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DC stays last-minute transfers by Gurjar
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
The newly appointed Deputy Commissioner, Vikas Garg, today revoked last-minute transfer orders of at least 25 employees of the revenue department issued by former Deputy Commissioner, Sumer Singh Gurjar.

Gurjar had transferred nearly 20 patwaris and five clerks from the department. The move had raised many an eyebrow. He had relinquished the charge on January 28 and Garg had taken over it.

The employees were yet to join their new place of duty when the DC intervened and revoked the orders.

Talking to The Tribune, he said he had stayed the orders for the time being as he was new to the city and to understand the work well, he needed the staff to stay put.

He said he had not “revoked” the orders, but had just stayed those. “I have just put these in the cold storage for the time being. I will think about the next course of action later. I am just ensuring that the work remains streamlined and the public is not made to suffer in any of the offices,” he said.

The last-minute orders had evoked protests from many quarters and were mired in a controversy. “We were surprised that some people got the choicest postings. This had caused a lot of heartburn among people. The mass transfers would have hit the normal functioning. So, we made the new DC aware of the problems. He was kind enough to help the department,” said an employee of the revenue department, requesting anonymity.

He added had the former DC transferred a few people, work would not have been affected. But when so many people were ordered to shift, it would have caused functional problems.

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Poor mobile connectivity? Thieves to blame
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
If connectivity on your mobile phone suddenly goes off, the service provider is not to blame, for the chances are that components of mobile towers are being stolen!

This was revealed when an alert security guards at a mobile tower situated at Dhandra village nabbed four youths who had come to steal mobile batteries.

It was later found that they were part of an inter-state gang involved in stealing batteries and components worth over Rs 2 crore.

According to a representative of Indus Towers, this gang was operating since September and had reportedly stolen batteries costing over Rs 1 lakh and mobile tower components from several parts of the state.

Arvind Sabharwal, regional manager of Frontline Business Solutions, said the company suffered major losses due to frequent thefts.

Chamkor Singh, security guard at Dhandri mobile tower, said he saw some suspicious activity near the tower last night and informed Arvind Sabharwal, who, along with other guards, laid a trap near the tower.

The accused were overpowered while they were trying to steal the batteries.

The security agency intimated the Sadar police about it. Following their interrogation, the police arrested two more persons in this connection.

According to police sources, the kingpin of the gang, Perminder Singh, alias Soni, a resident of Partap Singh Wala, was absconding.

The accused have been identified as Sarpreet Singh, Davinder Singh, Surinder Singh, Shiv Kumar and Kuldeep Singh.

Some of the accused had worked with mobile tower companies and knew how to open the batteries and other components.

The police has seized two Indica cars and a Tata 407 used for the crime.

Sources said the accused used to sell the stolen goods to scrap dealers.

Sajjan Singh Cheema, SP-III, said a police party was conducting raids and more arrests were likely to follow.

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Farmers refuse to lift potato from cold storage
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Owing to a glut of potatoes in the market, farmers of the district have refused to lift their potato produce from cold storage, giving a tough time to store owners.

Farmers claim that potato is being sold for as low as Re 1 per kg as the produce had virtually flooded the market. Hence, they did not want to lift their produce from the cold storage.

Since every 50 kg sack is stored for Rs 40 each, the farmers find it a better option to not pick the bags and save money on transporting these to mandis.

“We are not even getting Re 1 for every kg of potato. If we have to sell it at this price, we would not make any money. We would rather pay Rs 40 per sack to the store owner, than pay for the transportation,” Jora Singh, a farmer, said.

Meanwhile, cold storage owners are at their wits end. “Several cold storage owners have sold unclaimed potato to Gujjars so they can feed these to their cattle. Others are trying to find a way out,” an attendant at a cold storage said.

Another cold storage owner said he had at least 3,000 sacks since Diwali, but there were no claimants. “We are thinking of dumping the bags at some place. We would give it away for cattle,” he said, adding that while they were yet to do away with the old produce, they had started receiving fresh ones also.

