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Puja celebrations turn sour
2 drown in Satluj; 2 killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The Saraswati Puja celebrations turned tragic as two youths, who had gone into the Satluj for the immersion of the goddess’ idol, drowned into the river last evening. After conducting an overnight search, there bodies were spotted floating in the river by the Phillaur police this afternoon.

The diver fished out their bodies and further sent it to the civil hospital for post-mortem examination.

The deceased are identified as Kapil Kumar (22) and Naveen Kumar (18), both residents of Adarsh Nagar.

Lucky, whom the devotees saved from drowning in the river, said Kapil, Naveen, Chand and some other friends had gone into the Satluj to immerse the idol of goddess Saraswati.

As the water level was shallow, they planned to immerse the idol in the deep water. As none of them knew swimming, in no time they started drowning and screamed for help.

While, the devotees saved Chand and Lucky, the water current, however, pushed Naveen and Kapil further.

Sanjay Sahu, a migrant from Mahrauni, and Raj Dev, a resident of Jehanabad, both from Uttar Pradesh, were killed when the truck in which they were travelling for the idol of Goddess Sarasvati “visarjan” met with an accident near Satluj bridge here this evening.

At least 18 more passengers in the Tata 407 were injured in the accident. The driver, who went absconding from the site after the accident, was said to be drunk.

Saraswati Puja performed 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Saraswati Puja was performed in the city with religious rituals  and fervour today.

After performing the puja,  people apply colours on each other's face and then immerse the idol of Goddess Saraswati  into the river.

Huge rush was today witnessed  around the Sutlej river where  devotees came to immerse  the idol.

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Transporters raze boundary wall
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
After the Municipal Corporation failed to stop construction by the land mafia on a government land given for the development of Transport Nagar, transporters demolished the boundary wall of the building here this evening.

The transporters, under the leadership of All-India Transport Congress president Charanjit Singh Lohara, demolished the wall themselves as the civic body failed to keep a check on the illegal construction.

Talking to The Tribune, association press secretary Kailash said, "The attempt of land mafia to grab the piece will not be possible in our presence and we will intensify our stir if the Punjab government and the civic body fail to register an FIR against these encroachers."

He said they would resort to road blocks if the government failed to tackle the land grab on the places allotted for the development of Transport Nagar.

Notably, the corporation yesterday also demolished this boundary wall on the orders of Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman.

However, the transporters said the building owner started construction again yesterday only, despite the MC's direction not to carry on with the work.

According to sources, the construction on this piece of land is going on at the behest of an Akali leader and that's the reason why nothing concrete could be achieved in the case.

Interestingly, when MC officials were contacted, they said the construction on the site had been stopped.

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Eviction notices to residents along NH-1
Deputing officer a tough job for Ghuman
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Local Bodies Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda's direction to Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman to appoint a Joint Commissioner to clarify situation on eviction notices along the National Highway-1 is going to put the latter in a fix.

Already unhappy with the working of his Joint Commissioners, who had been taking orders of Ghuman lightly, a delegation of the authority will be a tough job as MLA Dhanda said he would ensure that the air was cleared off the confusion.

Ghuman has still not asked any Joint Commissioner to undertake the work since the written orders from Dhanda were yet to reach him. However, even after receiving the orders, doubt's are raised whether the MC chief will be able to get the work done from a joint commissioner.

Ghuman had himself started supervising anti-encroachment drives and many other projects. Even his repeated warnings and directions to all five Joint Commissioners - Mahinder Pal Gupta (zone -A), BK Gupta (zone - B), Vinod Sharda (zone-C), Kuldeep Singh (zone-D) and Davinder Singh - the MC has "failed" to stop illegal constructions going on in the city.

In a recent development, he even took away the charge of building branch from Joint Commissioner Davinder Singh and gave it to STP BS Brar.

Besides a month ago, the Municipal Commissioner once again rendered zonal commissioners "toothless" by forming two sub-committees for approval of residential and commercial building plans. While he appointed himself as the chief of the sub-committee that will approve commercial building plans, Brar was appointed as head of the residential plan sub-committee.

