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PSEB to supply more power to industry
Peak load hr restrictions up, weekly offs down
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 23
Even as power scenario in the state remains bleak, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has issued a revised schedule for power supply to the industrial units, which will come into effect from January 25.

In a bid to provide relief to industrial consumers falling under category I, the weekly off has been reduced to one as against two till now. These units will observe 13 hours off once a week from 8 am to 9 pm till January 31 and from 8 am to 9.30 pm during next month.

As per a circular issued by the PSEB headquarters, the industrial units under category II will be subject to 16 hours weekly off from 5 am to 9 pm till January 31 and from 5 am to 9.30 pm in the month of February. For the furnace units, re-rolling mills and other power intensive industries, there would be two weekly offs as against two and half day being imposed now.

The peak load hour restrictions for the industrial consumers have, however, been enhanced from three to five hours.

From January 25, the peak load hour restrictions will remain in force for five hours from 4 pm to 9 pm till January 31 and from 5 pm to 10 pm during next month.

All restrictions on power supply to small and tiny units (SP and MS consumers) have been completely withdrawn, says the circular on revised schedule for power supply.

Meanwhile, BS Bath, engineer-in-chief, central zone of the PSEB, has claimed that from February onwards, the power supply situation will improve and there would be no power cuts or weekly offs for the industry thereafter.

In a meeting with the Punjab minister for tourism and cultural affairs and jails Hira Singh Gabria and some of the functionaries of the leading industrial associations here last evening, he informed that the board had already announced some relief for the industry in the form of reduced weekly offs and rescheduling peak load hour restrictions.

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Thieves strike at PSEB office
Decamp with chest containing Rs 1.41 lakh
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, January 23
Thieves struck at the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) office at Humbran in the wee hours of today and decamped with a chest containing Rs 1.41 lakh. It is being presumed that the theft took place in the wee hours as the complaint centre of the PSEB nearby was open till midnight.

Interestingly, the PSEB office has a power grid on one side and employees’ colony on other. The thieves entered and escaped from the front door of the office facing the power grid.

The thieves, presumed to be six-eight in number, took along the 1,500-kg safe containing cash and a brand new motorcycle (PB-10 CL-4538) of an employee, Shankar Dass, parked in the office.

The full day’s collection of the PSEB office was lying in the chest. The office deposits the day’s collection the next day in the bank contrary to the other offices that deposit the day’s cash in bank the same day.

The thieves broke open the locks of six rooms of the office. They also searched all the cabinets and drawers and also break open the doors of the SDO’s lockers.

Interestingly, it was the week off day for the watchman, Paramjit Singh, and Sita Ram, who was assigned the watchman duty on this day never turned up during last more than a months as he was also engaged in the field duty.

The services of fingerprint experts from Ludhiana and a dog squad from Jagraon were taken. SP (D) Pritam Singh, DSP Paramjit Singh Goraya, CIA in charge Yogi Raj and in charge of Narcotics Cell, Ludhiana Rural, Tehal Singh reached the spot to investigate the matter.

The SP said the robbers had used the curtains of the SDO office to drag the chest out.

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Budda Nullah Project
Baba Baddowal badly in debt
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
The unsuccessful project to clean up the Budda Nullah has burdened the Budda Nullah Development Committee led by Baba Jaspal Singh Baddowal with a whopping Rs 40 lakh.

Baba Baddowal, who had taken upon himself the task of cleaning the polluted water body, having earned notoriety as water of sorrows, owes lakhs of rupees to several petrol filling stations, besides having spent lakhs from his pocket.

All this, for a project that did not yield anything, thanks to bureaucratic wrangling and lack of political will to carry on with the cleaning despite High Court orders, the committee had completed the process of widening and cleaning 10-km stretch of the nullah from Kum Kalan to Karaur village.

Nearly 5,000 volunteers (kar sewaks), motivated by Baba Baddowal, pressed their machinery into service to clean up the polluted water body. He provided them with free petrol and ‘langar’ to keep them going for several months. The work was started in December 2006 and came to a complete halt in 2008.