“We have to make place for fresh stock, else we would have to suffer more losses,” he said.

Farmers are not even ready to re-sow the crop for the next season. “Many farmers had kept these potatoes as seeds, but now they have decided to go in for another crop,” he stated.

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Now, pay power bills at automated machines
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 30
Standing for long hours in queues at the divisional or subdivisional offices of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for the payment of energy bills is bound to become a thing of the past considering the automated bill payment machines recently installed in different parts of the city.

Moreover, with the machines remaining functional from 8 am to 8 pm on all seven days of the week, consumers would not have to take out time during working hours to pay the bills.

One simply has to punch the details of the bill, tender cash or cheque and obtain a receipt.

HS Randhawa, deputy chief engineer, city east circle of the PSEB, said the machines had already become functional at division-level offices in the Industrial Estate, Daresi road, the CMC and Janta Nagar. Two more bill payment machines would be installed at the Focal Point and Model Town divisions.

The machines would work round the clock once adequate security staff was available to be deployed in shifts. The PSEB had already taken up the matter with the Punjab Ex-servicemen Corporation.

When pointed out that the PSEB had earlier also installed similar machines in the city, which had failed to yield the desired results, Randhawa attributed the erratic working of those machines to lack of trained manpower for maintenance. “We have learnt from past experience and the service and maintenance of the bill payment machines has been entrusted to manufacturers,” he added.

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Farce called Leprosy Day
No jobs, rehabilitation in place for cured patients
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
The purpose to observe World Leprosy Day stands defeated as the government has failed to provide job and rehabilitate such patients in mainstream society, as proposed under the National Leprosy Eradication Programme.

Out of the total 140 inmates at Kusht Ashram, not a single inmate has been given a job, despite the provision under the rehabilitation scheme of the NLEP programme.

The government provides only pension for the aged and physically challenged people, which works out at Rs 250 per month. The rest of the money comes from donations in the name of the Kusht Ashram Society.

Making mockery of the leprosy eradication programme, the health authorities took out an awareness rally today that lasted for less than an hour. It started from the Civil Surgeon’s office and concluded at the nearest government school.

Besides, Deformity Management and Medical Rehabilitation Programme (DPMR) meant to prevent, reverse or manage deformities caused by leprosy and prednisolone therapy for lepra reactions, self-care training, rehab aids, assisted care and physiotherapy are also missing.

Inmates from Punjab, UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand have found a home for themselves at the ashram.

Inderjit from Gorakhpur says: “We fear mingling with people in our native towns as the stigma of ‘achut’ is unbearable.”

“It is important for the government and NGOs to help remove the stigma associated with people like us who have been cured and can live a normal life,” Tulsi Ram added.

Talking about the rare visits from government health officials, the caretaker of the ashram for the past 55 years, RS Pandey, says: “The attitude of doctors and staff at the Civil Hospital and health centres is casual and they do not pay attention to leprosy patients visiting them for medication. We prefer to engage private doctors from time to time or approach institutes like the CMCH and the DMCH.”

They are desperate to give a normal life to their children and some of them have sent their children to boarding schools.

An inmate of the colony, Dhani Ram, proudly says: “My son Jagdish is working as a Junior Engineer at Bhaba Atomic Research Institute while my younger boy is employed with the railways.”

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3 killed, 23 hurt in accident
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, January 30
Three persons were killed and 23 were reportedly injured in a truck-bus collision, near here, today. The accident took place near Gobindgarh village on the Barnala road at around 8.15 am when the visibility was poor due to dense fog.

The deceased have been identified as driver of the truck, Deva Ram(45) of Daddi village in Sikar, Rajasthan, Paramjit Kaur (30) of Ludhiana who was teaching in a government school at Mehal Khurd, and Mandeep Singh (32), who was residing on the PAU premises.

Eyewitnesses said the Dabwali-bound PRTC bus, in a bid to overtake another vehicle, hit a loaded truck coming from the opposite side.

