L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Polluting dyeing units go powerless
PSEB disconnects electricity to 55 units discharging
effluents into Budda Nullah
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 7
Bowing to the pressure of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), the Punjab State Electricity Board has disconnected power supply to 55 dyeing units today.

The PPCB had asked the PSEB to disconnect power connections of dyeing units discharging untreated effluents into the Budda Nullah.

According to sources, the operation was planned in such a manner that the PSEB field staff and supervisory officials were summoned at around 5 am at a particular spot and they had no idea of the operation till the last moment. The PSEB top officials had reasons to do so because for last more than two months, they were not able to carry out the orders issued by PPCB and the teams of PSEB had to return empty-handed from the dyeing complex on Tajpur Road.

It is learnt that some 15 teams of three-four officials were set up and all of them were given a list of defaulting dyeing units at Mahavir Complex and Jaswal Complex on Tajpur Road, Gita Colony, Tibba Road, Rahon Road and Bahadarke Road. The power supply to dyeing units remains cut off from sub-stations in routine between 5 and 7 am and they could carry out their assigned duty without any resistance.

The matter was hanging fire from last more than two months when the PPCB authorities had issued closure notices to 35 dyeing units located on Tajpur Road in the last week of November 2008 for their failure to abide by the pollution control norms and discharging untreated effluents in Budda Nullah. The orders had come in the wake of explicit directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the course of writ petition.

However, the defaulting dyeing units resorted to protests and also exerted political pressure on the PSEB administration to avoid disconnection of power supply. When contacted, H.S. Randhawa, deputy chief engineer, city west circle of PSEB confirmed that power supply of 55 dyeing units, facing closure notices from PPCB, was disconnected this morning.


Industrialists term it unlawful
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Affected by snapping of power supply connection to as many as 55 dyeing units, the representatives of the Federation of Dyeing Factories’ Associations today met Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal seeking mercy and demanded revocation of orders.

Led by general secretary of federation V.K. Goyal, the dyeing industrialists met Sukhbir, who was in city today, and argued that the action was “unlawful” as the government had already given them May 31 as deadline to comply with the norms.

Sukhbir, however, did not assure them anything stating that he was not in a position to say anything as the action came in the wake of recent High Court orders. He said he would hold a meeting of officials of the Pollution Control Board and related departments on Monday and decide the future course of action.

The meeting of industrialists with Sukhbir was organised by Cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria, who had been taking up the matter with the Chief Minister.

The industrialists said that notices of snapping of power connections were issued to 14 units seven months ago and 35 units three months back. At that time, no action was taken but today a team of Punjab State Electricity Board reached these units in the wee hours and disconnected the supply.

Goyal said the notices were issued on the basis of three reasons, including non-achievement of zero liquid discharge, direct discharge into nullah and non-compliance of one or the other norms.

He added that while all units stopped direct discharge into the nullah, zero discharge was a norm not set by Punjab Pollution Control Board. The government had given them a deadline till May 31 to follow the norms completely. “How come then our connections have been disconnected?” asked Goyal.

The orders should not have stood after the deadline was fixed. It seems that PPCB has not conveyed the message to PSEB, who followed their last orders and disconnected the supply, he said.



Meeting deadlines not MC’s priority
‘Favours’ contractor who failed to complete works on time
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Deadlines in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation are of least importance and delaying projects to ensure more funds to the contractors undertaking the work has become a normal routine for the civic body, so it seems as the civic body has failed to initiate development works in the city.

In one such case, the MC has allegedly favoured a contractor, Deepak Builders, who already has three big projects of the civic body and all of them are hanging fire. These projects include covering of the indoor stadium, covering of Ganda Nullah and the Gill Road flyover, work orders of which were given in 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively, with 18-month as the time limit to complete them.

Instead of asking the builder to work on these projects, the civic body has been "helping" the contractor by extending the time limit for completion of work again and again. Besides, even the cost of construction has been increased due to the reason best known to the MC authorities.

According to the information, Deepak Builders was given work orders of the Rs 15.5-crore indoor stadium on January 1, 2004, and the project was to be completed by June 2005. However, the project is not even half completed.

