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Tehsildar abandons work after lunch
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The fear of Vigilance action loomed large over the East and West Sub-Registrar’s offices today, with Tehsildars abandoning work after lunch, much to the annoyance of people.

The offices were working for the second day after remaining non-functional for seven working days due to the strike by revenue officials. The registration of revenue-related documents was on hold all these days.

The offices had reopened yesterday, but work was not taken up in the latter half of the day today, evoking protest from applicants who waited outside the office until evening for the Sub-Registrar to return.

The employees said they were told that revenue offices were on the target of the Vigilance Bureau and they were scared. If a group of four-five persons arrived in the office, the employees apprehended a vigilance team had raided the office.

“It is a kind of fear psychosis. Our eyes were on the door throughout the day. We do not know for how long this would continue,” an employee, requesting anonymity, said.

Meanwhile, angry applicants, who had been waiting for the past several days to get their documents registered felt harassed and held a protest in the office premises.

Sub-Registrar (West) Jagseer Singh said he was in the office throughout the day. He said he had finished work by 1.15 pm and had gone back to the office again after lunch.

“I was told that these officials are scared of Vigilance action. I do not know what is happening. But this is bad for people. I kept waiting for the tehsildar till 4.30 pm, but nobody arrived,” a resident, Mohinder Singh, said, adding that he had been making rounds of the office for the past many days.

Gurcharan Singh, another resident, said he also waited for officials for nearly three hours, but to no avail. “I don’t know where to go. The last date fixed for the registration of my sale deed was January 10. Five days have already lapsed. I don’t know what will happen,” he added.

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CM orders probe into arrest of Naib Tehsildar
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Pacifying angry Tehsildars, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today ordered a magisterial inquiry into the arrest of a Naib Tehsildar by the Vigilance Bureau in a graft case.

Badal said the detailed report of inquiry should be submitted within a month. The assurance to this effect was given by Badal to the deputation of the Punjab Association of Tehsildars and district

revenue officers led by its president, Ram Singh, at Chandigarh today.

The Chief Minister also directed the state Chief Secretary to ensure the Vigilance to conduct raids on revenue offices if necessary in future as per guidelines laid down by the state revenue department.

Referring to another demand of the revenue officers, Badal asked the Chief Secretary to examine their demand to allow promotions in their cadre based on the principle of seniority-cum-merit as per procedure adopted in the case of elevation of

PCS (EB) to IAS by the UPSC instead of nomination.

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Woman, paramour arrested for murder
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 15
Kuldip Kaur of Gujarwal village in Ludhiana district, a mother of three, allegedly conspired with her paramour to kill her husband by clubbing his head with bricks.

She had taken her husband to a gurdwara situated over a kilometre from the village in the wee hours of Monday.

The police arrested both the accused today.

Though she had stated before the police that her husband had been killed by some unidentified robbers, the police became suspicious after she said the miscreants had let her go without snatching her gold jewellery.

Baldev Singh (35) of Gujarwal village was murdered when he, along with Kuldip Kaur, was going to pay obeisance at the gurdwara situated on the outskirts of the village. Kuldip Kaur had alleged that some unidentified persons had waylaid them and killed Baldev Singh.

An SIT was formed and investigation revealed that Kuldip Kaur had illicit relations with Jeevan Singh, a cousin of a relative of the deceased, about five years ago. When Baldev Singh came to know of it, he oblected to it and things were normal until last year, when Baldev Singh threatened his wife that he would take up the matter with her parents if she did not mend her ways. Kuldip Kaur and Jeevan Singh then conspired to kill him. According to the plan, Kuldip Kaur persuaded Baldev Singh to accompany her to the gurdwara at about 3.30 am. Jeevan Singh, who was hiding on the way, hit Baldev Singh with a wooden block from behind. When he tried to save himself by running away, Jeevan Singh and Kuldip Kaur overpowered him and killed him by hitting his head against bricks.

Kuldip Kaur later returned to the village and raised the alarm.