One side of the bus was completely damaged with the impact. The injured have been admitted to various hospitals at Raikot and Sudhar, where 11 were discharged after first aid. Pawan Bansal (3) and Megha Bansal (3), who are in a critical condition, have been referred to the DMCH in Ludhiana.

The SHO, Gurdial Singh, said the police ambulance and the highway patrol van was immediately pressed into rescue operations. A case had been registered against the driver of the bus, Pargat Singh, who was also injured, under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 304 of the IPC.

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Courier company penalised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
The permanent lok adalat (PLA) has penalised a courier company, M/s Aramex India, for deficient services in delivering goods in Australia.

The chairman of the PLA, CD Gupta, and its members, RS Khokar and Nand Lal, ordered the company to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation to the consumer for harassment and tension.

The PLA further directed the company to return Rs 24,500 paid by the consumer at the time of booking and Rs 3,691 for the loss suffered by the consumer. The orders were pronounced by the PLA while deciding the complaint of Sumit Kalra of Australia through his counsel.

It was submitted by the complainant that she had booked a consignment containing household goods in 2006 through Aramex India. The goods were delivered after 10 days at the destination, but a DVD and a pair of shoes were missing while the rest of the articles were damaged. The matter was taken up with the courier company, but to no avail.

However, officials of the company even denied booking the consignment. But after finding numerous documents issued by Aramex India on record, pertaining to the consignment, the PLA took serious note of it and fined it.

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Gurjar ordered hike in Lodhi Club’s fee 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Former Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar, who remained controversial throughout his tenure, had before relinquishing the charge given clearance for increasing the membership fee of the Lodhi Club by 50 per cent. The Deputy Commissioner also happens to be an ex-officio president of the Lodhi Club and the hike was cleared by him in this capacity. It would come into effect from February 1.

While the world is reeling under global economic meltdown, the local Lodhi Club has doubled its enrolment membership fee. While the existing members are relieved, others who were planning to take the membership of the club have been left high and dry.

A press note issued by Manoj Gupta, general secretary, Lodhi Club, states that the enrolment fee for different categories has been enhanced.

Rakesh, a club member, said: “I don’t have to worry as I am already a member.”

While another member said the fee hike was too high. “The hike may have been done to avoid enrolment of new members,” he adds.

Meenakshi Sharma, a housewife, said they were planning to get the club membership but the hike is too high. “Now we have to think twice before getting the membership,” she added.

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Kar sewa for strengthening eroded canal bank 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 30
Higher authorities, including the Chief Minister, having failed to awaken canal department officials from slumber for strengthening the eroded banks of the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal, along the Jagera- Karamsar road, the followers of Sant Isher Singh Rarewale have started kar sewa to fill the earth in eroded portions.

Though presently the followers have focused their attention on strengthening the banks in the vicinity of Gurdwara Karamsar Rara Sahib, the kar sewa would continue for strengthening these further, the volunteers claimed.

Apprehending mishaps due to badly-eroded banks of the Sirhind canal between the Jagera bridge and Buani village, residents of surrounding villages, predominantly followers of Sant Isher Singh, have started filling eroded portions with the earth. While farmers who own tractors have come forward for carrying the earth from their fields to the canal bank, others have undertaken levelling and compaction job.

According to head granthi Baba Jarnail Singh, decision to start the kar sewa was taken after a number of villagers informed that eroded banks posed threat to those who cross this side.

“Having failed to impress upon the authorities for getting the banks strengthened we decided to make use of our resources to do the needful.

A large number of villagers, who have been coming here to pay obeisance, came forward to chip in their resources,” said Jarnail Singh. The management committee of the gurdwara had apprised the authorities about the fragile condition of the banks, he added.

Hundreds of families living in Jandali Khurad, Jandali Kalan, Chhanna, Pohir, Jagera, Butahri, Jhammat and dozens of other villages, situated on the bank of the canal, apprehending threat to their lives and property, had demanded an inquiry into the alleged inaction of authorities to the SOS calls made by them during the past years.