Interestingly, the Municipal Commissioner has several times revealed in the media about the ‘‘indolent attitude’’ of his commissioners and had confessed that he would prefer to work on his own rather than ordering them anymore.

Meanwhile, MLA Dhanda said, "He has written to the Municipal Commissioner and he will get the note today." Dhanda had come to the aide of the residents and shopkeepers of NH-1 on January 31 and revealed that those who had constructed houses and other buildings before 1996 could stay.

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Street food vendors removed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The tehbazari wing of the Municipal Corporation along with a police party held an anti-encroachment drive in Zone-A here today under the leadership of joint commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta.

The joint drive conducted by officials of all four zones, including superintendent Naveen Malhotra, started from removing street food vendors in front of the Akalgarh market. The MC officials, who preferred to move on foot today for a change, lifted various counters, including those put up by sweet shop Khushi Ram and Jai Balaji Enterprises.

The other areas from which encroachments were removed are Chauri Sadak, Benjamin Road, near CMC Hospital and Field Ganj. The squad lifted various dummies put up on display by the shopkeepers outside their shops and sanitary material like tiles etc. They also removed various rehris and destroyed kiosks that came up on their way.

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Suvidha centre causes harassment
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Hundreds of visitors to the suvidha centre of mini secretariat were harassed today since none of the executive magistrate was available to help people prepare documents.

Several visitors queued up for getting their documents signed, waited for hours together for the magistrate but to no avail. Nobody turned up and several of them even went back keeping their work pending.

Absence of the executive magistrate raised the tempers of those waiting in vain so much that they started raising slogans against the district administration.

Teja Singh Dhaliwal, a resident, said he was going back, as it seemed no work would be taken up today. ‘‘It was like a ‘duvidha centre’ today. There was so much of confusion and it seemed this place was nobody's baby.’’ he said.

Another resident Mohinder Singh said he was waiting for the officials to arrive so that he could get his work done. But nothing happened. ‘‘We are waiting here for four hours now. There are many people who took leave from their workplaces to get the work done,’’ he said.

After the unrest, Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg accompanied by the SDM reached the office. It was then that a naib tehsildar of Samrala was assigned the job of attestation.

Later he was called by the Financial Commissioner for a meeting. The confusion was on account of his preoccupation. ‘‘Though soon a solution was found for the problem and the public work was completed smoothly,’’ said an official.

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MC just a click away
Senior deputy mayor launches citycare@in.com where residents can log on for any help in relation to the Municipal Corporation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Technology has brought change in every sphere and it seems now it is going to revamp the relation between the politicians and the electorates in the city too.

Taking a lead among the local municipal councillors, senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal has launched a website citycare@in.com where residents can log on for any type of help in relation to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Bansal said, "The Municipal Corporation is a department which is related to every resident in the city in a way or the other. The initiative will help both people and us to tackle every problem in relation to the MC." He said people could submit their complaints regarding the MC apathy, be it officials or workers without any fear. He added that suggestions were also invited and it would save people from visiting the MC office again and again as he would ensure that problems are solved.

Appealing residents to come forward and disclose more about encroachments in their areas, Bansal said, "People just need to tell about the areas and rest of the investigations will be done by us on our own to give them a sigh of relief."

Talking to The Tribune, Qila Raikot MLA Jassi Khangura, who is a trendsetter for politicians as he came upon with the idea more than five years back, said, "Response to my website www.qilaraipur.org has been tremendous. The range of emails varies from 15 to 100 a day on an average and it was the response from this website that I decided to take an initiative at state-level."

Khangura's another website "saveourpunjab.com" is an initiative where people from all over the world be in India or others countries can complain about the corrupt officials in the state and identity of complainant is kept secret.

He said there are a few who even gave suggestions on how change could be brought in Indian official system. He added that this website was just 6-months-old.

With the city politicians changing themselves according to the Gen-X needs, it seems the wave of change is going to affect Indian system too.

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Doctor, nurse manhandled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Baffled at the sudden death of his mother, a man allegedly slapped a doctor and grabbed a nurse by her collar at the CMC hospital last night.

According to information, relatives of 55-year-old Parveen Kaur, a heart patient, took her to the hospital in a serious condition where she was declared brought dead.