While Baba Baddowal and president of Budda Nullah Development Committee Jaswant Singh Chapa remained tight-lipped about the expenses, sources close to them said they were under a debt of Rs 40 lakh.

“We had promised to clean up the nullah and we spent money.We do not want anybody to know how much we have spent. We wanted to complete the noble project come what may. We are feeling bad that it could not be completed,” said Chapa.

Baba Baddowal also refused to divulge the details about the debt mounted on him. “Why talk about money? Talk about the mission. I wish I am able to complete it during my lifetime,” he said.

Sources close to Baba Baddowal said that after the project came to a halt, he was not keeping good health. The entire episode had taken a toll on his health.

The religious leader, who already spends on marrying off girls of poor families, is trying his level best to pay back the debt.

“Even if we talk about it, Baba Baddowal feels humiliated. So nobody talks about it. But the government should have at least cared about his effort and tried to help him out in his mission,” said a disciple of Baba Baddowal.

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Two women mowed down by truck
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
It was a tragic day for a family of Churwal village as a woman and her daughter-in-law were crushed to death by a speeding truck near the Raho road today.

According to the Jodhewal police, Narinder Kaur and her daughter-in-law Mohinder Kaur had came to the city for shopping when the truck driver lost control over the vehicle, crushing the two women walking on the pavement.

While the truck (PB-10BK-0513) was impounded by the police, the driver Nishan Singh, a resident of Patiala, managed to slip from the spot.

The dead were taken to Civil Hospital. The family was informed about the mishap.

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Full house for ‘Slumdog’ on Day 1
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
After Arvind Adiga's “White Tiger” that won the Bookers Prize last year, it is “Slumdog Millionaire” set up in Indian backdrop that has created ripples in global cinema. Having been nominated in 10 categories for Oscars, “Slumdog Millionaire” directed by Danny Boyle is already a hit with overseas audience.

The movie was an instant hit with the Indian audience as was evident from an overwhelming response on the opening day in the city cinema halls today. It is the Golden Globe award for AR Rahman and nominations for Oscars that has taken even occasional cine goers to the halls. As Inderpal Sandhu puts it, "I watch just one movie an year and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ with its rave reviews was my choice for 2009 and I am glad to have watched it.”

Swati, a student of English literature, described the movie as a “mirror image” of contemporary India and deprived intellect battling against all odds. "The director has dealt with the element of doom, deficit and determination amidst exploitation but it is the message of optimism that stands out even in the most gloomy situations," said Swati.

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Colleges flouting parking norms
Students forced to park vehicles outside leading to traffic chaos
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
A few local colleges have even failed to provide adequate space to the students for parking their vehicles inside the college premises thereby flouting the norms laid down for getting their institutions affiliated with various universities. A large number of students are forced to park their vehicles outside the college premises. This has blocked the main road in one of the congested areas. Road rage, accidents and traffic congestion have become the routine of the day due to the callous attitude of authorities concerned, including the college management, municipal corporation and the traffic cops.

Apart from both government colleges, the vehicles of a large number of students of GGN Khalsa College, Ghumar Mandi, Khalsa College for Women, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Khalsa Institute of Management and Technology (KIMT), Arya College, Guru Nanak Engineering College, Master Tara Singh College for Women can be seen parked on the roads leading to traffic bottlenecks.

Bipandeep Sibbal, former student of KCW, said though there was a parking lot inside the campus but due to huge rush, students preferred to park their vehicles on the main road. "As soon as the college closes, it is convenient to take-out vehicle from outside rather than from the college parking-lot", she said adding that the students were paying the parking fees to college authorities on regular basis.

KIMT, KCW and GGN Khalsa College in Ghumar Mandi authorities and students prefer to blame each other on the issue. Vijay Asdhir, KIMT director, told The Tribune that there were 300 students and parking space was enough for them. It was students of the KCW who were choking the traffic on the Ghumar Mandi road. On the other hand, the authorities at KCW said the students of both these college parked vehicles on the main road. A teacher at GGN Khalsa College said it was impossible to make boys understand this issue and authorities felt helpless.