Investigations revealed that in an attempt to destroy evidence, she had thrown her mobile phone in the village pond. However, Jeevan Singh disclosed the sequence of events to a friend.

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Man strangles wife
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
A woman was allegedly strangled by her husband at the Moti Nagar area in the wee hours here on Thursday.

The deceased has been identified as Khushbo (25), a migrant from Bihar.

According to colony residents, both of them had strained relations and they often quarrelled with each other.

Last night, too, the couple reportedly fought over a minor issue. The matter was resolved after the intervention of neighbours.

According to the police, Nattu Singh allegedly strangled her with a cloth while she was asleep.

Their older son is two years old while the younger one is just six months old. After killing her, the accused fled, leaving behind his children crying near the body.

The matter came to light in the morning when residents gathered outside the house after they heard the cries of the children.

When they opened the door, they found the woman lying dead on the floor.

Forensic experts collected samples from the spot.

According to the inquiry officer, the search is on to nab the accused. The neighbours are looking after the children.

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PAU gets Rs 3.5-cr grant from California varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, adjunct professor, department of plant scientist, University of California, today announced a grant of Rs 3.5 crore to the PAU.

He said the authorities could utilise the grant for the overall development of the PAU, but he suggested that the authorities use it for scientific purposes.

He was at the PAU to deliver the convocation address during the 12th convocation of the College of Agriculture. He told students that they would encounter setbacks, but these should not discourage them.

Dr Khush is a recipient of World Food Prize.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, VC, presided. Scientists from the USA, including Dr Talwinder Singh Kahlon and Dr Bikram Gill, also attended the convocation.

According to the college dean, Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh, 340 degrees for BSc agriculture (hons.) and BEd programmes were conferred on students who had successfully completed the courses from 2004 to 2008.

Four students received gold medals and 12 memorial medals. As many as 23 students got distinction in degree programmes and four got academic roll of honour while merit certificates were awarded to those with an overall grade point average of eight or above.

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4 burglaries in one night
Bhushan Sood

Amloh, January 15
Burglars struck at four places and decamped with cash and grocery articles during the night intervening Wednesday and Thursday. The burglars entered Gurdwara Sahib at Bholia village and decamped with a cash box lying in front of Guru Granth Sahib.

In the second case, the lock of the cash box at a gurdwara in Naraingarh village was broken and the cash taken away.

From Jalalpur village, two other cases of burglary were reported. The burglars broke the locks of two grocery shops of Bahadur Singh and decamped with a recorder and cash, besides other items.

Sarpanch Balbir Singh along with the victims reported the matter to the police.

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House Tax: MC right on target
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The municipal corporation, which had fixed a target of collecting Rs 50 crore as house tax during its budget for the financial year 2008-2009, seems to be nearing its goal as it has already earned over Rs 35 crore in nine months.

According to sources, from April 1, 2008 to January 12, 2009, the MC officials had collected a revenue of Rs 7.37 cr from zone A, while it had collected Rs 11.24 cr from zone B.

Similarly from zone C and zone D, Rs 8.07 cr and 8.72 cr, respectively, had been collected.

With house tax being the second largest source of revenue for the civic body, the municipal commissioner had last month asked his officials to pull up their socks and start recovery. The civic body issued notices to over 26,000 defaulters.

While the zone A was yet to start the sealing process of properties, zone B had already sealed 13 properties. Of these, two properties were sealed today, while one property was sealed in zone C today as the defaulter failed to pay house tax of Rs 10 lakh.

The municipal corporation has quite a few defaulters with over Rs 1 crore as dues. These include Sutlej Club, Apollo Hospital and Thapar Foods Limited (Jugiana).

The MC officials said they were getting a good response from defaulters as most of them had come forward to pay their taxes following the fear of attachment of property.

Besides, a little strictness by Joint Commissioner Davinder Singh, who has been appointed house tax in-charge of all four branches, and Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman has resulted in good earnings.

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Bank penalised for deficient services
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the Ludhiana Central Co-operative Bank limited, Salem Tabri, to pay Rs 5,000 in compensation to an aggrieved consumer for causing un-necessary harassment.