When the nurse told the relatives of the woman about her death, the son of Parveen Kaur grabbed the nurse by her collar. When the doctor tried to intervene in the matter, he was slapped by her son Rajesh.

The hospital authorities informed the police about the incident. Surinder Mohan, SHO Division No 3, said investigations are on in this matter.

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Blanket makers upset at excise duty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Blanket manufacturers here are up in arms against the Central Excise Intelligence for the imposition of Central excise duty on quilted blankets and bedspreads.

A.K. Jain of the Knitwear Club, Ludhiana, said blanket manufacturing trade comes under small-scale industry, as it was placed under Section 58.11 by the Excise Department and was, hence, exempted from excise duty. However, following the directions of the Director-General of the Central Excise Intelligence, the trade has been placed under chapter 94.04.90 wherein the trade becomes liable to pay Central excise duty.

President of the Federation of Knitwear, Textile and Allied Industries Associations (FEKTAA), Vinod Thapar, said the department had placed the trade under furnishing items, whereas blankets come under textiles goods, which are completely exempted from excise duty.

Jain further said the trade involves the use of textile goods, including polyester, polyfill, embroidery and fabric and did not involve the use of rubber, mattresses or springs like the goods placed under chapter 94.04.90 did. "Thus, these goods should not be placed under the said chapter, as it is unfair on the manufacturers to charge excise duty from them for producing purely textile-related goods which are exempted from excise duty."

Jain said at a time when the industry, more so the hosiery industry, was facing a slump in the wake of global economic downturn, it was unjust to impose the Central excise duty on them.

Meanwhile, various associations of blanket manufacturers of the city gave a representation to the CBEC chairman PC Jha, CE Board member K Gupta, joint secretary Vivek Johri, director Sushil Solanki to exempt the trade from the central excise duty.

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Security beefed up in malls, multiplexes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The division number 5 police today stepped up security in multiplexes and malls falling in its jurisdiction to check any untoward incident in commercial public places.

The action follows in the wake of a Tribune report highlighting that women were not feeling safe in these places, especially in late evening hours.

Following the report, SHO Sandeep Vadhera visited the malls and multiplexes at Malhar Road, Ferozepore Road and Mall Road and directed the managements not to allow any law and order problem.

The police team frisked several stags hanging around in these places and warned them not to harass any woman visitors.

It also issued directions to the security managers of the establishments not to allow any visitor to carry sticks and weapons inside.

‘‘I have asked the security personnel to frisk everybody thoroughly and be tough with the eve-teasers. We even upped their morale, stating the police was always with them. We asked them to call us up during any time of day or night if they needed any kind of help to keep a check on miscreants,’’ said Vadhera.

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Employees to continue stir till acceptance of demands
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 2
Even as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has assured the convener of the state government’s Employees’ Action Committee that pay commission report will be released by February 15 and work charge employees will be regularised, the Punjab State Karamchari Dal has decided to continue its ongoing agitation till all pending demands were conceded and implemented.

Presiding over a state executive committee meeting of the body here today, Hari Singh Tohra, announced that the employees would continue to mount pressure on the government to seek justice. A state-level dharna would be staged at the office of the Divisional Commissioner at Patiala on February 11 when a memorandum listing all demands would be submitted for transmission to the Chief Minister.

"In the next phase of agitation, all employees’ federations affiliated to the Employees’ Action Committee will hold a massive rally at Ludhiana, he added.

Tohra lamented that the government employees were facing severe financial crisis but the government continued to give a deaf ear and indifferent treatment to them. He reiterated the demand that all commitments made to the employees by ruling coalition during the assembly polls be fulfilled.

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110 counselled at diabetes detection camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 2
More than 110 persons suffering from diabetes on regular follow up and many others with high risk factors were given counselling on diet and lifestyle at the 70th diabetes detection camp organised by a local branch of the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) here yesterday.

According to NIMA secretary Dr Surendra Gupta, a team of NIMA doctors led by Dr Surendra Gupta, Dr Rajesh Thaper, Dr Inder Sharma, Dr Sanjiv Jain and Dr Parveen Bhalla provided their voluntary services at the camp.