Even the principal architect of the stadium had said if the project was completed on time, it would have been completed in the budget allotted to it. But if the same infrastructure is to be installed as per the original idea in today's arena, the cost has shot up to Rs 80 crore.

Similarly, the work orders of covering the Ganda Nullah too was given to the Deepak Builders on August 16, 2005, with a stipulated time of 18 months and Rs 16 crore was allotted for the project. Interestingly, not even the half of the approved design has been constructed till date and the municipal councillors have also accused the builder of changing the original design.

Above all, the Rs 15.3-crore flyover on Gill Road, which was to be completed by February 2008, is still under construction and even the construction estimates have been increased.

In the present scenario, when the MC is forced to sell its property for funds to initiate development projects, what surprises is that why it has always failed to keep a tab on contractors who has been taking the civic body “for a ride”.



Power supply, civic amenities and medical emergencies
City lacks centralised complaint centre
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 7
Like the police, Fire Brigade or for that matter the Railways, which have a single common telephone number for emergency services, the city people find themselves at their wits end when it comes to other crucial services like power supply, civic amenities and medical emergencies.

In the mega city with a population of more than 35 lakh, the residents have to move from pillar to post to lodge their complaints related to electrical faults or civic amenities like water supply or sewerage in the absence of a centralised complaint centre.

There have been numerous complaints from affected residents that the telephone numbers provided for complaint booking by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for different city localities remain unattended most of the times. And even if one is able to get connected, the staff manning these phones turns out to be indifferent, or rude at times. Not only this, the complaints lodged after great hassles are allegedly not attended to in the prescribed manner in the absence of any monitoring or accountability system.

Similarly, the Municipal Corporation (MC), which boasts of being the richest civic body in the state with the largest budget, has, till now failed to set up a centralised mechanism for booking and dealing with the complaints. Most of the times, residents in different parts of the city are unaware as to whom to approach or which phone number to call to lodge their complaints about erratic water supply, choked sewers or non-functional street-lights.

While the MC officials claimed that residents could book their complaints at zonal and sub-zonal offices of the civic body where a register is kept for this purpose, they said for the time being, there was no proposal to have a centralised complaint booking system.

The PSEB, however, came out with a comprehensive plan to set up a call centre here in about a month's time which will cater to five major cities of Punjab. Once the call centre, being set up with technical support of a private company, becomes functional, consumers in Ludhiana, Amrtisar, Jalandhar, Patiala and Bathinda will be able to book their complaints on a common telephone number from where these will be forwarded to sub-divisions concerned for disposal in a fixed time frame, PSEB official informed.



Fraud charge against dharamshala manager
Cheated the organisation to the tune of crores by
showing her husband as dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
A fraud has come to light here where the manager of Ram Sharnam dharamshala showed her husband to be dead in records to cheat the organisation to the tune of crores.

The dharamshala helps widows to eke out a decent living.

The fraud allegedly runs into crores of rupees and the police is expecting more skeletons to tumble out of the closet.

The ashram authorities alleged that Nirmala Devi, who was working as a manager of the dharmashala for the past 30 years, had purchased properties in Sector 32 and extracted other benefits by showing herself as a widow, while her husband Baldev Kumar is alive.

Interesting, she has purchased properties by changing names of her father also. According to ashram secretary Roshan Lal, Nirmala Devi, a resident of Sector 32, Chandigarh road, has many such properties in various areas of the city, which are worth crores of rupees and belongs to the trust.

He further said that she was a disciple of Ram Narain, the founder of Ram Sharnam, and was looking after the dharmashala affairs when he was alive.

After his death, a trust was formed, but Nirmala Devi continued to take the benefit of the trust's money. The trustees alleged that she has also purchased property in the name of her children.

According to a trustee, "It was not an easy ride for us. The matter was brought to the notice of the Chief Minister during his sangat darshan programme. The CM further ordered an inquiry into the matter and after a thorough probe, the case was registered."

The accused is absconding.



Municipal councillor dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Kundan Lal Chabbra, a municipal councillor from ward No 57, passed away here this evening after a heart failure. He was 64 and would be cremated at 12 noon tomorrow.

Chabbra was chosen as the municipal councillor for the local house twice. During his first tenure as a councillor he fought elections as an independent candidate and succeeded.