Similarly, a majority of students of MTS College parked their vehicles on the road, as they have no proper parking space inside. Satwinder Kaur, (name changed) a student of MTS College, said it was difficult to park vehicles on roads as there was no safety outside. "But we don’t have any other option. The management should do something about it", she stressed.

Shalini, a housewife, who lives in HIG Flats, said there was utter chaos at the time of closure of these institutions. She said the traffic police should come forward to the help residents and commuters. "But nobody seems to be bothered. The vehicles parked on roads must be towed-away immediately so that students also learn some lesson", she added.

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Flats for economically weaker sections
MC to bear increased cost of dwellings
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
The much-hyped flats for economically weaker sections under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) are proving to be a white elephant for the Municipal Corporation (MC) as escalated costs of the dwellings is going to be borne by the civic body only.

According to information, the cost of one dwelling has increased from Rs 1,28,550 to Rs 2,31,000 and the increased cost, which is above Rs 1 lakh per flat,would be paid by the MC. At present,1,280 flats are under construction at Giaspura village.

Xen HS Khaussa and SDO HS Bhullar, who are looking after the project,said, "The detailed project report 1 (DPR 1) was passed by the Central government in 2005. Since the construction work started in 2008 so the cost per dwelling has increased." They added that the Central and Punjab government would just pay their shares of 50 per cent and 20 per cent that too in accordance to the estimates passed by them in 2005.

They revealed that the project “Basic services to urban poor” (BSUP) was a sub-mission of the JNNURM and the MC had to bear 20 per cent of the cost of the construction, while 10 per cent of the amount is going to be paid by the beneficiary. They said at present the construction of the flats under three groups was under way.

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Doctors defy TB control programme
Non-DOT prescriptions turning patients multi-drug resistant
Anshu Seth
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, January 23
A large number of doctors in the state and in the city are not following the revised national tuberculosis (TB) control programme (RNTCP) as they continue to prescribe non-DOT (direct observed treatment) medicines, thereby adding to the number of multi-drug resistant cases.

Warning the doctors against the practice, state TB Control Officer Dr P.K. Bansal said: “We are constantly getting cases where doctors are prescribing medicines that are not recommended under the DOT programme. The State TB Control Society has decided to initiate strict action against such doctors.” He was addressing the state task force meeting of the State TB Control Society here yesterday.

In a shocking revelation, Director of LRS TB Institute, New Delhi, Dr D. Behra said that as per the data compiled, only 1,200 doctors from all over India had adopted DOTS so far whereas the number of MDR (multi drug resistant) and XDR (extensively drug resistance) cases has gone up to 1,10, 000 patients in the country.

“However, we have approached the Indian Medical Association, Indian Association of Paediatricians and other physicians’ forums who are endorsing the cause. As many as 1,700 NGOs have been roped in to reach out to the maximum people living in remote areas across the country,” he said.

Dr Behra added that Ludhiana too has a high incidence of MDR cases as the affected migrant populace fails to take DOT-plus treatment, instead approach the quacks who put them on alternative medicine. In absence of follow-up, people suffering from tuberculosis develop resistance to the drugs thereby endangering other people coming in their contact.

DMCH vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, who is also chairman of the State Task Force, termed tuberculosis as a worldwide public health problem but with the advancements in the field of medicine, highly effective drugs are now available, making TB a preventable and curable disease.

Dr Jai Kishan, chairman, Zonal Task Force (RNTCP) and director, STDC, Government Medical College, Patiala, spoke on newer initiatives under revised RNTCP guidelines. He said that as per the new RNCTP guidelines, if a person has a complaint of continuous cough for minimum two weeks or more, it is a probable case of TB.

As per the guidelines, the number of sputum samples for detecting TB has also been reduced from three to two and out of two, if one sample is found positive, then a person should be diagnosed as a patient of tuberculosis, confirmed Dr Kishan.

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Coloniser-Politician Nexus
Unregulated growth hampering development
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 23
Despite numerous steps being taken by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) to check the unlawful and unregulated development of residential colonies in the city, the powerful lobby of colonisers, enjoying the support of political leaders, have been proving hard to fall in line.