Free diagnostic tests like blood sugar level and blood pressure were carried out at the camp and patients were given free medicines. Interacting with the patients, the doctors advised them to strictly follow the diet and lifestyle modifications, so that the diabetes related complications could be prevented.

Addressing the patients, Dr Gupta remarked that worldwide it had been established beyond doubt that early detection and early correction was the most effective tool for assuring the quality and quantity of life in diabetes patients. So, one should be very particular to follow the guidelines prescribed by the doctor or dietician.

He further said collateral damage due to diabetes was the most painful segment in diabetes management. Mostly, the patients had to undergo series of investigations, interventional and surgical procedures to get their complications treated.

Further, in spite of best treatment, the majority of complications were not easily reversible. So the diabetic patient could save a lot on medical expenses, apart from working-hours gain by self monitoring their blood glucose levels along with keeping a strict check on obesity. 

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Stone for old-age home laid
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 2
The foundation stone of Kamtreen Birdh Ashram was today laid by Sant Baba Jagroop Singh Ji at Begumpura, Bhora Sahib Nanaksar, near here.

This will be the first old-age home for the destitute here. It will be developed by Kulwinder Singh Kohli, chairman, Frankfinn Group, on 1.5 acres provided by Sant Baba Jagroop Singh Ji to the Pamoist Charitable Trust, a non-commercial, non-profit making charitable organisation.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune on this occasion, Shri Jiva Singh ji, general secretary of the Trust, said the ashram would have an ultra-modern state-of-the-art facility and would accommodate up to 400 persons when fully developed. It would have large ventilated rooms, where people from all religions would be able to lead a comfortable life in their twilight years and each room would have a small corner for individuals for prayers and practising their religion. The rooms would have a provision for piped music on which devotional songs would be available to the residents.

He added that the ashram would have a medical room equipped with all life-saving emergency equipment and manned with qualified doctors and nurses along with an ambulance service would also be available at all times. He said the ashram would have a library and a recreational room with audio video entertainment facility.

Baba Gurcharan Singh Nanaksar, Baba Zora Singh Badhni wale, Bhag Singh Malla, chairman district planning commission, Gurcharan Singh Garewal, Federation president, Savita Chadha were present on the occasion.

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PNB profit grows 85 pc
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Punjab National Bank has the largest network of core banking solutions with 4,871 offices at 2,553 centres facilitating around 3.76 crore customers with "anytime and anywhere banking".

This was stated by SK Mohla, deputy general manager, Punjab National Bank, Ludhiana circle, while addressing customers during a meeting organised by Urban Estate, Dugri branch of the bank.

The meet was attended by about 50 customers of the bank. DS Kathuria, manager, and other staff members of the bank, were also present on this occasion.

Mohla congratulated the staff members of the branch for achieving the 11th position at the all-India level and first position in Punjab under all parameters i.e. customer service, business development and zero NPA branch. Mohla thanked the customers for patronising the bank for achieving all budgets. He also congratulated the staff members and customers in helping the branch for achieving all budgets i.e. deposits, advances and net profit fixed by the bank for the financial year ending March, 2009.

Mohla further informed that net profit of the bank registered a growth of 85.76 per cent to Rs.1005.82 crore from Rs.541.46 crore last year.

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2-day workshop on clinical gait analysis
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 2
The department of physiotherapy and rehabilitation at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) today organised a two-day symposium and workshop on “Advanced clinical gait analysis”.

The workshop was attended by physiotherapy students and delegates, including orthopaedicians, neurologists and neurosurgeons, from various institutes of the region.

The workshop comprised detailed discussions on the normal and abnormal walking patterns and their clinical evaluation. Experts and delegates deliberated on treatment options along with relevant practical sessions.

The first day of the session commenced with lectures on the gait cycle and muscle functions, the functional foot disorders and common injuries like lower extremity pathologies.

The guest speakers on the first day were internationally acclaimed speaker, researcher and clinician Naomi Green from United Kingdom and Dr Gagan Kapoor (physiotherapist of the national football team) from Delhi.

The workshop was inaugurated by secretary of the DMCH managing society Prem Kumar Gupta. Others present on the inaugural ceremony were Amrit Nagpal, Gian Chand Dhawan, both vice-presidents of the managing society, principal Dr Daljit Singh, vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, Dr Sandeep Puri and Dr BS Shah, medical superintendents.