The authorities, instead of taking remedial action, had been misleading the civil works department with regard to the condition of the banks of the Sirhind canal.

Near Karamsar village and Gurdwara Rara Sahib, the northern bank lining the canal was eroded badly.

A breach could develop at the place at any time if the water level in the canal rises.

Some devotees, dominantly elderly ones, had slipped into water due to eroded bank near the gurdwara. 

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SAD-BJP alliance to sweep LS poll, says Bharowal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
The ruling coalition of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will sweep the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Punjab. The alliance will win all 13 seats and eliminate the Congress from the political scene, claimed Pritam Singh Bharowal, a member of the SAD working committee, while addressing party workers at a meeting at Ranjit Nagar on the Ferozepur Road here yesterday.

He said both Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir, the newly inducted Deputy Chief Minister, were striving hard to make Punjab a model state.

On prevailing shortage of power, he said, the government had already initiated steps to set up mega power generating projects with private participation.

Bharowal indicated that the ongoing exercise of administrative reshuffle at various levels was part of the agenda of Sukhbir Badal to provide a clean and transparent governance.

“The government is keen on appointing officers with clean track record at strategic posts to ensure good governance, as also to make officers accountable to people.”

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Cycle part assn against VAT on steel products
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Members of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association at a meeting held here today criticised the notification regarding imposition of full Value Added Tax (VAT) on iron and steel goods issued by the Department of Excise and Taxation.

Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma, association’s president, said the industry was already reeling under the power crisis which had not only hampered the production but such units were also on the verge of the closure and the new notification had increased their woes. 

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Beekeeping integral to farming: Board chief
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 30
Dr BL Sarswat, executive director, National Bee Board, has stressed that beekeeping should be made an integral part of farming system in India. He was addressing beekeepers during a special training camp organised for farmers at the Lee Bee International Institute of Beekeeping and Agro Enterprises (IBA), Doraha.

He stressed that honeybees not only helped produce honey, wax, royal jelly, propolis and venom but also played an important role in boosting the productivity of agricultural crops through pollination.

“The value of honeybees as a pollinator of farm crops is 20 to 30 times more than their value as a honey and wax producer. They also help in conservation of biodiversity and provide sustainable livelihood to rural communities,” he added.

Harvinder Singh Shukka, programme coordinator, and Satbir Singh said that IBA was providing service to beekeepers in upgrading their skills and knowledge for improving the quality of honey throughout India by organising such programmes from time to time.

Jagjit Singh Kapoor, CMD, Kashmir Aparies Exports, and President of IBA, sought liberal grants to the IBA from the board. Prof L.R.Verma, IBA director, extended the vote of thanks.

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Lecture on ideas of Hegal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 30
The Political Science Association of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, organised an extension lecture on “Political ideas of John William Fredric Hegal” today.

The lecture was delivered by Prof Harmeet Singh of GND University, Amritsar. Quoting Karl Popper, he said, three prominent thinkers — Plato, Hegal and Karl Marx — influenced the ideas of the world to a great extent.

“Hegal gave a new direction to the world by giving his popular concept of ‘Dialectical Idealism’.” His main ideologies included “State is personification of state”, “State is the march of God on the earth”.

Dr Harmeet Singh said the motive behind Hegal’s idea was to unite the fragmented Germany. To achieve this, he praised war because it united the nation and made it corruption-free. It was these ideas of war that resulted in two World Wars.

He added that Hegal was a great philosopher who also made immense contribution in political field.

Under the inspiration of Hegal, Bismarque had united Germany and built a great German empire. Hitler too followed his theory of state.

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From Schools
Kids celebrate Basant Panchami
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Students celebrated Basant Panchami with enthusiasm at Bhartitya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School here today.

They sang songs and recited poems based on Basant and Goddess Saraswati. They also relished dishes.