He also tried to be a Mayor and stood against former Mayor Nahar Singh Gill with the support of Akali councillors. However, after he lost to Gill, he joined the Shiromani Akali Dal and fought elections on the party ticket and won the seat in 2007 again.

Talking about Chabbra, SAD municipal councillor Jagbir Sokhi said, "Even being a rich builder he took upon the responsibility of helping poor and downtrodden. It was his attitude to uplift people which brought him into politics." He added that he was a character with extraordinary achievements.



MC removes encroachments on Dugri road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Even as the Municipal Corporation has been always criticised for failing to remove encroachments in the city, it seems the residents are not ready to mend their ways.

The biggest example of it came to the fore during an anti-encroachment drive here today. The Tehbazaari Wing superintendent, Naveen Malhotra, who went to remove encroachments from Dugri, had urged the shopkeepers to remove display boards many times, which shopkeepers themselves confessed.

While some of them were busy calling local area councillors to request him to leave their shops, others were busy trying to remove boards themselves.

The failure of shopkeepers to remove the boards themselves forced the MC to remove around 68 display boards despite some resistance by the shopkeepers on the Dugri Road.

Talking to The Tribune, Malhotra said, "We had requested and warned the shopkeepers not to encroach upon the road, but to no avail." He said the tehbazaari wing also removed encroachments from the Pakhowal road and around 20 rehris along with canopies and kiosks were also confiscated.



Cleaning Issue
Baba Seechewal disappointed
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
A year after Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal of Kali Bein fame took upon himself the task of motivating kar sewaks to clean the Sidhwan canal, he is disappointed that the work could not take off.

The project that was announced with much fanfare a year ago by a former commandant of home guards, Gurbax Singh, was stopped soon after it was started, as he was stated to have fallen sick.

Gurbax Singh had invited Baba Seechewal to flag off the cleaning operation.

Baba said he was really disappointed that the operation was not materialised. He added he would have felt elated had the plan to clean the canal yielded a result.

Criticising bureaucracy, Baba said while animals had already died due to pollution, humans too had started dying. Still they were not moved and no concrete steps were being taken to do anything on the issue.



Prof Yash Pal for more autonomy to varsities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Walls created between subjects, particularly in the science stream need to be erased because an integrated approach was the need of the hour, said Prof Yash Pal, Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University and a former chairman of the University Grants Commission, while addressing the inaugural session of the 12th Punjab Science Congress at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

Prof Yash Pal said, "No new knowledge can be created without merging the boundaries between different specialties, particularly in the science stream."

He said the universities needed to be given more autonomy. Interference by politicians and bureaucracy limits its’ functioning and carries a direct impact on the academic outputs.

More than 500 scientists from across the states had gathered for the congress. Four eminent personalities were honoured with conferment of fellowship by Punjab Academy of Sciences (PAS). Prof KL Chopra, former director, IIT Kharagpur, was honoured for his outstanding achievements in the field of physical sciences (solid state physics).

Prof Jagir Singh Sandhu was conferred fellowship of the academy for his achievements in chemical sciences. An environmentalist, Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal of Kali Baieen fame was honoured for his contributions in environmental sciences. Dr Paramjit Singh Minhas, director of research at PAU, was honoured for his contributions in agricultural sciences.

Dr Shivinder Singh Gill, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Medical and Health Sciences, was awarded Bhagwan Dass Arora Memorial Award for his services in medical and health sciences. A special award was also given to Dr RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University, Chandigarh, who had recently been decorated with Padma Shri Award by the Government of India.

PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, who is the chief patron of the science congress, welcomed the chief guest, members of PAS and delegates. He said the deliberations of the congress should bring out fruitful recommendations for implementation by the policy planners.

Dean College of Basic Sciences and Humanities and convener of the congress, Dr Tejwant Singh informed that more than 500 papers have been received for presentation in the congress. Dr PK Khanna, coordinator of research (Basic Sciences), who is the organising secretary proposed a vote of thanks.



Mega police city status sought for Ludhiana
Report submitted to Union Home Ministry for approval
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, February 7
While seeking mega police city status for Ludhiana, the authorities here have demanded upgradation of the existing police stations and four more police stations to improve the law and order situation in the city.

At present, Ludhiana has 20 police stations. Besides, the administration has also asked for 27 CCTV cameras for installation at different sensitive points in the town.