The result has been enormous, but unregulated growth of residential colonies, which do not have basic amenities and infrastructure and more often than not, the unsuspecting buyers of plots in such colonies are made to face the music once the coloniser having sold away the carved-out pieces of land disappears.

According to rough estimates, there are nearly 430 illegal colonies around the city involving an area of more than 2,500 acres with a population of anything from five to seven lakh, which are posing a serious challenge to the regulatory and enforcement measures, initiated by the GLADA.

If some of the colonisers are to be believed, development of illegal colony is next to impossible unless the property developer has the backing of powerful political leaders and overt or covert support of the officials, entrusted with the task of enforcement and regulation, who choose to look the other way, either due to political pressure or financial considerations.

"Obtaining permission from the agency concerned, PUDA or GLADA, to develop a colony is such a cumbersome and expensive proposition that majority of the small colonisers are prone to exercise the easier option. Rather than paying licence fee and external development charges, which go on to add to the cost of land by around Rs 1,000 per square yard, it is more lucrative to part with a fraction of amount, which goes to the officials and politicians," said a coloniser, who had sold out all the plots in an area of 3 acres on the Chandigarh Road.

Most of the senior officials of the GLADA were non-committal on the involvement of enforcement and regulatory staff while maintaining that action under the law was taken against all such colonisers, who are operating without statutory permission. But some of them admitted that political leaders, both from the city and Chandigarh, occasionally call up to "oblige" one or the other property developer.

The land prices that were till a couple of months back, politicians of all hues, including some of the elected representatives and office-bearers of political parties themselves or through their family members, had entered the business of real estate development. "This is where the real problem lies because such politically connected colonisers flout laws with impunity and they cannot be treated like ordinary property developers," said sources in GLADA.

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Traders take to SMSes to woo customers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
Following in the footsteps of various retail houses using short message service (SMS) for promoting their sale, now, various hosiery traders have also ventured into the same with a view to maximize their sales. It’s not only the small-scale producers but a few big hosiery traders have also decided to opt for SMS service for campaigning about their products and that, too, in a city better known as the Mecca of hosiery business in the country.

One such SMS from a premium hosiery brand reads, "Big loot returns! Starting from January 16 onwards."

Local hosiery manufacturers, who are following the trend, are of the opinion that it’s an innovative and cheap form of advertising and attracting customers and numerous hosiery manufacturers as well as retailers were attracting people through SMS especially at this time of the year, which was the stock clearance period for most of the hosiery traders.

"Brand promotion through SMS is a relatively new form of advertising which has caught the fancy of most retailers from departmental store chains to beauty parlours to garment stores whereby existing and prospective buyers are informed about the latest products, schemes, offers and sales at the stores.

For this, all that the companies have to do is to tie up with telephone service providers for sending SMSes to their clients.

This is the most cost effective form of advertising these days when most business houses are adopting cost cutting measures and shying away from giving out advertisements in newspapers and journals,” said Gagandeep Kaur, an advertising expert.

She added that various telecom companies were earning a lot of revenue through the latest fad among the business houses.

The buyers, however, are divided on the issue. Sanya, a BA II student says, "Through such SMSes we get to know about the latest offers at various stores in town without having to turn the pages of newspapers in the morning. I feel it is good and we can keep the SMS we are interested in for later reference.”

Her mother, Poonam Sharma, however, differs. "Such SMSes are a nuisance. They should be banned. After all shopping is a very personal choice and one cannot be forced to shop through such "lucrative offers" on cell phone.

The companies, which advertise through SMS, are exploiting the service by making it a means for mass communication with their clients. It is an invasion of our privacy."

There are a few industrialists who have chosen not to join the bandwagon. Vinod Thapar of Thapar Mills, feels, "Advertising through SMS has a very low impact on the buyers. It can tap only three to four customers for every 100 SMS sent.

At least this is what I have observed in our industry, about the rest, I cannot comment."

"This practise is basically being followed by those hosiery companies which had produced huge stocks in anticipation of great sales in the season but registered almost nil sales during the peaks months," Thapar added.