The orders were pronounced by forum president JS Chawla and member Jagjit Kaur Mander while deciding a complaint filed by Rattan Chand of Laddowal village.

The complainant had submitted before the forum that he had a savings account with the bank. He submitted a cheque seeking self payment of Rs 24,000 out of his account.

Instead of making the payment to him, the bank adjusted the payment against the account of a society because of certain outstanding amount in that account.

The complainant alleged that the bank officials were not justified in doing so.

On the other hand, bank officials justified their action. They submitted that the complainant was president of three different societies.

Huge loan amount was not paid by these societies run by the complainant. The bank thus adjusted the amount in one of the society account.

However, after appreciating the evidence on record, the consumer forum held that the decision of bank officials was not correct.

If any society was defaulter then the bank should have recovered the amount by taking legal recourse but not in this manner.

The forum held that it amounted to deficiency in service and ordered to compensate the consumer.

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Rural doctors to discuss agenda
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The Punjab Rural Medical Services Association (RMSA) will hold a state-level meeting in Ludhiana on Sunday to discuss the difficulties faced by doctors working in rural areas followed by the unfulfilled promises of the state government.

Dr Rishi Bhardwaj, RMSA general secretary, in a statement issued today said doctors working in villages across the state were dispensing their duties with dedication but their salaries were “insufficient”.

“The SAD-BJP government had promised to regularise the posts of rural doctor but they have failed to do so. On the contrary, the doctors are not getting their salaries on time, adding to their discomfort as they are not able to make payments to their subordinates working in village dispensaries,” said Dr Bhardwaj.

The doctor added that the contract of rural doctors was coming to an end of May 31 but there was no word from the government on regularisation of posts.

Ironically, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan governments had not only regularised the services of rural doctors but also started attractive incentive schemes in lieu of their work in rural areas, RMSA general secretary said.

Various programmes under the National Rural Health Mission were being carried out by doctors with sincerity but it was time for the government to acknowledge their services, the doctor said.

At the meeting on Sunday, the doctors would deliberate on their further plan of action, including their decision to take permanent jobs in other states and overseas.

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Attack on Nihang chief
Villagers protest implication of Baba Joginder Singh
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, January 15
Panchayats, leaders and social oganisations today protested against the alleged implication of Baba Joginder Singh, chief of Gurdwara Damdama Sahib, Raqba village, and executive president of the 96 Karodi Shiromani Panth Akali, Buddha Dal, in the case of attack on Nihang chief Baba Balvir Singh on January 13.

Scores of followers of the Baba demanded dropping of charges against him in the case.

The protesters later gave a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner seeking withdrawal of the case after inquiry.

In the memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and DGP NPS Aulakh, they termed the incident a facade and demanded a CBI inquiry. It was claimed that on January 13, the Baba was at Raqba village as thousands of his followers had gathered there to mark Sankrand.

Talking to The Tribune, Baba Joginder Singh said he knew that Baba Balvir Singh travelled in a bullet-proof motorcade. His attacking a bulletproof car with a small gun thus seemed unreal, he added.

Also, the attackers escaped unharmed after the attack in spite of a large number of security personal (private and police) escorting the Baba Balvir Singh.

He claimed that the incident was orchestrated to get rid of him and also get a “Z plus” security cover for Baba Balvir Singh.

Chairman Joginder Singh Bal, Balwinder Singh Sekhon, Giani Bhupinder Singh, Iqbal Singh Tuggal, Gurmeet Singh Khosa Kotla, Bakshish Singh, Amarpal Singh, a large number of panches and sarpanches were present among others.

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Seminar on cervix cancer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
A seminar on cervix cancer and its prevention was held at Iqbal Nursing Home and Hospital here. Dr Mini Ahuja, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician, said a HPV (Human pappiloma virus) was instrumental in the development of cancer of cervix in women.

A new vaccine had been developed to tackle the cancer.

It had been included in the IAP and should be given after the age of 11-12 years to girls, the doctor said. The vaccine could be administered up to the age of 26, she added.