Ludhiana - the industrial capital of Punjab - has witnessed phenomenal expansion during the past three decades and the population of the town has touched 40 lakh, including the migrants’ population of over 8 lakh.

The city mega police report has been submitted to the Union Home Ministry, which has decided to accord mega police city status to seven metropolitan cities of the country. Ludhiana town merits this status due to unprecedented expansion and cosmopolitan nature of the town’s population.

According to Senior Superintendent of Police R. K. Jaiswal, the city has been divided into three zones to keep a check on the law and order situation and the management of the vehicular traffic that has witnessed a record increase.

Jaiswal explained that the CCTV cameras were required to keep an eye o the anti-social elements and also manage the vehicular traffic. The city needs a modern control room with live monitoring. For traffic management, e-challenging has been proposed which would ensure transparency and also help in collecting the data, he added.

The police administration has also sought a fleet of 25 Gypsies fitted with global positioning system and four fast track (bullet-proof) vehicles for the quick reaction teams (QRT) which have especially been trained to meet emergency situations like the terrorist attack. In the final phase, there is a proposal to have complete computerisation of the police stations.

Jaiswal said that since terrorists have gone hi-tech, there was a need to make the police fully equipped with the latest gadgets to meet any challenge. He said that land for the police stations had been identified and funds worth around Rs 85 crore were needed for the same.



Smooth ride for schoolchildren
Police to launch helpline number
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
In the wake of two major accidents involving school vans, which has claimed three lives and left several injured, the district police is taking certain steps to ensure smooth ride for schoolchildren.

For this purpose, the city police is going to float a helpline number, which will be pasted on the back of the school bus or an auto rickshaw ferrying the schoolchildren.

Residents can register their complaints on this helpline number if they spot a school-bus driver driving recklessly.

"We are going to float a helpline number. If some finds a school van ferrying the children over the permissible speed limit, he or she can dial the helpline number and lodge their complaint," said SSP RK Jaiswal.

The SSP said if the school authorities agreed a police party would visit the school once in a month to check the credentials and norms followed by the school-bus driver.

The district police, which has faced criticism from the school authorities and private school bus operators’ unions for launching their challan drive is planning to join hands with them.

The SSP said the school should also follow similar practice and pasted a complaint number on the back of the bus. It will generate a sense of fear and accountability in the mind of a driver.



Students rue MC’s apathy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
The Municipal Corporation, which has always been on the receiving end for garbage disposal is once again in the dock, as students of Baba Isher Singh Senior Secondary Public School rue the civic body’s apathy.

The students and the principal of the school complained that despite their repeated requests to the Municipal Commissioner to remove the garbage collection box from the back of the school, nothing has been done to solve the problem.

They complained that stink emitted from the dumping ground was causing a lot of inconvenience.

They appealed to the civic body to make arrangements for changing the site of the garbage collection box as it was posing a great hazard to the health of the students.



Govts fail to observe Bada Ghallughara Day
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 7
Successive state governments have failed to include the Bada Ghallughara Day (big holocaust) in the state calendar of events even as local religious organisations strive to perpetuate the golden element of the Sikh history.

As usual, they organised a ‘path’ at the gurdwara where only a few local leaders made their presence felt. The day is observed in memory of those massacred by forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali.

As many as 35,000 persons were encircled by the enemy and put to the sword at this village in 1762. The Sikhs were retreating during the sixth foray of Abdali, but were outnumbered and killed. Even children and women were not spared.

No monument had been raised in the past 342 years, but for an under-construction gurdwara at the village. There were no arrangements to observe the holocaust day at the site of the massacre, 4 km from Mandi Ahmedgarh.

Maj Sher Singh regretted that the successive governments had failed to understand significance of the major event of the Sikh history. What to talk of adopting the day in national or state calenderer, the top leaders could not get enough time to visit the place on annual day that falls tomorrow. Narrating the details of the holocaust, he said as many as 35,000 Sikhs, including 10,000 children, were killed when they were on their way to Rajasthan. Spies reported to Abdali at Ludhiana that Sikhs, along with their families, were camping at Kup Rohila village near Malerkotla.