Ishita and Sunny of class I won “Miss Basant” and “Mr Basant” titles, respectively. Also, Radhika and Dev of class II won “Miss Basant” and “Mr Basant” titles. Kangan and Sakshi Ghai of class I and II bagged “Miss Beautiful” title. Principal Sunil Arora congratulated students and gave away prizes.

Maple Bear Canadian Playway and Nursery School was tastefully decorated for the occasion. A Rhyme competition involving kids and their mothers was held. Principal Veena Aggarwal also greeted kids on the occasion.

At BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, an array of activities like singing, dancing, drawing and playing were organised to mark the occasion. Principal Santosh Mehra wished success and prosperity to students.

Prize distribution

New Erra Public School organised its annual prize distribution function. Ravaran Singh, DSP Vigilance, Ludhiana range, was the chief guest. Students performed giddha, bhangra and other cultural items. Principal Varinder Kaur read out the annual report highlighting the achievements of the students.

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Newly appointed teachers await salaries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Newly appointed government schoolteachers of master cadre are finding it hard to make both ends meet as they have not been paid salaries for the past three months.

The state government’s tall claims of providing employment to the youth ring hollow if the jobs don’t fetch monthly wages in time, they say.

According to Satvir Singh, spokesperson for the BEd Union, after receiving appointment letters on contract basis, they joined their duties at the place of posting on November 7, 2008 at a salary of Rs 5400.

Treasury officials claimed that while salary bills were ready, the government had not permitted to release the money.

Enquiries made by The Tribune revealed today that the delay in the disbursement of salary was due to the non-receipt of written orders from the higher authorities.

Some of the new appointees received their salaries on Lohri but a majority of them were still awaiting written orders from the authorities concerned.

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Tributes paid to Gandhi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 30
Rich tributes were paid to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his 62nd martyrdom day and prayer meetings were organised in the city today.

As the clock struck 11 am, the hooter sounded at the mini secretariat where all government officers and staff of various departments observed two-minute silence to pay homage to Gandhi.

Presiding over a meeting, deputy commissioner Vikas Garg urged officers and their subordinate staff to perform their duty sincerely, diligently and honestly.

During a joint prayer meeting of the District Congress Committee (urban) and the District Youth Congress held at Congress Bhawan, district president Jagmohan Sharma said Gandhi had dedicated his life to the freedom struggle.

YC chief Dimpla Rana said it was due to the sacrifices made by Gandhi and other freedom fighters that the countrymen were enjoying fruits of independence.

He claimed that party workers were committed to safeguarding the freedom.

Rashtriya Vikas Manch activists organised a “legacy run for peace” to mark the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi, which was aimed at propagating the message of truth, non-violence, tolerance and peace.

The march commenced from Chaura Bazar and passed through various parts of the city before culminating at Gandhi Dham near municipal corporation office.

The participants offered floral tributes at the statue of Gandhi and pledged to promote his ideals.

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Those who forgot Bapu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
Patriotic fervour is apparently on the wane in schools as most schools forgot to observe two-minute silence as a mark of respect to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his martyrdom day.

At a government school, authorities forgot to observe silence amidst arrangements for the retirement party of a teacher.

The school authorities said they had been observing the day every year but it slipped out of their mind this time.

Col DB Sharma, director, Sat Paul Mittal School, said they would observe it tomorrow and teachers and students would deliver speeches on Gandhi.

On the contrary, he questioned the logic behind observing silence for two minutes when it was difficult to make children stand quietly for that long.

Rajesh Rudra, director, Greenland Convent schools, said after observing silence for two minutes in the morning, children were acquainted with the relevance of the day.

Also, RS Patial, principal, DAV Public School, said they observed silence for two minutes and teachers then explained the significance of the day to students. 

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Students, staff donate blood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
NSS unit of Kamla Lohtia SD College organised a blood donation camp on its college campus wherein students and staff donated 100 units of blood.