He said he had recently come across many such SMSes by many big hosiery traders. He remarked that this practise was unhealthy for business houses as they were lowering the market value of their product by informing one and sundry about it instead of focusing on target customers alone. "Advertising through other media like newspapers is any day a better idea and more focused as well."

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Meltdown Fallout
Cos told ‘to cut down on extra expenses’
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
A new dimension of the global economic crisis has emerged. With a cut in their entertainment and travel allowances, top-level officials of numerous big companies are now the latest to feel the heat of the meltdown. After large-scale retrenchments and lay-offs of lower-level staff by firms, this is the next step towards cost-cutting that most companies have adopted.

Although none of the managements of the companies that Ludhiana Tribune talked to confirmed this, numerous top-level officials and managerial staff, admitted having been asked by their respective managements "to cut down on extra expenses".

"In an attempt to cope up with the ongoing crisis, our company, as part of the cost-cutting measures, has directed top officials and managerial-level staff to cut down on travel expenditure. Though no written directions have been issued, we have verbal instructions from our immediate superiors regarding the same. For example, the staff entitled to air travel during official trips has been asked to travel by trains instead," said a regional manager of a multi-national company.

He added that many such "changes in the norms" have been introduced in the firm in the last couple of months.

A senior manager of a well-established financial company said, "Finally, after the lower and the middle-rung workers, it is the turn of the top-level to feel the heat of the global economic crisis. From enjoying a comfortable stay at five-star hotels during official tours to staying in a three or four-star hotel, from travelling in executive class to travelling in economy class and in many cases, even in trains, are just a few things we have learnt courtesy the meltdown."

"Now there is not much difference between the remuneration and facilities that a government employee enjoys and those given to a private sector worker," he said jokingly.

Many companies are withholding various performance-based incentives and bonus, while others have stopped organising lavish get-togethers of company staff and their families. There are yet others who have stopped sponsoring sports and cultural events even as some have reduced the number of working days from six days a week to five. All this, besides a cut in the fat pay packets that many companies have imposed on their employees.

Making an interesting observation on the cut, a low-level official of a multi-national firm, said, "Many officials liked to plan their trips on Saturday, it being the weekend. They would generally take their families along. In short, they enjoyed a working holiday while on official tours at the expense of the company. But since the reduction in the number of working days from six to five, many officials have stopped planning tours during the week days, for obvious reasons. Moreover, working from the head office is better than travelling in a train or one's own personal vehicle."

Asked how the "hi-profile employees" of big companies were dealing with the situation, deputy general manager of a multi-national bank quipped, "There are many who are cribbing about, it but in my opinion, we should be thankful to our managements that we have just been asked to cut down our expenses and have not been shunted out like many of our junior colleagues."

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State tops in milk production
Sanjeev Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
Punjab has emerged as a leader in the per capita production of the milk in the country. Pegged at 1 kg per individual each day, this average surpasses the national average of 240 grams per day by a huge margin. The per capita per day animal protein availability is 37 grams in Punjab which is three times higher than the national figure of 12 grams. This speaks about the importance of dairy animals in Punjab.

The average lactation yield in the state is pegged at 2,800 litres for the cross-bred varieties which is far ahead of the national average of 1,960 kg per head. At the same time, a few farmers getting 6,000 to 10,000 litres of milk in a lactation per cross-bred cow in the state.

Giving details of the milk production in the state, Vijay Kumar Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), said the state contributed approximately 9.2 million tonnes of milk in 2007. The figure today touches approximately 10 million tonnes and the production measures 10 per cent of the national output.

The state has witnessed a sizable reduction in the number of cow and buffalo over the past few years.However, the average milk production per cattle head has increased during the corresponding period. The state has recorded 17.6 lakh cows and 50 lakh buffaloes in 2007. The corresponding figures were 20 lakh cows and 60 lakh buffaloes in 2003. The number of the cattle in the local variety has gone down tremendously.

Taneja said the biggest reason for increase in milk production had been cross-breeding of the local cow with Holstein breed, the highest milk producer in the world. He informed that GADVASU had played a significant role in the introduction and adoption of cross-breeding of dairy cattle in the state.