He ordered the nawab of Malerkotla to attack from that direction and crush the Sikhs before they reached Garma village, where their ammunition and guns were stationed. By this time, a large army headed by Abdali and his Generals Shah Wali Khan and Jahan Khan encircled the Sikhs at Rohila from the other direction.

Led by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, the small Sikh army bravely engaged the enemy. The fighting carried on till dusk, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. By this time, the forces reached Hathur village near Jagraon.

Abdali’s offer of truce was rejected by Ahluwalia. Some men were sent under the command of Sham Singh to hide the children in a vast tract of tall elephant grass near Moom Kalan village. The enemy got wind of the plan and set the grass on fire, killing everyone.

Earlier, residents of about 30 villages had urged the state government to erect a memorial at Kup Kalan and Rohira.

The residents demanded an engineering college, polytechnic or a postgraduate institute of business administration to commemorate Sikh martyrs of Bada Ghallughara (major holocaust).



Disease management must for better yield: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Prof Graham Jellis, director (R&D), of the UK-based Home Grown Cereal Authority (HGCA) and president of the British Society of Plant Pathology (BSPP) has said that monitoring crops from their health point of view proved useful in managing diseases.

Talking on "Developing an integrated programme for wheat disease control in the UK" here yesterday, Dr Jellis introduced the mission of HGCA and that it aimed to improve production, wholesomeness and marketing of the UK cereals and oilseeds so as to increase their competitiveness in the UK and overseas in a sustainable manner.

He provided an overview of the activities being undertaken by the BSPP. He said that in UK, cereals, beans, peas, corn and oilseeds were important crops requiring effective disease management strategies.

He said the major diseases hitting wheat production were yellow rust, fusarium, powdery mildew, eye- spot and septoria blotch were important. Dr Jellis described septoria blotch as a disease where fungicidal management was arduous and an integrated approach involving crop monitoring, disease resistance, information and communication were being followed. "Change the way, we control diseases,” he said, adding that devising sound strategies for efficient crop health care involving all possible options was the area of concern.

He said that under the aegis of HGCA, thrust was being laid on market information, research and development, market development and field experimentation. He said that the yield level achieved in wheat was around four tonne per hectare wherein agronomy, plant breeding, weed management and disease control efforts played a significant role.



Minister for video conferencing in jails
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
As the number of dreaded criminals absconding from the police custody while they are produced in the court for hearing is on the rise, the Minister of Jails and Tourism, Hira Singh Gabria, has again made the claims that the video-conferencing will start soon.

Such claims have been made by the minister for last six months, but nothing has been done in this direction.

The announcement has come as an assurance as a notorious criminal, Rajiv Raja, absconded from the police custody while he was being taken for a hearing from Moga to the city.

The Punjab assembly had passed the bill for the amendment of the CrPC in December last year.

Gabria said the bill had been sanctioned by the Governor and had further been sent to the President for further recommendations.

Also, ultra-modern jails will be set up in Faridkot, Kapurthala and Mansa. Each jail will house from 2,500 to 3,000 prisoners.

Punjab would soon introduce video-conferencing facility between various jails and courts in those areas, the minister said here on Tuesday. The move follows the assent to an amendment in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) by the President of India, under which the persons in judicial custody could be produced before the courts either in "person" or through the medium of "video-linkage".

He said the facility would save time and resources for the police as it would not be required to transport under-trials to courts for every hearing.



Work on Ayali village road begins
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 7
Laying of the seven-metre wide Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon road was inaugurated at Ayali village near here.

The inauguration was done by cabinet minister for PWD (B&R), Parminder Singh Dhindsa. The inaugural ceremony was presided over by Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, the Zila Parishad. The road being laid is under the NABARD Scheme 14 (1).

Ayali while speaking on the occasion said it was a long pending demand of people of the area that a road should be named in the name of Paramveer Chakra winner Shaheed Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon. He said the road measuring 10.3 km would be constructed at a cost of Rs 11 crore and would join the NH 95 to Mullanpur via Ladhowal, Nurpur and Humbran villages and would benefit residents.

He also demanded that a bridge on the Sidhwan canal joining Ayali Khurd and Ayali Kalan should be widened so that the road passing through them could be used as a mini bypass by commuters.