The camp was organised in cooperation with Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, which was sponsored by State Bank of Patiala, Daresi road branch.

Balwinder Kumar, AGM Ludhiana, presided over the function, while Dr BP Mishra, president, Sewa Bharti, was the guest of honour.

Balwinder Kumar said blood donation was the best way to help humanity and assured of full cooperation to community projects and NSS unit of the college.

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Now, students get lectures on recession 
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 30
The economy is reeling under global meltdown and to make the students aware about its fallout, colleges have started to organise guest lectures. Colleges have started holding regular discussion and lectures for students to help them understand ways to tackle the problem and find out the reasons.

Recently, a lecture on “Financial meltdown — need for paradigm change in managing risk” was held at Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology for MBA students. Dr MA Zahir, chairman, Synthetic Business School, was the guest speaker.

Dr Kang, director, Punjab College of Technical Education, said it was a topic of discussion at various colleges now. “Students are aware of the economic slowdown and its impact on jobs. They should get ready to combat the situation and also know the reasons behind it. So regular discussions are held for management students,” added Kang.

Priyanka, an MBA student, said the situation had become tough as all top companies had stopped recruitment of fresh staff.

“The situation is very difficult but our teachers regularly make us aware about the effects of recession and reasons behind the same. They also teach us ways to combat it,” she said.

Vinay Verma, an industrialist, said the situation was getting worse with each passing day. “My son is doing his MBA and his college is regularly holding lectures and sessions on recession. They are also telling the ways to deal with recession,” he added.

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Grade ‘A’ for BCM college
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 30
BCM College of Education, Chandigarh Road, which was recently assessed and accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), Bangalore has been accredited with Grade ‘A’ by the team.

Principal Dr Khushwinder Kumar said the NAAC team had visited the college on January 16 and 17.

“Accreditation is a rigorous process wherein Institutional Eligibility for Quality Assessment (IEQA) is the first step, followed by self-study report submitted by the institution. After submission of the report, the team visited and assessed the institution from its aspects. The team held interaction with principal, management, members of faculty, students, alumni, parents besides staff of associated institutions and also looked closely into the curricular, co-curricular, extra-curricular activities carried out by the institution”, Dr Kumar added.

NAAC in its 47th EC held on January 29 released the list of grade and CGPA.

BCM College was accredited with CGPA of 3.10 out of 4 and Grade ‘A’ by NAAC.

As per the new methodology of assessing and accredited the institutions, the highest grade provided by NAAC is ‘A’.

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Another villager becomes victim, dies
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 30
Eroded banks of Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal claimed another life after a tractor driven by Jit Singh (60), a farmer of Khatra village in Ludhiana district, fell into the canal near Jhamatt village yesterday.

Though nobody had noticed the mishap taking place, it is believed that the farmer had lost control over the tractor in an attempt to avoid collision with some other vehicle coming from the opposite side.

According to Paramjit Singh, a member panchayat, no case was registered, as the family did not want action against anyone. "Accepting the death as their destiny, members of the family of Jit Singh decided to cremate the body without getting the postmortem conducted," said Paramjit Singh while talking to The Tribune. However, the villagers said the eroded bank of the canal was responsible for the mishap. Had the banks been strengthened, the vehicle could have stopped, the villagers opined.

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Letters
Food adulteration

This is with reference to the news published in Ludhiana Tribune dated January 18 2009, regarding "Spurious soft drink unit sealed" by Anshu Seth. Food adulteration is very much prevalent in our society, as time and again we read and watch media reports regarding adulteration in soft drinks, mineral water bottles and other products. However, we forget the ill-effects of adulteration and allow the enemies of our health to add artificial sweeteners like saccharin and synthetic colours and harmful chemicals used in these products.

Under the prevention and food adulteration Act, the health department must carry on with their campaign to raid such establishments, which play with the health of people. Social organisations should also come forward and bring such matters to the notice of the health department.

Manjit Singh Mehram, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.

