 panches are to be elected. The officer received 37 nominations for these 21 vacant seats.

Similarly, three nominations were received for three posts of panches in various villages of Doraha, one nomination for one post in Jagraon and two applications for two seats in Sudhar.

The sources said if the nominations of these candidates were not rejected, they would be appointed unopposed.

Apart from it, 22 nominations were received for seven posts of panches in Khanna, seven for six posts in Raikot, two for one post in Sidhwan Bet.

Interestingly, out of these 60 seats, 50 are reserved for the SC, women, and SC women. The sources said if some seats remained vacant due to rejection or non-filing of the nominations, the seats would be made unreserved.

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Zila Parishad for safe water in villages
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
To help the villagers suffering from water-borne diseases due to polluted water, the Zila Parishad will provide safe drinking water by installing submersible pumps in the villages. The water, treated by an effective system, will be supplied to the villages.

The Chairman of the Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, Manpreet Singh Ayali, today said under the scheme, they were calling tenders for providing drinking-water supply through gram panchayats and sanitation committees of various villages.

He said the underground water was getting unsafe day by day. They have decided to install the submersible pumps at 600 feet so that the villagers get clean water.

He released grant worth Rs 5 crore for the development of various villages in the district. It will include safe and quality drinking water, sewerage system, pond renovation, renovation of kuchcha houses and the providing of toilets in schools and village houses.

Ayali said the schemes would be provided in all 900 villages of the district. The state government had cleared these schemes for the development of villages.

Under the sanitation schemes, all the villages would be converted into Nirmal Villages that would be model clean villages.

Already 10 villages have been identified in the district and their case is being sent to the President of India for an award worth Rs 2 lakh each.

"Shortly, we are going to ensure that all the villages have individual or group toilets so that the villagers do not have to go to the fields. A number of villages have already come up and registered with us for the same scheme. They will be asked to share the cost by 20 per cent. Several villages have already paid the amount to us and the scheme will be implemented soon," he said.

Ayali was accompanied by AK Soni, District Programme Officer, and Mohammad Ishfaq, District Programme Specialist.

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Disbursement of arrears
Arya College teachers give ultimatum till Friday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
A delegation of the Arya College Teachers Union (ACTU), led by its president Dr R.P.Sabharwal, met Dr S.M.Sharma, principal of the college, on the issue of disbursement of arrears due for the year 1997-98.

Sore at the dilly-dallying tactics of the management, the teachers’ union said that if its justified demand was not met by the college management by Friday (January 9) till 12 noon, they would sit on dharna inside the office of the principal that very day.

Talking to The Tribune, Sabharwal added that the DPI had released a sum of Rs 2.68 crore for disbursing grants and not for fixed deposits in banks by management at the heavy interest rate of 12 per cent.

“They are getting huge money in the form of interest but are not paying out legitimate dues. Why should we tolerate this? The government has released money for giving the grants and not for making money through FDs,” alleged Sabharwal.

Dr S.M.Sharma, principal, said he had requested the teachers not to take any decision in haste and wait for some time till things are cleared. He refused to divulge further details.

Vijay Sathi, president of the Arya College Management, sore at the “always threatening mode” of teachers, said he had all the respect for the union.

“I have just asked them to cooperate till the matter was pending in court. For a meagre amount of Rs 26 lakh, the career of hundreds of students should not be put at stake by teachers themselves. The strikes/ dharnas give a wrong indication in public. Once, the court gives us clear instructions, I will immediately release the money. They should accept my humble request and cooperate with us,” he said.

He added that the union had become “habitual” by using such pressure-tactics always, which was unfortunate.

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Heads, principals asked to follow
education dept’s instructions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
District Education Officer (DEO) (Secondary) Sudesh Bajaj has directed heads of high schools and principals of senior secondary schools to strictly follow the instructions of the Punjab schools’ education department.

Addressing the heads and principals of the district at a meeting, she said no teacher would carry mobile phone to the classroom, neither they would come to giving dak to the DEO office, nor they would come for any other thing during the working hours as the studies of the students suffered when the teachers were away.