Dr Iqbal, chief of gynaecology at the hospital, said women above 30 years should undergo Pap and HPV tests as part of annual health checkup for early detection of cancer.

Dr Preeti Ahuja, senior pathologist from DMCH, said one woman died every seven minutes in the country due to the cancer.

The common symptoms related to cancer included increased discharge from vagina, bleeding, irregular menstrual cycles.

The disease could be avoided by taking measures like getting regular Pap smear done or vaccinated, the doctor said.

Dr SP Sharma, civil surgeon, and Sohini Jaiswal, wife of Ludhiana SSP RK Jaiswal, were the guests of honour. Doctors from the DMCH also attended the seminar.

Dr Ashish Ahuja, consultant surgeon, Dr PS Nain and Dr Chawla from the hospital conducted the seminar.

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Film premiere no longer complimentary now
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Organising premiere shows of movies on Thursday, a day prior to the release, in major cities in India has become a rage with Bollywood directors, producers and distributors.

But the “movie premiere”, which once was a special invitation and a complimentary show for movie buffs, is nothing more than a “paid preview”.

Recent releases including “Fashion”, “Dostana” and “Ghajni” had premiere shows on Thursday in cinema halls in Ludhiana but each of these shows were paid.

PVR cinema is running premiere show of Akshay Kumar’s Chandni Chowk to China (scheduled to release on Friday) in four halls tonight, while Waves cinema will have premiere show in a single hall.

Anil Puri, city-based film distributor, said: “These shows are pure commercial ventures as film-making is all about money these days.”

He said premieres organised in Mumbai earlier were a craze amongst the film fraternity and public used to stick to television sets to listen to their expert opinion on movies.

Another veteran distributor from the city said having premiere shows for movies had become a gimmick as it was easy to create hype by arranging a premiere even if it was a “paid show”.

Producers consider premiere shows as trademark as these help jack up the popularity rating of their movie.

Going for premiere show in Ludhiana is a status symbol irrespective of the fact that the “august audience” are paying additional for the passes.

So much so that there is a mad race for VIP passes as people are ready to pay even double the price for the same.

Interestingly, the manager at PVR cinema revealed that all shows till Monday were sold out.

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Construction of toilets to start today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The construction work on 100 toilets and water kiosks, which would come up in different parts of the city under build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, would start from tomorrow. Under the first phase, the company, Tricon Media, which has been assigned the project, would start working on 20 sites.

The sources in the municipal corporation revealed that demarcation of the selected 20 sites was being done by the town planning division of the MC today. The sites that had been approved till the filing of this report included the College road, Ghuman Mandi, fountain chowk and Sarabha Nagar.

According to the agreement signed by the municipal corporation and the Tricon Media, the latter would construct these toilets and water kiosks and maintain them for seven years after which they would be handed over to the civic body. Besides, construction on one site would be completed in three months.

The agreement also says that the company would charge Rs 2 per user and the company would employ its own employees for the maintenance of the toilets.

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Punjabi jutti a fashion statement
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Punjabi jutti presents the richness and the most colourful aspect of Punjabi culture. But now, it has become a style statement amidst the present generation.

Punjabi Juttis is a traditional ethnic footwear that has always been a craze in Punjab. Today, it is not only limited to just one state, but is in demand across the globe.

It is no longer considered as a traditional footwear with ethnic embroidery, as it is available at the leading footwear stores now and has acquired many shapes apart from the traditional one.

Earlier known as the favourite among Punjabis living in rural areas, these juttis have now become a fashion statement among the people in urban areas, especially the NRIs.

Earlier, these were decorated with tilla, zari and phulkari but now juttis are adorned with all sorts of decorative material like sequins, beads, ghungroos, pearls and sippis.

Several artistic patterns of embroidery make the modern version even more attractive. Generally girls place orders of getting a specific pattern done on their juttis that goes with their dress.

Apart from embroidery, the shape of the punjabi jutti has also undergone a change. Today, it has become like any other footwear and is even available with heels and strings. These juttis go with any outfit, be it traditional or western.