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2 drug peddlers held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 30
The local police has busted a gang of drug peddlers that had been supplying narcotics and psychotropic drugs to the youth in this part of Malwa. Two members of the gang were arrested yesterday and today. Two bags of the poppy husk were also seized from their possession.

A manhunt has been launched to nab other members of the gang and owners of the vehicles which were being used to bring the contrabands from Haryana and distribute in the area.

Those arrested have been identified as Sonu of Nawan Raza Pur village near Ladhowal and Bhupinder Singh Bhinda of Taing village near Phillaur.

According to Malerkotla DSP, Bhupinder Singh was arrested while he was going to handover a bag of poppy husk to a retailer at the Jagera road here today. SHO (City) had arrested Sonu from of vicinity of crematorium located on the outskirts of the town yesterday.

The cops got suspicious after the youths who were carrying bags on their heads tried to flee on seeing them.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused along with a few others used to hire taxis to bring the contraband from Yamuna Nagar in Haryana. Owners of these vehicles used to charge extra fare for carrying contraband in their vehicles. However, the taxi drivers used to drop the peddlers at some deserted places on the outskirts of the town and surrounding villages.

Earlier, 1 kg opium and 750 gram ganja were seized by the police. 

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Athletics meet begins at KVM
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 30
The three-day 64th Annual Athletics Meet of Kundan Vidya Mandir School, Civil Lines, began here today. The school premises was decorated as chief guest Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Ludhiana, Rupinder Brar inaugurated the meet.

A guard of honour was presented to the chief guest by the Iron Eagle cadets, followed by a march past by the participating athletes led by house captains. Anak Dhanda took the oath on behalf of the participants.

Principal Rajiv Nagalia welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries. Members of the school management committee along with manager Ashwani Kumar were also present.

Results: (City branch) LKG: frog race: boys: Vansh 1, Yogesh 2 and Manav 3; girls: Punya Garg 1, Akshita Munjal 2 and Guneet Kaur 3; clown race: boys: Chirag Verma 1, Apoorv Jain 2 and Noorpal Singh 3; girls: Kashish Ahuja 1, Stuti Jain 2 and Anshi Kansal 3.

Obstacles race: boys: Chirag Bhateja 1, Divyam Aggarwal 2 and Tushar Malhotra 3; girls: Vanshika Sharma 1, Nipun Bhushan 2 and Dishiti Jain 3.

UKG: Hug race: Arham Jain and Dishti Kain 1, Milan Jain and Manaya Goyal 2 and Keshav Madaan and Khushi 3; frog race: boys: Gurmanjot 1, Pranav Kapoor 2, Piyush Mehandiratta and Divam Gautam 3; girls: Jashanpreet 1, Tanima Chopra 2 and Diksha Arora 3.

Class I: boys: 50m race: Harshit Khurana 1, Ayush Pathak 2 and Dev Kashyap 3; girls: Himika Sood 1, Kashish Jain 2 and Garima Mittal 3; coin race: boys: Madhav Aggarwal 1, Madhav Lakhanpal 2 and Harparteek 3; girls: Vidhi Jain 1, Jaskiran Kaur 2 and Diviya Arora 3.

Middle class: boys: 100m race: Karan Khurana 1, Lakshay Khurana 2 and Sagar 3; 200m race: Love Mahendru 1, Rahil Saluja 2 and Mayank Mehndiratta 3; 600m race: Sagar Khurana 1, Rishav Sharma 2 and Mayank Mehndiratta 3; shot put: Karan Khurana 1, Sagar Khurana 2 and Love Mahendru 3; long jump: Karan Khurana 1, Rishab Sharma 2 and Mayank Mehndiratta 3.

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Kila Raipur sports fest from Feb 12
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, January 30
The stage is set for a heady mix of Olympic and traditional sport events and a display of bizarre physical exploits when the 74th Kila Raipur Sports Festival unfolds its four-day sporting extravaganza on the seven-acre open stadium of this small village, located 17 km South of Ludhiana, from February 12.