She has instructed the heads and teachers that as the examinations are drawing near, they should work with full force and dedication for the better performance of the students in the examinations.

The physical education teacher would conduct the morning assembly prayer and the attendance of the students would be taken there.

It is compulsory for all teachers to be present in the morning assembly. Parents of the students, who are weak in studies, should be informed about their performance.

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Education dept flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 7
Heads of the Privately Recognised Aided Schools Association yesterday criticised the decision of the Punjab education department for the submission of class V forms by January 9.

The association wanted the government to extend the date for the submission of the forms.

Chamkaur Singh, general secretary, said the government had asked the school authorities to get an affidavit from the students regarding their date of birth, whereas the birth certificates were already taken at the time of admission.

He further said earlier the government had fixed March 31 as the date for the child to complete 9 years, but know they had reduced it to September 30 due to which number of children will be losing one year.

The association demanded that no change should be made in the March 31 date and status quo should be  maintained.

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Annual day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 7
The institutions run by Guru Gobind Singh Educational Trust, Kamalpura, celebrated its annual day with religious fervour.

The trust celebrates its annual day on the eve of Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday religiously. The function continued for three days.

On the concluding day, meritorious students in the field of sports and academics were presented their honours by Baba Balvir Singh, head of Gurudwara Panjuana Sahib, Lamme Jatpura, Bhag Singh Malla, chairman, district planning board, and SDM Jagraon, Gurloveleen Singh.

Various academicians, including Dr Hardiljit Singh, principal of Narangwal College, Dr Paramjit Kaur, principal of Sidhwan College, Dr Sarabjit Singh, principal of Sudhar College, Dr Barinder Jit, Dr Geeta Sharma and Sarabjit Kaur, principals of Kmalpura institutions, were present on the occasion along with Malkit Singh, secretary of the trust and other trustees.

Guru Gobind Singh Educational Trust runs three institutes in the name of GGS Khalsa College for Women, GGS Khalsa College of Education for Women, PSEB affiliated school Dashmesh Girls Model Senior Secondary School and construction for the CBSE affiliated school and ETT institute is under progress.

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Jackets, shoes distributed
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 7
A function was organised at Government Elementary School, Khamano, Mele Wali, in which Sohan Singh, an NRI village with his family distributed about 140 jackets and shoes to needy students of the school.

MLA Jagjiwan Singh Khirnian, who was the chief guest, appreciated the role of NRIs in helping the needy for the welfare of society.

He said in his address that the Punjab government was paying special attention towards education in the New Year and would distribute huge grants for the development of Punjab.

He said the NRIs were playing a vital role for the welfare of the people of Punjab. Sohan Singh assured that he would continue his service towards the people of Khamano area.

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Traffic awareness camp organised
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 7
A traffic awareness camp was organised at the truck union, Khamano, in which DSP Balwant Singh was the chief guest.

In his address, the DSP appealed to the drivers to obey traffic rules and to install reflectors behind trucks to avoid accidents due to dense fog.

About 50 reflectors were pasted on tractor trolleys, rehris and trucks and the truck union was directed to immediately install the reflectors in the next two days.

SHO Khamano, Ashok Sharma, Chowki in charge Harjinder Singh, truck union member Amrik Singh and some other truck union members and drivers were also present on the occasion.

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Rural sports fest ends
Our Correspondent

Raikot, January 7
A two-day rural festival of Rachhin village near Raikot concludes with cheers for the winners yesterday.

The two-day fest is organised by Sant Baba Attar Singh Ji Youth Welfare and Sports Club of the village in which bullock carts and mares from all over Punjab participated.

156 bullock carts and 56 mares had participated in the fest. The first prize in bullock cart race was bagged by Narinder Singh of Bhaini Baringa village.

Harchand Singh of Dhandari village and Kesar Singh of Thakarwal village bagged second and third positions, respectively.

Similarly Happy of Burji village bagged the first prize. Mandeep Singh of Roi village and Hardev Singh of Sarond village bagged second and third positions, respectively.

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