“The traditional jutti goes only with suits so I pick the modern version of the same. These are high heeled and look stylish even with the western wears. I find them the best for formal occasions,” said Harsimran, a regular buyer of modern Punjabi juttis.

Harbans Singh, a shopkeeper who sells traditional juttis at Gill village said he got the juttis made, especially from Muktsar and Patiala.

“The artisans in Muktsar and Patiala possess a rich art of making juttis. These juttis are soft to wear and durable. People from all over Punjab come to buy them. NRIs also form the major chunk of our regular customers,” he adds.

“Whenever there is any special occasion, I prefer wearing a Jutti. It makes me feel good. Though my daughter love the modern version, I stick to the old pattern only,” said Manjinder Gill, a NRI from Canada said.

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New train from Jan 25
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
Northern Railways has announced introduction of a new weekly express train — 2483/2484 Amritsar-Kochuvelli-Amritsar (via New Delhi) — which will commence its run from January 25, 2009. Senior railway officials said the down train will run every Sunday from Amritsar at 6.05 am while the up train will depart from Kochuvelli (Kerala) every Wednesday at 8.50 am. It will have two-tier AC, three-tier AC, sleeper and general accommodation. The train will have stoppages at Beas, Jalandhar city, Ludhiana, Ambala Cantt, New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Kota, Vadodara, Surat, Panvel, Madgaon, Mangalore, Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikkode, Thrisur, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Kayankulam and Kollam.

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Story telling contest at KVM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
An English and Hindi story telling contest was organised for the students of Class I and Class II by the Junior Humanities Forum in the auditorium of Kundan Vidya Mandir, here. Rajiv Nagalia, principal, presided over the function. In Class I, Chhavi Sood stood first in English story telling contest, whereas Uday Khera and Ena Gupta stood second and third, respectively.

Kartikay Phull bagged the first position in Class I Hindi story telling contest whereas Vaibhav and Garima bagged second and third prize.

The first position in Class II was bagged by Tanisha Gaur in English story telling contest whereas Khushi and Saksham stood second and third, respectively.

In Class II, Shrey Anand bagged the first position in Hindi story telling contest whereas Vridhi Khullar and Abhay Verma bagged second and third positions, respectively. The principal gave away the prizes and congratulated the winners.

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US research fellowship for PAU student
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Harsimran Kaur, a student of Dr SK Jalota, senior soil physicist of the department of soils, has proceeded to Iowa State University, USA under Master’s Sandwich degree programme to conduct research for six months on “Simulating the potentialities of irrigation and nitrogen management to mitigate the climate change impact on productivity of maize-wheat cropping system” under the guidance of Dr Ramesh Kanwar, professor and chair, department of agricultural and bio-system engineering.

Harsimran will get fellowship at $1,500 per month from that Institute under US-India AKI project.

Dr MP Kaushal, head of the department of soil and water engineering, PAU and the principle investigator of the project, said the project was operating in three Indian Universities, including PAU, CSSRI, Karnal (ICAR) and six US universities, adding that PAU had earlier conducted a course on “water resource economy”, which was jointly taught by faculty from Iowa State University and PAU.

Giving his remarks, PAU VC Dr Manjit Singh Kang said that PAU was encouraging young faculty members and students to have an experience in the cutting-edge technology areas at institutes of advance learning in the US and other countries as a part of its human resource development agenda.

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Expert stresses on context-based learning
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 15
Doraha College of Education today hosted an international workshop on ‘Teaching Strategies -Context Based Learning’.

The resourceperson of the workshop was Prof Roberta Altman, faculty, Bank Street College of Education, New York.

The workshop was especially designed to sensitise school teachers and educators about the use of community resources such as Museums, Community Sites, Cultural and Environmental Artifacts as an educational methodology in the classrooms.

“Integrating content with context is the focal point of context-based learning,” opined Prof Roberta. She said teachers in India should try to teach atleast one unit through this method. She conducted her demonstrations on students of Doraha Public School.

They were taken to different sites like the fort, canal and the government primary school.