Poet praises Kashmiri camaraderie
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
Beauty of “Kashmiri camaraderie” lies in the fact that there have been no communal killings during the whole period of insurgency, observed Dr Gurcharan Singh Gulshan, a noted Punjabi writer and poet from Jammu and Kashmir.

The writer-cum-poet was in the city for an interactive session organised at the Punjabi Sahit Akademi.

Introducing himself as the writer born from “situations”, Dr Gulshan said, "I am a writer who originated from the communal riots during the 1947 partition wherein I lost my whole family. But love for my motherland Kashmir impelled me to pen down the 'pain and pleasures' of the land."

Speaking in his capacity of the writer, Dr Gulshan expressed disappointment over the “contemporary critics” who according to him base their analysis on “isms” and some do not even read the book before giving their expert comments.

With 16 publications to his credit, the latest poem written by Dr Gulshan “Likhtun Dhi” has created ripples in literary circles at the national level.

Amongst his widely read stories, “Khalt-Malt” received rave reviews as the writer describes it as an account of merger of Ishq Mijazi and Ishq Haqiqi.

The writer also said autobiographical element was an important aspect in the writings, which every writer experimented with once in his life.



From Schools
Prize distribution function at SKN school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
SKN Model High School organised an annual prize distribution function today. Ram Sunder Malhotra was the chief guest. Students presented many cultural items like giddha and rangla Punjab.

KD Arora, principal, welcomed the chief guest and other guests.

The chief guest gave away prizes to the students excelling in the field of sports and academics.

Quiz contest

The intra-school confident minds’ quiz was held at Guru Nanak Public School here today. Four teams participated in the quiz. Each team was represented by six students. The rounds were confident speller round, confident looker round, confident thinker round and confident player round. The quiz was well conducted by Cooper, relations’ officer with Derek O'brien. Dr Amartya Sen team won the quiz and Dr APJ Abul Kalam team bagged the second position.



Candidate for Ludhiana within a week: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
The Deputy Chief Minister and acting SAD chief, Sukhbir Singh Badal, today said the party candidates for the Ludhiana and Bathinda parliamentary constituencies would be announced within a week.

He was in the city to participate in the shobha yatra of Guru Ravidass here today.

Talking to media, he said the two seats were very important for the Akalis and befitting names had been decided.

He said former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was not interested in the state. Without naming Aroosa, he said Amarinder was only interested in Pakistan and all that was going on there.



Economic slowdown discussed
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 7
"Economic slowdown is now spreading to the entire world,” opined Gagan Deep Sharma, Department of Management Studies, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib.

He was sharing his views as a resource person of the extension lecture organised by the Commerce Association of the Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, on “Economic Recession” in the college today.

He elaborated that global economic slowdown has its roots in the 'Sub-prime crisis' in the USA. "The protectionist policies being adopted by the first world countries in order to get rid of the crisis are inappropriate, and need to be closely observed by the think-tank of the developing nations like India,” he added.

Prof Gursharanjit Singh, while welcoming the resource person, said that the adverse effect of slowdown on the agriculture sector of India would be less compared to the industry and services sector.

J S Gill, director of the college observed that when the US and other developed economies are in a crisis of sorts, India has a great opportunity.



Alumni association to meet on Feb 12
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 7
A meeting of the governing body of the GHG Khalsa College Alumni Association, Gurusar Sudhar, was held here under the chairmanship of principal Dr Swaranjit Singh Deol.

It was decided to hold the annual general body meeting of the association on February 12. It was also unanimously decided that 20 annual alumni scholarships be given to the economically backward students of the college. Members of the association acknowledged the monitory help provided by NRIs and local alumni in this regard.



Kidnap victim succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 7
After being kidnapped from Haridwar and thrown from a moving vehicle near Beela village 19 days ago, driver of a vehicle succumbed to injuries at SPS Apollo Hospital last evening.

The deceased has been identified as Anis Ahmed, a resident of Haridwar district in Uttrakhand, who was admitted in the hospital with serious injuries.

Narrating the whole incident as told by the deceased to him, deceased's brother Mohammad Yusuf alleged that some unidentified persons had hired his vehicle for Jammu.

While they had been crossing Beela village near Sahnewal, the accused had attacked him with sharp-edged weapon and thrown him from the moving vehicle and fled from the spot.