Taneja said the buffaloes continue to be the biggest contributors to the milk share in the state constituting 75 per cent of the total production. Against popular notion, buffalo’s milk has lesser cholesterol content as compared to cow. He highlighted the role of the university in reaching out the rural masses for educating them about best dairying techniques. Punjab loses Rs 550 crore annually only due to mastitis, a disease of udder which leads to reduction in milk yield. A sizable number of farmers are also found wanting on account of careless mixing of feed items for the milch cattle. Only 11 per cent farmers were found to be giving the perfect combination of fodder, minerals and other nutrients.

The Vice Chancellor also stressed the need for maintaining clean environment through better management of wastes in peri-urban dairies, an area which causes unhealthy living conditions affecting cattle and buffaloes, human and also affecting the quality of milk. Reducing microbial load in milk is another area under active study for reduction of harmful contents in the milk consumed.

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Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyaan
100 schools get financial aid
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
As many as 100 schools (50 primary and 50 upper primary) of Ludhiana district have been provided with financial assistance to promote girl education by the Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyaan, Punjab.

Rs 50,000 has been earmarked for distribution of notebooks to girls. The notebooks will be given to the girls from poor families of backward areas.

Rs 1.5 lakh has been granted for Meena CD's, which is conceptualised by UNICEF to educate the girls about importance of education. It is an animated movie in which a young girl Meena goes to school and how the boys tease her. It is to educate the girls that how they have to face hurdles to fulfil their ambition of attaining education. Projectors have been supplied for showing these CDs to the girls from class V to VIII in the government schools.

Rs 6 lakh has been allocated for yoga, sweaters and shoes to be distributed among the girls of backward areas.

These visits aim at making the girls aware of their surroundings. The girls from backward areas will be taken to good senior secondary schools in the cities, banks, post office, railway stations and historical places to inculcate interest in education and the latest technology used in post offices and railway stations.

A sum of Rs 3,42,000 has been earmarked as prize money. The girls who top in their respective classes will be awarded cash prizes. Rs 18,000 will be given per block. Rs 5,600 has been granted for holding a function at the district level.

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1,200 ad hoc rural doctors boycott immunisation drive
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
Twelve hundred doctors working on contract under the Rural Development Department in rural areas on Wednesday observed two-hour pen-down protest and boycotted the immunisation programme from 11 am to 1 pm.

Punjab Rural Medical Services Association general secretary Rishi Bhardwaj doctors wanted the regularisation of their posts as promised before the Assembly elections.

The villagers who had gone to get their children vaccinated against measles, BCG, DPT, hepatitis and poliomyelitis, were disappointed as the MBBS doctors working in village dispensaries across the state did not administer the vaccination.

The doctors also discontinued prescription of medicines to the patients coming to the dispensaries between 11 am and 1 pm. However, doctors had made today's pen-down protest known from village gurdwaras on January 20.

Acknowledging good work of rural doctors, villagers in almost all districts, including Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda, Sangrur and Muktsar, supported the rural doctors.

Swaran Singh of Lalton village termed the rural doctors as ambassadors of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) who had revived dormant dispensaries in villages. "The village dispensaries in Ludhiana district and state were without doctors and staff before the appointment of rural doctors, who have been implementing health and sanitation programmes."

Rural doctors have helped efficient execution of mass awareness campaigns for village health and sanitation and school health programme in 90 per cent village schools in Punjab. Principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Harbanspura village, said, "The doctors have detected anaemic children and given them iron supplements from limited resources and improved their health. They also organised adolescent programmes for senior students in the schools."

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Badal clan overriding SAD: Rai
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 23
Terming SAD as a “private limited company”, allegedly engaged in harnessing sacrifices of party activists for uplifting members of the Badal clan, former chairman of the State Administrative Tribunal and Vigilance Commission, UP, Rai Singh has called upon the voters of the state to support the Congress candidates in the ensuing parliamentary elections.