In the context of classroom, cultural sites were examined as a way to integrate and implement inter-disciplinary approaches to teaching subjects in the classroom.

This approach will spread awareness among the students and will make them responsible citizens who care about their cultural heritage and the environment. In addition, the context-based learning addresses a wider diversity of learning styles and needs, leading to more inclusive educational outcomes.

Principals of various schools and colleges graced the occasion. Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Doraha Group of Institutions, felicitated chief guest Manjit Kaur, deputy C.E.O, Ludhiana.

A joint website with the Bank Street College of Education was also launched on the occasion. Adequate space is provided in the website for graduate faculty, teachers and trainers to upload their papers, engage in online discussions and view photos, videos and power points from the participating colleges on different topics.

Principal Dr J.Kiran Gera extended a vote of thanks towards the culmination of the workshop. Jaspreet Kaur was the programme coordinator, Dr Neetu Sethi and Kanwalpreet Kaur acted as organising secretaries.

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Seminar on female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Under the ongoing campaign against female foeticide, the district health authorities today organised a function at SCD College, here, wherein experts from diverse fields participated in various programmes designed to create awareness against the menace.

Satwinder Kaur and Dawinder Kaur in their songs aimed at the significant role of anganwari workers in motivating people to refrain from killing the female child in the womb. Professor Karamjit Garewal presented a song, while the college students staged a soul-stirring mime depicting the plight of an unborn girl child.

The students of Mata Saraswati College of Nursing presented a skit on female foeticide and left the audience spellbound.

Similarly, Ludhiana civil surgeon Dr Satpal Sharma and district family welfare officer Dr Reena Sandhu called upon the people to give information about the people indulging in the heinous act of female foeticide so that a strict action should be initiated against the guilty.

Noted city gynaecologist Dr Rama Sofat, deputy mass media officer Dr Harjinder Singh, NRHM district programme manager Dr KL Kapoor also expressed their views on the occasion.

The college principal, Malkit Singh, along with the staff promised to extend support to the health authorities to fight against the social menace.

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Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan releases grants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan (SSA), Punjab, has released grants for the development of infrastructure of schools as well as for the teacher learning material (TLM). About Rs 2.5 lakh have been earmarked for classrooms, Rs 35,000 for toilets and Rs 50,000 for furniture. Another sum of Rs 10,000 and Rs 7,000 are being spent for upper primary and primary school buildings repair and maintenance.

Besides, SSA has also provided teacher learning material grant of Rs 500 to strengthen the class teaching work, said Hardeep Singh, block resource person, SSA.

Sanjeev Thapar, principal of Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, told The Tribune that they had undertaken the construction of toilets and classrooms, and furniture has also been procured for the school.

HK Mayer, principal of Government Multipurpose School, said that under the teacher learning material grant, the teachers can buy material for teaching according to their needs. A social studies teacher can buy maps and globes, a language teacher can buy a dictionary and a science teacher can buy science models to make the teaching effective.

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Needy students distributed woollen clothes
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, January 15
A NRI duo today distributed woollen clothes to the needy students of Government High School, Pamal village. Gurdev Singh Sekhon and Rajvir Singh Sekhon today visited the school and distributed the clothes to them.

Principal Sukhmander Pal Singh, Amarjit Singh Sidhu, president Avtar Singh, Malkait Singh along with others were present on the occasion. The NRIs appealed to the public to donate generously to help the needful, especially the poor students who want to study but have no means at all.

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City Concerns

The recent strike of petroleum employees and truckers inconvenienced the public, which had a difficult time managing the kitchen, besides transportation. The prices of essential commodities, including vegetables and household items, shot up.

Quite expectedly, the industrial sector in the entire city was crippled. Raw material did not arrive and the finished product, particularly woollen garments, was stranded during peak season.

Traders complained to have lost money in delay on the arrival or transportation of the consignments from the city. Fuel shortage led to long queues and drying of petrol stations.

Employees maintained that they were forced to strike work because the government was not considering their demands.

The government, in several states, was forced to invoke ESMA (Essential Supplies Maintenance Act).