Popularly known as the Rural Olympics, the annual event this year will see country’s top athletes in action.

Top hockey teams of the region along with four best basketball outfits of the state will also sweat it out for the titles.

The mela attracts participants from all over the country and age is no bar, as from a seven-year-old to an octogenarian, all will display their physical prowess and trickery for the prize money.

The event is being organised by the Grewal Sports Association.

Gurpinder Singh Grewal, association president, said this year, the prize money for each event in athletics would be Rs 5,000 for the winner and Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 for the first and second runners-up, respectively.

“Over 5,000 sportspersons, both in Olympic and traditional style, will converge on the dusty fields to be watched by over four lakh spectators and viewed on television in Canada, England and other countries,” Grewal said.

The prized bullock cart race and the elimination race will see bulls gallop down with jockeys balancing precariously on their small carts.

Prized oxen from all over the region will take part in the elimination race to be held one day before the inauguration, added Grewal.

Tent-pegging will be another major event that will require clock-like precision and uncanny sense of anticipation as riders pierce the planted pegs while riding galloping horses.

The inaugural function and closing ceremony will be colorful events with fireworks illuminating the skies.

Each evening, after the sporting events, spectators and participants will be regaled by Punjabi folk singers and artistes performing giddha, bhangra, Rajasthani and Haryanvi dances, Gurpinder said.

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Tiny tots take part in fun games
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 30
Tiny tots of nursery class enjoyed while competing in fun games on the third and final day of the annual Kindergarten Athletics Meet of BCM Arya Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, here today.

A cultural show presented by the UKG students mesmerised spectators. Garland race, back race, obstacles race hoop race and other fun races were the main attraction of the final day. Parents also took part in flat and rock 'n' roll race.

Results: Garland race: Gurkirpal 1, Hemanya 2 and Jatin 3; back race: Priyanka 1, Ashish 2 and Harnoor 3; marshmallow race: Rohot 1, Kumal 2 and Diskshit 3; hoop race- Kush 1, Bableen 2 and Kulsimran 3; kangaroo race: Harshinder 1, Chetan 2 and Yash 3; obstacles race: Ihsan 1, Dhruv 2 and Arshita 3; Micky mouse cycle race:? Armaan 1, Hargun 2 and Lagan 3; rabbit and carrot race: Vinayak 1, Harnoor 2 and Shiven 3; pick-the-ball and run race: Arshnoor 1, Dushar 2 and Tej 3.

Mother’s race: Monika 1, Sakshi 2, Neelam and Sapna 3; father’s race: Munish 1, Arun 2 and Gurmeet 3.

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Punjab softball squads announced
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 30
Following boys and girls have been selected to represent Punjab in the 21st Sub-Junior National Softball Championship to be held at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh from February 2 to 7, according to honorary secretary, Punjab Softball Association, Pran Nath Passi.

Boys: Santosh and Rohit Kumar (Jalandhar); Manpreet Singh and Harpreet Singh (Bathinda); Suraj Kumar, Sagar, Gurparkash Singh, Arun Thakur and Aleen Kumar (Ludhiana); Gurdit Singh (Moga); Gurbhej Singh (Gurdaspur); Jashanpreet Singh and Maninder Singh (Sangrur); Daljit Singh and Gurpreet Singh (Amritsar).

Onkar Singh and Inderveer Singh will accompany the team as manager and coach, respectively.

Girls: Manpreet Kaur, Anamika and Navneet Kaur (Gurdaspur); Rupinder Kaur and Rasmeet Kaur (Bathinda); Sikanderpal Kaur, Manisha Arora, Jasleen Kaur, Karamdeep Kaur, Amandeep Kaur and Arshdeep Kaur (Sangrur); Harneet kaur, Geetanjali, Supreet Kaur and Simranjeet Kaur (Ludhiana).

Satish Kumar and Rupinder Kaur have been appointed manager and coach, respectively.

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