Dr M Yamin, organising chairperson, extended a warm welcome to the delegates while commenting that the conference will be of immense benefit to the participating delegates. Co-chairperson Dr Gagandeep Singh introduced the speakers and the guest of honour Dr JS Sandhu.

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From Schools
NCC exam for ‘A’ certificate at BCM school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
NCC examination for “A” certificate for junior division and junior wing (boys and girls) was organised successfully by the 19 Punjab NCC Battalion at BCM Arya Model Secondary School, Shastri Nagar.

As many as 100 cadets from four institutions, including BCM, Shastri Nagar, BCM, Chandigarh road, Malwa Khalsa School and Government Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, appeared in written as well as practical tests to earn the “A” certificates. Lt Col RP Singh from the 19 Punjab NCC Battalion was the presiding officer on the occasion.

Basant Panchami

Ram Lal Bhasin Public School, Phase I, Dugri, celebrated Basant Panchami with great fervour. All students and teachers came dressed in yellow to mark the day. The students danced to the tunes of Punjabi numbers.

Basant Utsav was organised in Bal Bharati Public School to celebrate Basant Panchami.

The carnival was inaugurated by Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary. Different type of competitions like fun races were organised to mark the occasion.

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Blossoms Convent celebrates annual day
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 2
“Agaaz 2009”, the annual function of Blossoms Convent School, Leela Megh Singh village, near here was held today in which SSP Ludhiana rural, Gurpreet Singh Bhuller was the chief guest and Satnam Singh Randhawa, CMD, Guru Nanak Group, Moga, was the guest of honour.

Principal Yogesh Sharma read the annual report and highlighted achievements of the school. Noted singers GS Peter and Hardeep Gill were also present among the other respectable personalities of the area.

Children pepped up the show with an energetic welcome dance. Students pledged to annihilate demons of social evils like female foeticide, dowry and inequality in a mesmerising choreography depicting the sad tale of women. Audience demanded a replay of the choreography “Chandu ke chacha ne”.

The choreography on female foeticide “Kudian te kudian ne” was the main attraction of the function. Choreography on the life of Bhagat Singh was also played by senior students. Malwai giddha, yaad dhian di, bhangra and other events mesmerised the viewers.

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PAU Estate Officer gets extension
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The Estate Officer-cum-Chief Engineer at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), who retired on January 30, has been given extension of one year. Though he joined the office today, resentment prevailed among certain faculty members and leaders of non-teaching employees over this extension, who feel that policies should not have been changed for the convenience of the authorities.

Sources at the Estate Office said Dr Gurkirpal Singh, a professor in the department of agronomy and estate officer, PAU, has been given an extension for one year. "No doubt, he has done good work during his tenure but the move is not justified when many others are there in the line", said he, adding that fresh orders were released today to break the continuity in service.

Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president of the PAU Non-Teaching Employees Union, told The Tribune that the union had nothing against Dr Gurkirpal Singh. Since the post belonged to the faculty, employees were not much bothered. But he said when a policy had been formulated for retirement, it must be honoured by the authorities.

"Those waiting long to get promotions will be the ultimate sufferers if retirees get extensions. Dr Singh is in charge of three key posts, including director farms, Estate Officer and Chief Engineer. The promotions of others have been sacrificed in this process", said Sandhu.

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PAU to hold kisan melas in March

Ludhiana, February 2
According to information given by Dr NS Malhi, director extension education, Punjab Agricultural University will organise five kisan melas in March.

The regional kisan mela at Rauni (Patiala), Ballowal Saunkhri, Bathinda and Gurdaspur will be held on March 6, 13, 24 and 26, respectively.

The main kisan mela at PAU, Ludhiana, will be held on March 19-20. These melas will showcase latest technologies and recommendations developed by PAU for the kharif crops.

The different departments of PAU will display stalls for this purpose. Besides, field demonstrations and interaction of farmers with farm experts will be the main attraction. The farm literature brought out by PAU will also be put on sale. — TNS

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Smart class system at GGPS
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 2
Keeping pace with digital resolution, Green Grove Public School (GGPS) today inaugurated a smart class system, the first of its kind in Khanna.