The Tribune would like to have your opinion on whether more stringent laws need to be enforced in a similar situation in future? Should the government enforce a ban on strikes by employees of the public sector and services related to the daily needs of the public? What could be an alternative grief redress mechanism?

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

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Two panchayat members assaulted
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 15
Panch Nirbhai Singh, a former sarpanch, and panch Gurdev Singh were allegedly attacked and severely beaten by about a dozen persons when they were going to disburse the old age pensions today at Sounti village, 1 km from here. According to former sarpanch Pargat Singh of Anian village, both the injured persons had been admitted at civil hospital, Amloh. The cause of incident was said to be an old rivalry.

On the statement of Nirbhai Singh, the police has registered a case against former sarpanch Mohinder Singh, Avtar Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Jasdev Singh, Jaswant Singh, Satwant Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Harjinder Singh, Jasbir Singh, Ranjit Singh, Harbans Singh and Khem Singh under Sections 123, 141, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

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TT Meet
Subhash, SP Singh in semis
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 15
Subhash Batra and SP Singh, both from Central Excise, along with JS Bedi and LR Kundal of Department of Postal Services recorded victories in their respective matches today to secure berths in the semifinals of the Central Government Employees Welfare Coordination Committee Ludhiana Table Tennis Tournament being held at the Central Excise House, Rishi Nagar, here.

In the first encounter, Subhash Batra faced little challenge from his opponent Jasmer Singh, also of Central Excise, whom he outplayed in straight sets 11-0, 11-5 and 11-3. Then, Subhash got the better of Mukand Naryan of CIPHET 11-0, 11-4 and 11-2 to advance into the last four stage.

Similarly, SP Singh recorded win over Prince Arora of Department of Postal Services 11-6, 12-10 and 11-8. However, in the second match, he faced an uphill task against Mayank of Department of Telegraphs before the former came out triumphant 11-2, 9-11, 11-3 and 11-5 to secure his berth in the semifinal.

JS Bedi defeated Shashi of Department of Postal Services 11-7, 11-9 and 11-2 and then overpowered Umesh Uniyal of Central Excise 11-1, 11-2, 5-11, 11-8 to sail into the semis.

LR Kundal outplayed Surinder Marwaha of Income Tax 11-4, 11-7 and 11-6 to advance into the quarter finals where he survived a scare before romping home victor against Sanjay Kumar of CIPHET 11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 11-13 and 11-5.

Earlier, Mandeep Singh Rai, chief commissioner, Income Tax, inaugurated the two-day tournament in which 40 paddlers are taking part. AK Mehra, commissioner, Central Excise, Ludhiana, and chairman of the tournament’s organising committee, thanked the chief guest and wished the participants good luck.

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Arrangements reviewed for Jarkhar sports fest
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 15
The stage is set for annual sports festival slated to be held at Jarkhar village, near here, from January 20 to 23.

The four-day festival will be organised by the Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club under the aegis of the Punjab Rural Sports Promotion Council and under the patronage of Punjab Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria and DGP and Director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, Rajdeep Singh Gill.

The arrangements made for the smooth conduct of the festival were reviewed at a meeting of the organising club here today.

Narinder Pal Singh Sidhu and Harkamal Singh, chairman and president of the club, respectively, said competitions in hockey, volleyball, basketball, athletics, wrestling, kabaddi and handball would be held.

Though the festival would start on January 20, the formal inauguration would be held on January 21 when the games torch was brought in a procession by former hockey star Gagan Ajit Singh from historic gurdwara Manji Sahib at Alamgir.

A daredevil show on motorcycles by Punjab Police jawans would be the main attraction of the opening ceremony.

Besides, hockey player from railways Jasjeet Kaur would be honoured with the Olympian Surjit Singh Randhawa Award, while the promoter of sports award would be bestowed upon sports writer Principal Sarwan Singh Dudike.

Punjabi actors and singers Harbhajan Mann and Bhagwant Mann would be awarded with “Sabhyachar Da Maan”, Sidhu added.

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