The case has been transferred to Haridwar for further investigations.



Undertrial tries to escape, held
Tribune News Service

Khanna, February 7
An undertrial Manjit Singh alias Bobby, a resident of Mudatal village, Sirhind, tried to escape from police custody here today but was nabbed soon.

He was to be produced in a Samrala court and was brought with other undertrials to Khanna. When the undertrials were alighting from the vehicle, Manjit Singh tried to flee. He ran for almost a kilometre form the court towards Rattanheri village. However, the cops with the help of locals overpowered him.

SSP Arun Pal Singh said that this was second such incidence of an undertrial trying to escape from police custody. In a similar incident on February 5, an undertrial escaped from police custody after administrating some intoxicant to the cops on duty.



At The Crossroads
Craze for wealth and power

Nobody is corrupt by design, but one may be corrupt by chance. The chance happenings in one's life tempt one to demand money as bribe.

Once the palm is greased, it starts itching for something more valuable. The vicious circle starts and it goes on swirling like a spiral. In case one is caught red-handed, one will be punished according to the law of the land. Otherwise one's conscience will prick him all through one's life. The end result is suffering, physical as well as mental.

At times one may cry, in the stillness of one's mind, like Lady Macbeth -“Will these hands be never clean?” I abhor corruption but at the same time I feel pity for the person who is apprehended for taking bribe. He is the unlucky one while many of his colleagues escape from the net dexterously. The system seldom changes as it has acquired a solid base. Still it can undergo a change if it is realised that ill-gotten money is a curse. It demonises both the giver and the taker. It is like a marshland where the person with a heavy load of undue favours sinks deeper and deeper. The change of heart requires not only the individual effort but also the effort of the whole family. When the spouse and the children do not approve of the method of adopting underhand means to get rich quick, the outlook of the person under focus will change. This can happen only when the accumulation of material goods and flaunting lifestyle are not rated high in the social circles.

The craze for money is no doubt the root cause of the malaise of corruption. Next comes the craze for power. When a person starts craving for something he does not deserve, he is ready to pledge his soul to the devil for gaining his objective. He wants to get all the pleasures of life without realising that these will ultimately rob him of his peace of mind. He confuses life of pleasure with the joy of living. Power is like an imp that changes itself into many forms to hoodwink an over-ambitious person. There is an unbreakable link between power and corruption. This point of view is concerned with attaining power through underhand means.

A person of high repute falls from his pedestal the moment he approaches the courtiers to be in the good books of the king. He may achieve a high position in the scheme of things but, in the process, his reputation will be tarnished to no end. A renowned singer when he starts singing paeans to an heir apparent at the time of his "upgradation", he loses the firm ground under his feet. A poet laureate loses the glitter of his earlier poetic image when he stands in the royal court with the cap in his hand. Even Mirza Ghalib's anxiety to seek royal patronage has never been approved of by his admirers. His contemporary Momin Khan Momin never aspired for this position.

Ironically, Momin accepted the post of Professor of Persian at Delhi College which Mirza Ghalib had declined on account of some ego problem. Ibrahim Zauq had been the mentor (Ustad) of Bahadur Shah Zafar for a pretty long time. This period he wasted in composing eulogies (Qasidas) for the Emperor. Admittedly, Zauq had no peer in regard to his mastery over the Urdu language, particularly linguistics and prosody, during his lifetime. Still the quality of his ghazals suffered in the process of pleasing the royalty.

The seekers of royal patronage, at the cost of their self-respect, have always come to grief sooner or later. William Shakespeare was never near the throne when Queen Elizabeth was occupying it. His contemporary Edmund Spenser, although an admirable lyricist, composed an allegory "The Faerie Queene" in which Queen Elizabeth is "grossly and shamelessly flattered." Later he remained in Ireland for eighteen years, serving the English Government in more than one capacity. As ill luck would have it, the castle in which he lived was burnt down in1598 by the Irish rebels. He came back to London in a miserable condition but was denied access to the Queen for help. The next year he died, "for lack of bread,” according to the statement of Ben Jonson.