The smart classrooms are equipped with projectors, interactive digi-board systems and a PC connected to knowledge centre. Traditional chalk and talk method of teaching has been replaced by the technology enabled smart class, where a teacher can use animations, video clips and simulated models as a part of the classroom teaching.

While inaugurating the smart class system president JPS Jolly said this step would prove to be a giant leap towards the hi-tech revolution, which would not only enhanced the academic standards but also made teaching learning pleasurable, at the same time it would enable a multi-sensory learning experience for students.

The president also informed parents that every smart classroom is provided with a unique assessment tool i.e. SAS- Smart assessment system for teachers to make instant formative assessment in every period. The students will answer the test with a powerful hand held remote device.

Principal S George opined that the smart classroom system would empower the teachers at the touch of a button to help the students grasp concepts easily.

The organising teachers were of the view that children these days have a short attention span. "Using audio-visual aids will definitely help to increase the concentration level,” they asserted.

Parents and guardians, who attended the inaugural ceremony, appreciated the efforts made by the school to enhance the standards of education.

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300 to take part in seminar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
A seminar was conducted on "Save education" at Sanatan Vidya Mandir here today. More than 300 participants from 28 educational institutions took part in the seminar. The seminar was presided over by Rajnish Arora, VC, PTU.

The keynote speaker was Kailash Sharma, a professor at University of Rajasthan. The speaker stressed on pros and cons of the education system.

Directorate of Gurmat Sangeet, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, arranged a unique celebration of onset of spring season today. Prominent music ustaads of Ludhiana sang various varieties of raag basant.

During the three-hour spiritual concert Prof Balwinderpal Singh, Editor, Sada Virsa Sada Gaurav, deliberated on the effect of spring (Basant) on human mind.

Various traditional string instrumentalists accompanied the recitals.

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Not a ‘model’ railway station

Despite tall claims by top officials of the Northern Railway to make the city railway station a model in maintenance, cleanliness and amenities to the travellers, the situation remains pathetic.

Even though some development work has been going on at a snail's pace and some new facilities like touch-screen reservation enquiry and exact fare counter have been added, still the entire railway complex gives a dirty look. The public-address systems at most of the railway platforms are either non-functional or faulty. The promised "pay and use" public conveniences have not been materialised and the vendors continue to shortchange the passengers through overpricing or passing off sub-standard items.

The enquiry and the reservation centre are also not up to the mark. The computerised railway-enquiry (139) is beyond the comprehension of a majority of the people and the manual enquiry facility, more often than not, is not available. Similarly, people are made to spend hours in long queues at the reservation centre, or forced to avail the services of touts, shelling out extra money in the process to get reservation tickets.

Innocent minds in turmoil

The recent incident at Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, where five infants lost their lives due to short circuit in the incubators, has affected even the minds of the kids. The Tribune received a letter from Sanskriti, a Class-VI student at Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, expressing her fears for such incidents in future.

She termed the tragedy as a "terrible calamity", and called it the irresponsibility of the hospital authorities, which did not care to send their equipment for repair.

Variety of viewpoints

Culture vultures have their way of seeing things even when it comes to a classic piece of theatrical performance. Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam (LSS), known for its array of august audience, recently staged a play written by Girish Karnad that was received well by the audience of all age groups.

The “status-symbol syndrome” was more than apparent in the two-act play. The jam-packed hall was indeed a stimulus for the actors minus the “unfiltered conversation” that had a group of ladies discussing the first act, as one of them said, "the serial is very good and entertaining", to which her friend replied promptly, "I really liked the silk saris worn by the female characters".

What to say about the over enthusiastic children, accompanying their parents, who made a beeline to the snacks/drinks counter in the corridor, disturbing a group of journos sitting on the steps to watch the play.

Risky job

Need for two square meals a day can even make people risk their lives. One such case came to light, when a man left everybody hold his breath, when he tried to work on a high-risen building in Bhadaur-house market. He tied himself in a chair and was hanged from over the top of the building by three persons so that he could glue huge alphabets on the front of commercial building. It took him more than half an hour that he glued the alphabets one after the other as his associates kept on lowering him further. The passersby gathered on the spot and kept on witnessing the scene uncomfortably. They could only relax when he finally finished his job.