Rai Singh alleged that democratic principles and human values had been crushed by the members of the Badal family. He said the move to elevate Sukhbir Badal as Deputy Chief Minister had proved that sincerity and loyalty had no place in the SAD.

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Fancy registration numbers fetch Rs 1.36 lakh
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 23
Auction of fancy registration numbers of vehicles fetched revenue of Rs 1,36,100.

The highest bid of the registration number PB48-C-4848 was booked by Roop Singh of Mohali at Rs 91,000, other numbers PB48C--0006 brought Rs 25,000, PB48C-1111 Rs 7,500, PB48C-0089 Rs 7,100, PB 48C-0016 Rs 5,500 were allotted to Satvir Singh, Anu Bassi, Sukhwinder Singh and Surinder Singh Sofat, respectively.

The auction was conducted here on Thursday by SDM-cum-registration authority Poonamdeep Kaur.

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Sportsman suffers for his faith in law
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
This national-level power lifter and former Punjab Police head constable is paying the price of his belief in the law of the land and following legal course of action to bring the criminals to book.

He had received eight stitches on his face for raising voice against unscrupulous elements. While his wounds were still fresh, he was made to run from pillar to post with to get the case registered.

Two days on, the Division No. 6 police is still reluctant to register a FIR saying they have not received medical reports.

Gurinder Singh, a resident of Partap Nagar, was beaten black-and-blue by a few migrants, who were putting up as a tenant in the Partap Nagar locality.

Talking to The Tribune, Gurinder Singh said he is looking after his septuagenarian aunt Surjit Kaur, her daughter Paramjit Kaur and her 1,000-yard property. To generate income, they have given some rooms on rent to the migrants.

“A few unscrupulous elements who stayed in our neighbourhood used visit our tenants. I objected to there visit keeping in mind the safety of the women who are living alone,” said Gurinder Singh.

He added that he even asked his tenants not to allow such people to enter the premises.

On the January 21, the youths visited the house and Gurinder again objected to it. To this, Dippu, a resident of the colony and Rammu, a Nepalese migrant, along with a few other armed men started thrashing Gurinder. He sustained serious injury on his cheek bone, but somehow managed to escape from the spot.

What followed after the incident was disturbing and uncalled. The youths alleged that instead of nabbing the accused, the police was stressing for a compromise between the two parties. He alleged that some politician was backing the accused.

DSP Harmohan Singh refused to have any information about the incident. “If the youth has been beaten up, a case should have been registered. I will ask the officer concerned to look into the matter,” said the DSP.

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Big Bazaar’s shopping event from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
Big Bazaar, India's largest hypermarket chain, a part of the Future Group, announced that its biggest shopping event “Sabse Saste 3 Din” would be held across 106 Big Bazaar stores on January 24, 25 and 26.

Continuing its efforts to provide the best shopping deals and savings to Indian consumers, Big Bazaar is all set to make this years' Republic Day shopping truly memorable with rock bottom prices, best possible discounts and mega offers.

Apart from the flagship Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar stores, other Future Group retail formats like Furniture Bazaar, Electronic Bazaar, Depot and Home Bazaar stores will also be a part of this mega campaign. This year, over six million consumer footfalls are expected at over 150 stores across the country, including 106 Big Bazaar stores, in 55 cities.

From daily household needs of food and grocery to apparels, footwear, toys, luggage, kitchenware, bed and bath ware, home décor, furniture, electronics and fine gold jewellery; “Sabse Saste 3 Din” will have an exciting array of attractive offers, deals and discounts, ensuring something for everyone in the family to shop for and a maximum “value for money” for all customers.

For net savvy consumers, Big Bazaar will extend the “Sabse Saste 3 Din” offers on to its e-retailing website www.futurebazaar.com.

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Camp for fish farmers ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
A 15-day training camp for fish farmers organised by the National Federation of Fishermen Cooperators, New Delhi, concluded yesterday at the department of fisheries here.

The camp was sponsored by the department of fisheries, the ministry of agriculture.

During the camp, the farmers were given training about modern technologies on fish culture. About 125 farmers from all over Punjab attended the camp.