It is of no use citing examples of this sort to lay stress on my point of view. The lust for money by the high and the low as well as the craze for power by the thinkers, poets, musicians and artists ultimately leads to a blind alley. In the process such persons lose self-respect and public adulation. The advantages acquired from royal patronage, in one form or another, are no less than corruption. This field should be left open for the persons who are bereft of morality and dignity.

— N.S. Tasneem



NRI, five others held for robbery
Tribune News Service

Khanna, February 7
An NRI from Germany and five other youths were held today for looting a truck driver and threatening him.

The incident took place on February 5 at around 8.30 pm, when Rampal Singh was going with his truck loaded with potato crop.

In his compliant to the police, he alleged that five persons had asked him to give side on the road and let their vehicle pass-by. "Before I could move my vehicle, they started abusing and shouting at me," he told to the police. He alleged that the youths got down from their vehicle, had an altercation with him, fired two shots in air and snatched away Rs 10,000 from his possession.

The other accused have been identified as Dalsher Singh, Loveleen, Sheera, Pappu from Khanna and adjoining areas. The police has seized two rifles and recovered Rs 10,000 from the accused.



Two mobile phone snatchers held
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 7
The local police has succeeded in arresting two members of a gang, namely Jaspreet Singh and Dalbir Singh, both residents of Bassian village, who are involved in cases of snatching of mobile phones and cash.

They were arrested from the grain market, Bassian.

DSP Raikot, Narinder Pal Singh said the accused were involved in looting of cash and mobile phones from passersby after stopping them on the pretext of asking way to some village.

The police had registered a case against the duo and unidentified looters on the statement of Hardev Singh of Accharwal village.

The Raikot police had booked them on February 5 under Sections 341, 382, 506, 34 of the IPC.

SHO Raikot, Gurdial Singh said the accused had confessed to commit the crime usually near Ramgarh Sivian, Kalsan, Kalal Majara, Heran, Chajjawal, Sehbajpura and Hardaspura villages.



KCW Athletics
Rajpreet wins six titles
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 7
Rajpreet Kaur Saini, student of BA-I, who clinched six titles, was named best athlete of the 48th Annual Athletics Meet of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, concluded here today.

Rajpreet won four titles yesterday and added two more to her kitty today. She came out triumphant in 50m race and then figured in the team, which finished ahead of others in the 4x100m relay race to bag her sixth individual title.

A musical chair race was also organised for the guests, in which Ravinder Kaur emerged winner, followed by Jaswant Singh Khera and Manu, respectively.

Punjab cabinet minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa was chief guest at the prize distribution function.

Final day's results:

200m race: Ritu 1, Amandeep Kaur 2 and Priya 3.

Chatti race: Jagdeep 1, Rani 2 and Amandeep Kaur 3.

Lucky dip: Harinder Kaur 1, Ramanpreet Kaur 2 and Ritu 3. Obstacle race: Harminder Kaur 1, Jagdeep 2 and Manjinder 3.

Children race: Deepak 1, Ramandeep 2 and Prince 3.



Gurjeet adjudged best athlete
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 7
Gurjeet Kaur of BA I was adjudged the best athlete in the two-day annual athletics meet of Guru Nanak Girls’ College, Model Town, here today.

Orange House team bagged the march past trophy and BA II students clinched the class championship.

Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, the Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, and Gurcharan Singh Galib, a former MP, gave away prizes to the position holders.

Dr Charanjit Mahal, principal of the college, briefed the chief guests about the achievements of the girls at the national and international level tournaments.

Gurbir Singh, president of the Guru Nanak Education Trust, extended a vote of thanks and congratulated the winners.

Today's results:

100m race- Deepti 1, Nany 2 and Priya 3; 4x100m relay race- BA II- 1, BA I- 2 and 10+2- 3;

Obstacle race- Sonam 1, Pooja 2 and Swaranjit 3; Couple hobble- Baldeep Kaur and Harpreet Kaur 1, Randeep Kaur and Sandeep Kaur 2, Sandeep Kaur and Kavita 3; Kangaroo race- Dildeepakjot Kaur 1, Pushpinder 2 and Pushpinder Kaur 3;

Staff race- Sanjay Bector 1, Ashok 2 and Kulwant Kaur 3;

Musical chair race for guests-Rakesh Kumar 1, Manjeet Rai 2 and Dr SS Mahal 3.



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