‘Unbiased’ service

A journalist of this publication recently had a never-before experience with a traffic cop when she failed to see a "No U Turn" board at one of Chandigarh's busiest roads. As soon as she manoeuvred a "U turn", she was stopped by traffic cops and informed that she would have to pay a fine. Even before she could utter a single word, the traffic cop on duty, having noticed a "Press" sticker on her car's windshield, questioned her about her "connection with the press". On realising that the girl was a reporter with The Tribune, a smile emerged on the face of the middle-aged cop. Signalling the girl to go, the cop expressed his great fondness and gratitude towards The Tribune for "fighting for masses since ages". He refused to challan a journalist attached to "the newspaper, which has been serving the masses without any bias" and made a polite request to the girl to be careful about traffic rules in future.

Craze for main edition

The newspaper office is flooded with hundreds of press notes in routine, but everyone wants to get his news to be published in the "main" Tribune. For them, "the news is of great, national importance", even if it is a simple quiz contest at the school level. A person came recently and asked the reporter for her pen as he had to write "something very important". On a simple press note of some results of a college, he wrote “important, to be published in national edition”.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Manav Ghuman, Anshu Seth, Kanchan Vasdev, Charu Chhibber and Shivani Bhakoo

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Dua’s talk on Feb 6
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
HK Dua, Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune Group of Newspapers, will deliver a talk on ”State of the Nation” on February 6 at Government College for Women. The talk is being organised by Jago, an NGO, in its awakening call to fellow citizens for the common good. Nilam Kapoor, general secretary, said the talk by the Editor at Government College for Women will be followed by a question/answer session. Kamaljeet Rattan, a veteran journalist, will initiate the discussion. A cross-section of the local intelligentsia, professionals, students and social and political activists are expected to attend the session.
Harish Rai Dhanda, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, will preside over the proceedings.

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City lad wins runner-up title 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
City lad Rajat Dehl won the title of first runner-up at the recently held Mr and Miss Patiala contest. Rajat has already done modelling assignments for various brands. "It was a good experience and becoming the first runner-up at Mr Patiala contest gave a boost to my career," he added.

After doing his engineering in the mechanical stream from the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ropar, Rajat now plans to enter the modelling world.

"During my college days also I use to participate in fashion shows and has also won titles while I won the title of best physique at the Model Hunt-2007 contest organised in the city," he added.

Presently he is busy taking grooming session from renowned choreographer Kaushik Ghosh. "I will be participating in the Gladrags Mega Model Hunt this year and preparations for the same are in full swing," he smiles.

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Letters
Incomplete roads a threat

The re-carpeting of roads in the city that started last month, has been left incomplete, leaving behind big potholes at Urban Estate, Dugri, Jawadi Canal Bridge.

Even after passing of more than one month, half side of the road has been re-carpeted on Gurdwara Nanaksar side of the Ferozepur Road. Such type of incomplete roads can also be noticed in many parts of the city, especially from Dholewal Army Complex to Dholewal Chowk. The dividing layer of the road is very ricky for two wheelers, even threat to life.

The department concerned must take immediate steps to complete the roads to avoid any accident.

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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3 firemen suspended for  negligence
Tribune News Service

Khanna, February 2
Three firemen were placed under suspension for dereliction of duties.

The trio has been suspended after a detailed inquiry conducted into the matter by senior officials. All three employees had not attended a fire call.

As per sources, the fire department received a fire call on January 24. Employee Jasvir Singh was on the duty, but he did not attend the call.

It is also learnt that instead of being present at the night duty, all three employees had gone to their home. The three employees have been identified as Jasvir Singh, Gurnam Singh and Mohan.

A fire had broken out at a bakery house and people around had made repeated calls. Owing to the negligence of the firemen, the bakery incurred losses worth lakhs.

After the owner of the bakery had filed a complaint against the firemen alleging that their lackadaisical approach had led to losses worth lakhs, the inquiry was conducted.

Executive officer of Khanna Municipal Council Jagjeet Singh Judge confirmed the suspension.

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