Kanwaljit Singh Sidhu, president, the Fish Farmers’ Association, Punjab, who distributed certificate to the fish farmers told that the farmers were told to maintain hygienic conditions while adopting aqua culture. Scientists told the farmers to keep fish in healthy environment. The farmers were given awareness about the deadly variety of Magur Thai fish during the camp.

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Polytechnic student ends life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
A student of Polytechnic College, Rishi Nagar, committed suicide by hanging herself with a ceiling fan at a hostel near gate number 3 of the Punjab Agricultural University here today.

The deceased has been identified as Preeti Sharma (20), a resident of Pathankot. She was in the city for past three years.

A suicide note was found from her room in which had said that she was depressed and did not want to live.

Police sources said Preeti used to stay as a paying guest in Haibowal. She had shifted in the hostel today only.

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Fire breaks out in Upkaar Nagar house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
The smoke asphyxiated two women after a fire that broke out in a house at Upkaar Nagar today evening. They have been identified as Satnam Kaur and her mother-in-law Surinder Kaur. Both of them were rushed to a hospital. Satnam Kaur fell unconscious while she was being taken to the hospital whereas Surinder Kaur was discharged after the first aid.

A blast took place as soon as the fire broke out in a room of the house. This made those living in the area panicky. The neighbours spotted the smoke billowing out of the house and reported the matter to the police and the fire brigade.

The residents rued that the fire brigade took more than half-an-hour to reach the spot. However, the fire was brought under control within an hour.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire broke out in the room of Vikas Passi's room in which a split air conditioner was installed and spread in other rooms. The leakage of gas from the air conditioner resulted in fire. While Vikas was not was at home, his wife along with children had a narrow escape.

People revealed that the fire had spread in three rooms and the impact was so strong that windowpanes were shattered. Furniture kept in rooms was reduced to ashes.

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Shiv Sena units enter alliance
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 23
The All-India Shiv Sena (AISS) and Shiv Sena Hindustan (SSH) have entered a strategic alliance under which the two parties will work together on the issues of "Hindutva."

The decision was taken in a meeting of state chief of AISS Kamlesh Bhardwaj and national president of SSH Pawan Gupta here today.

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Man electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 23
A man got electrocuted when he came in contact with high voltage wires at Moti Nagar here today.

His body was hanging with the electricity wires for at least half an hour and no efforts were made to bring him down.

Sant Ram (45) was working as a peon in Bharat Adarsh Vidhalya for the last 20 years.

The incident took place in the morning when he went upstairs to put a poster on the school wall.

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Youth, kin booked for abduction
Our Correspondent

Samrala, January 23
In a bizarre incident a few members of the Bazigar community attacked a police party that had gone to Dhillwan for arresting a youth and escaped with him. The youth had abducted a minor girl some time ago.

Gobinda, who belongs to the Bazigar community and is a son of former municipal councillor Zira Ram, had abducted a minor girl on January 19.

The girl was a student of Class X. Parents of Gobinda and the girl went to Lucknow for locating them. A police party had barricaded the Dhillwan village for apprehending the youth. When their parents reached Dhillwan, the cops tried to arrest the youth but were attacked by a large number of persons who escaped with the youth.

The cops informed their seniors about the incident and called reinforcement for arresting the youth and others. Later on, the youth, his father Zira Ram, mother Paso Devi; Mandeep Singh and Kuldeep Singh were arrested. A case has been registered.

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Athletics Meet
Kulraj adjudged best athlete
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 23
The 9th Annual Athletic Meet of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, concluded here today. Neeru Katyal Gupta, SDM (Payal) inaugurated the meet by unfurling the flag. Anil Joshi, DSP Payal, was the chief guest and distributed prizes among the winners.

Racing meets for parents and teachers were the special attraction of the show. A cultural programme was also organised to mark the culmination of the closing ceremony. Patriotic song and bhangra was presented on the occasion.

Deep Singh and Jitinder Kaur Grewal were declared the best athletes in the senior group. Kulraj Grewal and Rubbaldeep Kaur were the best athletes in the junior category. Sutlej House was adjudged to be the best.

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